Speaker List Los Angeles
Partner, Nelson Hardiman
Aaron Lachant has been at the forefront of the marijuana industry since 2009. By solving novel and complex regulatory, compliance and licensing issues, Aaron has kept his clients, including approximately 45 of the 135 originally legalized dispensaries in Los Angeles under Proposition D (legislation he co-authored), in business and flourishing. Combining Aaron’s pioneering experience in getting marijuana businesses permitted with his adroit navigation of a regulatory landscape in flux, has made him the go-to attorney for legal cannabis advice.
He frequently acts as outside general counsel for clients in the industry and is active in the Greater Los Angeles Collective Alliance (GLACA), an association of medical cannabis cooperative and collective operators whose mission is to provide safe access to patients with adherence to a strict code of operational guidelines. He is the only attorney appointed to the Los Angeles County Advisory Working Group on Cannabis Regulation. Aaron also heads the consulting group, MMLG, which focuses on navigating local and state licensing application requirements for cannabis-related businesses.
Well ahead of the curve on the issues facing the marijuana business, Aaron’s work has grown with the maturing of the industry. He has worked on many sophisticated corporate transactions, advising clients on M&A deals, partnership disputes, and litigation involving regulatory violations. His legal knowledge of business and regulatory issues confronting the cannabis industry is complemented by years of experience representing other healthcare providers in all aspects of healthcare law. With the legal marijuana market expanding at a rapid pace, Aaron’s practice is devoted to keeping marijuana businesses
Professor, Clover Leaf University
One of the most well respected master cultivators and breeders in the cannabis and hemp industries. Mr. Dunn’s exclusive knowledge and industry firsts have led him to an unparalleled expertise. As the CEO of THSeeds, he has introduced some of the most sought after strains in the industry and has won over 20 Cannabis Cups internationally. His clothing line, Hemp Hoodlum, has reached legendary status by expanding internationally to over 16 countries and hundreds of shops. His expertise in the industry has spanned over 20 years and his advocacy has helped re- birth the hemp industry.
Founder and President, Solis Tek
Alan leads the manufacturing, development, and sourcing of Solis Tek products. In addition, Mr. Lien manages the Company’s sales and operational strategies. Before founding Solis Tek, Mr. Lien was the COO for A&A Lien Enterprise, an export/import company Taiwan with a focus in sporting equipment.
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.
Vice President, CCIA; Founder, Harborside Health Center
Andrew DeAngelo began with the cannabis plant as a teenage activist writing about cannabis law reform in his advanced placement courses at T.C Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia. While in graduate school in 1991, Andrew helped collect signatures for Proposition P, which legalized medical cannabis in the City of San Francisco, the first such law passed by any jurisdiction in the United States. Building on this momentum, Andrew then helped organize for Proposition 215, which legalized medical cannabis in the State of California in 1996, the first State to do so. Shortly after he graduated, Andrew was diagnosed with Glaucoma and moved back to Washington D.C to be closer to his family.
Andrew and his brother Steve DeAngelo continued their pursuit of changing medical cannabis laws by raising funds, collecting signatures, and eventually passing Initiative 59, a medical cannabis legalization law in the City of Washington D.C. in November of 1998–a law that was initially overturned by Republicans in the U.S Congress. Andrew also worked with his brother Steve in the successful operation of Ecolution Inc. a hemp clothing company in the 1990s and helped Ecolution grow to over $1 Million in annual revenue. Ecolution was sold when Andrew and Steve decided to leave the Washington D.C area and return to California where medical cannabis was legal and accepted. Andrew’s career in medical cannabis has culminated in his work as Vice President of Harborside Health Center in Oakland, Calif., the largest medical cannabis retail distributor in the world, with annual revenues of $26 Million and with over 156,000 patients as members. Harborside Health Center was the first medical cannabis dispensary in the world to lab test all their medicine, put their infused products into child-proof packaging, and develop inventory control and security protocols that are the industry standard today.
Anne van Leynseele
Of Counsel, Zuber Lawler & Del Duca LLP
Anne van Leynseele is a cannabis regulatory and deal attorney, often working across sovereign borders. She advises multi-state and multi-national cannabis clients on governance, compliance, licensing, acquisition, asset management, and import/export matters. Ms. van Leynseele also counsels her clients on cannabis political policy as it develops across the nation and around the world. She is a leading expert on the topic of hemp.
Prior to joining Zuber Lawler, Ms. van Leynseele spent four years as a federal attorney advisor in Washington, D.C. Prior to that, she managed commercial transactions and corporate communication strategies for Fortune 100 companies, and did business management consulting in Sydney, Australia.
Founder, The Yogasm Experience
AshleyAsatu is a public servant who specializes in creating brave spaces to facilitate healing in
unconventional ways. In 2013, AshleyAsatu earned an MPA from CSU Stanislaus with specializations in Public Policy, Program Evaluation, Organizational Development, and Group Dynamics. In 2015, AshleyAsatu received her formal Yoga Teacher Training in Hatha Yoga and Kemetic Yoga in Oakland, CA.
Founder and CEO, Siva
Avis Bulbulyan is the CEO of SIVA Enterprises. He has over 12 years’ experience in the cannabis industry and is recognized as an industry expert. He began as a cultivator in 2007 and quickly moved into manufacturing and retail. Prior to starting SIVA, Mr. Bulbulyan developed successful applications for former US Congressman Bill Delahunt in Massachusetts, where they were the highest ranked (160/163) applicant and only group to win 3 of the 3 licenses available. He has gone on to win licenses in other states, such as Nevada, Illinois, Maryland and California.
Because of his comprehensive understanding and deep insight into the nuances, regulations and trends of the cannabis industry, Mr. Bulbulyan was appointed to California’s 22-member Cannabis Advisory Committee, which advises the 3 state departments and bureau on the development of California’s State Cannabis Regulations. He was also the President of the Los Angeles Cannabis Task Force from 2016 to 2018.
Mr. Bulbulyan’s commitment to providing outstanding client services has propelled SIVA into the forefront of the industry. Under his direction, SIVA was voted Top 10 Legal and Consulting firm in the nation by Entrepreneur Magazine in 2018. Expertise.com, a company that independently vets service providers, voted SIVA as one of the Top 18 Consulting Companies in Los Angeles in 2017.
He continues to provide critical insight and depth to the evolving cannabis industry, on a local, state and national level, having testified in front of the CA Dept. of Insurance, advising local and state elected officials and participating in conferences and town halls across the U.S.
Mr. Bulbulyan’s success is predicated on his experience and insight, as well as the cultivation of strong industry and business relations. His core values are expressed in how he conducts business, his willingness to provide guidance and support, and in the creative solutions he develops for specific client goals and needs.
Senior Economist, New Frontier Data
Beau Whitney is the Senior Economist at New Frontier Data. Beau has a unique blend of high tech business operations skills, economics and political analysis, as well as cannabis industry experiences.
While at Intel and TriQuint Semiconductor, Beau honed his business operations skills associated with quickly ramping products from low volume to high volume. This is a skill he has since transferred to the cannabis industry. He is the former chief operations officer and compliance officer of one of the largest vertically integrated, publicly traded cannabis company in North America. His experiences incorporated growing, extraction, edible manufacturing, supply chain management and wholesale and retail distribution operations.
As an economic and policy analyst, his Whitney Economics and New Frontier Data white papers and reports analyzing the cannabis market have been referenced in Forbes Magazine, The Washington Post, USA Today, as well as in cannabis industry publications and across the Associated Press wire. Beau has provided policy recommendations at the state and national levels and is considered “an authority on cannabis economics.”
CEO, Nanogen Labs
Ben Larson is a serial entrepreneur, investor, and startup adviser based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Gateway, the cannabis startup accelerator based in Silicon Valley, and recently became CEO of Nanogen Labs, a nanoemulsion technology company. Additionally, Ben is a Director and Mentor for the Founder Institute, where he formerly managed global operations and helped grow the program into over 100 cities around the world. He’s also active on several boards inside and out of the cannabis industry. He’s an active Mentor and Senior Advisor to the non-profit Youth Business USA and a Board Member of Playworks. Ben was recently named to the 40 Under 40 Class of 2018 by the San Francisco Business Times.
COO, President, and Board Member, MPX Bioceutical Corporation
Beth Stavola is a leading cannabis female entrepreneur, COO, President of US Operations, and Board Member of MPX Bioceutical Corp. (CSE: MPX; OTC: MPXEF). In 2017, Cannabis Business Executive named Beth #3 on the “CBE 75 Most Important Women in Cannabis” list. Beth is also the founder of the top CBD beauty and wellness brand, CBD For Life, a privately held company that provides customers with the benefits of cannabinoids while avoiding unwanted psychoactive effects and can be sold throughout the country.
Beth has successfully established the Health for Life brand from inception to significant sales/cash flow within 5 years’ time and maintains one of the most stellar compliance records in the state of Arizona, receiving a 100% score on the last several state compliance audits. Health for Life is one of the most recognized brands of the cannabis dispensary, cultivation, and processors in Arizona. Beth is also the creator of Melting Point Extracts (MPX), which has become an extremely well-respected and sought after brand in Arizona and Nevada. MPX recently won the Phoenix New Times Best Concentrates of 2016 and the 2016 Jack Herrer Cup in Las Vegas.
Beth holds the esteemed honor of being named as one of the leading medical cannabis expert entrepreneurs on the floor of the House of Representatives in 2014 by Congresswoman Dina Titus. The medical cannabis business was an investment initially that transformed into her life’s true passion to holistically help others and create a lucrative business at the same time. Women-owned and operated businesses are the minority in the cannabis industry and Beth continues to sponsor organizations promoting and elevating women in this industry including the Women in Business section of the 710 Chronicle. Beth resides in New Jersey with her beautiful family and is proud to be the mother of 6 children.
Brian Sheng is an entrepreneur at heart, and is looking to invest and work alongside the best entrepreneurs to develop world-class companies. Brian is interested in companies that have the potential to change the lives of millions of people. Brian is a Co-Founder of Fresh VC, a leading early stage venture capital fund, and focused on investments in water, marketplaces, and frontier technologies. At Fresh, Brian led the investments in several multi-hundred million dollar companies including FND, FiscalNote, Eaze and served on the Board of Directors of Eaze and FND. Prior to Fresh, Brian served as a Senior Advisor for URI Investments, a cross-border Chinese Private Equity Fund. He started his venture career at Shenzhen Capital Group, one of the largest VC firms in China.
Prior to venture investing, Brian started a cross-border bulk electronics inventory marketplace serving the U.S and China market. He continues to be deeply interested in Sino-U.S relations and global geopolitics. Brian was a drop-out and then changed his mind and graduated from Princeton University.
Co-Founder and Senior Technical Advisor, Surna, Inc.
Brandy Keen has been designing and consulting for environmental systems in indoor agricultural facilities for over ten years. In 2007, Ms. Keen co-founded Hydro Innovations where she served as its Director of Operations. Ms. Keen is the Co-Founder, Vice President of Sales and Director for Surna, Inc., which acquired Hydro Innovations in 2012.
Lobbyist, The Quintana Cruz Company
Caity is a Lobbyist for The Quintana Cruz Company. She manages nearly 20 different clients, with particular expertise in cannabis policy. During her time representing the California Cannabis Courier Association, she successfully advocated for the inclusion of cannabis delivery licensing in the City of Sacramento, and recently worked for the inclusion of a regulation that will allow delivery across all cities and counties. Prior to joining The Quintana Cruz Company, Caity lobbied for the firm Gonzalez, Quintana, Hunter, & Cruz after doing project management for the nonprofit California Forward. Prior to that she worked in the California state Legislature. In her spare time she serves as an appointee to the Ann Land & Bertha Henschel Memorial Funds Commission, contributing editor to the publication Sacramentality, and a steering committee member for the University of California Center. Caity earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of California, Davis.
Owner, Compassionate Caregivers of Studio City (Cloneville)
Calvin Frye for the past five years has been both a dispensary owner and an MMJ industry consultant. Frye has held several key positions in the Biotech industry for major companies like Xoma, Amgen and Baxter Biosciences, such as working his way up from Research Associate to Associate Scientist. Frye also has over a decade of experience in the cannabis industry, having worked with some of the founders of the MMJ industry (Dennis Peron and Richard Eastman) as well as many of the industry pioneering groups in Los Angeles (Americans For Safe Access and Norml).
Mr. Frye has traveled the country to many (current) MMJ states on speaking engagements in order to help get MMJ legislation passed in those states. Mr. Frye has working knowledge of the regulatory issues within this industry from his experience with working with local LA government bodies and Agencies. Mr. Frye has also branded his line of cannabis genetics and trademarked the name “Cloneville” which he has attached to his genetics. In 2009, Mr. Frye consulted in the hydroponics industry where he gained extensive knowledge in the actual growing, set up and production of cannabis.
Frye also owns Frye Consulting and Management Group, which handles consulting services from startup to full-scale production, including regulatory expertise.
Frye earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Iowa (Big Ten Conference) in Science Education. He also attended graduate college with an emphasis in General Science.
Chief Corporate Officer, Aurora Cannabis, Inc.
Cam Battley is the Chief Corporate Officer at Aurora Cannabis, a producer of medical cannabis and cannabis oils under license from Health Canada. He is responsible for business development, external communications, investor relations, government relations, and medical and patient stakeholders. Cam is also a member of the Board of Directors of Cannabis Canada, the trade association of Licensed Producers, and Chair of the Advocacy Committee for the Association. He previously served as Vice President for licensed producer Bedrocan Canada. With a background as a health sector management consultant, he combines experience in government, health care NGOs, and the biopharmaceutical industries.
