Adam Crabtree is the founder and CEO of NCS Analytics.
Andrew Freedman is the former director of marijuana coordination for the state of Colorado and a principal at the consulting firm, Freedman & Koski Inc.
Crystal Good is a sixth-generation Mountaineer, artist, advocate and entrepreneur in Charleston.
Adrian Giovenco is a passionate engineer with over a decade of experience designing, selling and commissioning HVAC and process systems throughout North America. Recognizing a knowledge gap around fully understanding plant transpiration rates and how they impact controlled environments, he founded InSpire to focus on Advanced Transpiration Solutions. www.InSpire.ag
With over two decades of experience in-house and in private practice, Agustin Rodriquez provides cross-functional, multidisciplinary counsel to advertising, marketing and consumer goods and services companies. He brings years of experience managing in-house legal teams for a Fortune 200 international consumer packaged goods company, handling complex litigation, marketing, advertising, tobacco, cannabis and alcohol regulations and restrictions, international supply chain risk management, internal investigations and corporate compliance, transactions and governance.
Alan is the recognized cannabis lawyer and banking expert at Gleam Law. His practice focuses on developing cannabis and hemp banking programs for banks and credit unions. Prior to entering private practice as a cannabis attorney and banking expert, he spent 17 years as the General Counsel and Compliance Officer for Maps Credit Union. At Maps, he created and managed the first fully compliant marijuana banking program in Oregon. This program remains the largest, most successful, marijuana banking program in the state. Additionally, it is used by the state credit union regulators as the example of how to properly operate a marijuana related business banking program. Alan has extensive knowledge on banking compliance requirements along with the operational challenges to serve marijuana related businesses.
Leonowicz is the leader of Howard & Howard’s Cannabis Industry Group. He provides legal counsel for dozens of cannabis businesses in many areas, including entity formation, state and local licensing strategy and application, regulatory compliance, and M&A services. He can be reached at [email protected] and 248-880-9436.
Alexander McCaffrey is a Consulting Manager at Grassi & Co. He provides consulting services on a variety of internal control and operational efficiency issues. Alex has a combined 15 years of experience in both public accounting and private industry. Alex is also proficient with the use of information technology, business intelligence and process automation as a tool for increasing efficiency and reducing costs.
As a practicing CPA with two regional firms in the Tampa Bay area, Alex gained significant experience in a wide array of industries, including manufacturing and distribution, PEOs, healthcare services, fraud prevention and detection, professional service companies, franchises, employee benefit plans and not for profit organizations. Most recently, Alex has served in high-level financial position in private industry with direct-report responsibilities to the CEOs of companies in the automotive manufacturing and biotechnology industries.
Alex earned his Master’s in Accountancy degree from the University of South Florida.
Allen St. Pierre is the vice president of communications for Freedom Leaf, a partner in the investment firm Sensible Alternative Investments and a NORML board member. In 1997, St. Pierre founded the NORML Foundation and was executive director for both NORML and NORML Foundation from 2006-2016.
As the head cannabis practice attorney for Fortis Law Partners, Alyson Jaen specializes in cannabis law, licensing and regulatory compliance as well as general corporate and business law. Alyson advises clients on cannabis licensing and regulatory compliance matters, including representation before the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division, the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses, and other local regulatory agencies. Alyson is committed to compliance and is an expert in many different aspects of the legal cannabis market. Prior to joining Fortis, Jaen worked at a Denver law firm where she provided legal counsel for operating businesses, and advised public and private companies regarding federal enforcement risks in legal cannabis markets. She previously assisted in more than $1 billion of transactions for the cannabis industry, including performing due diligence with new acquisitions.
Amanda Ostrowitz is Chief Strategy Officer for Fyllo, a cannabis tech company that helps businesses grow bigger and faster with complete trust and confidence in compliance. At Fyllo, Ostrowitz helps drive global growth strategies for the company’s growing customer base, and has a deep understanding of the ever-changing regulatory environment surrounding cannabis laws. Ostrowitz is an attorney by trade, and an entrepreneur who developed CannaRegs, the industry’s most comprehensive database of federal, state, and local cannabis regulations.
Amber Mayo is a founder and partner at WYD, a marketing accelerator for trailblazers looking for rapid growth; new categories, early-stage startups and established brands ready to take it to the next level. She has been at the forefront of digital, local and innovative marketing for the last 15 years. Best known for the “Ellen Selfie” at the 2013 Oscars, Amber has run campaigns and integrations from $200 to $1 billion for corporations and agency clients.
Amy Andrle is one half of L’Eagle Services, working with her husband John, an all-natural and sustainable recreational dispensary and cultivation facility specializing in clean cannabis based in Denver, Colorado. Established in 2010, L’Eagle has positioned itself as a premier establishment that prides itself on offering the cleanest product while also investing the time to educate consumers-both novices and connoisseurs-on the intricacies of the cannabis plant and its derivatives. L’Eagle is the first cannabis dispensary to earn recognition as a Certified Green Business from the City and County of Denver Department of Environmental Health.
Prior to working in the cannabis industry, Andrle, who holds a graduate degree in nonprofit management, was an executive at a cultural art organization, where she gained an appreciation of cooperative compliance and collaboration.
Today, in addition to being a mother and running day-to-day operations for L’Eagle, Andrle actively participates in outreach by contributing her time serving on the City of Denver’s Cannabis Sustainability Work Group, and as a founding board member of the Cannabis Certification Council. She also provides consulting services for legal marijuana companies looking to improve sustainability in their operations.
Amy K. Bharj is a Senior Counsel in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the Chicago office of Epstein Becker Green. She advises clients on employment issues and internal policies, including cannabis law, terminations, separation agreements, employee handbooks, non-compete agreements, risk management, workforce reductions, litigation strategy, governmental investigations, and recent developments in employment law.
Amy is a co-founder of High Growth Communications, bringing her social media expertise to the firm’s clients. After ten years as a social media consultant, Amy discovered the emerging need for professional social media in the cannabis industry. So, she and a (former) business partner launched Hybrid Social, the first all-cannabis marketing and social media agency in Arizona. Amy also co-founded Cannafriends, an Arizona cannabis networking group, and she has been a member of the Marijuana Industry Trade Association in Arizona for over three years. She is especially knowledgeable about the various compliance rules and regulations cannabis firms using social media must deal with. She has both written for and been interviewed by multiple cannabis publications. Before devoting her career to social media she was a high school teacher, and then a stand-up comedian. Amy can be reached at [email protected]
Seven years ago, Amy Poinsett co-founded MJ Freeway Business Solutions with a desire to see burgeoning marijuana businesses expand and thrive with smart business solutions in place. To fill a need for cannabis seed-to-sale software solutions, Poinsett and her co-founder launched MJ Freeway in 2010, the first company to bring seed-to-sale software to the market. Since then, featured twice in the INC 5000 fastest-growing companies list, woman-owned MJ Freeway has grown to serve thousands of clients in 5 countries, and processed more than $5 billion in sales via retail, manufacturing and cultivation management software platforms, as well as consulting services and cannabis licensee application support.
As Chief Executive Officer, Poinsett, a former web developer, has swiftly earned a reputation as a passionate pioneer committed to creating the best software platforms for the medical and adult-use marijuana industry. The University of Denver alumnus is also a sought-after speaker on medical marijuana best practices for streamlining operations, managing financials, boosting revenues, and enhancing customer loyalty. Poinsett’s focus on strategic planning and customer satisfaction consistently has earned MJ Freeway an above-industry average customer retention rate and large profit margins.
A dive master and fine arts painter, Poinsett applies fearless leadership and intelligent design across her personal and professional pursuits. Poinsett stands out as a new-breed CEO skilled in strategy as well as team building. With a track record of successful entrepreneurship, she founded, directed, and held COO and CEO positions for various high-earning tech start-ups in the point of sale and e-commerce spaces.
Prior to founding MJ Freeway Business Solutions, Poinsett successfully directed technology development teams in software application design and research analysis within the financial services, luxury tourism, and medical technology fields. Years of being a pioneer in the tech industry fueled Poinsett’s passion to see other women flourish in science and technology. To that end, Poinsett serves in a leadership role in the Arcview Investor Network, as a mentor in Canopy Boulder – an incubation organization for cannabis startups – and as a volunteer with local and national women and girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) organizations.
Poinsett is recognized nationally as an industry expert and has been a frequent guest speaker at many industry events. She has been interviewed and quoted by many local and national media outlets including CNN Money, Fortune, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Forbes. Poinsett was featured in Cannabis Now’s Eight Cannabis Entrepreneurs to Watch.
Andrea Steel is a Director at Coats Rose and she is Co-Chair of the Firm’s Cannabis Business Law group. Under her direction, the Cannabis Business Law group provides legal services to individuals and companies starting or expanding their legal cannabis businesses in Texas. Andrea’s cannabis business clients come from across the supply chain spectrum from cultivators to retailers, where she advises on regulatory compliance, contract negotiation, hemp/medical marijuana licensing, cannabis-related business issues, product labeling/marketing, policy-making participation, real estate issues and more. She also speaks at events across the state providing insight into the recently approved and proposed laws, rules and regulations and other cannabis business matters. She is also experienced with assisting clients navigate through the various state agency processes, including assistance with funding applications, appeals, and compliance issues. Her practice includes negotiating and closing real estate transactions, including construction, bridge and/or permanent financing, as well as state and local grant and other funding initiatives. Incorporating various economic development incentives, including tax exemptions, is another area in which her creativity and experience allows her to excel. Andrea has spent more than a decade serving as a legal advocate for her clients. Andrea may be contacted at [email protected], (713) 653-7334, https://www.coatsrose.com/attorneys/andrea-steel/.
Andrew Robinson is a principal in the Real Estate Law And Transactions group. He focuses on land use cases as well as areas of administrative and construction law.
Robinson has experience representing clients facing homeowner association, landlord-tenant or construction disputes. He has assisted clients in processing subdivision and condominium development as well as in planning and zoning matters. Additionally, clients turn to Robinson for complex real estate transactions, commercial leasing and general litigation. Contact Robinson at [email protected] or call 301-575-0321.
Andrew Shore is a founding partner of Jochum Shore & Trossevin. Previously, he was a Partner in the Washington, DC office of Mayer Brown LLP. As the Chief of Staff for the House Republican Conference, Mr. Shore was one of the senior advisors to the Congressional Leadership, a position that earned him accolades on the Hill and has led to regular quotes and appearances in the media since moving to the private sector.
He has parlayed his experience as the Policy and Coalitions Director at the House Republican Conference into having a hand in several major private sector coalitions. Mr. Shore built and leads the Owners’ Rights Initiative which is a coalition of Internet resale platforms, libraries, retailers and others protecting your ability to resell or give away the goods you own. He was one of the main advisors to the Digital Fourth Coalition seeking to ensure personal privacy for electronic communications against unwarranted government intrusion. He was the chief legislative strategist for NetCoalition in the campaign to defeat the so-called SOPA and PIPA Internet regulation bills. There he helped a small group of tech companies wage a political campaign against the massively funded movie, music and luxury goods manufacturers.
Mr. Shore does not shy away from high profile clients. He represented the Antigua Online Gaming Association in their landmark dispute against the United States to open the door to cross-border internet gambling. He currently represents the New Federalism Fund in their efforts to protect state cannabis laws and fix the outdated banking and tax laws impeding the industry. They were among the first Republicans in the cannabis advocacy space.
He has traveled and lectured in Serbia on behalf of the International Republican Institute assisting political operatives and elected officials in the development of communications and grassroots tools.
Mr. Shore spends an extensive amount of time with innovators working on behalf of companies like Snapchat, Google and eBay. His passion project is the journey to fund a prize competition to build an artificial kidney. Working with the American Society of Nephrology, he raised awareness of the total lack of early stage treatment for people with kidney disease and the $35 billion dollars spent in Medicare for people in renal failure. Every day brings them closer to the launch of the competition that will radically alter the healthcare landscape.
He is a graduate of the George Mason University School of Law, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Kansas. He is a member of the District of Columbia, Supreme Court and Court of International Trade Bars’. For three years he was Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Friends of the National Zoo. He was recognized as a top Congressional staffer by Roll Call and The Hill. During a brief hiatus from politics, he launched the tech startup HillZoo.com.
A native of Glencoe, Illinois, and an honorary Texan, he and his wife, Cindi have two children and currently reside in Arlington, Virginia.
Andy Joseph is President of Apeks Supercritical, a manufacturer of CO2 subcritical and supercritical extraction equipment in Johnstown, OH. Joseph began building extraction machines more than sixteen years ago in his pole barn as a side business. In 2012, he left his positon as Director of Welding and Testing Labs for Edison Welding Institute (EWI) to dedicate full time to Apeks Supercritical. Today, the company has 500+ equipment installations in more than 20 states.
The inventor of five patents, including Valveless Expansion Technology, Joseph and his company were recognized as one of the “Top 100 Most Brilliant Companies” by Entrepreneur Magazine in 2014. In 2016, the company is a winner of the Edison Award and Joseph was a regional winner and national finalist in the EY (Earnest and Young) Entrepreneur of the Year Award for his outstanding leadership, ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit.
Joseph earned his Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in welding engineering from the Ohio State University.
A two-time Navy Achievement Medal recipient, he served aboard the USS San Francisco as an enlisted nuclear propulsion mechanic.
A native Ohioan, he and his wife and five children live in Johnstown, not far from the company’s 17,000 square-foot facility.
Andy Williams is the President and CEO of Medicine Man in Colorado. He is veteran of the US Army, and served three years as a Cavalry Scout in the 3rd Infantry Division. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Southern Colorado in Pueblo, CO. Andy has worked in a wide range of manufacturing industries as an industrial engineer, and in leadership positions. He is a lifelong entrepreneur. In 2009 the Ogden letter was published stating the Department of Justice would not utilize their resources to prosecute those individuals following state marijuana laws. That was the call to a new opportunity in the marijuana industry for Andy and his brother, Pete Williams. In December of 2009 they launched Medicine Man with the concept of being the Costco of marijuana. Six years later Medicine Man is now a $17 million a year corporation and has branched out to assist start up marijuana companies and grow facilities across the country with their consulting company, Medicine Man Technologies. They are known as industry leaders throughout the United States.
Ann Grimaldi is Principal of Grimaldi Law Offices in San Francisco, California. Ms. Grimaldi provides compliance advice and litigation defense for businesses of all sizes facing diverse chemical and product regulatory challenges, including those arising from California’s Proposition 65. A former partner at a large international firm with over 20 years practicing chemical and product law, she strategically helps her clients avoid costly business disruptions that arise out of alleged non-compliance with chemical regulations like Proposition 65. With supply chains becoming more complex and global, businesses need to manage not only their own compliance but also business risks and disruptions that may arise from the acts of vendors, customers and other third parties; Ms. Grimaldi guides clients through the complex maze of chemical and product laws and helps them manage their legal and business risks. Ms. Grimaldi’s client base more recently has extended to California cannabis businesses as Proposition 65 enforcement has begun to target this emerging industry, which itself faces unique challenges with newly implemented cannabis regulations.
Anne Marie Ellis is a senior counsel at Buchalter whose practice focuses on product liability, commercial litigation, regulatory compliance and client counseling in high-exposure cases involving alleged defective products, toxic substances, motor vehicle collisions, large-scale wildland fires, e-commerce, and consumer class actions. [email protected]
Anthony Moshirnia in an attorney with Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton, LLP, where he is member of the White Collar Defense and Corporate Investigations Practice Team and the Cannabis Industry Team. He advises clients on state and federal law compliance issues, including anti-money laundering and anti-corruption. He also defends individuals and entities under investigation by government agencies and in civil litigation. He can be reached at [email protected].
As one of BioTrackTHC’s earliest employees, Anthony Stevens has over seven years of experience as a product and implementation expert for the BioTrackTHC cannabis seed-to-sale software and government tracking solutions. He has gained extensive experience as the VP of Product Management, developing and coordinating training plans to mobilize BioTrackTHC’s existing employee training and technical support base. In addition to training for legal requirements and commercial system functionality, Stevens has also developed and leads training on system-use, as well as regional compliance requirements, for government contracted state traceability systems. You can follow Stevens on Twitter at @AS_BioTrackTHC or connect with him on LinkedIn.
Ariel Clark of is one of California’s best and most dedicated business attorneys advising clients in highly regulated, emerging markets. For over a decade, Ariel has been in the trenches of cannabis law and drug policy reform, helping enact industry-defining regulations while building a client list of leading operators, entrepreneurs, innovators, investors, and healers. When the idea of cannabis business law was considered an oxymoron, she committed her practice exclusively to this emerging industry — foresight that was recognized by Rolling Stone, which named her one of 18 “Women Shaping The Culture of Tomorrow.” Ariel’s hard-work, intelligence, and tenacity have earned her a national reputation as one of the industry’s fiercest lawyers. Ariel’s well-recognized leadership is reflected in her inclusion on Cannabis Business Executive’s “75 Most Important Women in Cannabis”; mg Magazine’s “30 Most Powerful Cannabis Lawyers”; Cannabis Law Report’s “Global Top 200 Cannabis Lawyers”; and Entrepreneur’s “Top 100 Cannabis Leaders.” Ariel’s affiliations include the International Cannabis Bar Association, California Native American Cannabis Association, California and National Cannabis Industry Associations, and California Growers Association. She is vice chair of the Executive Committee and serves on the Social Equity Committees of the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Cannabis Law Section. Additionally, she serves co-general counsel to Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines; is a member of the Council for the Protection of Sacred Plants; and co-founded the Cannaboss Womxn’s Circle, an active community of professionals collectively advancing feminine leadership in the industry.
Arthur Hoffmann, Partner, Litigation, Arbitration and Investigations focuses on complex product liability litigation and the provision of product liability advice, both internationally and in the US. As part of his work in defending manufacturers of tobacco and vape products, he has extensive experience working with scientific and medical experts in a variety of disciplines. He can be reached at [email protected].
Chris Gismondi, is Of Counsel in the Litigation & Regulatory Group of DLA Piper LLP. Chris regularly defends clients in high-stakes, complex commercial litigation and corporate governance disputes, routinely defending corporate clients against claims for breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, violations of the securities laws, and product liability. He handles cases before state and federal trial and appellate courts, arbitrators and mediators. Chris can be reached at [email protected].
Ata Gonzalez – founded G FarmaLabs, a producer of cannabis and manufacturer of a full line of cannabis infused products. Today, Mr. Gonzalez is in charge of advising G FarmaBrands on strategic planning and execution, national and global expansion, intellectual property management, trademarks, new territories, product innovation and its marketing efforts. Mr. Gonzalez has spent over 20 years as an entrepreneur and real estate investor. It was under his leadership the G FarmaLabs brand was birthed and would become America’s first full line of nationally branded cannabis infused products.
For the last six years he has driven a strong track record of results, execution excellence and improved efficiency while driving the brand forward in a very difficult and ever-changing regulatory landscape. Mr. Gonzalez’s goals today are to continue advising the Executive Team and continue cementing the G FarmaBrands as global leaders in cannabis infused product extractions and innovations.
Ausra Deluard is a member of Dentons’ national Health Care practice group, resident in the Oakland office. Her current practice focus is on helping clients in the nascent cannabis industry achieve their business objectives by advising them on the sector’s rapidly evolving laws and regulations. Deluard’s experience in high-stakes antitrust litigation in the M&A context and in civil and criminal investigations was excellent preparation for counseling companies in avoiding the liability risks of operating in a highly regulated consumer industry.
Deluard continues to advise clients in a range of sectors on contentious and non-contentious antitrust matters relating to proposed acquisitions, gun-jumping, global pricing and distribution policies, competitor collaboration, licensing arrangements, interlocking directorates and pharmaceutical settlements. She has handled numerous “second request” merger investigations before the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission for clients in the cannabis, tobacco, health care and technology sectors, using cutting-edge technology to efficiently and cost-effectively manage HSR Act investigations and persuasive advocacy to resolve substantive competition law issues.
Austin Stevenson, Chief Innovation Officer, Vertosa, an infusion technology company, facilitates partnerships with leading brands to produce top quality cannabinoid-infused beverages, topicals and more, while providing ongoing strategic leadership for future innovation. Prior to joining Vertosa, Austin leveraged his bio-tech experience building the regulatory Hemp/CBD testing program for Eurofins, and worked to fund minority and women-owned businesses as a management associate for Citi. A St. Louis native, Austin was the first in his family to go college, completing his undergraduate degree at Columbia University and earning a Master of Science in Globalization and International Policy from the University of Bath.
Ben, a partner at BC Consulting and BC CPAs, is a proud native of the Pacific Northwest, born in Washington and grew up in Oregon. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting from the University of Oregon. He has been an active CPA in the state of Oregon since 2008 and has extensive business tax experience focusing on corporate and flow-through entities.
He has a combined 9 years of Big 4 experience at Ernst & Young and Deloitte and has served clients ranging from large multistate, multinational Fortune 500 companies to startups and every size in between. His clients represent various industries including commercial and residential real estate, manufacturing, private equity funds, hedge funds, biotech, and high-tech.
Ben puts his broad ranging and unique skill set to work benefiting clients within the cannabis industry. When he isn’t serving his clients, Ben enjoys traveling (36 countries and counting), craft beer and coffee, snowboarding, music festivals, camping and hiking, and going to Ducks, Blazers and Timbers games. In addition to his CPA, he is also certified yoga teacher and scuba diver.
If you would like to have BC Consulting review your returns for possible tax savings, please reach out to Ben at 503-303-3730 or email [email protected]
Ben has practiced law in Michigan since 1970. His specialties include real estate, construction law, business/corporate, wealth advisory, family law and litigation. He founded Wrigley & Hoffman in 1994 after many years with Varnum, Riddering, Schmidt & Howlett. Ben is particularly interested in the real estate, business law and tax aspects of marijuana legalization. He is a member of the Marijuana Law Section of the Michigan Bar Association and co-chairs the Zoning and Property Committee of that Section.
Wrigley, Hoffman & Hendricks, P.C. (www.wrigleyhoffman.com), a Grand Rapids law firm established in 1994, practices cannabis business law under the name CannalexLaw (www.cannalexlaw.com). The firm’s three members have over 100 combined years of business and real property law experience. We have joined these years of business law experience with deep knowledge of the marijuana legalization phenomenon, providing advice and counsel on the intersection of legalized marijuana and business practices. Benham R. Wrigley, Jr. and Robert A. Hendricks lead the firm’s CannalexLaw practice, calling on Thomas A. Hoffman’s litigation expertise as needed.
Blake is the Marketing Director at Root, a creative marketing agency that exclusively serves the Cannabis Industry. If you would like to learn more about Root please visit rootundertheinfluence.com or you can email Blake directly at [email protected]
Robert Hendricks is a business attorney in Grand Rapids, Michigan, licensed since 1984. In 2013 he and his partners began developing a marijuana business practice called CannalexLaw. Hendricks is a member and officer of the State Bar of Michigan’s Marijuana Law Section, and a member of the National Cannabis Industry Association and the National Cannabis Bar Association. He speaks on marijuana and business at various forums in Michigan. He blogs on marijuana business issues at www.cannalexlaw.com
Note: Hoban Law Group intern and Cooley Law Student Tim Saitta assisted with the research for this article.
Bob Hoban is an AV Preeminent rated attorney and seasoned full-service commercial practitioner. He is also Principal and Owner at Solana Business Solutions, which offers comprehensive consulting, management, regulatory, and product solutions services for the entire commercial cannabis industry – serving both THC, CBD and hemp business models.
