Jesse Harlan Alderman

Partner, Co-Chair, Cannabis Practice - Boston

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Jesse Alderman is recognized by Chambers USA as a leading cannabis lawyer. Jesse is co-chair and co-founder of Foley Hoag’s nationwide Cannabis Practice. He assists clients in securing competitive municipal and state permits and has helped author winning applications in several states. He counsels clients on complex issues of state regulatory compliance, and advises buyers and sellers on regulatory considerations in mergers and acquisitions – including some of the largest transactions in the industry to date. Jesse has been at the forefront of the medical and adult-use cannabis industry since the early stages of its state regulation in specific U.S. states.

Jesse also leverages his regulatory expertise in other areas of practice, including environmental, real estate and infrastructure development, with a focus on state and municipal regulatory matters, permitting and related litigation. He advises both municipal entities and those who appear before them on matters related to zoning, urban redevelopment and public procurement. 

In his litigation practice, Jesse prevailed for the City of South Portland in a nationally watched case, obtaining summary judgment on eight counts and a trial victory on the remaining claim against the City’s “Clear Skies Ordinance.” He has successfully obtained dismissal of a suit seeking to enforce a municipal ordinance against a former owner at a federal Superfund site and won several real property actions in the Land and Superior Courts.

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  • Boston College Law School, J.D., summa cum laude, Order of the Coif, 2010
  • Columbia University, M.S. in Journalism, 2005
  • Tufts University, B.A., summa cum laude, 2003

Representative Experience


  • Drafted, project managed and submitted more than 24 competitive RFP applications for numerous clients in Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey, Utah, and Virginia including multiple winning applications.
  • Drafted application in New Jersey competitive RFP for Vertically Integrated ATCs with client NETA NJ that scored highest out of applications from more than 146 applicants.
  • Drafted application with perfect narrative scores in competitive RFP for cannabis dispensaries in Illinois.
  • Successfully challenged Massachusetts Governor and Department of Public Health’s ban of medical marijuana vaping products in Suffolk Superior Court.
  • Represented Columbia Care in its pending $240 acquisition of gLeaf, a mid-Atlantic-based MSO with operations in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio, and Virginia.
  • Represented Trulieve Cannabis Corp. in fully subscribed $238 million underwritten public offering in United State and Canada.
  • Represented Cultivate Holdings in its pending sale to Cresco Labs, Inc. in a $158 million cash and stock transaction.
  • Represented Ethos Cannabis in $18 million acquisition of 4Front Venture Corp’s assets in Pennsylvania and Maryland, including five operating dispensaries.
  • Represented Trulieve Cannabis Corp. in Holyoke, Massachusetts Sale Leaseback transaction with Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc.
  • Represented private company in acquisition of controlling interest in Florida MMTC.
  • Represented investment company in all phases of $23 million investment and acquisition of Massachusetts cultivation, retail operations and real estate.
  • Assist clients in drafting applications to Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission for state marijuana establishment licenses, and successfully secure critical zoning approvals and local approvals.
  • Successfully represent clients in securing positive resolution of enforcement and compliance issues with Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission.

Environmental and Land Use Litigation

  • Successfully represented the City of South Portland before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court sitting as the Law Court in a lawsuit seeking to overturn the City’s Clear Skies Zoning Ordinance.
  • Secured a victory in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on behalf of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), obtaining a unanimous decision rejecting the claim by the town of Sudbury, Mass. that the MBTA had violated the century-old “prior public use” land use doctrine.
  • Successfully represented the City of South Portland, Maine in a nine-count federal lawsuit aiming to overturn the City’s Clear Skies Zoning Ordinance. After three years of litigation and five-day trial, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine upheld that the City ‘s ordinance, which prohibits the bulk loading of crude oil onto ships in South Portland’s harbor, on all constitutional, federal and state law counts. 
  • Secured a victory on behalf of ENGIE Gas & LNG in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court overturning a Department of Public Utilities order authorizing electric utilities to procure new gas pipeline capacity and to then seek recovery of those costs from electric ratepayers.

Foley Hoag Alerts & Updates


  • Chambers USA, Leading Lawyer for Cannabis Law: Eastern United States (2021) 
  • Dean Dennis Dooley Award for Class Salutatorian
  • Boston College Law Review, Senior Editor
  • Certificate in Land and Environmental Law
  • Colorado Associated Press Editors and Reporters Award, First Place in Environmental Reporting


  • Boston Bar Association, Environmental Section, Member
  • Supreme Judicial Court Law Clerks Society
  • Massachusetts Bar Association, Public Law Section, Member
  • Town of Marblehead Conservation Commission
  • Lecturer in Environmental Law, Boston College Political Science Department
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Bar Admissions

  • Massachusetts

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts