Speaker List Boston

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Aaron Wood
Manager, CMW Media

Aaron Wood

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Alen Nguyen
CEO, MainStem

Alen Nguyen

Alen serves as CEO for MainStem, leading and providing business guidance to the executive management team. Alen lays out the overall company vision and strategic direction, setting the methodical course to growing the organization. MainStem, Inc is a pioneering technology company, centralizing purchasing in the cannabis industry through its marketplace technology. MainStem has the most comprehensive marketplace portfolio of cannabis business supplies such as packaging and grow supplies in the industry. MainStem achieve this by connecting distributors and manufacturers directly to customers through our marketplace platform. Alen holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington and a Master of Business Administration from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. His graduate studies were focused towards Corporate Strategy and Entrepreneurship.

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Andi Goldman
Principal, ABG Advisory / Equitas Partners Fund

Andi Goldman

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.

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Arthur de Cordova
Managing Director, Ziel

Arthur de Cordova

Arthur de Cordova is the managing director and co-founder of Ziel, a company focused on providing safety solutions for the domestic and global food and cannabis industries through radio frequency and microwave technology. Arthur built multi-million dollar sales of technology products over a decade in the clean energy space, providing innovative technological and financial solutions to Fortune 500 companies. He led the strategic account initiatives at SunPower, Solyndra and ClearEdge Power, where he was VP of global sales. Prior to working in energy, Arthur was country manager at the pharmaceutical multinational AstraZeneca, where he was tasked with building their business presence in Russia. After university, he worked on Wall Street in the institutional equity trading operations of PaineWebber and then Bear Stearns. Graduating from Georgetown University with a degree in finance and business administration, Arthur has also studied at the Netherlands School of Business, Stichting Nijenrode, and the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland. At Ziel, Arthur is responsible for all revenue, marketing, and business development functions, as well as legal and finance.

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Avis Bulbulyan
Founder and CEO, Siva

Avis Bulbulyan

Avis has been effectively serving his clientele for over a decade now, and holds one of the highest success rates nationwide for obtaining cannabis state licenses in the industry. Highlights include securing the highest score in Massachusetts and being the only company to win the maximum 3 out of 3 state licenses. As CEO of SIVA Enterprises – A full service business development firm, focusing on Consulting, Management, Investments, Insurance and Brands; he leads a high caliber team who collectively provide all SIVA clients with the highest level of support from idea and concept, through execution and exit. He is the Education Chair for Cannabis Legal Accounting Law (CLab). He remains one of the most sought after speakers in the industry and is a valued expert resource for many national news sources and publications. SIVA clients are today some of the most well-known and highest grossing companies in the cannabis industry.

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Brandon Kurtzman
Senior Associate, Vicente Sederberg

Brandon Kurtzman

Brandon Kurtzman primarily advises medical marijuana dispensary applicants and ancillary marijuana businesses in Massachusetts on corporate, licensing, regulatory, land use, and compliance issues. Prior to joining Vicente Sederberg, Brandon worked as a solo practitioner focused on civil and criminal litigation. While at New England School of Law Brandon was a New England Scholar and served as the Senior Editor on the New England Journal of International and Comparative Law.

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Catherine Lewis
President, Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine

Catherine Lewis

After suffering severe injuries in a motor vehicle accident in 1990, both Catherine and her husband Glenn fell victims to modern medicines’ pharmaceutical trap. They began their journey with medical cannabis in 2002 to help Glenn eliminate about 9 different drugs he had been prescribed over the years for his injuries. Glenn became an official patient in 2009 under the care of Dr. Sulak. Catherine became his caregiver. Seeing the amazing results that cannabis provided him and their ability to produce such a great medicine, together in 2010 they started HomeGrown HealthCare, Apothecary and Learning Center now located in Winthrop, ME. As caregivers, they are dedicated to sharing their knowledge with folks suffering from a variety of ailments, including Chronic Pain, Cancer, PTSD and Addiction Recovery. In 2011 Catherine joined the board of MMCM Trade Association as the Director of Education and in 2015, she became the President of the Board, helping to shape legislation and communication with the overseeing State Departments and Municipalities. She volunteers many hours in the community and at the State House testifying for the medical cannabis program. She also sits on the Board of Advisers for New England Cannabis Network. Catherine has been educating others with classes and workshops through a variety of Industry shows, town hall meetings, fairs and the University of Maine at Augusta (Klahr Center), with MMCM and now at their Learning Center in Winthrop Maine. Enabling people to learn the laws, patient/caregiver rights, business rules, cultivation and preparation of cannabis for better health and natural wellness. Catherine most recently was instrumental in the crafting and recent passing of LD 1539 and LD 238. These two bills will help improve Maines Medical Cannabis program. Creating a new legitimacy for the businesses within the program

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Chloe Villano
President, Clover Leaf University

Chloe Villano

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, 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.