In 2016, Hoban was selected as a member of the Boulder Colorado inaugural Marijuana Policy Advisory Committee and asked to serve on the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s Industrial Hemp Advisory Committee. Former President of the Cannabis Business Alliance, Hoban was also a member of the Colorado Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division Rules Committee and is currently a member of the National Hemp Association, National Cannabis Industry Association and Colorado Cannabis Chamber of Commerce. In addition, Hoban was involved as a drafter of Colorado’s marijuana regulatory legislation and has drafted over 30 bills for the Colorado General Assembly.
Hoban is a professor at the University of Denver in the Law and Society Program and regularly instructs regarding cannabis and hemp related legal and policy topics. He also teaches government regulations, public policy and research-based policy courses. In 2014, Hoban led a University-sanctioned research practicum concerning the efficacy of marijuana regulation; the first of its kind in the U.S. This course resulted in a publication entitled “Sprung from Night into the Sun: An Examination of Colorado’s Marijuana Regulatory Framework,” published in the December, 2015 edition of the Kentucky Journal of Equine, Agriculture, & Natural Resources Law.
Bob has 20+ years’ experience in all phases of communications, including managing public relations, social media and content marketing engagements. At CBD Marketing in Chicago, he works with national and global clients aligning with the cannabis business space in manufacturing, financial services, education, edibles and ingredients. Prior to CBD Marketing, he worked at a public affairs PR firm and is also expert in government relations, working to communicate with local and state lawmakers on behalf of various businesses and institutions. Bob has also worked at large news organizations, is an award-winning journalist and a speaker at national conferences. Contact him at [email protected]
Brendon Stern is a second year law student at American University Washington College of Law. He is a member of his school’s Administrative Law Review, and he aims to pursue a career in providing legal counsel to cannabis business owners. Prior to starting law school, Brendon worked as a claims audit associate for Ankura Consulting Group, where he reviewed claims against asbestos trusts. He also received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Linguistics from Emory University, where he helped professors research speech and language perception.
Brett Gelfand and Cody Ziering are the founders and managing parters of CannaBIZ Collects LLC. Previously, Gelfand and Ziering together, helped build a Colorado cannabis wholesale operation from the ground up, including an indoor cultivation, edible kitchen, extract lab, and dispensary. During their tenure in Colorado, both executives recognized the burden cannabis companies were experiencing when releasing credit terms to other cannabis firms. Brett’s father, Attorney Ross Gelfand, joined the CBC team, and together the three started CannaBIZ Collects. Ross has over 30+ years of commercial collection experience and sold his collection agency and law practice in 2012. Brett and Cody convinced Ross to focus his attention on the growing credit and collection trend in the cannabis space.
Mr. Roper has an extensive background in business development, having successfully ‘shepherded’ several Form 10 and S1 filings, a recent NASDAQ up-listing effort, and co-founding Medicine Man Technologies in 2014 with the Williams Family of Colorado, a unique Cannabis business consultancy. Medicine Man Technologies just completed becoming a public company on the OTC Marketplace as a QB or fully reporting status company, soon to be traded under the symbol MDCL. He has served in a number of advisory capacities to other private, pre-public, and public companies including corporate development, industrial and commercial real estate development, strategic initiative refinement, business turnaround, service as an independent board member, and deployment of investor relation services. His diverse background has allowed him to become a “quiet advisor” to many companies as well as investors in the Cannabusiness space. Brett can be reached at [email protected] .
Brian Mitchell is co-founder and chief executive officer of Shryne Group Inc., a Los Angeles-based cannabis holding company with a fully vertically integrated asset and license portfolio covering the breadth of California, the largest legal cannabis market in the world.
He has been a seasoned entrepreneur and real estate investor since 2003, when he was still studying at UC Davis. His deep knowledge of cannabis real estate and licensing combined with his diverse experience and passion for bringing talent together position him as a leader within the Shryne Group family and in the burgeoning California cannabis industry at large.
Bryan Johnson is a partner at Michelman & Robinson, LLP, a national law firm with offices in Los Angeles, Orange County (California), San Francisco, Chicago and New York City. He is a commercial and real estate litigator and business transactional attorney who represents small and medium-sized companies in a range of industries, including cannabis. Bryan can be contacted at [email protected] or (312) 638-5671.
Cassia Furman is a senior associate with the law firm of Vicente Sederberg LLC and provides clients with a wide range of real estate, transactional and regulatory assistance. Her current legal focus includes supporting the firm’s work with California local governments regulating under the MCRSA and representing private clients in the establishment, licensing and operation of their cannabis business ventures.
Prior to her work with Vicente Sederberg, Cassia worked with a noted public finance firm, overseeing the organization and general operations of dozens of special districts in connection with complex public infrastructure projects, including multi-million dollar issuances of debt.
Cassia also assisted in the representation of numerous Colorado municipalities, where her duties included the drafting and implementation of comprehensive medical marijuana ordinances.
Dedicated to what she does and successful in her savvy business-minded ventures, Celeste Miranda is an entrepreneur, author, founder and CEO of Miranda Marketing Labs and The Cannabis Marketing Lab. Undertaking the critical challenges of marketing an emerging industry, Miranda opened a specialized division focused on providing businesses with innovative and affordable marketing strategies. Since then, The Cannabis Marketing Lab has become a highly regarded organization in Cannabis related ventures. Comprised of a 16 person team, Celeste’s staff has years of experience and expertise in a myriad of areas such as Social Media, Search Engine Optimization, Graphic & Web Design, Creative Content Production, Advertising, PR and much more. Celeste can be reached at [email protected]
Chase Hattaway is a partner in the Orlando office of Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell. He counsels employers on compliance with state and federal law as part of his Employment and Labor practice, as well as defends employers in state and federal court against various claims of discrimination including retaliation, harassment, whistle-blower and wrongful termination. He can be reached at [email protected].
Chip Paul is one of the co-founders of Oklahomans For Health, the organization that twice petitioned the State of Oklahoma for medical cannabis, earned the ballot, and is the proponent of SQ788. While many have contributed to the law contained within SQ788, Paul was the original author. He toured the country actually applying for a medical cannabis cards in other states, and also studied the shortcomings of medical marijuana laws in other states. This led to many progressive and forward thinking ideas which have been written into the potential new law.
As a result of the research he conducted for founding Oklahomans for Health and writing the law, Paul discovered some very profound things regarding the internal system that medical cannabis effects, something called the endocannabinoid system. These discoveries are being developed in a company Paul and his wife Cynthia founded called GnuPharma. GnuPharma is studying ways to effect the endocannabinoid system using plant based flavonoids from very simple and common herbs.
Chris Boudreau is a entrepreneur with over 15 years of corporate experience that includes senior management developing of a regional sales office for a national lender, executive management overseeing an entire bank loan portfolio, and operational management creating financial analysis models and reports for monitoring business performance. Chris co-founded and developed Calyx Brands, after several years of working in the cannabis space and recognizing the retail dispensary need for a compliant and well developed channel of intelligent marijuana products. Currently serves as Founder & CEO at Sunstone Distribution.
Chris Driessen is the president of Organa Brands, the Colorado-based parent company of O.penVAPE, Bakked, District Edibles, Magic Buzz and Organa Labs products.
Organa Brands is home to the largest consumer cannabis brands in the United States, with ancillary and CBD products in eight European countries. As president, Driessen is responsible for all aspects of day-to-day operations, corporate strategy and overall performance of the organization.
Driessen’s background managing sales efforts for Starwood Hotels and Resorts allowed him to prepare Organa Brands as an international house of brands.
O.penVAPE’s revenue growth for the past several years is due in part to Driessen’s ability to lead and motivate his sales teams. With his sales leadership experience with Konica Minolta Business Solutions, he brings systematic practices and highly developed organization skills to Organa Brands. He is responsible for tripling the size of Organa Brands’ licensee network within the United States and expanding the company’s international presence into both Europe and the Caribbean.
Chris Woods is the CEO and founder of Terrapin Care Station, a consumer-focused cultivator, processor and provider of high-quality adult-use and medical cannabis products in Colorado and Pennsylvania, respectively. The company also recently launched in Michigan where it operates a medical cannabis cultivation facility. Terrapin was recently awarded two medical cannabis retail licenses in Missouri, and the company applied for a medical marijuana retail license in New Jersey. The company started as a one-man operation led by Chris in 2009, growing into operations with over 300 employees.
Today, Terrapin operates six grow operations, six dispensaries, and two labs. It has received numerous awards and accolades, including being named the “Innovative Business of the Year” in 2018 by the Boulder Chamber of Commerce.
Since the beginning of legal marijuana sales, Terrapin has focused on positioning itself as an industry leader in the burgeoning cannabis marketplace. Chris recognizes the importance of providing high-quality, affordable products to the communities Terrapin has the privilege of serving. A new industry, especially one as sensitive as medical and recreational cannabis, requires a higher level of corporate responsibility in order to ensure a successful “experiment.” Terrapin has long placed a focus on the operational mechanics of the company in order to guarantee responsibility, safety, compliance and overall success. Chris also believes strongly in leaving a positive community footprint, which is why Terrapin has partnered with 19 nonprofits for over $600,000 in contributions.
Chris is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University, where he also ran competitive track. He earned a graduate degree in applied math at the University of Colorado Boulder. Before founding Terrapin, and while still in Grad School, Chris took the reins of his father’s real estate company, managing the construction of a 50-unit tract of low-income housing. Today, Chris lives in Boulder and continues to run recreationally as well as being an avid skier, dog lover, and downhill mountain bike and skydiving enthusiast.
A co-founder of EcoBuds, Christian Castiglione has spent over two decades as a corporate advisor, venture capital partner and risk management/fintech executive.
Working with multiple Fortune 500 client companies, Christian developed and launched multiple leading-edge digital risk management and planning platforms that enabled financial firms to accelerate growth, increase competitiveness, and systematize workflow processes for operational efficiency. Additionally, Christian’s expertise and innovative work in risk management and econometric modelling resulted in his authoring a patent for Financial Modeling.
An alumnus of the College of the Holy Cross, Mr. Castiglione resides in the greater NYC area.
Christine (Chris) Lamb leads the employment practice at Fortis Law Partners where she focuses on counseling companies and executives on human resources and personnel issues and defending companies in employment lawsuits. Chris has a quarter century of experience representing a wide variety of companies ranging from start-up businesses to Fortune 100 companies. Chris has represented clients in matters before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the United States Department of Labor, Colorado Wage & Hour Division, United States Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), and the Colorado Department of Labor & Employment (CDLE). She also provides advice and counseling on personnel policies and employee manuals, employment contracts, executive compensation, non-compete and trade secret agreements, and harassment investigations. For more information, contact [email protected].
Chris Lehmann is managing director for the San Francisco office of Landor. He has been with Landor for 22 years, most of which were in design leadership roles in the San Francisco office. He was both executive creative director and general manager for Landor Chicago from 2011 to 2015.
Chris has a broad range of branding and design experience across many consumer and corporate industries. His clients have included Barclays, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Byline Bank, Devon Energy, Hilton Worldwide, Kraft, NCAA, Pernod Ricard, and The Trust for Public Land.
In addition to a graphic design education at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco (where he later taught for five years), Chris graduated from CSU Sacramento with a BA in English. He is a sought-after industry commentator, and his work has been published in Communication Arts, Graphis, and Print.
Chuck Smith is the Chief Operating Officer and acting Chief Financial Officer for Dixie Brands, Inc. and is responsible for the day-to-day oversight of company operations, production, sales, finance and long-term strategic planning. As one of two original founders of the Dixie Elixirs and Edibles Company, along with Tripp Keber, Chuck has architected many of Dixie’s critical operational developments, helping the company grow from a “garage operation” to a 30,000 square foot state-of-the-art, vertically integrated manufacturing facility that is a first-of-its-kind for the marijuana industry. Prior to turning marijuana dreams into realities, Chuck was President of Bella Terra Realty Holdings where he oversaw all aspects of the Bella Terra Resort Development Company. Prior to forming Bella Terra in order to focus exclusively on the RV Resort industry, Mr. Smith was President of Sagebrush Realty Development and was responsible for developing, selling and managing residential condominium projects valued at over $85 million in revenue.
Chuck has over twenty five (25) years of experience in a variety of industries. He has a strong financial background, holding the position of Chief Financial Officer for a mid-sized retail apparel chain, has built and managed sales and marketing teams for private and publicly traded technology companies, and has successfully founded two companies, including one in the alcohol beverage industry.
Chuck has a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Maryland and an MBA from the Owen Graduate School at Vanderbilt University. Mr. Smith is married and lives in Fairhope, Alabama and Denver, Colorado. He actively participates in a wide variety of philanthropic organizations and is an avid golfer.
Chuck Taylor is director of operations with Lemont, Illinois-based Englewood Construction, a national commercial construction firm with expertise partnering with cannabis firms on dispensary and cultivation facility projects in multiple states. Englewood’s extensive portfolio spans ground-up new construction and renovation projects in a variety of commercial real estate sectors including retail, restaurant, hospitality/entertainment, industrial, office, entertainment and senior living. The firm also provides facilities management services. Chuck can be reached at [email protected]
Mr. Morgan practices real estate and corporate transactional law, including negotiating and drafting agreements, conducting due diligence, and advising on legal and compliance issues. He represents a wide range of companies, from start-up businesses in need of formation and negotiation of initial transactions, to mature companies that require complex reorganizations.
Mr. Morgan has assisted numerous clients in the cannabis industry of all license types, including vertically integrated companies, with their commercial real estate and corporate needs. His experience includes property acquisition, leasing, joint venture agreements, corporate reorganization, structuring investments, and many other transactional matters.
He has assisted in negotiating some of the largest cannabis-related leases and property acquisitions in California, including all leases filling a multi-building industrial project of over 200,000 square feet in Desert Hot Springs, lease of an industrial building of over 100,000 square feet in Long Beach, and purchase and sale of an 85,000 square foot distribution and manufacturing facility in West Sacramento.
Recently, Mr. Morgan successfully closed the sale of a cannabis retail license and related leasehold interest located in Santa Ana, California, on behalf of the selling parties. The purchaser, Planet 13 Holdings, Inc., is a leading vertically integrated publicly traded cannabis company.
Mr. Morgan has been selected to the 2020 Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Stars list. In addition to his professional achievements, Mr. Morgan is involved with StandUp for Kids, a nationally recognized non-profit charity that finds homes for homeless youth across the country and educates them on entrepreneurship and business formation. Mr. Morgan serves as a mentor and regularly lends his legal perspective at StandUp for Kids events throughout the year.
Mr. Morgan is the co-founder of the Newport Coast CBD Invitational, a golf tournament at Pelican Hill benefitting the Infinite Hero Foundation, an organization committed to helping our veterans using innovative technologies.
Prior to joining Stuart Kane, Mr. Morgan practiced corporate and commercial real estate law with Madden, Jones, Cole & Johnson.
He can be contacted through his email: [email protected]
Coleman Hemphill is the President of the Texas Hemp Industry Association and is a Development Executive at Ionization Labs, creators of Cann-ID a powerful Hemp and Marijuana potency testing solution. For additional information on Ionization Labs and Cann-ID please visit www.ionizationlabs.com.
Corey Barnette is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of District Growers, LLC, a full service grower and producer of cannabis, cannabis concentrates and cannabis-infused products. Through Mr. Barnette’s leadership, the company is known as one of the most capable cannabis growing and production operations in the industry and one of the only ethnic minority-owned and operated vertically integrated medical cannabis operations in the United States.
Having operated dispensaries and cultivation operations since 2008, Mr. Barnette has extensive experience designing, securing, operating and expanding cannabis cultivation and production operations. Between 2008 and 2010, he served as the Director of the non-profit San Diego Medical Collective that featured four separate patient-operated cultivation facilities. In 2010, he founded and served as the Director of Chi Holistic Collective in San Diego that also featured a cultivation facility. He transitioned his role as Executive Director of the San Diego-based operations with each entity ranked within the 10 largest out of over 200 dispensaries, each undergoing substantial growth, and combined serving over a combined 14,000 patient members.
After his transition, he returned home to the Washington DC area to found District Growers. Upon successfully founding District Growers, he also purchased ownership of Metropolitan Wellness Center, a dispensary in Washington DC, which currently boast more than 30 percent of the patients in Washington, DC – despite being one of five.
Prior to focusing on the medical cannabis industry, Mr. Barnette owned and operated businesses in a number of different industries across several states, including but not limited to automotive manufacturing, pharmaceutical testing, sports and entertainment, and transportation industries. For example, Mr. Barnette owned and operated Primary Physicians Research, a clinical trials service provider of drug testing services to large pharmaceutical companies. From 2001 to 2004, he served as a Vice President of the Small Enterprise Assistance Funds, an emerging market venture capital firm investing in start-up and early-stage businesses in 28 different emerging market countries. From 1997 to 2000, he served as an investment banker with NationsBanc Montgomery Securities.
Mr. Barnette received an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business in 1997 and a BS of Mechanical Engineering from Tennessee Technological University in 1992.
Corey Barnette has shown a particular commitment to bettering the communities around the businesses he operates. He has endowed two scholarships in the names of both his wife and his deceased grandfather. In 2012, he led the founding of Shepherd Star Achievers, a parent-run aftercare program at Shepherd Elementary. From 2010- 2011, he served on the Shepherd Elementary School PTA Executive Board. In 2009, he served on the Board of Directors of Little Genius, a math and science program for young boys. Through his fraternity, he has been an active contributor to the Kappa Scholarship Endowment Fund. Each year since 2004, He donates over $1000 per year to providing turkeys to those in need during Thanksgiving. Finally, he is a proud husband to his wife and father to his ten year-old and twelve year-old daughters.
Courtney Elder is the co-owner of a media agency, Author-Eyes, in the Pacific Northwest. She enjoys writing about cannabis industry news, and when she’s not behind a keyboard, loves spending time with her husband and two sons. Courtney can be contacted at [email protected]
Dan Anglin is president and CEO of Americanna, an edibles company that was the first gummy products to meet strict Colorado for compliance. He is a Marine Corps veteran and chairman of the Colorado Cannabis Chamber of Commerce.
Bliss focuses his practice on all phases of intellectual property litigation. Bliss is a business attorney with extensive background and expertise in all phases of intellectual property law, including patents and copyrights. He has worked with dozens domestic and multi-national companies in obtaining, managing, evaluating and licensing intellectual property. Bliss can be reached at [email protected] 248-723-0389.
Dan Droller serves as the vice president, Soleil Technologies for urban-gro, a leading cultivation technologies company delivering best-in-class systems, solutions, and technologies to large-scale cannabis cultivators throughout North America. In this role, he leads business development for a broad portfolio of solutions bringing automation, wireless sensor technology, and cloud management to the art of growing cannabis. With decades of experience in both business and solution development, he has previously held business development positions with social network Massroots and Chartboost, the leading mobile game business engine. Mr. Droller holds a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University in Neurobiology and a Master of Business Administration from Yale School of Management. He has held additional senior roles at Deloitte Consulting, Credo Mobile and Music for America.
Dan Kriznic, chairman, CEO, founder and director of Invictus MD, a company that was created in June 2014 with a vision to create a Canadian licensed producer of cannabis able to meet significant legal demands. He has been responsible for incubating companies in a variety of industries, including cannabis, education, real estate, and senior care facilities. Through his strategic direction and execution, these companies have grown to over a billion in enterprise value.
Prior to this, he was a senior manager at Deloitte where he served in leadership roles in its Assurance and Advisory group, advising public and privately held companies for a period of 10 years.
Daniel Tranen is a partner with the law firm of Wilson Elser and heads the Saint Louis, Missouri and Edwardsville, Illinois offices. He has been practicing law for more than 20 years, primarily in the defense of life sciences companies. He is a member of the Wilson Elser Canna – law practice group and is responsible for the Missouri practice.
A frequent author and speaker on legal issues affecting the legalized cannabis industry, Darren H. Weiss is a cannabis industry thought leader and a seasoned business counselor. A passionate and experienced legal advocate, Mr. Weiss’s practice focuses primarily on cannabis and corporate law, including formation and organization of cannabis companies; corporate financing; drafting and negotiating investment documents, licensing agreements, and vendor contracts; and providing business advice and counsel on competitive licensing applications and cannabusiness design and strategy. Mr. Weiss has been counsel to both investors and cannabis businesses and has helped close multi-million dollar transactions and provided counsel in the creation of multi-state brands and products.
Mr. Weiss, a co-founder of his law firm’s Cannabis Practice Group, built his practice representing clients in the financial services, medical care, manufacturing, and professional services industries, and has spent years working with businesses to maintain, preserve, and protect their most valuable assets. Mr. Weiss received his Bachelor’s Degree magna cum laude from Washington University in St. Louis and his Juris Doctorate cum laude from George Mason University School of Law. During law school Mr. Weiss served as Executive Editor on the George Mason Law Review, participated in Moot Court and Trial Advocacy, and had the opportunity to intern on both trial and appellate courts. Prior to law school, Mr. Weiss worked at a business intelligence software company where he consulted on enterprise wide performance management initiatives for public- and private-sector clients and taught workshops on software and business integration.
David Biderman is a partner in Perkins Coie’s San Francisco and Los Angeles offices who focuses his practice on mass tort litigation and consumer class actions. He heads the firm’s Consumer Products & Services Litigation group and has represented a wide variety of companies in state and federal courts in California for nearly 40 years. He can be reached at [email protected].
David Dinenberg is the Founder and CEO of KIND Financial, a financial technology company providing software solutions to ensure businesses within the cannabis industry transact safely, securely, and in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Since launching the company in 2012, David has secured KIND’s reputation as the leading experts on the complicated financial issues unique to the emerging legal cannabis industry.
Prior to KIND, David spent 8 years as the COO and a Partner at Grasso Holdings, a full-service real estate development company, where he ran day-to-day operations for the 45 person organization managing an asset portfolio valued in excess of $400 million.
David was recognized as one of the top 20 people to watch in the Philadelphia area by Philadelphia Magazine. He is the co-founder of the Philadelphia Retail Advisory Board and served on several prominent Boards in the region where he spent the majority of his professional career. He is an expert speaker on all facets of the real estate industry and was named President and Member of the Board of Directors for the Philadelphia Chapter of the Jewish National Fund, making him the youngest President of any Jewish foundation in the country.
David is an active mentor to Greenhouse Ventures, a business accelerator program specific for ancillary startups in the cannabis industry. He has also been asked to be part of speaking panels at cannabis related conferences including NCIA’s Cannabis Business Summit & Expo, Native American Marijuana & Hemp Conference, Marijuana Business Conference & Expo, and several others.
David has been featured in several prominent magazines and newspaper articles, such as The New York Times, LA Times, Inc. Magazine, Forbes, Philadelphia Magazine, The Deal, and LA Business Journal, to name a few. He has also appeared on CNBC numerous times as a contributor and trusted resource for developments within the cannabis industry.
David is a seasoned entrepreneur with a track record of successful start-up ventures in the restaurant and entertainment industry including a production company working with a Grammy Award winning singer.
David is a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University and currently resides with his family in the Los Angeles area.
David Hodes is based in the greater Washington DC metropolitan area. He is the former editor of seven different business magazines, and has contributed feature articles to several business/lifestyle publications and national cannabis magazines. Hodes is also a former field producer for CBS News, NBC, NFL Network, ESPN and other media outlets; worked as a news promotions producer for two network affiliates; and was the morning news editor for a third network affiliate.
