Speaker Bio New York 2019
Managing Partner, VSTechVentures
Alain is a Managing Partner of VS Tech Ventures which provides legal, tech and advisory help to cannabis companies. He is a investor cannabis, technology, and food tech investor, the co-founder of the New York Angels and a member of ArcView. Until 2013, Alain was Co-CEO of Manischewitz Company. He is a Wharton and NYU graduate.
Owner Operator, Boss Consulting
Owner and Operator, Aly Piscatelli, has been working in the Colorado Cannabis industry since 2011 managing stores, production companies, recreational shops and forging through the early days of the METRC system. She started BOSS Consulting in 2016, to sharing her seed to sale experience while specializing in inventory audits, METRC, SOP development and employee training.
Co-Founder and Editor, Cannabis Wire
Principal, Equitas Partners Fund
Andi Goldman has managed $2 billion in institutional investments across numerous industries in her career. She’s been an angel investor in cannabis since 2014 and was the CFO and Head of Corporate Finance, for FLRish, Inc., which provides management services to the Harborside dispensaries and grow operations. Andi currently consults and advises for an array of cannabis companies nationally and has launched a cannabis investment fund, Equitas Partners. Andi has 20 years of institutional investment experience in private equity and lending, is a chartered financial analyst and was a corporate/securities lawyer.
Assistant Counsel to the Governor for Health, New York State Executive Chamber
Axel Bernabe is Assistant Counsel for Health to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. In this role, he oversees all legal and policy deliberations in the health portfolio and provides strategic counsel to the operations, press, and budget teams in the Executive Chamber and the State Department of Health. As part of his responsibilities, Axel oversees the development and implementation of all medical, hemp, and adult-use cannabis initiatives in the State. Over the past four years he has directed and supervised the expansion of the medical cannabis program and the launch of the State’s hemp program. Axel is also responsible for driving the administration’s proposed Cannabis Act that would comprehensively regulate all segments of the cannabis economy, including the creation of a new Office of Cannabis Management that would permit the implementation of an adult-use program.
Prior to joining the Cuomo administration, Axel was a partner at the law firm of Constantine Cannon, where he was a nationally recognized legal expert in the healthcare sector, particularly on antitrust matters.
Chairman & CEO, Collective Growth Corp.
Chairman & CEO, Collective Growth Corp.; Founder & Former Chairman, CEO and Co-CEO of Canopy Growth Corporation (CGC), formerly Tweed Marijuana Incorporated, a cannabis company based in Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada. Bruce founded Tweed in 2013 and renamed it Canopy Growth Corporation in 2015. Canopy Growth Corporation was the first cannabis company in North America to be listed on a major stock exchange and to be included on a major stock index. Bruce led CGC from a TSX-V listed start-up company with an $80 million market cap to the NYSE/TSX listed company including more than 30 M&A activities, ranking number one on the TSX30 with a market cap of over $20 billion by the summer of 2019.
Bruce’s experience as a Founder, CEO and Board Member across a diversity of sectors was a huge influence for the success of CGC. Earning market support for capital raises of over $6 billion in public capital markets and private placements, the company funded capacity growth and opened new markets, including a $5 billion CAD investment by Fortune 500 beverage company, Constellation Brands.
Bruce is co-founder and was Chairman & CEO of Canopy Rivers, Inc.
Notably, throughout his career, Bruce has been responsible for the acquisition and/or disposition of nearly $4 billion in business assets and has established regular engagement with the World Bank and Asia Development Bank.
Currently he holds the positions of: Executive Chairman for Vireo Health International, Inc.; Executive Chairman for Gage Cannabis Co.; Co-Chairman for Martello Technologies Group; Co-Founder of Ruckify; Executive Chairman for Wolverine Partners Corp. He is also special advisor with better Choice Company, and Director with Mindmed.
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.
Director of Sales and Communication, GrowFlow
Carly Bodmer holds an MA in Communications from the University of Southern California. In 2014, Bodmer led Artizen to become one of the largest flower producers in the state of Washington, managing over 800k in monthly sales. She was then hired to initiate the largest recreational cannabis purchase in history for the opening of NuWu Cannabis Marketplace, the largest dispensary in the country.
Dr. Carlyn S. Buckler PhD
Associate Professor of Practice, Cornell University
Dr. Carlyn Buckler does research and teaches courses in the public understanding of science, plant science communication, and digital technologies at the School of Integrative Plant Science at Cornell University. Her background as a researcher in plant genetics and in science communication has led to a career in facilitating leadership and entrepreneurship skills for Cornell students, as well as teaching about, assessing and facilitating the public understanding of science. Her course, “Cannabis: Biology, Society and Industry” covers the plant biology, pharmacology, legal, industrial, entrepreneurial, economic and societal opportunities and issues regarding plants in the cannabis family. This course also creates the foundation for the Hemp Science Masters in Professional Studies program at Cornell University.
Dr. Chanda Macias
CEO, Women Grow; Owner and CEO, National Holistic Healing Center
Chanda Macias, MBA, PhD is the CEO and the owner of National Holistic™ a cannabis and hemp healthcare enterprise. National Holistic™ Healing Center is the leading medical marijuana dispensary in Washington DC. Dr. Macias has spent 15+ years developing knowledge of medical marijuana impact on patients. Dr. Macias contributes growth to the market through education on ailment strain alignment, aligning a medical marijuana strain with a specific condition or ailment. Dr. Macias expanded her footprint as the President of Ilera Holistic Healthcare which is one of two cultivation/processing facilities in the state of Louisiana.
Dr. Macias educates women entrepreneurs and patients through her outreach platform as the Chairwoman of the Board of Managers and CEO for Women Grow with a national educational reach impacting over 500,000+ people and patients.
Finally, Dr. Macias serves on the National Cannabis Roundtable (NCR) Board Chaired by former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John A. Boehner. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Minority Cannabis Business Association focusing on business development for communities adversely impacted by the War on Drugs. In her local market, she serves as the Treasurer and Secretary of DC Medical Cannabis Trade Association that proactively engages in legislation, regulations, and compliance with the Department of Health, and is a proud member of Americans for Safe Access, promoting safe and legal access to medical marijuana for research purposes.
Dr. Macias earned a PhD in Cellular Biology from Howard University, and extensively studied cancer including breast cancer, colon cancer, and evolved into developing a model to understand the mechanism of prostate cancer metastasizes to bone.
Dr. Macias was the Director of STEM Education in the College of Engineering, Architecture, and Computer Sciences at Howard University, where she was awarded over $10M in federally funded grants.
Chloe Aiello is a reporter for Cheddar, covering the rapidly evolving cannabis space. Prior to joining Cheddar, she worked for CNBC and local news startup Denverite.
Aiello holds a master’s degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and bachelor’s degrees from the University of Michigan.
CEO, Unity Rd.
Christian Hageseth is the CEO of Unity Rd. – one of the first concepts to bring the franchise business model to the cannabis industry. He entered the cannabis industry in 2009 with the launch of Green Man Cannabis in Denver. His decade-long career in cannabis is most notably marked by his record of perfect compliance and the profitable operating of dispensaries. He is a partner in five Colorado dispensaries and has built seven cultivation centers around the country. In addition to his own personal ventures, Christian has also worked as a cannabis advisor in 10 states, helping those operators establish compliant and profitable operations of their own. His distinction in the industry has led to numerous awards, including six Cannabis Cups and the 2015 High Times Trailblazer Award. His first years in the legal cannabis industry are outlined in his book “Big Weed.”
Cultivation Operations Manager, Revolutionary Clinics
Christine Champagne is a cultivation production/specialist and has been involved in the green industry for more than 30 years with a primary focus on improving plant propagation that improves plant growth rates, yields, quality while reducing labor cost and other costs associated with production. Ms. Champagne has developed training courses and methodologies and has implemented them with industry leaders who saw increased production output and quality while simultaneously lowering production unit costs. Ms. Champagne takes an integrated product management approach that incorporates standard production procedures at all touch points of the production cycle.
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
CEO and co-founder of WebJoint software based in Los Angeles. Dell’Olio started the company in 2014 at 19 years old. He has since raised more than $4.5m in venture capital and has grown the company to become the largest provider of cannabis delivery software solutions with an innovative brand platform that is revolutionizing the industry.
President and CEO, AgriLogic Consulting, LLC
Clif Parks is President and CEO of AgriLogic Consulting, LLC, an economic consulting firm that supplies risk management products and services to the agricultural, financial and insurance industries. As a diversified agricultural consulting firm, the company has provided services in policy development, strategic planning, finance, information technology and management for both private and public-sector entities. Mr. Parks has extensive experience in numerous sectors of the agricultural industry that range from his family’s diversified farming operation, to working in the United States (U.S.) House of Representatives’ Committee on Agriculture, the Center of North American Studies at Texas A&M University, and finally with the AgriLogic family of companies in an array of positions. His roles with AgriLogic Consulting, LLC have spanned from analyst to executive.
Mr. Parks’ principal focus since joining AgriLogic Consulting in 2001 has been on crop insurance program development and expert review. In this role, he has often led diverse teams of industry leading experts in the development of an array of actuarial, time series, structural econometric, simulation, and invasive species models for a broad range of applications, many of which became the underpinnings of a variety of crop and weather-based insurance programs. In addition to his vast domestic experience, Mr. Parks has been responsible for developing, proposing, and evaluating several international crop insurance products in Australia, Brazil, Colombia, and Ireland. Currently Mr. Parks and his staff oversee crop insurance program development and maintenance; portfolio management and risk allocation for insurance providers; as well as providing specialized economic, risk management, insurance and agricultural consulting services to a broad array of clientele.
Vice President - Engineering, Desert Aire
Craig Burg serves customers from the cannabis and other industries by engineering indoor climate management systems. He was chosen by peers to serve on committees for the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, & Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE); and the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI). He currently oversees research and development, custom system engineering, product testing, manufacturing engineering and quality at Desert Aire and has three patents pending.
Cristina Buccola Esq.
Cristina Buccola Counsel PLLC
Cristina is a sought-after attorney, advisor, and advocate who focuses her legal and business acumen on helping her clients build and sustain viable enterprises.