Cam is also the founder of Wind Gage Communications, Inc., a video and film production company. He is a guest lecturer on leadership development for the World Medical Association, and on leadership communications for the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Micron Waste Technologies, Inc., of Campaigning for Cancer (South Africa), and a past member of the Board of the Osteoporosis Society of Canada (now Osteoporosis Canada) and the Scarborough (Ontario) Chamber of Commerce.
Cam lives in rural Ontario, Canada with his wife and two children. He coaches boys’ and girls’ soccer teams, and is a Scout leader. He is a trail runner and PADI certified Rescue Diver.
Director, California Department of Insurance
Bringing a diverse background to the California Department of Insurance, Camille Dixon represents California insurance commissioner Dave Jones on cannabis insurance-related matters. She also represents the commissioner on the state treasurer’s Cannabis Banking Working Group and sits on other insurance-related committees.
In addition to her cannabis insurance role, Dixon represents the commissioner on the California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan Board and runs a state-sponsored program that helps income-eligible consumers obtain affordable auto insurance. She also served as interim director of the commissioner’s Insurance Diversity Initiative.
Previously, Dixon worked for the California State Board of Equalization, where she advised the chairman on tax appeals and legislative matters, and implemented the chairman’s cannabis and affordable housing taxation initiatives. Before that, she spent time at a large commercial real estate firm and worked in the court system, managing caseloads and assisting criminal law judges.
Executive Director, Department of Cannabis Regulation, City of Los Angeles
Appointed by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Cat Packer is the first, Executive Director and General Manager of the Department of Cannabis Regulation. Within this role, Packer leads the licensing and regulation of commercial cannabis activity within the City of Los Angeles and furthermore, manages the implementation of the City’s cannabis related policies and programs.
Prior to joining the City of Los Angeles, Packer served as California Policy Coordinator for the Drug Policy Alliance, where she worked to ensure the successful and equitable implementation of various cannabis policy reforms. Before this role, Packer served as Campaign Coordinator for Californians for Responsible Marijuana Reform, a social justice-centered campaign in support of the 2016 Adult Use of Marijuana Act.
Prior to moving to Los Angeles, Packer advocated for cannabis policy reform in Ohio. There, she participated in a statewide policy reform effort and for a brief period of time served as the Deputy Director of Ohio National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML’s) Central Ohio Chapter.
Packer is an alumna of The Ohio State University where she received a Bachelor’s in Political Science, a Master’s in Public Policy & Management and a Juris Doctor.
Charles Houghton Esq.
Founder and Owner, Charles T. Houghton, P.C.
Charles T. Houghton is the founder and owner of Charles T. Houghton, P.C., a law firm In 2010 Charles sat on the City of Colorado Springs Medical Marijuana Task Force to help the City of Colorado Springs develop its regulatory framework and ordinances. He was reappointed and sat on the latest City of Colorado Medical Marijuana Task Force in 2016. He has been instrumental in establishing regulatory schemes in various cities and counties. He represents a number of Marijuana Businesses and acts as a consultant to those entering the business in California, Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, Illinois, Florida, Canada and other states and countries with some form of marijuana laws. He is a frequent speaker and lecturer on patient rights, the business and regulatory aspects of the marijuana industry. An attorney for over 32 years, he brings his expertise in regulatory compliance matters, business law, municipal law, real estate, commercial leasing, zoning, planning, construction and litigation to help his clients run successful and profitable businesses.
Charles has recently relocated to California and acts as a consultant to municipalities,
counties, trade organizations and businesses in California dealing with the existing and upcoming regulatory framework in this State. Charles is licensed to practice law in Colorado.
Regulatory & Compliance Consultant
Charles Smith is a trusted advisor to cannabis companies throughout the United States. He assists and advises his clients on many facets of the cannabis business with a focus on licensing and compliance. Charles works extensively with Registered Marijuana Dispensaries and Marijuana Establishment applicants in Massachusetts. A member of the New York State Bar, Charles is intimately familiar with cannabis laws and regulations throughout the United States. His experience spans across multiple states, including California, Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Charles is a Lifetime Member of both the National Cannabis Bar Association and the NORML Legal Committee.
Partner, Corporate Department, Vicente Sederberg
Charles Alovisetti is a partner at Vicente Sederberg and chair of the firm’s Corporate Practice Group, where he focuses on advising investors, companies, and other law firms on the nuances of executing corporate transactions involving licensed and ancillary cannabis companies. Prior to joining VS, Charles worked as an associate in the New York offices of Latham & Watkins and Goodwin, where he represented public companies and private equity sponsors and their portfolio companies in a range of corporate transactions.
Charles has worked on licensed transactions in Canada and all major cannabis markets in the US. He understands the state and local issues that commonly arise in stock and asset acquisitions as well as issues involved in management companies and other alternative structures.
He has provided guidance on structuring and corporate matters to applicants in merit licensing processes in NJ, MD, CT, PA, OH, VA, HI and several local jurisdictions.
Vice President, Loudpack, Inc.
Charlie has spent the past 3 years building Kiva Confections’ sales and service capabilities into one of the leading cannabis distribution companies in California.
Charlie ability to bring traditional CPG, sales and service skills, to the cannabis industry was instrumental in establishing Kiva Confections’ distribution arm Kiva Sales and Service.
As a CPG industry professional Charlie developed his leadership, sales, marketing and analytic skills to continually deliver short and long-term priorities. Charlie’s past professional experience includes working for market leaders like Anheuser-Busch InBev, MillerCoors, and Ninkasi Brewing.
Charlie is a graduate of California State University Long Beach and holds an MBA from Pepperdine University.
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.
Founder and CEO, Covered 6
As the Founder and CEO for Covered 6 | DGP International, Chris has trained thousands of military, law enforcement, and private security personnel in all aspects of safety, weapons, and tactical training. Recently, Covered 6 was awarded the first ever industry National Standard for “Private Security Specialist” training by the US Department of Labor. Under Chris’s leadership, Covered 6 is currently working on the first vocational “Cyber Specialist” program standard. The vocational advocacy work for veterans by Covered 6 is unprecedented. Chris has helped fortune 500 clients shape perspective policies, develop customized training programs, and leads the industry in private active shooter intervention. He has also managed protective services teams in direct support of private companies, universities, exclusive private schools, financial institutions, and government agencies. In 2011, Chris started the A.D.A.P.T. (Awareness and Defense Against Physical Threat) for universities and schools and has trained several thousand students for both domestic and international safety programs. During his time in law enforcement in Southern California, Chris served as a CRASH East Los Angeles gang officer, undercover narcotics detective, SWAT Team member, field training officer (FTO), Defensive Tactics instructor (DTAC), and divisional firearms/tactics instructor. Chris graduated as “Honor Graduate” of his academy class. In 1998, Chris was awarded the LAPD Medal of Valor and the Top Cop Award in Washington by President Bill Clinton for actions during an officer rescue incident. In 2007, Chris was again recognized in Washington DC by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales with the OCEDET award for his accomplishments during a federal organized crime investigation. In the military, Chris served as a Military Police investigator, Special Response Team sniper/point man, and protective services (PSD) team member for the Secretary of Defense.
Christopher Lynch represents emerging, transitioning, and mature companies in many different disciplines of cannabis business, so his clients have the benefit of his experience and knowledge in a broad range of needs and situations. Christopher’s extensive knowledge of local regulations and licensure restrictions makes him well-positioned to help clients in California deal effectively and creatively with regulatory and compliance issues. In addition to specialized advice in cannabis regulatory and compliance standards, Christopher is experienced in general corporate matters and routinely provides advice on many aspects of corporate law, ranging from entity structure and formation, corporate governance issues, employment and incentive agreements for key management personnel, mergers and acquisitions, to negotiating and developing all forms of corporate documents including license options, purchase and sales agreements, operating and shareholders agreements. He is also adept at drafting the myriad of inter-business contracts that form the matrix of legal assurances for companies doing business in California’s fast paced and highly regulated industry of legal cannabis.
Founder and CEO, Traffic Roots
Christian is a leading executive in the programmatic advertising industry. He is the founder and CEO of Traffic Roots, a digital advertising network that is bringing digital advertising to the cannabis space. Christian bringing leading industry Ad network experience and methodologies to help the cannabis brands and publications expand their digital marketing needs.
In a previous role, he has served as COO at an advertising network. His industry experience brings true monetization strategies as well as technical advantages to the cannabis community.
Managing Partner & Show Director, Leading Edge Expositions
Christine Ianuzzi brings an experienced skillset across several industries from technology to cannabis. She is a transition executive that has been a trigger for change and a leader in disruptive and progressive businesses in many blue-chip companies since 1987 including ABC Television, ABC Radio Networks and HBO.
In 2015 Christine joined her family of serial entrepreneurs who have owned and operated hundreds of trade shows within various industries for many decades – many in emerging business sectors. Today, Christine is a Managing Partner and Show Director for 3 trade shows that focus on the legalized cannabis industry: Cannabis World Congress & Business Expositions (CWCBExpos) in New York, Los Angeles, and Boston.
•National Hemp Association – Board Member
•10 Most Interesting Females in Cannabis, Weed Reader (February 2018)
•Distinguished Alumna Award, Baruch College (2018)
•New York University-Polytechnic Board of Trustees (2012 – 2015)
•Dedicated Alumna Award NYU-Poly Alumni Association 2011
•Honored with the NYU-Poly i²e Recognition Award 2011 (Invention, Innovation and Entrepreneurship)
•President of the Alumni Association of Polytechnic Institute of NYU (2009-2011)
•Member of the Polytechnic Institute of NYU International Board of Directors, Polytechnic Alumni Association 2007
•“35 Most Admired Engineers in Radio,” Radio Ink April 2007 & Radio Ink April 2009
Councilmember, Fresno City Council
Councilmember Clinton J. Olivier was elected by an overwhelming majority to represent Fresno’s Seventh District in June of 2010, and he was sworn into office in December of that year. Olivier is on the Council Finance and Audit Committee as well as the Infill Development Committee. As part of his duties, he also serves on the board of the Fresno-Madera Agency on Aging.
During the time he has been in office, Councilmember Olivier has enjoyed success focusing on issues that are important to people who live in the heart of Fresno, including public safety, the ongoing construction of Martin Ray Reilly Park and senior citizen health.
He partnered with Council President Lee Brand to find savings in the 2011 budget and used it to fund a Prostitution and Graffiti Prosecutor position within the City of Fresno. Also as part of his ongoing campaign to clean up the Seventh District and other affected areas, Olivier is working with the Fresno Police Department to implement such ground-breaking programs such as, “Operation Reveal.”
Before entering politics, Councilmember Olivier worked as a news reporter and anchor for Fresno stations KMPH, FOX 26, and ABC 30 Action News. Olivier majored in Speech Communications at California State University, Long Beach and he served as an air support radioman in the Marine Corps from 1994-1998. He has one son Conrad and another son, Carsten, with his wife, Alisha.
Assistant Vice President, Bolton & Company
Corey Tobin is lead of Bolton’s Cannabis Practice. He’s on the leading edge of helping Cultivators, Manufactures and distributors navigate the complex insurance and legal landscape to protect their business and employees. Corey is actively involved in the insurance committee for the California Cannabis Industry Association.
With close to a decade of insurance industry experience, Corey has worked with a number of small and medium-sized businesses and is knowledgeable about property and casualty, life and health insurance. He routinely blogs and speaks on panels that are setting the course for the cannabis industry.
Courtney Barrett, PE
Senior Engineer, Geo-Logic Associates
Courtney Barrett is a Registered Civil Engineer, Stormwater Quality Practitioner, and Qualified Industrial Stormwater Practitioner with 14 years of engineering experience. Her experience includes preparation of site development grading and drainage plans, design of erosion control best management practices, preparation of technical specifications, engineer’s estimates, and providing construction support services on a variety of projects. Ms. Barrett has managed land development projects, site road improvement, stormwater basins, culverts, liquids storage impoundments, and mitigation projects. Ms. Barrett worked with a variety of public agencies to design improvement projects, prepare specifications and cost estimates and provide engineering and permitting oversight.
Founder and Creative Director, Good
Courtney Zalewski is the creative director and founder of Good (http://studiogood.co), a design studio dedicated to branding and experiences for the cannabis industry. In addition to helping new companies launch, Courtney works closely with some of the countries top cannabis brands such as Lowell Herb Co– California’s #1 selling pre-roll brand, and 1906– one of the fastest growing edible brands in Colorado.
COO, We Grow CA
Craig started his career at Nestle USA and ConAgra Foods, Inc. and has over 25 years of experience across the food and agriculture industries. His diverse experience includes senior management roles in manufacturing, sales/marketing, finance, and general management. Craig holds B.S. and M.B.A. degrees from the University of California Davis, respectively.
Founder, Hybrid Tech
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.
Founder and CEO, October Biosciences
David Foggy is the Founder and Chief Executive of Denver-based October Biosciences, which specializes in nano-encapsulated CBD (nCBD™) products formulated for maximum bioavailability.
After spending over a decade working for tech companies such as Sun Microsystems, Intel, Lockheed Martin, and SpaceX, to name a few, David has come to know what drives disruptive innovation and how to lead it.
For 3+ years at Citizens Laboratories, David led a small team of scientists researching and designing a subcritical water extraction system for the extraction of cannabinoids from industrial hemp. Much was learned and achieved on this project but a critical inflection point was reached. As a result, David has recently shifted the focus of his team and added business and marketing talent for the sole purpose of producing consumer-facing, nano-encapsulated, hemp-based cannabinoid products.