He is member of the National Press Club, and deputy booking agent for the National Press Club Headliners Committee.
About the co-authors
DELIA A. DESCHAINE is a Member of Epstein Becker Green’s Health Care and Life Sciences practice, in the firm’s Washington, DC, office. Named to the Washington DC Rising Stars list (2018-2020) in the areas of Food & Drugs and Cannabis Law, Ms. Deschaine understands the most significant U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) legal and compliance risks that her clients face and knows how to address them. Her advice is informed by a background in defending clients in government enforcement actions and challenging unlawful government conduct.
MEGAN ROBERTSON is an Associate in the Health Care and Life Sciences practice, in the Washington, DC, office of Epstein Becker Green. She focuses her practice on health care compliance, fraud and abuse issues, health regulatory due diligence, and medical device product marketing.
Ms. Robertson received her J.D., with honors and with a concentration in Health Law, from The George Washington University Law School. While attending law school, she was the Executive Editor of the Federal Circuit Bar Journal and worked as a Certified Student Attorney at the school’s Vaccine Injury Litigation Clinic. She also served as a legal policy intern at the nonprofit organization Autism Speaks, where she researched coverage of autism therapies in Federal Employee Health Benefit plans and helped draft comments on the proposed rule for the Medicaid managed care regulations.
In 2014, Ms. Robertson graduated, magna cum laude, from Clemson University in South Carolina with a degree in Genetics.
Dena Jalbert is founder and CEO of Align Business Advisory Services, a mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and business advisory firm based in Winter Park, Fla. Align was founded in 2010 with a mission to break the mold of the traditional advisory firm, and is built on the core principles of service, diversity, innovation and value creation. Align leverages its deep industry and business knowledge to provide innovative solutions and align its clients’ business results with their objectives to create value. The company offers management consulting, business strategy, finance and M&A services to holistically serve the middle market.
Denise Lee Yohn is the go-to expert on brand leadership for national media outlets, an in-demand speaker and consultant, and an influential writer. Denise is the author of the bestselling book What Great Brands Do: The Seven Brand-Building Principles that Separate the Best from the Rest and the new book FUSION: How Integrating Brand and Culture Powers the World’s Greatest Companies. Click the link below to buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Fusion-Integrating-Culture-Greatest-Companies/dp/1473676983/ref=workplace+culture+leadership
Derek Davis is formally trained in tax accounting at PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) and Deloitte Tax LLP with over half a decade of professional taxation experience. As a Certified Public Accountant he has helped clients throughout the United States and is licensed in the State of California.
Derek first became intrigued in the Cannabis tax space in 2010 when cannabis was previously on the ballot for legalization. What intrigued him was the tax code 280E which disallowed individuals to deduct ordinary and necessary business expenses to operate their canna-business. Unfortunately, California wasn’t ready for full legalization so he put his interests on the back-burner.
The growth of this industry has shown led by the amount of revenue Colorado was able to generate in 2015 re-sparked his interest in the industry and he decided to pursue this space by starting California Cannabis CPA in 2016.
Drerk can be reached at [email protected]
Derek Smith is Executive Director and Co-Founder of Resource Innovation Institute (RII), a national non-profit whose mission is to promote and quantify energy, carbon and water conservation in the cannabis industry. Prior to RII, Mr. Smith ran Clean Energy Works, a residential energy efficiency program that blended utility, public and private dollars to deliver whole-building retrofits while generating carbon emission reductions along with equitable economic development outcomes. Clean Energy Works was hailed as one of the most successful US Dept. of Energy funded stimulus programs in the country. Mr. Smith has also led energy programs with the City of Portland Bureau of Planning & Sustainability, served on the management team of a Zero VOC start-up paint company and developed an award-winning corporate sustainability program for a national retailer.
Douglas Brown spent more than two decades in newspaper and magazine newsrooms around the country, covering everything from the White House and Capitol Hill to technology policy to crime in New Mexico. Now, he runs Contact High Communications, a leading cannabis public relations firm based in Boulder, CO. He can be reached at www.contacthighco.com
Douglas Fischer is Chief Legal Officer of the National Association of Cannabis Businesses (NACB), the industry’s first self-regulatory organization in the United States. He can be reached at [email protected]
Doug Poretz is founder of High Growth Communications, a communications firm that offers every area of communications expertise exclusively to the cannabis industry. It is comprised of professionals with unusually solid credentials and experience. For the opinions expressed in this article, Poretz pulls on experience leading teams retained to create and wage campaigns for the Consumer Electronics Association (now, Consumer Technology Association), PhRMA and other major associations. The DC-based firm he co-founded morphed from a one-person investor relations firm to become the largest independently owned firm based in the nation’s capital, with 100+ people while he was active with it. Among their clients were some of the hottest public affairs issues in the nation, including the Net Neutrality campaign. He worked for a total of 10 years as part of the senior management teams of three NYSE companies, and he and his firms have addressed a wide variety of issues for scores of senior executives from start-ups to multi-billion multinationals, non-profits, movements, and governments. [email protected].
Dorothy Colagiovanni, Ph.D.
Vice President, Product Development, Next Frontier Biosciences
Dr. Colagiovanni is responsible for the management of Next Frontier Biosciences’ research and development activities as well as supporting the international commercialization of the company’s products. She has over two decades of pharmaceutical development experience from start ups to established biotech companies. Dot has a broad range of development experience, from early drug discovery to commercial launch. She completed her Ph.D. at University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Molecular Toxicology and a postdoctoral fellowship at Amgen Boulder.
Dr. Jordan Zager is an expert in natural product biosynthesis and chemical analysis of cannabis resin compounds. Dr. Zager earned his PhD from Washington State University, where his research set the stage for studying the regulatory events governing gene expression in cannabis and their effect on the biosynthesis of trichome-bound cannabinoids and terpenoids. Early in his career, Jordan set his sights on aggressively applying modern scientific methods to the cannabis industry and to bring cultivators the tools to become exceptional. Dr. Zager can be reached at [email protected].
Dr. Moe Afaneh, COO of BioTrack THC, is a trained pharmacist and executive with 15 years of business experience. He’s an expert in developing and implementing the operations of multiple departments within complex organizations while maximizing revenue. In his role with BioTrackTHC, Dr. Afaneh’s background as a pharmacist is an exceptional benefit in understanding the rapidly evolving cannabis marketplace. He is particularly adept at creating cross-industry alliances that bolster BioTrackTHC’s business operations and customers’ opportunities for success. Dr. Afaneh has his Doctor of Pharmacy and Bachelor of Science degrees from Nova Southeastern University.
Dr. Kaufman is the Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer of NanoSphere Health Sciences and the inventor of the patented NanoSphere Delivery System™ technology used in the company’s products, research and development. He is the previous co-director of the Center for Biogerontology Life Extension Medical Clinic. Dr. Kaufman is also Director of the FirstFitness Scientific and Medical Advisory Board. He is a distinguished scientist, highly respected researcher and product developer. He has particular expertise in weight management, anti-aging, nutraceuticals, fitness, wellness and delivery system nano-biotechnology. His patents on BioMagnetic Resonating Technology and in other healthcare related areas have distinguished him as a leader in the medical discovery world, including inventing the proprietary NanoSphere Health formulas. His Ph.D. in BioNutritional Chemistry from the University of Brussels has led him to a track record of excellence in superior product formulation, the authorship of best-selling books in the field, including The Age Reduction System (1986) on anti-aging-and helping people lead happier, healthier lives.
Ean Seeb was co-owner and manager of Denver Relief, one of Colorado’s most successful medical cannabis operations. He was a two-time chair of the National Cannabis Industry Association and continues to hold leadership positions with charitable organizations focused on a range of social causes, from civil rights to sustainable volunteer farming. Seeb has been actively involved with nonprofit groups for more than two decades. His years of humanitarian experience led Seeb to conceptualize and develop a cannabis-centric service organization called the Denver Relief GREEN TEAM in 2009.
Seeb helped lead the GREEN TEAM to form partnerships with other service organizations in Colorado, and the group now provides free labor for volunteer farms and gardens, free food for estranged youth, and free hygiene products for homeless community members.
Prior to founding Denver Relief, Seeb spent years working as a real estate broker, providing him with valuable insight for managing leases, contract negotiations and identifying prime retail locations. Seeb is politically active on local and state levels, and has testified at a number of city council and regulatory work group meetings in recent years.
Emmett Reistroffer was born in Rochester, Minnesota, grew up in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and studied history and political science at the University of South Dakota. Reistroffer’s professional roots and passion run deep in cannabis activism, stemming from his first call to action at 19 years old when he volunteered to help multiple sclerosis patients testify at the South Dakota State Capital. From there, Reistroffer quickly worked his way up into a position of leadership for the local movement by speaking to the press, raising money, and inspiring volunteers. Facing some of the nation’s harshest drug laws, Reistroffer was able to form a non-profit organization, South Dakota Compassion, and partner with the former chairman of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society to organize a coalition of patients and advocates in support of medical marijuana.
In addition to spearheading an effort to put medical cannabis on the ballot in his home state, Reistroffer ran for city council as one of the youngest candidates ever to make an attempt.
Aside from being an outspoken activist in his home state, Reistroffer has assisted legalization campaigns in Oregon, Montana, Washington, DC, and Nevada, and also played an important role in the historic passage of Colorado’s Amendment 64. With a broad range of non-profit advocacy and political experience, Reistroffer formed his own consulting company in 2011 to help organizations, candidates and issue-based campaigns. Reistroffer’s company has served members of both major political parties and provided third parties and independents a needed boost to compete in key states.
As Director of Robotics & Engineering at The Capsule Group, Eli Elias is an expert in the design and manufacturing of software controlled smart encapsulation systems. He also has expertise in creating accurate dosage formulas for both liquid and powder based capsules. Elias frequently speaks across North America on proper encapsulation methods and the future of formulation and dosage control. He is currently building his next series of high-output Smart Capsule filling and banding machines, RoboLQ XL and RoboBand.
Scheiman concentrates in business litigation, insurance coverage, insurance regulations and compliance, management-side employment counseling and litigation defense, emerging issues associated with state-legalization of cannabis, cannabis licensing, cannabis compliance, and appellate work and defense of private and public entities in tort actions. He co-chairs Porzio, Bromberg & Newman P.C.’s cannabis law practice, and is a member of Porzio Compliance Services, which leverages complementary resources from the law firm and its other subsidiaries, Porzio Governmental Affairs and Porzio Life Sciences, to provide regulatory, legal and business services to cannabis clients. Porzio Compliance Services also regularly performs information and data compliance services. Scheiman is also a member of the International National Cannabis Bar Association, where he chairs the Legislative Advisement Committee.
He is a principal in the firm’s Litigation Practice Group. Scheiman can be reached at [email protected].
Emily Gant is a principal in the Hospitality, Travel & Tourism practice at Foster Garvey in Seattle, Wash. She is also Chair of the firm’s Cannabis practice, where she advises licensed producers, processors and retailers, along with those hoping to join the industry. Emily helps clients structure their business entities, contracts and strategic partnerships to ensure compliance with Washington’s complex regulatory scheme. She can be reached at [email protected]
Emily Leongini is an associate in Arent Fox’s Washington, DC office. As a member of the firm’s FDA Practice, Emily focuses her practice on a wide array of regulated products, including laws governing prescription, generic, and over-the-counter drugs, dietary supplements, foods, alcoholic beverages, and cannabis.
Eric Giandelone is the co-founder of High Yield Insights. High Yield Insights is a consumer-insights firm dedicated to the cannabis market, fostering constructive, fact-based discussions that lead to well-grounded strategic decisions. With deep roots in multiple consumer-facing industries, High Yield Insights brings decades of expertise to this dynamic, quickly evolving market.
Eric can be reached directly at [email protected]
Erik R. Janus is the co-founder and Director of Business Operations for West Virginia’s only 501(c)(3) non-profit, Compassion West Virginia. He also currently runs a cannabis consulting company out of his home in Shepherdstown after a successful 25-year career at the interface of science and law.
Erik Knutson is Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Keef Brands and Director of SeroVita Holding Corp. Knutson has a decade of experience operating a wide variety of enterprises within the legal cannabis markets. He co-founded Keef Brands in 2010 in Boulder, CO, as one of the first companies to infuse soda with cannabis. The company has since expanded and is a pioneering developer, producer, and distributor of award-winning cannabis-infused beverages, edibles, oils, and more available at over 800 retail locations across the U.S., including California, Colorado, Arizona, Michigan and Nevada, as well as in Puerto Rico and Jamaica. In addition, Knutson holds several leadership positions in the industry, serving as Co-Founder and President of the American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp (ATACH), founding board member of the Cannabis Trade Federation (CTF) and co-founder of the Denver Packaging Company (DPAC).
Erin Carlstrom is senior counsel with the law firm Dickenson Peatman and Fogarty (DP&F), and leads the firm’s cannabis group. Carlstrom’s practice includes state and local compliance, corporate formation and compliance, land use, and government relations. She has specific expertise in land use entitlements and navigating the various regulatory agencies, and has been responsible for major project developments across California. Carlstrom represents cannabis producers, farmers, manufacturers, labs, distributors and dispensaries, as well as investment groups interacting with all sectors, in matters ranging from collective formation and transition, operations management, land use and state and local compliance. She has spoken at a variety of conferences on topics ranging from impacts from local ordinances, to the interplay between cannabis and other agricultural industries, and coalition building for effective government relations. Carlstrom served on the Santa Rosa City Council, including a term as vice mayor, and twice chaired the cannabis subcommittee. Erin’s work helped position Santa Rosa as one of the state’s most progressive cannabis communities, forming predictable and business-friendly paths to operation………….Valerie Perdue joined DP&F in 2017 as an associate in the Labor and Employment group. Her practice covers a wide variety of labor and employment matters including discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wage and hour law. She is experienced in litigation and has handled matters before administrative agencies including the EEOC, DFEH, Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, and the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board.
Oakland, CA native Evelyn LaChapelle, Community Engagement Manager, Vertosa, is an experienced events coordinator and community liaison, who utilizes her professional position within the legal cannabis industry to advocate for restorative justice. She is an active member of the Last Prisoner Project, dedicated to redressing the past and continuing harms caused by the war on cannabis through clemency and reentry programs.
Evelyn has overcome her personal experience with the War on Drugs and found success in the legal cannabis industry through her work at infusion technology company Vertosa, where she manages all public and industry events and spearheads Vertosa’s partnership with the Last Prisoner Project as well as hosting “The Heart of Cannabis” on IGTV.
Through community engagement, Evelyn works to create a more transparent and accessible industry that encourages minorities to penetrate all aspects of the business, including in the labs and the executive offices. She has also made it her goal to create a real second chance for men and women being released from prison through her work with both Vertosa and the Last Prisoner Project.
About Fiona Ma, CPA, State Board of Equalization
Assembly Speaker pro Tempore Emeritus Fiona Ma was elected to the State Board of Equalization (SBOE) on November 5, 2014 and represents close to 10 million people in 23 counties from the Oregon border to Santa Barbara County. The 5,000 person tax agency affects every taxpayer in California and has broad regulatory and adjudicatory powers and is the only elected tax board in America.
Ms. Ma was elected to represent the 12th Assembly District from November 2006 to November 2012 (after serving the maximum three terms). She was the #112 woman to ever be elected to the California Legislature and the first Asian woman to ever serve as Speaker pro Tempore since 1850 (first Legislature). Ms. Ma first became interested in politics as a small business owner advocating on behalf of other small businesses. She was an elected delegate to the 1995 White House Conference on Small Business under President Bill Clinton and later was elected a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors from 2002-2006.
In the Assembly, Ms. Ma authored groundbreaking legislation to protect consumers, prevent the spread of Hepatitis B, and increase access to quality healthcare. As a joint author of Proposition 1-A (Nov 2008), she was the legislature’s leading advocate to bring high-speed trains to California. Additionally, Ms. Ma has been and continues to be a leader in promoting trade and fostering relationships between California and Asia.
Ms. Ma received her B.S. from the Rochester Institute of Technology (NY), her M.S. in Taxation from Golden Gate University (SF), and an MBA from Pepperdine University. She has been licensed in California as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) since 1992. Fiona can be reached at [email protected]
Garrett Leon is head of cultivation and co-founder of Garden First LLC, founded in March 2017 alongside Andreas Hero and Darren Cloud. He studied horticulture and soil science at Colorado State University while pursuing independent research into cannabis until such a time he was able to work in the industry. After apprenticing at Native Roots in Colorado, Leon spent a year as the manager of cultivation and warehouse operations for Tweedleaf prior to his exodus to found Garden First. Garden First LLC is based out of Corvallis, OR.
Gary Cohen, CEO of Cova Software leads Cova’s charge into the legal cannabis space by guiding the vision, strategic development, ‘go to market’ plans and culture. in addition to the above article, Cova has created a POS cash management technology solution and insights regarding “How to Manage Cash at a Cannabis Retail Store“.
Before joining Cova, Gary was a principal in over a dozen tech start-ups in the mobile communications industry ranging from small VC funded companies to Fortune 100 firms, including Onavo, which was later acquired by Facebook. In those companies he led sales, marketing, business analytics and market expansions. He has also held a multitude of leadership roles with Verizon and AT&T.
Gary holds a degree in finance with a master’s in marketing from the University of Colorado
Grant P. Gilezan, Leader of Dykema’s Environmental Law Practice Group, focuses on regulatory, transactional, contracting, policy and litigation matters involving private and public sector clients.
Greg Gamet is a leading cannabis entrepreneur, consultant and educator. He has co-founded or managed a variety of cannabis-based businesses, including a cultivation facility, medical and recreational dispensaries, a packaging subsidiary, a consulting company, a canna-focused real estate company, and a software development group focused on helping cannabis businesses stay compliant. Currently, Gamet is the Chief Cannabis Officer for Gold Flora, a vertically integrated cannabis company located in California. Greg can be reached at [email protected].
Greg Jones has 15+ years’ experience navigating regulated business operations including in the pharmaceutical and medical device sectors. Jones has dedicated his career to cannabis operations and consulting over the past 3 years.
His past experiences include optimizing organizational structures and upholding productivity standards, develop multi-site production strategies aligned with business and organizational goals, as well as executing audit procedures to assure compliance, corrective action, and process improvement.
Jones is currently using his GMP operations, supply chain management, capacity planning, and change management skills to build his cannabis specific advisory agency, P3 Futures Group.
Brittany Dion has several years of experience in a variety of capacities within the cannabis space. She began as an Advisory Board Member for Texas NORML and, upon relocating to Denver, Dion formally joined the cannabis industry as an Inventory and Compliance Manager for a vertically integrated dispensary. She is currently a researcher and editor for P3 Futures Group.
Jones and Dion can be reached at:
P3 Futures Group
Greg Kaufman is Co-Team Leader of Eversheds Sutherland’s Cannabis Industry Team and an experienced securities and commodities litigator. As Co-Lead of the interdisciplinary team, Greg helps clients in the cannabis industry, or those doing business with the cannabis industry, navigate the evolving regulatory and business landscape in order to grow their businesses. His clients include hemp cultivators and processors, CPG companies, vertically integrated medical and recreational cannabis companies and liquidity providers to the industry. He is also a co-author of “The State of Cannabis Law: A Fifty State Compendium” published by a leader in law and business publications.
Henry Baskerville is Managing Partner at Fortis Law Partners. He is an experienced trial lawyer who focuses on complex commercial litigation, white collar criminal defense, government contracts, construction law, and marijuana law. Henry has received an AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the highest possible rating, for both legal ability and ethical standards. Henry has represented numerous individual and corporate clients in a wide variety of disputes, including breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, fraudulent transfers, alter ego, trade secrets, restrictive covenants, False Claims Act claims (qui tam cases), breach of contract, labor and employment disputes, securities, and bankruptcy and receivership proceedings. He has tried cases in courtrooms across the country and has handled appeals to the Fourth Circuit, Seventh Circuit, and Tenth Circuit Courts of Appeals. Henry frequently represents parties in disputes over ownership of closely held companies. For more information, contact [email protected].
Born at home and raised of the grid in Southern Humboldt County, Hezekiah is a lifelong cannabis farmer recently turned advocate. Allen is committed to representing the heritage and craft of the many independent businesses that lead California’s cannabis industry.
Hilary Bricken is an attorney at Harris Bricken, PLLC in Los Angeles and she chairs the firm’s Canna Law Group. Her practice consists of representing marijuana businesses of all sizes in multiple states on matters relating to licensing, corporate formation and contracts, commercial litigation, and intellectual property. Named one of the 100 most influential people in the cannabis industry in 2014, Hilary is also lead editor of the Canna Law Blog. You can reach her by email at [email protected]
Ian is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Wilson Elser. He is co-founder and chair of the Wilson Elser Cannabis Law practice and uses his 20 years of legal experience to help clients navigate the legalities around cannabis and hemp. Ian works with licensed cannabis operators to comply with their obligations under the law and to develop risk management best practices. He also regularly consults with insurance companies to assist with cannabis-related underwriting practices and the development of new policy forms.
He is currently Chair of the National Cannabis Industry Association’s Finance and Insurance Committee, as well as Vice-Chair of the California Cannabis Industry Association’s Insurance Committee. Ian received his B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis, and his JD from St. Louis University. He has been with Wilson Elser for the past 18 years.
J. Chandler, Vice President of Cultivation Technologies, urban-gro
Serving as the Vice President of Cultivation Technologies, Chandler has a passion for assisting growers in efficiently producing high-quality horticultural crops. He has been managing and consulting for large-scale organic vegetable farms and greenhouses, as well as Cannabis production facilities since his graduation from Texas A&M with a Bachelor of Science in Production Horticulture in 2003. Chandler has a wide breadth of knowledge of integrated pest management, fertility and automation in large-scale operations. After three years as Director of Cultivation for a highly awarded Denver dispensary, he successfully launched Cannabis IPM Solutions in 2014. In 2015, urban-gro brought him on board to do the same for their customers.
Chandler is a Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) by the California CCA Board. The CCA certification program was established in 1992 by the American Society of Agronomy to provide a benchmark for practicing agronomy professionals in the United States and Canada. Chandler is also certified in Maryland’s Nutrient Management Pro gram, which trains and certifies qualified applicants to provide crop producers with nutrient management plans that maximize crop yields while minimizing nutrient losses to the environment.
Jacques Santucci, President of Nucleus-One Consulting, a leading business performance management providing specialized management and growth strategies, assisting clients nationwide navigate the complex and evolving challenges of license acquisition, starting and operating a cannabis business, founded on the premise of sharing his experience and proven best practices, to define cannabis success at the intersection of finance, operations and strategy.
He is co-founder of Wellness Connection of Maine, the state’s largest group of medical marijuana dispensaries. A cannabis entrepreneur for over 10 years, Jacques has played roles as founder, operator and advisor for several different cannabis companies throughout the United States, as well as founder of Strimo, a business platform software for the cannabis industry.
