Published: May 23, 2017
Alexia Brunet Marks

This week, the University of Colorado Law School held the first installment of its annual Boulder Summer Workshops series, where top scholars convene to share innovative research on legal issues against the scenic backdrop of the Rocky Mountains. This summer’s series kicked off May 21-23 with the second Colorado Food Law Faculty Workshop, where prominent scholars from across the nation had the opportunity to discuss current issues in food law and receive feedback on their research in the area.

Associate Professor Alexia Brunet Marks, lead organizer and host of the workshop, conducts research in international economic law, food law, and civil litigation. With a PhD and MS in agricultural economics, Brunet Marks has received doctoral fellowships from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Science Foundation.

While Brunet Marks’ own work is decidedly global in perspective, she planned this year’s workshop in part to focus on issues closer to home, with two panels of presenters exclusively from Colorado. 

Colorado, and Boulder in particular, is a leader in many food law innovations, including the tax on sugar sweetened beverages that Boulder voters recently authorized. Another area where Colorado leads the way in food law innovations is the marijuana edibles industry, which faces unique challenges, Brunet Marks said.

“[Marijuana] is the most regulated entity in the state of Colorado today, so when you talk about labeling and the things that they have to go through, you’re talking about extremes,” Brunet Marks said.

The interdisciplinary nature of the workshop will allow attorneys and professionals from other fields to find commonalities in their food law work. Non-attorneys, including Jody Beck, a professor and researcher from the University of Colorado Denver’s College of Architecture and Planning, will contribute to the conversation.

“You get to have these conversations with new innovators about new issues and new challenges, and broaden your perspective,” Brunet Marks said.

In addition to discussions on food justice, food sustainability, supply chain challenges, and labeling issues, workshop attendees had some free time with potential to tour a marijuana infused edibles bakery. Brunet Marks also took willing participants hiking, inspiring good conversation and creative thoughts during one of the many beautiful trails outside of Boulder.

Participants in the Food Law Workshop included:

  • Josh Galperin, Yale University Law School
  • Ernesto Hernandez, Chapman University School of Law
  • Andrea Freeman, William S. Richardson School of Law (Hawaii)
  • Baylen Linnekin, Scalia Law School-George Mason Law
  • Jody Beck, University of Colorado Denver, College of Architecture and Planning
  • Stephen Miller, University of Idaho School of Law
  • Justin Marceau, University of Denver Sturm College of Law
  • Anastasia Telesetsky, University of Idaho School of Law
  • Alexia Brunet Marks, University of Colorado School of Law
  • Martha Sullins, Colorado State University - Extension, Ag Business Management Specialist
  • Becca Jablonski, Colorado State University - Agricultural and Resource Economics
  • Kathie Riley, Esq. Agricultural and Farm Law, Loveland, Colorado
  • Nicole Nice, global director of external affairs, Mars Food, Denver, Colorado
  • Karin Lazarus, founder, Sweet Mary Jane, Boulder, Colorado

Upcoming Boulder Summer Faculty Workshops:

  • June 1-2: Positive Lawyering, Mindfulness, and Serious Games, hosted by Professor Peter Huang
  • July 6-7: Seventh Annual Junior Business Law Conference, hosted by Associate Professor Brad Bernthal
  • August 10-11: Climate Change Law & Policy Works-in-Progress Symposium, hosted by Professors William Boyd and Sarah Krakoff