Aaron Smith is co-founder and executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association. Prior to launching NCIA, Aaron distinguished himself as a public advocate for marijuana policy reform — first under the auspices of a California-based medical cannabis advocacy group, Safe Access Now, and more recently as the California state policy director for the Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project. Aaron has successfully built coalitions with elected officials on both sides of the aisle in order to advance marijuana law reform legislation in the state capitol and among the voting public. Aaron’s opinion pieces have appeared in major newspapers, including the San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times, and he has been a frequent commentator on national television news networks. Aaron is currently based in Phoenix, Arizona and Denver, Colorado.
Adam Fine is the managing attorney for the Massachusetts office of Vicente Sederberg LLC, a law firm dedicated to the practice of medical marijuana law. With offices in Colorado and Massachusetts, Vicente Sederberg represents medical marijuana businesses on formation and regulatory compliance issues. In Massachusetts, Adam routinely advises patients and businesses on medical marijuana laws relating to criminal law, licensing, regulatory compliance, general business, real estate, and the intersection of state and federal law. Adam also serves on the Board of Directors for the Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Association and is a member of the National Cannabis Industry Association. Adam received his BA from the University of Rochester and his J.D. cum laude from the American University Law School in 2004.
Amy Poinsett is a co-founder and the Chief Executive Officer of MJ Freeway Business Solutions, a woman-owned software company focused on providing a business software platform including point of sale, inventory tracking, manufacturing, and cultivation management software for marijuana businesses.
A talented and well-respected leader, Amy provides strategic direction and guides the high-performance culture of her team. Her determination for regulating the medical marijuana industry is widely known, as is her passion for creating the best software platforms for the medical and adult-use marijuana industry.
An alumnus of the University of Denver, Amy has directed technology development teams in software, application design, and research analysis across various business sectors within financial services, luxury tourism, and medical technology, resulting in high revenue returns and stable corporate growth. As a successful entrepreneur, Amy has founded, directed and held COO and CEO positions for various high-earning technology start-up companies in the point of sale and e-commerce spaces.
Amy is recognized nationally as an industry expert and has been a frequent guest speaker at many industry events. She has been interviewed and quoted by many local and national media outlets including CNN Money, Fortune, Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Forbes. She was featured as one of Cannabis Now’s Eight Cannabis Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2014.
MJ Freeway is a Sustaining Member of NCIA.
As Director of Operations for Harborside Health Center, Andrew DeAngelo oversees the daily functions of the nation’s largest nonprofit medical cannabis dispensary in Oakland, Calif. He also leads the general management of Harborside’s business development and its San Jose location. In addition, Andrew works directly with parents of seriously ill or afflicted children. Andrew has been an activist in the medical cannabis reform movement for over 25 years.
In 1992 Andrew helped collect signatures for Measure P, which legalized medical cannabis in the San Francisco. He then collected signatures, raised funds and organized for Proposition 215, which legalized medical cannabis in the State of California in 1996. In 1994-8, Andrew moved to Washington, D.C., and worked with his brother Steve in Ecolution, a hemp clothing company. Andrew and Steve continued their activism by raising funds, collecting signatures, and eventually passing Initiative 59, medical cannabis legislation in the city of Washington, D.C., in 1998. Disappointingly, the law was soon over-turned by the federal government.
Andrew co-starred with his brother Steve in the groundbreaking series “Weed Wars” on the Discovery Channel in 2011 (now seen on Netflix). Harborside has also been featured in numerous media outlets including the New York Times, Fortune Magazine, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal.
Andrew has an M.F.A. from the American Conservatory Theatre and a B.F.A. in Communications from Chapman University.
Arizona Dispensary Association
Andrew was the campaign manager for Proposition 203 and was on the committee that drafted the initial ballot language for the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act. After the campaign, Andrew co-founded the Arizona Medical Marijuana Association, which provided detailed recommendations to the Department of Health Services that formed the basis for the Department’s rules package.