Jacques can be reached at [email protected] or 207-619-1899
James R. Bailey is Professor and Stacy and Jonathan Hochberg Fellow of Leadership Development at the George Washington University School of Business, and a Fellow in the Centre for Management Development, London Business School. He has been the recipient of many teaching distinctions, including three GWSB Outstanding Educator Awards. In 2006 he was named one of the world’s top ten executive educators by the International Council for Executive Leadership Development. He has published over 50 academic papers and case studies, and is the author of five books, including the award-winning, best-selling Organizational and Managerial Wisdom and the forthcoming Lessons on Leadership. He has designed and delivered hundreds of executive programs for firms like Nestle, UBS, Conoco-Phillips, and Goldman Sachs, as well as several major law firms and US Congressmen. Dr. Bailey is a frequent keynote speaker who has appeared on broadcast programs for the BBC, NPR, and Fox News Channel, and whose work has been cited in such outlets as the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Forbes, and Business 2.0. He is a frequent contributor to The Hill, Washington Post, Washington Business Journal, and Harvard Business Review. He is the past Editor-in-Chief of the Academy of Management Learning and Education. Professor Bailey has served as a dean, department chair, and program director during his 20 year academic career, and has been a visiting professor at London Business School, University of Michigan, and the Institute of Management Development (Switzerland). His practitioner-oriented essays appear on the website Lessons on Leadership (lessonsonleadership.org).
Thomas Larsen and Samuel Martin are business associates and freelance writers .
James J. Oh is a Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the Chicago office of Epstein Becker Green. He litigates wage and hour collective and class actions, defends company ERISA plans from inconsistent state law regulation and defends management in high-profile, high-exposure discrimination and wrongful termination actions. He also counsels companies on employment law compliance, including advising and training on issues such as compliance with recreational and medical marijuana laws. He can be reached at [email protected].
Jason Erkes is the Founder of Crisis Strategy Group, a strategic communications company focused on preparing and managing public-facing crisis situations. After a decade as an Emmy-Award winning journalist and as a respected entrepreneur, Jason now advises and counsels corporate leaders, politicians and cannabis industry professionals on how to create crisis ready cultures for their companies. Erkes has advised several local and national politicians and lead an award-winning effort to manage a national crisis for a newly appointed US Senator. In recent years, Erkes helped guide entrepreneurs entering the medicinal marijuana industry and the legalized cannabis industries as well as leading the effort of a celebrity chef driven edible line. He understands the challenges this highly scrutinized industry faces and brings years of expertise to help guide companies in this emerging industry.
Jason Klein is a business law attorney at Offit Kurman with a focus on licensing and compliance in tightly regulated markets on the east coast. Jason started working in the industry in 2011 and his practice focuses exclusively on serving direct and ancillary cannabis business clients. As one of the first attorneys east of the Mississippi to work with cannabis business clients, Jason has a track record of successfully navigating competitive licensing environments and assisting his clients to stay compliant and profitable in the face of challenging regulatory atmospheres. He is a founding board member of the National Cannabis Bar Association and a frequent speaker at local and national cannabis industry conferences.
Mr. Klein hosts a monthly Cannabis webinar with a different guest speaker each month. Topics range from “Cannabis Police and Practice in the Trump Era,” to medical cannabis for pain and the opioid epidemic (“Can Medical Cannabis for Pain Really Help with the Opioid-Dependency Epidemic?”) to cannabis insurance preparation (“An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure Commercial Insurance Preparation”).
Mr. Klein holds a bachelor’s degree in physics (2002), master’s degree in public administration (2009), and J.D. (cum laude – 2009), all from Indiana University – Bloomington. He is licensed to practice in the District of Columbia and Michigan.
I have been a professional equity research analyst and investor in biopharma stocks for the past two decades. I am a former bench scientist turned financial analysts. My company, BioNap, Inc., is an investor awareness and biopharma market research firm dedicated to helping both biopharma companies and investors make better decisions when it comes to investment in the healthcare industry.
I have significant experience in financial modeling and product competitive analysis. I previously worked for Zacks Investment Research covering the small and mid-cap biotechnology and specialty pharmaceutical industry between 2003 and 2015. Before Zacks, I spent three years on the buy-side with Eastover Capital in Charlotte, NC where I focused on large-cap equities, specializing in healthcare, energy, and technology.
Before joining Eastover, I worked as a research scientist for TechLab, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on developing diagnostic kits and vaccines for infectious diseases. I also spent a year working in a lab at the Fralin Biotechnology Center in Blacksburg, VA. I have a B.S. in Biochemistry from Virginia Tech and an M.B.A. with a concentration in Securities Analysis from Wake Forest University. I am a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).
Jay Levine is a principal at NXL Architects, an architecture firm that specializes in the planning and design of advanced, highly technical controlled environments for researchers and talent within the science, technology and advanced manufacturing industries. www.nxl.ca
Jay Purcell is a senior corporate and securities law associate with Clark Neubert LLP, a California cannabis law firm that runs corporate deals and compliance projects for clients across the state. From offices in Sacramento, San Francisco, Santa Cruz and Santa Monica, we represent investors and rapidly expanding cultivators, manufacturers, dispensaries and distributors from Eureka to Riverside. www.greenfrontier.com
Jean-Paul (JP) Jassy litigates with an emphasis on disputes in the media, internet, First Amendment and entertainment arenas. He also routinely represents all types of businesses in multi-million dollar breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, copyright, trademark, idea submission and profit participation cases. Jassy’s clients include internet giants, television networks, metropolitan newspapers, motion picture studios, nonprofits dedicated to free press and free expression, top-flight production companies and award-winning reporters. He has taught full-length courses on First Amendment and media law at prestigious law schools, and repeatedly been named by his peers to The Best Lawyers in America® in the First Amendment field. He has successfully litigated cases in the United States Supreme Court and the California Supreme Court. His work has been covered in the Los Angeles Times, New York Times and Washington Post, among other media outlets. Jassy also routinely advises production companies and publishers in ways to avoid and mitigate liability. Jassy can be reached at 310-870-7048 or [email protected]
Jeff Corrall is head of strategic partnerships with March Networks, a leading provider of intelligent video solutions. In this role, he is responsible for identifying and managing new technology partnerships and overseeing third-party integrations. Most recently, Jeff led initiatives that resulted in partnerships with KIND Financial, a seed-to-sale cannabis tracking and compliance solution provider; and Zebra Technologies, a global leader in fixed RFID systems. With more than 15 years of experience in the physical security industry, he has previously served in roles including product and OEM management, and internal sales engineering. Following postings in Milan, Italy and Seoul, Korea, Jeff is currently based in Ottawa, Canada.
Jeffrey Harris is the founder and chairman of one of the largest loyalty marketing firms in the nation, Inte Q, providing loyalty marketing and data driven marketing solutions for big box retailers and financial services companies. Prior to founding Inte Q, Harris held various executive positions for S&H Citadel, Inc. a national incentive marketing services firm headquartered outside of Chicago. In 2011, Harris saw an opportunity to provide this same solution for small businesses and by using his expertise in the industry, created springbig. Harris just completed a 20 year run as a member of Vistage, an organization dedicated to improving the effectiveness of CEOs, since 1998. Harris is also heavily involved in charities and currently serves on the board of various local non-profit organizations in Boca Raton, Florida.
Jeffrey Johnson is a Partner and member of Pryor Cashman’s Intellectual Property, Corporate and Technology Groups and leads the firm’s Cannabis practice.
Jennifer Briggs Fisher, Partner at Duane Morris focuses her practice on representing businesses and corporate executives in highly-regulated industries, including cannabis and hemp. She also serves as a team lead for the Duane Morris Cannabis industry group. Fisher can be reached at [email protected]
Jennifer Visintine is an intellectual property attorney at Thompson Coburn LLP who helps clients build and protect their brands and other valuable intellectual property. She can be reached at (314) 552-6580 or [email protected]
Jeremy Diehl is co-founder and CTO at Green Mill Supercritical, a Pittsburgh-based manufacturer of CO₂ extractors that are fully controlled through software and achieve the industry’s highest levels of precision, versatility, and efficiency.
Jeremy Sexton is the Director of Engineering at Apeks Supercritical. He designs all the electrical components and develops the programming for the systems. Jeremy leads Apeks Supercritical’s R&D department and oversees new equipment design. Along with much experience in industrial automation, maintenance, installation and repair, Jeremy has broad-based manufacturing experience — everything from GMP (Good Manufacturing Process) work in an FDA-regulated facility to melt shop and substation electrical work in a steel mill. He has served in engineering roles for Honda of America, EWI (manufacturing technologies) and Scotts Miracle-Gro Company.
Jerry King is one of the most published cartoonists in the world, selling cartoons to businesses worldwide. His client list includes Disney, Playboy magazine and American Greetings. Jerry can be reached at [email protected]
When the first marijuana businesses opened in Colorado, Jessica Billingsley co-founded MJ Freeway Business Solutions to fill a fast growing need to track and manage inventory. As Chief Operating Officer, Billingsley and her partner made the timely decision to design a tech firm specifically for the cannabis industry. MJ Freeway Business Solutions provides a business software platform for point of sale, inventory tracking, manufacturing, cultivation management, and more. MJ Freeway also provides cannabis small-business consulting services and application license support. Since its inception, the women-owned firm has been recognized in numerous major media outlets and was listed in the prestigious INC 5000 in 2015. In addition, Billingsley has been named to Fortune Magazine’s list of Top 10 Most Promising Women Entrepreneurs.
An avid Ashtanga yoga practitioner, Billingsley applies the skills of balance, discipline, and centeredness to her approach as COO. Her deep management skills and strategic vision consistently result in cohesive teams and large profit margins. MJ Freeway’s industry-leading customer service and high revenue returns has earned Billingsley an outstanding reputation in two highly competitive fields – medical marijuana and software development. Billingsley’s respected reputation also won her a board member seat several years running on the National Cannabis Industry Association.
Prior to forming MJ Freeway, Billingsley cut her teeth building and managing technology operations with an emphasis on executive management, corporate culture, finance, and strategic relations. She has been a successful founder, owner, director, COO, and CEO of companies with revenues exceeding eleven million ($11M).
Fueled by her passion for innovation and dedication to health, Jill has made a career of creating solutions for better living. Prior to launching Willow Industries in 2015, Jill founded Vibrant Earth Juices (VEJ), a Santa Barbara-based cold-pressed organic juice company. Named Female Entrepreneur of the Year in Emerging Business in 2013, Jill became passionate about pasteurization techniques, employing High Pressure Processing (HPP) to prevent microbial growth and increase the shelf-life and freshness for her juice line. Later, Jill parlayed VEJ into a beverage distribution company, helping place various juice products in yoga studios, gyms, Whole Foods, Natural Grocers and other healthy eating establishments.
Jill, who serves on the Cannabis Health and Safety Advisory Committee for the City of Denver, is a Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist. She holds an MS in Nutrition, Dietetics, & Food Science, a BA in Communications and a BS in Nutrition from California State University, Northridge. She proudly notes that she has four chickens, three dogs, a husband and one little girl.
Jim Kohl has extensive experience in commercial litigation, arbitration and mediation. In addition, he represents clients in the creation, acquisition and disposition of entities and real estate. Kohl can be reached at [email protected] or 702-307-0840.
Jim Richards is the principal and founder of RegTech Consulting LLC, providing strategic advice on all aspects of financial crimes risk management. He is also a Senior Advisor to Verafin Inc., the leading provider of fraud detection and BSA/AML collaboration software for financial institutions in North America.
Most recently (2005-2018), Richards served as the BSA Officer and Director of Global Financial Crimes Risk Management for Wells Fargo & Co. As BSA officer, he was responsible for governance, training, and program oversight for BSA, anti-money laundering (AML), and sanctions for Wells Fargo’s global operations. As Director of Global Financial Crimes Risk Management, he was responsible for execution of BSA, AML, counter-terrorist financing (CTF), external fraud, global sanctions, financial crimes analytics, and high-risk customer due diligence.
Prior to his role with Wells Fargo, Richards was the AML operations executive at Bank of America. There, he was responsible for the operational aspects of Bank of America’s global AML and CTF monitoring, surveillance, investigations, and related SAR reporting.
Prior to his 20-year career in banking, Richards was a prosecutor in Massachusetts, a barrister in Ontario, Canada, and a Special Constable with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. He is the author of “Transnational Criminal Organizations, Cybercrime, and Money Laundering.”
Richards has a Bachelor of Commerce (B.Comm.) degree and Juris Doctorate from the University of British Columbia. He lives and works in the Bay Area and can be reached at [email protected]
Joan Irvine brings over two decades of technology, policy development, government relations, and advocacy for online child protection in ‘high-risk’ industries to the cannabis industry. She successfully spearheaded an international award-winning parental filtering label and has worked with First Amendment, Internet Security, and Privacy attorneys, international law enforcement and ICANN to establish online child protection policies.
Joanna Zeiger, MS, PhD, raced as a professional triathlete from 1998-2010. She placed 4th in the triathlon at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and won the 2008 Ironman 70.3 World Championships in world record time. She is a seven-time Olympic trials qualifier in 3 sports – marathon (3), triathlon (3) and swimming (1) Joanna still pursues her passion for sports as a top Masters runner.
When she is not training for running events, Dr. Zeiger works as a cannabis epidemiologist. She is the Founder & CEO of Canna Research Group. CRG is a consortium of researchers whose goal is to understand the role of cannabis in chronic pain management by engaging in outcomes research that is relevant to the cannabis industry, medical professionals, and patients.
Joanna’s education took her to Brown University (BA), Northwestern University (MS), and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (PhD). Joanna’s book The Champion Mindset: An Athlete’s Guide to Mental Toughness (St. Martin’s Press) was published in February, 2017.
Joseph Bailey is a partner at BC Consulting. Prior to this, he had more than 10 years of experience working at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte, and New Era CPAs. During this time, he experienced many facets of taxation and business management, from international to individuals to entities, cannabis companies to Fortune 500 corporations, and everywhere in between.
Joe has been directly assisting the cannabis industry since late 2015 and loves to work with his clients to bridge the knowledge gap between the old cannabis industry and the new influx of strict business best practices that have become standard with legalization. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from California State University San Marcos and is an Oregon Certified Public Accountant.
Joe is married, has two daughters, and spends his time away from the office with his family out on adventures.
Joe Caltabiano is a respected and important voice in today’s emergent cannabis industry and regularly provides guidance to startups and established companies alike. Uncovering opportunities even during a bear market, Caltabiano draws from his extensive financial expertise in retail, real estate, operations and the regulated cannabis industry.
As co-founder of Cresco Labs, Caltabiano expanded the company from a small start-up with big ideas to one of the most influential and profitable Multi-state Operators in the U.S. Cresco Labs is now a public company operating in eleven states with more than 1,800 employees. During his tenure there, Caltabiano helped the company expand its footprint into strategic U.S. markets and sourced multiple M&A transactions. He guided Cresco through numerous rounds of multimillion-dollar capital raises, including the company’s initial financial support that helped it launch. In addition to running all the revenue-generating activities at the company, Caltabiano oversaw all construction development and real estate matters Caltabiano launched the Sunnyside retail brand and applied its wellness theme to Cresco’s existing dispensaries and their consolidated product offerings. He also led brand building at Cresco Labs, launching the operator’s house of industry-leading brands including Cresco, Remedi, Reserve and Mindy’s edibles.
Before co-founding Cresco, Caltabiano served as senior vice president of mortgage banking at Guaranteed Rate, one of the most trusted mortgage providers in the U.S. During his time at Guaranteed Rate, Caltabiano closed over $2.5 billion in loan volume and was ranked in the top 100 loan officers for 10 consecutive years, reaching No. 3 in closed loan volume.
Caltabiano is a childhood leukemia survivor who continues to support organizations and efforts to help others in their fight against cancer. He has been honored as Man of the Year by the Chicago Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, an organization for which he has raised more than a million dollars. Caltabiano also has been involved with efforts of other similar groups, including the Gateway for Cancer Research, the Imerman Angels cancer support network, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House.
Joe Hodas is the Chief Executive Officer of Gofire, Inc., an innovator of hardware and software solutions that aid in dose delivery, health tracking, and medication management.
John A. MacKay earned a B.A. in Chemistry from St. Lawrence University (SLU), and a Ph.D. from the University of Vermont (UVM), in Inorganic Chemistry. After positions teaching at Davidson College, Lyndon State College and University of Vermont (UVM), John joined Waters Corporation in 1983. In 1990 John joined Otsuka Electronics as Director of Strategic Development, and then joined Analytical Technology Incorporated, to aid in building a multi-technology company. In 1994, he rejoined Waters after the management buyout from Millipore.
John retired from Waters in March 2017. He founded Synergistic Technologies Associates, LLC works with botanical companies to help maximize their total operations based on Six Sigma principles and practices. In January 2019 he joined New Bridge Global Ventures as the Chief Technology Officer to expand the unique extraction and analytical tools the company will use across its vertical platform.
His career has included many roles in innovative product development and marketing. John is widely recognized as a scientific expert in extraction in the botanical space; he is bringing the synergy from what were disparate technologies together to optimize workflow as well as providing consulting and education services through Genus, NewBridge Global Venture company.
With the expertise and desire to spread the science throughout the industry, John has taken on roles as contributing journalist and science editor for Terpenes and Testing Magazine and was the editor of the early issues of Extraction Magazine and now is contributing journalist and scientific advisor. Synergistic Technologies Associates is focused on the continuing education and source of examining new technologies and practices in the hemp market. He has also been appointed the Educator Assistant Professor on the Volunteer Pathway, Department of Pharmacology at the Robert Larner, MD College of Medicines.
For the past 20 years, John Davis has fought in the trenches and with his wallet and business interests (not to mention sticking his neck out nationally!) to work diligently to end prohibition in his home state, Washington and on a national level. In addition to being the Chairman of Seattle Hempfest, John is a founding member of the Coalition for Cannabis Standards and Ethics, a board and founding member of the NCIA and a leading policy expert working on international cannabis policy reform.
John Lord is the owner and CEO of LivWell Enlightened Health, a Colorado cannabis company with 14 dispensaries across the state. A serial entrepreneur, Lord began his career as a dairy farmer in New Zealand. He founded, built and sold several consumer products companies prior to bringing his years of experience and business acumen to the cannabis industry.
Dr. John Oram, Ph.D., is CEO & Founder of NUG, an Oakland-based, vertically-integrated cannabis company with strong historical growth and performance. Founded in 2014, NUG continues to expand and diversify its portfolio, which includes world-class R&D, state-of-the-art cultivation, extraction, and distillation facilities, one of California’s largest wholesale cannabis distributors, and the new NUG retail store experience.
John Shearman, Vice President of Marketing and Cannabis Business Lead at Applied DNA Sciences, has over 30 years of deep enterprise and advertising agency experience across all marketing, sales and IT disciplines. John’s experience allows him to advise on structuring sound strategies that address business goals and objectives. His extensive technology background stems from working with several leading technology companies throughout his career. John spearheads Applied DNA Sciences Cannabis vertical leading the vision, strategy, and product development for this emerging market. John also oversees the marketing for the entire company driving the marketing strategy for its other core verticals.
John Taenzler, Ph.D. Partner & Chief of Research
Dr. Taenzler earned his doctorate in experimental neuropsychology from Clark University in 1995, where he served as an associate professor and departmental statistical consultant for various universities in the Boston area. He has worked as a research consultant in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry for more than 20 years, including Executive Vice President in a large, global marketing research company (GfK) and Founder/Principal in two custom research organizations (Evolution Consulting & Research and Jaunty Consulting).
Dr. Taenzler has conducted global pharma/biotech research in over 30 countries and is well-versed in the healthcare regulatory issues and government agencies that provide and oversee healthcare services. Dr. Taenzler has conducted research in nearly every area of healthcare including:
• Pharmaceuticals (most notably in the therapeutic areas of auto-immune disease, oncology, respiratory disease, pain-related syndromes, gastrointestinal disorders, psychiatric disorders)
• Hospitals/long-term care facilities (including disease management, robotics, pharmacy operations)
• Healthcare professionals (including physicians, nurses, pharmacists, laboratory technicians)
• Patients (including caregivers)
• Supply chain organizations (including specialty pharmacy, retail and hospital pharmacies, pharmaceutical distributors)
• Medical Appliance/Drug Delivery Devices (including inhalers, transdermal systems, injection devices, human factors testing and mitigation strategies)
• Payors/Managed care (including P&T committee composition, sales force targeting, disease/case management, coverage issues).
John W. Vardaman, III is Chief Compliance Officer & General Counsel of Simplifya, the leading provider of regulatory and operational compliance software for the cannabis industry. Prior to joining Simplifya, Mr. Vardaman served as Executive Vice President & General Counsel at Hypur, a compliance-based cannabis banking and payments company.
Mr. Vardaman is an attorney with fifteen years of senior federal government experience in the enforcement of federal laws and policies concerning money laundering, the Bank Secrecy Act, and other financial crimes.
From 2006 to 2016, Mr. Vardaman worked at the Department of Justice, first in the Office of Legal Policy, and then as Assistant Deputy Chief in the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section. In 2014, Mr. Vardaman drafted the DOJ policy regarding marijuana banking, known as the Cole Memorandum, which set forth enforcement parameters designed to enable banks to permissibly service marijuana-related businesses.
From 2001 to 2006, Mr. Vardaman served as Special Assistant to the General Counsel at the Department of the Treasury where he worked on a variety of money laundering and terrorist financing issues following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. From 2003-2004, Mr. Vardaman served as Associate General Counsel to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad, Iraq, where he oversaw an international campaign to locate and repatriate assets of Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi regime held around the world.
Mr. Vardaman was the recipient of the Joint Civilian Service Commendation Award from Department of Defense in 2004, and the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service from the Department of Justice in 2015.
Mr. Vardaman received his undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University in 1993, and his law degree from Georgetown University in 1997.
Johnny Sayegh has been growing in the southern California cannabis industry since 2006. Over the years, he has assisted various companies with sourcing cannabis for retail and production. This experience has helped him firsthand understand the difference in cannabis strains and effects for medical and adult use purposes.
Sayegh currently serves as the CEO of Grassposts, a wholesale platform for raw cannabis on-demand in California. He can be reached at [email protected]
About the Author
Jonathan Gilinski is an authority in the hard-capsule field with more than 20 years of experience in capsule manufacturing and encapsulation. Over ten years ago, Jonathan founded Capsuline, a company which has become a top provider of capsule products worldwide. At Capsuline he further developed his detailed knowledge of all aspects of the hard capsule manufacturing process, including capsule formulation, proper material handling, product design, branding, equipment function and more.
The Capsule Consulting Group (TCCG) is Jonathan’s latest venture where he operates as Founder & CEO. TCCG utilizes Jonathan’s expertise and extensive network of industry resources to provide capsule consulting services to the emerging cannabis markets. Jonathan can be reached at [email protected]
Jonathan Storper leads Hanson Bridgett’s cannabis and regenerative business law practices, and since California’s legalization of marijuana has worked with cannabis companies and their investors in connection with business transactions, including formation, local and state licensing, finance, contracts, licenses, joint venture and development, mergers and acquisitions, licensing, e-commerce, technology-related matters and general corporate law.
Storper has recently represented several cannabis companies in financing and M&A transactions that include publicly traded companies from Canada. He also represents companies in a variety of industries and many non-profit charities, foundations, and business associations.
Jonathan Wachs provides strategic counseling and operational advice to clients in the areas of intellectual property, commercial transactions and outsourced legal departments. As head of the firm’s Intellectual Property Group, Mr. Wachs works closely with clients to develop, register, analyze, enforce, and transfer intellectual property assets in a customized, cost-efficient, and highly effective manner. Additionally, he conducts intellectual property audits through which clients learn the nature and value of their intellectual property assets and the steps needed to protect such assets from misappropriation or dilution. As a business lawyer, he has successfully negotiated and completed several multimillion dollar business transactions and has served as general counsel to several small and midsize businesses and organizations in various industries and professions. He also manages a blog about intellectual property issues, Friday Factoids. Mr. Wachs co-manages New Paradigm Counsel, a service through which Offit Kurman delivers customized, comprehensive and cost-effective outsourced legal departments. Through New Paradigm Counsel, Jon served as outsourced general counsel for a government contractor, a large printing business, a payment processing company and an identity theft restoration business.