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Craig Litwin
Principal and President, 421 Group

Craig Litwin

A seasoned political consultant and cannabis activist since 1994, Craig brings over 20 years of experience in the field. A top signature-gatherer for Proposition 215, Craig went on to become a Sebastopol councilman and mayor, co-authoring one of the nation’s first dispensary ordinances. He’s testified before county supervisors throughout California and has been a driving force behind Santa Rosa’s dispensary and cultivation ordinances and Clearlake’s rejection of a cultivation ban. Craig’s talent for designing and implementing sound policy – and skillfully engaging policymakers, community leaders, and law enforcement – makes him a strong ally. A champion of permaculture, Craig holds a BA in Ecology with Sustainability emphasis.

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Daniel Gustafik
Founder, Hybrid Tech

Daniel Gustafik

As the founder of Hybrid Tech, Dan Gustafik has brought to fruition years of experience in the cannabis, contracting, and equipment technology sectors. He has a passion for maximizing the potential of cultivation facilities utilizing his knowledge of the intricacies of integrating cannabis systems with best cultivation practices. He enjoys balancing running his own business by exploring the Pacific Northwest outdoors with his family as much as he can.

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Dave Schuler
Vice President of Engineering, Jupiter Research

Dave Schuler

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David Berg
President and CTO, Strainprint Technologies

David Berg

As President and Chief Technology Officer at Strainprint David is responsible for the on-going development of the Strainprint application and emerging analytic products. David works directly with the company’s developers, customers, partners, physicians and clinicians to deliver on the vision of a crowd sourced medical cannabis tracking ecosystem. David has a broad technical and business background with over 20 years of experience managing product and engineering teams for major multi-national technology companies. David has spent the last 5 years working in the medical cannabis industry and has experience working in commercial cultivation and distribution in Holland, Jamaica and Canada. David has a BCom from York University and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Windsor. In his spare time, David enjoys being with his wife and kids both at home and on ski mountains. David is also a movie buff and music lover. If David were not working with Strainprint he would be developing his next Cannabis technology company.

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David Wenger
Founder, GRA Investing

David Wenger

David Wenger is a New York City attorney and diligent student of the US cannabis industry. After earning degrees in finance and law, David worked in the New York City office of DLA Piper, one of the world’s largest law firms, for nearly a decade, advocating for large corporations and foreign governments in complex domestic and international commercial disputes and advising on high-stakes cross-border contracts. In early 2017, David began intensively researching the cannabis industry and investing in Canadian cannabis companies. In January 2018, David shifted his portfolio to the US cannabis industry investing in privately-held and publicly-traded US cannabis companies. David is acquainted with many of the US industry’s leading executives, professionals, financiers, and service providers. David is the author of “The Green Regulatory Arbitrage: A Case for Investing in US Multi-State Vertically-Integrated Cannabis Companies,” published September 6, 2018 on New Cannabis Ventures and excerpted on Benzinga. David is the founder of GRA Investing. GRA Investing provides cannabis investment advisory and consulting services to institutional and retail investors seeking growth opportunities in the US cannabis industry.

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Dean Croshere
Director, Cannabis Products, Link4 Greenhouse Controls

Dean Croshere

Dean is a California-based writer, speaker and advocate for marijuana growers. His experiences in cultivation, extraction, food and infused product production began in the early days at MedMen where he was instrumental in designing new facilities for each stage of production and applying relevant procedures across the country. He holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Southern California (USC) and currently leads Cannabis operations for Link4 Greenhouse Controls.

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Dean Guske
Principal, Guske & Company, Inc.

Dean Guske

Dean Guske has over 30 years of experience in the areas of taxation, accounting and business consulting. In addition to his many years as a CPA, Dean has worked in private industry and was also a managing director of a real estate development company. 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. In addition to his expertise in real estate, Dean has significant experience in the emerging cannabis business. He is a frequent speaker and author on the complex tax issues facing the industry. Serving several hundred clients in the cannabis industry he is at the forefront of developing successful tax strategies for industry entrepreneurs. He holds a Master’s degree in taxation from Golden Gate University and a Bachelor of Arts in business from the University of Washington. He is a member of the AICPA and WSCPA where he serves on the Tax Committee. He is a licensed CPA in the state of Washington. Dean’s other passion is golf. He admits that he is a “junkie” and frequently can be found playing a fun round with his son Austin.

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Derek Peterson
CEO, Terra Tech Corp.

Derek Peterson

Derek Peterson is the CEO of Terra Tech Corp. He began his career in finance with Crowell, Weedon & Co, the largest independent broker- dealer on the West Coast. Derek is a CFP® Professional and holds his Series 7, General Securities Sales Supervisor Series 9 and 10, National Commodity Futures Series 3, Series 65 and California Insurance License.

