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.
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.
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.
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 Kerrigan, Founder and Chief Analyst at GreensData, is veteran market research and retail analyst with a career spent in various research, sales and marketing roles across the vendor, retailer and third-party support landscape. In addition to experience in the cannabis industry, he has worked in the CPG/FMCG and Sporting Goods industries. When not delivering key insights, Andy spends time with his wife Lily and their two children. [email protected]
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.
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.
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 Delaurd 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. Ausra’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.
Delaurd 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.
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]
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.
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]
Cole Morgan is corporate and commercial real estate attorney. He has closed many cannabis corporate and real estate transactions, including, property acquisition, leasing, joint venture agreements that structure duties and responsibilities and allocate costs and profits, corporate reorganization, structuring and acquiring investment, and many other transactional matters. 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 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.
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. 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.
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.
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
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 is the CEO of Strimo, a software company focused on empowering serious cannabis operators to manage business performance by offering best-in-class proven tools to improve data collection, streamline efficiencies and manage growth, combining accounting, manufacturing tracking and costing, point of sale and compliance.
He is co-founder of Wellness Connection of Maine, the state’s largest group of medical marijuana dispensaries. Over the past decade, Jacques has played roles as founder, operator and advisor for several different marijuana companies throughout the United States. While working on these projects, he realized the need for a technology solution that would allow business owners and stakeholders to better manage their business performance, monitor costs and margins, seize their current market opportunity and be in full compliance with regulatory authorities.
Jacques can be reached at [email protected] or 207-200-8586
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.
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 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, ResponsiTech Co-Founder & CEO, brings over two decades of 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 worked with First Amendment, Internet Security, and Privacy attorneys and international law enforcement to establish online child protection policies. Joan can be reached at [email protected].
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 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 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.
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.
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].
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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]
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]
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 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]
As vice president, Maureen Ryan leads business development at Kukuza Associates. She spearheaded Kukuza’s parent company’s (RoseRyan) 2014 entrance into the cannabis marketplace and developed its finance solution to address the common pain points across cannabis companies. Before joining RoseRyan in 2000, Maureen worked in a variety of roles with major corporations, and she holds a BS in aeronautics and an MBA from San Diego State University. Contact her at [email protected] and visit www.kukuzaassociates.com to learn more.
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.
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 Ge
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 S. Richardson is the CEO/President of Summit Peak Credit, LLC. based in Golden Colorado. Michael is a professional with a distinguished history of directing teams in the mortgage-related industry toward excellence in overreaching goals, with the last 3 years focused exclusively on the Cannabis Industry. Michael has found consistent success through comprehensive hands-on experience, combined with his ability to communicate clearly with and actively listen to borrowers and staff. Throughout his entire career, he has been successful in developing loan origination platforms, loan guidelines, problem solving, conflict resolution, and contributing to shared objectives. Through expert leadership, he has improved performance by successfully motivating teams and individuals.
Michael is a mortgage and business professional with extensive executive experience in starting operations, most recently in Cannabis Lending, as well as merging and streamlining processes for organizations. He is a financial and regulatory expert in real estate lending who provides major industry contributions through authorship and continued development initiatives for mortgage and banking institutions. He applies critical mortgage origination knowledge to loan origination, due diligence, compliance, litigation efforts, and to support industry-wide improvements.
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.
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]
Nicole Howell Neubert, founding partner of Clark Neubert LLP, focuses on serving as outside general counsel to California’s cannabis operators, providing advice on corporate governance, financing, business transactional matters, entity formation and operation, and local and state permitting and regulatory compliance. She is actively involved in local and state legislative and regulatory efforts, most recently serving as a member of California State Treasurer John Chiang’s Cannabis Banking Working Group. Nicole serves as Chief Policy Advisor to the California Growers Association, on the Board of California NORML, and is involved in other industry-related organizations, including the National and California Cannabis Industry Associations, and the National Cannabis Bar Association, as well as the San Francisco and Marin County Bar Associations. Nicole was recently named one of the top 75 “most important women in cannabis” by Cannabis Business Executive. www.greenfrontier.com
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 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.
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]
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 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 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 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].
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.
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.
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 offering, copywriting, content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, and strategic branding services. She spent the first half of her 25-year 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 small businesses around the world. Susan is a marketing and branding keynote speaker and 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 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.
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)
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 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.
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 with Sorensen, Wilder & Associates 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 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 Midwest Integrated Solutions 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.
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
Whitt Steineker is a partner at Bradley who provides clients of all types with litigation counsel, transactional advice, and practical strategies for growth. Whitt regularly represents product manufacturers, including tires, prescription drugs and medical devices, as well as clients in the food and beverage industry, from breweries to distributors and wholesalers. He received a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and a B.A. from the University of Alabama.
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.