New York City Speaker Bio and Session Information
Dr. Adam Abodeely MD, MBA, FACS, FASCRS
Board Certified Surgeon; CEO & Founder, ReserveMD
Realizing the benefits of cannabis for patients with cancer and inflammatory bowel disease, Dr. Adam Abodeely, MD, MBA, FACS, FASCRS expanded his medical cannabis practice to include patients with a variety of medical ailments. Being dedicated to patient safety and education, he is an active member in numerous international cannabinoid societies and he serves as Chairman of the Dispensary Review Committee for the Association of Cannabis Specialists. Dr. Abodeely gives presentations to a variety of audiences and provides consultations on various aspects of medical cannabis. Dedicated to advancing the science and education of cannabinoid-based therapies, he has a special interest in formulating products which capture the unique benefits of cannabinoids, terpenes and other natural ingredients to provide optimal synergy and interaction with the human endocannabinoid system.
Associate, Holland and Knight LLP
Adrian F. Snead is an attorney in Holland & Knight’s Washington, D.C., office and a member of the firm’s Litigation and Dispute Resolution and White Collar Defense and Investigations practices.
Mr. Snead focuses on complex business and contract disputes, litigating against foreign sovereigns, mass torts, white collar defense and national security cases. His experience includes work in federal and state civil and criminal trials, domestic and international arbitrations, mediations and national security law. He also has experience working in all three branches of the federal government and as a trial preparation assistant with the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.
Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Mr. Snead worked at both a national and an international law firm, where he focused in complex business disputes as well as international and domestic arbitrations. He also served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Royce C. Lamberth of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. During law school, he served as a White House intern in the Domestic Policy Council and spent more than a year interning at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in both the civil rights and criminal divisions.
From 2014 to 2017, Mr. Snead served as counsel and foreign policy advisor to U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), one of the principal architects of early cannabis reform legislation. Mr. Snead’s portfolio included cannabis, national security, military and foreign affairs, privacy, civil liberties, civil rights, criminal justice, veterans, immigration, campaign finance, sanctions, and related appropriations and foreign relations committee assignments. Adrian was responsible for drafting two-thirds of all marijuana reform legislation to pass the U.S. Senate by 2017, helped draft the Senate version of the Marijuana Businesses Access to Banking Act of 2015, the SAFE Banking Act of 2017, and founded a Senate staff working group covering cannabis.
Treasurer , National Hemp Association
Alex Seleznov founded and designed the vertical integration of Advanced Extraction, LLC in 2015. An innovative company specializing in Organically Produced Industrial Hemp Products that strives toward everything being done by working and living consciously. As President and CFO, Alex’s responsibilities include complex reconciliations, solutions for increased profitability and systematically creating processes to improve efficiency. Also, he manages the most publicly known division of AE, Pure Hemp Botanicals, which has been recognized as a global leader in Hemp- based CBD products. Prior to the organization of the Company Alex was a financial analyst for Tagawa Greenhouse Enterprises, operating more than 2 million square feet of greenhouse space across three different states, and a controller for Seleznov Capital Advisors with over twenty years business experience in accounting and finance with the last seven years in the horticultural and cannabis industry. He is a board member and Treasurer for the National Hemp Association, and has appeared at numerous speaking engagements such as NOCO, Colorado AG Forum & CWCBE. He has provided content and appeared in Greenhouse Grower Magazine, Hemp Industry Daily and Hemp Connoisseur Magazine as one of the “100 People you should know.”
Co-Founder & CEO, CannaRegs
Amanda Ostrowitz is a regulatory attorney and entrepreneur who’s identified a need for a user-friendly, scalable platform to research regulations and laws in the cannabis industry. Amanda founded RegsTechnology and its current product, CannaRegs, as a tool to aid attorneys, business people, and governments with localized tracking of regulatory issues. Although RegsTechnology has its origins in covering the dynamics of cannabis regulation, Amanda has created an innovative framework that can be applied more broadly to other emerging, hyper-localized regulatory issues.
Prior to conceiving, developing and founding RegsTechnology, Amanda worked as a bank examiner in the Denver branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Amanda is a New England native who moved to Colorado in 2004 to attend Colorado College where she earned a B.A. in Economics and went on to receive her Juris Doctor from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in 2013.
Principal, Equitas Partners Fund
Andi Goldman is the Managing Member of the Equitas Partners Fund, which invests in early-stage cannabis companies in the US and Canada. Andi’s been involved in the cannabis industry since 2014 as an investor, advisor and financial executive, including as the founding CFO & Head of Corporate Finance for FLRish, the management company for the renowned Harborside dispensaries and grow operations. Andi’s been integral as a principal or advisor in raising capital and negotiating financings for both cannabis and hemp companies.
Andi has managed more than $2Bn in institutional investments to date and has been underwriting investments for almost 30 years. Prior to cannabis, Andi was a corporate and securities lawyer, investment banker, senior portfolio manager and senior underwriter, including in private equity at GE Capital and healthcare banking at RBS Citizens.
Andi is a frequent speaker, investment shark, and mentor in the cannabis industry. She holds an MBA from Yale University, a JD from Duke University and a BS in Business Administration from SUNY Albany (graduating magna cum laude). She is also a Chartered Financial Analyst®.
Vice President, CCIA; Founder, Harborside Inc
Andrew DeAngelo is a unique leader with a proven track record of making visionary social change and business innovations operational. During his almost 13-year tenure at Harborside he has pioneered legal cannabis business processes, and provided political engagement and thought leadership to the cannabis community.
Andrew led the design and development of gold-standard cannabis retail by innovating many “firsts” for the industry, including introducing CBD medicines to heal severely epileptic children (as documented in Discovery Channel’s Weed Wars in 2011), implementing the first lab-testing program in the history of cannabis dispensing, creating child-resistant packaging for edibles, standardizing inventory tracking, initiating senior outreach, and successfully preventing the federal government from seizing Harborside in forfeiture actions against the company in 2012.
Andrew also serves as Vice-President of the Board of Directors for the California Cannabis Industry Association, an organization he helped begin as a founding Board member and has contributed to the growth of CCIA from the inception of the organization.
Director of Public Policy, National Cannabis Industry Association
Andrew Kline is NCIA’s Director of Public Policy. In this new role established in early 2019 at NCIA, Andrew leads NCIA’s substantive public policy efforts, striving to prepare and protect the state-legal cannabis industry. He will also lead NCIA’s Policy Council, a group of NCIA members focused on influencing federal and state public policy.
Kline most recently served as President of the National Association of Cannabis Businesses (NACB), the first self-regulatory organization for the high-growth cannabis industry. At the NACB, Andrew led the creation of national standards for the state-legal cannabis industry, oversaw its standards governance board, and led day to day operations and strategic planning.
Kline has a deep and celebrated background in public policy, law enforcement, and coalition creation/management. He is renowned for his ability to create solutions to complex domestic and global public policy issues that appeal to both private and public constituencies.
Prior to joining the NACB, Kline was Special Counsel for the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Enforcement Bureau where he was responsible for high profile investigations and public policy negotiations affecting the telecommunications, internet, cable and satellite industries. He also served as Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor for Intellectual Property Enforcement in the Executive Office of the President [Obama] where he led public-private partnership and public policy efforts to address online trademark theft, copyright infringement, consumer safety, national security, and the protection of domestic business interests globally.
He served as senior policy advisor to then-Senator Biden and Vice President Biden, and spent fourteen years as a federal prosecutor.
Mr. Kline is admitted to the California, Colorado and District of Columbia bars, and holds a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
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.
Executive VP of Risk and Compliance, Wurk
Barry is an attorney with experience attained in a variety of settings including government, financial institutions, consulting, and payroll/HCM services. Barry was most recently employed by ADP serving as de facto cannabis counsel, and supported the company on a variety of legal issues including regulatory matters, money movement, cross-border, compliance issues, and general legal guidance. Barry lives in New Jersey, and enjoys spending time with his children. Barry is also a volunteer firefighter and is an Honorary Battalion Chief with the New York City Fire Department (FDNY).
Dr. Becky Lynn MD
Director, Evora Center for Menopause and Sexual Health
Dr. Becky Kaufman Lynn is the Director of the Evora Center for Menopause and Sexual Health. She is a board certified gynecologist, and a trained Sexual Counselor and Menopause Provider. She is also an Adjunct Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Saint Louis University School of Medicine.
Dr. Lynn is a world-renowned expert in sexual medicine and menopause. She is a frequent invited speaker on women’s sexual health and appears regularly on numerous podcasts, television shows, radio shows, and in print. Known for her patient/partner education YouTube channel, and her research on the effects of cannabis on the sexual experience, she has been featured in MORE magazine, SELF magazine and Martha Stewart Living.
Dr. Lynn is an International Fellow of the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health (ISSWSH), where she serves as the advocacy chairman and a member of the Board. She is the Immediate Past President of the St. Louis Gynecologic Society and on the Advocacy Committee of the North American Menopause Society.
A southern California “valley girl”, Dr. Lynn completed her undergraduate degree in Economics and Spanish at the University of California, Berkeley. She graduated from medical school at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and completed her residency at Washington University in St. Louis. She also received her MBA from Saint Louis University.
Founder and CEO, Advanced Nutrients and Advanced Hemp
If you grow or consume cannabis, you’ve probably benefited from something BigMike Straumietis has done. Since 1983, BigMike, the founder and CEO of Advanced Nutrients, has worked tirelessly to bring cannabis to its true genetic potential. And in the past four decades, he’s overseen the cultivation of more than a million plants and brought 53 firsts to the world of cannabis growing.
Advanced Nutrients produces the world’s first and only complete cannabis growing system. Today, it generates more than $100 million in annual sales in 104 countries and counting.
BigMike spearheaded the movement toward legal cannabis research during the dark ages of prohibition. As an expert in plant nutrition and soil science, he became one of only three entities in the world to own a government-issued license to cultivate and test cannabis. And with his team of 25 Ph.D. scientists, he conducted the world’s most in-depth cannabis testing at the Advanced Nutrients laboratory in Europe. With fifteen years of licensed research beneath his belt, BigMike has revolutionized the science behind cannabis, introducing new innovations that unlock the true genetic potential of the plant — from seed to senescence.
His most recent innovation is the launch of Advanced Hemp, the first all-in-one fertilizer made specifically for growers of CBD-rich hemp strains.
Chief Executive Officer, PayQwick
Bob Craig serves as CEO of PayQwick executing the Company’s strategy. Bob’s strong foundation in banking was developed across senior leadership roles at JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, First Data, ACI and Fiserv. Bob has a proven track record in leveraging new regulation with financial technology to launch businesses in new markets, including several successful exits.
President & Founder, Hoban Law Group
Bob Hoban is the President and Founder of Hoban Law Group. Since the cannabis industry became commercialized, he has been widely credited for creating the class of lawyers now known as “cannabis attorneys.” He is known for the tremendous value that he places in his relationships and is not satisfied unless he can help his business clients thrive in this burgeoning global industry; an industry he has played a significant role in establishing. Bob has earned a reputation as a cannabis industry dealmaker representing start-ups, entrepreneurs, and companies in all stages of development. Mr. Hoban has truly transcended the practice of law and is regularly involved in assembling and structuring large scale cannabis industry M&A transactions. Above all else, Bob is a cannabis industry expert.