David holds a BS from San Francisco State University and PhD in Computation from The University of Manchester.
David Friedman is the President of VividGro, the horticultural division of Lighting Science Group Corporation, a leader in advanced-applications of LED technology. Friedman is also the founder of the anther Funds which have invested over $5 Million in 20 cannabis companies. Friedman is the former CEO of MJIC and co-creator of the current algorithm for the Marijuana Stock Index for MJIC. Friedman is an investment and operation professional executive with over 25 years in venture capital, mergers & acquisitions and corporate finance.
Partner, Merida Capital Partners
Mr. Goldburg has specialized in credit investing for the past 25 years, managing proprietary investment portfolios at leading Wall Street firms and hedge funds. Before joining Merida, he founded Battlebourne Capital, a cross-capital structure investment firm, in January 2016. Prior to Battlebourne, Mr. Goldburg served as the senior member of the New York office of Silver Rock Financial, Michael Milken’s family office, since its inception in 2010 until his departure in January 2016. In September 2009, Mr. Goldburg formed Garnet Financial, a $200 million special situation credit vehicle funded by the Milken family. He was the portfolio manager of Garnet until it was merged into Silver Rock at the end of 2010.
Previously, Mr. Goldburg was a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs in the Bank Loan Distressed Investing Group, where he became responsible for managing a $1.0+ billion proprietary investment portfolio and a team of nine analysts. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, he had senior responsibility managing distressed credit portfolios at Oak Hill Advisors, Morgan Stanley, and Bear Stearns. Mr. Goldburg began his career as an analyst in the mergers and acquisitions group at the First Boston Corporation, received a B.A. in History from Brown University and is a Harry S. Truman Scholar.
Partner and Science Advisor, bio365
Dr. David Shearer is co-founder bio365 and co-founder/CEO of Full Circle Biochar, both clean technology companies developing biochar products for global agricultural and carbon sequestration applications. Prior to launching Full Circle Biochar, Dr. Shearer was Chief Scientist at California Environmental Associates and Principal Environmental Scientist at AeroVironment Inc. where he worked in the next generation transportation, energy, carbon mitigation, and information technology space with Toyota’s Advanced Technology Group and Google.Org. In addition to his private sector activities, Dr. Shearer has directed groundbreaking work in both public policy and philanthropic investment for climate change mitigation. He was co-founder and Board Chair of Black Rock Solar, is co-founder and Board Director of Black Rock Labs, and Board Chair of SkyTruth. He is a frequent collaborator with Brian Goggin, a creator of large scale public art. Dr. Shearer has a Ph.D. in Environmental Epidemiology and a M.S. in Environmental Microbiology from the University of California, and B.S. in Biology from the University of Oregon.
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.
Founder and CEO, Align Business Advisory Services
Dena Jalbert is founder and CEO of Align Business Advisory Services, a mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and business advisory firm. Align breaks the mold of traditional advisory firms by bringing innovative solutions to growing and selling middle-market businesses. Align has a focus in the cannabis industry and has helped companies secure investment or acquisition by key players in the industry. Dena leverages her nearly 20 years of success in building, scaling, and buying and selling businesses to accomplish her clients’ goals. Her career experience spans many years in “Big 4” public accounting and consulting firms, in addition to holding executive positions with Fortune 500 and hyper-growth middle market companies. As an M&A expert, Dena has facilitated nearly $1 billion of buy and sell-side transactions. Dena is a CPA and holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Florida State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in public accounting from Illinois Wesleyan University.
Attorney, Greenbridge Corporate Counsel
Since 2012, Ellen has counseled entrepreneurs, start-ups, and established businesses spanning a wide spectrum of the legal cannabis industry, including cultivators, edibles manufacturers, retailers, consulting and management firms, consumer electronics manufacturers, agricultural equipment manufacturers, software companies, IP holding companies, trade associations, non-profit advocacy organizations, and companies developing cryptocurrency and blockchain projects.
She takes pride in offering thorough, creative, and expertly tailored legal advice to position clients to operate smoothly and successfully in a very complex and dynamic industry. With a diverse background in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, Ellen’s skill set and experience are rooted in general corporate transactions, securities compliance, corporate finance, energy and infrastructure transactions, state and local regulatory compliance, and legislative and policy work.
Previously, Ellen practiced at a boutique law firm advising clients on the organization, formation, and operation of domestic and offshore private investment funds, including capital raising, compliance with securities and commodities laws, and marketing and investor relations. She also has extensive experience in the California legislature performing legislative and policy analysis, conducting media and local, state, and national stakeholder outreach, and organizing community events that focus on strategic advocacy of environmental justice, anti-poverty, and women’s rights and equality solutions.
Ellen is a member of the National Cannabis Industry Association, California Cannabis Industry Association, and Drug Policy Alliance. She earned her J.D. at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.
Cannabis Educator and Consultant, Emma Chasen Consulting LLC
Emma Chasen has a mission to educate people on the science behind Cannabis so that they may take charge of their own healing. After graduating from Brown University in 2014 with a degree in Medicinal Plant Research, Emma went on to coordinate Clinical Oncology trials with the Brown University Oncology Research Group. When her supervisor refused a Cannabis trial in favor of another expensive pharmaceutical drug, Emma quit and headed across the country to Portland, OR. She found her way to Farma, the popular Portland dispensary that takes a more scientific approach to Cannabis; rejecting the Indica/Sativa binary and instead focusing on chemotypes to determine effects. She began her career at Farma as a budtender and was quickly promoted to General Manager and eventually to Director of Education. In this role, she was able to focus on educational efforts and create a robust training curriculum that focused on cannabis science, product knowledge, and empathetic patient care. Emma now owns and operates a cannabis consulting business that offers educational training programs for dispensary employees. She helps brands develop educational marketing collateral and ongoing educational programs to further elevate their brand presence in a competitive industry. She also helps struggling cannabis businesses with business organization and sets them up for success in the competitive adult use market. Emma continues to seek ways to spread cannabis education through consulting, writing, speaking and teaching.
Emma’s mission is to educate people on the science behind Cannabis so that they may take charge of their own healing as well as to address the need for training and education of budtenders, medical professionals, and the general public.
Managing Director, Acquis Consulting Group
Eric Baum brings more than 15 years of experience in advising executive teams across a variety of industries. He currently serves as a managing director at Acquis Consulting Group and its affiliate, Solidea Capital. Baum serves on the Board of Directors for several companies and participates in several investment groups.
Eric Lindberg PG, CHG
Senior Engineering Geologist and Chief, Regional Cannabis Cultivation Regulatory Unit, Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board
Eric Lindberg is the supervisor of the South Coast Cultivation Regulatory Unit, which covers the Los Angeles, Santa Ana, and San Diego Regions. His unit participates in both compliance and enforcement inspections of commercial cannabis cultivations.
Most of our program enrollees are legal indoor grows, primarily located in the cities of Los Angeles and San Diego. Program requirements vary, but may include regular monitoring and reporting, nutrient management plans, and site closure reports.
Many of the enforcement actions my unit participates in have been in unincorporated San Diego and Riverside Counties, where commercial cultivation is (currently) prohibited. We support law enforcement officers and other agencies (e.g. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife) in serving search warrants, where we document any environmental violations under the California Water Code. Environmental crimes under the Water Code and/or the Fish and Game Code can be felony enhancements on what is otherwise a misdemeanor for unlicensed (i.e. illegal) cultivation.
CEO, GeekTek IT Services, Inc.
Eric Schlissel is the CEO of GeekTek IT Services, a managed IT/cybersecurity firm that specializes in managing and protecting the data of rapidly scaling businesses. Based in LA, GeekTek has been ranked as one of the top IT service providers by MSPMentor, CRN and Channelnomics. Informed by two decades of experience as a serial entrepreneur, Eric specializes in creating frictionless relationships between people, businesses and technology.
Erica McBride Stark
Executive Director, National Hemp Association
Erica McBride is the Executive Director of the National Hemp Association and the Pennsylvania Hemp Industry Council. She has years of experience in legislative advocacy, industrial hemp education, and non-profit administration. Erica was instrumental in enacting legislation in Pennsylvania and is proud to be part of a team growing more than 120 acres this year.
Director, Legal and Strategic Initiatives, National Association of Cannabis Businesses
Eugene is an experienced attorney whose practice includes data privacy, cybersecurity, commercial litigation, and complex regulatory systems.
Chair, California State Board of Equalization
Fiona Ma is a Certified Public Tax Accountant and currently serves on the California State Board of Equalization, where she works to protect the rights for taxpayers while also ensuring that California collects its fair share of tax revenues.
As one of two Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) to ever have served on the Board, Fiona understands the challenges that businesses and taxpayers face today. As Chair, she has worked tirelessly to uphold the highest level of integrity in government and fought to increase accessibility, accountability, and transparency at the Board of Equalization.
Prior to serving on the Board of Equalization, Fiona was elected to the California State Assembly from 2006-2012. She was the first Asian American woman to become Speaker pro Tempore of the State Assembly.
Co-Founder and CEO, Ice Cybersecurity
With over two decades of professional experience in Information Technology and Business Management, Ford Winslow has been a thought leader in the related fields of cybersecurity, cloud and IT Services since their inception.
ICE Cybersecurity, the San Diego-based firm he founded in 2016, specializes in anti-malware, anomaly detection, and advanced cyber protection programs.
Over the past two decades, Mr. Winslow has held technology leadership positions in the Cybersecurity, Cloud, Information Technology, Risk Management, Life Sciences, Financial Services, Healthcare, Non-Profit and Retail Industries, where he has consistently delivered value through the latest breakthroughs in technology.
Prior to launching ICE Cybersecurity, Mr. Winslow served as Chief Risk Officer of centrexIT, a San Diego-based Cloud and Managed Services Provider. He is the co-author of “Good Informatics Practices,” a best-practices training guide for the Life Sciences and Healthcare industries.
In addition to his professional duties, Mr. Winslow serves as an advisor to a number of startups focused on Cybersecurity, Internet of Things (IoT) and Emerging Technologies. He is an advisor and mentor with CyberTECH, a San Diego- based network of tech-inspired startups and early-stage firms.
Mr. Winslow is an active member of the local community, supporting social organizations and charities benefiting a variety of worthy causes. His spare time is spent with family, on the golf course, playing music, working on classic cars or cooking. Ford studied Computer Science at University of Maryland, College Park and also Information Systems Management at University of Maryland, University College.
Associate Attorney, Hoban Law Group
Co-Founder and President, Canopy HIP Developments LLC; Strategic Advisor, CBD and Hemp, Canopy Growth USA; Chairman, National Hemp Association; President, , Pennsylvania Hemp Industry Council
Geoffrey W. Whaling is Co-Founder and President of HIP Developments LLC, a wholly owned division of Canopy Growth Corporation and Strategic Advisor, CBD and Hemp to Canopy Growth USA, the world’s largest Hemp and Cannabis Company, with operations in 12 countries, based in Smith Falls Ontario Canada. He has volunteered for five years to advance the hemp crop and serves as Chairman of the National Hemp Association, the nation’s largest Hemp advocacy group based in Washington D.C. Whaling has worked with more than 18 States, stakeholder groups such as NASDA, COGR, NFU, Farm Bureau and American Farm Association, US Senators, Members of Congress and their staff to pass federal legislation legalizing hemp as a commodity crop. He is a Member of the Board of Directors of the National Farmers Union Pa Chapter, and Founding Board Member of the Coalition for Access Now and Athletes 4 Care, the two largest CBD advocacy groups in the United States.
Born in Canada, Geoff Whaling’s areas of expertise are wide ranging given the diversity of his government, business, entrepreneurial and philanthropic work. A profound sense of “wanting to serve” remains an integral part in his life.
CEO, Liberty Health Sciences
George Scorsis has over 15 years of experience leading companies in highly regulated industries to rapid growth, including alcohol, energy drinks and, most recently, medical cannabis. George Scorsis started his career in alcoholic beverage while attending York University, completing his Bachelor in Administrative Studies and learning the ropes as a University Ambassador for Bacardi Canada and holding several executive roles. He followed with an MBA at Queens University. Scorsis, formerly President of Red Bull Canada, was instrumental in restructuring the organization from a geographical and operational perspective, growing the business to $150 MM in revenue. He also worked closely with Health Canada on guidelines regulating the energy drink category. George Scorsis was also fundamental in the restructuring of Brazil, and South Africa, leading the special markets team to establish a corporately owned distribution model in volatile markets. He was appointed to the North American Board of Directors in 2012 with oversight of the Americas. Scorsis also brings to the table his agricultural and technological savvy from his time as President at Mettrum Health Corp., a leading Canadian cannabis distributor which made him an expert in mass-cultivation and marketing. Scorsis is currently CEO and Director of Liberty Health Sciences, an industry leader in the medical cannabis space, and also serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Scythian Biosciences Corp., a research and development company committed to advancing treatment efforts for traumatic brain injury with its proprietary cannabinoid-based combination drug therapy and additional cannabis-related activities across the globe.
Giadha Aguirre de Carcer
Founder & CEO, New Frontier Data
Giadha Aguirre de Carcer is Founder and CEO of New Frontier Data, the leading cannabis Big Data & Analytics reporting provider in over 68 countries around the world. An entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in business execution, management and strategic business development, de Carcer has worked in investment banking and as a senior consultant in multiple industries across commercial/government sectors domestically and abroad.
Having launched and operated four successful data-driven businesses, including disruptive technologies such as the original patent application behind Progressive’s Snapshot and Verizon’s Hum, de Carcer is considered an expert in strategic positioning and risk management in emerging high growth markets, 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.