As the founder of Cristina Buccola Counsel PLLC, Cristina is retained by cannabis and hemp companies, lifestyle and wellness entrepreneurs, media outlets, investors, and artists to advise on M&A matters and investment opportunities, to design brand protection and licensing programs, to develop strategic ventures, and to manage day-to-day legal needs. She also assists cannabis and hemp producers, processors, wholesalers, retailers, and applicants in navigating the legal, licensing, regulatory, and operational challenges they face. Cristina is admitted to practice law in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Illinois (retired).
Cristina undertakes public interest/policy work related to medical cannabis and economic and social justice issues, has testified in front of the New York State and New Jersey Legislatures about cannabis regulatory programs, and has worked with elected officials on developing cannabis legalization positions. She is a member of the New York Cannabis Bar Association and the National Cannabis Bar Association. Cristina also serves as Counsel to Serenity Garden Harlem, a community garden in Sugar Hill, NYC.
Before dedicating herself exclusively to the full-spectrum law practice that is CB Counsel, Cristina served as the General Counsel of High Times and was a partner in an adult-use cultivation concern.
Cristina received her BA from The Gallatin School at New York University and her JD from The University of Chicago Law School. She cut her teeth in the M&A and private equity departments of white-shoe law firms in NYC and Chicago. She also served as the General Counsel and Director of Human Resources of an international technology company.
CEO and Founder, MFive Consulting &, Retired, Master Chief Petty Officer, U.S. Navy SEAL
Dan Marshall is the founder and President of MFive Consulting LLC, a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB). He provides strategic level consulting across multiple disciplines leveraging 23 years of Special Operation Forces (SOF) experience to team with key industry leaders on ways to increase corporate performance.
Marshall served 23 years of active military within the United States Special Operations Command as a Navy SEAL and Explosive Ordnance Disposal operator. He retired as a Master Chief after serving at multiple east coast SEAL Teams. He has held all levels of tactical and operational leadership positions. He has served in numerous conflicts around the globe to include nine operational tours in combat.
Since retirement Dan has been an advocate and speaks across the country about Traumatic Brain injury and Veteran’s Health Initiatives. He was selected as the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC), TBI Champion, to speak of his experiences of dealing with TBI during the 2015 National TBI Awareness Month. He also sits on the Veteran Advisory Board for the National Foundation for Integrative Medicine, a non-profit organization that is committed to finding 21st century medical solutions. Dan uses his first-hand experience of dealing with TBI and other related combat injuries to help educate and share his experiences of exposure from military training and combat operations. He continues to help raise awareness of the impacts of TBI and Veteran Health Issues by breaking down barriers of identifying and seeking help for injuries using alternative methodologies.
President and CTO, Strainprint Technologies Ltd
As President and Chief Technology Officer at Strainprint David is responsible for the on-going development of the Strainprint application and emerging analytic products. David works directly with the company’s developers, customers, partners, physicians and clinicians to deliver on the vision of a crowd sourced medical cannabis tracking ecosystem. David has a broad technical and business background with over 20 years of experience managing product and engineering teams for major multi-national technology companies. David has spent the last 5 years working in the medical cannabis industry and has experience working in commercial cultivation and distribution in Holland, Jamaica and Canada. David has a BCom from York University and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Windsor.
Dr. David Cooper PhD, MD
President & CEO, PhytoMedical Solutions
David L. Cooper, Ph.D., M.D. has a 25 year C-level management career spanning startups to Fortune 500 companies in biotechnology, informatics, diagnostics and pharmaceuticals. While Professor of Molecular Pathology at Duke and UPMC Dr. Cooper’s research focused on defining the various isoforms and role of CD44 in tumor metastasis. He has authored more than 100 manuscripts including publications in Nature Medicine, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, and the Journal of Cell Biology. In his academic and business careers he has received multiple research grants from the NIH, ACS, DOD and the SBIR. Honors include the Lichfield Lectureship, Oxford University for clinical and research leadership in Molecular Medicine. During this time Dr. Cooper founded and served as the first President of the Association of Molecular Pathology (AMP) and was the Founding Editor of the journal Molecular Diagnosis and Therapy. Dr. Cooper consults widely in the pharmaceutical, diagnostic and healthcare industries. Most recently Dr. Cooper has devoted his efforts to a better understanding of phytocannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system’s role in health and disease. Designing empiric data generating safe, efficacious and cost efficient clinical studies is the focus of his ongoing activities as CEO of PhytoMedical Solutions, LLC.
Principal, Guske & Company, Inc.
Dean Guske has over 30 years of experience in the areas of taxation, accounting and business consulting. The value he brings to his clients lies in his ability to identify and understand complex issues and how they relate to businesses and their individual owners. He has a passion for entrepreneurship. This allows him to effectively serve others pursuing their small business dreams whatever they happen to be.
He has deep experience in all facets of real estate and businesses related to real estate. His clients have included everything from development and construction to brokerage and rental. Because he has also participated in these businesses as an owner, the impact of his hands on experience sets him apart from others who have only dealt with these issues in theory.
Dean has significant experience in the emerging cannabis business. Serving several hundred clients in the cannabis industry he is at the forefront of developing successful tax strategies for industry entrepreneurs.
Dr. Denise Bottiglieri PhD
Former Chairwoman and CEO, Healthcare Consultancy Group, a Division of Omnicom Inc.
Denise Bottiglieri, PhD, is a seasoned executive with over 30 years’ experience in healthcare marketing, education and communications. She has worked on launches for over 50 products in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry. Her understanding of what it takes to make a product successful in the competitive and highly regulated healthcare industry is what makes her so unique. She has an unparalleled understanding of science coupled with a strong business acumen.
Denise was most recently Global Chairwoman of the Healthcare Consultancy Group (HCG). Prior, she was Global CEO of HCG for over 15 years. HCG is part of The DAS Group of Companies, a Division of Omnicom Inc.
Denise received her PhD in pharmacology from the University of Florida and completed her postdoctoral training in clinical pharmacology at Vanderbilt University. She then worked at Pfizer, as Director of Drug Development, designing and executing multinational clinical trials.
Denise is passionate about providing opportunities for veterans, supports organizations dedicated to treating PTSD and TBI. She serves on the board of the SEAL Future Foundation and served on the board of the New York Arthritis Foundation. Denise started Accelerate, the first Special Operations Forces veterans’ transition program at DAS. She volunteered for over 5 years building schools in Ecuador and is a strong animal rights advocate. At one time she wanted to be a physicist, but Maxwell’s demon got the best of her. Denise lives in Connecticut with her 5 dogs and partner Ed.
Founding Partner, Canna Advisors
Diane Czarkowski is one of the industry’s original cannabis entrepreneurs and Founding Partner at Canna Advisors. She has been involved in the cannabis industry as an entrepreneur, investor, and advocate since its inception, helping develop it into one of fastest growing industries in the U.S. She is an authority on best-of-industry practices, an expert on mature and emerging markets, and an enterprising thought leader.
Diane is a strong believer in supporting the development of the industry. She is a Founding Member of and Ambassador to the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA), a Founding benefactor of Women Grow, a Lifetime Member of the Arcview Investment Group (where she also serves on the Selection Committee), a sustaining member of SSDP, and a mentor for Canopy Boulder.
Diane has received multiple recognitions for her professional accomplishments and was a featured cannabis entrepreneur in the 2017 biographical collection, “Breaking the Grass Ceiling: Women, Weed, & Business.” One of her career highlights was being able to present this book to Senator Elizabeth Warren during one of her lobbying trips to Washington DC. In 2016, she received Arcview’s Outstanding Member award for her service to the industry. She was also named to Cannabis Business Executive’s “Top Women in Cannabis” in 2016 and 2017, and Herb Magazine’s “Top Cannabis Entrepreneurs of 2018”.
New York State Senator
New York State Senator Diane J. Savino (Democrat, Independent, Staten Island-Brooklyn) was born and raised in Astoria, Queens and was educated at Most Precious Blood Elementary School and Dominican Commercial High School. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a minor in Sociology from St. John’s University and has a degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University.
Diane Savino has dedicated her entire professional career towards improving the lives of working families. She began her career in public service as a caseworker for New York City’s Child Welfare Administration, providing direct assistance to abused and neglected children.
In 2004, she was elected to represent the 23rd Senatorial District, which encompasses the North and East Shores of Staten Island and portions of Southern Brooklyn, including Bensonhurst, Brighton Beach, Coney Island, Dyker Heights, Gravesend and Sunset Park.
Senator Savino’s hard work and influence was evidenced as she championed the Compassionate Care Act through the legislative process despite opposition and a campaign of misinformation. The ACT will allow New Yorkers with serious medical conditions limited access to medical marijuana under the supervision of health care professionals and under strict state regulations.
Senator Savino has authored numerous laws protecting hard-working New Yorkers. Among the laws she has had enacted is the first in the nation Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights, expanding basic worker protection rights to domestic workers and the Prompt Pay Bill, which ensures prompt payment to construction contractors and their employees.
Senator Savino currently serves as Chair of newly formed Senate Standing Committee on Internet and Technology and has previously served as chair of the Banks Committee, Labor Committee, the Civil Service and Pensions Committee and the Children and Families Committee.
Dr. Ekaterina Sedia PhD
Associate Professor of Biology, Stockton University
Ekaterina Sedia earned her Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution from Rutgers, and has been teaching Genetics, Plant Ecology and Botany at Stockton University since 2001. She is currently the coordinator for Stockton’s interdisciplinary Minor in Cannabis Studies, the first such program in the US.
Dr. Eric Hollander MD
Director of the Autism and Obsessive Compulsive Spectrum Program, Montefiore Medical Center and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Dr. Hollander is a Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Director of the Autism and Obsessive Compulsive Spectrum Program, and the Anxiety and Depression Program, at Montefiore Medical Center and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Previously he served as the Esther and Joseph Klingenstein Professor and Chair of Psychiatry at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and was Director of the Seaver and NY Autism Center of Excellence in New York City. Before then he served as Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York.
Dr. Hollander has served as the principal investigator for a number of federal grants, including the NIH Greater New York Autism Center of Excellence; the NIMH Research Training Grant in Psychopharmacology and Outcomes Research; the DOD CBDV in ASD treatment study; and FDA funded multicenter treatment trials of pediatric body dysmorphic disorder, autism and Prader Willi Syndrome. He was the principal investigator of the autism Clinical Trials Network, and Chair of the eight centers NIH STAART Autism Steering Committee. He is involved in research on the neuropharmacology, neuropsychiatry, functional imaging, and treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder, impulsive-aggressive disorders, obsessive-compulsive-related disorders such as body dysmorphic disorder, pathological gambling; Prader Willi Syndrome, and autism.
