2020 Boston Speaker Bios
Check back June 2020
Looking back at 2019
Co-Founder, Herban Acres
Adam Souza grew up around agriculture, fascinated by his father’s lifelong passion for plants. Plugging trays by the age of 7, he was taught the importance of farmers. At a young age, Adam showed interest in building businesses, from lemonade stands, to hustling Pokémon cards. He also showed a liking toward a certain plant early on, cannabis. It helped with his social anxiety which pushed him part his comfort zone and into sales. After years in sales and business building for others, never feeling fulfilled, Adam decided to combine his passions for business, cannabis and helping farmers into something he could be happy doing. Hemp.
With his partner Andrew Wilkinson, they have created Herban Acres. They are building a hub for hemp in Taunton, MA. Andrew and Adam believe they can help struggling farmers by showing them how to grow hemp. Hemp is what build this great nation, and it is what will make it even greater.
President, New England Treatment Access
Amanda Rositano is the president of NETA and a recently appointed member of the Cannabis Control Commission’s Cannabis Advisory Board. Amanda served as a key member of the NETA start-up team, which successfully launched and continues to operate the largest medical and adult use marijuana organization in Massachusetts and the first to transact an adult use sale. Her passion for serving medical marijuana patients began during her time serving as Staff Director in the MA state legislature, where she worked toward the passage and implementation of medical marijuana laws and reliable patient access. Amanda’s diverse background in hospitality, public policy and operations has contributed to her sharp ability to create systems and methods for maintaining compliance, promoting safety and enhancing efficiency while maintaining an outstanding experience for NETA’s patients and customers. Importantly, Amanda has nurtured a culture of compliance and inclusion at NETA and has been key in building a rewarding and enjoyable workplace for NETA’s diverse and talented team.
Principal, Equitas Partners Fund
Andi Goldman has managed $2 billion in institutional investments across numerous industries in her career. She’s been an angel investor in cannabis since 2014 and was the CFO and Head of Corporate Finance, for FLRish, Inc., which provides management services to the Harborside dispensaries and grow operations. Andi currently consults and advises for an array of cannabis companies nationally and has launched a cannabis investment fund, Equitas Partners. Andi has 20 years of institutional investment experience in private equity and lending, is a chartered financial analyst and was a corporate/securities lawyer.
Director of Public Policy, National Cannabis Industry Association
Andrew Kline is NCIA’s Director of Public Policy. In this new role established in early 2019 at NCIA, Andrew leads NCIA’s substantive public policy efforts, striving to prepare and protect the state-legal cannabis industry. He will also lead NCIA’s Policy Council, a group of NCIA members focused on influencing federal and state public policy.
Kline most recently served as President of the National Association of Cannabis Businesses (NACB), the first self-regulatory organization for the high-growth cannabis industry. At the NACB, Andrew led the creation of national standards for the state-legal cannabis industry, oversaw its standards governance board, and led day to day operations and strategic planning.
Kline has a deep and celebrated background in public policy, law enforcement, and coalition creation/management. He is renowned for his ability to create solutions to complex domestic and global public policy issues that appeal to both private and public constituencies.
Prior to joining the NACB, Kline was Special Counsel for the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Enforcement Bureau where he was responsible for high profile investigations and public policy negotiations affecting the telecommunications, internet, cable and satellite industries. He also served as Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor for Intellectual Property Enforcement in the Executive Office of the President [Obama] where he led public-private partnership and public policy efforts to address online trademark theft, copyright infringement, consumer safety, national security, and the protection of domestic business interests globally.
He served as senior policy advisor to then-Senator Biden and Vice President Biden, and spent fourteen years as a federal prosecutor.
Mr. Kline is admitted to the California, Colorado and District of Columbia bars, and holds a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
Director, Listings Development, Canadian Securities Exchange
Ms. Serin has more than 15 years of experience in securities and corporate finance. She has an unwavering passion, perseverance and commitment to the capital markets and investment industry. She joined as Director of Listings Development with the Canadian Securities Exchange in 2016 and focuses on many areas of business and professional development initiatives within the community.
She worked as an Associate Investment advisor and financial planner for more than a decade followed by managing her own firm working with junior public companies. She provided all of their corporate and restructuring needs, aided with corporate financings.
Archbishop Timothy Paul, PhD, D.Th
Patriarch, International Communion of the Holy Christian Orthodox Church
Archbishop Timothy Paul, a native of Springfield, MA, is a veteran community leader with over 37 years of service providing leadership to non-profit organizations and formally recognized around the country by both the City of Springfield and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He is a member of the board of New England Partners in Faith and is currently serving in his third term as president of the Council of Churches of Western Massachusetts.
Archbishop Timothy Paul is the Patriarch of the International Communion of the Holy Christian Orthodox Church. Under the leadership of Paul, the communion has grown to over 4.5 million faithful around the world . In addition to his service as Patriarch of the ICHCOC, he currently serves in his third consecutive term as President of the World Bishops’ Council, the largest body of ecumenical Bishops.
Archbishop is the Sr. Pastor of the Christian Cathedral in Springfield, MA and president of Epiphany Development Corporation which is completing a $11 million hotel at the Epiphany Tower building on State Street in that city. He is president of Springfield Christian College, an institution for aspiring ministers that gives credit for life experiences. SCCTS is accredited by Accrediting Commission International (ACI). Archbishop Timothy Paul, himself attended Wheaton College and American University. Archbishop is currently enrolled in a Juris Doctorate program at Taft Law School
Blake M. Mensing Esq.
Founder & Chief Counsel, The Mensing Group LLC
Attorney Blake M. Mensing is The Mensing Group LLC’s Founder and Chief Counsel and brings a no-nonsense approach to cannabis law in Massachusetts. Blake earned a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a J.D. from American University Washington College of Law, an M.A. in International Affairs with a concentration in Global Environmental Policy from American University School of International Service, and an LL.M. in Environmental Law from the George Washington University Law School. While in law school, Blake served as the Senior Note and Comment Editor of the International Law Review and as the Co-Editor-in-Chief of Sustainable Development Law & Policy.
Blake was admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 2010 and his legal experience includes transactional real estate, consumer protection litigation, environmental law, and municipal law. In his capacity as associate town counsel for seven towns throughout the Commonwealth, Blake has written and edited zoning and general bylaws, advised boards of selectmen on medical marijuana dispensary regulation by the Department of Public Health, worked with planning boards and zoning boards of appeal, and represented municipalities before the Massachusetts courts and administrative regulatory agencies. Blake brings his legal and local skills to every interaction with state and local officials, which, when coupled with affability and honesty, helps to make him a different kind of lawyer.
Blake serves as Counsel to the Hoban Law Group, the nation’s premiere Cannabusiness Law Firm. HLG is a leader in providing professional services to the cannabis industry, which is comprised of the industrial hemp industry, the regulated marijuana marketplace, their ancillary service providers (finance, capital markets, compliance, etc.), and their international counterparts.
Research Administrator, Center for Drug Discovery, Northeastern University
Brett Greene is an inventor, entrepreneur, strategist and cannabis science geek. For over a decade, he’s been a Research Administrator for the Center for Drug Discovery at Northeastern University under the direction of world-renowned cannabinoid scientist Alexandros Makriyannis, PhD. He is the manager of the Chemistry & Pharmacology of Drug Abuse, a National Institutes on Drug Abuse (NIDA) sponsored conference that meets annually and brings together the top minds in drug abuse research, an umbrella under which he manages to fit cutting edge, and regularly positive topflight research on cannabinoids. He’s an organizer and development committee member for the American Chemical Society’s cannabis subdivision, “CANN”, a consultant for numerous companies; a consultant for numerous top companies in cannabis and help including Advanced Nutrients; a strategic advisor for Orion Partners and co-creator of that company’s “Gro-IQ” machine-learning backed cultivation management platform; an Advisory Board member of the Massachusetts Cannabis Consumer Council and a co-founder of Massachusetts Recreational cannabis company Evokanna and psychedelic media and events company Psymposia, among others.
Director of Wholesale Operations , In Good Health
Commissioner, Cannabis Control Commission
Commissioner McBride previously served as Legal Counsel to the Massachusetts Department of Public Safety within the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS), Deputy Counsel to the Massachusetts Senate, and for seven years as an Assistant Attorney General in the Attorney General’s Office, where she also served as Chief of the Policy and Government Division and Deputy Chief of Staff. Her work there included foreclosure prevention efforts, including establishment of the national model HomeCorps program and working to pass first-in-the-nation homeowner protection legislation; helping to overhaul of the state’s victim compensation law to provide additional resources to victims of violent crime; helping to craft legislation to provide jail diversion to veterans; development of the first comprehensive report on human trafficking and working closely with law enforcement and other partners on drafting the state’s landmark 2012 human trafficking law. She also led the establishment of the Attorney General’s Office of Open Government. McBride is a graduate of Holy Cross and Suffolk University School of Law.
Dr. Chanda Macias
CEO, Women Grow; Owner and CEO, National Holistic Healing Center
Chanda Macias, MBA, PhD is the CEO and the owner of National Holistic™ a cannabis and hemp healthcare enterprise. National Holistic™ Healing Center is the leading medical marijuana dispensary in Washington DC. Dr. Macias has spent 15+ years developing knowledge of medical marijuana impact on patients. Dr. Macias contributes growth to the market through education on ailment strain alignment, aligning a medical marijuana strain with a specific condition or ailment. Dr. Macias expanded her footprint as the President of Ilera Holistic Healthcare which is one of two cultivation/processing facilities in the state of Louisiana.
Dr. Macias educates women entrepreneurs and patients through her outreach platform as the Chairwoman of the Board of Managers and CEO for Women Grow with a national educational reach impacting over 500,000+ people and patients.
Finally, Dr. Macias serves on the National Cannabis Roundtable (NCR) Board Chaired by former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John A. Boehner. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Minority Cannabis Business Association focusing on business development for communities adversely impacted by the War on Drugs. In her local market, she serves as the Treasurer and Secretary of DC Medical Cannabis Trade Association that proactively engages in legislation, regulations, and compliance with the Department of Health, and is a proud member of Americans for Safe Access, promoting safe and legal access to medical marijuana for research purposes.
Dr. Macias earned a PhD in Cellular Biology from Howard University, and extensively studied cancer including breast cancer, colon cancer, and evolved into developing a model to understand the mechanism of prostate cancer metastasizes to bone.