Andrew was recently named the executive director for the Arizona Dispensary Association, and is a partner in a management and marketing consulting group that handles clients outside the medical marijuana industry.
Andrew lives in Phoenix with his wife and daughter.
Since 2009, Betty Aldworth has specialized in community outreach, public relations, advocacy, and policy reform as a consultant to cannabis-related businesses and nonprofit organizations. Prior to her work in marijuana policy and medical cannabis, Betty was a volunteer leadership professional with some of Denver’s most well-respected nonprofit organizations. She served as spokesperson and advocacy director for Colorado’s successful Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, the collaborative committee responsible for legalizing, taxing and regulating marijuana for adults in Colorado. Betty was the Deputy Director of NCIA in 2013, the organization’s largest year of growth, and she is now the Executive Director of Students for Sensible Drug Policy. Betty lives in Denver, CO and Washington, DC.
Brandon Hamilton is the founder of WAM Oil, the first company to package, brand and market cannabis oil in Washington State which specializes in SFE Co2 cannabis oil extractions to provide clean, pure, and healthy cannabis oil concentrate. Brandon recognized the healing effects of cannabis oil when his partner was diagnosed with cancer. He has provided his knowledge and expertise to state, local and national policy makers regarding cannabis oil concentrate methods and safety concerns. Brandon works to develop newer innovations and methodologies that will help his company continue to provide one of the best cannabis oil concentrates for its patients.
Brian Vicente, Esq., is a founding member of Vicente Sederberg, LLC. Brian served as the co-director of the Amendment 64 campaign and was one of the primary authors of this historic measure. Brian also serves as executive director of Sensible Colorado, the state’s leading non-profit working for medical marijuana patients and providers. Brian is the chair of the Denver Mayor’s Marijuana Policy Review Panel, serves on the Colorado Department of Revenue Medical Marijuana Oversight Panel, and coordinates the Colorado Bar Association’s Drug Policy Project. He was awarded the prestigious Gideon award for his free speech advocacy during the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Brian was the found Board Chair and Vicente Sederberg is a Sustaining Member of NCIA.
Chelsea Hopkins is co-founder of The Greener Side, a Eugene-based dispensary in Oregon. Chelsea brings seven years experience in the non-profit and cannabis industry. She started her first cannabusiness in 2010, and continued on to open The Greener Side in 2012. Chelsea currently lives in Eugene, OR where she operates The Greener Side, consults, and continues to work towards cannabis reform.
Chris serves as a legislative analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project and works with elected officials, community leaders and lobbyists to change marijuana laws. Chris’s work on Illinois’ HB 1 was instrumental to its passage. As a medical marijuana attorney, he brought cases to the Montana Supreme Court on behalf of caregivers and patients, consulted with marijuana businesses, helped found business-related organizations in Montana, and testified before the Montana legislature. Chris has conducted numerous legal seminars including one for the Montana State Bar Association on marijuana law. He has also seen the harsh side of federal prohibition policies. In 2011, he was charged as a co-conspirator for violating federal law due to his earlier participation in a medical marijuana business.
Chris Walsh is the editor of Medical Marijuana Business Daily, which covers financial and legal news for executives running dispensaries, cultivation sites and infused products companies as well as investors, lawyers and other ancillary firms. Profiled by Dow Jones as a top business journalist in the cannabis industry, Walsh is frequently quoted by the media, including publications such as MarketWatch, The Seattle Times, CBSNews and Crain’s Michigan Business. MMJ Business Daily is a Member of NCIA.
Christian Sederberg, Esq., is the co-founder of Vicente Sederberg LLC, a law firm with offices in Boston and Denver providing legal assistance to businesses and individuals in the medical marijuana community. In his capacity as an attorney focusing on medical marijuana, Christian has served on the Colorado Department of Revenue Medical Marijuana Regulatory Advisory Board and the Denver Medical Marijuana Advisory Board. In December 2012, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper appointed Christian to the Amendment 64 Implementation Task Force as the representative of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. Vicente Sederberg is a Founding Sustaining Member of NCIA and Christian is a member of the Board of Directors.