Aguirre de Carcer is an official member of the Forbes Technology Council, and her work has been featured in Forbes, Fortune, CNBC, Fox News, CNN Money and other top news outlets, as well as in documentaries and books, including “Mary Janes,” “The Marijuana Show,” “The Great Green Gold Rush,” and “Breaking the Grass Ceiling,” among others.
Aguirre de Carcer is one of The Most Powerful Women to Watch in D.C. and a Stevie Awards Maverick of the Year. New Frontier Data is a D.C. Area Start-Up to Watch, and PC Mag named the company one of just 15 Blazing Hot Weed Tech Companies to Watch.
Fluent in five languages including French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations & Trade from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Arts degree in International Security from Georgetown University.
Founder and CEO, GrassHopperHub
Heidi Arsenault is the founder & CEO of GrassHopperHub, a leading b2b business platform connecting buyers and sellers in the legal cannabis industry. A former technology executive with Microsoft and Real Networks, Arsenault was an early investor and entrepreneur in the legal cannabis industry. She is a well-known thought leader and industry speaker on the legal cannabis market, providing insights on how to integrate technology within this burgeoning, non-traditional industry.
Chief Science Officer, American Herbal Products Association
Holly E. Johnson Ph.D., is the Chief Science Officer for the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA). She previously served for three years as Laboratory Director for Alkemist Labs, an ISO 17025 accredited natural products testing lab specializing in botanical dietary supplements. Dr. Johnson took her Ph.D. in Pharmacognosy at the College of Pharmacy, University of Illinois – Chicago (UIC), under renowned Pharmacognosist and researcher Dr. Norman Farnsworth. Holly was awarded a National Institutes for Health (NIH) Fellowship and trained at the UIC/NIH Center for Botanical Dietary Supplements. She was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Institute for EthnoMedicine studying the etiology of neurodegenerative disease and also worked for Waters Corporation conducting technical training and regulatory consulting for pharmaceutical and supplements companies. She is currently a Research Associate with the National Tropical Botanical Garden and serves on AOAC working groups, stakeholders panels, and expert review panels for Foods and Dietary Supplements. She is a member of the United States Pharmacopeia’s (USP) Medical Cannabis Expert Panel, the Editorial Board of the Journal of AOAC International, and she serves on the Advisory Boards of the American Botanical Council and the American Herbal Pharmacoepia. Holly has over 20 years of experience working with natural products & botanicals and spent many happy years conducting research on medicinal plants and giving courses at the University of Hawaii.
Partner, Wilson Elser
Ian Stewart has defended complex litigation in state and federal courts for more than 20 years with a focus on product liability, complex general casualty, cannabis law, transportation and marine claims, data privacy and security, and intellectual property litigation. Ian is co-chair of the firm’s Cannabis Law practice and a member of the Information Governance Leadership Committee.
Ian is committed to client communication and cost-effective litigation management. He is a proponent of efficient claim resolution and Legal Project Management. Ian goes out of his way to ensure that he understands his clients’ business and goals so that an agreed strategy can be identified and implemented at the outset of any litigated matter.
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.
Sales Engineer, Apeks Supercritical
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!
Senior Analyst, Brightfield Group
Jamie Schau is a Senior Analyst with Brightfield Group – strategic market research and predictive analytics firm focused on the cannabis industry. Jamie has carried out extensive research on all sides of the cannabis and hemp industries, including market sizing, competitive analysis, and consumer research both in the United States and abroad. Prior to joining Brightfield Group in early 2015, she worked with InnovacionAL Consulting as Director of Research, conducting and managing statistical and qualitative analyses supporting international development and investment projects in Latin America. Jamie holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies from the University of California San Diego (UCSD), as well as a Master’s Degree from UCSD’s School of Global Policy and Strategy, focusing on Quantitative Analysis.
Founder and CEO, Wick & Mortar
Since 2009 Jared Mirsky and his award-winning cannabis-focused branding and marketing agency, Wick & Mortar, have been featured in dozens of magazines including Entrepreneur Media, Forbes, Wired, Cheddar, National Geographic, Huffington Post, and CNN Money. 2018 was the most explosive growth year yet, and Wick & Mortar continues to rack up awards and honors such as Top 40 under 40 in Marijuana Venture Magazine, 2x Dope Industry Award Winners and most recently ranked #193 by Entrepreneur 360. Not content with simply winning awards, Jared continues to shape an industry and is now a regular contributor to Forbes, High Times, Entrepreneur, and The Fresh Toast. Despite the successes, for Jared, the greatest achievement in his life is his son. Rebranding Cannabis is his mission, and he aims to accomplish this by helping to educate the industry on the power of successful branding in the cannabis space and the impact it has on the world.
NFL defensive lineman
Jared Odrick, former NFL defensive lineman and cannabis investor, is a proponent of smoking marijuana for personal development and overall health. Jared encourages all who may be curious about marijuana to experiment on their own behalves and form their own relationships with flower.
Director of Marketing, EZTrim
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.
Senior Associate, Clark Neubert LLP
Jay Purcell is a corporate and securities lawyer who graduated from UC Berkeley School of Law in 2011. His practice focuses on negotiating and drafting partnership, financing and merger/acquisition agreements for cannabis businesses. In a rapidly-changing legal environment, Jay’s goal is providing the most accurate and actionable advice to cannabis companies and their investors. At Clark Neubert LLP, Jay represents high-growth cultivators, manufactures, distributors and dispensaries throughout California, and the investors who back them. Counseling all types of California corporations, he regularly advises collectives/cooperatives and non-profit mutual/public benefit corporations on conversions and acquisition strategies.
Prior to cannabis, Jay worked as a corporate attorney for tech companies. Beginning at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, he was trained to represent growth-companies from “idea to exit,” concentrating on financial transactions, employment incentives, commercial agreements and mergers/acquisitions. Representative clients included Google Ventures, Founders Fund, DIA Styling, FireEye, Curse, SurfAir and companies that were sold to Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
While at Berkeley, Jay won a fellowship from the Center for Emerging and Neglected Diseases, helped organize a global IP collaboration for access to essential medicines, externed at Berkeley’s Office of Intellectual Property & Industrial Research Alliances and won an American Jurisprudence Prize. He’s a member of the board of directors of the Berkeley Law Alumni Association. Jay graduated with honors from Cornell University.
Author and Organic Grower, Lewis and Lowenfels
Jeff Lowenfels is one of the most humorous and entertaining lecturers on the organic gardening circuit. He is a reformed lawyer and author of Timber Press’ award-winning and best-selling books, Teaming With Microbes: The Organic Gardener’s Guide to The Soil Food Web and Teaming With Nutrients: The Organic Gardener’s Guide to Optimizing Plant Nutrition. His third book in the soils trilogy, Teaming With Fungi, The Organic Grower’s Guide to Mycorrhizae, was published in 2017 and instantly became a best seller.
Jeff has become a leader in the organic gardening/sustainability movement as a result of his best selling books. His talks have converted tens of thousands of gardeners at venues throughout North and South America. Teaming with Microbes: The Organic Gardener’s Guide to The Soil Food Web was reviewed as “the most important new gardening book in 25 years and maybe even ever.”
Jeff grew up as an indentured servant on his father’s hobby farm in Scarsdale, New York. There he was forced to plant, weed, mow and pick fruits, flowers, and vegetables on an 8-acre ‘gentlemen’s farm’ replete with acres-wide vegetable gardens, a Versailles-style formal flower garden, a 100 tree fruit orchard and countless landscape shrubs, lawns and decorative beds. He escaped to Harvard College where he majored in Geology and the Harvard.
Jeff hosted Alaska public television’s most popular show, “Alaska Gardens with Jeff Lowenfels.” The show was so popular, it ran four times a week and aired even in Barrow, way above the Arctic Circle. He also hosted a popular, weekly, garden radio show until his travel schedule lecturing around the world caught up with him.
Most important, Jeff is the founder of a national program that started as “Plant a Row for Bean’s,” the soup kitchen in Anchorage, and is now “Plant A Row for The Hungry.” The program is active all 50 states and Canada and has resulted in millions of pounds of garden produce being donated to feed the hungry every year.
Co-Founder and President, The Werc Shop
Jeffrey Raber is Co-Founder and President of The Werc Shop, a lab-testing facility based in Los Angeles. He is also Chief Financial Officer of the Association of Commercial Cannabis Laboratories (ACCL).
Raber grew up in Pennsylvania and attended Lebanon Valley College before receiving his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Southern California. He was then hired to serve as Director of Product Development at Avrion Molecular, Inc, where he was responsible for researching, developing, and commercializing their proprietary reaction methodology.
Soon thereafter, Raber was asked to join KinetiChem, Inc. – a start-up company focusing on development and commercialization of a novel chemical reactor technology. He was originally brought on as Chief Scientist and now serves as company President. Being a patient himself and having contact with those in the cannabis industry, Raber recognized a need for more transparency in the cannabis industry better quality control. In turn, The Werc Shop was born.
Founder and CISO, data.green
Jeff is a serial problem solver and an occasional entrepreneur. He has diverse experience in compliance-driven technology, pioneering third-party electronic payments for political nonprofits and introducing event-driven process automation to the legal sector.
In his role as chief architect and general fixer, Jeff is responsible for developer relations and aligning business, compliance and technology efforts. But in reality, he spends his hours obsessing over his clients’ data security.
President, Tailored Benefits, Inc.
Jeffrey Rosen is the President of Tailored Benefits, Inc. the premier cannabis boutique employee benefits agency. 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.
National Sales Manager, Organa Brands
As National Sales Manager, Jenna is responsible for overseeing the licensee network which includes eleven states, Canada and Jamaica. Organa Brands, formerly O.PenVAPE, has a goal of creating consistent products, wherever sold. With multiple brands being represented under the Organa Brands umbrella, the company has no plans to slow down, making scaling up crucial to success. Jenna’s prior sales experience in coffee has exposed a wealth of similarities between the industries and how consumers purchase products.
Chief Scientist, Mary's Medicinals
Dr. Jeremy Riggle received his Ph.D. from the University of Idaho. After working in an atmospheric chemistry lab in Reno, NV and a toxicology lab at Oregon State University, he then accepted a teaching position at Eastern Oregon University. Shortly after arriving at EOU, Dr. Riggle cofounded EOA, a cannabis quality control and research laboratory, where he focused on the analytics of cannabis. He is currently the Chief Scientist for Mary’s Medicinals, a cannabis company based out of Denver, CO.
CEO and Director, Rubicon Organics
With over 20 years in the cannabis industry already, Jesse founded one of the first federally-licensed marijuana growing facilities in Canada. His expertise were instrument in developing medical marijuana facilities in Ontario, Washington, California, Massachusetts, Maryland, Arizona and Illinois. Jesse’s industry experience also includes the development of proprietary, innovative growth techniques to produce high-quality organic cannabis crops.
Attorney, Guske & Company, Inc.
Jim has spent his legal career advising individuals, non-profit organizations, closely-held businesses, and Fortune 100 companies on tax law, including U.S. federal, and multi-state tax controversies. Located in Harris Bricken’s Seattle office, Jim currently represents a wide variety of clients in the cannabis industry, including ancillary businesses. His nuanced knowledge of the unique federal and state taxation challenges faced by this industry makes him a formidable legal partner to cannabis businesses.
Jim frequently writes for Harris Bricken’s Canna Law Blog, and he also regularly speaks on local, state, and federal tax issues, especially those related to the ever-changing cannabis industry and the regulations governing it. He is a former chair of the CLE (Continuing Legal Education) Committee of the Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) and he recently served two terms (2014-2016) as Chair of the State and Local Tax Committee of the WSBA.
Director of Business Development, The Arcview Group
John R. Downs is Director of Business Development for The Arcview Group, the first investor network focused exclusively on the cannabis industry, and leading provider of cannabis market research. There he focuses on corporate strategy, developing Arcview’s financial services and asset management businesses, and outreach and consulting to entrepreneurs and investors.
During his nearly 20 years in finance and entrepreneurship, he has experienced the telecom, dotcom, housing, and commodity bubbles, giving him a unique perspective on markets and investing.
Chief Knowledge Officer, New Frontier Data
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.
Founder, Synergistic Technologies & Associates
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.
Founder and CEO, ebbu
Jon is the founder and CEO of ebbu, LLC, a leading cannabinoid research firm based in Colorado.
Jon has over 20 years of entrepreneurship, business strategy, planning, product management and marketing experience. He has started a number of companies in different industries and worked with dozens of others to help develop plans and presentations for investment from both angels and venture companies.
Prior to ebbu, Jon served in various leadership roles in technology, communication, consulting and media companies. Most recently, Jon was the principal consultant with Cayenne Consulting. He worked with a few dozen start-ups to help them refine their business strategy and plans and also helped guide them with their financing strategies. Jon was the co-founder of Aventura, a context-aware computing company that has created 26 new advanced computing patents. Jon has served as President, VP of Strategy, VP of Marketing, and VP of Product during his tenure at Aventura. Before Aventura, Jon co-founded SkyWay Systems, an “On-Star”-like solution for Ford Motor Company, where Jon was VP of Marketing and Product. At both firms, Jon led and participated in both angel and venture financing that resulted in raising $15M+ at each firm.
Jon also has worked on the global strategy team of Level3 Communications and was a consultant at Accenture.
Jon earned his BA from the University of Colorado.