Dr. Macias was the Director of STEM Education in the College of Engineering, Architecture, and Computer Sciences at Howard University, where she was awarded over $10M in federally funded grants.
Army Veteran; CEO, BASK, Inc.
Mr. Dickerson, a Mattapoisett native and Army Veteran, has a deep understanding of the requirements for successfully operating a business in a highly regulated industry and has demonstrated this through years of success in multiple regulated states. After seeing his father spend 10 years in prison as a result of the war on drugs, he decided to enter the regulated cannabis industry in 2009 as a patient consultant at a Colorado-based medical marijuana collective and returned to New England to become a registered caregiver in RI. As Managing Member of Controlled Environmental Services, LLC (CES), he has designed and built cultivation and processing infrastructures for several successful applicants in MA including Bask. His dedication to efficiency and environmental sustainability is proven through his continued studies of biological controls to minimize the need for pesticides, the implementation of greenhouse cultivation to limit the carbon footprint of Bask’s cultivation processes, and his role as a Board Member of the Mattapoisett Agricultural Commission and the Mattapoisett Conservation Committee in MA.
Founder, High Tech Farms, LLC
Chauncy Spencer has become, not only an entrepreneur, but an advocate for inclusion and equity on the frontier of this emerging cannabis industry here in Massachusetts. The end of prohibition has brought many opportunities for him to collaborate with lawmakers, regulators, entrepreneurs, and activists in shaping the local industry to be welcoming to people of color, like himself, who have been most affected by the war on drugs.
He is the founder of High Tech Farms, a minority owned economic empowerment certified cannabis company that is aspiring to open a cultivation facility and dispensary in Mattapan Square named “The 420”. He is responsible for the first adult-use application submitted in Boston for either cultivation or retail sales, and his company is the second in Massachusetts to receive economic empowerment certification from the Cannabis Control Commission.
Chauncy is a Boston native and lifelong Dorchester resident where he is a single parent raising three children who attend Boston Public Schools. As a laboratory technician at Dana Farber Cancer Institute for 13 years, he demonstrated his curiosity and aptitude to learn and develop software and other systems in a regulated environment. Chauncy went on to use these, and other skills acquired from his biochemistry training at UMass Dartmouth, to develop a high-pressure aeroponics system for horticulture, which he is planning to use for cannabis cultivation.
President, Clover Leaf University
Chloe Villano is the President and Founder of Clover Leaf University. Ms. Villano is a business consultant and entrepreneurial executive with 17 years of experience in business startups and turning companies toward success. Chloe is also the owner and founder of Clover Leaf Consulting®, working for years as one of the most sought-after cannabis business consultants in the industry. She has consulted for, developed, started, sold, and performed due-diligence for valuation on hundreds of successful MJ business nationally. After working with countless businesses such as dispensaries, centers, mass cultivation facilities, kitchens, labs, and cannabis brands, she has used her experience to influence the growth of the industry to be safe, regulated, and responsible. She has worked alongside numerous government agencies to assist with the implementation of business standards, educational standards, and business procedures.
CEO, Growex (Div. of Storex CA Inc)
Chris has more than 10 years’ experience related to expertise in agricultural and controlled atmosphere technology with clients in the fresh fruit & vegetable sector and in the medical cannabis sector in the USA, Canada, Europe, South America, and Israel. Chris’ team includes designers, researchers, engineers, architects, energy efficiency consultants, and growers.
In 2014, Chris started collaborating with this “tech dream team” to study the indoor cultivation sector and particularly what started to happen in Colorado with the cannabis crop, which Chris prefers to refer to as cannabinoid and terpene plants. Colorado being “ground zero” of legal commercialization on large scale of this crop was a good start to start taking notes on how this plant was being grown outdoors and indoors. The team walked around visiting a multitude of green houses and indoor horizontal grows, and started taking notes on every topic from structural design of the facilities, equipment selection, and of course energy efficiency. Two of the top growers in Colorado joined Chris’ team to collaborate on the following topic: how to grow the best consistent quality within pharmaceutical standards using the least amount of energy which contributes to the lowest operational cost, while having an environmentally friendly position. The study continued for four years supported by research and development financial support from the Canadian federal government, and finally lead to a large scale commercial design that uses up to 20 times less land space, 20 times less water, 10 times less labor, and 5 times less energy use compared to other models currently present in this industry which are horizontal indoor cultivation centers.
Chris believes that by tweaking the performance dials in an indoor cultivation facility, this will change farming models worldwide for many crops we rely on either for pharmaceutical, recreational, or nutritional products.
Representative, Massachusetts House of Representatives
Chynah Tyler was born and raised in Roxbury, MA which established a special place in her heart for the district. She credits programs offered to her as a youth with an authentic sense of pride as a Roxbury native. This pride, coupled with much prayer encourages her to represent the residents of Boston.
She attended Boston Public and Charter schools. Although a dedicated athlete, she excelled academically as well and was accepted into the Crimson Summer Academy at Harvard University. Upon completion of high school and simultaneously graduating from the Crimson Summer Academy, she continued her education earning her Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice with a minor in Law, Policy and Society from Northeastern University.
She began her career as a Case Manager for Federal Inmates assisting those nearing release with securing employment, housing and most importantly, community support. Tyler realized there are a host of barriers that contribute to recidivism. Because of that, grew to understand the importance of the role state government plays in delivering valuable resources to the most vulnerable populations.
Her career focus shifted as a Legislative Aide in the Massachusetts State Senate, working to secure funding for programs like Residential Assistance for Families in Transition Program (RAFT), community college reform, environmentally-friendly organizations, as well as volunteering at the Probation Department of the Roxbury Division of the Boston Municipal Court.
In 2016, at just 26 year old, Tyler ran a successful campaign to succeed long-time incumbent for the Massachusetts House of Representatives, representing the 7th Suffolk District. She is currently serving her second term as a Massachusetts State Representative, and is the Vice-Chair it the Public Health Committee and Chair of the Boston Delegation.”
Business Development and Marketing Strategist, Stockhouse Publishing Ltd.
President & CEO, In Good Health
President & CEO, Massachusetts Cannabis Business Association
David O’Brien is the President and CEO of Massachusetts Cannabis Business Association with a mission to convene, voice, and advocate for the Commonwealth’s cannabis business community and ancillary services. David has spent his career providing public engagement, government relations and strategic communications counsel to the private, public and non-profit sectors at the state, national and international level. A pioneer in the Massachusetts Cannabis industry, David previously served as the director of East Coast government relations for Weedmaps where he led strategy for cannabis legalization, regulation and taxation. He also developed and provided municipal officials with data-driven research to inform effective adult-use cannabis zoning laws.
In the course of a political and communications career that has spanned thirty years, David has served as President of North Bridge Strategies, worked on eight US presidential campaigns – four as a staff member, and served as a Clinton Administration presidential appointee at the Corporation for National Service and US Small Business Administration. David also held senior positions on Governor Deval Patrick’s political action, inauguration, and campaign finance committees.
David holds a Master of Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School and a BA from Merrimack College. He is an elected member of the Democratic National Committee and the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee.
Executive Director, Commonwealth Dispensary Association
David Torrisi has been the Executive Director of the Commonwealth Dispensary Association since October 2017. Prior to joining the CDA, David was the principal and founder of Torrisi Strategic Advisors, a lobbying and government relations firm focused on providing clients the insight and alliances needed to navigate state bureaucracy and develop relationships with public officials. He was a Massachusetts State Representative for fourteen years and currently is Chairman of the North Andover School Committee. David is an attorney, having received his Juris Doctor from Suffolk University Law School and is a graduate of the University of Vermont.
Principal, Guske & Company, Inc.
Dean Guske has over 30 years of experience in the areas of taxation, accounting and business consulting. The value he brings to his clients lies in his ability to identify and understand complex issues and how they relate to businesses and their individual owners. He has a passion for entrepreneurship. This allows him to effectively serve others pursuing their small business dreams whatever they happen to be.
He has deep experience in all facets of real estate and businesses related to real estate. His clients have included everything from development and construction to brokerage and rental. Because he has also participated in these businesses as an owner, the impact of his hands on experience sets him apart from others who have only dealt with these issues in theory.
Dean has significant experience in the emerging cannabis business. Serving several hundred clients in the cannabis industry he is at the forefront of developing successful tax strategies for industry entrepreneurs.
Dr. Monica Taing. PharmD
Director of Research and Clinical Education, Minorities for Medical Marijuana
Dr. Monica Taing graduated from Northeastern University with a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree where she completed Endocannabinoid Receptor System research. Dr. Taing serves as a Board Member and the Membership Director of Doctors for Cannabis Regulation (DFCR), the Director of Research and Clinical Education for Minorities for Medical Marijuana (M4MM), a Medical Science Liaison for 4Front Ventures, and as a cannabis pharmacist and clinical consultant specialist for hospital systems and academic medical institutions.
Dr. Taing strategically implements her expertise as guidance for multi-state licensed dispensaries, grower/processor facilities, and other enterprises in multiple states. She works to design and deliver fact-based clinical cannabis education to advocate awareness for underserved patient populations and the healthcare community. Dr. Taing is a member of the International Society of Cannabis Pharmacists (ISCPh), American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), and Society of Cannabis Clinicians (SCC).
Founder, Sinsemilla Seminars
Ellen Taylor Brown is the founder of Sinsemilla Seminars. Her passions for education stems from being a teacher in the United States Air Force where she received Air Combat Command – Nutritional Medicine Airman of the Year 2008. This year at the New England Cannabis Convention Community Awards she was awarded New England Cannabis Business Leader of the Year.
After her service Ellen moved to Humboldt Country and began her career in the cannabis industry. She became the manager and lead cultivator of a dispensary in Northern California for a number of years. In 2012, Ellen moved to her home state of Massachusetts. She saw there was a need for education and she started teaching and consulting. Her budding business, Sinsemilla Seminars, has been flourishing; holding lectures nationwide.
Director of Compliance, Ermont Inc.
Emma Stollberger is the Director of Compliance at Ermont Inc. in Quincy, MA. She has over four years of professional cannabis experience, starting in the lucrative Colorado industry in 2014 and moving to Massachusetts in 2018. The young professional progressively grew into upper management roles at medical and recreational vertically integrated facilities. She has extensive regulatory and operational knowledge spread across the critical departments of the cannabis industry, specializing in compliance, inventory and distribution management, retail operations, production, testing, and cannabis software development.Emma has become heavily involved with the Commonwealth Dispensary Association during her time in Massachusetts and is a critical piece of operations at Ermont Inc.