Joseph Chapman is a Deputy Editor on the USA team at Chambers and Partners, producer of guides to the legal market. His experience in legal market research largely centers around exploring rapidly developing practice areas, beginning his career as a researcher on the inaugural edition of Chambers High Net Worth. As a member of the USA guide’s editorial team, Joseph is responsible for areas which include privacy/data security, investment funds and corporate finance; he also recently spearheaded the company’s first-time coverage of the USA’s cannabis law market. He holds a BA in Russian and German from the University of Nottingham and recently completed a Graduate Diploma in Law.
Josh Schneiderman is a member of the firm’s corporate and securities group. He advises clients on a wide range of transactional matters, including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and public and private offerings of debt and equity securities. In addition, Josh advises clients on matters related to franchising, including the establishment of new franchise systems and the expansion of existing franchise systems nationally and internationally. He also advises public and private companies on corporate governance matters.
Josh also advises clients in the cannabis industry. He is familiar with the unique needs of industry clients in light of the present conflict between federal and state laws and local regulations in the space, and he and others in the firm help clients navigate the challenges that arise in that context whether their needs relate to licensing and registration, general corporate matters (including financings, joint ventures and mergers and acquisitions), branding, tax, banking and finance, real estate and employment.
In addition to his normal areas of practice, Josh is a member of the firm’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response Team, an interdisciplinary team of lawyers, formed quickly after recognizing the complex legal issues that businesses would confront as a result of the coronavirus. This group has issued legal alerts and newsletters on the topic and has hosted multiple webinars to address a range of concerns. The group remains committed to monitoring the issues and bringing as much clarity and guidance to clients as possible. More information is available in the COVID-19 Resource Center.
Josh Swider is the CEO of InfiniteCAL, a San Diego, California based analytical lab.
Josh began his career in chemistry at Eastern Washington University, where he earned his Bachelor of Science and Chemistry degrees in physics and biology in 2012. His quest for a deeper understanding of the science led him to be accepted into the joint doctoral program at the University of California, San Diego and San Diego State University, where he earned his master’s degree in analytical chemistry in 2015 and his PhD in 2017. Throughout his college career, Josh became interested in the medicinal benefits of cannabis and the lack of analytical research and public understanding associated with it. He wanted to change this, and with his knowledge and passion for the industry, Josh founded the lab with fellow chemist Dave Marelius in 2016. Together they’ve made it InfiniteCAL’s mission to ensure only safe, quality products are allowed to hit dispensary shelves.
Joshua B. Goldberg is the Partner-in-Charge of the Chemical, Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Department of Nath, Goldberg & Meyer and works extensively with the firm’s Trademark department. Mr. Goldberg’s practice involves portfolio management and analysis, including the preparation, prosecution, and acquisition of U.S. and foreign patents across a wide range of technology areas. Mr. Goldberg has had a recent focus on patent and trademark issues related to cannabis products and has helped navigate clients through the options available for protecting the same.
Howard W. Kline is the Trademark Department Manager at Nath, Goldberg, and Meyer. Mr. Kline’s practice involves all aspects of trademark, unfair competition, and copyright law. He counsels clients on the availability and registration of trademarks and secures trademark registrations in the U.S. and throughout the world. Mr. Kline also represents clients in matters before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.
Mr. Goldberg’s practice areas include:
Patent Estate Development, both in the U.S. and Internationally
U.S. and International Patent Application Drafting and Prosecution for Chemical, Pharmaceutical, and Biotechnology Innovations
Technology Evaluation and Positioning
Legal and Scientific Research and Analysis regarding Patentability, Patent Validity, Enforceability, and Freedom to Operate
Licensing, Acquisitions, Divestitures, and Joint Ventures
The Preparation, Filing, and Management of Oppositions Before the European Patent Office
Mr. Goldberg received his practical scientific experience while performing research and development for Particle & Coating Technologies, Inc. During this stage of his career, Mr. Goldberg was responsible for the development, design, and experimental creation of various pharmaceutical delivery systems.
While in law school, Mr. Goldberg commenced his career in Intellectual Property law as a law clerk at NGM. Mr. Goldberg earned his U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Registration Number in 1998, and was admitted to the Bar of the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1999.
Mr. Goldberg has been actively practicing patent law at NGM since 1997. He has prepared and prosecuted numerous patent applications for both international and domestic clients in a wide variety of technology areas. His current practice places a particular emphasis on the chemical, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and mechanical art areas. He also advises corporate, university, and independent clients in such areas as the development of offensive and defensive patent portfolios, the preparation of patent enforceability and invalidity opinions, and in freedom to operate searches and analysis
Mr. Goldberg is an elected Manager of the Chemical Society of Washington chapter of the American Chemical Society. He is also a member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) and the Chemical Practice Subcommittee of AIPLA, the Association Internationale pour la Protection de la Propriété Intellectuelle (AIPPI), the Jewish Federation, the U.S. Patent Office’s Chemical and Biotechnology Customer Partnership, and other professional organizations.
Mr. Goldberg received his J.D. degree from The George Washington University (1999) and his B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Environmental Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis (1996). Mr. Goldberg is registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and is admitted to practice before the Bars of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the District of Columbia. Mr. Goldberg is also admitted to practice before the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and the Superior and Inferior Courts of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Joyce Cenali is partner and COO of Big Rock Partners, a San Francisco-based strategic advisory firm focused on the intersection of cannabis, food and hospitality, serving both companies and investors. Joyce is an accomplished sales, operations, and business development executive with extensive experience in the cannabis industry.
As head of the corporate/securities practice at Fortis Law Partners, Julie Herzog handles a wide variety of corporate, securities and merger and acquisition transactions. She has handled transactions valued at over $4 billion for major public companies and investment banks and enjoys working with a diverse clientele ranging from Fortune 100 corporations to startups, family offices, and venture capital and private equity funds. Since 2013, Julie negotiated and closed over 75 transactions valued at over $1.5 billion on behalf of our clients. Her clients represent a variety of industry sectors, including cannabis, energy, health care, technology, manufacturing, real estate, food and beverage, business consulting and other services. She has counseled several hundred companies from inception through initial public offerings or successful sales. For more information, contact [email protected].
Justin P. Walsh is a Partner at Gleam Law, PLLC. Justin spearheads Gleam’s hemp and CBD work, as well as heading the litigation department. Justin graduated cum laude from Seattle University School of Law, where he was published in the Seattle Journal for Social Justice. He also served as a judicial extern to the Honorable Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst (ret.) on the Washington State Supreme Court. He has been rated AV-Preeminent by Martindale.com, the highest rating available. In addition, he has been named a Rising Star by Superlawyers.com for 2012 through 2018, and as a SuperLawyer for 2019 and 2020. In addition, he spends his spare time sitting as a Judge Pro Tem for the King County District Court.
Kaitlyn O’Connor, Esq. joined Nixon Law Group as Counsel in 2018. Kaitlyn combines her knowledge of business law and healthcare to provide real-world solutions for clients navigating this uniquely complex intersection.
Kaitlyn’s areas of practice include digital health, medical cannabis law and policy, telehealth, fraud and abuse, and HIPAA privacy/security. She provides legal, regulatory, and business guidance to healthcare providers across the spectrum of care, as well as early-stage companies and vendors serving the healthcare industry.
After graduating magna cum laude from Syracuse University, Kaitlyn attended William & Mary Law School, where she served as a member of the Business Law Review. She is a member of the Virginia Bar Association, the Connected Health Initiative (CHI), and the Virginia Cannabis Industry Association (VCIA).
Kaitlyn is based in Nixon Law Group’s Richmond office and resides in the city with her dog, Oshie.
Kamani Jefferson is president and registered lobbyist for the Massachusetts Recreational Consumer Council. The Massachusetts Recreational Consumer Council (MRCC) works with local and state governmental bodies to ensure the social welfare and well-being of recreational marijuana consumers, marijuana businesses, and the general public. He is the co-founder of the Cannabis Cultural Association in New York, a non-profit organization that strives to involve underrepresented communities in the legal cannabis/hemp industry, by providing informational workshops, cultural programs, and community events with an emphasis on issues disproportionately affecting communities of color: access to medical cannabis, adult use legalization, and criminal justice reform.
Karl Kispert is a Principal at Grassi & Co., for the Cyber and Information Security Practice. He has over 28 years of experience in managing and delivering information risk management, internal audit, regulatory and compliance programs, information security and technology risk management projects across many industry verticals for both domestic and international clients.
Prior to joining Grassi & Co., Karl was the Vice President at Aujas. He was also formerly a Chief Information Security Officer and has spent the last 17 years in the consulting and services industry. During Karl’s career, he spent four years as a federal agent supporting the US Department of Defense within the information and physical security arena and nine years working with the US Intelligence Community.
Karl has helped design and sustain strong information and cybersecurity programs for many of the nation’s most critical decision makers.
Karl has taken Senior Leadership Management Training Courses at Kellogg School of Management and is a Ziglar Legacy Certified Trainer. He has written and spoken on the subject of cyber and information and security, enterprise risk management and regulatory compliance at both the local and national levels and has been the host of many webinars on the subject of cyber security, information security, technology risk and business risk intelligence.
Karl is a supporter of No Barriers USA.
Kathleen A. Barrett is an Associate in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the Chicago office of Epstein Becker Green. She advises and trains employers and industry stakeholders on compliance with recreational and medical marijuana (cannabis) laws recently passed in many states, including workplace drug policies, disciplinary action policies, and accommodations. She can be reached at [email protected].
Ken Pickering is a partner in Mirick O’Connell’s Business Litigation Group and chair of the firm’s Government Investigations Response and Compliance Team. He is a former special assistant district attorney and has tried more than 20 civil and criminal cases to verdict in Massachusetts and U.S. district courts. He has also represented clients in arbitration proceedings and has argued appeals in both state and federal appellate courts. He can be reached at [email protected]
Kerri Byron is the Marketing Manager at Boca Raton, FL-based Cortera. Cortera provides information-centric solutions that power business-to-business interactions. Cortera’s innovative information and technologies deliver behavioral intelligence on millions of businesses. The wide range of applications of these insights include credit decisioning, sales & marketing intelligence, supply chain insights and other risk management needs. Kerri oversees various marketing, advertising and public relations campaigns at Cortera. Kerri can be contacted at [email protected]
Kevin Lee, Business Development Manager at ND Supplies, benefits from over 15 years’ experience in the cannabis industry. As a cannabis advocate, he founded a dispensary and non-profit organization to provide education and safe access to medical and recreational cannabis. Kevin works alongside businesses and individuals to navigate the industry’s evolution from cannabis 1.0 to 2.0, to 3.0 and beyond.
Kevin leads AAFCPAs’ Cannabis Practice, specializing in advising plant-touching businesses and investors on business and tax strategies to maximize stakeholder value throughout the business lifecycle. His cannabis experience includes buy-side due diligence and tax consulting for public multi-state operators (MSOs) and private equity funds on mergers & acquisitions with a deal value in excess of $4 billion and advising companies on industry-first tax strategies. Kevin’s 10+ years of diverse experience in public accounting allows him to provide a wholistic approach to business issues and deliver sophisticated tax advice.
Kevin Slaughter is a partner in the Corporate Practice Group who solves problems and assists clients with complex commercial transactions. Throughout his decades of experience as a corporate attorney, Kevin has focused his practice on the areas of mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and private offerings. Most recently, he has expanded his practice to include procurement matters, airport concessions and cannabis. He has a broad range of experience working with clients from a multitude of business sectors including the automotive, manufacturing, healthcare and food industries.
Working on both domestic and international M&A transactions, Kevin has achieved exceptional results for his clients. He has in-depth knowledge in drafting and negotiating a variety of commercial agreements, including: master supply/service agreements; distribution agreements; reseller agreements; development and licensing agreements; and manufacturing agreements.
Kevin uses his extensive experience in corporate law and excellent interpersonal skills to advise owners and senior executives on a broad spectrum of issues. Above all, he listens to his clients to understand their needs, goals and objectives. Kevin earns their trust and confidence by employing an analytical yet pragmatic approach that is centered around accomplishing the business objectives of his clients in a responsive, efficient and effective manner.
In 2018, Kevin was recognized as a “Notable Minority Lawyer” by Crain’s Chicago Business. Active in his community, he serves as general counsel to the Boy Scouts of America Pathway to Adventure Council in Illinois.
Kevin Whitton is the voice of the Hawai‘i Dispensary Alliance, driving its publications, messaging, and branding. With a BA in sociology and over a decade of experience in publishing and journalism as editor of four Hawai‘i regional publications—including Green Magazine Hawai‘i, a sustainability publication he founded in 2008—he is responsible for publishing the Hawai‘i Dispensary Alliance Industry Update; crafting and disseminating industry information for membership, industry stakeholders, patients and doctors; and leading the alliance’s public relations campaigns. Whitton is committed to sharing a positive public narrative that serves patients, communities, and businesses while growing Hawai‘i’s legitimate cannabis industry.
Kim Rael is President and CEO of Azuca, a privately held, investor-backed company that commercializes a line of chef-quality, edible products, and licenses its fast acting TiME INFUSION™ process to quality brands looking for a fast-acting cannabis edible technology. Azuca’s patent-pending TiME INFUSION™ process enables a predictable and controllable experience every time. Azuca’s hemp-derived CBD products are sold online at azuca.co/shop. Azuca TiME INFUSION™ is available in the Wana Quick gummies line in Colorado.
Kristi, who was CBE’s 12th ranked most influential woman in cannabis in 2016, is the executive director of Marijuana Industry Group, which helped create the world’s first taxed and regulated cannabis framework, and supports and advances licensed and regulated Colorado cannabis businesses today. She is also a founding board member of The Fourth Corner Credit Union, founding trustee of CannAbility Foundation, and co-Founder of Root Strategies Consulting.
Laura A. Bianchi is a Managing Partner at Bianchi Brandt & Hale in Scottsdale, Arizona, and a nationally recognized authority on law, compliance, business strategy, finance and operations in the cannabis and hemp industries. Among the first attorneys anywhere to focus on this nascent cannabis market, Laura has spent years handling some of the largest transactions and advising cannabis companies and industry participants. On the forefront of both the legal cannabis and hemp movements, Laura is passionate about providing information, strategic advice and direction in regard to all realms of the cannabis and hemp industries.
Laura Breit is the founder and owner of Oregon-based firms Root Engineers and ColeBreit Engineering. She is a professional mechanical engineer specializing in the design of HVAC, plumbing, and process systems for the cannabis industry. Using her experience in traditional engineering methods through Root Engineers parent company, ColeBreit Engineering, she applies her team’s depth of knowledge to create efficient and economically sound solutions for cultivation and processing facilities. Taking a custom approach to each project, Laura has experience working in the traditional design-bid-build method, as well as in the design-build arena. She enjoys the dynamic nature of the cannabis industry, and since legalization in her home state of Oregon in 2014, Laura has led her team of mechanical and electrical engineers on more than 80 cannabis-related projects across the country. She thrives on building relationships with building owners, growers, architects, contractors and investors.
Lauren Tamburro is the Director of Technical Services and Sales, for Vertosa, a hemp and cannabis technology company providing customized emulsion systems for infused products. She is an expert in new product development, managing projects from concept to commercialization, plant scale-up and the product development process. Prior to joining Vertosa, Lauren performed analytical chemistry for six years and as Senior Scientist began launching new food products at Mondelez International, primarily focused on chewing gum. As Senior Manager of Research and Development at ALOHA she launched plant-based protein bars, powders and aseptic ready to drink beverages.
Laurie Holcomb is the President of BlackStar Industrial Properties. The company has developed a state-of-the-art cannabis complex in Southern California. With over 20-years of experience building large-scale communities throughout California, Holcomb started BlackStar Industrial Properties along with of some of the leading experts in the cannabis industry. Together, their goal was to build the world’s finest, fully licensed and compliant cannabis complex, and lease out space to responsible and professional businesses seeking to enter the California market.
She can be reached at: (949) 252-1177 or through the company’s website, at: www.blackstarIP.com
Lawrence J. Casey is a shareholder at the Boston law firm of Davis, Malm & D’Agostine, P.C., practicing in the business, employment and litigation areas. He represents executives, professionals, and employers in employment-related litigation and arbitration matters before state and federal courts and agencies. He also counsels high-level executives and professionals in matters concerning employment terms and compensation packages, including negotiating complex employment and transition agreements. Larry is a frequent speaker on employment-related topics. He is an Elected Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, is recognized by Best Lawyers in America and Chambers USA, holds a Peer Review AV® Preeminent™ rating by Martindale-Hubbell, and is listed as a Massachusetts Super Lawyer.
Lee Prindle is a Seattle native and a graduate of the University of Oregon. He writes frequently about the insurance industry. For more about stoned driving, please visit: https://quotewizard.com/auto-insurance/marijuana-car-insurance-and-the-law
Leo Aubel focuses his practice on the real estate industry, with decades of experience in the acquisition, leasing and disposition of real estate. His commercial leasing work includes medical offices, bars and restaurants and retail spaces, as well as the licensing of these facilities. Aubel can be reached at [email protected] and 312-456-3663.
Leonard Dietzen, partner at law firm RumbergerKirk, concentrates his practice on the representation of private and public sector employers in all aspects of labor and employment law. From consulting with clients to representing them in administrative proceedings and litigation, his practice encompasses the full spectrum of activities attendant to the employment relationship. Contact him via email, [email protected].
Leslie Bocskor is an investment banker and entrepreneur focused on the emerging legal cannabis industry. He founded Electrum Partners and is working with some of the biggest players in the industry to develop strategies to quickly expand the market for legal cannabis in the U.S. and beyond.
Founder | Foundation of Cannabis Unified Standards (FOCUS)
FOCUS is the only international, third party, non-profit, cannabis standards development organization created to protect public health, consumer safety, and safeguard the environment.
Through two-decades of professional experience across pharmaceuticals, mental health, non-profit and cannabis industries, Lezli realized the only way to build a truly sustainable, legal, cannabis marketplace – not just on a national level- but globally – was to develop international, voluntary-conformance cannabis standards suitable for adoption into regulation that would serve as the common language necessary to ensure the quality and safety guidelines required for international commerce.
Lezli’s ability to envision simplified solutions to complicated situations make her the perfect candidate to lead FOCUS and work in the formulation of international public policy to ensure the highest standards that protect public health and safety are met and maintained. www.focusstandards.org
In her 36 years of practice,Linda Sorg Ostovitz has served as a leader, educator and advocate. Ostovitz holds a prestigious fellowship in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and serves as the secretary of the Maryland Chapter. She also serves on the Board of the Howard County Chamber of Commerce and the Business Women’s Network of Howard.
Ostovitz represents clients in Howard, Anne Arundel, Carroll and Baltimore Counties. Her practice focuses exclusively on divorce litigation and mediation, child custody and access, child support, alimony, business valuation, as well as property and asset distribution. In addition to providing legal representation in court, Ostovitz provides mediation services to help families come to a resolution without the need for litigation.
Ostovitz has written and contributed to publications on family law matters, including the Maryland Bar Journal, Lawyers.com and USA Today. She is a strong advocate for her clients and inspires the highest level of confidence, allowing the best and most informed decisions to be made.
She enjoys speaking to groups like the National Family Resiliency Center, and guest lecturing for organizations. She also hosts free seminars to educate the public about the varied legal options in family law. Ostovitz values mentorship and lends her experience to students by serving as a judge in the Maryland State Bar Association high school mock trial competitions, as well as mentoring newly admitted attorneys.
Her commitment to the community extends to her generous contributions and active participation in Gilchrist Hospice, Columbia Patuxent Rotary, and Leadership Howard County.
Liz Brohan is CEO and President of CBD Marketing, a 40-person, full-service agency in Chicago, where she leads brand revitalization, acquisition and retention efforts for national and global companies that are aligning with cannabis markets. Her interest in social media monitoring and online listening underlines the importance of the marketing insights these initiatives can provide to products, brands and companies in all industries. Liz speaks nationally on marketing topics, including at national CBD-cannabis business conferences. Contact Liz at [email protected]
Cowee started her market research career as a research economist at the University of Nevada, Reno in State Agricultural Marketing, where her findings aided the state’s farmers and ranchers in making business expansion and diversification decisions. She can be reached at [email protected].
Marco Hoffman is the CEO and Founder of Evergreen Herbal. Marco has been working in the cannabis industry since 2008. Originally he worked as a cinematographer in the entertainment industry. He transitioned to working in the cannabis industry when his stepmother was admitted to hospice and he witnessed firsthand the medicinal benefits of cannabis.
Marco oversees the daily operations of Evergreen Herbal, which is regarded as one of the best edibles companies in the state of Washington. The company has some of the highest quality control standards in the industry, with the attention to the most responsible packaging and labeling standards possible. Hoffman is committed to providing the type of quality products to the recreational market as he has been doing for the medical industry.
Mariah Phillips is passionate about world affairs at 2U, Inc., where she specializes in the business, law, government, and tech verticals on behalf of programs like [email protected] Syracuse, the online MBA program from Syracuse University. She is pursuing her masters in communications with S.I. New House School of Communications at Syracuse.
Mark Bednarz is a Partner and the leader of the Risk Advisory Group of PKF O’Connor Davies. He combines more than 20 years of public accounting and Fortune 500 experience and expertise in attestation and consulting services for a variety of industries.
Mark’s extensive experience includes internal audit, board governance, business reengineering, forensic accounting, system implementations, compliance, Sarbanes-Oxley consulting, IT audits and governance, service organization control reporting (SOC), attestations and risk assessments.
He is a frequent presenter, training evaluator and webinar leader on subjects related to governance, risk and compliance for several professional organizations. Mark also serves as an author and contributing editor to articles that appear in professional newsletters and other publications. Mark can be reached at [email protected]
Mark Goldfogel is an entrepreneur, consultant, writer, and speaker. He is credited with having first proposed “Seed to Sale Tracking” as a means of diversion control, taxation, and health and human safety to the State of Colorado. He co-founded the cannabis industry’s first compliance inventory control system and was a key advisor to The Fourth Corner Credit Union, a financial institution with a banking charter to support the “Hemp and Cannabis Movement.” He has advised States, non-industry companies wishing to enter the industry, and startup companies capitalizing on the opportunities and avoiding the potholes of the budding cannabis industries. For a free copy of his book, Smoking Something, The Cannabis Paradox10, (Amazon $24.20) please send an email to [email protected]
Mark Shevitz is Executive Vice President, Brand Strategy, at CBD Marketing, a 40-person, full-service agency in Chicago, where he leads branding initiatives for companies across industry sectors. Mark has worked with companies as diverse as Sears and Allstate to Aflac, Pfizer, Blue Diamond and dozens more—many now aligning with cannabis interests. Mark speaks and writes nationally on brand marketing topics. Contact Mark at [email protected]
Marvin L. Weinberg is co-chair of the Labor Management Relations practice group and he’s also a member of the Cannabis Law practice group at Fox Rothschild LLP. He has extensive experience in employment litigation, collective bargaining negotiations, arbitrations, handling matters before the National Labor Relations Board and providing guidance to employers seeking to remain non- union. He can be reached at [email protected].