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Dr. Philip Blair
Medical Advisor, Elixinol

Dr. Philip Blair

Col. Philip Blair, M.D. (U.S. Army retired) graduated from West Point in 1972, attended the University of Miami School of Medicine and trained as an Army Family Physician. Dr. Blair researched and applied industrial hemp cannabidiol (CBD) to clinical care for patients, organizations and other health professionals across the USA, Australia, and the UK.

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Giadha Aguirre de Carcer
Founder & CEO, New Frontier Data

Giadha Aguirre de Carcer

Giadha Aguirre de Carcer is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Frontier Financial Group Inc., dba New Frontier Data. She is an entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in business execution, management and strategic business development with an emphasis on emerging markets. De Carcer has worked in investment banking with JPMorganChase in both Manhattan and London, and served as a senior consultant in the defense, technology, and telecommunication industries for both the commercial and government sectors domestically and abroad. She has successfully launched and operated four data-driven businesses, including disruptive technologies such as the original patent application behind Progressive’s Snapshot and Verizon’s Hum. She is considered an expert in strategic positioning and risk management in emerging high growth markets, along with investment banking, and government and commercial intelligence data collection and analysis. These core skill sets along with dynamic entrepreneurship have defined de Carcer’s career, and drive her vision forward for New Frontier Data. De Carcer and her work have been featured through large media outlets and in documentaries and books including Forbes, Fortune, CNBC, Fox News, CNN Money, “Mary Janes”, “The Marijuana Show”, “The Gold Rush”, and “Breaking the Grass Ceiling”, among others.

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Governor William Weld

Governor William Weld

Bill Weld was elected Governor of Massachusetts in 1990 and reelected in 1994 with 71% of the vote. He was re-elected by the largest margin in Massachusetts’ history in 1994 and was the Republican nominee for the United States Senate in 1996. During his term as Governor of Massachusetts, he succeeded in reducing taxes and unemployment. His pro-business policies are widely considered to have had a positive impact on the state. He served as Assistant U.S. Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division of the Justice Department and was the Vice Presidential candidate running with Presidential candidate Gary Johnson, for the Libertarian party in 2016. Weld and Johnson received triple the number of votes than previous party candidates. Recently, Weld along with former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives John Boehner was recently named to the Board of Advisors for Acreage Holdings, one of the nation’s largest, multi-state actively-managed cannabis corporations.

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Gretchen Gailey
EVP of Communications and Government Affairs, New Frontier

Gretchen Gailey

Gretchen Gailey has a wide depth of knowledge in building relationships and communications stemming from more than 10 years of experience as a journalist. She has worked in network news, cable news and local news, on and off the camera, as well as in print journalism. She has interviewed heads of state, covered natural disasters, political campaigns, terror trials and told the stories of countless Americans across the country. Most recently Gailey joined the private sector as a Senior Associate for Blueprint Communications where she worked with clients to implement earned media strategies and grass root campaigns across the country on multiple platforms. She used her relationships and familiarity with the media to help clients gain a new level of comfort in dealing with the press. Gailey served as the Communications Director for Congressman Bill Shuster (R-PA), the Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. As Communications Director, she promoted the Congressman’s legislative priorities and communicated his message to the people of the 9th District of Pennsylvania. Prior to coming to Capitol Hill, Gailey was a reporter for WHTM Harrisburg covering crime and the Pennsylvania State House. Before returning to her home state of Pennsylvania as a reporter, she worked for several years as a field producer for Fox News Channel in Washington D.C. where she worked on stories ranging from the DC Sniper and Michael Vick scandal to being on the ground in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti after the tragic 7.0 earthquake. She began her career in journalism working for NBC News where she worked as a field producer for their affiliate service, NBC News Channel, as an associate producer for their political team covering the 2004 Presidential Election, and as a “one-man-band” for their affiliate in Hagerstown, MD.

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Hannah Davis
Chief Marketing Officer, Mammoth Distribution

Hannah Davis

Hannah Davis joined Mammoth Distribution in March 2018 to develop the company’s brand portfolio strategy and lead the organization’s marketing efforts including advertising, digital media, public relations, consumer research, and retail marketing. She works with the company’s brand partners on product development and differentiation through positioning, packaging and marketing and is responsible for identifying and cultivating new brand relationships. Previously, Davis served as Senior Director of Brand Marketing for World of Beer, a national craft bar and restaurant chain and worked as Head of Craft & Import Marketing for Molson Coors UK, where she started the specialty beer sales and marketing department. In her 10 years working in the craft beer industry, she launched and built brands in the US and across Europe including work on Blue Moon and strategic retail partnerships with brands like Sam Adams, Stone Brewing and Dogfish Head. In 2017, she transitioned from the beverage to the cannabis industry as a consultant to help brands understand their consumers with research and strong brand positioning.