Partner, Duane Morris LLP
Rick Ball focuses his practice on assisting companies navigate the complex legal and regulatory environment related to companies whose services or products are regulated by state or federal agencies such as the FDA, FTC, DEA, CMS, and OIG. Rick helps clients in many highly regulated industries, including the Cannabis and Hemp/CBD Industry, the pharmaceutical industry and the medical device industry. He helps companies navigate the complex challenges with complying with current Good Manufacturing Practices, price reporting (AMP, AWP, ASP, etc.), the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, False Claims Act, and Anti-Kickback Statute, as well as meeting labeling and advertising requirements.
Rick has counseled numerous clients either actively engaged in or seriously considering manufacturing, distributing and selling food and beverage products infused with hemp-derived CBD and is well versed in the FDA regulatory issues governing manufactured food and beverage products.
Former Editor, Boston Business Journal; President, Boston Economy Partners
George is a veteran communications professional and local business expert. He was editor of the Boston Business Journal from 2000-2014, where he led the BBJ newsroom to several national awards. In 2016 he published The Boston Economy: Understanding and Accessing One of the World’s Greatest Job Markets, a primer for local colleges and young professionals. He was a vice president at Northwind Strategies, where he led communications strategy for nonprofits and corporate clients, and his work since has continued to span into renewable energy, marijuana policy, financial services, and education reform. His op-eds on public policy have appeared in the Boston Globe, CommonWealth magazine and other publications. He teaches a course on the Boston economy at Suffolk University and is a board member of the Asia Task Force Against Domestic Violence (ATASK).
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mike Nikitas, Affiliate Partner
Mike Nikitas advises and trains people to better communicate internally and externally with key stakeholders and the media. His firm, Nikitas Communications, specializes in Media Training, Presentation and Performance Skills, Public Speaking, Crisis Communications, Media Relations and moderating/hosting events.
Mike brings deep media knowledge to the table. He is a five time Emmy nominee as Outstanding TV News Anchor in the Boston/New England region, and has been inducted into the prestigious “Silver Circle” of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He interviewed countless newsmakers in 36 years as a news and business anchor, and anchored live TV coverage of many major events, including the Boston Marathon bombings and 9/11.
Editor-in-Chief, VP Content, Seeking Alpha
George Moriarty is Editor-in-Chief and VP Content at Seeking Alpha. He joined the company in January 2012 as Managing Editor of Opinion & Analysis and works closely with CEO Eli Hoffmann and Founder David Jackson on content and publishing initiatives for the Seeking Alpha contributor community. George has worked as a financial journalist and editor since 1997, most recently as Editor-in-Chief at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Online Platforms. Prior to Merrill, he was Executive Editor at TheStreet.com. He lives in Bucks County, PA, with his wife, four children and two dogs.
President, Women Grow; CEO, GVM Communications, Inc.
Gia Morón is the President for Women Grow. She oversees the company’s day-to-day operations, internal and external communications, education programming, and strategic partnerships. She began working with Women Grow headquarters in January 2017 as Director of Communications, after transitioning from the Women Grow New York City market in 2016. With 25 years of experience in public relations, in 2012 Gia launched GVM Communications, Inc., a public relations, brand and business development firm. Her client base ranges from small to mid-sized businesses, non-profit organizations, entrepreneurs, authors and celebrity clients. Prior to launching her firm and working with Women Grow, she was a Media Relations Officer in the Corporate Communications department for fifteen years at the Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
While at Goldman Sachs, Gia oversaw various business areas from Private Equity, Urban Investment, Investment Research and Technology to the firm’s organizational focus on Corporate Engagement, Diversity, Recruiting, Human Resources and Corporate Services. Before joining Goldman Sachs, Gia was Director of Promotions and Publicity for six years at The Fremantle Corporation, an international television distribution and production company. Outside of her professional accomplishments, she continuously works with a number of non-profit organizations in New York City and mentors up-and-coming young women entrepreneurs across the country to South Africa. Gia currently resides in her hometown of Brooklyn, NY, with her daughter.
Vice President of Retail Operations, Northeast Alternatives
NEA’s VP of Retail, Grant Troeger, is responsible for the strategic vision of retail operations as well as supporting expansion. He is focused on growth and cross-functional partnerships with all departments within Northeast Alternatives. Grant’s priorities are elevating the customer/patient experience and evolving the retail program, while remaining competitive and innovative in the marketplace. He has 10 years of retail cannabis experience stemming from the Colorado and Canadian markets. Grant was the Director of Retail at Native Roots, and oversaw 20 retail locations in Colorado, while supporting expansion for 4 new locations in Manitoba, Canada. Under his leadership Native Roots was awarded “Best Dispensary” for medical and recreational categories for 4 consecutive years (2014-2018), as well as “Top Work Places in Colorado” for 2 consecutive years (2016-2017). Grant’s expertise is within building high-performing teams, elevating customer experience, community engagement, leadership and strategy, and expansion. He attended Endicott College in Beverly, MA and Metropolitan State University of Denver for Business Management.
Co-Founder and Chief Products Officer, Papa & Barkley
Guy Rocourt is the Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer of Papa & Barkley, a leading California cannabis wellness company. At P&B Guy is responsible for product innovation, optimizing production practices, ensuring the company complies with rigorous testing and lab standards, and developing the product roadmap as the brand expands into different areas of the cannabis marketplace.
Previously, Guy designed and built manufactured infused products facilities (MIPs) in multiple states, making him an expert in cannabis science, tech, strategy, and production. Due to his vast experience he is an asset to those hoping to invest in the space. He also has experience caring for patients with cannabis as he spent many years as Montell Williams’ caregiver during his battle with MS.
Guy graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology and is a U.S. Navy veteran. Rocourt uses his keen understanding of the cannabis plant, cannabis culture, and business acumen to craft a variety of wellness products. Like Papa & Barkley, he is on a mission to unlock the power of the plant to improve people’s lives. Rocourt is passionate about advocating for cannabis through public speaking and maintaining an authentic space within cannabis culture even as Papa & Barkley continues to grow.
Co-Founder & Managing Partner of Coldwater Consulting; Founder & CEO , Mountain Medicine
A celebrated chef turned cannabis entrepreneur and executive, Jaime Lewis boasts over a decade of experience launching and leading vertically integrated operations, business development ventures, and infused-product manufacturing in cannabis markets around the country.
Lewis is co-founder and managing partner of Coldwater Consulting, which provides experience-driven licensing, startup and operations consulting for cannabis businesses nationwide. Lewis is also founder and CEO of Mountain Medicine, an award-winning medical and recreational cannabis edibles producer in Colorado, where she oversees strategic planning, business expansion and product research and development to provide patients and consumers with artisanal, hand-crafted edibles of unparalleled quality, consistency, and flavor.
Jaime is a committed educator and advocate who has worked with consumers, communities, regulators, and industry groups to promote consumer education, practicable regulation, and sustainable business practices. She’s a founding member of the Cannabis Business Alliance, an influential trade group that functions as the Colorado industry’s chamber of commerce, and serves on the Board of Directors of the National Cannabis Industry Association, where she functions as a national spokesperson for the regulated cannabis industry. She also served as a member of Massachusetts’ Cannabis Advisory Board, the organization tasked with developing marijuana regulations for the state.
James Smith, Esq.
Founding Partner, Smith, Costello & Crawford
Jim is a Founding Partner of Smith, Costello & Crawford – Boston’s largest public policy law group. He is widely recognized as a leading advocate for the Commonwealth’s emerging cannabis industry. Jim was an instrumental leader of a team of industry participants who worked with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to shape and support the drafting of the state’s nationally recognized cannabis regulations.
Jim has moderated multiple forums around cannabis law and policy at events such as the Cannavest Conference, the State House News Forum, and Lawyers Weekly. Jim was instrumental in the development of the Massachusetts Cannabis Business Association. He has been featured in a number of publications for his work in the cannabis industry, including the Boston Globe, Commonwealth Magazine, and Rolling Stone. He is frequently interviewed on live news coverage platforms such as Boston’s NPR news station and New England Cable News’ This Week in Business.
Smith, Costello & Crawford represents dozens of cannabis clients throughout Massachusetts. The firm works closely with the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission to guide clients through the necessary requirements to successfully open a cannabis establishment in the Commonwealth. The firm also represents clients in health care, energy, and other major Massachusetts industries.
Jim has been a practicing attorney for more than 30 years. He served four terms as a State Representative for the Massachusetts House of Representatives for Lynn, MA, and was the leader of the Democratic Study Group and Vice-Chair of the Joint Legislative Committee on State Administration, as well as the Primary Author of the Commonwealth’s open meeting and public records laws. He holds degrees from UMass-Boston, Harvard Kennedy School, and Suffolk Law School.
Commissioner, Cannabis Control Commission
Commission Jennifer Flanagan was appointed by Governor Charlie Baker in 2017 to serve on the Cannabis Control Commission for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. A former State Senator, Jen represented the Worcester and Middlesex District in North Central Massachusetts.
Commissioner Flanagan attended the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts Boston and a Master of Science degree in Mental Health Counseling from Fitchburg State University.
Commissioner Flanagan was elected to the House of Representatives for two terms, representing the 4th Worcester District. Jen was then elected to the Massachusetts State Senate, where she served four and one half terms. Commissioner Flanagan has served on several committees while in office, most notably Vice Chairperson of the Committee on Ways and Means, Chairperson of the Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery; Chairperson of the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities; Chairperson of the Special Senate Committee on Addiction Prevention, Treatment and Recovery Options; and Vice Chair of the Joint Committee on Public Health.
Commissioner Flanagan serves on the following boards in the community: The Board of Trustees for the Dr. Franklin Perkins School in Lancaster, MA, the Advisory Board of Trustees for the Seven Hills Foundation in Worcester, MA, and the Advisory Board for the UMass Women into Leadership program (UWiL) at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Compliance Manager, Mayflower Medicinals
Jillian Perrillo is the Compliance Manager for Mayflower Medicinals, Inc. She holds a BA in Political Science from Boston College, and serves on the board of the Commonwealth Dispensary Association.