Matt Engle is a commercial property and casualty insurance broker with Insurance Office of America. With over 15 years of insurance experience, Matt has a broad background working in the cannabis, technology, gaming, healthcare, nonprofit and construction industries. His primary responsibility is to consult with profit and nonprofit businesses to create action plans to lower their total cost of risk and keep their employees safe through a customized insurance and risk management program. Matt can be contacted at [email protected]
Matthew (Matt) Karnes has over 25 years of diverse finance and accounting experience. Prior to founding GreenWave Advisors LLC, Matt worked in equity research focusing on the Radio Broadcasting and Cable Television industries for First Union Securities. Matt also covered Satellite Communication at SG Cowen and in addition, worked with the top ranked Consumer Internet analyst at Bear Stearns & Co – this team was consistently recognized by the Institutional Investor’s “All America Research Team”. As a sellside equity analyst, Matt authored and co-authored numerous emerging industry research reports including such names as Google, Sirius, XM Satellite Radio, DIRECTV and EchoStar Communications.
Matt was also Principal and Senior Equity Analyst at Bull Path Capital Management, a New York City based hedge fund, where he was responsible for investment strategies of emerging technologies primarily within the Technology, Media and Telecom sectors. Prior to his career on Wall Street, Matt held various finance and accounting positions at PriceWaterhouse Coopers and Deloitte as well as at Texaco Inc. where he worked throughout the U.S., Europe, The Caribbean and Asia. Additionally at Chase, Matt was responsible for implementing the bank’s corporate accounting policies on commodity, interest rate and foreign currency derivative products. Matt graduated from Fordham University with an MBA in finance and earned a B.S. Business Administration with a double major in accounting and finance from Miami University (OH). Matt is also a Certified Public Accountant. Matt can be reached at [email protected]
GreenWave Advisors, LLC is based in New York City.
Matt Walstatter and his wife, Meghan, are the owners of Pure Green, a patient owned and operated dispensary in Portland, Oregon. They have jointly owned and operated cultivation centers since 2001. Their dispensary opened in 2013. Matt can be reached at (971) 242-8561 or [email protected]
Matthew Huron started Good Chemistry Colorado in 2010 and is currently Chief Executive Officer. With 15 years of experience in the marijuana industry, one of the most experienced cultivators of marijuana in the United States. Huron became involved in the medical marijuana industry when his father and his father’s partner were diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. In 1996, when medical marijuana became available in California, Huron saw firsthand the symptomatic relief patients experienced from this alternative medical treatment. In 2000, he began growing medical marijuana for AIDS patients throughout the state, founding and operating a nonprofit medical marijuana co-op that became one of the most respected and well-known facilities in San Francisco. In 2010, he launched Good Chemistry Colorado, a vertically integrated cannabis company in the state.
Since 2010, Huron has expanded cultivation operations in two large Colorado facilities that are devoted solely to the production of more than 60 strains of marijuana and the production of extracts and concentrates through solvent-less processing. Huron is a founding board member of the Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA) and a founder and former board member of the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA). He has served on the Colorado Department of Revenue’s Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division’s (MED) Licensing Authority Advisory Committee, which was charged with advising regulators on the development of production management, tax and other policies pertaining to the use of marijuana.
Matthew Jones has been in the retail security and safety field for over 10 years working for The Home Depot, J.C. Penney, CVS Pharmacy, and Kohl’s. He comes to us with training from the United States Army, and the Lamar Institute of Technology Police Academy. He received a Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education to be a certified peace officer, and is interview and interrogation certified by Wicklander-Zulawski.
Jones works in business development for Sapphire Risk.
Matthew R. Kittay is the Co-Chair of the Mergers & Acquisitions Practice Group and Chair of the New York Corporate Team at Fox Rothschild LLP. He has handled major structuring deals and secured private equity and venture capital for a number of companies in the cannabis sector. He can be reached at [email protected].
Matthew Warner is a lawyer at Preti Flaherty in Portland, Maine where he specialized in cannabis law, administrative law and appellate practice. He is currently representing cannabis operators suing the State of Oklahoma and the City of Portland, Maine over their residency laws and he filed a lawsuit earlier this year against the State of Maine which resulted in the State deciding to no longer enforce its residency requirement for adult use marijuana businesses. Matt can be reached by email at [email protected] or by phone at (207) 650-1224.
Matthew Zandi is a senior managing director and co-leads the Los Angeles office of Guidepost Solutions. A former Orange County Deputy District Attorney, senior trial lawyer at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and assistant U.S attorney, he now assists investors, law firms and corporations with investigations, due diligence, security, anti-money laundering, and compliance matters. Matt’s experience makes him uniquely well-suited to assist both investors and entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry, nationally and internationally.
Matt served on the DOJ’s White Collar Crime Task Force, receiving special training in enforcement polices, integrity reporting, deferred prosecution agreements, independent monitoring, and coordination with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Federal Trade Commission, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Office of the Inspector General for Department of Defense and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, and related state agencies.
Also, Matt has over 25 years of experience in corporate and political campaign and crisis management as a former legislative aide in Sacramento and Washington, DC.
Matt can be reached at [email protected]
Maureen Ryan is a vice president at Kukuza Associates, a cannabis finance advisory firm with roots in the sector that go back to 2014. Named to the 2020 list of influential business women in Silicon Valley for her pioneering work in cannabis accounting and finance, Maureen has also been profiled by the National Cannabis Industry Association. Contact her at [email protected] to unlock your company’s potential or visit Kukuza’s site to get assessed.
Maxine Neuhauser is a Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management and Health Care & Life Sciences practices, in the Newark office of Epstein Becker Green. Her practice focuses on litigation and providing strategic advice and counsel to for profit and nonprofit regional, national, and international businesses. corporations. Ms. Neuhauser can be reached at [email protected].
Meg Sanders, as CEO of Mindful, heads the largest woman-led cannabis company in America. Mindful is one of the most respected and most recognized cannabis producers and infused products manufacturers with medical and recreational dispensaries operating across the state of Colorado in Colorado Springs, Black Hawk, Denver, and Berthoud, and soon expanding with licenses to operate in Aurora, in the State of Illinois and more in the works. Meg is also a General Partner in Marimind Cannabis Engineering, a national and international cannabis consulting company providing a wide range of services within and around the cannabis industry throughout the United States.
Mindful is engaged in an aggressive growth strategy and is on track to double production and distribution outlets over the next six months. Mindful’s driving philosophy is enshrined in the company name (courtesy of Meg’s creativity and brilliance), which is to be mindful of yourself, your co-workers, your community, the plant, and the patients and customers in everything we do.
Meg continues to be a leader in the legal cannabis movement and industry and has been featured in media globally including 60 MInutes, Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Le Monde, NPR, NBC, Der Spiegel, The Wall Street Journal,BBC, High Times, CBC and many more. She was a key part of the establishment of regulations for the legal marijuana industry in Colorado, having been the only industry representative appointed by Gov. Hickenlooper to be involved in their creation. She is a sought after resource to assist countries, states, counties, and municipalities a in forming their Medical Marijuana Programs. Meg has been with Mindful management since the company’s inception in 2010 and has played a significant role in its meteoric growth. Meg has used her expertise to assist local and state regulators seeking input, feedback and beta testing for various systems related to tracking, growing and selling medical cannabis. Meg has also made significant contributions to Mindful’s community. Meg represents MiNDFUL as a board member of the Colorado Cannabis Chamber of Commerce and the Aurora Economic Development Council. Meg was recently honored to participate with the White House, FBI, NSA and other national organizations in a workshop hosted by the National Science Academy discussing protecting our bio economy- the first time ever that cannabis was discussed. Meg represents MiNDFUL for the second year as a case study for the Harvard Business School. She was a co-founder and executive director of the Boulder Youth Football League, and served a three-year term as president of the Boulder High School Football Booster Club. She has also contributed time and energy to the Boulder Valley School District Food Task Force. Meg also works in the Mindful grow team’s vegetable garden, the produce of which is donated to Mindful employees as well as to neighboring communities.
About the co-authors
MEGAN ROBERTSON is an Associate in the Health Care and Life Sciences practice, in the Washington, DC, office of Epstein Becker Green. She focuses her practice on health care compliance, fraud and abuse issues, health regulatory due diligence, and medical device product marketing.
Ms. Robertson received her J.D., with honors and with a concentration in Health Law, from The George Washington University Law School. While attending law school, she was the Executive Editor of the Federal Circuit Bar Journal and worked as a Certified Student Attorney at the school’s Vaccine Injury Litigation Clinic. She also served as a legal policy intern at the nonprofit organization Autism Speaks, where she researched coverage of autism therapies in Federal Employee Health Benefit plans and helped draft comments on the proposed rule for the Medicaid managed care regulations.
In 2014, Ms. Robertson graduated, magna cum laude, from Clemson University in South Carolina with a degree in Genetics.
DELIA A. DESCHAINE is a Member of Epstein Becker Green’s Health Care and Life Sciences practice, in the firm’s Washington, DC, office. Named to the Washington DC Rising Stars list (2018-2020) in the areas of Food & Drugs and Cannabis Law, Ms. Deschaine understands the most significant U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) legal and compliance risks that her clients face and knows how to address them. Her advice is informed by a background in defending clients in government enforcement actions and challenging unlawful government conduct.
Mica Gross is the Director of Operations for Wana Brands, a leading maker of infused cannabis products. Based out of the company’s headquarters in Boulder, Colo., Mica joined Wana Brands after earning 15 years of diverse experience in project management, food and supplement production, and product and organizational development. He has hands-on experience in CO2, ethanol and multi solvent extraction of cannabinoids and other functional compounds.
Mica has also spearheaded the development of safety and compliance programs including cGMP and HACCP, which are mandated by the FDA for food, supplement and drug manufacturers. Mica’s experiences have provided the framework for reinforcing and improving Wana Brands practices that benefit the ongoing growth of the company.
Michael Jacobs is a marketing and creative content specialist at Gotvape.com.
Michael Panebianco is currently Vice President Agency and Advertiser sales for MRI and the lead on the recently released cannabis study. With over 20 years of media and consumer market research sales experience, Michael brings a unique passion to developing innovative solutions that provide beneficial insights to his clients. Prior to MRI, he has held media positions with Comcast, Nassau Broadcasting, and Arbitron. He is a proud alumni of Monmouth University. Michael can be reached at 212-884-9238 or [email protected]
Michael Preciado is a senior litigator in the Orange County office of Buchalter. He is a member of the firm’s Cannabis & Hemp Industry Law Group, and helps clients navigate the legalities in the vapor, e-cigarette, cannabis, and CBD industries. (Contact Mike at [email protected])
With a long career of business experience in the cannabis, lending, and real estate business, Michael S. Richardson discovered fraud within his own mortgage company. Now the Cannabis Industry has its own fraud triangle—pressure, opportunity, and rationalization. Michael never thought it could happen to him, but it did. Michael has since become a Subject Matter Expert in the Cannabis and Mortgage Industries over the last 30 plus years. Don’t become a victim of fraud: Where the money flows, fraud will follow. Michael S. Richardson is the CEO of Green Brain Solutions, and GBS is your answer to unseen problems that may very well find your company.
Michael Sampson is partner in Reed Smith’s Insurance Recovery Group and a member of the firm’s Cannabis Law Team. Mike advises clients in the cannabis industry about risk-management concerns, insurance-coverage matters, and related state regulations. He also frequently speaks and writes about insurance-coverage and other legal issues affecting the medical and recreational cannabis industries.
Greg Voss is an associate in Reed Smith’s Global Regulatory Enforcement Group.
Michael Warren is a partner with trial law firm McManis Faulkner in San Jose, Calif. Warren represents employers in a variety of issues, and he has defended high-level executives in numerous employment disputes and investigations. He may be reached at [email protected].
Michelle G. Novick is a partner in Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr’s Bankruptcy and Restructuring Practice. She is an experienced insolvency professional and has represented clients on every side of a transaction in corporate bankruptcy proceedings. She represents clients in general contract disputes in state court and prosecutes and defends cases in bankruptcy court and federal court. Michelle can be reached at [email protected].
Prior to co-founding High Yield Insights, Mike Luce led multi-million dollar insights engagements with Fortune 100 consumer goods companies. Mike has nearly 20 years experience developing market insights for some of the world’s leading consumer brands, including Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo and General Mills, and retailers, such as Wal-Mart and Kroger.
High Yield Insights applies best practices and capabilities drawn from that experience to the dynamic cannabis industry.
Mike can be reached directly at [email protected]
Milan Patel is the chief executive officer and co-founder of PathogenDx. He has over 30 years of experience with large public, to small private and entrepreneurial companies in numerous industries from life sciences, biotechnology, government services, and automotive. Previously, Patel was COO/CFO of GMSbiotech. Patel has worked with Fortune 50 companies in a variety of roles from product and technology development, sales and marketing, finance and manufacturing. Patel has extensive experience in corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, business strategy and planning, infrastructure and organizational development, and controls, compliance and audit.
He holds degrees in Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Detroit, a Masters in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Michigan, and a Masters in Business Administration from University of Detroit. Milan co-founded PathogenDx on the premise of bringing a better, faster and more cost-effective solution for purity assurance to the cannabis, food, agriculture and water testing industries.
Morris Denton is Chief Executive Officer of Compassionate Cultivation, the leading medical cannabis company in Texas. Morris oversees all aspects of Compassionate Cultivation’s vertically integrated business and strategy to ensure operational transparency and integrity as a reflection of the values of the state of Texas. He has over 25 years of business leadership experience in technology, CPG, B2B, sports and entertainment industries. Working in both large and small agencies and corporations, and with significant expertise leading smart and effective global teams, Morris specializes in creating sustainable and differentiated leadership positions for businesses in highly competitive markets. A Texas native, Morris lives and works in the Austin area. He holds degrees from Texas Christian University and the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Nancy Whiteman is co-founder and co-owner of Wana Brands, which produces Wana Edibles, Wana Extracts, and Wana Medicinals. Whiteman is responsible for partnerships and licensing agreements domestically and internationally. She is also responsible for the strategic vision of Wana Brands and has been instrumental in Wana Brands’ growth into new and emerging markets.
Prior to founding Wana, Whiteman was a principal with The Whiteman Group, a sales and marketing consultancy, and previously held a range of senior level marketing and business development positions including vice president, marketing and new corporate ventures for the Paul Revere Insurance Group in Massachusetts.
Whiteman holds a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University and an MBA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She is on the Board of the Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA), and is a member of the National Cannabis Industry Association, and Colorado Leads, which promotes an environment of sensible regulation that creates certainty and sustainability for all companies that have benefited from legalization of medical and adult use marijuana. Whiteman was named the fourth most important woman in Cannabis in 2016 by Cannabis Business Executive.
Established in 2010, Wana Brands is ranked the No. 1 edibles producer in sales revenues in the highly competitive Colorado market according to BDS Analytics. Wana Brands produces 20,000 units a week in its 30,000 sq. ft. Colorado facility, servicing more than 450 of Colorado’s 500+ dispensaries. Wana Brands is also available in over 200 dispensaries in Oregon. The company launched in Nevada at the end of 2016, and has partnerships in Illinois, Massachusetts and Maryland that will bring Wana Brands products to those states in 2017 and 2018. Wana Brands best selling products include Wana Sour Gummies, Jewels and WanaCapsXR.
Nathan Kelly, is the Executive Vice President of the Good Meds Network, a medical marijuana business in Denver, Colorado. He has spent six years in the MMJ industry building the Good Meds cultivation business into a leading provider of high quality cannabis in Colorado marketplace. Good Meds’ Pure Power Plant was awarded the Denver High Times Cannabis Cup for best Hybrid Strain in 2014. He has also served as a marijuana consultant in Michigan, Illinois, Maryland and continues to try to expand Good Meds business into new national and global marijuana markets as they come online. Previously, he graduated from Michigan State University with an Interdisciplinary Humanities degree and worked as Public Relations specialist for a workforce development non-profit in Washington, DC. Nathan and his wife Kristi, who is also his business partner, live in Denver with their two dogs Stringer and Cici.
NATHANIEL M. GLASSER is a Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the Washington, DC, office of Epstein Becker Green. His practice focuses on the representation of employers in employee relations and human resources compliance, as well as litigating claims of harassment, discrimination, whistleblowing, and wage-hour violations. He also advises clients on novel issues of employee relations, including drug testing and accommodation questions in the wake of new recreational and medical marijuana (cannabis) laws, as well as the implementation of artificial intelligence and predictive (or people) analytics in the workplace. He can be reached at (202)-861-1863 or [email protected]
ANASTASIA A. REGNE* is a Law Clerk – Admission Pending – in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the New York office of Epstein Becker Green. She will be focusing her practice on employment litigation, labor-management relations, and employment training, practices, and procedures, including: drug testing and accommodation questions, particularly concerning the interaction with new marijuana (cannabis) legislation.
Neal Levine is Senior Vice President of Government Affairs at LivWell Enlightened Health. Neal has worked to end cannabis prohibition and set up sensible industry regulations in more than 20 states over the past 14 years, serves on the Board of Directors for the National Cannabis Industry Association, and is widely considered to be one of the leading national experts on cannabis policy reform.
Neil Willner, Associate at Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP, focuses his legal practice on medical malpractice, dental malpractice, nursing home liability and general liability centered on complex litigation. His clients include hospitals, medical practices, physicians, eleemosynary institutions, commercial businesses and summer camps. Neil has handled appeals in the New York Appellate Division, First and Second Departments.
Neil also is a member of Wilson Elser’s Cannabis Law practice, advising medical professionals, growers, processors, insurers, distributors and vendors within the legalized cannabis industry as well as organizations outside the industry impacted by the rapidly evolving state and federal regulatory landscape.
Nic Easley is the founder and president of 3C and provides the leadership for the organization. Nic’s experience includes over 15 years in the commercial cannabis industry. Nic holds degrees in Environmental Studies and Biology; he is also a veteran of the United States Air Force and is based in Denver, Colorado
Representing medical marijuana owner/operators, Nicholas King was a key member of the 23 person Colorado state work group that developed the first regulatory system for commercializing medical marijuana in the world. He has an intimate knowledge and perspective of the rules governing retail and medical marijuana programs. In 2010 he founded the trade association ACT4CO to include owner/operators in the developing the regulations. Nicholas was the first in the industry to provide training classes and field assessments for pioneer owner/operators to understand the rules and regulations and how to properly apply them in their facilities. Nick can be reached at [email protected]
Suzanne Harank, Co-Founder and CEO of Medical-Recreational Marijuana Systems, is a cannabis industry expert and pioneer in the field of regulatory compliance. Nicholas King, and Suzanne were the first consultants in the world to perform on-site field compliance assessments in 2011 within the regulated cannabis industry. Suzanne has testified as a compliance consultant at Marijuana Enforcement Division court hearings. She ran the day-to-day operations of a dispensary and cultivation facilities and ensured all compliance requirements were properly implemented, updated, and maintained. Sue can be reached at [email protected]
Nicholas Kovacevich is the Co-Founder and CEO of Kush Bottles, Inc., which has become one of the best-known packaging and accessory companies in the cannabis industry. Under Kovacevich’s leadership, Kush Bottles has grown to become a premier supplier, with offices in several states, proprietary product lines, and a fully staffed compliance department.
Kovacevich graduated Summa Cum Laude in from Southwest Baptist University, and started and ran several successful companies prior to founding Kush Bottles. Widely interviewed in major media, Kovacevich has emerged as an expert in matters pertaining to cannabis compliance, industry trends, marijuana packaging, and canna-business financing options. He can be contacted at [email protected]
Nick DiUlio is an analyst and reporter for www.insurancequotes.com–which publishes in-depth studies, data and analysis related to auto, home, health, life and business insurance–where he studies the insurance industry in order to direct and oversee the management of editorial content that provides trusted tips, advice and insights for consumers.
PanXchange produces indices for emerging commodities bringing price transparency, price discovery, and key market intelligence. We acquire pricing information by conducting surveys with vetted and anonymous market participants and make expert assessments based on a variety of factors. We will publish monthly spot biomass assessments for Colorado, Oregon, and Kentucky, with plans of expanding crude, distillate, and isolate reporting as well as additional regions. As the market evolves, PanXchange will evolve with it. Monthly assessments will be published on the last Thursday of every month.
Please reach out to RJ Hopp by email at [email protected] or by phone at (877) 917-9658 for any questions or to be added to the distribution list.
Patricia Rosi is CEO of Wellness Connection, Maine’s leading cannabis operator that’s now a model for patient-centric care on the East Coast and beyond. With 80 employees and over $15M in revenue, the Wellness Connection includes four Maine state-licensed dispensaries with state-of-the art cultivation, processing and manufacturing facilities.
Rosi is a cannabis industry trailblazer. Since 2011, she has successfully navigated the challenges of this new industry, collaborating with Maine state officials to create a solid and sustainable policy framework, developing strong business partnerships and expanding all lines of business. She’s now a sought-after advisor to early stage cannabis enterprises across the US, providing insight on best management, production and R&D practices as well as emerging retail and consumer trends.
Rosi has been honored nationally as a pioneer and progressive in the cannabis industry. She’s on the list of the Glass Ceiling Wreckers: 2019 Power Women of Cannabis by Cannabis Business Executive (CBE). This is the third year Rosi has been honored by CBE: She was named the 2017 CBE Most Important Woman in Cannabis and ranked #3 of the CBE 50 Most Important Women in the Cannabis Industry. Also, Rosi has been honored as one of Maine’s top five female CEOs by MaineBiz.
On the national scene, she is an active member of the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) Marketing and Advertising Committee as well as the American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp (ATACH). Rosi continues to support policy work in Maine as the state navigates new recreational cannabis laws. She works with the Association of Maine Cannabis Operators (MEACO), Maine Professionals for Regulating Marijuana (MPRM) and Retail Association of Maine.
Rosi champions corporate social responsibility, creating a wellness culture that benefits not only her employees but their communities and patients in need. In 2016, Rosi launched a program dedicated to providing free cannabinoid therapies to patients in hospice care. The Wellness Connection team gives back each year via preferred rates for qualified patients and donates dozens of paid volunteer hours for community non-profits.
Rosi is also a passionate and result-oriented executive with vast global experience in the areas of business management, team-building, marketing, communications and branding. As a citizen of both the US and France, she has decades of experience as a creative leader at both Saatchi & Saatchi and Omnicom. And she built a small, local creative agency into an experiential marketing leader with national clients that included Verizon, Kraft and Procter & Gamble.
Patrick Heintz, Sales Manager, Building Services and Construction, Aggreko Canada leads the cannabis solutions business. He can be reached at [email protected]. You can learn more about how other successful businesses apply proven temporary equipment solutions to their most pressing production issues at www.aggreko.com.
Patrick Vo, President & CEO of BioTrackTHC, is an experienced professional with a strong background in finance, business development and corporate strategy. Mr. Vo began his career with a global accounting firm, Price Waterhouse Coopers. He held an accounting manager role with an economic development firm, a business development role with a Fortune 500 company, and a strategy consulting role with a number of medical and executive recruiting startups. Mr. Vo holds a Master of Science in Business from Indiana University, a Bachelors in Accounting from the University of Arizona, and a Masters in Accounting from the University of Arizona.