Beginning in 2008, he deliberately constructed the Hoban Law Group (HLG) to become the world’s leading full-service commercial cannabis industry law firm; the first of its kind. Since 2013, Bob has achieved the Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating. He was recently named a “Cannabis Law Trailblazer” by the National Law Journal, and he has been consistently recognized as one of “Denver’s Top Cannabis Lawyers” for nearly a decade.
Bob is formerly a professor at the University of Denver, in the Law and Society Program, and regularly instructs regarding government regulations, public policy, and research-based policy courses. Furthermore, Bob has drafted more than 30 bills for the Colorado General Assembly (eminent domain/land use, hemp/marijuana, and transportation).
CEO, Hudson Botanical Processing
Brian is a passionate cannabis professional that has spent the past two and a half years working and contracting with some of the country’s largest brands to develop and build their internal and external training programs. During this time, he had to understand every aspect of the industry, so that meaningful, useful, and credible content could be created to assist professionals and consumers better. He developed interactive online courses and in-person material to help people better understand the compliance, marketing, consumer goods, infusion technology, and extraction technology of the cannabis industry.
Brian moved to Massachusetts, where he co-founded Hudson Botanical Procesisng, LLC, a cannabis processing, manufacturing, and distribution facility. He took his expertise and knowledge of cannabis education and applied similar programs to HBP, so their clients and consumers can be better informed on cannabis and the product they carry. It has been his mission to turn the stigma of the cannabis culture around while also debunking the false information that is currently surrounding cannabis. Brian believes that education is the most effective way to connect and market to your clients and consumers. However, it must be done professionally and accurately to make a difference.
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.
CEO, MACE Media Group
Celeste is a seasoned marketing professional who has gathered significant notoriety in the cannabis industry over the past 6 years (10 additional in mainstream marketing). She has taken many cannabis start-ups through very successful launches, gaining unmatched exposure for what are now some of the largest industry brands. Celeste is a frequent speaker on marketing in the cannabis industry at some of the largest cannabis industry expos and events.
She has pioneered the most renowned and highly-educational cannabis publications in the industry starting with Terpenes & Testing / Extraction Magazine, Cannabis Compliance & Packaging News, and the most recent being CBD Health & Wellness Magazine. She also produces events such as Terpenes & Testing World Conference 2018, the entire CBD Expo Tour, CONCENTRATION 2019: a Cannabis Extraction Conference, CannaFarm Con, and the Cannabinoid + Natural Products Expo all powered by her publications. She sits on several boards within the cannabis industry including the Cannabis Cultural Association, CALM and MC4MS.
Founder & CEO, Media Friendly PR
Cheryl Squadrito launched Media Friendly in 2005, believing she could start a PR firm based on her journalistic instincts of finding a story angle and helping people to tell their stories. Media Friendly’s track record for placements is perfect, getting all clients into the media spotlight. She now works with a variety of for-profit businesses and firms, non-profits and foundations, and entertainers.
During her journalism career, Cheryl has covered a variety of news, business and entertainment topics. She has written about the American Dream and Miss America, the Rolling Stones, Pearl Jam, U2 and Bruce Springsteen, the Republican National Convention, celebrity chefs, professional athletes and much more.
Cheryl knows the news business from the inside and has followed the ever-changing landscape of earning media coverage. An expert in both traditional and social media, she knows the right approach to earn visibility for our clients.
Residing in Haddonfield, NJ, with her family, Cheryl is a certified Spinning instructor, avid music collector and rock ‘n’ roll trivia aficionado. Cheryl was featured on the front page of the New York Times in a story about working mothers who travel. She was also quoted in The Philadelphia Inquirer after a terrorist attack at a concert.
She is working on her first novel, Suburban Rock Chick goes to London.
Cheryl is passionate about debunking the stigmas surrounding cannabis and those working in the field.
Co-Founder, Oklahomans for Health
Mr. Paul is an established national speaker, know for presenting at cannabis, industry, regulatory, and science conferences. Mr Paul speaks frequently and helps educate both patients, professional, and researchers on the importance of the endocannabinoid system. In addition Mr. Paul, along with his wife Cynthia, help found Oklahomans For Health, which was the creator and proponent of the medical marijuana state law. Mr. Paul is a co-author of SQ788, and by virtue, has helped craft THE most progressive medical marijuana legislation in the nation.
CEO, Growex (Div. of Storex CA Inc)
Chris has more than 10 years’ experience related to expertise in agricultural and controlled atmosphere technology with clients in the fresh fruit & vegetable sector and in the medical cannabis sector in the USA, Canada, Europe, South America, and Israel. Chris’ team includes designers, researchers, engineers, architects, energy efficiency consultants, and growers.
In 2014, Chris started collaborating with this “tech dream team” to study the indoor cultivation sector and particularly what started to happen in Colorado with the cannabis crop, which Chris prefers to refer to as cannabinoid and terpene plants. Colorado being “ground zero” of legal commercialization on large scale of this crop was a good start to start taking notes on how this plant was being grown outdoors and indoors. The team walked around visiting a multitude of green houses and indoor horizontal grows, and started taking notes on every topic from structural design of the facilities, equipment selection, and of course energy efficiency. Two of the top growers in Colorado joined Chris’ team to collaborate on the following topic: how to grow the best consistent quality within pharmaceutical standards using the least amount of energy which contributes to the lowest operational cost, while having an environmentally friendly position. The study continued for four years supported by research and development financial support from the Canadian federal government, and finally lead to a large scale commercial design that uses up to 20 times less land space, 20 times less water, 10 times less labor, and 5 times less energy use compared to other models currently present in this industry which are horizontal indoor cultivation centers.
Chris believes that by tweaking the performance dials in an indoor cultivation facility, this will change farming models worldwide for many crops we rely on either for pharmaceutical, recreational, or nutritional products.
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.”
Managing Partner, Entourage Effect Capital
Codie Sanchez is a Managing Director and Partner at Entourage Effect Capital, a venture capital and private equity fund in the legalized cannabis space with $170+M in AUM and having just launched their third dedicated fund for $150MM, making them one of the largest PE funds in the industry. She previously built and led First Trust’s Latin America Investment business. Prior to that she held positions in equity analysis at Goldman Sachs, institutional fixed income at State Street, and international equity and ETFs at Vanguard ($5.3T). She started her career as a journalist where she won the JFK award and the Howard Buffett Foundation grant for covering human trafficking. Sanchez is a pundit and columnist on investing, macro trends, cannabis and startups. She has been highlighted on CNBC, The Today Show, Forbes, Fast Company, Entrepreneur, People en Español, Business Wire, Cheddar, etc. She has an M.B.A. from Georgetown University, a master’s from ESADE, a PhD from Fundação Getúlio Vargas, and a B.A. from Arizona State University. She sits on the board of the Arcview Group, the leading cannabis seed investment platform, Magma Partners, a tech focused venture fund in Chile, Hispanic Executive Corporation and is actively involved in American Enterprise Institute, a leading free markets think tank.
Dr. Cohin Kakar Pharm. D., MBA
Chief Marketing Officer, The Anthos Group
Dr. Cohin Kakar comes from a background in the pharmaceutical industry, working with various Fortune 150 companies in roles ranging from clinical trial management to global medical affairs for over 10 years. Most notably, Dr. Kakar served on the medical launch teams for some of the biggest commercial drugs globally, with a specialty in inflammation and immunology.
Dr. Kakar earned his Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Biology and Master of Business Administration (MBA) at the University of Louisville and his Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm. D.) degree from Sullivan University, also located in Louisville, KY. Additionally, Dr. Kakar completed a pharmaceutical fellowship at Eli Lilly & Company in Indianapolis, IN, as a part of the prestigious Visiting Scientist Fellowship program.
Cy is an entrepreneur at heart. Currently, he is the Co-founder and CEO of Headset Inc. The company provides the cannabis industry with market and operations intelligence, helping customers make sense of this rapidly emerging and changing industry. Before Headset, Cy was the cofounder of Leafly, the world’s largest cannabis information network with 6M visits monthly with multimillion-dollar revenues. Cy worked on KBB.com’s redesign first as an engineer, then as part of the product team and was responsible for getting Kelley Blue Book’s first-ever patent. He also worked as Sr. Product at Source Interlink (now TEN: The Enthusiast Network), a publishing company with properties like Motor Trend and Automobile, working on their transition from traditional print to a digital-strategy.
Partner, Cohen Kotler P.A.
David Kotler, Esq. a former prosecutor, is a partner in Cohen Kotler P.A., located in Boca Raton, Florida and has been Of Counsel to Hoban Law Group since the inception of its’ national cannabis practice. He has a wide range of experience in the cannabis industry from license applications in multiple states and Zimbabwe Africa, to start-up and regulatory matters. He currently consults with individuals and companies countrywide and has served as outside general counsel for numerous cannabis industry clients. He sits on the advisory boards of The Cannabis Marketing Lab and Blunts and Moore, the first social equity applicant license winner to become operational in the U.S.. He has written a monthly column for the Cannabis Industry Journal and is a contributor to Cannabis News Florida among other publications. In 2019, Mr. Kotler was appointed by Agriculture Commissioner Nicki Fried to Florida’s first Medical Cannabis Advisory Committee.
Mr. Kotler’s operations work includes:
Blunts and Moore, Oakland California Retail License Holder – Co-Founder, Member
Solurge, Massachusetts Provisional Medical License Holder for Cultivation, Processing, and Retail – Co-Founder and Chief Compliance Officer
Maleza Hem, Zimbabwe Africa License Holder for Medical Cannabis and CBD Export –Obtained 1 of 37 licenses issued by the country after presentation to Cabinet, Interim CEO.
The Bract House, Sonora California Medical Retail – Member (Pilot program, 1 of 2 licenses awarded by city for medical retail use, SUP issued, pending build out and state licensure)
Category 5 Farms, Sacramento California, Locally Permitted and State Provisionally licensed Cultivation, Manufacturing, and Distribution, Co-founder and minority interest holder.
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.
Editor-In-Chief, Green Market Report
Debra Borchardt is the Co-founder and CEO of the cannabis financial news website Green Market Report. She began her career in the securities industry where she was a Vice President at Bear Stearns holding three securities licenses. She left Wall Street to earn her Masters Degree in Business and Economic Reporting from New York University. At that point she embarked on a career as a financial journalist and spent eight years at TheStreet.com working daily with Jim Cramer.
Debra has covered the cannabis industry since its earliest stages when she recognized that the legalization story was the biggest business news story of the decade. As a senior producer and reporter at TheStreet.com, Debra was awarded an ASPBE.org (American Society of Business Publication Editors) in 2014 for Best Video – News, “Guess Where People Want To Buy Pot.” Debra is also a Co-Founder of the women’s cannabis executives networking group Industry Power Women and serves on the board of the cannabis newswire Axiswire.
