John "Sean" Jennings
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Sean Jennings is a regulatory attorney at Ireland Stapleton. He represents businesses in matters involving regulatory law, government relations, and commercial transactions. Sean works with local and national clients in diverse industry sectors such as food and beverage, cannabis, hemp/CBD, transportation, energy, and gaming. He helps navigate laws in emerging markets such as short-term rentals, fantasy sports, online delivery platforms, and renewable energy. He guides businesses through licensing, permitting, zoning/land use, compliance, government enforcement actions, and investigations.
Sean regularly represents clients before the Colorado Department of Revenue, Department of Regulatory Agencies, Public Utilities Commission, and other state agencies. At the local level, he appears before city councils, planning boards, and other elected bodies. Sean drafts proposed rules and legislation for clients in highly regulated industries. He assists businesses and organizations with rulemaking, policy strategy, and government affairs throughout Colorado.
In his corporate practice, Sean advises clients on transactions, contracts, and intellectual property matters. He enjoys helping businesses leverage and protect their brands with federal trademark registration at the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Sean has served on rulemaking committees and policy working groups for the State of Colorado and the City of Denver. Previously, he was the hearings manager for the City of Denver’s Department of Excise and Licenses, where he led the City’s administrative hearings process for business licenses. During law school, he was the Executive Editor of the Villanova Law Review.
- J.D., Villanova University School of Law, 2011, cum laude
- B.A., Michigan State University, 2008, with Honors, Phi Beta Kappa
Honors & Awards
- Villanova Law Review, Executive Editor
- Recipient of Villanova Law Review Scribes Award for Legal Writing & Editing
- Recipient of Best First-Year International Law Brief Award 2009
- Recipient of Best First-Year Memo Award 2008
- Represents food and beverage clients ranging from aspiring local chefs to national supplier brands to international hotels for local, state, and federal liquor licensing and permitting.
- Represents local and national cannabis and CBD businesses for licensing, operating procedures, government investigations, and regulatory strategy in Colorado.
- Represents a national transportation network company in connection with regulations and compliance at the Public Utilities Commission.
- Represents public and private sector clients in electric utility, renewable energy, and environmental compliance matters at several State of Colorado agencies.
- Represented a rural electric cooperative to secure grant funding for broadband internet deployment at a State of Colorado agency.
- Represented business organizations for successful ballot initiatives in two Colorado cities for legal recreational cannabis sales.
- Represented the first cannabis research and development laboratory to obtain a license in the State of Colorado.
- Represented commercial and residential property owners in land use and licensing challenges for short-term rentals and local government policy.
- Represented the first entertainment district to obtain a common consumption liquor license to activate large public space in a metro city.
- Represented the first licensed racetrack to operate an online daily fantasy sports platform in the State of Colorado.
- At the City of Denver, managed and conducted the nation’s first community public hearings for recreational cannabis store licenses.
Pandemic Drives Hospitality Law Innovation
Marijuana: What Federal Legalization May Look Like
Colorado Legislature Provides COVID-19 Stimulus for Food and Beverage Industry
How Restaurants Can Navigate COVID-19 During Winter
- “Bankruptcy and State Alternatives for Marijuana Business,” in September 7, 2018
- “Current Topics in Colorado’s Regulatory Landscape,” in 92 Denver Univ. Law Review Online 183 (2015)
- “Skiing Close to the Edge of Trademark Law: The Enforceability of Geographically Descriptive Marks in Vail Associates v. Vend-Tel-Co.,” in 55 Villanova Law Review 205 (2010)
- Marijuana and the Non-Profit Industry, at Community Resource Center Roundtable, 2019
- Hospitality Law, at Colorado Hotel & Lodging Association Conference, 2016
- Regulatory Update, at Recreational Marijuana CLE, 2015
- Navigating the Agencies, at Alcohol Beverage Law CLE, 2015
- Colorado Marijuana Licenses, at Recreational Marijuana CLE, 2014
- Colorado Bar Association
- Denver Bar Association
- Downtown Denver Partnership, Retail Council Member, Downtown Denver Leadership Program
- Colorado Restaurant Association, Government Affairs Committee Member
- WorldDenver, Board Member and Board Secretary
- University of Denver Law School Professional Mentoring Program
- Brother Rice Colorado Alumni Committee Member
Cannabis and the Law: What Happens When Cannabis is Legalized in America?
February 3, 2021
- Quoted in Law Week Colorado, “Race Betting and Sports Betting – Different Rules Go Back Decades“, August 14, 2020
- Quoted in Law Week Colorado, “The Slow Rollout of Medical Marijuana Delivery,” April 16, 2020