Shahiedah Shabazz

Senior Attorney
Shahiedah provides land use and zoning, regulatory licensing and compliance, and transactional real estate counsel to clients in a range of cutting-edge industries, drawing from over a decade of experience.
Shahiedah Palmer Headshot

Shahiedah assists property owners, developers, institutions, and investors with local land use and environmental compliance. In addition, Shahiedah advises businesses in the California cannabis industry on compliance with state and local laws and regulations.

Representative Matters

  • Represented a homeowner in successfully defending against a neighbor’s appeal of a short-term rental permit.
  • Represented a cannabis social equity licensee in its merger with a multi-state operator.  
  • Advising a Bay Area school district on land use and transactional matters related to its development of a community school, including the sale of excess development rights.
  • Conducted legislative monitoring, research, analysis, and strategy development on behalf of several companies, in areas of affordable housing, fintech, insurance regulation, and cannabis.
  • Facilitated the land use entitlement of projects throughout the Bay Area, including a hotel in Santa Cruz, an office campus in Menlo Park, redevelopment of a shopping center, and several multi-family housing developments, by completing applications, preparing for and attending hearings, and coordinating consultants including architects, lobbyists, and engineers.
  • Perform title and survey due diligence review and analysis in support of multi-million dollar real estate finance transactions.
  • Serve as primary regulatory counsel to state-licensed commercial cannabis businesses and their owners.

Previous Work

Shahiedah brings over 10 years of experience to her practice at ArentFox Schiff. Before joining ArentFox Schiff, Shahiedah worked at the Los Angeles County Counsel’s Office for four years, where she helped to develop local cannabis policy, monitored developments in cannabis law and policy within federal, state and local government agencies, and prosecuted unlicensed dispensaries. She also served as in-house counsel to the County Auditor-Controller and the Treasurer and Tax Collector, and successfully defended the County against multiple lawsuits. Between stints at the County Counsel, Shahiedah worked as a deputy city attorney to several cities, where she primarily focused on land use, the California Environmental Quality Act, and writ litigation. In addition to extensive experience in land use and cannabis law, Shahiedah has advised clients in the areas of real estate, business transactions and nonprofit law, and trademark law.

Professional Activities

Shahiedah  is  dedicated  to  improving  access  to  legal  and  government  resources,  especially  in  low-income  and  minority  communities. She is a member of the Board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity Chicago. She is a former committee chair of the Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, Inc., and served on the California Minority Counsel Program (CMCP) 2020 Annual Business Conference Planning Committee. She is also a former Commissioner of the Los Angeles Convention and Exhibition Center Authority.

    Publications, Presentations & Recognitions

    Recent Speaking Engagements:

    • Panelist, Electronic Transactions Association “Politics & Payments” 2020 Post-Election Panel on Cannabis Policy (virtual)
    • Panelist, California Minority Counsel Program September 2020 Annual Business Conference, “Does Legal Cannabis Present a Level Playing Field for Minorities?” (virtual)
    • Panelist, Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles and Association of Black Women Physicians 2020 Joint Symposium, “Cannabis Update” (virtual)
      • Industries
      • Bar & Court Admissions
        • California Bar
        • Illinois Bar
        • US District Court, Central District of California
      • Education
        Woodbury University, MBA, 2013
        Harvard Law School, JD, 2008
        Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, BS, 2005


      National Law Review Go-To Thought Leader 2022