Executive Director , Resource Innovation Institute (RII)
Derek Smith is Executive Director and Co-Founder of Resource Innovation Institute (RII), a national nonprofit whose mission is to promote and quantify energy, carbon and water conservation in the cannabis industry. Prior to RII, Mr. Smith ran Clean Energy Works, a residential energy efficiency program that blended utility, public and private dollars to deliver whole-building retrofits while generating carbon emission reductions along with equitable economic development outcomes. Clean Energy Works was hailed as one of the most successful US Dept. of Energy funded stimulus programs in the country. Mr. Smith has also led energy programs with the City of Portland Bureau of Planning & Sustainability, served on the management team of a Zero VOC start-up paint company and developed an award-winning corporate sustainability program for a national retailer.
Odor Control Specialist, Mabre Canada Inc
Derek is fondly known as the napkin guy! A fearless crusader bringing peace of mind to cannabis operators by oxidative odor elimination. A veteran of many successful odor battles in all kinds of smelly places – he brings triumph over odor complaints and enforcement to the world of cannabis.
EVP & Head of Leaflink Financial, LeafLink Financial
Doug Gordon, Executive Vice President and Head of LeafLink Financial, is a recognized leader and innovator with more than 10 years of experience in the financial technology sector. He is an expert at utilizing analytics and technology to create specialized products that meet the capital needs of various asset classes. Prior to LeafLink, Doug co-founded and served as the Executive Vice President of Fundation, a leading small business digital lender backed by the likes of Garrison Investment Group, Goldman Sachs, and Sun Trust Bank. Fundation provides businesses with loans and lines of credit through partnerships with banks, B2B vendors, and online platforms. As Executive Vice President, Doug was directly responsible for driving the company’s growth efforts through large scale strategic partnerships and product innovations while publicly representing Fundation in the media and at industry events. Doug studied Neuroscience and Economics at Bucknell University.
Manager, HAL Extraction Technology
Emma has been working at HAL Extraction for over two years. HAL’s primary focus as a company is to provide safe and affordable extraction facilities. Emma has a background in biology and chemistry and is fully aware of the dangers that are faced in everyday cannabis extraction. Her goal as an industry professional is to help educate others in the industry on the importance of compliance and safety
Dr. Eric Patrick
Chief Operating Officer, Growing Talent, LLC
Dr. Eric Patrick is a pharmacist, serial entrepreneur, and speaker with over 15 years of experience in medication therapy management, narcotic inventory management and compliance, and pharmacy operations. He started a financial literacy company, Black Market Exchange, in 2014 to help people of color learn more about the basics of stock market investing. As a result, many of his 50,000+ followers started buying stocks outside of typical employer-sponsored plans. His expertise in pharmaceuticals, a highly regulated industry, and operations landed him with Good Tree, a cannabis production and distribution company, as well as it’s social impact arm, Growing Talent.
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.
Fame Conway RN
CEO,Founder, Blaze Free
Nurse Fame is the founder of Beauty ReFreshment and creator of Blaze Free. She spent decades on both sides of healthcare as a nurse and a patient having suffered from chronic pain and several autoimmune issues. To ease her discomfort and stress, she became a frequent day spa lover and soon created a line of her own body products.
Doctors offered more pills but no help, and her health continued to decline, so she took back control and turned her research to holistic healing, plants and nutrition. Fame then became a trained cannabis nurse, however in 2016, a traumatic injury left her health spiraling out of control. During her recovery, she continued learning and created a successful blueprint to reverse her chronic inflammation and autoimmune diseases, naturally.
Nurse Fame consults private clients on how to reverse chronic systemic inflammation and rebalance the immune system. She also has an online class teaching her wellness blueprint, and has infused total body wellness into her growing beauty brand.
Felicia Greenfield-Blau LPT, CCE
Managing Partner, Physical Therapist and Cannabis Educator, Reboot Integrative Wellness Center
I have been a physical therapist for 28 years specializing in outpatient orthopedics, manual therapy, breast cancer rehabilitation, ventral trunk reconstruction and mindfulness meditation. In 2018, I became a certified cannabis educator. I developed an opioid reduction/cannabis friendly physical therapy model. I’ve been hosting and engaged in community speaking to help educate about medical cannabis and CBD. In February 2019, I became a managing partner and co-owner of Reboot Integrative Wellness Center. Interviewed and on the cover of Dispense Magazine, May 2019. Topic and title is “Cannabis as an Exit Drug”. Speaker at National Recreational Therapist Conference, Un. Of Pennsylvania hospital, Abington Hospital, Phoenixville Hospital and numerous community cannabis education venues. Hosted Free Veteran focused events to help manage PTSD, opioid addiction issues and pain management. Practitioner and educator involving mindfulness meditation, breath work and therapeutic exercises.
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.
CTO, Capna Systems
The son of a hockey player, Gene Galyuk was born in Kyiv Ukraine and immigrated to the United States in 1992 at the age of 7. He started playing hockey at an early age and in 2003 became a world champion for his native country.
Gene co-founded Capna Labs, in 2014. Capna Labs was launched as a fully integrated extraction, refinement, and formulation service provider that primarily focused on CO2 extraction technologies that were the most current at that time. Within a year of operation, it was determined that the CO2 systems were simply incapable of the necessary throughput required to run a successful extraction facility.
In 2015, Gene co-founded The Bloom Brand. The Bloom Brand is one of California’s top vape brands and quickly took over the manufacturing capacity at Capna Labs. It was during the ramp up of The Bloom Brand that Gene was tasked with improving the extraction capacity internally at Capna Labs. Bloom Brand is currently sold in NM, NV, and WA.
In 2017, Gene Galyuk filed the first of many patents around a new and improved ethanol extraction method. Parallel, Gene co-founded Capna Systems which licensed the exclusive rights to produce extraction instruments that utilize the newly patent-pending ethanol extraction method.
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.
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.
CEO, Super Smart LLC
Harry Resin has been in the cannabis business for the last seventeen years. He started off working with the coffee-shops in Amsterdam supplying them with high quality cannabis flowers. Soon after he moved into hash production as more and more medical users turned to cannabis as a form of medicine and required a stronger product then the flowers. After three years of growing and making hash he started a medical cannabis seed company called Delta-9 Labs. He was a partner in the seed company for six years overseeing the creation of many different strains used by medical patients all over the world. At the same time he began writing for various different cannabis magazines such as High Times, Skunk, and Weed World. He also wrote regularly for a prestigious cannabis medical journal. After leaving Delta-9 Labs he started another seed company called The Harvestman and won several different global cannabis awards including the Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam. He has also been a ‘Celebrity judge’ for several different cannabis cup events around the world. Currently he is on the masthead of High Times as a contributor and has a column on their website
Over the last seventeen years he has consistently grown top quality cannabis which was used by various coffee shops and medical patients in Amsterdam and has become one of the Europe’s leading experts on the subject of medicinal cannabis . In addition, he hasworked as an advisor to many coffee-shops helping them with their supply chain and strain selections as well as being an advisor to Trek Uw Plant, a cannabis social club in Belgium, where he hashelped them with their medical cannabis program.
Harry is also the founder of URB a vertically integrated mobile dispensary in the Bay Area. He is also a founding partner in the genetics company CGI (the Cannabis genetics institute) with Nico Escondido the chief Cannabis officer of High Times.
Heather Manus RN
Founder, Cannabis Nurses Network
Heather Manus, RN is a native New Mexican and Registered Nurse specializing in all aspects of medical cannabis care. “Nurse Heather” began her career as a Registered Nurse providing psychiatric home health care to patients in New Mexico.
She has extensive background and experience in natural healing modalities and herbal remedies, some of which she obtained from her close association with Hispanic and Native American healers in New Mexico.
Her vast knowledge and holistic approach to individualized patient care has been the cornerstone of her success as a nurse, educator, entrepreneur, and promoter of health.
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.
Director of Government Affairs, Caliva
Hirsh Jain is the Director of Government Affairs at Caliva, one of the largest cannabis companies in California.
Prior to working at Caliva, Hirsh was the West Coast Director of Government Affairs at MedMen, the largest cannabis retailer in the country.
Hirsh has also worked at Airbnb and McKinsey and Company.
He has a B.A. in Philosophy from UC Berkeley and a JD from Harvard Law School.
Director of Cannabis, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
After a career in banking and financial services, Holly Bell consulted on cannabis business issues in numerous states. Ms. Bell worked to build the infrastructure to support the creation of Tennessee’s cannabis industry, following passage of that state’s industrial hemp legislation. A native of Indiana with family roots in northeast Florida, Ms. Bell earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from Purdue University.
In her role as Director of Cannabis, Ms. Bell oversees the development of rules, works directly with scientific experts, and ensures Commissioner Fried’s vision for cannabis in Florida continues moving forward. Ms.Bell works closely with the Department’s Division of Plant Industry, Food Safety, and AES on developing Florida’s hemp industry, including the production, processing, inspecting, and manufacturing of industrial hemp. She also works with the Florida Department of Health as it relates to medical marijuana edibles and consumer issues. Ms. Bell also works closely with the Commissioner’s industrial hemp and medical marijuana advisory committees as well as the Hemp Advisory Council.
Clinical Professor of Law, University of Michigan Law School
Howard Bromberg is a clinical professor at the University of Michigan Law School. He has coauthored two textbooks on marijuana law-Marijuana Law in a Nutshell (2017) and Cases and Materials on Marijuana Law (2019)–and several articles on the subject.
Partner, Wilson Elser; Member, NCIA Policy Council
Ian is founder and co-chair of the Cannabis and Hemp Law practice at Wilson Elser, an AmLaw 200 law firm with 850 attorneys in 37 offices in the United States and London. Ian leads a national multi-disciplinary team of lawyers who serve all aspects of the cannabis and hemp industries, as well as financial institutions and insurance companies that service those industries.
By way of background, Ian has defended complex litigation in state and federal courts for more than 20 years with a focus on practice areas relevant to the cannabis industry, including product liability, complex general casualty, transportation, data privacy and intellectual property litigation. Ian received his B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis, and his JD from Saint Louis University School of Law. He has been with Wilson Elser for the past 19 years.
Ian works with licensed cannabis operators throughout the country to comply with their obligations under the law and to develop risk management best practices. He advises Fortune 500 companies on risk management involving hemp-derived CBD and the interplay with U.S. food and drug laws. Ian assists insurance companies on cannabis-related underwriting practices and the development of new policy forms. He also works with financial institutions and professional services firms on best practices for operating in a challenging regulatory environment.
Ian is chair of the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) Finance and Insurance Committee, former vice chair of the California Cannabis Industry Association (CCIA) Insurance Committee, and a member of the advisory board of the National Native American Cannabis Association. He is one of MG Magazine’s “30 Powerful Cannabis Attorneys You Should Know,” received a 2019 Readers’ Choice Award by JD Supra for his publication on cannabis consumer class actions, and received National Law Review’s award as “Go-To Thought Leader 2018” for his publications on cannabis law.
Dr. Jahan Marcu
Chief Science Officer, International Research Center on Cannabis and Health
Jahan Marcu, Ph.D., is a co-founder for IRCCH. Dr. Marcu is the former Chief Science Officer at Americans for Safe Access (a medical cannabis advocacy non-profit) and former Director of the Patient Focused Certification program, which is a health and safety oversight program that assesses regulatory compliance at cannabis operations.