Dr. Hollander has received a Research Scientist Development Award from the National Institute of Mental health to investigate the psychobiology of obsessive-compulsive and related disorders. He has received orphan drug grants from the Food and Drug Administration to study new treatments for body dysmorphic disorder, child/adolescent autism, and adult autism. He has received several grants including one from the Department of Defense to study CBDV in autism spectrum disorder.
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.
Chief Executive Officer, truCrowd
A graduate of the John Marshall Law School, Florence has been a successful business consultant for over 12 years. She has an MBA with a focus on Entrepreneurship from DePaul University and received a BBA from Howard University. Florence is the Chief Executive Officer of Trucrowd Illinois, Inc. and Chief Operating Officer of truCrowd and Fundanna, both Federal Equity Crowdfunding platforms.
Geoff Pope MBA
Vice President, Aon Risk Solutions
Geoff is responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with Aon clients in a number of industries, as well as overseeing the delivery of excellent service.
Geoff has more than 8 years of experience in managing large property and casualty risk, delivering insurance solutions, and industry- leading expertise in the financial and healthcare industries, including cannabis risk, complex mergers and acquisitions, and private equity transactions. Prior to joining Aon he was a Vice President at a national insurance brokerage where he consulted middle market clients on a number of issues. Geoff’s work has been published in several journals, most recently a white paper regarding the impact of interest rate hikes on large real estate risk, capital expenditures, and their subsequent impact on long-term valuations and insurance premiums.
Geoff has helped cannabis companies in the US and abroad successfully manage their risk management and insurance programs, including cultivators, retailers, vertically integrated groups, investors looking to protect their investments, and much more.
Before he began his career in insurance, Geoff played 4 seasons in the National Football League, which was highlighted by winning a Super Bowl Championship as a rookie with the New York Giants in 2007. Geoff currently sits on the Board of Directors for the National Epilepsy Foundation and Chairs their Athletes Vs. Epilepsy Initiative.
Chairman, National Hemp Association; President, Pennsylvania Hemp Industry Council; Former Co-Founder and President, Canopy HIP Developments LLC
Geoffrey W. Whaling is Co-Founder and former President of Canopy Growth’s HIP Developments LLC, with responsibility for Canopy’s entry into the U.S Hemp market. He has volunteered for five years to advance the hemp crop and serves as Chair 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 former Member of the Board of Directors of the National Farmers 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.
Vice President, Beverages, Tobacco & Cannabis, Cowen
Cowen’s initial launch on the industry in September 2016. As part of the cannabis team headed by Vivien Azer, Mr. Pascarelli has been an integral part of Cowen’s research process, contributing to multiple industry whitepapers focused on market sizing, consumer demographics and cannabis’ impact to alcoholic beverages. Prior to joining Cowen, Mr. Pascarelli spent eight years at Kingdon Capital Management, a New York-based hedge fund.
President, Women Grow; CEO, GVM Communications, Inc.
Gia Morón is the President for Women Grow. She oversees the company’s day-to-day operations, internal and external communications, education programming, and strategic partnerships. She began working with Women Grow headquarters in January 2017 as Director of Communications, after transitioning from the Women Grow New York City market in 2016. With 25 years of experience in public relations, in 2012 Gia launched GVM Communications, Inc., a public relations, brand and business development firm. Her client base ranges from small to mid-sized businesses, non-profit organizations, entrepreneurs, authors and celebrity clients. Prior to launching her firm and working with Women Grow, she was a Media Relations Officer in the Corporate Communications department for fifteen years at the Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
While at Goldman Sachs, Gia oversaw various business areas from Private Equity, Urban Investment, Investment Research and Technology to the firm’s organizational focus on Corporate Engagement, Diversity, Recruiting, Human Resources and Corporate Services. Before joining Goldman Sachs, Gia was Director of Promotions and Publicity for six years at The Fremantle Corporation, an international television distribution and production company. Outside of her professional accomplishments, she continuously works with a number of non-profit organizations in New York City and mentors up-and-coming young women entrepreneurs across the country to South Africa. Gia currently resides in her hometown of Brooklyn, NY, with her daughter.
Greg Huffaker III
Director of Client Services, Canna Advisors
Greg oversees the licensing application process, the technical writing team, and overall project management. He is an expert in navigating the complex cannabis regulations and emerging state programs across the country.
From his early industry work of maintaining a comprehensive database of ever-changing cannabis laws, his J.D. from Cardozo School of Law, and being a Colorado-licensed attorney, Greg brings a keen sense and deep knowledge of the legislation that impacts clients at every phase of business. Greg maintains an active membership to the National Cannabis Bar Association which provides excellent, ethical, and advanced legal assistance to the growing cannabis industry. He is also a member of the NCIA’s State Regulations Committee (SRC) that works to establish best practices for states and municipalities on developing sound regulatory procedures for industry-specific statewide regulations.
Chief Operations Officer, Etain LLC
Hillary’s success in winning a medical marijuana license in NY with her family made her the youngest individual in the country to be awarded a medical marijuana license. As COO of Etain LLC, the only women-owned and family owned registered organization in New York since 2015, Hillary Peckham managed the rapid roll-out of Etain’s successful manufacturing and dispensing operations throughout the state and gained recognition as one of New York State’s Top 30 under the age of 30 business talents in 2016.
Hillary is a graduate of Hamilton College and the Dartmouth Tuck-Bridge School of Business and currently serves on the Board of Trustees at The Masters School in Dobbs Ferry, NY. Hillary’s passion for the medical cannabis industry comes from her own experience with chronic pain and muscular atrophy after a failed hip surgery. Etain is the only women-owned and family-owned licensee in New York State.
Founder, Mary & Main
In the fall of 2017, Hope’s ambition and hard work led her to become the youngest black woman dispensary owner in the United States when she officially started Mary and Main.
Hope was born and raised in Prince George’s County, Maryland, graduating from the illustrious Spelman College where she received her Bachelor’s in Economics. Hope has always been passionate about serving her community and was known for her exceptional leadership skills in several campus organizations.
Of her many undergraduate accomplishments, Hope cites her time as co-founder of her alma mater’s Habitat for Humanity chapter as some of the most educational and inspiring opportunities she encountered on her road to entrepreneurship. After spending a year at SunTrust as an Equity Institutional Sales Analyst, Hope decided to continue striving for excellence by pursuing her dreams of entrepreneurship. With her financial and banking background, Hope founded Mary and Main (formerly Compassionate Herbal Alternative) on the foundation of her vision to create opportunity for minorities who have been disproportionately affected by the war on drugs.
Hope holds personally the core values of Mary & Main, making it her mission to provide quality products to her community while offering a comfortable experience to patients who suffer from chronic debilitating illnesses.
CEO and Co-Founder, Jade Insights
Jacobi Holland is the CEO and Co-founder of Jade Insights, as well as a Co-founder of REVEL. Working in the cannabis industry for the last four years, Jacobi realized there was a void in how licensed companies used their data to make business decisions. All of their data was disparate, complicated and ultimately, not being used effectively, if at all, to make critical business decisions. As a result, Jacobi started Jade Insights, a turn-key business intelligence and supply-chain analytics web-app for cannabis industry operators. Jade Insights helps businesses stay compliant and increase efficiency throughout the supply-chain. Given his vast, on-the-ground knowledge of different types of cannabis technology, Jacobi also helped co-found REVEL, a cannabis technology showcase in New York City that highlights the most innovative companies and entrepreneurs in the legal marijuana markets. Before starting REVEL and Jade Insights, Jacobi started a data, tech and software consulting company for the cannabis industry, Dutch Compass. As a consultant, Jacobi helped companies create value in technology and data throughout the emerging marijuana markets. He has worked with numerous licensed facilities, other cannabis technology companies, government and PR groups, national CBD brands and other cannabis organizations. Though, heavily involved with the tech side of cannabis, rooted in all that he does, Jacobi is committed to advocate for medical marijuana patient access and to ensure the legal cannabis industry is equitable to communities hurt the most from the War on Drugs.
Partner, Chairman of Cannabis Law Practice Group, Tannenbaum Helpern LLP
James Rieger is a partner at Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt LLP, New York, NY, and the founder and Chair of its Cannabis Industry Practice Group. Tannenbaum Helpern is a 40 year old general practice law firm centered on providing solutions to entrepreneurs, investors and institutions. James has over 25 years’ experience with a broad corporate and securities law practice, with a focus on the cannabis industry, and represents public and private companies, hedge funds, merchant banks, private equity funds, exchange traded funds, venture capital funds, investment banks, underwriters, and private investors in many types of transactions, including public and private debt and equity offerings, credit facilities, mergers, acquisitions, fund formation, activist investments, restructurings and divestitures of assets and divisions.
James is the current Chairman of the Mergers and Acquisitions Committee of the Business Law Section of the New York State Bar Association. James is a contributor to Bloomberg Law’s cannabis page and is a frequent lecturer on cannabis related matters. James can be reached at Rieger@thsh.com , 212-508-6728 and www.linkedin.com/in/james-rieger-14039418.
Partner, Quarles & Brady
James L. Ugalde is a partner in the Phoenix office of Quarles & Brady. Mr. Ugalde provides a variety of legal services to banks, other lenders, lessors, secured creditors and investors with respect to the perfection and enforcement of their rights under security documents and the Uniform Commercial Code, including asset-based financing and leasing. He represents creditors involving collection and the foreclosure of security interests under state law and provides representation in Chapters 7, 11 and 13 bankruptcy cases.
Mr. Ugalde also routinely advises commercial landlords regarding their contractual and statutory rights, including enforcing such rights through eviction actions and lockouts. Representative cases include the following: assisted lender with enforcement of lien and security interests in real property and FF&E with multiple franchise operations of national restaurant/hotel chain; assisted equipment leasing & finance company with enforcement and recovery of car washing equipment at multiple locations of national gas station operation; represented equipment leasing company’s interest in bankruptcy regarding assumption/rejection issues and lease recharacterization; and assisted lender that foreclosed on commercial property with forcible detainer action to remove a national retail boat dealership, involving bankruptcy court litigation and requiring numerous sheriff’s deputies to assist with takeover of commercial property.