Christie Lunsford is the director of operations at 3D Cannabis Center, the site of the first legal cannabis sale after 70 years of prohibition. Prior to coming to 3D Cannabis Center, Christie was marketing director at Dixie Elixirs and Edibles for several years and has served as a consultant during the licensing and development phases of multiple Medical Cannabis Centers and Infused Product Manufacturers in Colorado and California. As a board member of the Women’s CannaBusiness Network, a project of the National Cannabis Industry Association, she has worked to lobby Congress in the areas of fair taxation and banking laws for state-legal marijuana businesses. Additionally, Christie has more than 20 years experience in communications, with a broad background in cannabis therapeutics, uptake systems, consumer relations, and corporate branding. 3D Cannabis Center is a Founding Sustaining Member of NCIA.
Christopher J. Hudall, Ph.D.
Christopher Hudalla received his Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from the University of California Santa Barbara, specializing in Solid-State NMR Spectroscopy. Chris spent the past 14 years with Waters Corporation, where he worked on the design and development of novel chromatographic stationary phases and developed applications to demonstrate and promote their capabilities. He was one of the principal applications chemists in the commercialization of the UltraPerformance Convergence Chromatography (UPC2) System. With his expertise in analytical chemistry, he co-founded ProVerde Laboratories in Franklin, Massachusetts, where he is currently the Chief Scientific Officer. ProVerde Laboratories is a full-service analytical laboratory utilizing the most current analytical testing methodologies available to provide testing, research and consulting services for the cannabis industry.
Cody Bass has lived a life of loving and learning about cannabis and has been involved in every angle of the cannabis industry since he began growing cannabis in the hills of Mendocino. Cody, by then the owner of medical marijuana dispensaries, was appointed to the commission that was responsible for writing the successful medical marijuana ordinance for the City of South Lake Tahoe. Cody founded Tahoe Wellness Cooperative in 2009 and continues to serve as the Executive Director. Tahoe Wellness Cooperative operates as a not-for-profit operation, enabling the cooperative to fund programs for low income and terminally ill patients and a community center which has free services that are open to the greater community.
David Lampach is co-founder and CEO of Steep Hill Lab Inc, the nations first medical cannabis testing laboratory in the United States. He has consulted in an official capacity for both state and local government on cannabis quality assurance issues. Most recently, he was on the team that won a contract with Washington State to develop the state’s adult use legal cannabis program. He also led the development of the QuantaCann system, which is the industry’s only remote instant cannabis potency evaluation system. Steep Hill Lab is a Founding Member of NCIA.
Don Schaefer recently joined 4Front Advisors to lend his expertise from outside the industry. Don served in the military for ten years in overseas duty assignments, including Desert Storm and Desert Shield. Later, he worked for Hillstone Restaurant Group, developing and improving their already best-in-class training processes. Beginning in 2009, while living in Washington DC, Don expanded the regional gourmet salad chain Sweetgreen from 2 locations to 23 current locations and helped them develop and execute a business strategy to expand into New York, Boston, and Philadelphia. At 4Front, Don is keenly focused on team-building, training, and execution.
Dr. Jeffrey Raber
Dr. Raber, president of The Werc Shop, is a world-renowned scientist with many peer-reviewed publications and numerous patents in the field of chemistry. He’s been an invited lecturer around the world where he’s been asked to present about his efforts in better understanding the chemical profile of cannabis varieties and the use of cannabis as a medicinal agent in all of its possible forms. Having received a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California in organic chemistry, Dr. Raber moved forward to apply his scientific expertise in conjunction with his entrepreneurial spirit to create The Werc Shop in order to pioneer safety testing, accurate labeling, efficient processing and phytochemical quantification of cannabis.