Jon Hudnall is the Director of Operations for Doghouse, an award winning cannabis farm operating in the Washington and Oregon recreational markets. His career in cannabis spans 3 decades after planting his first seeds in the mid 90s. He has extensive experience in hydroponic and organic methods. Today he formulates his own soil, nutrient, and light recipes with a focus on sustainability. Recently he joined the Dutch Consulting Company, the most prestigious team in cannabis, with over 100 years of combined experience spanning across multiple continents.
Founder and CEO, Front Range Biosciences
Through his expertise in organic synthesis, biochemistry, assay development, proteomics, and analytical chemistry, Dr. Jonathan Vaught, Founder, and CEO of Front Range Biosciences, brings widely used agriculture and biotech methods to cannabis cultivation through tissue culture cloning. Prior to founding Front Range Biosciences, Dr. Vaught served as the Director of Assay Development for Velocity Sciences, and Senior Scientist for Beacon Biotechnology and SomaLogic.
Founder and President, BitAML
Joe is the Founder & President of BitAML, a compliance advisory firm exclusively serving the bitcoin and cryptocurrency market. BitAML clients include bitcoin ATM operators, cryptocurrency exchanges, traders and trading platforms, crypto hedge funds, lending platforms, and crypto-cannabis solutions.
He is a frequent guest speaker at both bitcoin and compliance industry events, and regularly consults with federal, state, and local policymakers and law enforcement, as well as traditional retail and investment bankers on both cryptocurrencies and customer onboarding. Joe enjoys volunteering his time with the non-profit, student-led Blockchain Education Network, and collaborating on various crypto- and derisking-related research projects with his alma mater, Northeastern University.
Prior to launching BitAML, Joe was a founding member and architect of the anti-money laundering (AML) compliance program of a top 100 U.S.-based online financial institution. He also served as a project manager for a top 20 global bank, where he led several regulatory and AML audit remediation projects. Before entering the field of AML, Joe held leadership positions within various risk management disciplines, including vendor due diligence, fraud prevention, and corporate investigations.
Joe is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS), Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), and Anti-Money Laundering Certified Associate (AMLCA). He is a graduate of Northeastern University, College of Criminal Justice in Boston, Massachusetts.
Partner, Zuber Lawler & Del Duca, LLP
Josh Lawler’s practice focuses on mergers & acquisitions, securities law, and technology transactions. Mr. Lawler’s M&A clients include private equity groups, public and private companies, fundless sponsors, family offices and sellers of large assets. Many of Mr. Lawler’s clients are domiciled outside of the United States and require expertise in execution of international transactions.
Mr. Lawler also leads the Firm’s New Technology Group with a particular emphasis on Blockchain (distributed ledger), artificial intelligence, robotics, biotechnology, nanotechnology, virtual/augmented reality, internet of things, cybersecurity, and related technologies. In this capacity, Mr. Lawler counsels clients in respect securities and regulatory matters, including in respect of ICO/TGE projects; as well as development, licensing, commercial use, acquisition, and disposition of all manner of intellectual property.
Mr. Lawler is a dedicated futurist and brings enthusiasm and excitement to cutting edge projects. In addition to legal counsel, Mr. Lawler provides clients with extreme problem-solving skills and practical business advice. Many of Mr. Lawler’s clients rely on him as outside general counsel. Prior to joining Zuber Lawler & Del Duca LLP, Mr. Lawler practiced as a corporate securities and M&A attorney at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.
Partner, Cogent Law Group
Joshua is a lawyer and government affairs professional with 15 years of experience. He worked within both state and federal government and has extensive experience advocating for clients before all three branches of the federal government. Throughout his career, Joshua represented myriad clients including Fortune 100 companies, major U.S. municipalities, and foreign governments.
Joshua brings his extensive experience to his position as head of the firm’s Cannabis Practice. He works with companies in Washington, D.C. and Maryland to ensure compliance with an every-changing landscape of state laws. He also works closely with startup cannabis companies to help guide them through the complex regulatory and legal requirements that often hinder small businesses. As a government affairs professional, Joshua strategically engages Capitol Hill on behalf of cannabis clients. Joshua has a track record of engaging both sides of the aisle to find common ground in a time of ever-increasing partisan politics.
Dr. Juli Crockett
Director of Compliance, MMLG
Dr. Juli Crockett was recruited into the cannabis industry in early 2015 to launch the W Vapes brand and served as their Chief Compliance Officer before joining MMLG in January 2018. Crockett was elected to the CCIA Board of Directors in 2017, and also served as Co-Chair of NCIA’s Federal Policy Committee. She is currently the Chair of CCIA’s Legislative Committee. Beyond the cannabis space, Alabama-born Crockett is a bona fide Renaissance woman: singer/songwriter, theater director, undefeated professional boxer and amateur champion, ordained minister, with a summa cum laude Ph.D. from The European Graduate School. Formerly the Director of Marketing for a pioneering online adult toy company, she is also a published playwright, a professional singer, and leader of an alt.folk band. After composing the theme song to the mini-documentary “Caine’s Arcade” she assisted in the formation of the Imagination Foundation, a children’s non-profit encouraging creativity & entrepreneurship. Unique to her career, Crockett is an undefeated professional boxer and amateur champion, featured in Sports Illustrated and other news outlets due to her professional connection to Jerry Boyd (aka F.X. Toole) author of Million Dollar Baby.
Senior Counsel, Greenspoon Marder
Justin McNaughton is a member of the Intellectual Property practice group at Greenspoon Marder. As a registered patent attorney he assists clients in protecting their inventions, software, and investments. As a trademark attorney, he assists clients in protecting the hard earned goodwill their brands represent. Patents he has assisted with include an “ergonomic electronic instrument with pseudo strings,” a “device with dilated oxidation zone for gasification of feedstock,” a “method for cleaning producer gas using a microwave induced plasma cleaning device,” a “self-cleaning pre-filter for a water circulation pump,” and a “water shelter or shed to protect a worker from heat, smoke, fire and chemicals.”
Mr. McNaughton’s practice focuses in the following areas: patent prosecution and protection, trademark, and copyright law; internet and website law; commercial contracts and technology licensing; biotechnology and life sciences; and entrepreneurs and startups. He also negotiates technology, software, trademark and patent licenses, technology transfer agreements, product research and development agreements, and intellectual property acquisition agreements, website terms and conditions, privacy policies, and purchasing agreements. He enjoys assisting startups and entrepreneurs in forming their companies, implementing intellectual property assignments, operating agreements, buy-sell agreements, and shared services agreements, and providing general corporate advice.
Mr. McNaughton was the President of the Young Lawyers Division of the Nashville Bar Association in 2016, where he assisted fundraising and organizing events such as Race Judicata, Arts Immersion, Carbolic Smoke Ball, Brews for Backpacks, and Craft Beers for Costumes.
Director of State Policies, Marijuana Policy Project
As the director of state policies at the Marijuana Policy Project, Karen manages grassroots and direct lobbying efforts in state legislatures for the largest nonprofit that is focused solely on marijuana policy reform.
Working closely with local advocates and lawmakers, her team has led the successful advocacy campaigns to enact seven medical marijuana laws, six decriminalization measures, and a legalization law through state legislatures. Karen’s department is spearheading coalitions that are advocating to regulate marijuana like alcohol in six state legislatures.
Karen earned her J.D. from Loyola School of Law, New Orleans. She is admitted to the Bar in the District of Columbia and lives in West Hollywood, California.
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.
Kary Radestock brings over 20 years of award-winning print and packaging expertise, and has worked with some of the top brands in the world. She launched Hippo Premium Packaging in order to fill a need for professional, compliant packaging, branding, marketing, public relations, graphic and web design, and social media expertise in the emerging cannabis industry. A true visionary, Kary helps her clients increase market share and navigate to a more successful future. Whether it’s full brand development or a simple new compliant packaging design, Kary approaches each project with passion, professionalism, and pride.
Co-Founder and CEO, Alt Thirty Six
Cofounder and CEO of Alt Thirty Six, Ken Ramirez, has leveraged his knowledge of innovation and transformative enterprise growth to become a visionary leader in the future of digital payments. Ken in the final stages of completing his Doctorate in Business Administration with his research focused on payment acceptance strategies and identifying relative organizational and market inefficiencies. His goal is to be well positioned upon publication to incorporate his research findings into a product strategy that will have far-reaching implications for the future of the payments industry as a whole.
Of Counsel, Hoban Law Group
Kevin H. Fortin is Counsel to Hoban Law Group. He is a Patent Attorney licensed to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. His practice is limited exclusively to patent matters before the USPTO. He has a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Clarkson University and a JD from the University of San Diego School of Law. He is a member of the California State Bar. He has been involved in the Colorado Cannabis industry since 2008 after spending 13 years practicing law in Silicon Valley.
Mr. Fortin has been involved in numerous contract negotiations and patent licensing deals. He has closed licensing deals worldwide. He has served in various capacities during nearly 25 years as a patent attorney, including senior associate in one of the largest patent law firms in the U.S., as senior licensing counsel in a multinational corporation, and owner of his private firm.
Mr. Fortin has an avid interest in sustainable agriculture, nutrition, health, and organic food.
Founder, Greenbridge Corporate Counsel
Khurshid Khoja is Founder of Greenbridge Corporate Counsel, a minority-owned and woman-managed business law firm founded in 2012, representing clientele in California, Washington, and Hawaii from across numerous sectors in the legal cannabis industry, on regulatory, start‐up, corporate, intellectual property, finance, and other commercial and transactional matters. Khurshid is a business lawyer with over a dozen years of experience in transactional matters, including advising clients and employers on: state and federal banking, corporate, finance and securities laws in multiple highly-regulated industries (including cannabis, insurance and energy); antitrust, unfair competition and trade association laws; intellectual property; commercial contracts; government relations; and regulatory compliance.
Khurshid is also a dedicated industry advocate. He serves on the Board of Directors of the National Cannabis Industry Association and regularly performs pro bono trademark and intellectual property work for NCIA. He was recently appointed to NCIA’s Policy Council, which advises the NCIA Board on federal legislative and political strategy to reform federal cannabis laws and protect the legal cannabis industry. Khurshid also serves as a founding board member of the California Cannabis Industry Association, and has served as CCIA’s outside General Counsel since August 2014. In that capacity, he also represents CCIA on California State Treasurer John Chiang’s Cannabis Banking Working Group, which is exploring state and federal solutions to make banking accessible to the legal cannabis industry. In addition, Khurshid serves on the Advisory Council of Students for Sensible Drug Policy. He has previously served on the Council on Responsible Cannabis Regulation, and as General Counsel to The ArcView Group and the Emerald Growers Association (now the California Growers Association).
CEO, Madame Munchie
Kim Geraghty started her career in finance. After obtaining a Masters in Finance from France’s leading international business school (Sciences Po, Paris), she went on to work in Asset Management at Lazard (Paris), Investment Banking at Credit Suisse (New York), and Venture Capital at Next World Capital (San Francisco). She then founded Madame Munchie, which has established itself as California’s leading premium edible brand, winning multiple awards and recognition in national and international news outlets. Kim herself has been recognized as a successful cannabis entrepreneur and industry leader, speaking at numerous conferences, being widely quoted, and consulting for leading cannabis entrepreneurs and investors.
Kramer Hendricks is the Director of SafeHerb, an Avant Company. SafeHerb provides our agency partners and the cannabis/hemp industry with the most comprehensive, client-tailored insurance and risk solutions. They are dedicated to achieving the highest standards of compliance and ease-of-business combined with reliable claims service. Our team of innovators drive successful results for everyone at the table. Nationwide. Seed to Sale. Kramer earned a degree in Business Entrepreneurship from the Carl Lindner’s School of Business at the University of Cincinnati. He carries the designation of Certified Insurance Counselor from The National Alliance and the SafeHerb team is a proud member of the NCIA.
President, 4Front Ventures
Having founded 4Front Advisors in 2011, Kris now serves as president of 4Front. Prior to forming 4Front, Kris served as director of client services for CannBe, a pioneer in developing best practices within the medical cannabis industry. Kris has dedicated his career to reforming the nation’s misguided drug policies, having served as associate director of NORML from 2000 to 2005 and executive director of Students for Sensible Drug Policy from 2006 to 2009. He currently serves on the National Cannabis Industry Association board of directors and pens a column about the cannabis industry for Forbes.
President, CMW Media
With a passion for business and marketing, Kyle Porter got his first taste of success while in college working as the Advertising Director for the school newspaper. Upon graduation with a marketing degree, Kyle began his agency career at a small start-up agency as a Marketing Assistant. With a “knack for numbers”, Kyle eventually took over accounting, HR, and logistics as well as continued to grow his marketing responsibilities within the company. After transitioning to a larger agency in Scottsdale, Kyle began his management track as the Director of Operations for Steve LeVine Entertainment & Public Relations managing a team of over 25 staff across three departments. Using the sales skills he had acquired in his time in advertising, Kyle eventually took on a business development role landing the largest contract the agency had ever been awarded that resulted in new revenues in excess of $2million. Realizing that building agencies had become his career path, Kyle transitioned to CMW Media with the hopes to grow the agency to become a worldwide leader in PR and marketing for the Cannabis industry.
Chief Operating Officer and Chief Compliance Officer, Caliva
Larry Thacker is a successful entrepreneur specializing in large regulated health care operations. His auspicious career is highlighted by his success in building and selling the largest independent medical supply and specialty pharmacy in California. He believes in partnering and giving back to the communities he invests in. Passionate about philanthropy, Larry is involved with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation as well as the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. Larry is the father of six children and in his spare time enjoys traveling and discovering fine wines.
Attorney, Margolin & Lawrence
Lauren is a California attorney and nationally-recognized subject matter expert in Cannabis and CBD law. Based in Los Angeles, Lauren advises U.S. and international clients including cannabis industry brands, investors, and operators on legal strategy, regulatory compliance, and transactional matters.