Jeannette Ward Horton
Vice President, Global Marketing & Communications, MJ Freeway
Jeannette Ward Horton is the VP of Global Marketing and Communications for MJ Freeway with 15 years of experience leading communications, marketing, and change management for large and small companies, including The Coca-Cola Company, The Home Depot and UPS. She is also a founding board member of NuLeaf Project, a City of Portland-funded initiative to increase the number of successful cannabis businesses of color within Portland through capital grants and business coaching. Jeannette’s work has been featured in BusinessWeek and among Corporate Executive Board’s world-class best communications practices. She has a BA from Spelman College and an MA from Georgia State University.
Assistant Commissioner, Medical Marijuana, New Jersey Department of Health
Jeff Brown is an Assistant Commissioner at the NJ Department of Health, overseeing the newly elevated Division of Medicinal Marijuana. He has years of experience in health policy, government affairs, communications, and both advocacy and electoral campaigns.
In his career, Jeff has worked extensively on the passage and implementation of the Affordable Care Act, particularly the creation of health insurance exchanges and the expansion of Medicaid, has led an association of community-based providers to implement innovative new payment models in Medicaid, and has fought to expand access to healthcare in New Jersey’s urban communities by developing sustainable financing policies.
Jeff grew up in Mercer County and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Rutgers University. He is active in the community and serves on the advisory board of the New Jersey Chapter of the New Leaders Council and on the board of trustees of the Trenton Health Team Accountable Care Organization.
Partner, Feuerstein Kulick LLP
Mr. Schultz, who is coming to Feuerstein Kulick from Navy Capital, advises hedge funds, private equity funds, family offices, and investment managers on all regulatory, legal, compliance, operational and risk issues. He brings specific expertise in fund structuring, SEC compliance, and day-to-day operational matters for investors ranging from single family offices to institutional fund managers.
Jeffrey Schultz joined Navy Capital in November 2018 as General Counsel and CCO, and was named Partner in 2019. Mr. Schultz brings more than 13 years of experience as an attorney in the hedge fund and private equity fund industry. Prior to joining Navy, Mr. Schultz served as Managing Director and Senior Counsel for an emerging private equity fund manager, and prior to that, he served as Chief Legal Officer and CCO of Phoenix Investment Adviser LLC, a hedge fund manager with peak AUM of $1.4B where Mr. Schultz oversaw all legal and compliance matters, and was instrumental in designing and building an institutional legal, compliance and operational infrastructure for both firms. Mr. Schultz began his career in private practice in the investment management groups of Bingham McCutchen LLP and Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP. He received his B.A. from the University of Michigan and his J.D. from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. He is a sought-after speaker and guest-lecturer on legal and compliance issues in the hedge fund and cannabis industries. Mr. Schultz is also a member of the New York State Bar Association Committee on Cannabis Law, has advocated to the Senate on behalf of the cannabis industry, and is a on the Advisory Board of 420IMPAC, a cannabis-focused political action committee.
Vice President of Retail Operations, Mission Medical Cannabis Dispensary
As VP of Retail Operations, Jenny is a proven expert in navigating the successful launch and ongoing oversight of all dispensaries for Mission Medical Cannabis Dispensary’s rapidly expanding national presence. With over twelve years of experience in hospitality and retail operations, prior to joining Mission, she oversaw new store openings as the Learning & Development Manager for Sweetgreen. In this role, she was instrumental in expanding the organization’s footprint by developing training programs and operational implementations to strengthen and grow teams while keeping the unique brand culture intact. Since joining Mission, she has successfully opened dispensaries in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.
Founding Partner, H2Talent
John is connected like no other C-level recruiter. John has been repeatedly recognized as one of the country’s leading recruiters and was named by LinkedIn as the 24th “Most Socially Engaged Staffing Agencies in North America” out of a pool of 60,000 other agencies. John brings to H2 Talent his extensive executive recruiting experience across emerging industries, including significant depth across technology, software, CPG, oil and gas, cannabis, media, Fortune 500 companies, and startups.
Founder, Cannabis Curriculum
Hempologist John Dvorak has studied cannabis hemp and its prohibition for more than 25 years. He’s brought his unique style of anti-prohibition advocacy to radio & television programs, student organizations, medical marijuana conferences, patient groups, trade shows, hemp festivals and legalization rallies. JD developed the Cannabis Curriculum to encourage research into the beneficial aspects of industrial hemp and medicinal cannabis and the devastating effects that marijuana prohibition has had on society. His Traveling Hemp Museum includes raw materials, artifacts and finished products made from hemp. JD’s website, Hempology.Org, contains many articles and images that highlight hemp’s rich history as does the repository of Cannabis History Source Documents that he created. He’s written articles for numerous publications and websites while providing advice, guidance and counseling for those entering the cannabis hemp space. JD created 3 lectures for Oregon State University’s online Industrial Hemp course and is a former Board member of both the Hemp Industries Association and Mass Cann/NORML.
Retired U.S. Navy SEAL & Chief Executive Officer, SEAL Future Fund
Jonathan Wilson is the co-founder of the SEAL Future Fund and is a former SEAL with over a decade of experience. He has been awarded the Presidential Unit Citation, Joint Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Achievement Medal, and various other honors.
Jonathan is currently a National Accounts Manager at Capital Group, an investment company with over $1.4 trillion under management. In 2012, Mr. Wilson was selected as 1 of 15 of the initial 300 applicants to the inaugural Veterans Integration Program at Goldman Sachs & Co and was subsequently hired as a trading associate in New York. Jonathan holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School Program for Leadership Development.
Jontae James, NatureTrak, LLC.
Jontae James, Chief Executive Officer – an innovative entrepreneur, big on creating enterprise solutions that address real world problems. Action-oriented with a strong ability to communicate effectively with executive, consumer and business audiences. Jontae has over 15 years in government & enterprise SaaS sales and marketing. Prior to NatureTrak, he was Co-founder of Bluntli, a digital licensing platform in the cannabis industry and has led a boutique venture capital organization’s sales and marketing for early-stage start-ups. He is passionate about entrepreneurship and launched a consumer-driven mobile app created to promote a more active, connected and productive employees called Your Out Of Office (YOOO!). Along with a community building solution aimed towards entertainment industry & media agencies to develop business partners to align resources with social media platforms – celebrity campaigns, political media campaign, news releases, events and promotions. He holds a BA from University of St. Francis in business management.
Director of Industry Analytics, New Frontier Data
Educated as an engineer with experience in institutional asset management, Morrissey brings a unique blend of technical analytical abilities, intuitive market awareness, and a high-level understanding of institutional risk management to the cannabis industry. Since joining New Frontier Data in 2015, she has developed econometric models to produce some of the most accurate and widely quoted industry market projections in the legal cannabis industry, as well as produced the first preliminary analysis of global cannabis demand. Prior to joining New Frontier, Morrissey was the Senior Investment Analyst at The Hershey Trust Company, where she was responsible for public and private equity investment due diligence and analysis for the Trust’s $12 billion investment portfolio. Morrissey received her B.S. from Columbia University, where she studied Industrial Engineering and Operations Research with concentrations in Applied Mathematics and Technological Entrepreneurship.
Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel, Trustly, Inc.
Kathryn McCall has twenty years of corporate governance and business transactions experience. She focuses on helping emerging growth companies and small businesses succeed. Her clients appreciate her pragmatic and strategic advice regarding their entity formation, financing, and operational concerns. As outside general counsel for many of her clients, Ms. McCall has counseled C-Level Officers and Boards of Directors on corporate governance, debt and equity financings, strategic alliances, mergers & acquisitions, technology transactions, joint ventures, commercial agreements (e.g. distribution, licensing, software-as-a service, development services, offer letters and employment agreements, master services agreements), equity incentive plans, and securities filings. She has also negotiated preferred stock financings on behalf of angel and seed investors and venture capital funds. Some of the industries in which Ms. McCall has provided legal counsel include: cannabis, media; technology; internet of things; education; internet-based products, services and applications; consumer products; retail; publishing; and health and fitness.
Ms. McCall is head of the Cannabis Industry Team at Sideman & Bancroft. Her extensive corporate governance and transactional experience makes her uniquely qualified to advise commercial cannabis companies on corporate formation and organizational matters while remaining in compliance with the complex regulatory framework burdening the industry. Working with other members of the firm’s cannabis practice group enables her to create a strategic and coordinated approach to not only business structuring, organizational, and regulatory matters but also intellectual property, tax, estate planning, and business litigation issues
Horticulturalist & Designer; Cannabis Business Consultant & Advisor
Kelley Crosson is a horticulturist, designer, and cannabis advocate who
has worked in the field of horticulture since 1992, when she served as a
Children’s Garden program intern for Strybing Arboretum Society in San
Francisco, CA. Alongside a dedicated group of volunteers, she taught basic
organic gardening principles and practices to children ranging in age from 7-14
and assisted Strybing’s Education Director with the development of new garden
and craft programs.
From 1992-2008, she worked as a freelance designer for a
multitude of luxury event, home, floral, and garden design companies in San
Francisco, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, St. John (USVI) and New York City. In 2009, she
formally incorporated as KC, Inc., which is her horticulture and design consulting
company. That same year, Kelley joined the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP)
where she worked with major donors from 2009-2018. From 2011-2013, Kelley
completed the SOPH program at the New York Botanical Garden, where she
received her Diploma in Horticulture. While a student at the NYBG, Kelley
interned with the US Fish and Wildlife Service in New Jersey to study Helonias
bullata, a plant federally listed as a threatened species. She was an instrumental
part of the installation team for the 3.5-acre, $15 million Native Plant Garden at
the NYBG, which included Helonias bullata and other plants native to the region.
The main emphasis of her horticulture studies and current practice is low-impact,
sustainable design and the use of native plants.
She currently serves as Vice President of the Board of Trustees for the New Jersey Cannabis Industry Association (NJCIA), and as an advisor to several US cannabis companies.
CoFounder + CEO, Alt Thirty Six
Ken is Cofounder and CEO of Alt Thirty Six, a digital payments and compliance platform connecting cannabis merchants with their, vendors, suppliers, and consumers by settling transactions in real-time on the Dash blockchain. A distinguished academic, Ken in the final stages of completing his Doctorate in Business Administration with his research focused on the effects of blockchain scalability on the consumer adoption of digital currency.