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Jacob Black
Chief Scientific Officer, Treehouse Biotech

Jacob Black

Jake is a co-founder at Treehouse and serves as the Chief Scientific Officer. As CSO he leads a team of chemists working to lead the industry in cannabinoid isolation and formulation. Jake obtained his M.S. in Organic Chemistry from Yale University as an NSF Graduate Research Fellow, and his B.S. in Chemistry with Honors from Villanova University. Jake’s research focused on medicinal chemistry and the development of new spectroscopic methods, fields in which he has authored multiple papers.

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Jacobi Holland
CEO and Co-Founder, Jade Insights

Jacobi Holland

Jacobi Holland is the CEO and Co-founder of Jade Insights, as well as a Co-founder of REVEL. Working in the cannabis industry for the last four years, Jacobi realized there was a void in how licensed companies used their data to make business decisions. All of their data was disparate, complicated and ultimately, not being used effectively, if at all, to make critical business decisions. As a result, Jacobi started Jade Insights, a turn-key business intelligence and supply-chain analytics web-app for cannabis industry operators. Jade Insights helps businesses stay compliant and increase efficiency throughout the supply-chain. Given his vast, on-the-ground knowledge of different types of cannabis technology, Jacobi also helped co-found REVEL, a cannabis technology showcase in New York City that highlights the most innovative companies and entrepreneurs in the legal marijuana markets. Before starting REVEL and Jade Insights, Jacobi started a data, tech and software consulting company for the cannabis industry, Dutch Compass. As a consultant, Jacobi helped companies create value in technology and data throughout the emerging marijuana markets. He has worked with numerous licensed facilities, other cannabis technology companies, government and PR groups, national CBD brands and other cannabis organizations. Though, heavily involved with the tech side of cannabis, rooted in all that he does, Jacobi is committed to advocate for medical marijuana patient access and to ensure the legal cannabis industry is equitable to communities hurt the most from the War on Drugs.

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Jake Didion
Sales Engineer, Apeks Supercritical

Jake Didion

Jake Didion is a sales engineer at Apeks Supercritical, an Ohio-based manufacturer of fully automated subcritical and supercritical CO2 botanical oil extraction systems. Apeks has designed and manufactured botanical oil extraction equipment since 2001 and has more than 500 CO2 extraction systems installed in cannabis facilities worldwide. Jake has been with the company for three years, having first worked in the service department before moving into the sales role. Jake has lived in Ohio for all his tender 22 years and his sister and father also work at Apeks!

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Jason Stier
Director of Marketing, EZTrim

Jason Stier

I have a degree in economics and have worked in a lot of different corners of the industry including edibles, dispensary management, consulting, and ancillary products. I am currently the Director of Marketing for EZTRIM, we manufacture harvesting equipment for marijuana.

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Jason Vegotsky
President, Kush Bottles

Jason Vegotsky

Jason Vegotsky is a passionate seasoned business developer and sales expert. With a background of leading distribution, sales, and business development, he is motivated to build and grow companies to a larger scale. He graduated from Bucknell University in 09’ with a BA in Economics. Jason co-founded Summit Innovations and continues to lead its business development efforts with Kush Bottles, a leading provider of packaging, supplies, vaporizers, accessories and branding solutions for the regulated cannabis industry.

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Jay Youmans
Principal, Smith Costello & Crawford

Jay Youmans

Jay Youmans is Principal of Smith, Costello & Crawford Public Policy Law Group, Massachusetts’ premier cannabis policy firm, representing clients in both the medical and adult use industries. Serving two administrations, Jay has a long history advancing public policy in Massachusetts, serving most recently as Senior Advisor to the Commissioner of Public Health. Jay was a leading advocate for the successful passage of Chapter 55 of the Acts of 2017, An Act to Ensure Safe Access to Marijuana, served as a staff lead of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s (DPH) reform and relaunch of the Commonwealth’s Medical Use of Marijuana Program in 2015, and was a primary architect of DPH’s medical use of marijuana regulation in 2013. Jay was recognized by the Governor for outstanding public service performance in 2014.

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Jeff Lowenfels
Jeff Lowenfels

Jeff Lowenfels

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Jeffrey Rosen
President, Tailored Benefits, Inc.

Jeffrey Rosen

Jeffrey has lived in SF for over 33 years. He is on both the NCIA and CCIA insurance sub-committees as well as a panelist at the Aug 11th at the CalCPA Society one day Cannabis Conference. Tailored Benefits provides cannabis insurance solutions to companies throughout the U.S. Tailored Benefits has evolved over the past several decades to play an integral part in the cannabis industry. We have had cannabis clients for over eleven (11) years, including dispensaries, manufacturers, distributors, extractors and growers, among others. Jeffrey Rosen previously practiced law for ten (10) years in San Francisco, Silicon Valley & Taipei, Taiwan. He has run an employee benefits company for almost two decades. The combined brings much to the table for cannabis clients. Tailored Benefits offers a full suite of insurance coverages and protection policies for those in the cannabis space. The services include, but are not limited to, Employee Benefits, Property Casualty, Workers Comp, Product and Management Liability insurance, E &O, D&O, EPLI, OSHA compliance, as well as Payroll and POS solutions.