Lauren’s work has been featured by The Economist, CNBC, Bloomberg Law, and at SXSW, among others. In 2019, The National Law Journal recognized Lauren as a Cannabis Law Trailblazer. She has been practicing in the cannabis space since shortly after Proposition 64 was passed in California, and has completed over 100 cannabis projects since then. In addition to cannabis, Lauren also advises clients on federal and state regulations pertaining to CBD. Prior to her career in cannabis, Lauren graduated from Harvard Law School and worked at an AmLaw100 global law firm in London & New York in the Capital Markets and Banking groups.
Managing Partner, KCSA Strategic Communications and host of The Green Rush podcast, KCSA Strategic Communications
Lewis Goldberg is a Managing Partner at KCSA and oversees the firm’s public relations practice. For more than 20 years, he has worked to implement eminence, thought leadership, and public affairs programs designed to build business and garner fairer valuations. In 2015, Lewis helped found KCSA’s cannabis practice and has become recognized as one of the most effective strategic thinkers in this growing field. He is also the host of The Green Rush podcast, which he launched in 2017 with a goal of providing a new medium for key players in the cannabis space—from influencers and politicians to entrepreneurs and bankers—to break down the ins-and-outs of the business while giving listeners access to top thought leaders in the cannabis space. Each week, Lewis joins co-host Anne Donohoe to look at how people are transforming cannabis from the shadows of the illicit market into a cash crop that draws in cannapreneurs from Hollywood to Wall Street.
Chief, Bureau of Cannabis Control, State of California
In February 2016, Governor Brown appointed Chief Ajax as the first Chief of the newly formed Bureau of Cannabis Control. Prior to her appointment, Chief Ajax served as Chief Deputy Director at the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control where she spent 22 years working her way up the ranks, starting at the investigator trainee level. Ajax spent ten years in private industry prior to her state government career. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from California State University, Sacramento.
Co Founder, COO & Director, EVIO Labs
Ms. Glauser is responsible for the strategic growth and day to day operations of EVIO Labs. Along with CEO Will Waldrop, Signal Bay and EVIO Labs grew from a startup advisory firm in 2014 to 5 labs during the first two years of operation and are on track to open 18 labs by the end of 2018. Lori also leads the Advisory Services division which has provided services for dozens of startup companies that are now licensed to operate in the cannabis industry. Lori is also the founding chair of Women Grow – Las Vegas, served on FOCUS standards committee, co-author of Medical Marijuana Desk Reference, and is a frequent speaker at industry conferences. Lori founded Signal Bay and EVIO Labs on a foundation of 25 years’ experience in engineering, management consulting, and startups. Her expertise lies in business planning and operations, business process design, financial forecasting, risk, customer experience, and regulatory and policy. Previously, Ms. Glauser was a management consultant focusing on the energy industry with leading firms including Ernst & Young, IBM, Financial Times Group, and SNL Financial. She also launched two bay-area tech startups. Lori has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of New Hampshire and an MBA from University of Alabama.
Staff Attorney, BIC Corporation
Maeve Rothman is a Staff Attorney for BIC Corporation in Shelton, Connecticut. She joined BIC six years ago and is responsible for commercial contracts, marketing, advertising, and advising on day-to-day compliance and regulatory issues — including U.S. and Canadian cannabis regulatory issues. Before joining BIC, Mrs. Rothman worked in publishing and in private practice. She earned her JD from the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University and her BA from Syracuse University. Mrs. Rothman has taught and presented on numerous legal issues.
Founder, Aunt Zelda's
Mara Gordon specializes in the development of cannabis treatment protocols for seriously ill patients in California. She is the co-founder of Aunt Zelda’s, The Oil Plant, Calla Spring Wellness, and Zelda Therapeutics. Mara has presented at numerous medical conferences around the globe.
Aunt Zelda’s is a pioneering, data-driven developer of cannabis-based plant medicines. Their products are the result of years of research and development in consultation with knowledgeable physicians and world-renowned researchers. Utilizing time-proven extraction methodologies improved with modern technology, Aunt Zelda’s offers organic medicines of precisely measured potency and purity that empower patients to dose to the milligram and unlock the therapeutic potential of cannabis.
Zelda Therapeutics brings together some of the world’s leading researchers and clinicians active in the study and use of medicinal cannabis to treat a variety of ailments. Presently, Zelda is engaged in pre-clinical research in multiple forms of cancer, and clinical research in insomnia, eczema, epilepsy, and more.
Prior to Aunt Zelda’s, Mara worked as a process engineer, helping Fortune 500 companies create intelligent software utilizing the Rational Unified Process. This experience has enabled her to take a detailed and scientific approach to medical cannabis. Her expertise is now utilized through board positions with CannPal, Fundacion Daya, National Association of Cannabis Businesses (NACB) SGB, Patients Out of Time, and Gabriella’s Kitchen.
Marco leads GrowLife, Inc. bringing extensive technology experience and a history of growing operations. He has performed several executive roles including President & CEO of private and public companies. GrowLife, Inc. is a nationally recognized cultivation brand, providing world-class hydroponic equipment, lighting, nutrients, media, and other cultivation supplies to commercial and urban operations.
Co-Founder and CEO, Simplifya
Marion is a serial entrepreneur that has founded, invested in, or been an advisor to over a dozen start-ups. He is a regular guest speaker at events such as Denver Start-up Week, CU Denver’s program on social entrepreneurship, and the United Nations Global Accelerator Initiative. Marion studied Architecture and Computer Science at the University of Kansas and Computer Information Systems with a minor in Business Management at Emporia State University. He enjoys time with his family, cooking spicy Sri Lankan cuisine, traveling, and connecting with people.
CEO, Phoenix Life Sciences
Tindall has an extensive career in large-scale organizational change. His career focus has been on the integration of technology with international trade and finance. Initially trained in accounting and commercial and company law, he has held various roles including Chief Information Officer at Bartercard, Executive Director of Kronos International Investments and particularly enjoyed environmental projects that deliver sustainability. Since entering the cannabis industry, Martin has spent nearly a decade researching the effects of cannabis on a number of medical conditions and has worked with a team of expert formulators to create marijuana-derived pharmaceutical drugs to treat diabetes and cervical cancer. He has served on many international advisory boards including his current position as a Member of the Board of Directors of the National Cannabis Chamber of Commerce.
Of Counsel Attorney, Hoban Law Group
Mathew has experience with scores of businesses ranging from fledgling startups to companies with tens of millions of dollars in revenue. His areas of expertise include negotiations, contract creation, dispute resolution, liability management, and buying and selling businesses. He prides himself in offering tangible solutions rather than legal lip service.
Co-Founder and CEO, Trym
Matt Mayberry is the CEO and co-founder of Trym, cultivation management software that helps cannabis cultivators run more efficient and profitable businesses. Prior to founding Trym, he was Director of Product Management at SunPower (NASDAQ: SPWR), a leading U.S. solar manufacturer. Throughout his career, Matt has repeatedly conceptualized, designed, and launched market disrupting products that have set world records and exceeded $700M in sales. Matt earned his B.S. degree in computer science from Oregon State University and has focused his career on his passion for technology, sustainability, and cannabis.
Owner of Om Edibles, CEO of Whoopi and Maya
Maya has been making edibles and topicals for more than 15 years. She considers cannabis a super food and healing herb and believes when cannabis is combined with other super foods and healing herbs a superior medicine is made. She specializes in making high-quality cannabis products with a focus and passion for women and women’s health.
Principal, Law Offices of Michael E. Cindrich
Michael E. Cindrich is best known for being a fierce litigator and one of the top cannabis attorneys in California. He has had dozens of cases dismissed by prosecutors and judges, and has won “Not Guilty” verdicts on several high profile cases. In one year he had three felony cases dismissed during the pretrial phase based on successfully establishing illegal search and seizures by law enforcement. In 2016, Michael Cindrich won three “Not Guilty” verdicts on felony cases with less than fifteen minutes of jury deliberations. On the business side, Mr. Cindrich has advised thousands of entrepreneurs in numerous aspects of business law and regulatory compliance in the cannabis industry. For more information on Mr. Cindrich’s cannabis-related work, click here.
Prior to working in private practice, Michael Cindrich was a Prosecutor for the San Diego District Attorney’s Office where he was lead counsel on dozens of misdemeanor and felony cases. During that time, Mr. Cindrich successfully litigated and negotiated cases ranging from Gang Injunctions and DUIs to more serious charges such as Robbery, Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Burglary and Kidnapping. Having gained valuable trial experience and extensive knowledge of the San Diego Courts, Mr. Cindrich decided to pursue his true passion of becoming a criminal defense attorney. In private practice, Mr. Cindrich continues to be respected by prosecutors and judges for his zealous yet professional demeanor.
While attending law school in San Diego, Mr. Cindrich performed Pro Bono Work for the California Innocence Project, an organization investigating inmate claims of wrongful conviction. Because of Mr. Cindrich’s time and effort dedicated to the Project, he was awarded the Wiley W. Manuel Award for Pro Bono Legal services by the State Bar of California. Mr. Cindrich continues to be involved in the community by giving presentations regarding current DUI and drug laws.
Partner, National Cannabis Insurance Services (NCIS)
Mike Bush is a Partner at National Cannabis Insurance Services (NCIS). NCIS follows a thorough process to understand the unique needs of cannabis operators and provides insurance programs that are customized to their needs. The NCIS culture is focused on providing friendly, responsible, and knowledgeable customer service to its cannabis partners. Mike completed his undergraduate studies at Denison University and earned his MBA from Case Western Reserve University.
Founder, Velvet Swing
Mistress Matisse has been speaking and writing to entertain and educate people about sexuality for over twenty years. She is the founder and owner of Velvet Swing, a revolutionary water-based cannabis sensual lubricant. She is also a professional dominatrix in Seattle.
Mowgli Holmes is a molecular and evolutionary biologist. He has a PhD from Columbia University, where he was a National Research Service Award Fellow. He is a founding board member of the Cannabis Safety Institute and the Open Cannabis Project, and is Chair of the Oregon State Cannabis Research Task Force.
Managing Partner, Gleam Law, PLLC
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.
President and Chief Strategic Officer, Golden State Government Relations
As President and Chief Strategic Officer at Golden State Government Relations, Nick provides cannabis businesses with a full spectrum of regulatory and legislative services, including state and federal legislative efforts; land-use planning; state and local government relations; compliance; and regulatory affairs. He co-hosts the “CannaBiz
Co-Hosts the “CannaBiz” radio segment on The Drive with Steve Jackson, streaming at KSRO.com Monday’s at 4:20 pm. Nick is an also a Co-Chair of the California Democratic Party’s Resolution Committee and has served as Vice-Chair in the City of Santa Rosa and on the Democratic Party Environmental Caucus.
CEO, Kush Bottles
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.
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.
Co-Founder, Supernova Women
Nina Parks has lived many lives before cannabis as an artist, photographer, educator, case manager, Martial Arts instructor, human rights activist and community organizer for police accountability, she parlayed her past lives into the aiding in the development of a just and equitable cannabis industry in 2014 after her brother was arrested for cannabis distribution. Her deep passion for the pursuit of the “New American Dream,” lead to her launching her brother’s delivery service, Mirage Medical in San Francisco and Co-founding Supernova Women to aid in empowering women of color to be more visible as owners and influencers in the Cannabis industry. Her accomplishments range from coalition building to make sure delivery services were included in the launch of CA adult use Cannabis economy and helping to design SF’s Cannabis Social Equity Program to ensure that we make real efforts to aid in healing the damage of America’s failed “war on drugs.” All of which earned her a place in Hightime’s 100 top influential people in Cannabis.
Currently, Ms. Parks has handed back ownership of Mirage Medicinal to her brother now that he is home and can own his business. She is launching Nina Parks Consulting specifically for people that need help navigating or building Cannabis Social Equity Programs and is working on her own Cannabis product line, so stay tuned in.
Founder, CEO, and Chairman of the Board
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.
Regional Manager, DASH
Omar Hamwi is the Regional Manager of Business Development in the U.S. and Canada for Dash, the leading cryptocurrency for payments. At Dash, Omar creates and manages partnerships and projects within the U.S. and Canada focusing on innovative use cases of Dash that solve existing problems in specific industries. For example, Omar recently project managed a large multi-faceted launch in Venezuela for a mobile phone company. As a key part of his role, Omar is focusing on supporting the mainstream integration of Cryptocurrency in the U.S. Cannabis industry.
Prior to joining Dash, Omar began his career with the Global Bank Advisory Services and Credit Bureau Development team within IFC, the World Bank’s private sector arm. Omar then entered the private sector as a management consultant, consulting for a number of companies on Wallstreet and major television networks in New York City. Most recently, he led Global Business Development for a Dubai-based global Fintech company. Omar holds an MBA and a certificate in Decision Sciences from George Washington University and a BA in Economics from York University.
Founder, CEO, and Managing Partner, Green Wise Consulting
Pamela is the CEO of Green Wise Consulting, LLC, California’s premiere full-service cannabis consulting company, providing a range of consulting, business development, and application permitting services to every facet of the cannabis industry. In 2018, she co-founded and became the Managing Shareholder of Green Wise Legal, P.C., a full-service cannabis law firm. Pamela’s diverse background, inclusive of legal, non-profit, and environmental work, places her in a unique position to lead and advise the cannabis community on the emerging intersection of recreational legalization and cannabis compliance.