Founding Partner, Law Offices of Schwartz and Cera NY PLLC
Kenneth B. Cera, a founding partner of the Firm, has practiced law since 1985 and his practice includes all aspects of transactional law and taxation. He established the firm’s Manhattan office in 2003, and has worked extensively in venture capital, fashion, technology, crypto currency, and many other industries. His practice emphasizes venture capital and finance, mergers and acquisitions, company formation and structure, taxation, secured and unsecured lending, and intellectual property transactions.
Mr. Cera specializes in venture capital transactions, and works extensively as counsel to General Catalyst Partners and other venture investors. He typically works on and closes over 50 venture capital financings and exits per year. He recently represented the large crypto currency company Poloniex on its sale to Circle. He also has worked for many years in the fashion industry and has represented, among others, Kate Spade, Intermix, Alex Mill, and the Japanese designer Takashi Murakami, in a variety of business transactions. He also represents many companies in other industries, including Land Rover automobile dealerships and investors in the San Francisco Giants, in a large variety of business transactions.
Mr. Cera is an expert in corporate finance, and has worked on a large variety of complex financial transactions for over 30 years, including mergers and acquisitions, debt financings, reorganizations, private placements, and others. These transactions have ranged from the fairly small to hundreds of millions of dollars.
Prior to forming Schwartz & Cera in 1997, Mr. Cera practiced at the law firm Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati in Silicon Valley, as well as the international law firm Coudert Brothers. Mr. Cera received his B.S. degree in business administration from the University of California, Berkeley in 1981, and his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School, cum laude, in 1985.
Board Member, Autism Speaks
Kevin J. Murray is the Managing Member of Pilgrim Foresight Fund, LLC and President of Pilgrim Financial Consultants. He is also the Managing Member of Ramble Inc. Mr. Murray was an early investor and senior strategic advisor to High Street Capital, LLC now Acreage Holdings, the largest cannabis platform in the US.
Mr. Murray was a formerly a Managing Director with BNY Mellon where he focused on strategic initiatives in alternative assets and non-traditional investments. The BNY Mellon Investment Management group manages more than $1.6 trillion in assets for institutional and high net worth clients globally. Mr. Murray was the managing director and head of business development for G2 Investment Group/Forbes Private Capital Group.
Mr. Murray was a partner and served as chief operating officer for Rock Ridge Advisors, a global multi-asset hedge fund. Prior to forming Rock Ridge, Mr. Murray was a partner and managing director for Muirfield Capital Management, an $800 million hedge fund that launched in 2001. During that same time, Mr. Murray also formed and operated Pilgrim Foresight. From 1997 to 2001, he was a co-founding partner in Convergence Asset Management, LLC, a global fixed income fund launched with a team from Salomon’s proprietary trading unit.
From 1988 to1997, Mr. Murray was a partner at Cantor Fitzgerald, where he was responsible for expanding the mortgage-backed trading operation to be one of the most profitable in the firm.
In 1997, Mr. Murray formed the Autism Coalition for Research and Education, which is now Autism Speaks. Autism Speaks was formed in June 2005 and is the largest autism organization in the world. Mr. Murray is a passionate board member of Autism Speaks and is active on various committees. Autism Speaks held its first research cannabis conference in December 2018.
Mr. Murray holds a Bachelor of Science degree in finance from Siena College.
Vice President of Sales, Green Roads
With years experience in the burgeoning Cannabis industry, Kyle helps lead the Green Roads sales team on strategic and operational sales activities, focusing on establishing an ecosystem of collaboration and growth. He helped expand Green Roads presence into multiple new markets ie. Pharmacy, DME, Lifestyle, Natural Food etc. Kyle is quickly becoming a major influence in determining the future of phytocannabinoids with a focus on the CBD and Hemp Industry.
Prior to Green Roads, Kyle served in a senior management role managing cross-functional initiatives within the sales and operational departments. His overall objective is to give original thought, creative leadership, and develop relationships. Kyles abilities regulate material growth, productivity and expansion in an efficient and organized manner.
National Director of Veterans Outreach, Minorities for Medical Marijuana; and Co-Founder, Leaf Launch Holdings
Leo Bridgewater Sr. was born and raised in Trenton NJ. In 2001, Leo enlisted into the United States Army in response to the September 11 attacks in New York City and Washington DC. There, he spent 5 years as a Telecommunications specialist with multiple deployments to Iraq. After separating from the Army in 2006, he spent another 2 ½ years working for the Dept. of the Army at the Pentagon in Washington DC. As a Department of Defense Contractor serving in both Iraq and Afghanistan, Leo has worked for companies like L-3 Communications, ITT systems, and Excellis. Having had 3 battle buddies attempt suicide and 2 being successful, the number of Veteran suicides per day (22) is an issue Leo finds to be totally unacceptable. Leo’s advocacy has seen him testify in NJ Senate Committee to have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) added to the NJ Medical Marijuana Program. As a result of his efforts, in September of 2016, NJ Gov. Chris Christie signed bill S-2345 adding PTSD to the NJMMP. Currently, Leo serves as NJ Chapter President of Minorities for Medical Marijuana and is Sub-Committee Chair of Minorities with the New Jersey Cannabusiness Association. He has partnered with organizations like Coalition Medical Marijuana New Jersey, Drug Policy Alliance, Americans Civil Liberties Union, I Deserve Canna, Cannabis Cultural Association, and Weed 4 Warriors -Trenton NJ Chapter. Signaling his evolution as an advocate and entrepreneur in the industry, he is the Co-Founder of the NJ Cannabis Commission, with a mission to be a vessel by which the industry works through in the state of New Jersey.
Executive Director, Keystone Cannabis Coalition; Founding Member, Pennsylvania Hemp Industry Council
Les Stark is a Pennsylvania hemp historian who has spent thousands of hours researching the historic Pennsylvania hemp industry. He has documented the existence of hundreds of hemp mills throughout the state and uncovered an epic tale of the days when nearly every farmer in the state grew hemp.
Since 1997 he has been teaching this information to farmers, farm organizations, historical societies, community groups, the media, legislators and the general public. He is the author of Hempstone Heritage I and intends to publish an additional 600 pages of his research which will tell the full story of great historic Pa. hemp industry.
Les served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a tank crewman on the M60A1 tank from 1984-1987.
Although he has a deep passion for history, his true passion is in helping to rebuild the great hemp industry. His vision is to see hemp grown in every state and is eager to help create a thriving hemp industry that benefits farmers, the environment, business, manufacturers and creates jobs.
Vice President, The Arcview Group
Louis Han has reviewed more than 1,000 cannabis deals each year since 2015 for The Arcview Group. In addition, he has worked with investors from The Arcview Group to understand their needs and deliver investment opportunities suited to their interests. Prior to the cannabis industry he was involved in international commercial real estate finance.
Senior Tax Manager, Crowe LLP
Marc Claybon, J.D., LL.M., is the Cannabis Industry Tax Services leader at Crowe LLP, one of the largest public accounting, consulting, and technology firms in the U.S.
Mr. Claybon advises on complex tax matters such as §280E and business structuring for a wide range of cannabis industry organizations, including medical and adult-use dispensaries, cannabis growers, seed-to-sale integrated operators, ancillary products manufacturers and service providers, cannabis industry private equity funds, and individual investors.
Mr. Claybon has over 20 years of tax experience equally split between public accounting and private industry. His industry experiences include leading a private equity company’s tax group, tax counsel at a Fortune 50 company, and director of tax planning, tax controversy and transfer pricing at a Fortune 200 global energy company.
Mr. Claybon’s experience includes responsibility for providing tax consulting and compliance services in many areas of taxation including federal tax planning, income tax compliance, complex transactional matters, accounting methods, periods and credits including inventory matters, federal and state tax controversy, accounting for income taxes, and US transfer pricing.
Chief Instigator, Needle Consultants
Marc Ross is an experienced attorney and thought leader in the area of Corporate Social Responsibility. Currently, he is the Director of Community Outreach for Harvest and is the Founder and former Executive Director of Rock the Earth, a national environmental advocacy organization that works closely with the music industry.
Between 1998 and 2004, Marc was one of four in-house environmental attorneys at Alcoa Inc., serving as the company’s primary water counsel and counseling the company on a wide variety of national and international environmental compliance, permitting and remediation issues. Prior to that, Marc was Assistant Counsel in the Pennsylvania DEP Office of Chief Counsel’s Southcentral Region Litigation Office. While at DEP, Marc represented the Department in matters related to mining, water quality and hazardous waste.
Since departing Rock the Earth in early 2016, Marc has been consulting companies on matters surrounding Corporate Social Responsibility. To that end, he has been helping to build out “purposeful” brands in both the cannabis and non-cannabis space, with an emphasis on strategic, integrated, and authentic community and employee engagement, corporate philanthropy, and sustainability.
Marc received his B.A. in 1990 from the Pennsylvania State University and his J.D. in 1993 from the Dickinson School of Law. In 2016, Marc obtained an Executive Certificate in Corporate Social Responsibility from the Leeds School of Business of the University of Colorado (Boulder).
Founding Partner, Sichenzia Ross Ference LLP
Marc J. Ross is a founding partner of SRF LLP. Mr. Ross represents clients (public and private companies, brokerage firms, registered representatives, high net-worth individuals, and hedge funds) throughout the United States, North America, Asia, Europe and Israel. Mr. Ross advises clients on securities, corporate, regulatory and litigation/arbitration matters.
Mr. Ross specializes in advising marijuana and marijuana related companies, and often speaks on, the legal issues associated with marijuana and marijuana-related businesses, including the interplay between state laws which legalize recreational and medical marijuana uses, federal laws which bar such uses Mr. Ross teaches the first law school course on marijuana at Hofstra University School of Law, titled Business and Law of Marijuana.
Mark Collins M.B.A.
Vice President of Business Development , Cannabis Financial Network
Mark Collins is the VP of Business Development at CFN Media. Before joining the cannabis industry in 2016, Mark was global managing director of in-home coffee machines at Jacobs Douwe Egberts. During his time in cannabis, Mark started up several successful cannabis companies before joining CFN Media. At CFN Media, Mark helps companies seeking capital to achieve outstanding results using CFN Media’s own media platforms. Mark holds his MBA from London Business School and lives with his family in California.