Chief Operating Officer, Tudestr
Jim served as director of communications for Yes on 4, the successful 2016 marijuana legalization ballot initiative in Massachusetts. He made dozens of TV and radio appearances and was the official debate designee for the campaign, squaring off against many opponents including state representatives and senators, district attorneys and police chiefs. Jim has held top communication positions in state government and the private sector and has worked on dozens of community and media campaigns at the local, state and national level. He served as director of communications for the Suffolk District Attorney in the 1990s and became press secretary for the Massachusetts Governor’s Office immediately following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Jim, who holds a master’s degree in communications from Northeastern University, started his career as a reporter for the Patriot Ledger in Quincy. He went from the Ledger to the Boston Business Journal, where he covered health care, government and higher education.
Founder, Pro Cannabis Media Group; Host, In the Weeds with Jimmy Young
A native of Newton Massachusetts and a 1979 graduate of Tufts University, Jimmy Young has over 40 years experience in commercial television and radio. He is one of the rare professionals in the industry who has had success in front of the camera, and in sales management. Over that time his career accomplishments includes:
• Emmy Award Winning Talk Show Host
• Record Setting Sales Account Manager
• 4x Emmy Nominations in Sports Production
• Original TV Color Analyst for NE Revolution MLS Soccer
• 35 Year Soccer Coaching USSF Licensed
• College Instructor in Media & Sports Broadcasting & MMJ story telling
• Founder of Young Broadcasters of America
• Current Founder of Pro Cannabis Media
He currently hosts In The Weeds with Jimmy Young a podcast focusing on the emerging cannabis industry in Massachusetts and around the world. He Co-Hosts Weed Talk Live with Curt Dalton of Cannabis.net, a monthly live streamed talk show on the Internet, and anchors News Dabs with Jimmy Young, a weekly news video roundup of cannabis news.
Co-Founder & President, Massachusetts Recreational Consumer Council
Joe Gilmore, is a lifelong inner-city resident of Boston, Massachusetts. As co-founder and Director of Community Outreach for the Massachusetts Recreational Consumer Council, he works to mobilize and engage community members who are interested in advocating for a safe and inclusive marijuana industry. Prior to dedicating his full-time commitment to MRCC, Joe has 18 months of experience working as a Patient Care Advocate at Garden Remedies, and RMD located in Newton, MA. Joe is also the Founder and President of Students for Sensible Drug Policy at UMass Boston. He mobilizes students to create educational events that facilitate conversations regarding compliance, safe and responsible marijuana consumption, and solutions to repair communities most harmed by marijuana prohibition.
Founder, Cannabis Curriculum
Hempologist John Dvorak has studied cannabis hemp and its prohibition for more than 25 years. He’s brought his unique style of anti-prohibition advocacy to radio & television programs, student organizations, medical marijuana conferences, patient groups, trade shows, hemp festivals and legalization rallies. JD developed the Cannabis Curriculum to encourage research into the beneficial aspects of industrial hemp and medicinal cannabis and the devastating effects that marijuana prohibition has had on society. His Traveling Hemp Museum includes raw materials, artifacts and finished products made from hemp. JD’s website, Hempology.Org, contains many articles and images that highlight hemp’s rich history as does the repository of Cannabis History Source Documents that he created. He’s written articles for numerous publications and websites while providing advice, guidance and counseling for those entering the cannabis hemp space. JD created 3 lectures for Oregon State University’s online Industrial Hemp course and is a former Board member of both the Hemp Industries Association and Mass Cann/NORML.
Founder & President, CannAssist, llc
Jon Napoli is the founder and president of CannAssist, llc, a full-service consulting company specializing in creating and designing vertically integrated cannabis companies. CannAssist, llc helps clients achieve licensure and acquire proper permits and then does everything needed to get client operational. CannAssist, llc designs and builds out of all cultivation, processing, extraction and infusion rooms. CannAssist, llc brings in all equipment needed for the whole operation and continually provide supplies to keep the business running without hiccups. The Company helps hire and train staff in every phase of the operation, from seed to sale. The CannAssist team includes architects, engineers, builders, security, accountants, growers, extractors, edible producers, retail specialists and more. CannAssist, llc is the premier cannabis consulting service in Massachusetts.
As Director of Cultivation at In Good Health, Inc., Napoli has helped design the vertical integration of the cannabis cultivation at In Good Health, Inc., Massachusetts’ second-to-open Medical Marijuana Dispensary. His role includes designing the layout of the cultivation and processing operations, the kitchen and lab, and the retail front of the dispensary. Napoli also participates in hiring and training, development of menu and available products at In Good Health, Inc., and provides ongoing compliance support.
Napoli is also the founder and president of The Hempest Inc., a company of three retail outlets, that specializes in clothing and all products derived from hemp. Additionally, as the founder of The Boston Gardener, a Boston-based organic gardening center, he is active in urban gardening and cannabis education issues. For more information on In Good Health, Inc., The Hempest Inc., and The Boston Gardener, please visit: http://ingoodhealthma.com, http://hempest.com, and http://www.boston-gardener.com.
Head of Cultivation and Design, In Good Health
Jordan Mello is responsible for In Good Health’s business and cultivation operations including as the Head of Cultivation and Design, Post-Harvest Manager and Facilities Manager. In Jordan’s unique role, he oversees such areas as organic IPM regiment, feeding/nutrient scheduling, facility / systems hygiene, operations and procedures, and staff management.
Jordan has detailed experience and knowledge of Massachusetts’ strict regulatory standards including microbiological and heavy metal uptake in Cannabis, testing protocol and sampling procedures. Jordan is also the lead on State regulatory inspections and seed-to-sale tracking.
Jordan is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and a minor in Criminal Justice. It is through his education that Jordan became and an advocate for individuals and companies in Cannabis industry to ensure a positive, lasting impact on society.
Dr. Jordan Tishler, MD
President Association of Cannabis Specialists; Instructor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; President, CMO, inhaleMD
Dr. Tishler is a Cannabis Specialist. Through his training in Internal Medicine and years of practice as an Emergency Physician, Dr. Tishler brings his knowledge, reason, and caring to patients here at inhaleMD, and through his advocacy work at the local and national levels.
Dr. Tishler graduated from both Harvard College and Harvard Medical School, trained at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and is faculty at both the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He has spent many years working with the underserved, particularly providing care for Veterans. Having treated countless patients harmed by alcohol and drugs, his observation that he had never seen a cannabis overdose lead Dr. Tishler to delve deeply into the science of cannabis safety and treatment.
Dr. Tishler is also a parallel entrepreneur working for patients’ wellbeing in the corporate space, helping to elevate dosing and safety profiles of medication, and helping to establish best practice for bringing new Cannabis products to market.
Dr. Tishler is a frequent speaker and author on a variety of topics related to the medical applications of cannabis. He is the President of the Association of Cannabis Specialists which aims to educate clinicians, lawmakers, and the industry about best practices and needed tools for proper patient care.
Director, The Northeast Sustainable Hemp Association
Julia Agron read the Emperor Wears No Clothes by Jack Herer at 15 and knew what she wanted to do with her life. She has been a passionate cannabis advocate for nearly 30 years. For 3 years she managed the largest medical marijuana dispensary in Western Mass. During her time there she had the opportunity to help thousands of people find increased health and wellness, and improve their lives through safe, legal, and supported access to this amazing plant.
After leaving the dispensary, Julia has focused on creating cannabis events, education, and outreach as The Little Weed Wife; cannabis consulting. Seeking the highest quality products for her clients, coupled with a background in regenerative agriculture, led her to hemp farming. Working in partnership with her husband, a permaculture designer and organic landcare professional, they founded Trees of Life Farm with one mission: grow hemp; save the world.
Her heartfelt belief that hemp can save small farms, be an instrument of revitalization for urban and rural economies, and that, if farmed sustainably, will be a major factor in reversing our plunge towards climate catastrophe, led her to come together with other independent hemp farmers, processors, product manufacturers, retailers and consumers to form NOSHA, the Northeast Sustainable Hemp Association. With NOSHA, Julia is working to grow an organization that focuses on education, collaboration and research to foster a sustainable, and just, regional hemp industry, and to ensure a place in it for the small farmer.
Co-Founder & Corporate Development Director, Temescal Wellness
Julia Germaine is a cofounder and the corporate development director of Temescal Wellness of Massachusetts, a vertically integrated medical and adult-use marijuana company with four facilities across Massachusetts: cultivation and product manufacturing in Worcester, and retail dispensaries in Hudson, Framingham and Pittsfield. Temescal was the first company to open multiple adult-use retail locations in Massachusetts and has built a workforce of 75 since operations commenced in May 2018. Julia has worked in the Massachusetts cannabis industry since 2013 and led Temescal’s MA start-up efforts including real estate development, construction project management, licensing and permitting, community relations and compliance. She has a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master of fine arts degree in poetry. Prior to entering the cannabis industry, Julia held operational roles with multiple technology start-ups and nonprofits. She lives in Worcester.
Partner, DuMoulin Black
Justin Kates is a partner of DuMoulin Black, practicing primarily in the areas of securities, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate and commercial law. Justin works with clients in a wide range of industries including technology, life sciences, food & beverage, and natural resources.
Justin advises clients from all stages of development ranging from early stage to large public companies. His practice includes advising these clients on a range of matters, including equity and debt financings, stock exchange listings, mergers and acquisitions, reorganizations, and general corporate/commercial matters. Justin was selected in 2017 by the TMX as one of Canada’s Next 150: Young Entrepreneurs and Forward-Thinkers. Recognized by Lexpert as a Leading Lawyer to Watch in Corporate Finance & Securities.
Co-Founder and Registered Lobbyist, Massachusetts Recreational Consumer Council
After graduating with a degree in Management-Information Systems from Binghamton University, I obtained sales + tech development experience in Silicon Alley (NYC) before co-founding the Cannabis Cultural Association. In 2016, I relocated to Boston to work on the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol while volunteering for both Students for Sensible Drug Policy and Massachusetts Patient Advocacy Alliance. As the Registered Lobbyist & President of the Massachusetts Recreational Consumer Council, I am looking to further grow my career by networking with like-minded individuals and learning more about innovation.
General Manager, Holyoke Cannabis
Karima Rizk is a Western Massachusetts cannabis advocate who has worked in licensed medical and adult-use cannabis dispensaries since 2016. Karima is currently the General Manager of Holyoke Cannabis. Ms. Rizk holds a B.A. from Dartmouth College and a MBA from the Isenberg School of Management, UMass Amherst.