After joining the industry in 2014, Pamela has become known as a fearless advocate for local cannabis businesses across the supply chain. She has been a featured speaker at several cannabis conferences, providing energetic and compelling commentary on topics such as land use, zoning, regulatory compliance, and environmental issues.
In addition to her role at Green Wise, Pamela served as the Special City Attorney for the City of Hollister with regard to their Medical Cannabis Ordinance and Regulations and serves as a member of the advisory board for Foundation Of Cannabis Unified Standards (“FOCUS”), a member of the advisory board for Annabis, a cannabis fashion company, and a member of CCIA’s Legislative Committee.
Prior to her work in the cannabis industry, Pamela founded and became the Managing Attorney and Legal Program Director for the Sierra Club San Diego’s Environmental Law & Policy Clinic. In this role, she worked extensively with elected and appointed government officials and regulatory agencies.
Pamela received her B.A. degree from the University of Arizona, and she earned her J.D. from the University of La Verne and her LL.M. in international environmental law from Golden Gate University School of Law. She currently serves as an adjunct professor, most recently teaching the first cannabis law course at Arizona Summit Law School.
Senior Attorney, Hoban Law Group
Patrick Goggin is a Senior Attorney at Hoban Law Group. He has waged battle on the frontlines of industrial hemp and general cannabis reform for two decades. Earning an Environmental Law Certificate from Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon, Mr. Goggin was admitted to the California Bar in 1996. Based in San Francisco, he served as co-counsel in the seminal HIA v. DEA cases in the early 2000s. Later, Mr. Goggin led the industry effort with Senator Mark Leno in 2013 to finally pass California’s Industrial Hemp Farming Act after three vetoes.
Mr. Goggin began working on medical cannabis regulation in San Francisco in 2005 when the City commenced its regulation of dispensaries. Since then, he has represented clients throughout Northern California on compliance issues and permitting of all facets of medical cannabis activity. He served on San Francisco’s Medical Cannabis Task Force from 2010-11.
Presently, Mr. Goggin sits on Vote Hemp’s board and is working to implement hemp research in California. He recently joined Hoban Law Group full-time and continues to advise clients on all forms of cannabis compliance. With a long history of litigating, Mr. Goggin is a trained mediator and has a respected reputation as a dispute resolution specialist.
Founder and CEO, 1906
Peter Barsoom left a 19-year career in the financial industry in 2015 to found 1906, a “premium edible company”. Barsoom is the founder of 1906, and principal of Nuka Enterprises. He has held a variety of senior management positions at leading institutions including American Express, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, and Intercontinental Exchange. ICE operates the leading network of regulated exchanges and clearing houses, including the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
Dr. Philip Blair
Medical Advisor, Elixinol
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.
Pranav Sood is the CEO of Trellis, an inventory track & trace software platform for regulated cannabis growers, manufacturers, distributors and dispensaries. Pranav’s previous experience includes management consulting and retail IT management for a leading global retailer. Pranav graduated from business school and is a serial entrepreneur with extensive experience in startups and growing B2B companies. Originally from Toronto, Canada, Pranav now resides in California.
Shareholder, Greenspoon Marder Law
Rachel Gillette is a shareholder with Greenspoon Marder’s Cannabis Law practice group. She focuses her practice on marijuana/cannabis business licensing and regulatory compliance, business law and transactions, contract drafting and review, tax litigation, corporate formation, and tax matters, including audit representation.
Rafael de la Cruz
Principal, Universal Brand Ventures
Serial entrepreneur, angel investor and strategic advisor with over two decades of experience in marketing innovation, Rafael has led teams in successfully launching and branding a variety of products, creating new categories and effectively connecting with the most elusive audiences. He serves as a member of the investor selection committee for the Arcview Group and is an executive advisor to the Southern California Cannabis Business & Investment Group.
After a period of consulting several tech startups, Rafael joined the team that re-booted Pepsi’s Mountain Dew utilizing action sports, urban music and influencer culture (Do the Dew!), taking it from obscurity to the Number 4 position in the carbonated soft drink category. He was brought on to manage and execute several national client programs including the development of Marlboro’s on-premise strategy for Philip-Morris International, Spanish language field marketing for Johnson & Johnson’s Tylenol and nightlife influencer projects for various Diageo and Bacardi brands.
Mr. De La Cruz was recruited to be part of the core marketing team at glacéau – makers of vitaminwater & smartwater. Rafael created and executed a series of both sales & marketing initiatives that supported the company’s doubling of revenue year after year, resulting in the largest acquisition of its kind in the beverage category ($4.2 billion) by The Coca-Cola Company (KO – NYSE). Rafael has since then held several executive positions overseeing marketing and operations with early-stage companies. He manages capital, strategy and advisory services thru Universal Brand Ventures for early-stage companies in the cannabis industry.
President, Olala Brands
Randy Reed has more than 15 years’ experience in business management, botanical extraction, cannabinoid delivery systems, patient education, and product development. In 2011 he co-founded Remedios Collective, one of Seattle’s original medical marijuana dispensaries where he developed extensive patient relationships to help formulate therapeutic cannabis extracts. Winner for “Best Liquid Edible” two years in a row in the 2017 and 2018 WA Dope Cup, “Best THC cartridge” in the 2018 WA Sun Cup, “Best THC Oil” 2018 WA Dope Cup, “Best CBD Live Resin” and “Most Potent CBD Live resin” 2018 WA Dope Cup, and a handful of “Finalist/runner-up” awards for edible and inhalation extracts. Randy has gained a reputation for creating award-winning, full spectrum terpenoid- and cannabinoid-rich extracts including the first-ever CO2 live resin and the first 100% cannabis-derived terpene beverages. He holds a BA in Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences from the University of Washington and is an active member in Canna STEM, NCIB and WSIA.
CEO, Hollyweed North Cannabis
Gagnon is a serial startup founder, skilled at survival, stress and team building. She is both the first Transgender Publicly traded marijuana company CEO and the first female one. Renee built the core team of Thunderbird Biomedical, created and executed on the business plan and raised $3.7 M in funding then took the company public ($25M Valuation at IPO)… She went on to use this insight to create a diverse workforce with strong female leadership across the HollyWeed North Cannabis Inc ™. organization. After exiting Thunderbird Biomedical Inc in Jan 2015 as founding CEO and Board member, she has chosen to focus on US-based infrastructure and supply delivery for the Cannabis Industry with HollyWeed North Cannabis Inc™.
Founder and CEO, incredibles
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.
CEO, CURE Pharmaceutical
Rob oversees the sustained growth and diversified revenue strategy for CURE, an innovative drug delivery, and development company committed to improving drug efficacy, safety, and the patient experience through its proprietary drug dosage forms and delivery systems. CURE has positioned itself to advance numerous therapeutic categories, including the pharmaceutical cannabis sector with partnerships in the U.S., Canada, Israel, and Germany, among other markets. The Company’s mission is to improve people’s lives by redefining how medicines are delivered and experienced.
Attorney, Harris Bricken
Robert focuses on helping our clients plan, protect, and expand their businesses. Robert works closely with companies and entrepreneurs at every stage of development to help them assess their legal needs and pursue their long-term goals. He assists both domestic and foreign companies on corporate and transactional matters, involving entity formation, financing, contracts, company compliance, and business transactions. Robert is the managing attorney of the Seattle office and he also heads up our foreign direct investment team for incoming U.S. investments.
Robert graduated cum laude from Georgetown Law, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Georgetown Journal of International Law. He further developed his knowledge of international law by working at an international trade firm in our nation’s capital and at the Bureau of Industry and Security, and the Software Freedom Law Center. In 2018, Robert was again named a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers magazine.
In his spare time, Robert enjoys tennis, canoeing, hiking, and doting on his pet dog, cat, and iguana.
BioSafety Program Manager, American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA)
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.
Head of West Coast Operations, Baker Technologies
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.
President, RAS Security Group
As the founder of RAS Consulting & Investigations, Ryan brings to his clients a rich body of work that has demonstrated expertise in workplace security, private investigation, police service, teaching & instruction, work with the U.S. State Department as well as leadership in Corporate America. Early in his career, Ryan witnessed the increasing relevance of technology as it relates to crime, and simultaneously earned his masters in Information Systems and Technology from George Washington University. Ryan is dedicated to investigating the intersection of security and technology as a lifelong passion.
Before founding RAS, Ryan spent time as a practitioner in the field. He is proud of his work as a police officer and investigator, an instructor for the U.S. Department of State’s Anti-Terrorism Assistance Program, and a leader of a Fortune 500 company’s Global Security & Safety Technology Group.
Ryan currently dedicates his focus and passion for service towards RAS clients and volunteers part-time as a Reserve Police Officer in Los Angeles.
Co-Founder and CEO, LeafLink, Inc.
Ryan brings his experience creating and managing B2B firms and online marketplace investing in a highly-regulated space as CEO of LeafLink, the cannabis industry’s standard platform for orders, sales, and relationship management. LeafLink went live in Colorado in March 2016 and after raising $4 Million in investor capital, has more than 1,400 retailers placing orders for over 250 brands across 5 states. Ryan was the first CEO of a cannabis-facing company to be listed on Forbes’ 30 Under 30.
Dr. Safedin “Sajo” Beqaj
Laboratory Director, Molecular Testing Labs
Dr. Sajo Beqaj is board certified in molecular pathology and is a board-certified clinical consultant. He has been practicing as a laboratory director since 2005. He received his PhD in pathology from Wayne State University Medical School, Detroit, Michigan. He performed his post-doctoral fellowship at Abbott Laboratories from 2001-2003. He continued his career as a Research Assistant Professor at Children’s Memorial Hospital and Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois until 2005 when he joined Path Group Labs, Nashville, Tennessee as Laboratory Director in molecular diagnostics. In 2008 he joined DCL Medical Laboratories as Laboratory Director for Clinical Pathology where he was responsible for clinical laboratory operations and technical operations including development and implementation of new tests and technologies. Although he is a board certified high-complexity laboratory director and oversees all clinical pathology operations, his field of expertise is in molecular diagnostics and genetic testing. He has served as a teacher assistant at pathology department at Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, visiting professor of molecular diagnostics at Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee; and as an adjunct professor of anatomy and physiology at Nashville State Community College, Nashville, Tennessee. Dr. Beqaj has published more than 20 medical textbook chapters and journal articles. In addition, he has presented various scientific clinical abstracts and has conducted clinical trials for several well-known pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies. He is a member of numerous medical and scientific associations including the Association of Molecular Pathology, American Association of Clinical Chemistry and the Pan Am Society for Clinical Virology. He has served on a number of clinical laboratory regulatory and scientific committees and has assisted several laboratories and physicians as a Clinical Laboratory Consultant.
Associate Attorney, Vicente Sederberg
Sahar Ayinehsazian specializes in the areas of cannabis banking, cannabis regulation and intellectual property. Located in Vicente Sederberg’s Los Angeles office, Sahar also serves as the Chief Advisor on Banking Policy to the California Growers Association (CGA), where she works on strategy and legislation to enable state-licensed businesses to obtain accounts at depository institutions for their cannabis businesses. She is also a member of the National Cannabis Industry Association’s (NCIA) Banking Access Committee.
Prior to joining Vicente Sederberg, Sahar served as the Director of Regulatory and Governmental Affairs at a multi-state money transmitter servicing the cannabis industry, where she developed a comprehensive understanding of credit card flow, banking and cannabis compliance. She has had several columns published and frequently appears in the media discussing cannabis banking issues in California and throughout the country.
VP Science, Tarukino
Scott Riefler has over 39 years of cultivating and commercializing scientific and technological resources.
Scott is currently VP Science for Tarukino, a leader of innovation, materials development and edible product forms within the cannabis space. He joined Tarukino in June of 2017, he and his team developed a key water born platform for cannabinoid oils for the edible industry.
Previously he was a member of TIC GUMS leadership Team, a privately held producer of hydrocolloids (gums) systems for the food, nutriceutical and industrial markets.
During his tenure at TIC Gums Scott’s roles included VP of Sales, VP of Science and Technology and President. He led TIC through significant growth cycles and related challenges.
Scott joined TIC in 2000 after spending twenty years in the aerospace industry with industry leader, American Cyanamid/Cytec Industries, serving the aircraft industry with structural adhesives and advanced composite systems. After his role of Global Technical Director, he became involved in mergers and acquisitions, assisting industry consolidation.
He has spent the past 20 years translating his experience and applying it to food system innovation, literally bringing rocket science into the kitchen!
Scott resides with his wife Diana in the Seattle area.
He holds a BS in chemistry and is a Certified Food Scientist.
Scott is an active member of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), National Association of Flavor and Food-Ingredients (NAFFS), Vistage and FEMA.
He holds a BS degree in Chemistry awarded in 1979 from St. Bonaventure Univ.
Scott has presented at numerous industry and university forums, short courses and classes.
Founder, Operative Campaigns LLC
Sean Donahoe owns and operates Operative Campaigns LLC, which provides Strategic Guidance, Business Development, and Governmental Relations services to private clients and the general public. After a career in international relations and political campaigns, in 2012 he turned his skills to organizing in the cannabis industry, beginning with labor and patients rights projects and then moving on to help guide cannabis industry trade associations. After co-founding the California Cannabis Industry Association, he moved on in 2014 to form a consulting firm where he currently uses his background in political consulting and issue advocacy to assist clients in their navigation of state and local politics. Sean has also contributed his time as a Local Politics Adviser to the California Growers Association, as Vice Chair of the Brownie Mary Democrats of California, as a commissioner to the City of Oakland’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission, and as a mentor at the Gateway startup accelerator in Oakland. He received a BA in Politics from UC Santa Cruz and a MSc in Government from the London School of Economics.