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Jesse Alderman
Attorney, Foley Hoag LLP

Jesse Alderman

Jesse Alderman is Co-Chair of Foley Hoag’s Cannabis Practice. He represents adult use marijuana establishments and registered medical marijuana dispensaries before zoning authorities in numerous municipalities across Massachusetts and led the drafting of some of the first adult use marijuana establishment applications ever submitted to the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission. He is a regulatory and land use attorney and advisor to many companies broadly operating in the cannabis space.

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John Kagia
Chief Knowledge Officer, New Frontier Data

John Kagia

John applies his keen understanding of market research, business strategy, and industry analysis to help high-performing organizations achieve their strategic objectives. Leveraging his experience managing research studies for industry-leading clients including Microsoft, George Washington University, and the State Department, Kagia brings an incisive understanding of how market insights enable organizations to plan, grow, compete, and measure performance more effectively.

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John MacKay
Founder, Synergistic Technologies & Associates

John MacKay

John A. MacKay earned a B.A. in Chemistry from St. Lawrence University (SLU), and Ph.D. from the University of Vermont (UVM), in Inorganic Chemistry focused on the synthesis of cancer fighting compounds. After positions teaching at Davidson College, Lyndon State College and University of Vermont (UVM), John joined Waters Corporation in 1983 and retired in 2017. His career has included many roles in innovative product development. While recently he is widely recognized as scientific expert in sub and supercritical fluid for extraction and chromatography in the botanical space, he is bringing the synergy from what were seen as disparate technologies together to optimize workflow.

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Jordan Wellington
Chief Compliance Officer, Simplifya

Jordan Wellington

Jordan Wellington, Esq., Chief Compliance Officer at Simplifya, served as the sole legislative staffer assigned to shepherd the legislation implementing Amendment 64 and the legalization of cannabis through the Colorado General Assembly. He then was hired by Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division to organize the Division’s stakeholder engagement process and draft many of the regulations governing retail and medical marijuana in Colorado. Jordan then joined the Vicente Sederberg law firm, where he has advised hundreds of cannabis businesses on compliance matters across the country. Building upon his work with the firm, Jordan created the vision and co-founded Simplifya, a software company that provides compliance solution to cannabis businesses and consultants. As Simplifya’s Cheif Compliance Officer, Jordan continues to help develop new features and improve its unique systems to continually make life easier for cannabis businesses. In addition, Jordan continues his government affairs and public policy work. He regularly advises elected officials and regulators from across the globe on the responsible regulation of cannabis. Jordan also continues to author legislation and regulations in Colorado and other states, having most recently worked on legislation relating to permissive vertical integration, fiber recycling, and autism. Finally, Jordan has helped to author the white papers “Cannabis Packaging and Labeling Regulatory Recommendations for States and Nations” and “Cannabis Testing Policy: Recommendations for more Thoughtful and Consistent Regulations.”

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Kamani Jefferson
President, Massachusetts Recreational Consumer Council

Kamani Jefferson

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.

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Karson Humiston
Founder, Vangst

Karson Humiston

Millennial Entrepreneur, Karson Humiston, is the Founder and CEO of the largest careers platform in the cannabis industry, Vangst. At the age of 22, after struggling to find information on careers in the cannabis industry, Karson saw an opportunity to build a company that helps people secure careers in the rapidly emerging industry. Karson, now age 25, has led the Vangst team to help connect over 5,000 people with jobs ranging from entry to the executive in the cannabis industry. Karson was featured on the Forbes 30 under 30 list for 2017.

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Kelley Crosson
Vice President, New Jersey Cannabis Industry Association

Kelley Crosson

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Matt Simon
New England Political Director, Marijuana Policy Project

Matt Simon

Matt has been working since 2007 to reform marijuana laws in New Hampshire. In 2011, he was hired by the Marijuana Policy Project and his work expanded to Vermont and other states. In 2018, Matt’s efforts paid off in Vermont when it became the first state to legalize marijuana through the legislative process. In New Hampshire, he lobbied and organized in support of medical marijuana legislation that finally passed into law in 2013 (after having been vetoed by the governor in both 2009 and 2012) and decriminalization legislation that passed in 2017. He also served on the drafting committee for the 2016 ballot initiative that legalized marijuana in Massachusetts. Matt is currently advocating in support of reforms in New Hampshire, Vermont, West Virginia, and Kentucky. A former college English instructor, he lives in Manchester, New Hampshire and holds a Master’s degree in English from West Virginia University.

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Michael Briggs
CPA, Guske & Company, Inc.

Michael Briggs

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.

