Maren Schroeder is a paralegal turned public policy specialist born and raised in Stewartville, Minnesota. She currently operates High Level Strategies, an advocacy and government relations firm exclusively serving the Minnesota cannabis industry. Additionally, she serves as the Policy Director of Sensible Change Minnesota, a consumer and patient led non-profit focusing on policies that promote public health and compassion. Over the past ten years, her work resulted in vast expansion of Minnesota’s medical cannabis program, and she played a key role advocating for consumers in the legalization of hemp-derived edibles and beverages under Minnesota law. In 2022, Schroeder organized and executed an electoral engagement strategy in the 2022 election to elect a Pro-Legalization Majority in Minnesota, and was instrumental in ending cannabis prohibition in Minnesota.
Maren led the stakeholder engagement effort for the MN is Ready campaign; her work with stakeholders resulted in dozens of policy recommendations that were signed into law May 30, 2023 when Minnesota legalized the adult use of cannabis. Some of these recommendations include the Mezzobusiness license and its ability to participate in the medical cannabis market, mandating medical cannabis patients have access to their medical cannabis in licensed health care facilities, and allowing for conditional licensing during the application process.
She also led in the development of the Minnesota Paralegal Association’s efforts to engage in public policy, previously serving as Director of Positions & Issues and Director of Professional Development during her seven years on MPA’s Board of Directors. She led construction and implementation of the Minnesota Certified Paralegal Program, and represented MPA on the Minnesota State Bar Association Alternative Legal Models Task Force and the Minnesota Supreme Court’s Implementation Committee for the Legal Paraprofessional Pilot Project. Ms. Schroeder currently serves on the Standing Committee for the Legal Paraprofessional Pilot Project.
On a national level. Schroeder served as the Director of Positions & Issues for the National Federation of Paralegal Associations from 2020-2022. During her two years, she led a number of initiatives including: comprehensive revisions to the Code of Ethics, finalizing and publishing a position statement on the unauthorized practice of law, updates to the position statement on legal paraprofessionals, and engagement with advocacy on behalf of NFPA in California, Colorado, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Oregon. Prior to her tenure as Director of Positions & Issues, Schroeder was chosen as one of about a dozen leaders within the membership to serve on a task force dedicated to modernizing and reforming the 40+ year old organization, and co-led the team that successfully overhauled the organization’s bylaws and 500+ page policy & procedure manual.
Ms. Schroeder is the recipient of several awards including the National Federation of Paralegal Association’s Justice Champion Award, the inaugural Minnesota Cannabis Culture Award for Medical Cannabis Advocacy, and Outstanding Paralegal of the Year Award from the Minnesota Paralegal Association. Ms. Schroeder has served on the Stewartville Planning & Zoning Commission since 2013 and was a member of the Task Force that developed the City’s dog park. She also volunteers her time as a civil and family mediator for Mediation and Conflict Solutions.