CEO & Co-Founder, Cannaclusive
Amongst her colleagues Mary Pryor is known for being a trendsetting, innovative, passionate and strategic problem solver. Mary has always been ahead of the curve due to being immersed in automotive design, electrical engineering, music, education, digital arts, and marketing while being raised in Detroit, Michigan. She is a bicoastal media expert with an impressive roster of employers and clients.
Mary has worked for major brands across the music, media, technology, and marketing industries including Sony Music Group, Viacom, Attention PR, City Parks Foundation, Mirrorball, Black Enterprise, CBS News, Ebony Magazine, Essence Magazine, Rolling Stone, VaynerMedia, Mindshare, SheKnows Media, McCann XBC, McCann Health, Byron Allen Group, Sean Combs Enterprises, and McGarryBowen. Having realized there was a pressing need for agencies that catered to culturally rich and niche audiences through digital and social marketing integration, Mary founded her own firms, WeFancy (consulting) and UrbanSocialista (digital marketing consulting).
Mary participates in speaking engagements nationwide to share her expertise in digital innovation. In 2014 she was recognized as SXSW’s Innovator of the Year. Mary’s goal is to provide online branding and digital trend-forecasting for the general market by empowering communities through the utilization of digital tools. She is the co-founder and CEO of Cannaclusive, a collective focused on inclusive marketing and business advocacy in the cannabis industry, New York Chapter President of Minorities for Medical Marijuana, Chief Marketing Officer for Tonic CBD, Marketing Lead for Come Back Daily, and she serves as the current New York advocate for The People’s Dispensary.
CEO, Vanguard Scientific Systems
Matt is dedicated to spiritual science and the belief that plant-based medicines can truly heal.
As the Founder and CEO of Vanguard Scientific Systems, Matt is uniquely positioned to change how the world’s leading processing, extraction and active-ingredient manufacturers work with cannabis, hemp, and other natural botanicals.
Matt is a true entrepreneur, having created Enlightened Grain Spirits, a nationally distributed spirits company out of his garage at the age of 22. With an unrelenting thirst for knowledge and an inspiring appreciation for the beauty of life, Anderson is a seasoned creative marketer possessing expertise within branding, industrial design, and advertising.
As a Partner at MacArthur Capital, LLP, Matt has had ground-level work experience in the global cannabis industry since 2015. MacArthur, a private equity company, has deployed more than $30 million dollars into the industry throughout the areas of advanced cultivation, supply-chain design, contract manufacturing, and technology advancement. Anderson’s leadership throughout this process has fueled his passion as a life sciences champion and contributed to the success of Vanguard Scientific.
Matt intends to deliver a global network of integrated systems and solutions to meet the processing needs of the rapidly evolving cannabis and hemp industries. Through partnerships committed to market-leading technology, standards, quality control, and training excellence, Vanguard Scientific Systems will lead with compliance and consistency to provide a stable supply chain to the global marketplace.
Anderson received his degrees in International Business and Economics from Rollins College with an area focus in Performance Ensemble.
Director of Marketing, Leading Edge Expositions
A great chef, wine connoisseur and all around nice guy.
United States Congressman (NY 11) & Retired Captain, U.S. Army
An army veteran and former non-profit healthcare executive, Congressman Max Rose proudly serves New York’s 11th Congressional District, representing Staten Island and South Brooklyn.
Upon being sworn in, Max pledged to fight for Staten Island and South Brooklyn and focus on the transportation needs of his district, fighting the opioid epidemic, and rooting out corruption in Washington.
Max currently serves on the House Committee on Homeland Security and the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. Serving in Afghanistan, and now as a veteran himself, Max has seen firsthand how our service members and veterans struggle when they return home.
Max served as an active duty officer in Afghanistan from 2012-2013 and earned a Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Combat Infantry Badge. He is Ranger-qualified and continues to serve in the National Guard and is the first post-9/11 combat veteran to represent New York City.
Prior to being elected to Congress, Max was the Chief of Staff for Brightpoint Health, a non-profit healthcare organization that has effectively provided care and responded to the needs of underserved New Yorkers for more than 25 years.
Max received a B.A. in history from Wesleyan University and M.S.C. in Philosophy and Public Policy from the London School of Economics.
Vice President and Bank Secrecy Act Officer, Safe Harbor Private Banking
Over the last 20 years Michael has acquired a 360-degree view of the banking industry having served multiple financial institutions and technology companies as an Executive, Senior BSA / Compliance Officer, Auditor, Consultant and Federal Regulator inclusive of designing, deploying and administering Marijuana Related Business banking programs. Currently, he oversees the Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Program for the country’s largest Cannabis Banking Program where he is responsible for developing, implementing, administering, and maintaining all aspects of the anti-money laundering compliance program to ensure all related parties’ compliance efforts are maintained at the highest level on a daily basis. In this position he ensures all account activities, transactions and ongoing monitoring activities are conducted in strict accordance with applicable laws, regulations, directives, and internal policies/procedures which govern Safe Harbor Private Banking’s Cannabis Banking Program. Michael received his B.S.B.A. in Finance with a minor in Banking and Financial Services from the University of Wyoming and his M.B.A. from the University of Denver.
President & CEO, Curaleaf NY
Strategic Advisor & Retired U.S. Army Command Sergeant Major
Mike Hoover, CSM USA retired, is a veteran of nearly 28 years in the United States Army. He began his career as an Army Ranger, in the 3rd Ranger Battalion. Mike then assessed for and was selected to attend the United States Army Special Forces Qualification course. Upon successful completion, he was assigned to the 5th Special Forces Group, (Airborne), where he served on a Special Forces Combat Dive team. In 1991, Mike assessed for and was selected for assignment to an Army Special Mission Unit in Fort Bragg North Carolina, where he spent the rest of his Army career.
During his military career, Mike deployed numerous times into combat zones as well as on classified National Command Authority directed contingency operations. Mike has led direct combat operations in the joint and combined arena and also has served a cumulative 22 months as the Senior Enlisted Advisor for the Joint, Combined, Task Force assigned with the destruction of Al-Qaeda in Iraq. He is a veteran of the first Gulf War, NATO Operations in the Balkans, Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, Operation New Dawn as well as operations in Northern Africa.
Upon retirement from active duty, Mike joined McChrystal Group Leadership and Management consulting firm. He quickly rose from consultant to Partner and led the largest revenue producing contract in the organization.
In 2014, Mike began working for Scotts Miracle Gro as a consultant and was soon hired as the Vice President of Strategy. During his tenure at Scotts, Mike was responsible for the execution and oversight of nearly $1B of acquisitions in the Cannabis industry. During this time, Mike developed a widely held reputation as a subject matter expert.
Mike currently serves as a Strategic Advisor to GreenSpring Associates, a Venture Capital investment firm located in Owings Mills, Maryland, while also consulting in the Cannabis space.
Dr. Monica Vialpando
Founder, Vialpando, LLC
Dr. Monica Vialpando is a pharmaceutical development scientist and founded Vialpando, LLC, a provider of industry-leading formulation and product development services for global cannabis companies. She is an adjunct professor at Loyalist College, Canada and listed as ‘Top 100 Healthcare Leaders’ from the International Forum on Advancements in Healthcare (IFAH). In 2019, Monica received the ElSohly Award for ‘Excellence in Cannabis Chemistry’ from CANN, a subdivision of the American Chemical Society. She earned her Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Leuven, Belgium. There, she published several papers on formulation of poorly water soluble drugs, including a granted patent. Beyond this, she brings seven years of pharmaceutical formulation experience with US and European-based companies and four years of vaping research and development with nicotine and cannabis.
Graduate Student, Brown University; Founder/CEO, SMART (Student Marijuana Alliance for Research & Transparency)
After his freshman year at Brown, Nadir was forced to retire from his Division 1 football career after suffering his sixth concussion. Now, in his senior year at Brown, Nadir has successfully made the pivot from a full-time student athlete to full-time student entrepreneur. He’s now been featured in Forbes, Huff Post, and Entrepreneur.
Nadir has spent most of his career in digital strategy, branding & marketing working with a range of cannabis companies from cultural staples like High Times to new burgeoning start-ups like Ardent Cannabis. Nadir is also Founder/CEO of SMART (Student Marijuana Alliance for Research & Transparency) a college cannabis organization dedicated to bridging the gap for students into the booming legal industry while helping to legitimize brands through academia.
Neil Kaufman Esq.
Managing Member, Kaufman & Associates, LLC
Mr. Kaufman is the managing member of Kaufman & Associates, LLC, Corporate & Securities Counsel to the Legal Cannabis Industry™. He combines over 35 years of practicing corporate and securities law at the highest levels with extensive cannabis industry experience. Mr. Kaufman represents a wide variety of cannabis companies and investors in their corporate, securities, financing, borrowing, merger & acquisition, contract, and other legal matters, and has participated in over $800 million of cannabis-industry financing transactions.
Mr. Kaufman serves as Chairman Emeritus of the Long Island Capital Alliance, a non-profit organization that has assisted dozens of local companies in raising over $200 million in growth capital; Chairman of the Long Island Chapter of Financial Executives International, a nationwide organization of CFOs and controllers; a Trustee and Chairman of the Audit Committee of Two Roads Shared Trust, a series of mutual funds with $3 billion under management, and Altegris KKR Commitments Master Fund, a private equity mutual fund. Mr. Kaufman formerly served as Chairman of the board of directors of Vizacom Inc., a NASDAQ-listed software and technology solutions company and Chairman of the Corporation, Banking & Securities Law Committee of the Nassau County Bar Association.
Partner, Greenspoon Marder, LLP
Nick Richards is a tax attorney with over 20 years of experience resolving IRS and State tax audits, trials and tax debt. Nick is a partner at Greenspoon Marder, an AmLaw 200 law firm with an extensive cannabis practice, where he helps cannabis companies with State and Federal tax audits, trials and tax debt, Section §280E compliance, entity structure, M&A and BSA compliance. Since it was first legalized, Nick has utilized his experience in the IRS and in representing other types of businesses to resolve ongoing tax and compliance matters for the cannabis industry. Nick is licensed to practice law in California and Colorado; he is an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Denver, a former IRS trial attorney, and a former Special Assistant U.S. Attorney. Nick is also a board member, husband and father of two, and he teaches tax controversy and section 280E to accountants and attorneys throughout the U.S.