Ean Seeb is a third generation Denver native. He is one of the founders of a local non-profit and holds multiple leadership and board positions throughout the city in civil rights, community and cultural organizations. He is an actor and real estate broker and holds a B.S. in Business Administration. A ski accident led Ean to the healing effects of medical marijuana in 2008 after suffering more than a decade of pain and permanent nerve damage with no relief available from conventional medicine. Recognizing the opportunity to combine his business acumen along with his passion for helping others, Ean has become a leading caregiver in the medical marijuana community. Ean currently acts as Wellness Center Manager for Denver Relief. Ean is Chair of the Board of Directors and Denver Relief and Denver Relief Consulting are Founding Sustaining Members.
Genifer Murray received her bachelor of science in microbiology from Colorado State University and in 2010 Genifer created Colorado’s longest running medical marijuana testing laboratory. Driven by Genifer’s skills and her passion for cannabis science, CannLabs has grown into the premier marijuana analytics firm in Colorado. Advocating for science, Genifer has adopted medical marijuana rights as a personal cause. Genifer’s expertise allows her to provide education to clients and patients on accurate dosing and proper activation, health, and safety, and in so doing she has helped to create a credible and safe industry for the future. CannLabs is a Sponsoring Member of NCIA. CannLabs is a Sponsoring Member of NCIA.
New Economy Consulting
Geoff Sugerman is a veteran of Oregon politics for over 20 years. Sugerman is co-owner of New Economy Consulting along with Sam Chapman. The two worked together to write and lead passage of HB 3460 in the 2013 legislative session. In 1994 Sugerman ran the Oregon Death with Dignity Campaign. In 1998 he helped to write and then served as campaign manager for the original Oregon Medical Marijuana Act. Since 1991 he has worked on close to 100 campaigns and lobbied for clients involved in criminal justice reform, raising the minimum wage and other progressive causes. Currently, the firm is working with medical marijuana dispensaries, assisting in legalization efforts, and serving on the state’s Rules Advisory Committee.
Heather Manus, RN
Nurse Heather is the Founder and President of the Arizona Cannabis Nurses Association (AZCNA) and is a Registered Nurse specializing in all aspects of Medical Cannabis Care. She currently serves as the Medical Director and Executive Director of Edibles and Infused Products for The Greene Consulting Group in Denver. Nurse Heather is also the Executive Director of Edibles & Infusions for The Green Halo, a legal medical cannabis dispensary under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act. In January 2013, Heather opened Arizona’s first approved medical cannabis kitchen in Tucson, Az., The Heavenly Harvest, which is a leading provider for medical cannabis infused products in the State.
Nurse Heather believes that the secret ingredient for all of her cannabis products is an abundance of “love and compassion.”
Henry Wykowski is a San Francisco-based trial attorney representing numerous cannabis dispensaries throughout California in tax matters. He was the tax attorney in the landmark case Californians Helping to Alleviate Medical Problems (CHAMP) v. Commissioner. In CHAMP, the IRS sought to disallow the dispensary’s cost of goods sold and expenses, and impose a tax on gross sales, thereby establishing a precedent that would tax dispensaries out of business. The CHAMP decision recognized the right of dispensaries to offset sales with cost of goods sold, a significant victory for medicinal cannabis dispensaries. Henry has spoken on tax issues at numerous events including several NORML national conferences and NCIA events. Henry Wykowski is a former Board Member and Henry G. Wykowski & Associates is a Sustaining Member of NCIA.
Regarded as one of Washington State’s premier cannabis business attorneys, Hilary helps cannabis companies of all sizes with everything from corporate structure and intellectual property protection to branding, licensing, and medical cannabis law. Hilary’s primary focus is helping cannabis businesses navigate the increasingly confusing and murky legal climate surrounding Washington State medical and recreational cannabis laws. She has represented clients struggling with a host of common problems in the industry, from business license denials, revocations, and injunctions to land-use disputes and moratoria on cannabis businesses.
Hilary has also been involved in 280e tax reform and routinely participates in community education panels to continue to inform industry participants about the current and changing cannabis laws in Washington State. Hilary also works closely with lobbyists in Olympia, representing the Cannabis Business Group, a business trade organization focused on I-502 implementation.
