Born and raised in San Diego, Heather saw many of her friends jailed for cannabis-related crimes. After deciding to become a “marijuana lawyer,” Burke graduated from Humboldt State University before studying law at California Western School of Law and interned during a seminal California cannabis case, People v. Jovan Jackson. That case set the precedent that large scale dispensaries may operate lawfully in California. Post-graduation, Heather worked closely with renowned California medical marijuana attorney Omar Figueroa before opening her own practice in Nevada City. With attorney Zenia Gilg, Burke completed a five-day evidentiary hearing regarding cannabis’ Schedule I status in U.S. v. Pickard in the Eastern District of California.
In 2014, Heather was awarded NORML’s John Mark Flowers Scholar. The following year, she was named one of Skunk Magazine’s “Women of Weed.”