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Michael Scherr
CEO, America Israel Cannabis Association

Michael Scherr

Michael has spent over a decade in the cannabis industry and brings knowledge, experience, and networks to this nascent industry. In 2008, he became one of the first 10,000 patients in Colorado and began growing for himself and eventually cultivating boutique strains for local dispensaries in Denver. Michael was a touring musician for his “day job” and 2012, he cut rock-star locks and moved back to Boston where he graduated from Babson College’s entrepreneurial MBA program, focusing on branding and marketing. For the past two and a half years, Michael has dedicated his time to understanding all aspects of the cannabis industry and has a deep understanding of the interplay between them. Currently, Michael is building out a cannabis packaging division for Contempo Specialty Packaging and the America Israel Cannabis Association (AICA), whose goal is to increase, innovation, collaboration, and investment between the two country’s cannabis industries.

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Montel Williams
Founder, Lenitiv

Montel Williams

Montel Williams is one of the highest profile advocates for medical cannabis in the country. He has used medical cannabis products to effectively manage the symptoms of his Multiple Sclerosis (MS) since his diagnosis with the disease in 1999. Williams earned his media celebrity status as an Emmy Award winning television personality whom Americans invited into their homes for more than 17 years. Alongside his TV career, he’s become an inspirational speaker, author, entrepreneur, and advocate for patients worldwide. At the height of his TV career, in 1999, Williams experienced his first symptoms of MS—a sharp and 24-hour neuropathic pain in his feet and legs. When pharmaceuticals proved ineffective, his doctor recommended medical cannabis as part of his treatment. Ever since, Williams has been using cannabis products as a medication to manage the debilitating symptoms of his MS. Williams became an early advocate of medical cannabis law reform in the US. Back when he started as an advocate, patients were being dragged out of their homes in wheelchairs by the police for using cannabis to treat their pain, and Williams was one of the few high profile voices on Capitol Hill fighting for their rights. Over the past two decades, he has worked to pass medical cannabis legislation in key states and led the push for military veterans to access medical cannabis without the threat of losing benefits. When Williams first began using cannabis, there was little research into its medical uses. Williams sought out the latest in cannabis manufacturing technologies and research and worked closely with a formulator to ensure that his medicine was the highest quality available. As founder of Lenitiv Scientific, Williams remains dedicated to delivering high-quality and consistent products to patients—like himself—who rely on cannabis as a medicine.

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Mr. Derek Peterson
CEO, Terra Tech Corp.

Mr. Derek Peterson

Derek Peterson is the CEO of Terra Tech Corp. He began his career in finance with Crowell, Weedon & Co, the largest independent broker- dealer on the West Coast. Derek is a CFP® Professional and holds his Series 7, General Securities Sales Supervisor Series 9 and 10, National Commodity Futures Series 3, Series 65 and California Insurance License.

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Mr. Jeffrey Rosen
President, Tailored Benefits, Inc.

Mr. Jeffrey Rosen

Jeffrey has lived in SF for over 33 years. He is on both the NCIA and CCIA insurance sub-comittees as well as a panelist at the Aug 11th at the CalCPA Society one day Cannabis Conference. Tailored Benefits provides cannabis insurance solutions to companies throughout the U.S. Tailored Benefits has evolved over the past several decades to play an integral part in the cannabis industry. We have had cannabis clients for over eleven (11) years, including dispensaries, manufacturers, distributors, extractors and growers, among others. Jeffrey Rosen previously practiced law for ten (10) years in San Francisco, Silicon Valley & Taipei, Taiwan. He has run an employee benefits company for almost two decades. The combined brings much to the table for cannabis clients. Tailored Benefits offers a full suite of insurance coverages and protection policies for those in the cannabis space. The services include, but are not limited to, Employee Benefits, Property Casualty, Workers Comp, Product and Management Liability insurance, E &O, D&O, EPLI, OSHA compliance, as well as Payroll and POS solutions.

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Mr. La’Quay Juel
President, Obsidian Elite Investment Association

Mr. La’Quay Juel

LaQuay L. Juel is a professional business and political consultant with 20 years of professional experience. He has a degree in international economics from Stockton University, civil engineering, and information technology. He also studied international business law at Seton Hall University. He is a former Marine Corps Captain (select), having commanded a division of combat engineers, and is a combat veteran of three foreign conflicts. Mr. Juel is an entrepreneur owner of the Home First Foods, LLC brand and Dansby Business Consulting. He is a trustee Chairman of the Non-Governmental Organization; All Afrikan Empowerment Society. He has served as President Emeritus of the NJ chapter of the National Forum of Black Public Administrators. Mr. Juel is happily married to Marni Juel and they have six children, five adult sons and one teenage daughter. He is a native of Atlantic City and is a current resident of NJ. Mr. Juel is a founding partner, and President of the Obsidian Elite Investment Association.

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Mr. Marcus Johnson-Smith
Co-Founder/Co-Owner, Kush Groove

Mr. Marcus Johnson-Smith

Marcus Johnson-Smith is the co-founder and co-owner of Kush Groove.