In 2017, Karima launched Café Vert, a cannabis coffeehouse startup seeking licensing and permitting. In 2018, social consumption licensing was delayed and Café Vert was put on hold. Since then, Karima has diligently advocated for the legal framework for social consumption. As an Easthampton resident, Karima played a central role in crafting the only cannabis ordinance in the Commonwealth to include social consumption . Karima is also the chairwoman of Make Cannabis Work for Easthampton, Easthampton’s social consumption ballot initiative committee.
Eastern Regional Business Development , BDS Analytics
Kate joined BDS Analytics in 2019 after eight years in market insights, where she utilized analytic skills in the form of writing, storytelling, and presenting to bring actionable insights to clients across the consumer packaged goods industry. Throughout her various roles, she worked in quantitative shopper research and applied her analytic capabilities to the chain drug retail channel, with a strong focus on retail health and wellness, retail pharmacy, and more recently the impact of the emerging cannabis market on the traditional retail landscape.
Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel, Trustly, Inc.
Kathryn McCall has twenty years of corporate governance and business transactions experience. She focuses on helping emerging growth companies and small businesses succeed. Her clients appreciate her pragmatic and strategic advice regarding their entity formation, financing, and operational concerns. As outside general counsel for many of her clients, Ms. McCall has counseled C-Level Officers and Boards of Directors on corporate governance, debt and equity financings, strategic alliances, mergers & acquisitions, technology transactions, joint ventures, commercial agreements (e.g. distribution, licensing, software-as-a service, development services, offer letters and employment agreements, master services agreements), equity incentive plans, and securities filings. She has also negotiated preferred stock financings on behalf of angel and seed investors and venture capital funds. Some of the industries in which Ms. McCall has provided legal counsel include: cannabis, media; technology; internet of things; education; internet-based products, services and applications; consumer products; retail; publishing; and health and fitness.
Ms. McCall is head of the Cannabis Industry Team at Sideman & Bancroft. Her extensive corporate governance and transactional experience makes her uniquely qualified to advise commercial cannabis companies on corporate formation and organizational matters while remaining in compliance with the complex regulatory framework burdening the industry. Working with other members of the firm’s cannabis practice group enables her to create a strategic and coordinated approach to not only business structuring, organizational, and regulatory matters but also intellectual property, tax, estate planning, and business litigation issues
Research Director, Brightfield Group
Kay Tamillow is the Research Director and she leads a team that provides in-depth analysis on the CBD market, including reports on hemp and marijuana-derived CBD which include consumer research, new product developments, market sizes and brand shares. Before joining Brightfield, Kay worked across various functions at a Fortune 50 food and beverage company, managing project teams and building analytic models and strategic frameworks to drive results in pricing strategy, assortment optimization, distribution logistics, global innovation portfolio management, and annual revenue planning.
Kebra Smith-Bolden RN
Kebra Smith-Bolden is a true trailblazer, a respected healthcare professional with the vision, purpose and drive to transform the nascent cannabis industry. Trained as a registered nurse, Kebra leveraged her medical knowledge and decades of professional experience to create CannaHealthTM, the first and only Connecticut cannabis business owned by an African-American. CannaHealthTM is a division of The Healing Choice LLC and HK Smith Enterprises, LLC. Its innovative community based business model offers disadvantaged communities disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs education about medicinal cannabis, as well as safe and legal access through medical marijuana program evaluations. An industry pioneer dubbed the “Marijuana Guru in CT”, Smith-Bolden is the driving force behind CannaHealth,TM which recently expanded offices in Hartford, Connecticut and plans a national expansion in 2019.
CEO, Revolutionary Clinics
Keith Cooper is CEO of Revolutionary Clinics (RC), a leading medicinal cannabis company in MA. RC has a cultivation and processing facility in Fitchburg, retail locations in Cambridge and Somerville and a home delivery business.
Prior to Revolutionary Clinics, Keith Cooper led six different VC-backed technology companies including Constant Therapy (CT), Connotate, Carbonite (NASDAQ:CARB), webHancer, FaxNet and Trans National Communications.
A graduate of Harvard Business School and Harvard College, Keith lives in Wayland, MA, is married and has two young adult sons.
Dr. Keith Saunders, PhD PhD
Sociologist; Board of Director, NORML
Dr. Keith Saunders is a sociologist whose professional work focuses on drug policy and social movements. He has been researching marijuana culture and the marijuana policy reform movement, with special attention given to the relationship between marijuana’s prohibition and its popularity, since 1999. Dr. Saunders has presented his findings to audiences at the Annual Meetings of the American Sociological Association and the Society for the Study of Social Problems, as well as at NORML’s annual conference and the Hemposium at Seattle Hempfest. He has taught “Drugs and Society” and related courses since 1995 at Northeastern University and the University of Massachusetts. A 1990 graduate of Colgate University, he holds M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Northeastern University.
Keith was born and raised in the Boston area, and has resided in the city since 1993. He was first elected president of MassCann, New England’s largest NORML chapter, in 2004, and served in that office for 5 terms. In January 2006, Keith was named Freedom Fighter of the Month by High Times magazine. He embraces grassroots reform strategies, having seen marijuana decriminalized in Massachusetts after 20 years of efforts by a small, committed, and effective cadre of activists.
Horticulturalist & Designer; Cannabis Business Consultant & Advisor
Kelley Crosson is a horticulturist, designer, and cannabis advocate who
has worked in the field of horticulture since 1992, when she served as a
Children’s Garden program intern for Strybing Arboretum Society in San
Francisco, CA. Alongside a dedicated group of volunteers, she taught basic
organic gardening principles and practices to children ranging in age from 7-14
and assisted Strybing’s Education Director with the development of new garden
and craft programs.
From 1992-2008, she worked as a freelance designer for a
multitude of luxury event, home, floral, and garden design companies in San
Francisco, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, St. John (USVI) and New York City. In 2009, she
formally incorporated as KC, Inc., which is her horticulture and design consulting
company. That same year, Kelley joined the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP)
where she worked with major donors from 2009-2018. From 2011-2013, Kelley
completed the SOPH program at the New York Botanical Garden, where she
received her Diploma in Horticulture. While a student at the NYBG, Kelley
interned with the US Fish and Wildlife Service in New Jersey to study Helonias
bullata, a plant federally listed as a threatened species. She was an instrumental
part of the installation team for the 3.5-acre, $15 million Native Plant Garden at
the NYBG, which included Helonias bullata and other plants native to the region.
The main emphasis of her horticulture studies and current practice is low-impact,
sustainable design and the use of native plants.
She currently serves as Vice President of the Board of Trustees for the New Jersey Cannabis Industry Association (NJCIA), and as an advisor to several US cannabis companies.
Kim Napoli Esq.
Co-Founder, The Hempest Inc.
Kim Napoli is a Roxbury, Massachusetts-based attorney practicing labor and employment law. In 2006 Ms. Napoli co-founded the Hempest in Harvard Square (now The Hempest, Inc.), a hemp-based retail clothing boutique whose mission is to educate the public about hemp and cannabis. Ms. Napoli continues to educate the public on the benefits of cannabis and equity in Massachusetts through her work as Director of Diversity Programs and Marketing Specialist at New England Treatment Access, Inc. She is also Of Counsel to the Vicente Sederberg law firm.
As a Massachusetts state Cannabis Advisory Board member, Napoli also works to develop and deliver messaging on the significant topic of social justice and equality in the Massachusetts cannabis industry in order to support and bolster equity in ownership amongst disparately impacted communities such as her own. Ms. Napoli served as the Director of Outreach for the successful Yes on 4 Campaign to Regulate and Tax Marijuana in Massachusetts in 2016.
Founder, Pure Oasis
Kobie Evans is a native of Boston, and he is a serial entrepreneur with 15 years of experience working in residential real estate.
He and his business partner have an application pending with the Cannabis Control Commission to open a retail Cannabis establishment, they have also been awarded a Host Agreement to operate in Boston. They are also seeking a Host Agreement to operate a store in Medford once zoning is finalized. Their company, Pure Oasis, is 100% local, 100% minority owned, and also a designated Economic Empowerment applicant by the Cannabis Control Commission.
Pure Oasis is launching a business accelerator that will help people of color from urban areas become entrepreneurs.
Kobie has also founded the Massachusetts Cannabis Equity Association which is a business organization bringing Equity applicants together with the focus of assisting others in entering the Recreational Cannabis market.
Kobie attended Bentley College. He enjoys mentoring entrepreneurs, and he also advocates issues of social justice and economic empowerment.
COO and Co-Owner, Northeast Alternatives
Northeast Alternatives part Owner and COO, Kyle oversees cultivation operations, R/D, product design, and manages branding/marketing for the company. Kyle and his team won their first award from High Times in the 2011 Cannabis Cup in the Sativa category in Colorado. Kyle has designed, built, furnished, and trained staff for the renowned 200,000 SQ FT warehouse “The Mother Ship” at Native Roots from 2014-2017. Kyle has won many Cannabis Awards including multiple High Times Cannabis Cups from 2010-2017 for both cultivation and extracts. He has consulted for many large companies on grow design, staffing strategies, and successful management focusing on scalability. He graduated from Fort Lewis College in 2009 with a focus on Ethonobotany and Finance.
President & Co-Founder, The Healing Rose Company
Laura Beohner is the President & Co-Founder of The Healing Rose, an organic hemp CBD body care company that uses 100% Certified Organic carrier oils, essential oils, butters, waxes, and herbs. Her just under 3 years, her products can be found on the shelves of over 150 retail locations across 25 states. She has been a medical cannabis patient for 7+ years and believes that cannabis and hemp are a Master Plant that can change the World. Laura has been a public speaker at conventions and trade shows all over New England for the past 3 years and is passionate about teaching others about topics such as Infusions, Topicals, Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Branding & Women in Cannabis. Laura is one of the founders and leaders of the Massachusetts Hemp Coalition. Additionally, Laura is on the Board of Directors for Elevate Northeast and on the Board of Directors for the Northeast Sustainable Hemp Association, as well as a youth and High School girls Basketball Coach.