He is co-founder and past-chairman of the CANN subdivision of the Chemical Health and Safety Division (DCHAS) of the American Chemical Society. His is also on the Board of Directors of the International Association for Cannabinoids as Medicine. He has a background in analytical chemistry and molecular pharmacology, he received his Ph.D. for contributions in characterizing the structure and function of the cannabinoid receptors. He is an author of the American Herbal Pharmacopeia’s Cannabis Monograph and serves on multiple expert government, trade association committees, scientific organizations and is a court-qualified synthetic cannabinoid and cannabis expert.
Dr. Marcu has helped create medical cannabis educational training for clinicians and for workers in the medical cannabis industry, and has been invited to speak at many international conferences and universities, including the University of Leiden, Temple University School of Medicine, Princeton Hospital, and Yale University. Dr. Marcu is also a court qualified expert witness on cannabis and synthetic cannabinoids.
Dr. Marcu is a recipient of the Billy Martin research award from the International Cannabinoid Research Society.
James Schwartz RN, BSN, LNC
Medical Consultant; CEO, CascadeHigh
James Schwartz, RN, BSN, LNC, is an experienced medical consultant and CEO of CascadeHigh with 20yrs experience cultivating legal cannabis, is a self-described organic minimalist cultivating in the most sustainable manner and believes in clean Cannabis and its use as a wellness drug. His Oregon licensed cultivation has been featured in Dope Magazine, Oregon Leaf Magazine, and has articles in both publications, James was on the NCIA Cultivation Committee and has presented at multiple Cannabis and CBD conferences all over the country. James was a drafter and is a signature on the written testimony to the FDA and congress on behalf of NCIA for CBD policy. His business, legal, medical, and agricultural knowledge provides a comprehensive perspective on the cannabis industry. James has lobbied for Cannabis on both the national and state level with Oregon Cannabis Association and is a fierce advocate for the plant and cannabis therapeutics.
Dr. Jan Roberts
Chair of the Board, Madison Square Partners
Jan Roberts, DSW, LCSW is a recognized leader and clinician in the field of cannabis and health. Dr. Roberts is the founder and CEO of Partners in Health and Wellbeing, one of the largest multi-site mental health and wellness private practices in the mid-Atlantic region in the US. Dr. Roberts became interested in cannabis’ effects after seeing how it helped improve the lives of her clients who had experienced little help from traditional medications. After seeing her own cases improve, Dr. Roberts embarked on a path to further her understanding of cannabis and its impact on health, and to provide objective information and advocate for its healthy use.
In 2017. Dr. Roberts joined Dr. Jahan Marcu in forming the International Research Center on Cannabis and Health (IRCCH), a collaborative research institute located in New York that bridges university and community-based projects across the globe on cannabis and women’s and mental health, a recognized leader in cannabis research design, education, and consultation all over the world. As a result of IRCCH’s success, Madison Square Partners was formed where Dr. Roberts is Chair. MSP owns and operates IRCCH and Dr. Virago, an integrated new women’s healthcare cannabinoid-enhanced product line, targeted for women of all ages and set for distribution in Q4 2020.
Dr. Roberts teaches at the NYU Silver School of Social Work. In addition to her academic role, Dr. Roberts is a governor-appointed member of the Delaware Medical Marijuana Act Advisory Committee.
Most recently, Dr. Roberts joined Dr. Jahan Marcu, and social activist/cannabis-entrepreneur Randy Cameron in creating a weekly podcast titled “New Hemp Times” which is dedicated to providing accurate analysis and commentary around cannabis research, policy issues, and its societal impact in a smart yet approachable and often comedic way. Dr. Roberts lives in New York and sees patients at her private practice in Manhattan.
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.
Tax Attorney, Law Offices Of Jeffrey B Kahn P.C.
Principal of the Law Offices Of Jeffrey B. Kahn, P.C. headquartered in Irvine CA. Member of the California and Florida Bars and is Board Certified in Tax Law. Practices tax planning and the resolution of civil and criminal tax controversies including taxpayers with foreign bank accounts, crypto currency and cannabis dealings.
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.
Attorney, Foley Hoag LLP
Jesse Alderman is Co-Chair of Foley Hoag’s Cannabis Practice. He represents adult use and medical cannabis businesses on regulatory matters and has drafted several winning applications for national cannabis operators in competitive state licensing contests.
Chairman of the Board and CEO, Akerna
Jessica Billingsley serves as Akerna’s Chief Executive Officer. In June 2019 she became the first CEO of a cannabis ancillary company to be listed on Nasdaq. She co-founded MJ Freeway in 2010, where she served as President until April 2018, and later as the CEO until MJ Freeway was acquired by MTech to form Akerna. In 2015, she was named as one of Fortune’s Most Promising Female Entrepreneurs, in 2018, she was named one of Inc. Magazine’s 100 Female Founders, and in 2019, she was named to Entrepreneur’s inaugural list of 100 Powerful Women.
Prior to MJ Freeway, Jessica earned her degree in Communications and Computer Science from the University of Georgia and later became CEO and founder of Zoco, a technology services firm with clients across the United States. With 20 years of technology and systems experience in rapidly scaling businesses, Jessica is a highly regarded executive in both the tech and cannabis space.
Jessie Gill RN
Founder, Marijuana Mommy
Jessie Gill, RN is a cannabis nurse with a background in holistic health and hospice. After suffering a spinal injury, she reluctantly became a medical marijuana patient then quickly transitioned into an advocate.
Her site, MarijuanaMommy.com educates about cannabis while challenging the stigma against marijuana use. She’s been featured on Viceland and her work has appeared on VICE, GoodHousekeeping, Cosmopolitan, MSN, and more.
Managing Partner, Emerald Park Capital
Joel Magerman is Managing Partner of Emerald Park Capital, whose dedicated cannabis fund actively invests in the industry. Emerald Park Capital is an affiliate of Bryant Park Capital (“BPC”), a middle market investment bank that services both the cannabis and traditional sectors. Joel has been the CEO of BPC since 2001. He became the majority shareholder in 2003. During the course of his career, he has been involved in closing approximately 150 transactions as a principal, investment banker, and investor representing a total transaction value in excess of $6 billion.
From 1995 until 2001 Joel was the President of Associated Venture Management where he oversaw a family office that invested and raised approximately $250 million for its portfolio companies. Portfolio investments included investments in the specialty finance, software, technology and healthcare services sectors.
From 1991 to 1995 Joel was the Senior Vice President for FCA International, LTD (FCA:TSX), one of the top three financial services firms in the receivables management sector, where he headed corporate development, M&A, and US sales, marketing and customer service. In that capacity he founded and was President of Structured Financial Capital, the second largest purchaser of structured settlements issued by the state of NJ. He also was a founder & operating partner to Reliant Partners, a firm that purchased over $1.5 billion of non-performing assets from the Resolution Trust Corporation and initiated and completed portfolio acquisitions or partnerships in the credit card, mortgage, healthcare receivables and real estate markets.
Joel has his MS from the University of Pennsylvania and his BA from UCLA. He serves on the boards of NueHealth LLC, Germantown Academy Board of Trustees, Maccabi USA Sports for Israel, and has previously served on the boards of other for profit and not for profit organizations.
Vice President, Business Development, Hudson Hemp
An established director with 25 years of experience in the private and public sectors including in marketing and communications, business development, and corporate strategy.
Chief Knowledge Officer, New Frontier Data
John applies his keen understanding of market research, business strategy, and industry analysis to help high-performing organizations achieve their strategic objectives. Leveraging his experience managing research studies for industry-leading clients including Microsoft, George Washington University, and the State Department, Kagia brings an incisive understanding of how market insights enable organizations to plan, grow, compete, and measure performance more effectively.
Dr. John MacKay
Founder, Synergistic Technologies & Associates
John A. MacKay earned a B.A. in Chemistry from St. Lawrence University (SLU), and Ph.D. from the University of Vermont (UVM), in Inorganic Chemistry focused on the synthesis of cancer fighting compounds. After positions teaching at Davidson College, Lyndon State College and University of Vermont (UVM), John joined Waters Corporation in 1983 and retired in 2017. His career has included many roles in innovative product development. While recently he is widely recognized as scientific expert in sub and supercritical fluid for extraction and chromatography in the botanical space, he is bringing the synergy from what were seen as disparate technologies together to optimize workflow.
Partner, Altitude Investment Management, LLC
Jon Trauben is an active participant in the cannabis industry as an investor, association member, mentor, and board member. He brings a wealth of experience and management expertise with a 25-year record as a seasoned commercial real estate, capital markets, and finance executive. Jon earned a Bachelor of Arts In Political Science from Rutgers University and has a Masters of Science in Real Estate from New York University. Jon holds FINRA Series 7 and 63 licenses.
Dr. Jordan Tishler
Dr. Tishler is a Cannabis Specialist. Through his training in Internal Medicine and years of practice as an Emergency Physician, Dr. Tishler brings his knowledge, reason, and caring to patients here at inhaleMD, and through his advocacy work at the local and national levels.
Criminal Defense and Cannabis Business Attorney, The Law Offices of Joseph A. Bondy
Joseph A. Bondy is a criminal defense and cannabis business attorney, with offices in Manhattan. A graduate of Columbia University and Brooklyn Law School, Mr. Bondy is admitted to practice in New York, the United States District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of New York, the District of Connecticut, the United States Courts of Appeal for the First, Second, Third, and Fourth Circuits, and the Supreme Court of the United States. Over the past twenty-four years, he has represented more than one thousand individuals at all stages of litigation, including dozens of federal and state cannabis clients.
r. Bondy is a life member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), and a life member of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws’ (NORML) National Legal Committee. He is the Founder of In the Know 420, a well-known weekly livestream on cannabis law and policy, and Vice-President of the Cannabis Cultural Association (CCA). The American Trial Lawyers College rates Mr. Bondy as one of the top 100 criminal trial attorneys in the United States. Mr. Bondy lectures on a variety of federal criminal and cannabis law topics at various community, bar association and legal programs throughout the country. Mr. Bondy serves on the faculty of Cardozo Law School’s Intensive Trial Advocacy Program (ITAP), and immensely enjoys mentoring young lawyers and advocates.
Founding Partner, Helbraun Levey
Joseph is a Founding Partner of the firm and oversees all New York State Liquor Authority and other licensing matters for the firm. Joseph’s primary area of expertise is New York State Alcohol Beverage Control Law and he has extensive experience practicing before the New York State Liquor Authority with regard to various licensing and disciplinary matters. He regularly attends local Community Board meetings on behalf of the firm’s clients and has developed a stellar reputation as a well-prepared and knowledgeable advocate.
Joseph proudly serves on the Executive Board of the New York State Restaurant Association, the Board of The American Institute of Food and Wine and is admitted to practice in New York and New Jersey.
Director, The Northeast Sustainable Hemp Association
Julia Agron read the Emperor Wears No Clothes by Jack Herer at 15 and knew what she wanted to do with her life. She has been a passionate cannabis advocate for nearly 30 years. For 3 years she managed the largest medical marijuana dispensary in Western Mass. During her time there she had the opportunity to help thousands of people find increased health and wellness, and improve their lives through safe, legal, and supported access to this amazing plant.