Norman S. Chevlin CFP®
CFP®️ - Certified Financial Planner for 30 years , Plant Your Financial Seed, LLC
Norman has been helping families and business owners reach their financial goals for over 24 years. He focuses on establishing lasting relationships with his clients by providing the highest level of client service in the areas of business and personal insurance products and services. These areas include devising strategies to help minimize the impact of taxes and inflation on current and future financial goals, saving for college tuition and retirement, evaluating pension options, asset allocation and IRA/401k rollover options, long-term care insurance and developing estate planning and business planning for business owners. He is a frequent speaker at educational workshops on these topics as well. Norman is also proficient in the LGBT community and the Special Needs Planning community.
Norman holds a BS in computer science from Rider University and an MS in Management System Analysis from Kean University. Norman is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certificant from the Certified Financial Planning Board of Standards. He is a member of the Million Dollar Roundtable and a member of the Institute of Certified Financial Planners.
Editor, Cannabis Law Digest
Believing in the importance of education and access to information, Patricia H. Heer co-founded the Cannabis Law Digest, an electronic platform of legal resources for the cannabis industry. The Digest contains cannabis statutes and regulations, industry specific articles, agency guidelines, and state and federal cannabis court decisions summarized by industry attorneys. Any cannabis industry participant can empower oneself by staying on top what courts and regulators are saying about the issues affecting one’s business and quickly adapting to any changes.
Historically, Patricia has practiced in the area of commercial litigation and business reorganization at an AmLaw100 firm. Patricia’s litigation and transactional experience enables her to now advise clients in the rapidly shifting cannabis industry.
Patricia Heer is a member of the State Regulations Committee of the National Cannabis Industry Association, a member of the Emerging Issues Committee of the National Cannabis Bar Association, and a member of the New York City Affairs Committee of the New York City Bar Association. She has also published several articles on issues affecting the cannabis industry and is a frequent speaker at industry events and conferences.
Graduate Student, University of Connecticut
Pete is currently a graduate student in the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources studying horticultural sciences where he is continuing to pursue the applied plant sciences.
He’s been fortunate to have a number of rewarding learning experiences throughout his college career at UConn. For example, Pete has worked in Floriculture, one of the university’s greenhouses, as an assistant. He built on this experience this past summer, interning at a commercial greenhouse, called Grower Direct Inc. Working as a grower-in-training, he learned the ropes of the industry, participating in everything from how water crops effectively to controlling pests. Simultaneously, Pete and his research partner received an IDEA Grant to work with their professor, Dr. Mark Brand, in his crop breeding program. Together they worked on the one of the largest collections of Aronia varieties, analyzing the sugar content of each of the plants’ berries. In regards to a different independent study, conducted last fall, Pete hopes that his plant tissue culture project will be accepted and published by a peer-reviewed journal in the coming months. In addition, he has been working on his honor’s thesis related to weed science by using cover crops with special properties to help lower weed pressures in a cropping system. This fall Pete has a new position working with UConn’s Spring Valley Student Farm. Here he will be the research coordinator for the new aquaponics facility.
In his free time, he rows on UConn Men’s Crew team. He is also an avid forager of wild edibles.
CEA Technical Sales, Griffin Greenhouse Supplies
Peter Armando’s technical expertise is built on a strong foundation of over 30 years as a wholesale grower. His acumen covers an impressive array of competencies, including Controlled Environment Agriculture, construction, irrigation, equipment, media, fertilizers, hydroponic production, pesticides, and biological pest control. Peter’s history with Griffin extends more than 10 years, during which time he has demonstrated excellence in matching customer needs with effective solutions.
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.
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 & Co-Founder, LeafLaunch
Rani Soto began advocating in New York City and New Jersey in 2016. In 2007, Rani was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and began utilizing Cannabis to successfully treat the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation . After spending several years in recovery he began advocating for the expansion of the medical program. He was instrumental in founding CannaGather, a business networking platform that has expanded across the Nation. He now serves as President and Co-Founder of Leaflaunch, a Cannabis/Hemp focused education platform which seeks to close the gap between knowledge, application and access to this rapidly growing industry.
Attorney, Compliance Reliance, Inc.
Robert Carp is a Harvard trained government scientist, and works exclusively in the cannabis space. He is a former High Tech Entrepreneur of the Year and as a cannabis lawyer, consultant and prolific writer with a concentration on helping medical and recreational cannabis growers and retailers, he has sold over 50,000 of his cannabis books, of which two lead their category on Amazon.
Director, Cannabis, North 6th Agency (N6A)
Robert Vanisko oversees the N6A Cannabis Group, which represents a wide variety of companies within the legal cannabis industry. In addition to overseeing group operations, he provides messaging, branding, and strategy support across his base of clients. Robert is a graduate of the University of Miami and resides in Brooklyn, New York.
Owner, Honeysuckle Magazine
Ronit Pinto is the founder and CEO of Honeysuckle Magazine, a nationally-distributed print and digital magazine that explores subjects in sustainability, social issues, culture, and spirituality. As Honeysuckle’s founder, Ronit is one of the chief figures responsible for spearheading the first Times Square advertising campaign on New Year’s Eve to openly feature cannabis and hemp brands.
Ronit founded Honeysuckle in 2013 as a digital publication; its first print editions were published in 2015. A sister site for younger readers, Honeysuckle Girl, was soft-launched in 2018. Honeysuckle is now nationally distributed in Barnes and Noble, Books A Million, and other major retailers, as well as digitally on Zinio, Amazon, and Apple News. The Honeysuckle app is available on iTunes and GooglePlay. (Honeysucklemag.com)
Outside of Honeysuckle, Ronit has contributed journalistic features and editorial work to publications including Clear Magazine, Allure, The Jerusalem Post, NY Arts Magazine, HOUR Detroit, Detroit Jewish News, Styleline Magazine, Ambassador Magazine, 4c, and Black Excellence Online. Also a filmmaker and cofounder of the media production company Blck Neon, she has had extensive experience in the visual and performing arts as director, writer, producer, creative director and more. As a filmmaker Ronit has helmed acclaimed shorts, music videos and commercials, including Eodipus (NYC Independent Film Festival), Go! (Los Angeles Underground Film Festival), and Murder’s Sweet Scent (AltFest NYC). Most recently she co-produced Overlay, which premiered at the 2018 Cannes Short Film Corner. Her work can also be seen in features such as the Scream and Transformers series, Demolition, and Only Lovers Left Alive.
Director of Agronomy, Etoura CBD; Owner, Bonnie Blue Farms LLC
Bonnie Blue Farms started as a vegetable and grass fed lamb operation but has added consultation to its list of services. Ross and his partner Maggie Saska have over 30 years combined experience in growing crops and livestock that help them guide the advice they give to farmers. Hemp is a crop that is new to the US and fits well in any organic farming operation be it vegetables, hay, or grain crops. Ross’ background growing up on a dairy farm, teaching high school social studies, and farm management at Glasbern Inn and Rodale Institute, has provided him with keen insight and experience into working hemp into just about any farming operation. Ross also teaches classes at Delaware Valley University focusing on organic crop and livestock management as well as fiber production. Ross has spoke at many conferences on the subjects of hemp cultivation, pastured hogs, organic grain production and organic transitioning and hopes to provide farmers and consumers with real world advice that will lead to their success.
Founder/CEO, Minorities for Medical Marijuana
As the Founder/CEO of Minorities for Medical Marijuana, Inc. She is responsible for the day- to-day operation and is the chief strategist involved in developing public policy, advocacy, education, and marketing campaigns to promote awareness, information, and education about the efficacy of medical marijuana. It is a varied role that includes planning, marketing, advertising, public relations, event organization, fund development, sponsorship, and research. The work is often challenging and fast-paced. With over 22 years of experience Roz is a constant creator of marketing and branding campaigns and business development strategies. A direct & target marketing consultant who assists with marketing plans, writes copy, and designs top-pulling mailings, ads, catalogs, and web pages for business, nonprofits, consumer, and professionals.
Roz also hosts a weekly call in Cannabis 101 talk platform entitled “CannaTalk with Roz.” When asked should marijuana be legalized for medical use…….Without hesitation Roz boldly says yes! “In 1983 my father lost his vision due to glaucoma and in 2005 my mother passed away after a courageous battle against breast cancer. I’m sure if medical marijuana were available the plant could have made a difference and improved their quality of life.”
Minorities for Medical Marijuana, Inc. (M4MM) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization focused on advocacy, education, and outreach as it relates to the social, medical, business, and public policy aspects of the cannabis industry. M4MM is a membership based organization working hard to make sure people of color have a true quantifiable opportunity to participate in this marketplace and are afforded adequate access to care despite their economic situation. M4MM currently has presence in 20 states throughout the US as well as a chapter location in Jamaica.
CEO, Dash Core Group
Ryan Taylor is currently the CEO of Dash Core Group, Inc. Dash is an innovative digital currency that offers a number of payments-oriented improvements over Bitcoin. Ryan is an expert in the payments industry, with over 15 years of experience in financial services and technology.
Prior to Dash, Ryan was a hedge fund analyst covering a global stable of payments industry investments for the private equity and public market funds of a $20 billion investment firm based in New York. He possesses a comprehensive understanding of the payments landscape and the drivers for success within the payments industry. Previously he was an Associate Partner in McKinsey & Company’s Business Technology Office in New York, where he served senior executive clients of some of the world’s largest financial institutions, covering a variety of strategy and technology topics.
CPA, The CannaCPAs
Sandy Suchoff CPA is the founder and CEO of Lefstein-Suchoff CPA & Associates LLC D/B/A The Canna CPAS which was formed in 1997. Sandy has been featured on: MSNBC and FOX News as a tax advisor, Oklahoma PBS TV, Cannabis Radio, Purple Haze Radio, and Cannabis Tech & Today. She has written an article for The National Marijuana News, is currently writing an article for Marijuana Venture, was interviewed for Snoop Dog’s Merry Jane website, and co-authored a book with a chapter devoted to cannabis tax strategies. As a renowned national speaker on 280E tax and accounting, Sandy has spoken at: the CWCBE in Boston, MJBIZCON in Las Vegas, USCC in Miami, RAD Expo in Portland, NJBIZ in NJ, Indo Expo in Denver, CannaCon in Seattle and the upcoming show in Oklahoma City. She has also hosted her own full day of Cannabis learning featuring herself and other speakers in Oklahoma City.
