Allen St. Pierre is vice president for Communications and Public Advocacy at FreedomLeaf. He served in leadership and as executive director of NORML/NORML Foundation in Washington, D.C. from 1991 to 2016.
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.
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.
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.
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 fifteen 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 fulltime to Apeks Supercritical. Today, the company has 400+ equipment installations in more than 20 states. In 2015, Apeks achieved $12 million in revenue.
The inventor of five patents, including the Valveless Expansion Technology (prevents clogging of product), 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.
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 [email protected]_BioTrackTHC or connect with him on LinkedIn.
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.
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
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] .
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]
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.
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.
Cole Morgan is corporate and commercial real estate attorney. He has assisted numerous cannabis and non-cannabis clients in the drafting of leases and purchase and sale agreements in the Orange County and Los Angeles areas. He can be contacted through his email: [email protected]
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.
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.
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 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.
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]
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 [email protected]
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]
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.
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.
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.
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.
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]
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.
Since joining Harris Bricken in 2010, Hilary Bricken has earned a reputation as a fearless advocate for local businesses. Hilary’s clients—start-ups, entrepreneurs, and companies in all stages of development- reflect the diversity and ingenuity of the west coast’s business climate.
The Puget Sound Business Journal named Bricken as one of seven deal makers of the year for 2013. In 2015, she was named to the Puget Sound Business Journal’s top list of “40 Under 40” businesspeople for the Puget Sound region. In 2017, the American Bar Association (ABA) named Bricken one of the top 40 young lawyers nationwide.
Bricken also authors a weekly column for Above the Law, which features content on marijuana policy and regulation.
From MSNBC to CNN, Fox News, and The New York Times, major media outlets have turned to Bricken for her on-the-ground perspective on emerging business law. She is also an aggressive litigator, having argued and won contentious cases in Superior and District court. She regularly appears before City Councils and community forums, where she advocates tirelessly for the local businesses she represents.
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.
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 is a business associate.
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 has been practicing law in Washington DC since 2010. He started his career at a boutique firm specializing in business immigration involving O-1, L-1, and EB-5 visas. In 2011 he began the Law Office of Jason Klein where he began working with early stage applicants for Washington DC's medical marijuana program. Since then, Mr. Klein has advised direct and ancillary cannabis businesses and investors on a range of legal issues including choice of entity, formation, commercial contracts, administrative, licensing, and compliance in tightly regulated markets. Mr. Klein also built a separate real estate and foreclosure practice area representing credit union clients holding non-performing residential loans in the District of Columbia.
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).
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]
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).
John MacKay earned a B.A. in Chemistry from St. Lawrence University, and Ph.D. from the University of Vermont in chemistry focused on the synthesis for cancer fighting molecules using a cyclic-phosphazene backbone. After positions teaching organic, biochemistry and analytical courses, at Davidson College, Lyndon State College and UVM as well as supervising grant based funded student research projects, John MacKay joined Waters Corporation in July, 1983. His career has included many roles in product development and now heads up the newly formed Strategic Technology team for the Americas Business Operations. He is widely recognized as scientific expert in application of supercritical fluid for extraction and chromatography across a wide range of application spaces including the botanical space.
John A. MacKay, Ph.D.
Senior Director, Strategic Technology
[T] +1 508 482 2104
[F] +1 508 482 2245
[M]+1 508 736 2104
[E] [email protected]
34 Maple Street
Milford MA 01757
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Mark Goldfogel is a self-confessed nerd who published software at the age of 17. A summa cum marketing graduate, he held management positions at John Deere Corporation and ADP before opening a technology consulting company in Telluride, Colorado. Mark founded MJ Freeway, the cannabis industry’s first “Seed to Sale” point of sale system and then went on to become CEO and co-founder of C4EverSystems, the industry’s first cash management system. Mark currently is EVP Industry Relations for The Fourth Corner Credit Union, the first state chartered institution whose field of membership includes people and businesses with a common interest in cannabis and hemp. The credit union is currently in a law suit demanding equal access to the payment system for cannabis supporters. Mark consults with industry startups on marketing, compliance, branding and financial matters. He can be reached at www.IWorkForCannabis.com.