After leaving the dispensary, Julia has focused on creating cannabis events, education, and outreach as The Little Weed Wife; cannabis consulting. Seeking the highest quality products for her clients, coupled with a background in regenerative agriculture, led her to hemp farming. Working in partnership with her husband, a permaculture designer and organic landcare professional, they founded Trees of Life Farm with one mission: grow hemp; save the world.
Her heartfelt belief that hemp can save small farms, be an instrument of revitalization for urban and rural economies, and that, if farmed sustainably, will be a major factor in reversing our plunge towards climate catastrophe, led her to come together with other independent hemp farmers, processors, product manufacturers, retailers and consumers to form NOSHA, the Northeast Sustainable Hemp Association. With NOSHA, Julia is working to grow an organization that focuses on education, collaboration and research to foster a sustainable, and just, regional hemp industry, and to ensure a place in it for the small farmer.
Legal Director, State of Connecticut, Department of Consumer Protection
Dr. June Chin
Integrative Physician, MedLeafRx
For over a decade, Dr. Junella Chin practiced medicine in California, specializing in osteopathic manipulative medicine, nutrition, acupuncture, and medical cannabis. A Bronx native, who moved back to New York five years ago, Dr. Chin is currently treating both children and adults in New York City. Dr. Chin is dedicated to thinking beyond the limitations of standard allopathic medicine. She has extensive integrative medical training, including Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University, Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine in California, Medical Acupuncture at Harvard University, and a research position at Columbia University, Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Women’s Research.
Dr. Chin is an advocate for a better understanding of the science and medicine of cannabis. Dr. Chin and her team of physicians consult with patients all over the world. They have been integrating medical cannabis since 2001. Her work has been featured in Forbes, LA Times, CNN, Good Morning America, among others. The book she co-authored, Cannabis and CBD for Health and Wellness, was published in June 2019.
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
Kebra Smith-Bolden RN
Kebra Smith-Bolden is a true trailblazer, a respected healthcare professional with the vision, purpose and drive to transform the nascent cannabis industry. Trained as a registered nurse, Kebra leveraged her medical knowledge and decades of professional experience to create CannaHealthTM, the first and only Connecticut cannabis business owned by an African-American. CannaHealthTM is a division of The Healing Choice LLC and HK Smith Enterprises, LLC. Its innovative community based business model offers disadvantaged communities disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs education about medicinal cannabis, as well as safe and legal access through medical marijuana program evaluations. An industry pioneer dubbed the “Marijuana Guru in CT”, Smith-Bolden is the driving force behind CannaHealth,TM which recently expanded offices in Hartford, Connecticut and plans a national expansion in 2019.
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.
Cannabis Business Education Consultant; Founder, Nature's Hemp Spa
Kelli Hale has been formulating and marketing original eco-luxury natural skincare and makeup since 2004. Building brands, products, and seeing them flourish with powerhouse natural and organic ingredients is a lifelong passion of hers. Kelli has reformulated high demand products from her lines with organic CBD ingredients for a new product line called Nature’s Hemp Spa. Kelli is also a CBD education consultant who has been inside learning and performance for over 20 years, winning various industry awards for both small and large global companies. Kelli has a Bachelor of Science from Southern Methodist University as well as an MBA from the University of Aberystwyth, Wales.
Ken Sobel Esq.
Vice President, Genesis International Cannabis Solutions
Ken Sobel, Esq. is an attorney, consultant and medical marijuana advocate. He has owned, operated and consulted with medical cannabis businesses in California, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Washington, Oregon, Massachusetts, Nevada and the United States Virgin Islands over the past 15 years.
Ken was the Founding Member and Board Member for the three major dispensary advocacy groups in Arizona, and led the fight to defeat the Legislature’s effort to repeal or weaken the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act.
Ken founded The Green Halo, LLC, the third dispensary to open in Arizona, and co-founded The Heavenly Harvest, Arizona’s first cannabis extraction and infusion manufacturer with Nurse Heather Manus of New Mexico.
Ken has been a practicing attorney in California and Arizona since 1980. He is also qualified for the Colorado Bar. Ken’s primary practice areas include medical marijuana, business litigation, mediation, and environmental law.
As the attorney for the Arizona Cannabis Nurses Association, Ken won a landmark case against the State of Arizona in 2014 requiring it to add Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder to the list of debilitating conditions allowing for medical cannabis use. This was the first time in US history that a state was ordered by a judge to add a new condition, and the first new condition added in Arizona after 20 consecutive petitions had been denied. As a result of that decision, several other states followed suit, and added PTSD to their medical cannabis program. Ken continues to work with veterans all over the US in addressing their healthcare and related issues and serves as Director and General Counsel for Grow For Vets.
Ken currently serves as the Senior Attorney and Consultant for Genesis International, and has represented clients all over the United States and Canada on all business and legal aspects of cannabis.
Kenneth Weinberg MD
Chief Medical Officer, Cannabis Doctors of New York
Cannabis Doctors of New York’s Chief Medical Officer, Kenneth R. Weinberg is a Board Certified Emergency Medicine and Registered Medical Marijuana physician. As a third generation doctor following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather Dr. Weinberg is passionate about advancing the quality of healthcare in America.
After earning a medical degree from St. Georges University School of Medicine in 1980 Dr. Weinberg continued on to complete his residency in Internal Medicine at USC-LA County Medical Center. He then returned to New York City and pursued a Fellowship in Psychoneuroimmunology at the Manhattan VA and NYU. Following that he trained in Emergency Medicine at NYU and Bellevue Hospitals. After 30 years of practicing Emergency Room Medicine Dr. Weinberg transitioned to Urgent Care.
In January of 2016, when NY State’s Compassionate Care Act went into effect, Dr. Weinberg began certifying patients to receive medical marijuana. He is one of three founders of Cannabis Doctors of New York. As with many physicians and healthcare providers Dr. Weinberg’s vast experience caring for patients over decades with a vast array of medical conditions has provided him with a unique perspective about the impact of public policy on the practice of medicine. He has been featured on several panels, radio and on TV as a thought leader and medical marijuana expert. He is a strong advocate for legalization of medical marijuana and its benefits and recognizes the value of education as well as science-based research.
Dr Weinberg maintains residences in Manhattan and Old Chatham, NY. He is a published author, photographer and a champion for Single Payer National Health Care.
CMO & Co-Founder, TribeTokes
Kymberly Byrnes aka “KymB” is an advocate, influencer and cannabis powerhouse with her hands deep in the NYC cannabis scene, and has been setting growing and retail standards for cannabis since they were called nickel bags. Kym has been working adjacent to multiple principles of the cannabis industry and her early work helped set universal cultivation standards throughout the industry.
Kym is the Co-founder and CMO of TribeTokes, where she drives all the brands social and marketing strategy. She blends traditional marketing efforts, modern colloquialisms, and digital social culture to subliminally target customers and break into new markets in ways that many cannabis brands have yet to tap. Today Kym works with some of the most forward-thinking minds in the New York City cannabis scene: Kym sits on the Advisory Committee for the Cannabis World Congress & Business Expo, a business-to-business trade show event for the legalized cannabis industry. She volunteers and is on the committee for the NYC Cannabis Parade and Rally, one of the longest running cannabis events in the world. Kym is the NYC Ambassador for Women Grow, and frequently serves as a High Times Cannabis Cup Judge.
As a Certified Pilates Instructor and Lululemon Legacy Ambassador, Kym merges her passion for health and cannabis through her “Plant-Based Pilates” CBD fitness platform. On the patient advocacy side, Kym works with Nugg MD to help New Yorkers get their medical marijuana cards. Kym is passionate about the future of cannabis and and the potential impact of cannabis for women, health applications and the growth of the industry. When she’s not educating the world on cannabis, you can find Kym working out, exploring and traveling and of course consuming some of the best cannabis and CBD in the world.
Landon Dais Esq.
Chief Strategy Officer, Plant Inspired Future; Host, The 420 Executive Show
Landon specializes in policy, employment, and construction litigation and is admitted in the 1st department of New York. In 2015, Dais was named pro-bono attorney of the year by Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center for his work handling drug convictions and arrests. Prior to joining PIF, Landon was the National Director of Partnerships for one of the largest MJ companies in the US. He also previously served as the Political Director for the MJ Policy Project of New York (“MPP of NY”). Recently, Dais was given the prestigious NAACP Roy Wilkins Award in recognition of his work in policy, law and advocacy.
Partner, Leland, Parachini, Steinberg, Matzger & Melnick, LLP
Lara L. DeCaro is a business attorney and mediator. She has concentrated her legal career in the areas of intellectual property, corporate governance and compliance, commercial transactions, real property, estate planning, and mediation. Most of her clients come from highly-regulated industries and she has translated that knowledge into a comprehensive medical cannabis practice. She has also represented event venues, entertainment providers, art galleries, authors, banks, recycling companies, investors, franchisors, an airport, and various small business owners. Whatever their industry Lara takes pride in getting to know her clients and working with them from start-up to wind-up.
Lara commenced her legal career as a litigator in Northern New Mexico, where she successfully defended marijuana and other criminal charges locally. Lara later took a position as in-house counsel for a premier company in the risk evaluation software industry and worked at a leading bio-pharmaceutical company. Both positions served as important career mechanisms that further developed her intellectual property knowledge, business sense, and transactional experience.
Lara is licensed to practice law in California, Colorado, and New Mexico (currently inactive). She graduated with honors from both her undergraduate program at the University of Southern California and law school at Tulane.
Lara is a founding board member and former executive officer of the National Cannabis Bar Association and currently sits on the Executive Committee of the Bar Association of San Francisco Cannabis Law Committee. She is a frequent speaker on matters of cannabis business law.
Partner, Hiller, PC
Lauren is the co-founder of Hiller, PC’s cannabis law practice. What started as a passion project in patient rights during a brief residency in California, Lauren has become one of the Nation’s preeminent cannabis attorneys. Her practice is centered upon the representation of start-up organizations and investors. With her diverse background in corporate law, litigation, and land-use and zoning, she provides clients with the most up-to-date information necessary to operate and invest in successful cannabis and ancillary businesses. Lauren has run successful applications in competitive medical cannabis states and adult-use markets alike, and represents a broad spectrum of cannabis and hemp clients, including plant-touching breeders, cultivators, processors, and product manufacturers; investors, including family offices and angels; and multiple ancillary businesses, including networking associations, packaging businesses, ingredient manufacturers, medical professionals, and industry consultants. Lauren is also a member of the legal team that brought an action against former Attorney General Sessions and the federal government seeking, among other things, a declaration that the mis-classification of cannabis as a Schedule I drug is unconstitutional.
Lauren is an Expert Contributor to Marijuana Venture Magazine, a frequent speaker at national and local cannabis events, including, among others, MJ Biz Con, the Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition, NCIA, Emerald Cup, and the Women Grow Leadership Summit and provides pro bono legal and advocacy services to the Cannabis Cultural Association, among others. Lauren also serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors for the International Cannabis Bar Association, as the organization’s Treasurer. Lauren enjoys an extensive network of cannabis professionals nationwide, enabling her to provide full legal and business services to her clients.