Founder, Alternative Finance Network
Scott Jordan is founder of the Alternative Finance Network, providing access to funding for cannabis companies. Since 2009 he has been a pioneer in providing loans and equipment leases for cannabis companies and has been called “ The Marijuana Money Man “ by Fox- San Francisco and the Denver Post .He created one of the first companies to provide access to debt based capital, Dynamic Alternative Finance in 2014 and arranged over $30 million in funding . He has taken his existing private capital sources and created an Alternative Funding Network for cannabis business owners seeking funding for equipment, working capital, real estate, accounts receivable, and project financing helping entrepreneurs expand their business and keep their remaining equity.
He has a keen sense of timing and has been at the forefront of 3 other business evolutions, having held key sales management positions in the telecommunications industry with long distance provider MCI, local exchange carrier ICG, and the first voice over the internet international wholesale carrier ITXC. Scott is a commercial finance expert known throughout the marijuana industry and has been interviewed by local TV and radio stations, authored articles and been a featured speaker at national conferences.
CEO, Harvest Health & Recreation
Before launching Harvest in 2011, Steve graduated summa cum laude from Arizona State’s Honors College in 1995 and then from the Washington & Lee University School of Law in 1999. After working for two national law firms, he founded his own boutique firm in 2005. After opening Harvest’s first dispensary in 2013, Steve worked there for several months fulfilling orders, performing reception duties and consulting with patients. Steve founded and now serves on the board of directors for Harvesting Hope, a non-profit organization that supports young children suffering from seizure disorders.
Steve serves as the President of the Arizona Dispensary Association and is a founding board member of the Policy Center for Public Health and Safety. In addition, he has done hundreds of interviews, speaking engagements and provided expert testimony on a multitude of marijuana-related topics.
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.
Sumit Mehta is the Founder and CEO of MAZAKALI, a cannabis investment firm based in San Francisco with offices in Denver and Chicago. MAZAKALI offers capital placement services to family offices, accredited investors, RIAs and institutions via its Outsourced Cannabis Investment Officer (OCIO) service.
Sumit founded MAZAKALI to counteract the negative consequences of business practices that deplete resources by making investments in sustainable cannabis and hemp. By shepherding capital in a responsible and ethical manner, MAZAKALI and its clients envision a world where cannabis investment will play a significant role Beyond Impact. Sumit authors the MAZAKALI GreenPaper™, a leading narrative that has gained authority through knowledge on deep trends in the industry that matter to investors and operators alike.
Sumit serves on the Banking and Financial Services Committee (BFSC) for the National Cannabis Industry Association and is a finance and strategy consultant to The Arcview Group, the largest cannabis focused private investor network in America. Sumit also continues to mentor cannabis management teams and advise private equity cannabis transactions. Sumit and MAZAKALI support NCIA, SSDP and MPP in their efforts to promote cannabis education and awareness.
Prior to joining the cannabis industry, Sumit spent two decades on Wall Street at Merrill Lynch, UBS Investment Bank, Susquehanna International and Raymond James Financial. In 2016, Sumit left an advisory practice at J.P. Morgan to launch MAZAKALI.
Sumit earned an MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, and a BA with Honors in Economics with minors in Math and Physics from the University of Texas at Austin. Sumit holds investment banking, brokerage and investment advisory securities licenses and resides in San Francisco where he enjoys motorcycles, yoga, craft beer and the great outdoors.
Dr. Susan Amat
Chief Executive and Founder, Venture Hive
Dr. Susan Amat is the founder of Venture Hive, which focuses on democratizing entrepreneurship education through a global network of accelerators, universities, and K-12 programs. A serial entrepreneur, she built businesses in the entertainment industry for over a decade, including the first CD-ROM magazine and a national television show. After completing her MBA, Dr. Amat developed pediatric health monitoring products and earned a Ph.D. in Strategic Entrepreneurship (coursework in industrial engineering, business, and education). While teaching at the University of Miami, she founded The Launch Pad, which was considered the top model in entrepreneurship education. Her program and platform was replicated throughout the United States as Blackstone LaunchPads. Dr. Amat served as the founding Chair of the STEM Board for Miami-Dade County Public Schools and actively speaks about entrepreneurship education internationally. She has consulted with the US State Department, The Kauffman Foudation, and the World Bank on ecosystem development. In 2012, Dr. Amat was honored as a ‘Champion of Change’ at the White House.
Queen of the Office, Leading Edge Expositions
Baker extraordinaire and a not so subtle ball buster.
NYC Market Leader, Women Grow
Tanya Osborne, Founder of CannaDiva, LLC and NYC Market Leader for Women Grow, is a true Renaissance woman! From the Music Industry to Financial Services, Business Coaching and now. . . Cannabis. The common theme here is the connection . . . from being a champion for Women in Music, sharing the importance of women investing in and for their future, coaching women entrepreneurs and now contributing to changing the stigma of the plant and bringing awareness to the role of women in the Cannabis industry.
She is the CEO of CannaDiva, LLC, a brand committed to supporting women in the space from hosting Canna-events and shining a spotlight on women entrepreneurs and the products and services that are women-focused, and the NYC Market Leader for Women Grow which is a national organization encouraging and supporting women to build and “grow” in the Cannabis industry.
Exuding a passion for entrepreneurs, diversity, and women has led Tanya to the Cannabis industry which is positioned for exponential growth. Her goal is to educate, connect and support women leaders in this industry.
Project Manager, MPX New Jersey
Tenisha Victor has spent the past 5 years with MPX Bioceutical Corporation starting her career as an executive assistant role to those in high-level management positions within MPX moving to a Project Manager role, overseeing the company’s growth to new states, managing real estate, and leading the new license acquisition team. Her current primary focus outside of license acquisitions is at the cultivation/production facility Greenmart of Nevada where she implements budgets, productivity calendars, provides projections to senior executives and oversees overall fiscal performance. The past three years Tenisha has served as an Account Manager and Founding partner of CBD For Life, bringing in and managing large wholesale accounts, distributors and retailers for the company. Tenisha has received commendations and accolades for her life’s work in community development. Actively participating in existing charities, organizations and outreach programs as well as implementing programs that have tutored at-risk youth, mentored LGBTQ youth, developed food pantries and charitable concerts. She continues this work with outreach programs in the surrounding areas of the Medical Marijuana Facilities of Health for Life and GreenMart of Nevada. She is responsible for organizing the collaboration of local nonprofit organizations that serve the community, hosting events in support of local business and causes, advocating for patients, and hosting free educational seminars for patients.
Marketing Manager, Desert Aire
Tom Purdy is marketing manager for Desert Aire, a U.S. manufacturer of indoor climate control solutions. Desert Aire’s GrowAire™ Systems provide growers with complete indoor climate management to optimize the growth rate and desired qualities of crops.
Managing Partner, Sapphire Risk Advisory Group
Tony Gallo specializes in security and loss prevention for high-risk businesses. He has more than 30 years’ experience in the Security, Audit, Safety, and Emergency Management fields. Tony has a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from New Jersey City University and is a licensed security consultant. He is a published author on retail, financial loan services, and cannabis security and has designed cannabis security programs in over 20 states and Canada.
In the last 5 years, Tony has spoken at numerous cannabis conferences across the United States and is considered one of the leading authorities in various industries, including cannabis and financial loan service security, armed robbery, and burglary loss prevention. In 2018, his company was named one of the Top Cannabis Ancillary Businesses.
CEO & Founder, Sunstrand Sustainable Materials
William “Trey” Riddle III, PhD is an expert in bio-materials for composite, technical nonwoven and plastic applications, regularly speaking and publishing on the subjects. Dr. Riddle is now the founder and CEO of Sunstrand, the sustainable materials company that grows and processes hemp for everyday applications.
Senior Account Manager, Canna Advisors
Victoria oversees client communications, provides support, and contributes excellent attention to detail. She is a trusted point of contact for clients and works closely with them to achieve their goals by educating them on the essentials of opening and operating a cannabis business. Victoria has been in the industry since 2014 and has worked with clients in over 20 states, 2 countries, and a U.S. territory. She helps develop and manage client ventures such as financial modeling, capital acquisition, investor pitching, cannabis education, and applications for license pursuit.
Victoria also works closely with trusted partners and vendors as well as the other departments at Canna Advisors to make sure clients have the best possible experience while successfully pursuing their project.
William Caruso Esquire
Partner, Archer & Greiner, P.C.
William Caruso, Managing Director, Archer Public Affairs, and Partner, Archer & Greiner, has been active in NJ’s gov’t/legislative affairs for nearly 2 decades. He leads Archer’s Cannabis Law Group & is a recognized expert in state/federal cannabis law. He is a founding member of the NJUMR Steering Committee, a partnership committed to changing NJ’s laws to legalize/tax/regulate marijuana for adults 21 & older, and a board member of NJCIA, dedicated to advancing cannabis legalization. He has been a leader in cannabis policy at the state/federal level. He is highly experienced in related areas of law that directly impact cannabis law & is dedicated to helping clients comply with evolving cannabis laws ethically & responsibly. He leads Archer Public Affairs, which provides gov’t/regulatory affairs advice/advocacy to NJ/PA/DE businesses. He serves on the Law and Justice Committee of Gov. Murphy’s Transition2018 advisory team, analyzing/making recommendations on various issues facing NJ. He served as Exec. Director of the NJ Assembly Majority Ofc. where he was responsible for developing/implementing policy agenda. As top aide to Speaker Oliver, he served as lead staff negotiator on all policy matters & as liaison to the Gov.’s office/Senate/state depts. He helped shepherd through landmark legislation, incl. pension/health benefits reform. He also served as Chief of Staff for US Rep. Rob Andrews, overseeing all aspects of his policy/public relations agenda, specializing in economic development/education/defense policy. He also served as Democratic legal/public relations advisor to the 2011 NJ Apportionment Commission, tasked with redrawing the lines of the state’s legislative districts. He is one of NJ’s most influential political/policy players & is a sought-after speaker on cannabis law/gov’t affairs. He earned his B.A. from Bucknell University and his J.D. from Rutgers University School of Law-Camden.