Sergio Buenrostro was born in Orange, Ca. He Attended and Graduated from Centennial High School in 2003 before enlisting into The United States Marine Corps where he held the rank of Sergeant. Was selected in 2005 as a member of the Marine Embassy Security Group in trusted in the protection of Diplomatic lives at U.S. Embassies Abidjan, Ivory Coast; Monrovia, Liberia; Sofia, Bulgaria, Bucharest, Romania; Dhahran, Saudi Arabia and Manama, Bahrain. After honorable time and service Sergio entered the private security sector in 2008 working for such companies as Pendum armored service (Cash in Transit Division), and Gavin De Becker & Associates (At Risk Public Figures and Threat Assessment Division). In 2010 Sergio returned to Government service as a security contractor for the U.S. State Department’s Overseas Building Operations (OBO), tasked to provide new U.S. Diplomatic facility construction sites with physical protection against terrorist attacks, Counter intel devices, and counter surveillance. Areas of operations included Juba, South Sudan; Islamabad, Pakistan; Tripoli, Libya; and The Hague, Netherlands. Sergio entered the cannabis Industry as HARDCARs Director of Security in November 2017, and leads all product and currency security operations in Southern California, and Nevada.
In partnership with Dani Shaker, Sherri Franklin is co-founder of Think and Grow Lab, a non-profit accelerator hub created to provide access to the “new green economy” for social equity entrepreneurs, Cannabis of Los Angeles (COLA) brand development corporation and GoVerde Incubator, LLC, a clean energy cannabis campus being designed to provide compliant operating facilities and technical assistance for social equity cannabis cultivation, manufacturing and distribution entrepreneurs. COLA’s strategic and synergistic partnerships by and between industry leading companies, social equity entrepreneurs and emerging companies will co-exist within a vertically integrated ecosystem to foster innovation and access to cannabis industry business ownership and facilitate the elements required to help urban entrepreneurs sustain operations and thrive.
Simone Cimiluca-Radzins is an international business strategist with close to a decade of helping Fortune 500 companies build compliance, corporate governance, and strategy into daily operations. She has improved business operations for hundreds of clients around the world. With a background in Big 4 public accounting and international consulting for Fortune 500 companies. Since 2014, Simone has been helping cannabis operators throughout the world become compliant in the cannabis industry.
Chief Operating Officer, OLEO
Skyler has nearly a decade of experience working at companies such as Amazon and Boeing, as well as smaller startups within the tech space. He leverages his background in marketing, data science, and business development to solve operational challenges and develop novel business models.
As one of the founders at OLEO he has helped establish the company as a leader in cannabinoid micro-encapsulation and to address the educational challenges that are inherent to emerging technologies. As Chief Operating Officer, Skyler oversees OLEO’s initiatives as a bulk ingredient supplier, technology licensor, and custom product formulator.
Dr. Stephanie Canestraro
Dr. Stephanie Canestraro graduated from The University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario where she studied Health Sciences. She has his post doctorate education as a Chiropractor and training in Functional Medicine and Clinical Nutrition through The Institute for Functional Medicine and Functional Medicine University. Dr. Canestraro consults both locally in the Toronto and via skype consultations for NHL and NFL athletes around North America. She specializes in clinically investigating underlying factors and customizing health programs for performance optimization and post concussion in athletes to chronic conditions such as autoimmune, hormonal dysfunctions, digestive disorders. Dr. Canestraro uses a multimodal approach to healing, utilizing acupuncture, specialized soft tissue techniques, comprehensive labs, supplementation and life style approaches to creating health in her patients. Dr. Canestraro has been featured in Sports Illustrated, and Toronto local television. She sits on the board for genetics based supplement call youtrients and has lectured throughout North America in Acupuncture techniques/dry needling.
Founder, Root Strategies
Stephanie Hopper is the Vice President of Government Affairs and Compliance for Canndescent. Ms. Hopper has served in various roles within the cannabis industry. Ms. Hopper owns and operated a consulting company focused on creating a strong regulated cannabis industry. Ms. Hopper also served as owner and Chief Operating Officer of a dispensary and cultivation facility where she ran operations for the medical and recreational cultivation facility and dispensary. In 2015 and 2016, Ms. Hopper served as a Board Member and the Legislative Council Chairwoman for a prominent industry group in Colorado, actively working with legislators, regulators, helping to educate, create laws, rules, and regulations that support the growth of the cannabis industry at the local, state, and federal levels. Ms. Hopper currently is working with the city of Desert Hot Springs to build out a strong regulated program and serves as a Board Member for a nanoscience company focused on creating products to control pain and anxiety.
Dr. Stuart Titus
CEO, Medical Marijuana, Inc.
Dr. Stuart Titus is a veteran of the financial services and medical healthcare industries with over thirty years of combined experience in each discipline. In the investment banking industry, Dr. Titus worked with well-regarded firms including A.G. Becker, Prudential-Bache Securities, and Credit Suisse-First Boston. After leaving Wall Street, Dr. Titus opened and operated his private physiotherapy practice specializing in microcurrent and stem cell therapeutic treatments.
Now, Dr. Titus, a 10-year pioneer of the cannabis industry, is the Chief Executive Officer of the first-ever publicly traded cannabis company in the United States, Medical Marijuana, Inc. Dr. Titus has been involved in all aspects of the medical marijuana and industrial hemp industries as he also oversees a robust portfolio of subsidiary and investment companies. Through his leadership, Medical Marijuana, Inc. became the first company to deliver cannabis brands across U.S. state lines and international borders, making hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) available across 50 states and in dozens of countries such as Mexico, Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina and many European nations.
Dr. Titus is a graduate of Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla., where he majored in Economics and minored in Business Administration. He earned his Ph.D. degree from the Open International University, which is a World Health Organization (WHO)-chartered affiliate. He holds a Fellowship with the American Academy of Pain Management and clinical association with the American Association of Integrative Medicine.
Managing Partner, Hypur Ventures
Tahira serves as MTech Acquisition Corp’s Chief Financial Officer and is a Managing Director of Hypur Ventures, where she is responsible for portfolio company management and investment sourcing and execution. She is also a Director of Dope Media, a cannabis media company and portfolio company of Hypur Ventures.
Tahira has been named one of the most powerful women in the cannabis business by Fortune Magazine and Complex, and has a passion for developing female leadership in the industry.
Prior to joining Hypur Ventures, Tahira served as General Manager of Marley Natural, where she was responsible for the brand’s launch and managing day-to-day operations of the company, and was an Investment Manager at Privateer Holdings.
Before venturing into cannabis, Tahira was a Portfolio Manager at City First Enterprises managing CFE’s community development investment portfolio, and an associate at Perry Capital where she led research initiatives for the asset-backed securities team. Her career began in Ernst & Young’s Financial Services Advisory practice.
Tahira earned her MBA from the Yale School of Management, where she was a Yale Entrepreneurial Institute Venture Creation Advisor. She holds a B.S. in Finance and Life Sciences from The Ohio State University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude as a Presidential Scholar.
The Dank Duchess
Cannabis Cultivator and Hashmaker, Dank Duchess Fine Concentrates
Based in Oakland, California, The Dank Duchess is an internationally recognized cannabis cultivator, hashmaker, and writer. Believing that intentional and mindful cannabis use will indeed change our society, she applies her 14 years of growing experience and priceless mentorship under Master Hashmaker Frenchy Cannoli to fully immerse herself in the global cannabis industry; penning countless articles about Hashish for magazines and books; including Weed World UK, Cannabis Now, and anthologies by Ed Rosenthal. A maker of fine quality Hashish, Duchess has appeared on VICELAND’s “Bong Appetit,” filmed educational and entertainment segments for Greenflower Media, and she regularly journeys nationally and internationally to cannabis-friendly locales to expand her knowledge, to host educational parties, and to help spread cannabis awareness. In her own words: “My niche is Hashish and cannabis flower fuels my power.”
Founder and CEO, Canna-Hub
Tim founded Canna-Hub to create the largest, most sophisticated cannabis real estate portfolio in California. Through Tim’s leadership, Canna-Hub identifies sites in strategically located cities that can accommodate hundreds of cannabis licensees in an organized manner through the development of Canna-Hub Business Communities, or “cannabis hubs.”
CPA, Arkley Accounting Group
Todd Arkley, CPA, is the owner of Arkley Accounting Group, a Seattle-based accounting firm founded in 2014 for the sole purpose of helping small-to-medium sized businesses within the cannabis industry grow and thrive.
Todd has immersed himself in the cannabis industry’s complex financial and tax concerns, such as IRC 280E, banking, and state/local taxes, while at the same time integrating his extensive accounting and operational background developed over 13 years working for law firms and private industry. He has written and spoken at length regarding accounting and tax issues affecting the cannabis industry at the NCIA Cannabis Business Summit, the Center for Cannabis and Social Policy, the Center for New Revenue, and Marijuana Venture magazine. He also serves as the Treasurer of The Cannabis Alliance, a nonprofit dedicated to the advancement of a sustainable, vital, and ethical cannabis industry.
He is a member of the WSCPA and AICPA and also teaches cannabis taxation classes for CPAs, accounting students, and business owners.
Founder and Director of Business Development, Kind Growth Capital
A 25 year veteran of the finance industry and as one of the Founders and the Director of Business Development for Kind Growth Capital, Todd has provided over $100 million in debt financing to cannabis companies. Todd is also the Director of Business Development for Entrepreneur Growth Capital and Credit Cash, national commercial finance companies, where he has originated well over $250 million for dozens of borrowers in a wide variety of industries. In addition to Todd’s finance expertise, he is active in politics and government, including serving as Treasurer for a regional utility authority, Chairman of a municipal planning board, and District Chairman of a political party.
Managing Partner, Zuber Lawler & Del Duca, LLP
Tom Zuber is the Managing Partner of Zuber Lawler & Del Duca LLP, which represents clients throughout the world from offices in LA, Silicon Valley, Chicago and New York. Tom is the relationship partner for some 10 Fortune clients of the firm, as well as fund and government clients. He has also worked with cannabis clients for over 10 years, and currently represents some of the industry’s leading companies. Zuber Lawler & Del Duca LLP helps their cannabis clients with intellectual property, M&A and other deals, and litigation. Tom believes that the cannabis companies that best invest now in building their intellectual property asset portfolios will dominate the post-prohibition future of the cannabis industry. Tom holds a law degree from Columbia Law School, a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard Government School, and a biomedical engineering degree from Rutgers University, where he graduated with highest honors.
Co-Founder and CEO, The Arcview Group
Troy co-founded cannabis investment and research firm, The Arcview Group, in 2010 and serves as CEO. Arcview created the Arcview Investor Network where more than 600 high net-worth investors have pumped more than $160 million into 170+ cannabis-related ventures and raised more than $3 million for the legalization effort. Arcview also publishes The State of Legal Marijuana Markets, the most oft-cited market data and analysis report on the industry. Arcview co-founded Cannasure Insurance Services in 2011 and launched Canopy, a business accelerator in 2015. Forbes Magazine named Arcview one of the top five financial leaders in the cannabis industry. Troy is a board member of the Marijuana Policy Project and is a founding board member of the National Cannabis Industry Association. He is the co-founder of Students for Sensible Drug Policy and also helped launch and served as the first sales director at Renewable Choice Energy, which was recently acquired by Schneider Energy. Fortune Magazine, Details Magazine, and International Business Times named Troy to their Top 10 lists of most influential people in the cannabis industry. In his spare time, Troy enjoys karaoke, Burning Man, and personal growth.
Marketing Leader and Author, Green Bits
A results-driven marketing leader passionate about understanding customer behavior at an individual and macro level. In his most recent role as Head of Marketing at Green Bits, Vijay worked with a high caliber team to develop and execute integrated marketing strategies for brand awareness, customer acquisition, and retention. Vijay holds an MBA from Cornell University. Vijay is also the author of Amazon #1 best-seller “Market Leadership.”
CEO, Golden Leaf Holdings
William founded Chalice Farms turning the company into one of the leading cannabis brands and retail dispensary chains in Oregon. After experience with the communications industry, mortgage business and venture capital funding start-ups, William became involved in Oregon’s medical marijuana industry. He designed and installed numerous grows in the Pacific Northwest and started The Green Future Garden Hydroponics LLC in 2009, which included a consulting element focused on building-out dozens of state-of-the-art grow facilities. In 2013, William received a license to open-up one of Portland’s first medical marijuana retail locations, the Powell House Cannabis Club. The following year he launched the Chalice Farms brand along with updating the dispensary to the new brand platform. William leveraged this early experience in the medical marijuana industry to develop innovative manufacturing, sales and marketing practice for the Chalice Farms brands and retail platforms.
Co-Founder, Goddess Delivers
Zachary Pitts began working in the cannabis industry cultivating and producing edibles but transitioned to retail when he co-founded the delivery service Goddess Delivers in 2011. In 2014, Zach launched a retail storefront, Ganja Goddess, in Seattle, WA. Following the passage of the MCRSA, Zach joined with fellow delivery operators in Los Angeles to organize the Los Angeles Delivery Alliance, and then, in conjunction with other local cannabis industry activists, helped create the Southern California Coalition. The SCC works towards fair licensing and regulation of delivery on local and state levels and enjoyed success with the campaign for Proposition M in Los Angeles and working directly with the city council to create inclusive and broadly available licensing. Last year, Zach became the founding president of the California Cannabis Delivery Alliance, a coalition of regional delivery alliances from across the state of California, that has successfully lobbied for more inclusion of delivery needs in statewide legislation and rulemaking.