Two-Time Super Bowl Winner, NY Giants; Former Brand Ambassador, Elixinol
Leonard Marshall is a legendary New York Giants Defensive Lineman and two-time Super Bowl champion. After a decade as a Giant ALL-PRO Leonard’s been a central figure for raising awareness of probable CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy), with which he was diagnosed in 2013. Active in pro sports from 1983 to 1995,he is outspoken regarding his consumption of Cannabidiol (CBD) to manage symptoms of CTE.
Marshall has formerly served as brand ambassador of Elixinol Global Solutions of Australia and the USA. He’s currently a board of advisor to the Concussion Legacy Foundation, A board members for the advocacy organization Athletes For Care, an active board member for Care Plus of Paramus New Jersey, a benefactor of the Nat King Cole Foundation, and heads the Leonard Marshall Foundation, which advocates for inclusive safety issues associated with sexual and civil assault.
Marshall has a long list of Brand Ambassadorships he has served throughout his career including additional CBD groups.
In addition, Marshall is presently managing partner of Marshall Procida Development Group LLC presently working on a development at Malcolm Shabazz Plaza in Harlem. He’s building 120 affordable homes and 50,000 square feet of retail commercial space in conjunction with NYCHA and HPD New York. The first of its kind for New York City.
Founder, Ashville Hemp Project
Leslie Hoffman is a pioneer in the field of sustainability. She holds a degree in architecture and design, and worked as a carpenter and green builder for ten years before joining Earth Pledge Foundation as executive director (1994-2010). Hoffman spearheaded six core initiatives at Earth Pledge, including Green Roofs, Farm to Table, and Waste=Fuel, FutureFashion. EP published six books on sustainability, and was named an Environmental Achiever by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its work to identify and promote innovative techniques and technologies that restore the balance between human and natural systems.
Leslie lives on Shelter Island, NY and in Asheville, NC, and has been passionate about gardening and farming since 1979. Hoffman runs Asheville Hemp Project with her partner Scott Brinkley on a 23-acre farm property outside of town.
Hoffman supported drug policy reform through philanthropy starting in 1995, after learning about the history of maligning Cannabis since the 1930’s. She was a partner in a hemp fashion company called IZM, 1996-1998, and managed an exit when Woody Harrelson bought all of their inventory. In 2015, Leslie purchased 23 acres of farmland outside of Asheville, NC, and later that year sold her Hawaii farm. She was one of the first participants in the NC Hemp Pilot Program, starting in 2017. Starting in 2015, Leslie has also been involved in a NJ vertically integrated medical marijuana business.
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.
Managing Editor, Cannabis Law Digest
Madelon Gauthier is a co‐founder and managing editor of the Cannabis Law Digest, a digital platform of cannabis legal resources. Madelon practiced law in the litigation, bankruptcy and creditors’ rights groups at Pryor Cashman LLP in New York City for seven years. As an attorney Madelon volunteered her services to the Her Justice organization in several matrimonial and immigration pro‐bono cases. She serves on the Special Committee for Drugs & the Law at the New York City Bar Association and regularly contributes as a speaker at nationwide cannabis industry events. Madelon holds a Masters in Public Health from the University of Illinois at Chicago and obtained her J.D. from Rutgers Law–Newark.
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.
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 Herrick Esq.
Partner & General Counsel, Herrick & Herrick, P.C.
Mark Herrick holds a J.D. and an MBA from the University of San Diego and has been practicing law in California for over 25 years. Mr. Herrick has been a legal counsel for both small and large firms. He is an expert on the vast majority of legal issues a small to moderate sized business might face. Over the past five years he has been in private practice and represented many clients in the CBD industry, including this CBD Expo. His work with the CBD Expo and with many other CBD clients has focused on the protection of their intellectual property. He is also an expert on legal issues that are unique to CBD businesses that arise in such areas as contracts, liability, business licensing, and banking. Mr. Herrick is also operating as an escrow officer for many deals for the purchase of Hemp, CBD isolate and various other CBD commodities.
Partner, Restructuring & Insolvency Practice Group, Squire Patton Boggs, LLP
Mark has extensive experience representing debtors, creditors’ committees, financial institutions, secured and unsecured creditors, franchisors and distributors in bankruptcy matters throughout the United States. He has served as the lead appellate counsel in multiple bankruptcy appeals at both the district court and bankruptcy appellate panel levels and regularly counsels clients on intellectual property matters arising under the Bankruptcy Code.
In addition to his bankruptcy work, Mark has represented parties in a wide variety of complex commercial litigation cases in both state and federal courts, including lender liability suits and other business tort actions, breach of contract, trade secret and noncompete actions.
Mark is a frequent author on many subjects, including cannabis and insolvency issues and intellectual property issues arising in bankruptcy.
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.
General Manager, Learn Brands
Max Armstrong is the General Manager of Learn Brands, a Colorado-based technology provider that enables companies in the cannabis industry to educate, sample, and receive feedback from retail employees. Learn Brands is recognized as the industry leader of brand/product training for over 300 dispensaries and over 100 vendors, across seven states. He began his career with Learn Brands in October 2018, as the company’s first employee.
Prior to joining Learn Brands, Max worked with vendors in the outdoor sports industry including Under Armour, Icelantic and MSR. With this background, he learned the importance of continuous education at both the brand and retail level. He brought this vision to the cannabis industry, where education needs are even greater given the nature of the product and rapid evolution of the markets.
Max is a Colorado native and a passionate outdoorsman. He lives in Denver CO and spends his free time in the mountains backcountry skiing, fly fishing, and golfing.
Cofounder & Managing Member, MadisonJay Solutions LLC; Co-Chair, NCIA Policy Council
Michael Cooper is the Co-Founder and Managing Member of MadisonJay Solutions LLC, a leading strategic regulatory advisor to the adult-use cannabis and hemp CBD industries that helps businesses understand the latest rules and build effective compliance infrastructure to thrive in these fast-evolving areas. Michael draws on his time as General Counsel of MHW, Ltd., the leading provider of solutions for alcohol producers, and prior regulatory law practice at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP where he designed compliance programs, advised on regulatory risks for mergers and financings, and defended companies before regulators.
Michael currently serves as Co-Chair of National Cannabis Industry Association’s Policy Council, the organization’s think tank for cannabis policy, and as Chair of the National Cannabis Industry Association’s State Regulations Committee. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School.
Michael also publishes and speaks frequently on topics related to cannabis regulation.
Founder, High NY
Michael Zaytsev is a business coach, best-selling author, and award-winning Cannabis entrepreneur. As Founder of High NY, one of the world’s largest Cannabis Meetup communities, Mike Z has produced Cannabis education opportunities for thousands of people.
Michael is also Founder of the New York City Cannabis Film Festival, the Cannabis Media Lab, & the High Tech Hackathon. His writing has been published in Entrepreneur, Forbes, International Business Times & more.
Michelle L. Shuffett, MD
Cannabis Expert / Health & Wellness Executive
Michelle L. Shuffett, MD is a healthcare executive, strategist, and wellness enthusiast with 20+ years of experience encompassing a unique blend of medical practice, communication skills, and leadership. Michelle is adept at mixing the art and science of medicine to fuel her passion for speaking and sharing meaningful, actionable information.
Michelle’s expertise lies at the intersection of health and wellness, and spans the pharmaceutical industry, medical education/advertising, digital health marketing and publishing, fitness/wellness platforms, and cannabis. She strives to change perspectives on cannabis and improve understanding of the industry as a whole by bridging the gap between traditional and alternative medicine.
Michelle attended medical school at the University of Kentucky, completed her residency at UCLA, and practiced at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. She also attended the London School of Economics and earned certifications in Healthcare Economics and Quantitative Analysis.
Director of Innovation, Wana Brands
Mike Hennesy is Director of Innovation at Wana Brands and oversees a diverse range of business analytics, training development, cannabis acquisition and partnership building. He joined the team at Wana Brands as a Sales Representative in 2014, where the quickly growing business proved demanding but rewarding. At Wana he manages a sales team of seven and has been instrumental in Wana’s availability in the vast majority of Colorado’s dispensaries (481 dispensaries) and three year growth rate of 455%. Hennesy developed Wana’s online interactive training program for budtenders and employees that covers the science of the endocannabinoid system. He also directed the development of Wana’s disposable vape line, including the line’s unique proprietary blend.
Hennesy’s two primary passions as an outdoor enthusiast and believer in cannabis brought him to Colorado in 2013, when he proceeded to enter the fast paced and quickly growing marijuana industry as an independent contractor providing timely safe delivery of medical and retail cannabis and cannabis products for MMCs, OPCs and MIPs. A native of Northern Virginia, Hennesy graduated from The University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Technology (ENST) in 2012. He was the Vice President of the ENST society and an active member of the Washington DC chapters of NORML and Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP). Hennesy brings a diverse background to the industry as a certified Rescue Diver, Eagle Scout and outdoorsman. When not working, he still finds time for camping, hiking and snowboarding in the mountains around Boulder, Colorado.
Founder and CEO, The Equity Organization
Natalie Papillion is the Founder and CEO of the Equity Organization, a New York based policy-focused nonprofit working to ensure the individuals and communities that were disproportionately harmed by cannabis prohibition get equitable access to the opportunities that accompany legalization. Prior to running The Equity Organization, Natalie worked in various strategy, operations, marketing and business development leadership roles at several large technology firms, including Rent the Runway and Google (where she was one of five people selected to participate in Google’s Creative Lab’s highly-selective, year-long ‘Fiver’ program). Natalie has also worked as a researcher and curator for several academic and mass-market publications; most notably, the award-winning book “Jim Crow Freedom: Memory and Identity in Black America Since 1940”. Natalie graduated from Yale University.
Attorney, Harris Bricken
Nathalie has been practicing corporate and intellectual property law in Oregon since 2016 and was recently named a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers Magazine, an honor bestowed on only 2.5% of eligible Oregon attorneys. Nathalie’s practice focuses on the regulatory framework of hemp-derived CBD (“Hhemp-CBD”) products. She is an authority on FDA enforcement guidance regarding the Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act and laws and regulations surrounding hemp and Hemp-CBD products. Nathalie is also well-versed in state Hemp-CBD laws and regulations, which she monitors on a weekly basis, and writes about on the ABA Journal-recognized Canna Law Blog. Nathalie frequently speaks on these issues and has made national media appearances, including on NPR’s Marketplace.
I know what it’s like to be a rebel industry pioneer entrepreneur. It’s been a central part of my character for the last 50 years. I’ve operated many small to medium size innovative & disruptive companies. I’ve had decades of experience with sales, vertical integration, marketing, HR, negotiation, advertising, campaigning, e-commerce, warehousing, international & domestic trade as well as with attorneys, accountants, bankers, designers, politicians, financiers, investors, government officials, lenders, activists, merchants, builders, etc.
I find simple innovative solutions to complicated and seemingly intractable challenges. I set goals and achieve via meticulous strategic and tactical planning and execution.