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Mr. Nick Kovacevich
CEO, Kush Bottles

Mr. Nick Kovacevich

In his role as CEO for Kush Bottles, Nick directs all business relations and financial strategy for the company. Nick also oversees the organization’s senior management team. Nick has been integral in making critical strategic, growth, and financial decisions since the company’s inception. Nick holds a Bachelor of Science from Southwest Baptist University where he studied Sports Management and earned Academic All-American honors.

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Ms Jeanne Mariani Sullivan
General Parnter, Sullivan Adventures LLC and The Arcview Group

Ms Jeanne Mariani Sullivan

Jeanne M. Sullivan is passionate about delivering ideas – connections – and inspiration to entrepreneurs and is a fierce advocate for legalization and regulation of the Cannabis industry. Jeanne is a co-founder of StarVest Partners, a venture capital firm in NYC and long- time tech investor, now a special advisor to her firm. Prior to her investing experience, Jeanne served in operating roles at AT&T and Bell Labs as part of an entrepreneurial team building innovative products in image processing and high end computing. She is working with The Arcview Group – a member organization of more than 650+ Angel investors focused on cannabis. Ms. Sullivan is a sought-after industry speaker on the subject of “how to get the wallet out of investors’ pocket” and is an active advisor and investor in the sector and a proud member of the Arcview community. She was recently named to Business Insider’s list of “Rising Stars in the Cannabis Investing Landscape”. Jeanne is a member of the Women’s Leadership Board at the Harvard Kennedy School and is an Athena Entrepreneur Fellow for Barnard College. She is on the Global Board of Trustees of Astia, an organization that funds high-growth women entrepreneurs. Forbes cited Sullivan as “one of the women VCs changing the world – grooming the next generation of female entrepreneurs”. The New York Angels organization honored Jeanne as the OPEL award winner – Outstanding Professionals for Entrepreneurial Leadership. The New York Hall of Science honored Jeanne for her work inspiring girls and women in science, technology (STEM) sectors. Jeanne also serves on the Board of Trustees of the New York Hall of Science – a museum that introduces people of all ages to STEM learning with hands-on exhibitions. Jeanne has a B.S. degree from the University of Illinois and a J.D. from Creighton University School of Law.

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Ms Shira Adler
Founder & CEO , Shira Synergy, a division of Shen-Tech

Ms Shira Adler

Shira Adler ~ Author. Speaker. Instigator. Shira is a clear & conscious voice for our time shattering stigma through her CBD expertise, activism, & highly renowned book “The ABC’s of CBD: The Essential Guide for Parents (And regular folks too)” which explains “why pot is NOT what we were taught.” A media personality/host, healer, educator, advocate, & entrepreneur, Shira was the debut mom on Bravo’s Extreme Guide to Parenting and has created a media wellness & CBD consumer products company built from her passion for CBD, marijuana activism, natural wellness, conscious parenting, and personal empowerment.

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Neil Juneja
Managing Partner, Gleam Law, PLLC

Neil Juneja

Neil Juneja is the founder of Gleam Law, a cannabis-focused law firm with offices in Washington, Oregon, and California. He is a registered patent attorney and has registered over 400 cannabis trademarks. Neil appeared in Newsweek, Time Magazine, and on several documentaries for his work in the cannabis legal industry. He has also been awarded numerous accolades including repeated SuperLawyer’s Rising Star awards and the 40 under 40 most influential people in the cannabis industry.

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Nick Kovacevich
CEO, Kush Bottles

Nick Kovacevich

In his role as CEO for Kush Bottles, Nick directs all business relations and financial strategy for the company. Nick also oversees the organization’s senior management team. Nick has been integral in making critical strategic, growth, and financial decisions since the company’s inception. Nick holds a Bachelor of Science from Southwest Baptist University where he studied Sports Management and earned Academic All-American honors.

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Nick Pateras
Vice President, Lift & Co.

Nick Pateras

Nick Pateras is Vice President of Growth at Lift & Co., Canada’s leading cannabis media, technology and product platform. With a mission to empower informed cannabis decisions, Lift & Co. collects and disseminates big data with the goal of bridging the informational gap between buyers and sellers. Prior to joining Lift & Co., Nick spent several years in the pharmaceutical sector with Johnson & Johnson Inc., where he led businesses across OTC and Health & Beauty. His background in healthcare led him to make the professional move into cannabis, having long advocated for recognition of its many medical applications. He holds two degrees, in Business and Philosophy, from Queen’s University, Canada.

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Nick Richards
Attorney, Dill Dill Carr Stonbraker & Hutchings, PC

Nick Richards

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.