Connect with Patrick on LinkedIn
Paul Armentano is the Deputy Director of NORML— the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. His writing on cannabis and cannabis policy has appeared in over 1,000 publications, scholarly and/or peer-reviewed journals, as well as in more than two dozen textbooks and anthologies. He is the co-author of the book, Marijuana Is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink? (Chelsea Green, 2013) and the author of the book, The Citizen’s Guide to State-By-State Marijuana Laws (Whitman Press, 2015).
Paul Gerber, in charge of business development, Paul joined parent organization of AGoodEmployee.com, Application Research in 2008 specializing in background screening for the property management industry. With the expansion of the employment screening division, Paul was the natural choice to head up marketing. With over 40 years of people management experience, Paul served as Vice President and sales manager for a large Los Angeles area real estate developer, and Chief Financial officer for a national mortgage servicing firm.
If you have any questions for Paul He can be reached at 855-361-1667 or by email at [email protected]
Paul Golden is an engineer for Nexus Greenhouse Systems focused on the cannabis industry. His knowledge spans energy use in greenhouses, the physics of greenhouse climate control, and intensive agricultural practices used in integrated greenhouse systems today. He has been working within the greenhouse industry since a young age starting with Petiti’s Greenhouses and continued to manage greenhouse operations in Colorado following college. He has a B.S. in Applied Physics and went on to receive his M.S. in Environmental Engineering from Stanford University in 2009. He currently designs hi-tech commercial cannabis and vegetable greenhouses with a focus on production optimization and can be reached at [email protected]
Paula Jill Krasny is a partner in the Intellectual Property Group at Levenfeld Pearlstein, LLC, based in Chicago. For 30 years, she has been devising and implementing strategic, practical and cost-effective solutions to businesses seeking to build, monetize, protect and increase the equity in their brands and other intellectual property assets. She has extensive experience working in a variety of industries, including retail, consumer products, apparel, finance, technology, trade associations, and hospitality. She can be reached at [email protected].
Pauline M. Pelletier is a director in Sterne Kessler’s Trial & Appellate Practice Group. Pauline counsels clients in emerging and regulated industries, including cannabinoid therapeutics. [email protected], 202.772.8838
Deborah Sterling, Ph.D., is a director and chair of Sterne Kessler’s Biotechnology & Chemical Practice. Deborah counsels clients in emerging and regulated industries, including cannabinoid therapeutics. [email protected], 202.772.8501
Pavel Kubů is the CEO of the International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute (ICCI). He is an expert in the fields of medical informatics and addictology. In 2001, he graduated in general medicine with a focus on disease prevention and public health from the Third Faculty of Medicine, Charles University.
Since 2005 he has been working for the Intel Corporation as a Business Development Manager, leading projects of the Intel World Ahead Programme for Healthcare in Central and Eastern Europe and Education in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
In 2006 he was appointed as chair of the Ethics Commission at the National Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Addiction.
Pavel has served since 2007 as a board member of the Czech National Forum for eHealth, from 2012 to 2015 as a member of the steering committee of the Czech Healthcare Forum and since 2013 as a board member of the medical cannabis patients’ organisation KOPAC. In these non-profit NGOs he is primarily devoted to the education of healthcare professionals, patients and caregivers and support for the research and development of new treatment and preventive methods.
Since 2011 he has led the implementation of medical strategy at the company ELON MEDICAL s.r.o., devoted to wearable plastic electronics for new treatment methods using printed light devices.
In 2014 he became a cofounding member of Konomed s.r.o., a company that focuses on research and development in the field of medical cannabis.
Peter Kusnic writes industry studies for business intelligence firm The Freedonia Group. Focusing on consumer/commercial markets including cannabis in North America, he also covers e-commerce, packaging, security, smart homes, and a number of other topics. He holds a BA from University of Pittsburgh and an MFA from University of North Carolina Wilmington. Peter can be reached at [email protected]
Peter Marcus is the Communications Director for Terrapin Care Station, a national cannabis company with roots in Boulder, Colo. In addition to working on internal and external communications for Terrapin Care Station, Marcus assists with cannabis messaging and political outreach for the industry as a whole.
Prior to joining Terrapin in September 2017, Marcus served as the Senior Statehouse Reporter for the Colorado Springs Gazette and ColoradoPolitics.com, covering politics, the governor’s office, the Colorado Legislature, Congress, and federal, state and local governments. He joined in November 2016 from The Durango Herald. The Washington Post twice named Marcus one of the top state-based political and legislative reporters in the nation. He also has won over a dozen awards from the Colorado Press Association.
In prior positions, Marcus worked for the Colorado Statesman, a Denver-based political weekly, and The Denver Daily News, a former free daily newspaper in Denver, where he covered City Hall, politics, and had an entertainment column. Before that, Marcus worked for the Longmont Times-Call.
An Ithaca College graduate, Marcus studied journalism and creative writing, before
moving to Colorado from New York in 2004.
Peter Metz is a Principal in the Family Office & Tax Practice at Grassi & Co. and brings over 20 years of accounting experience to the firm. Peter has expertise in financial reporting, auditing, preparing of financial statements, reviews, compilations, tax preparation and projections, forensic work and international tax compliance. Peter has been exposed to many different industries including onshore and offshore investment partnerships, real estate partnerships, dry bulk shipping, cannabis, wine, activist private equity investing and charities.
Prior to joining Grassi & Co., Peter was the Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President of Sterling Grace Corporation, a Family Office based in Locust Valley, New York and Montreux, Switzerland. He was a Company Director and Officer for many of the Family Office’s corporations, partnerships and LLC’s. Peter also has equity and derivative trading and portfolio experience.
Peter received his Bachelors of Science Degree in Economics from Cornell University. He also earned his Masters of Business Administration from New York University graduating as a member of the Beta Alpha Psi Honorary Accounting Society. Peter has been a Certified Public Accountant of New York State for over 20 years and continues his education in tax.
Peter is an active member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA). He can be reached at [email protected]
Peter Murphy is a member of the Eckert Seamans law firm’s Regulated Substances Group, a multidisciplinary team of lawyers and government affairs professionals who advise clients establishing and operating legal marijuana businesses throughout the United States. He helps clients navigate licensing and other complex legal and regulatory issues surrounding the fast-growing medical marijuana industry. He has drafted permit applications for medical marijuana dispensaries and cultivation operations in Pennsylvania and is well-versed in the nuances of medical marijuana law and its relationship with existing federal law. Murphy frequently writes and presents on the topic of medical marijuana regulation in Pennsylvania and Delaware.
Murphy is also a litigator in the firm’s Professional Liability and Mass Tort groups, where he represents individual, institutional, and corporate clients in all aspects of tort litigation in Pennsylvania and Delaware state and federal courts. He is experienced in all phases of discovery, trial, and appeal.
First and foremost, Cenedella is a patient advocate for four decades having grown up in New York during the Rockefeller drug law years. He then established himself in San Diego during the push for legalization there in the’ 90s. Now he is situated in Germany during its historic transition into the leadership role of the European cannabis industry. Cenedella served as a Founding Board Member of the World Trade Center San Diego, a Lead Consultant for Deutsche Telekom, The California Trade and Investment Office, Deutsche Bank, IBM, San Diego Economic Development Board and many other entities. He can be reached at [email protected] and/or +1.888.206.3264
As CEO of O.penVAPE, Ralph Morgan sets direction, strategy and media relations for the world’s largest cannabis company.
A visionary entrepreneur, Morgan’s determination to provide access to cannabis as a safer alternative medicine led to the founding of O.penVAPE.
After graduating from the University of Nevada, Reno in 1996, Morgan held several executive and sales positions for health care companies including Smith and Nephew, Stryker Orthopedics and Med1Online.
Foreseeing the many financial and medical benefits of legalized cannabis, Morgan seized the chance to combine his health care experience with his passion to help others and founded O.penVAPE in 2012 alongside four other partners.
Two years prior to O.penVAPE, Morgan founded Organa Labs, the world’s largest and longest running extraction facility. He also opened his first dispensary, Colorado Harvest Company, in the same year with the help of business partner Tim Cullen. Many consider Colorado Harvest Company the most important landmark on Denver’s Green Mile, a one-mile stretch of boulevard with the highest concentration of cannabis shops in the world. Morgan and Cullen own the three Colorado-based dispensaries that, on average, round out each year with approximately 94,000 cash transactions.
In 2015, Ralph accepted the first Trail Blazer Award from High Times Magazine, a publication that has been covering cannabis for 40 years. Today, Morgan is one of the few individuals possessing the depth of knowledge and experience necessary to run a world class organization in the newest American industry. Industry and community leaders, advocacy groups and members of the media seek Morgan’s advice and value his expert insights.
Randy Shultz, Chief Technology Officer, Arcadia Biosciences has 20 years of experience in plant science and agricultural biotechnology. Before joining Arcadia, he served as director of R&D and senior director of R&D strategy at Inari Agriculture. As the global crop lead, Shultz played an instrumental role building and scaling Inari’s R&D platform and developing a foundational intellectual property estate. Previously, Shultz led numerous scientific production teams at Monsanto (now Bayer Crop Science), including their Genome Editing Platform team.
“Since joining Arcadia last year, it has been rewarding to apply my experience in plant breeding and genomics to the improvement of a previously uncharted crop like hemp,” said Shultz. “It’s an honor to accept this new role building out a disruptive technology platform for Arcadia that holds such promise for growers, businesses and consumers alike.”
Shultz received his Ph.D. in functional genomics from North Carolina State University and his B.S. degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He has authored over a dozen patents and publications.
Rebecca Cicarelli, Marketing and Business Development Director, CustomVault has an MBA from New York University and an extensive background in consumer marketing. Cicarelli has been a member of the CustomVault team since 2010. She applies her experience in new products and market development to the security business and specifically to the opportunity in medical marijuana. Matt Gifford, Director, CustomVault is a graduate of Loyola University Maryland, and a member of the CustomVault team since 1996, Gifford brings a consultative approach to the development of customized vault and security solutions for customers in the marijuana and pharmaceutical industries. Well-versed in applicable regulations; both federal and state, with extensive experience in security plan design, he partners with customers to ensure necessary approvals.
Rebecca E. Gwilt, Esq. is a Virginia-licensed attorney, Partner at Nixon Law Group, and leader of Nixon Law Group’s Cannabis Business practice. She provides legal, regulatory, and business guidance to healthcare clients, including those clients in and ancillary to the medical cannabis industry. She is focused primarily on healthcare entrepreneurship and compliance, cannabis licensing and compliance, and privacy/security of patient data. She also provides corporate and transactional services to clients, including business formation and dissolution, employment contracts and disputes, licensing, board and general compliance, mergers and acquisitions, and reimbursement.
“Rebecca is also an Advisory Board Member of Cannabis Commonwealth, a 501(c)(3) that unites the patients, parents, professionals and policy makers dedicated expanding Virginia’s regulated medical cannabis program.” She can be contacted at [email protected]
Rebecca M. Rothmann is an Equity Partner at Wilson Elser in the Chicago office. Rebecca is co-chair of the Firm’s Specialty Professional Risks Practice Team. She primarily represents accountants, attorneys and insurance brokers in defending malpractice claims involving a wide range of issues. She also defends insurers and their agents and brokers in litigation and arbitrations in a variety of claims including ERISA, life and health insurance coverage disputes and those arising out of the sale of investment products. She has a growing practice representing property management companies, officers and directors and other specialty professions. Contact her at: [email protected].
Justin Dobek is an associate at Wilson Elser in Chicago office. He is a member of Wilson Elser’s Professional Liability & Services and Complex Tort & General Casualty practice groups.
Daniel McMahon Jr. is a summer intern at Wilson Elser in the Chicago office. He is currently enrolled as a senior at Tufts University and plans to attend law school.
Reggie Snyder is a partner in the Atlanta office of Taylor English Duma LLP. Snyder is an experienced trial lawyer with more than two decades of experience managing a wide range of litigation matters for clients in Alabama, Georgia and Texas. He can be reached at [email protected].
Rich Fama focuses his practice on class action and complex litigation in the areas of toxic tort, products liability, food and liquor liability, construction defect, and mass tort actions, and has decades of experience litigating in New York’s state and federal courts.
Fama possesses a particular knowledge of handling cases involving catastrophic injuries and damages. He defended life sciences corporations in the PPA and pedicle screw litigations. He is currently lead defense counsel on several well-publicized and high-exposure cases involving the release of toxic substances into the environment, including mold, lead, asbestos, methanol, benzene, and other chemicals and contaminates. He also represents product manufacturers in class action matters involving alleged product defects and mislabeling, including alleged Federal Trade Commission violations regarding “Made in the U.S.A.” claims. Richard also serves as consulting counsel to various entities for claims arising out of alleged exposure to diacetyl at microwave popcorn manufacturing facilities.
Richard has a construction background, having worked in several large architectural and engineering consulting firms prior to attending law school. That background, combined with his pursuit of coursework in both architecture and engineering, has proven invaluable to his handling of construction defect and related matters.
Fama earned his law degree from Hofstra University School of Law in 1993 and his undergraduate degree from New York Institute of Technology in 1987.
Kristin Keehan concentrates her practice on class action and complex litigation and regulatory compliance.
The focus of her litigation practice is in the areas of construction and labor law, toxic tort, products liability, and food liability. She has experience handling all phases of litigation, from initiation of suit to jury selection.
Kristin has significant experience providing regulatory advice and conducting regulatory reviews for major food, beverage and over-the-counter drug companies. Kristin also assists with regulatory compliance reviews for marketers of medical marijuana and CBD products.
She has successfully defended clients in construction and labor law litigation and defeated claims based on alleged violations of Labor Law § 240(1). Kristin works with clients of major construction companies to address safety concerns and best practices for accident prevention and response.
Kristin graduated magna cum laude from Albany Law School, where she was a senior editor with the Albany Government Law Review and an associate editor for the Center for Judicial Process.
Richard M. Blau is a shareholder at GrayRobinson and chairman of the law firm’s Regulated Products Law Department. He leads the firm’s Medical Marijuana Team focusing on the rules and regulations that govern the production, processing, distribution, sale and dispensing of medical marijuana and related cannabis products. Blau can be reached at [email protected].
Rick Scarpello, Founding Partner and CEO of Medically Correct LLC is a food expert with a strong operations, compliance, and accounting background. He is a self-avowed serial entrepreneur full of game changing ideas.
Born and raised in a small town in Iowa, Scarpello moved to Denver, Colorado to make a name for himself. His innovative thinking and inquisitive mind drove him to develop several businesses the latest of which is Medically Correct, LLC one of the leading companies in the rapidly expanding Cannabis Industry.
Scarpello is also the founding partner of Sproutwell LLC, specializing in gluten-free sprouted grains and Alien Grains LLC, a gluten-free beer company.
Earlier in his career, Scarpello crafted the recipe for Flouish Gluten-Free Bread later partnering with Udi’s, the number one gluten-free product in it’s category. Rick’s leadership moved Udi’s and earlier Il Fornaio Bakeries into the frozen par-baked bread category, increasing the opportunity for expansion.
Rick and his wife of the last 19 years spend their free time watching their teenage daughter’s volleyball games and their 12-year old son excel at baseball.
Rick can be reached at [email protected]
RJ Falcioni, J.D., has spent the last 12 years gaining and providing expert insight into the evolving domestic and international cannabis and hemp markets. Falcioni’s experience began prior to passing the New York State Bar (2011) and came through a myriad of positions including cultivation manager of facilities in Colorado and California and several c-level positions for both plant-touching and cannabis-specific technology businesses. Falcioni serves as a trusted advisor to several of the industry’s top business accelerators and takes pride in helping founders own the journey of their business.
Currently RJ leads several projects including Outspoke.io, Outcrowd Group Consulting and ImwithRJ.com. In his free time, RJ enjoys hiking the mountains around his home in the Colorado foothills and producing concerts.
Rob Hendrix has been a resident of Ellensburg, Washington since 1990. After 29 years in the retail automotive business, the last 7 as GM at a dealership in Yakima, he opened Cannabis Central, a retail location in Washington in August of 2014 and has operated profitably and violation free since. As a result of his extensive experience and success, he founded Cannabis Consulting Nationwide and is its Founder/Owner.
Hendrix has successfully navigated the invasive rules and regulations in Washington since launch. He has been politically active, is a member of the Washington Cannabusiness Association (WACA) and a member since September 2014 and a board member since January 2016.
Hendrix understands the challenges associated with starting any business but understands better than most the “extra” stress that comes with opening a retail cannabis store including issues related to; banking, finance, security, insurance, community reaction and push back, dealing effectively with local government and law enforcement, as well as family and friend reaction.
Hendrix has been married to his wife Diane for nearly 40 years and has 3 children and 5 grandchildren. He is available to help anyone already in the business or those who are contemplating getting into cannabis retail and can be reached at:
Cannabis Central LLC/Cannabis Consulting Nationwide LLC
Robert D. Finkle is partner in the Cannabis Law practice group at Greenspoon Marder LLP. Mr. Finkle represents commercial cannabis companies throughout California at every level of the supply chain on a variety of matters including business organization, licensing and compliance, land use and real estate, commercial transactions, and civil disputes. Mr. Finkle is closely monitoring the impacts COVID-19 is having on the cannabis industry and how to prepare his clients for those changes.
Robert M. Kaitz is an associate at the Boston law firm of Davis, Malm & D’Agostine, P.C., practicing in the employment and litigation areas. Robert is a trial lawyer focusing primarily on employment and business litigation matters, as well as employment counseling. Robert represents clients in employment discrimination, wage and hour, and close corporation litigation. He also assists employers in drafting and implementing company handbooks, restrictive covenants, and severance agreements and advises employees with regard to navigating employment contracts.
Robert S. Lerman – Founder & CEO, eBottles420.com
Mr. Lerman has over 40 years of experience in packaging.
He started eBottles.com, an online catalog of bottles and closures, in 2002 together with Josh Erlanger the CTO. eBottles420.com grew out of the success of eBottles.com and has become the market leader in the supply of rigid packaging to the legal cannabis industry.
Mr. Lerman founded The Lerman Container Corporation, a distributor of bottles and packaging components in 1979, and Custom Bottle, Inc. a manufacturer of plastic bottles in 1983.
Lerman Container and Custom Bottle grew to over 200 employees under his stewardship and both companies were sold to the management in 2006. Lerman Container was subsequently sold to Berlin Packaging, while Custom Bottle is still in operation today as CKS Packaging.
Mr. Lerman has been active in various industry associations in the distribution and manufacturing segments of the industry. He is a past President of the Packaging Association of Distributors and Manufacturers and has served on the Advisory Board of Packaging Technology Magazine. He was a member of the National Association of Container Distributors and the Young Presidents Organization.
Robert J. Munnelly, Jr. is a shareholder at the Boston law firm of Davis, Malm & D’Agostine, P.C., practicing in the Regulatory and Administrative Law area. He represents clients in all stages of the Massachusetts adult-use cannabis licensing process and is co-author of “Massachusetts Marijuana Regulatory Scheme Takes Shape,” published by Law360 in January 2018 as one of the first comprehensive assessments of the emerging Massachusetts cannabis licensing schemes. Rob’s data security and information privacy practice focuses on advising and working with companies to develop written plans, improve security-related policies, support compliance training, and respond to potential security breaches. He also has substantial experience working with companies in other regulated industries and is a frequent panelist at litigation administrative agency, industry, and information security events.
Robert Roche is a serial entrepreneur, philanthropist, and civic leader. He is the co-founder of Green Rock Hemp Holdings, a vertically integrated solutions provider to the industrial hemp community. He has founded more than 50 businesses across of variety of sectors, including direct marketing/consumer products, media, hospitality, real estate, financial, energy, and logistics. He has extensive business and real estate interests in the United States, including Green Rock Hemp Holdings, Gallup Land Partners, Gallup Energy Logistics Park, Sand Hollow Resort, and Redhorse Performance. Internationally, he is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Oak Lawn Marketing, Acorn International, and Cachet Hotels & Resorts.
Along with his successful business ventures, Roche is an engaged civic leader and passionate philanthropist who supports nonprofit organizations focused on education, international relations, and sustainability.
Robert W. Selna is a partner with law firm Wendel Rosen LLP in Oakland, Calif. Selna chairs the firm’s Cannabis practice group, and he frequently writes and speaks on related issues. He may be reached at [email protected].
Roberta F. King is the founder of Canna Communication, a Michigan-based integrated communication firm. Clients include legal practices, provisioning centers and cannabis growers. Prior to founding Canna Communication, she held executive level communication positions in hospital healthcare, an art museum and community philanthropy. She can be reached [email protected]
Roy Bingham is a Harvard MBA and former McKinsey consultant, a banker, a marketing executive and a serial entrepreneur. He grew up in the UK, was a banker/financier in London, then moved to the USA in 1993. He has been a partner in Health Business Partners, Health Strategy Consulting and Nutrition Business Journal – respectively, the leading M&A advisory, consulting and business news service for the natural product Industry. He hosted conferences such as The NBJ Summit, has spoken at hundreds of events, appeared on national TV and authored many articles.Roy started BDS Analytics after recognizing that the emerging cannabis industry lacked the kind of sophisticated, sales-based data that is both commonplace and essential in other, more established industries. Among his prior businesses, Bingham had been both an early investor in SPINS – a very successful data analytics company for the natural products industry and later an expert user of their data as a senior sales and marketing executive in natural products.
Ruben Espinosa is a member of Wilson Elser’s Cannabis Law practice, advising medical professionals, growers, processors, insurers, distributors and vendors within the legalized cannabis industry as well as organizations outside the industry impacted by the rapidly evolving state and federal regulatory landscape. Ruben can be reached at: [email protected]
Ruben Honig is the executive director of the Los Angeles Cannabis Task Force. A founder and principal at Ceres Strategies, Honig specializes in local licensing and governmental affairs throughout the state of California, and was a driving force behind the creation and passage of Measure M. A Massachusetts native and medical cannabis patient, Honig previously operated a successful national copywriting business and spent three years in sports and brand management. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Emory University.
Ryan Ball is market data analyst for botaniCo and specializes in developing programs to identify, engage and convert high-value referral sources for post-acute health care companies by analyzing targeted claims data across the country. For more information about how data can be utilized by a medical cannabis company to find new growth opportunities, please contact Ryan @ [email protected].
Ryan Cauley is an associate in Much’s Health Care practice, where he leverages his experience working both in-house and in private practice to advise health care clients on their critical compliance, regulatory, and operational needs. Ryan takes a pragmatic approach to counseling clients throughout the health care industry and offers tailored solutions based on each client’s specific needs and goals.
Thoughtful Brands, Inc. CEO Ryan Dean Hoggan brings more than 18 years of leadership, global business development and entrepreneurship experience in the health equipment, medical devices and natural health products sectors. Early in his career, Ryan took on a leadership role in, HOGGAN Health Industries, where he led operations, business development and marketing efforts. After identifying an untapped niche in the market, he founded Hoggan Medical where he went on to launch over 100 health, fitness and medical device products and negotiated contracts with big and small customers including the Mayo Clinic, Boeing, Daimler AG and the Los Angeles Lakers (NBA). In 2014, Ryan discovered the power of CBD and essential oils — both personally and professionally — after a personal health scare prompted him to research and subsequently try holistic products to improve his health. He went on to co-found several natural health products in the CBD sector. As CEO of Thoughtful Brands Inc. (formerly Mota Ventures), Ryan brings his extensive experience to further expand the company as a global eCommerce leader in the natural health products sector, including CBD and psychedelic medicine. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) from Westminster College, an MBA from The University of Arizona and a Master of Global Management (MGM) from the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University.