FINCANN introduces marijuana licensees, ancillaries, multi-state and public clients to compliant, legal depository banking and merchant payment processing. We also work directly with financial institutions nationwide to guide them in providing sustainable, compliant, transparent accounts for all industry segments. As of 2/Q 2018, the Company is now the first to provide real bank accounts in all legal states. We have been successful in obtaining for our clients transparent compliant commercial banking in California, Louisiana, Maryland, New York, Washington, New Jersey, Colorado, DC, Nevada, Florida and more, as well as the same for ancillary clients around the country who accept payment from licensees.
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.
Nicole Van Rensburg
Chief Executive Officer, Bloom Medicinals
As the Chief Executive Officer of Bloom Medicinals, Nicole van Rensburg is a partner and co-founder of multiple businesses with over five years’ experience in the cannabis industry, and eight distinct facilities operating in highly-regulated, incipient markets. With almost two decades’ experience in healthcare, Nicole brings her expertise in organizational management, quality assurance, and strategic thinking to her medical cannabis businesses. Bloom Medicinals and its affiliated entities has realized 5% average monthly revenue growth, achieved financial break-even within the first twelve months of operation, and has operated free of any infractions by overseeing state agencies.
In an effort to destigmatize public perception around cannabis, Nicole frequently speaks at industry conferences on behalf of The Marijuana Policy Project, National Conference of State Legislatures, MJ Daily “Marijuana Business Conference and Expo”, and Legal Learning Series. She has written articles which have been published in USA Today, Chicago Tribune, Crain’s Chicago Business, New Cannabis Ventures, Canna Law Blog, and Cannabis Culture. Nicole has received and/or is a finalist for a number of awards including: BURJ CEO Award for Women in Business; Miami Cannabis Business Award; MJ Biz Daily- U.S. Market Leader Award in Retail- Finalist; and 2019 Stevie Awards for Women in Business.
Nicole holds multiple cannabis production related and manufacturing certifications, as well as certifications in diversity and inclusion, and social equity. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration degree from Emory University where she graduated with honors, and a Master of Science degree in Business Administration from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management as a scholarship recipient.
Nique Pichette MSN, RN
Cannabis Nurse Navigator, Trauma Recovery Coach
Nique Pichette, MSN, RN, is a two-time breast cancer survivor, veteran of the United States Marine Corps, Master Prepared in Nursing Leadership, cannabis advocacy and patient. The Cannabis Nurse Navigator is a professional registered nurse with cannabis-specific knowledge who offers individualized assistance to patients, families, and caregivers to help overcome healthcare system barriers. Developed by Nique Pichette MSN, RN, while she was a student in the “Entrepreneur For All” program in Massachusetts in 2016, the Cannabis Nurse Navigator provides education and resources to facilitate informed decision making in a timely fashion to quality healthcare providers knowledgeable in cannabis therapeutics and psychosocial care throughout all the phases of the cannabis therapeutics continuum.
Norman S. Chevlin CFP®
Certified Financial Planner, 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.
Dr. Oludare Odumosu
Chief Scientific Officer & Executive Vice President, Pharmaceutical Division, Ilera Healthcare
Dr. Odumosu brings 10 years of experience in corporate pharmaceutical business development, operations and strategic alliance management to his role as Ilera Healthcare’s Chief Scientific Officer/EVP Pharmaceutical Division. His background in biochemistry and healthcare entrepreneurship gives him unique qualifications for this role. Dr. Odumosu played a critical role in Iroko Pharmaceutical’s post-clinical development of Zorvolex Tivorbex and Vivlodex through FDA approvals and successful US market commercialization. He also managed the execution of the business development gate processes for the expansion of Iroko’s Solumatrix franchise products through ex-US licensing agreement negotiations.
He received a PhD in Biochemistry and a Master’s in Public Health-Epidemiology and Biostatistics from the Loma Linda University School of Medicine and School of Public Health in Loma Linda, California; and a BS in Biology from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Dr. Odumosu is a World Bank Institute Certified public health professional with global healthcare translational/clinical/epidemiological research and data management experience.
Editor, Cannabis Law Digest
Believing in the importance of education and access to information, Patricia H. Heer co-founded the Cannabis Law Digest, an electronic platform of legal resources for the cannabis industry. The Digest contains cannabis statutes and regulations, industry specific articles, agency guidelines, and state and federal cannabis court decisions summarized by industry attorneys. Any cannabis industry participant can empower oneself by staying on top what courts and regulators are saying about the issues affecting one’s business and quickly adapting to any changes.
Historically, Patricia has practiced in the area of commercial litigation and business reorganization at an AmLaw100 firm. Patricia’s litigation and transactional experience enables her to now advise clients in the rapidly shifting cannabis industry.
Patricia Heer is a member of the State Regulations Committee of the National Cannabis Industry Association, a member of the Emerging Issues Committee of the National Cannabis Bar Association, and a member of the New York City Affairs Committee of the New York City Bar Association. She has also published several articles on issues affecting the cannabis industry and is a frequent speaker at industry events and conferences.
Radio Host, High Society with Paxton Quigley
Executive Vice President, Corporate Communications, MWWPR
Rich Tauberman is Executive Vice President of MWWPR and heads the firm’s crisis communications/issues management practice. He works with clients across industries and geographies on vulnerability assessments, crisis plan development/updates, crisis scenario/media training, developing comprehensive response strategies/tactics and providing communications counsel.
A twenty-four year veteran of MWWPR, Rich’s clients have included CannTrust, DNA Genetics, Cronos, Smithfield Foods, Tyson Foods, Glanbia/Optimum Nutrition, Atkins Nutritionals, In-n-Out Burger, Nikon and Subaru.
Prior to joining MWWPR, Rich had an eight-year tenure in international banking, serving as Vice President, Global Treasury for Lloyds Bank in New York and Vice President, Global Financial Markets for Westpac Banking Corporation in Wellington, New Zealand, Sydney, Australia and New York. He also acted as spokesperson and financial markets analyst for Westpac in Sydney and New York.
Before embarking on a banking career, Rich served as Legislative Assistant to Congressman Robert G. Torricelli (D-NJ) covering foreign affairs, international trade, finance and economic issues.
He holds a MBA from the Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA, a JD from the National Law Center at The George Washington University, and a BA degree in English/International Relations from Bucknell University.
Founder and President, High Falls Hemp NY and High Falls Agriculture
Rick Weissman founded High Falls Agriculture and High Falls Extracts (subsequently renamed High Falls Hemp NY) in November 2017 and February 2018 respectively, and focuses on these businesses full time since their inception. During 2017 Rick focused on investing in legal hemp and marijuana ventures, during which times he learned the economics of the hemp/CBD and marijuana businesses.
Rick is a 30+ year veteran of the bond business. Rick was a Managing Director of Institutional Mortgage and Asset Backed Sales at the following firms: Gleacher Securities (2008-2013), RBS Greenwich Capital Markets (1994-2008), Nomura Securities (1989-1994) and LF Rothschild and Co (1986-1989). At Nomura Securities, Rick was in charge of a 50-person institutional MBS sales group and headed their mortgage backed securities strategy group. Prior to Nomura, Rick was also a hedging strategist and trader, as a Senior Vice President at Powers Research, an interest rate risk management firm (1981-1986).
Rick has an MBA from the Johnson School of Management at Cornell University (1981) with a major in Finance and Accounting and a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania (1978) with majors in Finance and Marketing.
Chief Technology Officer, InSpire Transpiration Solutions
Robbie Batts is a passionate engineer with more than a decade of experience designing, selling and commissioning HVAC and process systems. Recognizing that there is a knowledge gap around fully understanding plant transpiration rates and how they impact controlled environments, he founded InSpire to focus on Advanced Transpiration Solutions. InSpire’s purpose-built systems for agriculture allow for precise environmental control throughout the growing cycle and into the dry/cure phase and process manufacturing. The benefits derived from InSpire’s systems expertise include maximizing biomass, optimizing terpenes and cannabinoids, reducing operating costs, extending equipment life, and providing a significant reduction in risk correlated to crop failures. You can find InSpire online at www.InSpire.ag or on Instagram at inspire_transpiration. Robbie is an active member of the ASHRAE / ASABE X653 HVAC for Indoor Growers Standard Development Committee.
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, 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.
Partner, Duane Morris LLP
Seth A. Goldberg counsels clients in business and litigation, with a particular emphasis in highly-regulated industries such as cannabis, pharmaceuticals and healthcare. He serves as a team lead for the Duane Morris Cannabis industry group, and has been recognized by various publications, including the prestigious Chambers and Partners, for his work in the cannabis space.
As an active, seasoned trial lawyer, who regularly appears in federal and state courts, arbitral forums, and before federal and state regulatory agencies, including the SEC, FTC and state attorneys general, Mr. Goldberg has become a go-to lawyer in high-stakes cases and corporate investigations.
In addition, Mr. Goldberg’s unique experience in highly-regulated markets, combined with his entrepreneurial interests, has led to his involvement with the emerging cannabis (marijuana and hemp) industry. In this market he advises core and ancillary cannabis companies, including growers, processors, dispensaries, infused-product manufacturers, real estate developers, universities and university research centers, raw materials companies, and investors in a wide array of regulatory and business matters pertaining to their legal cannabis activities.
Mr. Goldberg spearheaded the establishment of the firm’s Cannabis Industry Group from 2015-2018, and has been appointed as a team lead for the group in 2019. In April 2019, Mr. Goldberg was recognized by Chambers and Partners as being in the “Top-Tier Nationwide” among lawyers who practice in the cannabis space. In November 2018, Mr. Goldberg was named one of the 30 powerful cannabis attorneys to know in the cannabis industry by MG Magazine, and in October 2018, Mr. Goldberg was recognized as a Trailblazer in Cannabis Law by the National Law Journal.
Executive Producer & CEO, Reine Media; Senior Partner, Second Line Consulting
Shawna Presley Vercher is an award-winning political media strategist and social justice advocate. She is a widely-acclaimed speaker, recognized for powerfully advancing the conversation on a number of humanitarian issues. Her Top 25 book, “A Fearless Voice: How a National Scandal Made Me an Advocate for Building a Better America”, has been renowned as an honest and heartbreaking look at our unjust institutions and how we can work together as Americans to improve them.
Shawna entered the national spotlight as the founder of a leading media and crisis management company. She has worked for notable figures and brands such as Fortune 100 companies, award-winning celebrities, and campaigns for President, Governor, and Congress.
Shawna has successfully generated awareness and consensus to pass Federal and state legislation. Her passion is mobilizing people to create positive change, and she is the Executive Producer of Reine Media’s social justice reality series premiering this Fall.
CEO, Sistah Rogers, LLC
Shellise ’Sistah Rogers’, MBA is a Financial Accountant and Advisor, Brand Strategist, Public Speaker, Cannabis Therapist, Community Organizer, Business Auntie™, and an ambassador for sustainability + mental health care.
She merges nine years as a financial accountant with her expertise in organizational and managerial development as a consultant by collaborating with entrepreneurs and companies to develop future-minded, action-oriented plans. Her business “Sistah Rogers” provides strategic, governmental relations, and financial planning services that define necessary benchmarks for success, and encourages strong operational foundations + financial growth through an efficiency-driven mindset.