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Olivia Mannix
Founder, CEO, and Chairman of the Board

Olivia Mannix

Olivia Mannix is a cannabis industry pioneer and cannabis marketing and business expert. At 23 years old, she founded Cannabrand –an award-winning, full-service marketing agency and business consultancy and the first to specialize solely in the cannabis industry. Cannabrand has successfully gone through a merger and is now not only a marketing agency but a consultancy that aids cannabis companies with business operations and capital services as well as mergers and acquisitions resources. The agency has played an integral role in shaping cannabis brands since its launch in January 2014 (at the onset of the burgeoning adult-use market), and helps clients to establish their unique brand identities so that they might position themselves competitively in the marketplace. Olivia predicted the future of the cannabis industry by creating a company that “rebrands” cannabis, bettering its image while opening up cannabis use to broader demographics through information and education. She is also an advocate for the medicinal benefits of cannabis and the adult use market. Olivia’s passion and drive are magnetic. The Cannabrand team features top talent from big brand companies like Osprey Packs, Merrill Lynch, Starbucks, AT&T, and Disney.

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Rick Scarpello
Founder and CEO, incredibles

Rick Scarpello

Rick Scarpello, Founding Partner and CEO of Medically Correct, LLC, is a food expert with a focus on operations, compliance, and accounting. Rick’s background includes running large scale food operations like Il Fornaio Bakeries, Udi’s Bakery Division and Chesapeake Bagel Bakeries. His experience includes building company-wide quality control plans, food safety controls, food defense plans, organic certifications, kosher certifications, food recall systems, and quality assurance plans.

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Roger Brauninger
BioSafety Program Manager, American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA)

Roger Brauninger

Roger Brauninger has worked at the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) since 1999. In his role as their Biosafety Program manager, his focus is on developing and maintaining accreditation programs in the Life Sciences with emphasis on microbial and chemical risks to people, animals and the environment. He is A2LA’s point person for interacting with organizations working with food and drug safety, human and animal anti-doping, biological and chemical threat agents and for the last few years the world of cannabis.

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Roger Obando
Head of West Coast Operations, Baker Technologies

Roger Obando

For over 20 years, Roger Obando has been a noteworthy leader in the software development space. After earning degrees in both Computer Science and Visual Design from Duke University, he spent years working with well-established, interactive agencies, including his own. After nearly a decade of working with companies like Sony, BMW, JP Morgan, and Disney, he shifted his focus to the product space. Most recently, Roger has been Co-Founder and CTO at Baker Technologies. With the recent merger to form TILT, Roger has moved into a new role of Head of West Coast Operations to support the growing business.

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Roz McCarthy
Minorities 4 Medical Marijuana

Roz McCarthy

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Sandy Suchoff
Owner, The CannaCPAs

Sandy Suchoff

Sandy Suchoff CPA formed her accounting practice in 1997. She has been featured on FOX News and MSNBC as a tax advisor, is an accomplished speaker on cannabis tax matters, is co-authoring a book on tax strategies,and has been interviewed on podcasts and newspapers. In response to a family member’s health condition, she researched the efficacy of medical cannabis and commenced catering her practice to the space.

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Sonia Erika
Co-Founder, Massachusetts Recreational Consumer Council

Sonia Erika

Prior to graduating with Harvard’s class of 2016, Espinosa helped co-found the Cannabis Cultural Association (CCA), an organization which strives to involve underrepresented communities in the legal cannabis/hemp industry in New York. Currently Sonia is focused on the Massachusetts Recreational Consumer Council, MRCC, who’s efforts seek to bridge the gap between communities and local legislators.

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Valerio Romano
Principal, VGR Law Firm

Valerio Romano

Attorney Valerio Romano, admitted to practice law in California and Massachusetts, is a co-drafter of the successful 2016 Question 4. He represents open medical dispensaries, dispensary applicants and registration holders, and other businesses related to the cannabis industry. The focus of Valerio’s work is municipal and land use, and various corporate issues related to marijuana businesses including fundraising, corporate formation, and application drafting.

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Walter Stark
President, MSP Technology

Walter Stark

Walter Stark, a nationally-recognized expert and visionary in dehumidification, water generation and energy recovery, is President of MSP® Technology, a provider of leading-edge, industrial-grade dehumidification and water recovery technology for diverse indoor farming application including commercial cannabis cultivation. He invented the MSP Dehumidifying Coil, which saves up to 70% energy and also holds other patents.

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Zach Schulz
Chief Architect, Vangst

Zach Schulz

Zach has spent his career in software development working on Enterprise Applications. Designing and developing applications to improve business productivity and profitability. He is now working at Vangst, as the Chief Architect. He is leading the technology team as they help Vangst become the future of staffing in the Cannabis industry.

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Zach Silverman
Co-Founder and Chief Technical Officer, LeafLink

Zach Silverman

Zach served in a diverse range of b2b-focused technical roles prior to co-founding LeafLink, including as a consultant for a firm specializing in business intelligence and reporting tools, co-founder and CTO of ReachLogic Media (acquired by A6 Corp. ’14), and product manager for Ebay Enterprise. Zach brings expertise building tools for growing businesses, including platforms for sales force reporting, CRM, marketing, and data management to LeafLink as Chief Technical Officer.