National Director of Veterans Outreach, Minorities for Medical Marijuana; and Co-Founder, Leaf Launch Holdings
Leo Bridgewater Sr. was born and raised in Trenton NJ. In 2001, Leo enlisted into the United States Army in response to the September 11 attacks in New York City and Washington DC. There, he spent 5 years as a Telecommunications specialist with multiple deployments to Iraq. After separating from the Army in 2006, he spent another 2 ½ years working for the Dept. of the Army at the Pentagon in Washington DC. As a Department of Defense Contractor serving in both Iraq and Afghanistan, Leo has worked for companies like L-3 Communications, ITT systems, and Excellis. Having had 3 battle buddies attempt suicide and 2 being successful, the number of Veteran suicides per day (22) is an issue Leo finds to be totally unacceptable. Leo’s advocacy has seen him testify in NJ Senate Committee to have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) added to the NJ Medical Marijuana Program. As a result of his efforts, in September of 2016, NJ Gov. Chris Christie signed bill S-2345 adding PTSD to the NJMMP. Currently, Leo serves as NJ Chapter President of Minorities for Medical Marijuana and is Sub-Committee Chair of Minorities with the New Jersey Cannabusiness Association. He has partnered with organizations like Coalition Medical Marijuana New Jersey, Drug Policy Alliance, Americans Civil Liberties Union, I Deserve Canna, Cannabis Cultural Association, and Weed 4 Warriors -Trenton NJ Chapter. Signaling his evolution as an advocate and entrepreneur in the industry, he is the Co-Founder of the NJ Cannabis Commission, with a mission to be a vessel by which the industry works through in the state of New Jersey.
Vice Chair, Ilera Healthcare
Ms. Gray has over 26 years of experience in finance, marketing, business development and operations primarily within the pharmaceutical industry. Lisa is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of PIPV Capital, a Private Equity firm focused on building companies in life sciences, where she manages the financial aspects of the firm, generates and leads investments, manages investor communications, and acts as CEO, Board Member and/or plays various management roles, as necessary. Prior to founding PIPV Capital, Lisa worked with SmithKline, Beecham Pharmaceuticals, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals, and Coopers and Lybrand. Ms. Gray is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA). She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Accountancy from Villanova University, an MBA in Finance and a Postgraduate Degree in Marketing Management. In addition, Lisa is active in various community efforts including YESUCAN, which is focused on improving lives of people with disabilities, The American Red Cross, The Villanova School of Business, and various youth programs.
Vice President of Operations, New England Treatment Access
Lynnette French has nearly 20 years of leadership, talent development, and operational management experience in the retail industry. Lynnette spent 18 years with lifestyle retailer Urban Outfitters, holding district-level positions in multiple high-profile markets including Philadelphia, Miami, Chicago and Boston. Her diverse background enables her to approach business decisions from a holistic perspective, keeping in mind sustainable operational practices while also considering overall service and both the client and employee experience. Lynnette’s acute focus on forming the best teams for different retail environments has consistently delivered exceptional results.
Lynnette joined New England Treatment Access, in early 2017 as the Director of Dispensary Operations. Lynnette has spent the last 2 ½ years implementing operational controls and partnering with all levels of the multifaceted organization to maximize customer satisfaction and production. Her personal passion for the teams who work in the dispensaries, coupled with the amazing opportunity to interact directly with medical patients, has been the opportunity of a lifetime.
In November of 2018, Lynnette led the retail teams and NETA to the opening of the first recreational marijuana dispensary East of the Mississippi. To achieve an increase of this size, Lynnette worked to staff, train and implement new policies in an everchanging environment and regulatory climate. In March of 2019, Brookline, MA became NETA’s second location to launch recreational sales, and as of Fall of 2019 is still one of the only dispensaries servicing the majority of Boston’s adult use clients.
As of September 2019, Lynnette has assumed the role of Vice President of Operations for NETA. Lynnette’s oversight with this new role has expanded to all production, cultivation, inventory, systems, facilities, marketing and fittingly, retail operations.
Dr. Marion McNabb DrPH, MPH
CEO & Co-Founder, Cannabis Community Care & Research Network (C3RN); Founder, MASS Hemp Coalition
Dr. McNabb is the CEO of Cannabis Community Care and Research Network (C3RN) a cannabis-focused research and project implementation company. Dr. McNabb has a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree from Johns Hopkins University and a Doctorate in Public Health (DrPH) from Boston University School of Public Health. She has over 15 years of experience implementing sexual and reproductive health programs mainly in Africa and Haiti, including innovative digital health tools for research and project implementation. She is widely published in scientific journals and joined the cannabis industry in early 2017 to apply her experience to advance the science and integration of medical cannabis as a treatment alternative. Her goal is to create a center of excellence for medical cannabis care and research in New England.
Partner, National Director Public Companies, MNP
Maruf Raza is the National Director of MNP’s Public Companies team. He provides auditing services to public companies and private businesses around the globe planning on going public through direct initial public offerings or reverse mergers. For more than a decade, Maruf has helped companies in many industry sectors, including licensed cannabis producers, secure seed financing, scrutinize complex transactions and analyze International Financial Reporting Standards to effectively structure deals. His work in the cannabis sector has a special focus on Latin America and Africa. Maruf is the Chair of CPA Canada’s Cannabis Working Group and a thought leader on biological asset accounting.
Key Account Manager, Kush Supply Co.
Co-Founder and CEO, Canna Provisions
Meg Sanders is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Canna Provisions, a cannabis retailer based in Massachusetts. She oversees all operations, but has a particular passion for store design, customer service experience, and employee training.
Ms. Sanders is a cannabis industry pioneer who helped pave the way in Colorado, the birthplace of legalization. In 2010 she opened Mindful, one of Colorado’s first medical cannabis dispensaries, and was later appointed by the state’s governor to assist officials in developing retail cannabis regulations after the historic 2012 voter approval of adult-use cannabis.
As CEO of Mindful, Ms. Sanders went on to expand operations and grow the company into one of the most widely recognized and highly respected cannabis businesses in the country; it’s now a leading cannabis producer and infused product manufacturer with medical and retail dispensaries in Colorado and Illinois. She parlayed this experience into co-founding the consultancy Will & Way with her partner, Erik Williams, and has advised startups, government agencies, investors and institutions.
As a leader in the legal cannabis movement, Ms. Sanders has been featured on National Public Radio and in Rolling Stone, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Le Monde, 60 Minutes, Der Spiegel, High Times and other prominent media outlets. Prior to her cannabis ventures, Ms. Sanders worked for more than two decades in retail and nonprofit business leadership as well as managing financial compliance for private equity companies. A native of Texas, Meg currently lives in Lee, Massachusetts..
CPA, Guske & Company, Inc.
Michael K. Briggs, CPA is a cannabis industry tax specialist with Guske & Company, Inc. in Bellevue, Washington. Mike has been an accountant for over 20 years, and a CPA since 1999. He has specialized in cannabis industry tax issues since 2015. Guske & Company currently has clients in 10 states, assisting all phases of the cannabis industry with tax preparation and planning, corporate structuring, IRS mediation, and a wide range of accounting and bookkeeping issues.
Founder & Chief Technology Officer, D&G Agtek
Michael Goodenough is the founder and Chief Technology Officer of D&G Agtek, an Agriculture and Technology Company for the past 5 years. D&G Agtek is a founding member of the North East Sustainable Hemp Association. Mike and his partners are passionate about scientific based research efforts in the Hemp processing industry and have partnered with local universities studying extraction techniques and efficiencies for several years.
Michael has been an advocate of the hemp agricultural industry in Connecticut. His company, D&G Agtek specializes in hemp and CBD from soil to oil. Through his love of technology and agriculture he has built a team and company around three integral parts of the emerging east coast hempire. First from the soil, Mike and his team have not only built the first USDA approved greenhouse dedicated to hemp in CT and control several grows across the state, but have also helped numerous farmers break into the hemp growing industry by providing certified seed, seedlings and consulting services. Next, with his extraction team he has led the way in capturing real time data that will benefit the CBD extraction community and the CT pilot program. Rounding out his company’s three-pronged business model he has applied his extensive background in business to creating his company’s brand, Sweet Heal. Sweet Heal delivers premium quality CBD topical and edible products directly to consumers through the website sweetheal.com and appearances and sponsorships of multiple events across New England.
Michael is a decorated Marine Corps combat veteran, who brings the same pride and work ethic he displayed in the Armed Services to everything he does for his customers, company and community. Despite all his accomplishments, Michael is most proud of his family and wife of 18 years, with whom he enjoys spending his free time.
Michael P. Ross
Partner & Co-Chair, Cannabis Team, Prince Lobel Tye LLP
Michael P. Ross served for 14 years as a Boston City Councilor and was president of the body from 2009-2010. His experience now enhances his practice as an attorney, where he represents our cannabis clients in permitting matters throughout New England since 2014, including the permitting of Boston’s first medical marijuana dispensary. He regularly appears before government boards and agencies in order to advance the needs of his clients and to advise them regarding the balancing of social equity issues with commercial needs.
Attorney, Vicente Sederberg LLP
Michelle Bodian is a Senior Associate in Vicente Sederberg’s New York office. Michelle primarily advises clients on hemp and cannabinoids issues throughout the country, especially the intersection of state and federal law. Prior to joining Vicente Sederberg, Michelle served as the land use counsel for the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources and was an associate at an environmental and real estate law firm in Milford, Connecticut.
She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law with an Environmental Law, Science, and Policy Certificate and received her Bachelor of Arts from Brandeis University.
Chief Risk & Compliance Officer, Dama Financial
Michelle Sullivan is the Chief Risk & Compliance Officer of Dama Financial, with offices in San Francisco, Kansas City, and Austin. Michelle is a strategic business executive with over 25 years of a proven track record of developing and executing organizational vision. Her leadership in comprehensive enterprise risk and compliance has led to highly successful regulatory outcomes.
Michelle’s previous leadership roles in the banking industry have led to reshaping Risk Operations & Compliance from policies/procedures to technology innovation. Michelle’s expertise includes regulatory compliance, banking compliance, regulatory filings, third party risk management, product development, and operational risk management.
Previous to joining Dama Financial, Michelle has held roles such as SVP, Director of Corporate Risk Operations and SVP, Director of Corporate Fiduciary Compliance. In addition, Michelle has extensive experience in Policy Management, CPM Controls, Loss Reporting, and Corporate Insurance Programs.
Michelle is a thought leader in developing strategy, products and compliance programs using practical, innovative tools and integrated approaches to detect and prevent potential wrongdoing.
