Whitney Hodges is a partner in the Real Estate, Energy, Land Use & Environmental Practice Group in the firm's San Diego office. She is the Leader of the firm’s Cannabis Industry Team and serves on the firm's Pro Bono, Recruiting and Diversity & Inclusion committees, as well as numerous industry specific teams.

Areas of Practice

Whitney's practice focuses on the representation of clients involved in real estate development. She advises and represents major residential, industrial, commercial and mixed-use development projects, as well as Native American Indian tribes and renewable energy developers through all phases of the land use regulatory process and environmental compliance. Her land use experience includes real estate due diligence investigations, negotiating and drafting development agreements, processing land use entitlements, advising tribal governments on environmental and natural resources law, and appearing before governmental agencies and commissions. She also represents developers and management in traditional labor law issues, including union negotiations. Whitney also advises cannabis companies and ancillary businesses on state and local regulatory compliance and real estate transactions.

Real Estate Development

Real estate development has grown increasingly complex and controversial requiring knowledge of applicable federal, state and local laws, as well as the ability to work with a wide range of diverse interests including governmental agency staff, elected officials, landowners, environmental organizations and citizen groups. Whitney’s ability to work with such diverse interests to develop creative, practical and economical solutions is demonstrated by her involvement in the successful approval and permitting of multiple residential, commercial, industrial and mix-used developments during the past several years. Current projects include redevelopment, infill and mixed-use developments throughout southern California, including San Diego, Los Angeles and Riverside counties.

Environmental Compliance

Whitney has assisted public and private sector clients in obtaining permits and approvals from various federal agencies, and has successfully guided clients through the maze of federal, state and local environmental clearances necessary for development including the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), California Fish and Game Code, Subdivision Map Act, California Community Redevelopment Law (including associated dissolution legislation and successor statutes), California Coastal Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, California Superfund Law, Tribal-State Compacts, and Multiple Species Conservation Programs (MSCP).

Whitney also has significant experience in working closely with clients and consultants on due diligence review of land use issues, which includes local zoning ordinances, general plans, redevelopment agency plans, and related land use restrictions. Her working knowledge of environmental constraints and the development process proves invaluable when investigating the potential purchase of real estate and the subsequent preparation of acquisition documents.


An experienced litigator, Whitney has handled actions involving development disputes, environmental compliance, real estate transactions, and union disputes. She has represented developers in complex civil litigation and defended challenges to development approvals.

Whitney serves as general counsel for the San Diego Humane Society and is on the Board of Directors for YWCA.  Whitney is a registered lobbyist with the City of San Diego, the County of San Diego, San Diego Regional Airport Authority, the San Diego Port Authority and the City of Los Angeles. Additionally, Whitney also is a committed pro bono attorney and, in 2016, she was honored with the firm’s Bob Gerber Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award in recognition of her commitment to volunteering legal services to those in need.



Lawyers in Real Estate Award, Connect CRE, 2023

Commercial Real Estate Visionary, Los Angeles Times Commercial Real Estate: Updates, Trends & Visionaries, 2023

Leader of Influence: Commercial Real Estate, San Diego Business Journal, 2023

Women of Influence in Law, San Diego Business Journal, 2022

Top 50 Women Leaders of San Diego, Women We Admire, 2022

Cannabis Trailblazer, The National Law Journal, 2020

Leaders in Law Finalist, San Diego Business Journal 2019

Tribute to Women & Industry Honoree, YWCA 2019

Continental Pinnacle Professional Who’s Who, 2018

Sheppard Mullin’s Bob Williams Award, 2018

Top 40 Business Leaders Under 40, San Diego Business Journal, 2018

Sheppard Mullin’s Bob Gerber Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award, 2016

LEAD San Diego Impact Class of 2017 Graduate

Herbert G. Klein Memorial Leadership Award Finalist



Cannabis Law Blog Posts

Real Estate, Land Use and Environmental Law Blog Posts

Fashion and Apparel Law Blog

Climate Change & Clean Technology Law Blog Posts

  • "Supreme Court Grants Limited Review of GHG Emissions Regulations," November 5, 2013
  • "What Will It Cost for California to Save the World? California Conducts its First Greenhouse Gas Cap-and-Trade Auction," December 5, 2012
  • "ARB Initiates The Development Process For A Potentially Controversial Agricultural Equipment Regulation," September 26, 2012
  • "California Appellate Court Greenlights Air Resources Board's Cap-And-Trade Program," June 26, 2012
  • "California Adopts Revolutionary New Clean Car Standards," February 10, 2012
  • "California AB 32's Cap-And-Trade Program Developments," October 5, 2011
  • "June Proves To Be A Busy Month For ARB And Its Proposed Cap-and-Trade Program," July 6, 2011
  • "Superior Court's Injunction Preventing California's Cap and Trade Program Has Been Stayed...Right?," June 10, 2011
  • "California Court Issues Tentative Ruling Enjoining AB 32 Implementation," February 4, 2011 

Latin American Blog Posts

Media Mentions

Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, "Cannabis 101," California Lawyers Association, January 25, 2023
  • Speaker, "The Impact of DCC on the Existing State-Specific Regulations and Eventual Legal National Cannabis Marketplace," myLawCLE, December 28, 2022
  • Speaker, "Cannabis and Corporate Law: Solving Problems in Entity Formation, Jurisdiction, Investment and Contracting," Strafford, December 15, 2022
  • Panelist, YLR: The Laws Governing the Business of Cannabis, September 2, 2020
  • Panelist, San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce/LEDA Impact Program, 2019
  • Society of Certified Appraiser’s 2019 Fall Appraisal Conference
  • Society of Certified Appraisers Fall Appraisal Conference, Fall 2019/Spring 2020



Board of Directors, Building Industry Association of San Diego

Member, American Law Society

Committee Member, Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW)

Committee Member, Lawyers Club

Member, National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP)

Member, National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) State Regulations Committee

Founder and Chairperson, San Diego Humane Society Young Professionals Committee

Member, Junior League

Digital Media


J.D., University of Southern California, 2010, President; Phi Alpha Delta Law Society; Advocacy Vice Chair and Competitor, Hale Moot Court Honors Program

B.A., University of Southern California, 2007, with honors


  • Extern to the Honorable Roy L. Paul, California Superior Court, Los Angeles, California


  • California
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District
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