Her other ventures include: @MindfulToking an educational platform presenting a cognizant view of the societal usage of cannabis products and encourages a shift in mindset, insight, and personal + spiritual growth towards mental wholeness through mindful consumption; and @SynergySesh the leading Learning and Development company in the cannabis industry catalyzing positive social impact + upward mobility for entrepreneurs, businesses, and the previously incarcerated through professional and business development workshops and initiatives.
Believing that better communities can be borne from better people, her passion for community and commitment to social + civic justice work establishes a sustainable and responsible adult-use cannabis industry while stimulating social and environmental progress.
Founder & CEO, Synergy
Author, Speaker, Inspirer. Shira Adler is the Founder, President, and CEO of Synergy by Shira Adler — a ComPASSIONate care holistic health and wellness company — trusted since 2011. Shira is an internationally recognized media wellness personality and acclaimed author of “The ABCs of CBD™️: The Essential Guide.” Featured across myriad digital and linear platforms including appearances on Bravo, GMA, The Today Show, and many more—Shira is acclaimed for heart-centered, educationally enlightening, and inspiring interviews, appearances, and articles for mainstream and some of the industry’s largest entities. Reuters calls Shira #TheMarijuanaMama—Shira is also hailed as ”The Mrs. Fields as Healing” and coined “The Canna Fairy Godmother in Combat Boots” by Vireo Health’s Dr. Paloma Lehfeldt. Shira was recently invited to speak at the U.N. (date tbd) and is also proud to serve as Vice President of the NY chapter of the Hemp Industries Assoc. (https://nyhia.org).
Deputy Administrator for the Specialty Crops Program, United States Department of Agriculture
Dr. Stacia Woodcock
Director of Education, International Research Center on Cannabis and Health
Stacia Woodcock is a Doctor of Pharmacy and serves as Director of Education for the IRCCH. After receiving her PharmD from the University of Kentucky, Stacia served as a clinical speciality pharmacist with an emphasis in Medication Therapy Management as well as fertility and women’s health issues. She became a dedicated cannabis clinician after seeing first-hand the ability of medical cannabis to reduce the polypharmacy rampant in today’s society and significantly improve patient outcomes with minimal side effects. Stacia delights in using her clinical expertise to help educate practitioners, patients, and communities in an effort to remove the pervasive stigma surrounding cannabis as medicine. She has previously served as the Assistant Director of Dispensary Operations and Practitioner Outreach Liaison for Curaleaf New York and has recently been appointed Secretary for the Association of Cannabis Specialists, a national organization dedicated to increasing awareness of cannabis as medicine and safeguarding patient care with clinical best practices. Stacia has been a featured medical expert on The Dr. Oz Show and The Rachael Ray Show, among others, and is a devoted clinical advocate in the medical cannabis space.
Steven Przybyla Esq.
Jushi Medical, Dent Neurological Institute
Steve Przybyla is the President of Jushi Medical, leading the organization’s business and research activities in the medical cannabis and industrial hemp space including the Nira CBD product line as well as the Director of Cannabis Programs at Dent Neurologic Institute in Amherst, New York.
Prior to joining Jushi, Mr. Przybyla served as COO and General Counsel of Dent. At Dent, Mr. Przybyla oversaw day to day operations of the country’s largest outpatient neurology practice in the United States and was instrumental in the formation, and now management of NeuroNet GPO. Partnered with McKesson Corporation, NeuroNet GPO was the nation’s first neurology-focused pharmaceutical group purchasing organization.
Mr. Przybyla is also a nationwide leader in healthcare practice management and cannabinoid regulation, having advised the United States Congress, New York State and the Seneca Nation of Indians on effective regulation. Mr. Przybyla holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Washington and Lee University and a Juris Doctor degree from Columbia Law School where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.
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 Trapp PhD
Terpene Expert and Educator, Cannabis Hemp Consultancy
Dr. Susan Trapp’s vision is to accelerate cannabis and endocannabinoid research, in a challenging federal environment, through education and research. Dr. Trapp’s segway into the cannabis industry is her extensive terpenoid research background. Susan’s Ph.D. and postdoctoral research examined the molecular evolution of the largest class of plant natural products – TERPENOIDS (terpenes). Susan has been consulting in the cannabis industry for the past several years and in 2018, co-founded an ancillary database cannabis company –TreatmentX – with the mission to advance scientific understanding of cannabis and treatment legitimization through the collation of patient outcomes and cannabis consumption DATA.
Susan has over 20 years of experience in the biotechnology field both as a plant-microbe molecular biology researcher and “beyond the lab bench”. She has held scientific, management, and early-stage development positions within the biotech industry, academia, government, and start-up community, from algae biofuels to genomes. Dr. Trapp participated directly on the human genome project with Dr. Craig Venter early in her scientific career.
In her spare time, Susan enjoys educating beyond cannabis and the sciences, she also enjoys teaching biology at her local community college, yoga, swimming and the disable skiing. She is a lover of world travel adventures, music, Karma her cat, and dabbles as an charcoal artist.
President, T3 Ventures
Tahira Rehmatullah is President of T3 Ventures and on the board of directors for Akerna Corp., Ceres Acquisition Corp., and Superette. From brand building to hedge funds, Tahira has previously held positions at Hypur Ventures, MTech Acquisition Corp., Marley Natural, Privateer Holdings, City First Enterprises, Perry Capital, and Ernst & Young. She is an investor and advisor to numerous cannabis businesses and entrepreneurs and is on the advisory board of The Initiative and the Last Prisoner Project. Tahira earned her MBA from the Yale School of Management and B.S. in Finance from The Ohio State University. She resides in New York City.
CEO, Medisi Ventures LLC; Co-CEO, Synergy Sessions LLC; Realtor, Compass
TiYanna is a Business and Social Impact Coach focused on the sustainable development of the cannabis industry. She founded Medisi Ventures, a Social Impact Enterprise re-imagining cannabis culture-from policy to profit, to the consumption experience. She has also launched Consumption Chronicles, a docu-series that explores the integration of the cannabis industry into the framework of America’s diverse communities and helped build CannaGather, NY largest Cannabis Industry Community.
TiYanna’s unique background, as well as her passion for community has enabled her to discover a niche that is vital to helping cannabis avoid the trap that has befallen most industries in existence to date—being disadvantageous to the nation’s most vulnerable. The time to engage is NOW, and TiYanna is helping create and connect the pathways to upward mobility utilizing cannabis as the catalyst.
Senior Vice President, North 6th Agency
Trisha Larocchia oversees North 6th Agency’s (N6A) public relations and digital marketing group dedicated to supporting the legal cannabis industry. With more than 12 years of experience developing insights-based integrated marketing campaigns and media outreach strategies, Trisha’s experience has allocated her a deep understanding of the intricacies of cannabis-related communication.
During her tenure at N6A, an award-winning brand communications and social media agency based in New York City, Trisha has represented a diverse ecosystem of both plant-touching and ancillary cannabis companies including those in the consumer and business tech, biotech, publicly-traded multi-state operators and consumer product good spaces.
Trisha has a proven track record of crafting compelling brand narratives and developing reactionary communications plans during an industry-wide crisis. Trisha is able to counsel both budding entrepreneurs and leading executives on how to enhance campaign reporting and better measure the impact of targeted PR efforts on key business goals.
Trisha graduated from Marist College and lives on Long Island with her husband, young son and dog.
Chairman, NCIA Banking & Financial Services Committee; Chief Revenue Officer, Hypur
In his role as Hypur’s Chief Revenue Officer, Tyler leverages his extensive experience in building brands, managing key relationships and strategic partnerships. Tyler has been at the forefront of Hypur’s expansion efforts for over five years and touches Financial Institutions, Government Officials, Regulatory Bodies and the State Legal Cannabis industry.
As a result, he possesses an intricate knowledge of the Banking and Regulatory climate, key industry influencers, industry dynamics and market history. He has also become a key contact for media outlets, analytics companies, industry consultants and investment firms searching for reliable, accurate sources of industry information.
Tyler’s contacts and relationships in the US State Legal cannabis industry are unparalleled.
As a result of his influential value, he was selected to be Chairman of the National Cannabis Industry Association Banking and Financial Services Committee. He is also a member of the Forbes Business Development Council, frequently publishing articles about the banking and payment environment in the cannabis industry.
Tyler founded and managed a large beverage company prior to joining the Hypur team and was a Professional athlete in the New York Mets Organization.
CEO, Lead Funding, LLC
Victor Mitchell is a successful businessman and life-long entrepreneur who has founded or turned around varied companies ranging from wireless to technology to real estate services to finance. As the CEO & Founder of Lead Funding, the company serves cannabis friendly clientele across all the legalized markets within the U.S.
A couple of Quick Facts About Victor Mitchell:
When he’s not serving his company, Mr. Mitchell serves the broader Colorado community. Victor and his wife Amy have been active in numerous civic and community organizations, including the Mental Health Colorado, and St. Mary’s Academy.
Mr. Mitchell is also a former Colorado State Representative and served in Colorado’s 66th General Assembly representing a population of 80,000.
Victor Mitchell has served as an adjunct faculty member in the College of Business at Colorado State University and completed his undergraduate degree at San Diego State University and earned his master’s degree at The Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Victor Mitchell was a finalist in Ernst and Young’s nationally recognized “Entrepreneur of the Year” contest.
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.
William Pascrell III
Partner, Princeton Public Affairs Group, Inc.
With a prominent career in state and federal public affairs, William J. Pascrell, III, more commonly known as BP3, is a lawyer, lobbyist and strategic adviser with PPAG – Princeton Public Affairs Group, Inc. Pascrell’s portfolio centers around many prominent industries, including, gaming, tobacco, alcohol and both medical and recreational cannabis. BP3’s involvement with cannabis began 15 years ago in New Jersey during Governor Corzine’s Administration, where his acute knowledge, vast national network and consensus building played a key role in the drafting of New Jersey’s original medical marijuana legislation.
At the forefront of the industry since its inception, Pascrell’s work in government, regulatory affairs and strategic advisement with the medical marijuana has continued in multiple jurisdictions throughout the US. Recently, BP3 served as a panelist at the New Jersey Cannabis Insider event held in April 2019. Furthermore, Pascrell lent his industry knowledge to the “Legalization of Marijuana: Pros and Cons” panel on April 27, 2019 at the New Jersey Conference of Mayors Annual Spring Conference.
His acumen and breadth of knowledge led to his recognition by ROI-NJ, a prominent omnichannel business media company that serves as the authoritative source for news and connections in the Garden State. BP3’s expertise was also recognized by NJ.com, who named him one of the “11 insiders shaping N.J.’s cannabis industry.” Pascrell also serves as a key advisor to the New Jersey Marijuana Retailers Association – NJMRA, a prominent trade organization comprised of responsible retailers advocating for positive and effective change to New Jersey’s marijuana statutes.
BP3’s expertise assists clients throughout the US with meeting the appropriate decision-makers, the application process, and navigating the cannabis regulatory scheme.