Cannabis Partner in Charge, Squar Milner
With over 25 years of experience pertaining to federal, state and local tax matters, Mr. Goral has worked with both large and small cannabis companies. This experience includes cannabis companies located throughout California as well as other states such as Washington, Oregon, Nevada and Colorado. Recently with the legalization of cannabis in Canada, Mr. Goral is taking larger cannabis clients public on the TSX Canadian Stock Exchange. In addition, Mr. Goral has extensive experience defending cannabis clients in
federal and state tax matters including one case involving the IRS where he helped reduce a $1 million dollar assessment to approximately $80,000. During his tenure at both Big 4 and regional accounting firms, Mr. Goral has drafted state tax legislation and even written briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Owner, The Hempest
I am currently co-owner of The Hempest clothing stores, and have been so for 22 years and counting. We specialize in all things Hemp and maintain one of the most diverse and complete Hemp retail lines on the planet. We also focus on wholesale distribution, and manufacturing. I have traveled and sourced vendors throughout Asia, Europe, Australia, and the US. I have also sourced several certified fair trade factories in China where we produce our own line of goods. I have experience sourcing, and designing hemp and organic textiles, as well as extensive experience importing and exporting these goods. In 2003, I started Hempest.com, currently one of the top hemp and organic clothing sites on the web, with the top google ranking in hemp clothes, and hemp clothing. I work from a deep conviction that Hemp is the answer to a wide breadth of some of the world’s most pressing problems. The demonization of the Cannabis plant has caused extensive damage to our planet as well as our collective consciousness. It is a senseless war that will never be won, against a plant that history has shown to be one of the most useful, and beneficial plants we have ever known. I’ll continue to work hard to do my part to make sure Hemp has a future.
Graduate Student, Brown University; Founder/CEO, SMART (Student Marijuana Alliance for Research & Transparency)
After his freshman year at Brown, Nadir was forced to retire from his Division 1 football career after suffering his sixth concussion. Now, in his senior year at Brown, Nadir has successfully made the pivot from a full-time student athlete to full-time student entrepreneur. He’s now been featured in Forbes, Huff Post, and Entrepreneur.
Nadir has spent most of his career in digital strategy, branding & marketing working with a range of cannabis companies from cultural staples like High Times to new burgeoning start-ups like Ardent Cannabis. Nadir is also Founder/CEO of SMART (Student Marijuana Alliance for Research & Transparency) a college cannabis organization dedicated to bridging the gap for students into the booming legal industry while helping to legitimize brands through academia.
Attorney, Dill Dill Carr Stonbraker & Hutchings, PC
Nick J. Richards is a practicing tax attorney, adjunct professor of law and legal specialist to the United States cannabis industry. He is a partner at Dill Dill Carr Stonbraker & Hutchings and is tax counsel to Vicente Sederberg, two prominent and well connected law firms leading the way in U.S. state legalized cannabis. Nick represents and advises cannabis businesses and owners throughout the U.S. regarding taxes, business practices, acquisitions, and I.R.C. Section 280E. With his involvement in ongoing IRS and State audits, Nick has current up to date information that he uses to help cannabis clients correctly report and navigate Section 280E and state cannabis taxes. Nick began his legal career in the IRS where he was a Trial Attorney, Special Assistant United States Attorney and Staff Attorney to the IRS Chief Counsel. After 11 years with the IRS, Nick began representing individuals and businesses and was one of the first attorneys to represent a cannabis company in an IRS 280E audit. Nick graduated from law school at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, and he is licensed to practice law in California and Colorado.
Dr. Oludare Odumosu
Chief Scientific Officer & Executive Vice President, Pharmaceutical Division, Ilera Healthcare
Dr. Odumosu brings 10 years of experience in corporate pharmaceutical business development, operations and strategic alliance management to his role as Ilera Healthcare’s Chief Scientific Officer/EVP Pharmaceutical Division. His background in biochemistry and healthcare entrepreneurship gives him unique qualifications for this role. Dr. Odumosu played a critical role in Iroko Pharmaceutical’s post-clinical development of Zorvolex Tivorbex and Vivlodex through FDA approvals and successful US market commercialization. He also managed the execution of the business development gate processes for the expansion of Iroko’s Solumatrix franchise products through ex-US licensing agreement negotiations.
He received a PhD in Biochemistry and a Master’s in Public Health-Epidemiology and Biostatistics from the Loma Linda University School of Medicine and School of Public Health in Loma Linda, California; and a BS in Biology from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Dr. Odumosu is a World Bank Institute Certified public health professional with global healthcare translational/clinical/epidemiological research and data management experience.
Editor, Cannabis Law Digest
Believing in the importance of education and access to information, Patricia H. Heer co-founded the Cannabis Law Digest, an electronic platform of legal resources for the cannabis industry. The Digest contains cannabis statutes and regulations, industry specific articles, agency guidelines, and state and federal cannabis court decisions summarized by industry attorneys. Any cannabis industry participant can empower oneself by staying on top what courts and regulators are saying about the issues affecting one’s business and quickly adapting to any changes.
Historically, Patricia has practiced in the area of commercial litigation and business reorganization at an AmLaw100 firm. Patricia’s litigation and transactional experience enables her to now advise clients in the rapidly shifting cannabis industry.
Patricia Heer is a member of the State Regulations Committee of the National Cannabis Industry Association, a member of the Emerging Issues Committee of the National Cannabis Bar Association, and a member of the New York City Affairs Committee of the New York City Bar Association. She has also published several articles on issues affecting the cannabis industry and is a frequent speaker at industry events and conferences.
Founder/CEO, Minorities for Medical Marijuana
As the Founder/CEO of Minorities for Medical Marijuana, Inc. She is responsible for the day- to-day operation and is the chief strategist involved in developing public policy, advocacy, education, and marketing campaigns to promote awareness, information, and education about the efficacy of medical marijuana. It is a varied role that includes planning, marketing, advertising, public relations, event organization, fund development, sponsorship, and research. The work is often challenging and fast-paced. With over 22 years of experience Roz is a constant creator of marketing and branding campaigns and business development strategies. A direct & target marketing consultant who assists with marketing plans, writes copy, and designs top-pulling mailings, ads, catalogs, and web pages for business, nonprofits, consumer, and professionals.
Roz also hosts a weekly call in Cannabis 101 talk platform entitled “CannaTalk with Roz.” When asked should marijuana be legalized for medical use…….Without hesitation Roz boldly says yes! “In 1983 my father lost his vision due to glaucoma and in 2005 my mother passed away after a courageous battle against breast cancer. I’m sure if medical marijuana were available the plant could have made a difference and improved their quality of life.”
Minorities for Medical Marijuana, Inc. (M4MM) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization focused on advocacy, education, and outreach as it relates to the social, medical, business, and public policy aspects of the cannabis industry. M4MM is a membership based organization working hard to make sure people of color have a true quantifiable opportunity to participate in this marketplace and are afforded adequate access to care despite their economic situation. M4MM currently has presence in 20 states throughout the US as well as a chapter location in Jamaica.
Sara Brittany Somerset
Sara Brittany Somerset is a United Nations-based reporter and photographer. She was the first and only full time Cannabis Correspondent™ in the United Nations press corps, initially covering the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime. Her work has been syndicated globally and published in various media outlets from The New York Times to the Jerusalem Post. She was formerly U.N. Bureau Chief of High Times.
As a foreign correspondent, she covered cannabis exportation during the blood diamond wars in Sierra Leone and traveled with the U.N. Security Council to Timbuktu.
Sara Brittany currently contributes to Forbes, Leafly, and a plethora of additional media outlets, while on the cannabis beat.
In addition to being an award-winning journalist –her most recent accolade is a 2018 Star Media Award for best Cannabis Freelance Writer– Sara Brittany serves on the advisory board of Canadian company, Curative Cannabis and is an equity partner in Driven Deliveries (OTC: DRVD) and greenbox Robotics, among other companies.
Director of Special Projects, Holistic Industries
Sarah studied Photography in San Francisco where she began her retail career. She proceeded to spend 13 years working for a large chain of natural grocery stores, developing her skills in team building and management, training, retail finance, retail operations, customer service, business management, production and retail merchandising. In 2018, Sarah made the leap from the natural foods world to cannabis retail and operations when she joined the team at Holistic Industries as the Director of National Projects. This transition has been exciting for her as it has presented new learning opportunities, and challenges every day. Sarah has a passion for conscious leadership and a drive to help move the industry.
Host, Cannabis Economy
Seth Adler is a host, moderator, producer and unlicensed anthropologist. Seth quickly and effectively turns ideas into results. He has a dynamic background including 20 years of production experience of international events, podcasts, video, and text.
Previously, he was in charge of bringing the greatest show on earth to town- Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey. Then, he produced music showcases at the historic, now closed CBGB. Now his focus is on the legal cannabis industry and artificial intelligence.
Partner, Duane Morris LLP
Seth A. Goldberg counsels clients in business and litigation, with a particular emphasis in highly-regulated industries such as cannabis, pharmaceuticals and healthcare. He serves as a team lead for the Duane Morris Cannabis industry group, and has been recognized by various publications, including the prestigious Chambers and Partners, for his work in the cannabis space.
As an active, seasoned trial lawyer, who regularly appears in federal and state courts, arbitral forums, and before federal and state regulatory agencies, including the SEC, FTC and state attorneys general, Mr. Goldberg has become a go-to lawyer in high-stakes cases and corporate investigations.
In addition, Mr. Goldberg’s unique experience in highly-regulated markets, combined with his entrepreneurial interests, has led to his involvement with the emerging cannabis (marijuana and hemp) industry. In this market he advises core and ancillary cannabis companies, including growers, processors, dispensaries, infused-product manufacturers, real estate developers, universities and university research centers, raw materials companies, and investors in a wide array of regulatory and business matters pertaining to their legal cannabis activities.
Mr. Goldberg spearheaded the establishment of the firm’s Cannabis Industry Group from 2015-2018, and has been appointed as a team lead for the group in 2019. In April 2019, Mr. Goldberg was recognized by Chambers and Partners as being in the “Top-Tier Nationwide” among lawyers who practice in the cannabis space. In November 2018, Mr. Goldberg was named one of the 30 powerful cannabis attorneys to know in the cannabis industry by MG Magazine, and in October 2018, Mr. Goldberg was recognized as a Trailblazer in Cannabis Law by the National Law Journal.