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 (Matt) Karnes has over 20 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 sell-side 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.
In his most recent role, Matt was 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.
GreenWave Advisors, LLC is based in New York City.
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.
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.
Michelle Drolet is the founder and CEO of Towerwall, a provider of data security services and compliance for cannabis businesses. She runs the annual Information Security Summit hosted by Mass Bay Community College, and is a columnist for Network World’s “Infosec at your Service” blog.
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.
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.
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.
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]
Patricia Rosi is CEO of the Wellness Connection of Maine, the state’s largest group of medical marijuana dispensaries. Wellness Connection operates four state-licensed dispensaries and one growing facility.
On a trip to Bamako, Africa to visit family in 2011, she determined she needed to find a higher meaning in her life. Motivated by a newfound commitment to make a positive difference in the lives of others, she joined the Board of Directors of the Wellness Connection. From there, she advanced to VP of marketing, then to Chief Operating Officer and finally to her current position as CEO.
In four short years under her leadership, Wellness Connection’s staff has grown from 20 to 78 employees and the patient base has increased tenfold. As the largest medical marijuana dispensary group in Maine, Wellness Connection is currently serving over 12,000 qualified patients a year. Rosi has successfully expanded all lines of business and services available through the group in rapidly changing regulatory environment.
Rosi is a passionate and result-oriented executive with vast global experience in the areas of marketing, communications and branding. A visionary leader who fuses creative, commercial and corporate capital to achieve award-winning results, she has established herself as a business catalyst and architect of change.
From 2001 to 2012 she served as the Chief Creative Officer at Pierce Promotions in Portland, a leading US experiential agency with offices in North America and Europe. Utilizing her creative expertise in branding, brainstorming and origination of insight-driven concepts, she led the evolution of Pierce from an independent agency to a cosmopolitan collective of agencies, expanding a 35-employee Maine agency into a 200 plus-employee multi-million dollar global powerhouse, part of Omnicom.
Born in Paris, France, she has been living in Maine since 1999 with her husband and their two daughters. Rosi is an avid practitioner of martial arts. She and her husband are dedicated gardeners and own a vicarage in Burgundy, France that they have completely refurbished.
In addition to her outstanding work in the medical marijuana field, she is a member of the Board of Directors of the Center for Grieving Children, serving as the Design Chair for their annual dinner and gala.
Paul Armentano is the Deputy Director of NORML — the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (http://www.norml.org), and he is an advisor for Freedom Leaf Inc (http://www.freedomleaf.com).
He is the co-author of the book, Marijuana Is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink?, The Citizen’s Guide to State-By-State Marijuana Laws (Chelsea Green, 2013) and the author of the book, The Citizen’s Guide to State-By-State Marijuana Laws (https://www.whitman.com/store/Inventory/Detail/The-Citizens-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]
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.
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 www.cenedella.de.
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.
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.
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]
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 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.
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. Sam can be reached at [email protected] or 631-719-8096.
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.
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.
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.
Harnessing 20+ years of litigation experience and nationally recognized financial services expertise, Steve practices marijuana law through national cannabis law firm Hoban Law Group. With 12 offices and 32 lawyers, Hoban Law Group is the only practice 100% devoted to cannabis and hemp law.
Admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Steve represents entities, governments and individuals in choosing a structure, preparing and submitting license application, regulation, compliance and litigation, and drafting legislation. Steve received an "AV" highest rating of excellence from Martindale Hubbell and serves as a court appointed judge pro tempore and arbitrator.
A frequent Pennsylvania Bar Institute and National Bar Institute author and lecturer on topics including marijuana law and business, finance services, commercial litigation and ethics, Steve earned his B.A. degree from Pennsylvania State University and his J.D. degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, where he served as an Law Review editor and graduated with honors.
Steve can be reached at [email protected]
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.
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 Senior Director of 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 in cannabis and retail security, armed robberies and burglary investigations. Tony was named the “The Most Influential Person in the Southwest Cannabis Industry” for 2015.
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
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.