Sam Fensterstock is the senior vice president of business development at AG Adjustments, a provider of third party commercial collection services. Fensterstock has spent his entire business career as an entrepreneur and senior executive in the commercial credit and collection space. Has been a founder and played a key role in the dynamic growth of several leading niche commercial credit risk management companies and is considered an expert in the order to cash and credit and collection process.
Prior to joining AG Adjustments, Fensterstock was the director of business development at PredictiveMetrics a statistical-based credit and collection scoring and modeling company that he helped grow and sell to SunGard (FIS) in 2011. Fensterstock can be reached at [email protected] or 631-719-8096.
Sarah Lee Gossett Parrish (www.sarahleegossettparrish.com) is a third-generation attorney who maintains a business litigation practice with an emphasis in Oklahoma’s cannabis industry. She is also admitted to practice in Texas. Sarah Lee represents dispensaries, growers, processors, and ancillary businesses within the cannabis space.
The National Law Journal recently named Sarah Lee one of its 2019 Cannabis Trailblazers. Sarah Lee has achieved Martindale-Hubbell’s highest AV rating for both peer and judicial review and is a member of Lawyers of Distinction for Excellence in Cannabis Law. Sarah Lee was named one of the Women Leaders in the Law by The American Lawyer Magazine in 2019 and 2020 for her leadership in Oklahoma’s medical marijuana industry. She is a member of the American Bar Association, Federal Bar Association, International Cannabis Bar Association, National Cannabis Industry Association, NORML, the Oklahoma Cannabis Industry Association, and Oklahoma Women Cann.
Sarah Lee is admitted to practice in all state and federal district courts in Oklahoma; all state courts in Texas; the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit; and the United States Supreme Court. She received her B.A. in Letters from the University of Oklahoma, graduating with the Silver Leitzeiser Award for Outstanding Senior, Phi Beta Kappa, and Summa Cum Laude. While chairing the Oklahoma Governor’s Commission on the Status of Women, Sarah Lee was instrumental in starting the Oklahoma Women’s Hall of Fame. She recently organized and moderated Cannabis POTpourri, a sold out continuing legal education course and The Oklahoma Bar Association’s first full day of cannabis education for Oklahoma attorneys, held during the Bar’s 2019 Annual Convention.
Often interviewed in print and digital media, Sarah Lee has been quoted in Marijuana Business Daily, Los Angeles Times, The Denver Post, The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, and online publications of ABC News, Newsmax, InStyle, Food and Wine, The Leaf, Leafbuyer.com, Cannabis Tech, CPA Practice Advisor, Cooking Light, and Health.com magazines. She has been a guest on numerous radio shows, including Cannabis A to Z with Frankie Boyer, iHeart Radio, Andy Hooser The Voice of Reason, The Mike Siegel Show, the Heidi Selexa Show, and KTOK. Her legal thriller took second place in the New York LawJournal’s 2006 Fiction Writing Contest, and she has shown her fine art photography at Art SanDiego and during Miami’s Art Basel week at Spectrum Miami. Sarah Lee is a monthly columnist for Herb-Age, an Oklahoma cannabis magazine, and has spoken at cannabis events, including CannaCon I and CannaCon II in Oklahoma City.
Scott Berman joined the Panther Opportunity Fund (“Panther”), a vintage 2017 cannabis focused venture capital fund with a complementary and diverse set of 14 portfolio companies, in 2017 as a Principal and member of the investment committee. Scott first entered the cannabis space in 2015 when he co-founded the Cannabis Rep Network (merged into Calyx Distribution) to provide sales & distribution for brands in California. Prior to Calyx, Scott co-founded a data-driven digital ad agency called Audience Partners in 2007, targeting addressable audiences for the political and healthcare industries. Scott has a degree from the University of Maryland and began his career in a family Jewelry manufacturing business based in Philadelphia. From 1988 to present, Scott has worked for the Philadelphia 76ers, as head statistician for all home games.
Scott Rabinowitz, Founder & Marketing Compliance Specialist at Buoyancy Digital, and GreenAdGuide.com in Colorado, is one of few hands-on experts in age-restricted online advertising with over 20 years of experience working with high-risk industries, effectively spending more than $300m on compliant digital advertising on behalf of clients. He maintains an active IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) Digital Media Sales Certification and is an accredited member of the Google Partners and Microsoft Advertising Partners programs, and the Cannabis Marketing Association. Scott is also a regular conference speaker at the USCC Expo conferences in Miami and Phoenix.
Scott L. Selinger is a government policy advisor at Dykema whose practice is built on an extensive career in government relations and public service. He counsels clients in the cannabis space on various licensing and regulatory issues within Illinois.
Seth is president of TEQ Analytical, has 12 years experience managing TEQ Analytical Labs’ sister laboratory, Industrial Laboratories. Seth is currently President of Industrial Laboratories which is an ISO 17025 accredited facility. Seth has extensive experience in practical application of wet production laboratory management. He holds a B.A. in International Economics from The George Washington University.
Shar Puskala is the Director of Program Management at Berlin Packaging, a worldwide leader in the packaging industry. With deep experience in product design and the management of complex engineering projects, Shar has most notably lent her insights to leading design and commercialization of various Class I and Class II medical devices. Shar can be reached directly at: [email protected]
Shawna Seldon McGregor is the founder of Maverick Public Relations. She established Maverick PR in 2018 after two decades at PR agencies in New York City and Denver. McGregor has deep experience representing a multitude of sectors including biotech, sustainable technologies, renewable energy, associations, the regulated cannabis industry and media companies. McGregor is a member of PRSA, where she has earned a certificate in Reputation Management. She’s also a member of NIRI, NCIA and Denver Press Club. She was named a top PR pro by Civilized (January 2018), Cannabis Industry Journal (December 2017) and MG magazine (June 2017). In 2016, she accepted the Cannabist Award for best agency for work in the cannabis industry. For more information, contact [email protected]
I connect, teach, lead, and inspire entrepreneurs, startups, and rapidly growing companies around the world. I am the CEO of Kalogia, a global network that connects cannabis professionals and businesses and the founder and CEO of LIV Advisors, a leadership training company. I have spoken about cannabis business on National Public Radio (NPR); have lectured on the US cannabis economy in Prague and Costa Rica, created and led the Cannabis Women’s Empowerment Summit, and have given multiple talks at industry events.
My expertise is in business strategy, finance, risk management, and business process improvement. I have have improved business operations for hundreds of clients around the world. With a background in Big 4 public accounting and international consulting for Fortune 500 companies, I’ve lived and worked in Spain and France and has assisted clients throughout Latin America, Western and Northern Europe, and the Asia Pacific region.
J Smoke Wallin is CEO of Vertical Wellness, the leading hemp-based CBD company, and President of multi-state cannabis operator Vertical Companies. He joined the cannabis movement after a successful career in the beer, wine and spirits industry and seeing his US Veteran friends suffer from a lack of access. Smoke served as Chairman & President of the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA).
The newly minted Best Accountant winner at the 2018 California Cannabis Awards, Mrs. Luna is the Founder and CEO of Aviva Spectrum, a leading cannabis accounting firm. She has more than 18 years of accounting and compliance experience with a polished Big 4 background.
Selected as an appointee for the Securities Exchange Commissions’ Advisory Committee on Smaller & Emerging Growth Companies, Mrs. Luna has served as an expert witness and writes about a variety of topics covering accounting, cannabis regulations and tax compliance.
Spencer Bunn has been working as an Arizona CPA for 11 years. Since early 2014, Spencer has worked with marijuana dispensary clients on issues such as IRS audits and collection activities, Section 280E compliance, and entity structure. Spencer can be reached at [email protected]
Spencer Mahoney is a second-generation employee at CCIG, working as a trusted Commercial Insurance Advisor. Spencer began his career as a Middle Market Underwriter in Boston, where developed his underwriting skills.
Spencer has operated in the Cannabis, Technology and Healthcare industries for nearly a decade. He has experience managing Cyber Liability, Professional Liability and Management Liability programs for middle market clientele.
Spencer is a board member of the Insurance Charitable Foundation (IIFC), NephCure Colorado and Colorado Uplift.
A business graduate of the University of Arizona, Spencer holds a professional industry designation as a Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC). Spencer can be reached at [email protected]
Steve is the founder and President of C³ and Regulatory Affairs Associates [RAA] – a worldwide leader in getting medical devices and drugs approved by FDA and in other countries.
A forensic toxicologist and lawyer, Steve has more than 40 years experience as a regulatory professional. Steve began his career at the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in New York, developing the first reliable drug screening tests for many drugs, and launching the Drug Screening industry. He then developed the drug methadone, getting FDA approval and managing that start-up company.
He is noted for his professionalism, knowledge and ability to navigate successfully in the complex regulatory world of medical device and drug approval. And his business sense frequently allows clients to realize hidden opportunities in this highly regulated work environment.
Steve Birkmeier is the Vice President of Sales and Business Development for Arteco. He is responsible for sales operations for North America, Latin America, Africa and Australia. He began working with Arteco in 2005 and has played an integral role in founding and developing the Arteco US Division. While at Arteco, he has held key roles in marketing, sales and operations. Steve holds an MBA in Marketing and Entrepreneurial Studies from the Saint Louis University.
Leading the sales team at BioTrackTHC, Steve Flaks has helped to establish the company as a leading cannabis software provider. Mr. Flaks has been featured in a variety of industry panels and publications as a subject matter expert surrounding licensed cannabis operations including dispensary SOP’s and a variety of custom workflows, cannabis software, point-of-sale and seed-to-sale compliance.
LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/steveflaks/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/SteveAtBioTrack
About the Author:
Steve Owens, MBA, is the CEO and Founder of Adherence Compliance and is considered a thought leader in regulatory and financial marijuana compliance. He has written extensively in the areas of operational compliance and has more than four (4) years of marijuana regulatory and financial compliance expertise. Contact 720-616-3900 or visit www.adherence-corp.com for more information.
2019 National Law Journal “Finance, Banking, & Capital Markets Trailblazer” award winner, Steve Schain chairs global cannabis law firm Hoban Law Group’s PA and New Jersey practice and chairs its Financial Services Group. Steve represents entities, governments and individuals in litigation, regulation, compliance, preparing and submitting license applications and entity formation, and drafting legislation. Steve can be reached at [email protected].
Sundie Seefried is presently the CEO/President of Partner Colorado Credit Union & Safe Harbor Private Banking, located in Denver Colorado. She has served in the Credit Union industry since 1983 and as CEO since 2001. She holds a Bachelors in Business Management from the University of Maryland and an MBA in Finance from Regis University.
Instead of heading into retirement at the end of 2014, she designed a full scope Cannabis Banking Program that has withstood the scrutiny of 8 Federal and State exams and has realized great success in terms of removing cash from the communities; thus, making the state safer for the public as well as aiding Federal and local law enforcement. She now banks approximately $100 million per month in cannabis funds; resulting in more than a 35% market share of the Colorado cannabis industry that includes both licensed cannabis and ancillary businesses serving the industry.
To assist other financial institutions interested in serving this emerging market, she authored the book ‘Navigating Safe Harbor – Cannabis Banking in Uncertain Times’ in 2016, which is available at SafeHarborPrivateBanking.com or Amazon.com. She regularly provides cannabis banking education to legislators, regulators and financial institutions and has established herself as an expert on the topic; having her program featured in the NY Times Magazine this past January. To take the Safe Harbor program to the national level and help bring banking to the cannabis industry in other states, she launched a new company in 2017 owned by Partner Colorado Credit Union and will have 4 additional financial institutions operating the Safe Harbor Program by year end.
Susan Gunelius is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc. (KeySplashCreative.com), a marketing communications company established in 2008 offering, copywriting, content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, and SEO services. Susan has been working with clients in the cannabis industry since 2015. She spent the first half of her 27-year marketing career directing marketing programs for AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more as well as businesses of all sizes around the world. Susan has written 11 marketing-related books, including the highly popular Content Marketing for Dummies, 30-Minute Social Media Marketing, Kick-ass Copywriting in 10 Easy Steps, and The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing. She is also a Certified Career and Business Coach and Founder and Editor in Chief of Women on Business (WomenOnBusiness.com), an award-winning blog for business women. Susan holds a B.S. in marketing and an M.B.A in management and strategy.
Susan Hollander is a partner in Venable’s Intellectual Property Litigation Group, with more than 25 years of experience in intellectual property litigation and counseling. She has significant experience with trademark, copyright, unfair competition, trade dress, and false advertising cases. She helps high-profile and leading brand-name clients in the technology, Internet, retail, consumer products, entertainment, finance, and healthcare industries prevent the genericism and dilution of their brands and has been responsible for several precedent-setting trademark decisions and jury verdicts.
Hollander frequently appears before the Patent and Trademark Office and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, as well as district and appellate courts throughout the United States. She also manages the international trademark portfolios for a diverse range of clients in various industries and develops comprehensive enforcement efforts in protecting and policing intellectual property rights. Additionally, she has experience overseeing trademark surveys and negotiating settlement and license agreements.
Paul Sousa is an associate in Venable’s Intellectual Property Group in San Francisco, focusing on trademarks and intellectual property matters. He advises clients on domestic and international clearance, cease and desist matters, UDRP complaints, DMCA takedowns, dispute resolution, and portfolio management. He also represents clients in trademark disputes before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board as well as federal district court.
In addition, Sousa has federal and state court intellectual property litigation experience, including pre-filing investigation, motion practice, discovery, depositions, trial preparation and settlement. Sousa’s trademark and intellectual property litigation clients have included domestic and international corporate clients across a range of industries, including consumer electronics, software, finance, food and beverage, and fitness.
Tamsin R. Kaplan is a shareholder at the Boston law firm of Davis, Malm & D’Agostine, P.C., practicing in the business, employment, and litigation areas. She has extensive experience representing businesses, executives, and other high level professionals on a full range of employment-relates issues, including recruitment, hiring, discrimination, negotiation of employment agreements, breach of contract, non-competes, discipline, termination, and reductions in force. Tamsin regularly litigates business and employment cases in federal and state courts and agencies. She frequently conducts workplace investigations and trainings on diversity, harassment, and other topics. Tamsin has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America and Chambers USA, and is listed as a Massachusetts Super Lawyer.
Taneeshia Thomas is a 35 year old African American from Harvey, Illinois. She is currently pursuing her degree in in Business and Communications from South Southern College and has a background in Finance.She and her husband Chris Thomas have been together for 10 years. They started dating when Chris was in prison and have been together ever since. The Thomas’ can be reached at [email protected].
Tanya Hoke has a decade of experience managing investigative due diligence for clients in a range of industries, including pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, financial services, and consulting.
She has led hundreds of due diligence investigations into management teams, helping clients to identify business, legal, and reputational risks prior to proceeding with high-value investments. Prior to founding Belem Group and Galen Diligence, she was a senior consultant in corporate investigations at Control Risks Group. Hoke is a certified fraud examiner and a licensed private investigator in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Swarthmore College and a Master of International Business degree from the Fletcher School at Tufts University.
Caroline Lambert is a second-year law student at Boston University School of Law pursuing a J.D. with a concentration in international law. Bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, in interdisciplinary studies and political science. Extensive knowledge and research experience within the fields of regional organizations and conflict management. Conference presentations include International Studies Association National Conference (2016) and International Studies Association Northeast Regional Conference (2015)
Tate Behning, VP of Marketing, leads Terrapin’s retail and wholesale branding and marketing efforts. A marketing and sales expert with more than 18 years of experience building and growing large and small brands locally and internationally. Most recently, Tate was a Marketing Consultant, helping a large CPG brand launch new products and brands in the natural products and outdoors industries. Prior to that he led the nation’s largest pop-up retailer through a major organization transition from a wholesaler to a retailer. He started his career doing marketing and strategy in the event management industry where he eventually led a prestigious event management firm. He has an MBA from the University of Colorado.
As the senior sales executive with BioTrackTHC, Taylor Jones has partnered with hundreds of licensed cannabis operators across the full-vertical cannabis supply chain in 30+ states and 4+ countries.
Thomas M Smith Chief Innovator CannaScore.
Smith has 33+ years experience in the insurance industry, risk management and government regulatory compliance. His experience includes owning and head of Sales and Marketing of a Commercial Insurance Brokerage and was owner and publisher of an industry leading electronic regulatory compliance suite of products, which included Federal/State OSHA, EPA and DOT rules, directives and interpretations. Most publications were a result of agreements with the regulatory organization where Smith’s company actually maintained regulations for those agencies and selling subscriptions to these electronic regulation products to the end users who had to comply with those regulations.
Smith’s business development activities also included designing an Internet site for US Department of Transportation, a HAZMAT compliance software product for UPS, assisting two international organizations to publish their regulations electronically.
Smith completed several insurance related schools and was part of the initial startup of the XML committee for ACCORD, an insurance industry organization that provides forms design and management systems for the industry. He also started and sold a company that market and sold medical supplies and products to Government Agencies.
Tim Cullen, CEO of Colorado Harvest Company, a vertically integrated enterprise that grows and sells its own natural cannabis, is also a member of the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s newly formed Private Advisory Committee to help cannabis producers gain insight into safe cultivation practices. The project taps into Cullen’s expertise as an educator and expert cannabis grower. Earlier in 2016, the Colorado Department of Agriculture returned a perfect score on all 80 tests of Colorado Harvest Company cannabis samples taken between August 2015 and January 2016.
Cullen, who took a sabbatical after 10 years of teaching high school biology to start a marijuana business, oversees the production of more than 700 pounds of high quality natural cannabis.
Tim Sutton is a Senior Security Consultant and Cannabis Security Practice Leader at Guidepost Solutions. He has more than 30 years of security experience. His expertise includes operational security management, program development, loss prevention, physical security, risk assessments, and technical security systems design and implementation. He has worked with clients in diverse sectors including medicinal and adult-use cannabis, healthcare, retail, government, manufacturing, and multi-use properties. Tim is a Director on the ASIS International Professional Standards Board, and a member of the ASTM International D37 Committee on Cannabis Standards.
Sutton has worked as director of security for Greenhouse Group and its Grassroots and Herbology banners, responsible for enterprise security risk management in all markets. Sutton has authored Master Security, Emergency Action and Fleet Safety Plans along with security training and operations manuals. He also conducted new hire background investigations and security advances at dispensaries.
Prior to Greenhouse, he worked as the director of security for Revolution Enterprises with similar security responsibilities.
Sutton has spoken at a number of cannabis industry events covering security subject matter, including the 2018 Global Security Exchange where he addressed “Securing the Medical Cannabis Industry from Seed to Sale.” He first entered the cannabis industry as a security consultant when he authored security content for the extremely competitive Illinois permit application process winning two cultivation permits and three dispensary permits. After winning five IL permits, Mr. Sutton provided security consulting services and authored winning security content for applications and operations in multiple states.
In addition to operational security director roles within the cannabis industry, Mr. Sutton has worked as a hospital security director, manufacturing facility security coordinator, and retail director of loss prevention and security. He held several positions within a security integrator operation including account executive, senior systems engineer, and licensee in charge.
Tom Santanna is the president of Tom Santanna Strategic Consulting (TSSC) a Harrisburg, Pennsylvania based government relations firm. Santanna, a well known figure in the halls of the Capitol, is renowned for his keen political insights, and his tireless efforts in representing his clients in front of the state legislature. TSSC is the only Harrisburg-based firm specializing in medical cannabis. Tom Santanna can be contacted at [email protected]
Tony Gallo is the Managing Partner for Sapphire Risk Advisory Group www.sapphirerisk.com with over 30 years in the Loss Prevention, Audit, Safety, and Risk/Emergency Management fields. He is a published author on cannabis security and has spoken at numerous cannabis business conferences across the country. Tony is considered one of the leading authorities on cannabis security programs.
Tracy A. Gallegos is a corporate partner at international law firm Duane Morris LLP. Tracy is also a team lead of the firm’s Cannabis Industry Group and has provided legal services to the cannabis industry since 2010, representing licensed retailers, cultivators, distributors, manufacturers and businesses providing ancillary services thereto. She can be reached at [email protected]
Travis Steffen, CEO of GrowFlow and bestselling author of Viral Hero, is a serial entrepreneur with 7 successful exits to his name. With expertise in building and leading teams, raising capital, recruiting and hiring, and growth strategies, Travis is passionate about startups, software and technology. Travis joined GrowFlow as CEO in February of 2019, and has committed to building GrowFlow into the de facto market leader in cannabis software.
Trent Overholt is the CEO of 14th Round, a design and technology company building the best brands in cannabis. 14th Round offers integrated product development, product design, branding and manufacturing plus unrivaled experience in tuning the hardware to each brand’s unique consumable, to functionally elevate the brand while aesthetically differentiating the form factor.
Trent’s specialty is launching and developing successful businesses. As an operating exec, he combines strategy, team building and organizational design to drive clarity and alignment.
Tucker Herndon is the managing partner of Burr & Forman’s Nashville office and the practice group leader for the Agricultural Funding and Lending Group. His practice focuses on commercial lending and creditors’ rights, representing financial institutions and borrowers in loan documentation, foreclosures, and loan and real estate transactions. He can be reached at [email protected].
Vee Popat a data-driven, Google Analytics & Ads certified digital marketing professional with 21 years of strategic, hands-on experience. He’s the founder of 2 unique digital marketing agencies specializing in SEO, conversion rate optimization (CRO), digital advertising, website development, and perpetual data-driven results for his clients.
His cannabis marketing agency, ColaDigital.ca, specializes in digital marketing & SEO solutions for cannabis companies, marijuana dispensaries, and other ancillary businesses.
His brother agency, VPDM Digital Marketing, specializes in data-driven, results-oriented digital marketing solutions and lead generation for real estate agents, financial services, and other local services businesses.
Vee and his cannabis marketing team provide fully managed digital marketing services and specialize in website development, search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, and Google advertising. Vee can be reached at [email protected]
Wendy Rall is a professional graphic designer with over 30 years experience. After graduating from The Art Institute of Philadelphia, she worked with east coast design firms for 20 years. In 2002, she moved to Mexico and cofounded Planeta Surf magazine. Now based in California Wendy owns and operates Budd Branding, a boutique design studio. www.buddbranding.com
As co-chair of Bradley’s Cannabis Industry team, Whitt Steineker represents clients in a wide range of cannabis issues. In addition to providing a full suite of legal services to cannabis companies, Whitt and the Cannabis Industry team advise non-cannabis clients – from banks to commercial real estate companies to insurance companies and high net worth individuals – on best practices for doing business with cannabis companies. Whitt can be reached at [email protected]
William Simpson III, is the CEO and owner of the Chalice Farms brand. Chalice Farms is a vertically integrated producer, processor and retailer based in Portland, OR and currently serving medical patients and recreational users as of Oct. 1, 2015.
Mr. Venegas is Chairman and CEO of Helix TCS, Inc. (OTCQB: HLIX), a business services provider focused on technology, compliance and security solutions for the cannabis industry. He oversees the Company’s M&A strategy and spearheads long-term planning and growth initiatives.
Prior to joining Helix TCS, Mr. Venegas led Spruce Investment Advisors’ Strategic Advisory Group, closing a portfolio with a net asset value (NAV) of $500 million. He was the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Scimitar, a Dubai-based private equity and venture firm. He steered deal origination, negotiations and capital raising, along with performing analyses at the macroeconomic and geopolitical levels to lead investments across four continents and multiple industries.