East Coast District Manager, Verilife
Michelle Stormo is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology. Ms. Stormo has over fifteen years of experience working in non-profit community based programs treating substance abuse and mental health problems. Ms. Stormo is passionate about bringing communities together and finding solutions to systemic problems such as the opioid epidemic.
Ms. Stormo founded a non-profit in 2013 in response to the Massachusetts voter approved medical marijuana law and is now the District Manager for Pharmacannis (Verilife), which operates in five states, including a medical and recreational dispensary in Wareham, MA. Ms. Stormo’s vision is to provide registered patients and adult use consumers quality cannabis products from across the state.
Iraq Veteran; CEO and Co-Founder, United Mass Wellness; Co-Founder, Cannabis Advancement Series
Stephen Mandile is a dedicated and proud father and husband. He was elected to the Board of Selectman for Uxbridge MA in May 2019. He serves as the Assistant Legislative Director for Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Department of Massachusetts and is President of Alternative Treatment for Veterans.
As a Sergeant in the Massachusetts Army National Guard Stephen deployed to Iraq in 2004-2005 serving in Operation Iraq Freedom 3 with the 793rd Military Police Battalion, until being medevaced home with a severe spinal cord injury. Since 2015 Stephen has been advocating for disabled veterans, mental health awareness, disease of addiction awareness, and medical cannabis as a form of harm reduction to combat the opioid overdose epidemic, and the veteran suicide crisis. With a focus on research and data, sharing his personal experiences, combined with Stephen’s passion to serve have him sought out by members of Congress at the federal level and state legislators on the local level when it comes to these matters. His work provides thousands of veterans across the commonwealth with access to
medical cannabis through programs with private businesses making the medicine a more affordable option for disabled veterans that rely on the Department of Veterans Affairs for the healthcare.
Founder, Cannabis Today
A Philadelphia native, Steve calls Longmont, CO home today. Steve’s obsession and experience with broadcast media began more than a decade before his formal training at the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. After graduating, Steve accepted his first role in media/marketing as an Advertising Account Executive with a Spanish-speaking news organization.
At that time, many were still undecided as to whether or not digital and social media platforms were the metaphorical new frontier or a flash in the pan. Steve made his decision, left traditional media behind and committed himself to the tools and techniques that are now essential to marketing effectively on today’s most popular media platforms.
More than a decade later, he and Dolo Media continue to collaborate with a diverse group of businesses and personal brands to develop strategic processes around creative content and targeted distribution by way of podcasting, smart-speakers, social media and more.
Professor, Management & Markeeting, UMass Dartmouth
Dr. White has been a professor of marketing & international business at the Charlton College of Business sinc 1998. From January 2006 through May 2010, he served as chairperson of the department of management and marketing in the Charlton College of Business and from June 2010 through June 2012, as director of the university’s sustainability studies program during which time the university’s graduate certificate in sustainable development was developed and launched. Since 2000, he has co-organized and guided 200+ students on alternative spring break task force missions to 24 cities in 15 countries (Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Costa Rica, England, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Portugal (including Azores) and Spain). Additionally, he has co-organized and guided trade missions in partnership with the Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment (MOITI).
Prior to entering academia Dr. White was vice president of an advertising agency, promoted sporting and special events, managed outdoor sporting goods stores/ski shops and served as an alpine ski instructor.
Tara J. Hopper, Esq.
Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Licensing, Columbia Care (Patriot Care)
Tara J. Hopper, Esq., is currently the Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Licensing for Columbia Care (Patriot Care – Massachusetts), a multi-state operator for the cultivation, manufacturing and dispensing of medical and adult use cannabis. Tara has been navigating the regulatory landscape for cannabis in Massachusetts since January 2017 when she began lobbying for MassCann/NORML, and then worked as General Counsel to Garden Remedies, another vertically integrated medical and adult-use cannabis company in Massachusetts until coming to Columbia Care in September 2019. Tara comes to Columbia Care with over 15 years of experience working in public policy, regulatory and government affairs and has worked closely with both the Florida and Massachusetts legislature and executive agencies. Tara gained expertise navigating through government processes when she began working as Chief of Staff to a Florida State Senator in 2003, and focused on Health Law in her Juris Doctorate (J.D.) program, and completed a Master of Laws (LL.M) in Health Law and Public Policy with an emphasis on FDA law and pharmaceutical regulatory compliance. With federal legalization on the horizon, Tara’s expertise with FDA law provides excellent insight on future possibilities of cannabis regulation. Tara is also a Licensed Certified Social Worker (LCSW) who has been a strong advocate for mental health and other disability issues.
CEO, The Compliance Guy
President & CEO, GFA Federal Credit Union
Tina M. Sbrega is the President & CEO of GFA Federal Credit Union. GFA is a well- capitalized, $540 million member focused credit union headquartered in Gardner, MA.
Under Ms. Sbrega’s leadership and unanimous support from her Board of Directors, GFA Federal Credit Union created a subsidiary company in 2018 to provide banking services to the legitimate cannabis industry. Since opening their first cannabis business account in 2018, they have continuously enhanced their product suite to include a 401K plan, a mutual fund, and other strategic partnerships with companies willing to serve the cannabis industry. They are proud to be serving cannabis operators, employees, and ancillary companies and like to consider themselves a strategic partner to the industry.
Ms. Sbrega earned her BSBA from Roger Williams University in Rhode Island.
Dr. Tom Sannicandro
Director, Massachusetts Association of Community Colleges
Tom Sannicandro is currently the Director of the Massachusetts Association of Community Colleges representing the interests of the 156,000 community college students across Massachusetts. He formerly served as the Director of the Institute of Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He was a State Representative in Massachusetts for 12 years, six years as the Chair of the Joint Committee on Higher Education. He has a Ph.D. from Brandeis University, an MPA from Harvard University, a law degree from Suffolk University and a BA from the College of the Holy Cross. He has published in the area of higher education, educational opportunity for individuals with intellectual disabilities, and in the area of health care access for children with special health care needs.
Chief Marketing Officer, Revolutionary Clinics RMD
Tom Schneider is a marketing executive with over 30 years experience in building companies through branding and delivering integrated marketing ecosystems and business strategies for midsize to Fortune 500 companies. Tom believes that great marketing should be steeped in customer and competitor insights, to create the brand, drive awareness, generate leads, develop new business and inevitably guide product evolution. Prior to joining Revolutionary Clinics in the spring of 2018, Tom founded and sold three marketing agencies, and, most recently, was Chief Marketing Officer of Target Logistics, a multinational provider of workforce housing.
Managing Partner, Zuber Lawler
Tom Zuber is a founder and the Managing Partner of Zuber Lawler. Zuber Lawler represents clients throughout the world from offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Silicon Valley. Zuber Lawler represents clients most often on the areas of M&A and other deals; IPOs; intellectual property; regulatory work; and litigation and investigations. Zuber Lawler’s attorneys work in languages covering 90% of the world’s population.
Mr. Zuber is the relationship partner for some 10 Fortune 500 Company clients of the firm, as well as funds and government entities. He has advised some of the most iconic companies in the world on their patent and trademark disputes, deals and global portfolios. He has also represented leading cannabis companies for over 12 years. He is at the cutting edge of cannabis patent and trademark law. As examples, he has managed teams that have applied innovative strategies to obtain meaningful federal trademark protection for cannabis brands, and the 2nd-ever-issued U.S. plant patent for a cannabis strain.
He earned a J.D. degree Columbia Law School, a masters in public policy degree from Harvard University, and a biomedical engineering degree from Rutgers University, where he graduated with highest honors.
Vice President of Strategic Business Development/Co-Founder , Clean Technique, LLC
Tymofey Wowk is currently employed as the Vice President of Strategic Business Development at Clean Technique, LLC, a scientific cannabis oil extractor, specializing in quality assurance/quality control and data-driven consultation. Previously, he worked as a research consultant at the Office of Institutional Advancement at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) and the College of Engineering and Information Technology Dean’s Office at UMBC on both quantitative and mixed-methods research projects. He has extensive experience in data management and statistical analyses using nationally representative federal datasets, and has presented findings from these projects at the American Education Research Association national conferences. Tym was also a professor for 13+ years at both public and private universities. As a PhD candidate at UMBC, Tym’s dissertation research is comprised of advanced quantitative data analysis using merged federal higher education datasets, and theory from the fields of education, sociology, psychology, and economics.
Dr. Valerie Roberson
President, Roxbury Community College
Valerie R. Roberson has been a community college administrator for over 30 years. She has served as president, vice presidents of academic affairs and of institutional advancement, dean and director of various programs, faculty member, researcher, and student advisor. Currently, Dr. Roberson is President of Roxbury Community College (RCC) where she has led the transformation of the College through $72M in construction projects; re-staffing of the College leadership team; stabilization of College finances; realignment of academic programs to ensure student transfer and employment; and compliance of all operations with external agency standards. She has inspired innovations including the elimination of developmental education, increased use of online instructional materials (reducing costs for students), and the provision of social services to assist students in degree completion. These changes have led to increased rates of student retention, transfer, and graduation.
One of Valerie’s passions is conserving and saving resources for both the environment and the College. At RCC, a college parking lot was converted to provide three cost-saving measures that also reduce energy consumption: geothermal wells as part of the system that heats and cools the campus; a solar canopy that collects energy that is sold to the local provider; and electric car charging stations are provided for community use. This work was recognized by the Governor’s 2017 Leading by Example Award and by a 2018 Better City‘s Leventhal Award.
Dr. Roberson earned her doctorate in higher education administration from Illinois State University in 2002. She holds a master’s degree in adult education: employee training and development from Roosevelt University and a bachelor of science in psychology from Bradley University.
Vietnam Veteran; Board Member, IAVA and National Veterans Legal Services Program Inc.
Wayne is an accomplished veterans advocate who has worked with war veterans for nearly four decades. A native of Providence, Rhode Island, he was an altar boy and choirboy. After serving nearly 18 months in Vietnam as a combat medic, Smith overcame his own wartime trauma before becoming a nationally recognized mental health therapist and advocate for war veterans. Smith has led educational programs about veterans and the causes and consequences of war, and helped raise more than $2 million for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. In 1998, Smith returned to Vietnam with 20 American veterans to promote peace and reconciliation. Together with 20 Vietnamese soldiers, these former enemies rode bicycles 1,200 miles, from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, to help heal some of the wounds of that war. Smith is one of the veterans featured in the Emmy Award winning documentary about the experience.