Jaime Lewis is the Chief Operating Officer of Good Chemistry where she is responsible for operations and business development of this leading medical marijuana provider in Colorado, renowned for its community engagement and philanthropic efforts. She is also the owner of Mountain Medicine, an award-winning medical marijuana infused products manufacturer in Denver focusing on providing high quality medical marijuana edibles and infused products. Jaime is a founder and Chair of the Cannabis Business Alliance which serves as the principal policy voice for the marijuana industry in Colorado. CBA reflects her passion for and interest in developing sound policies for responsible and sustainable industry as medical marijuana business grows. Jaime is a Member of the Board and her companies, Good Chemistry and Mountain Medicines, are Founding Sustaining Members of NCIA.
Jay serves as a Senior Partner with CANNA Advisors, a national cannabis industry consulting firm focusing on the design, build, and start-up operations of medical cannabis facilities. Born and raised in Newington, Connecticut, Jay is a native of the New England area. He earned his Electrical Engineering degree at Norwich University and started his first business in Storrs, Connecticut. In 2001, he launched his real estate development company, Construction Design Group.
After building everything from multi-family projects to ski resort developments, Jay became a pioneer in the medical cannabis industry in 2009 by founding Boulder Kind Care (BKC). His background gave him a keen advantage in understanding regulation, building processes and operations, and BKC quickly became one of the most successful medical cannabis businesses in Colorado. One of the key areas that lead to BKC’s success was its ability to consistently produce large amounts of high quality, pharmaceutical-grade cannabis. It was Jay’s vision in design and process that made the facilities state-of-the-art. In the spring of 2012, Jay sold his business in order to dedicate his time to business consulting and advocacy. CANNA Advisors has been a Member of NCIA since its founding and BKC was a Founding Member.
Jessica Billingsley is a co-founder and the Chief Operating Officer of MJ Freeway Business Solutions, a woman-owned software company focused on providing a business software platform including point of sale, inventory tracking, manufacturing, and cultivation management software for marijuana businesses.
Jessica is a highly-regarded executive in the software industry and has built and managed technology operations with an emphasis on executive management, strategic relationships, culture, financials, support, accounting, infrastructure, and intellectual property. Jessica’s strategic vision and strong team-building skills result in cohesive teams and year-over-year high revenue returns with large profit margins. She is distinguished by her unrelenting focus on providing superior customer service at all times. Jessica has been a successful founder, owner, director, COO, and CEO of companies with revenues exceeding eleven million ($11M).
Jessica is recognized nationally as an industry expert and has been a frequent guest speaker at many industry events. She has been interviewed and quoted by many local and national media outlets including CNN Money, Fortune, Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Forbes. She was featured as one of Cannabis Now’s Eight Cannabis Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2014.
MJ Freeway is a Sustaining Member of NCIA.
Jill Lamoureux is a former cannabis dispensary operator and the lead application consultant for Denver Relief Consulting. In addition to establishing one of Colorado’s most respected multi-location dispensary and cultivation operations, Jill has earned national recognition for her expertise in best practice and operating standards and serves as a subject matter advisor for BOTEC. Jill developed the first third-party certification program based on the American Herbal Products Association marijuana standards and works with clients navigating complex licensing and application processes throughout the United States and in Canada. She was the second board chair for NCIA and currently serves on the Women’s CannaBusiness Network board.
Jim Marty has been a CPA in the Denver Metro area of Colorado since 1984. His firm, Jim Marty and Associates, LLC, has offices in Longmont and Cherry Creek. Jim provides his clients with exceptional tax preparation assistance and is accredited in Business Valuation, certified in Financial Forensics, and qualified as an expert witness in jurisdictions in Colorado and California. In November 2009, Jim traveled to San Francisco, CA to meet with attorneys and accountants involved in the CHAMP case and medical marijuana generally. Jim serves more than 100 medical marijuana clients, has assisted in numerous medical marijuana IRS and State of Colorado audits, and continues to support the medical marijuana and the emerging adult-use marijuana industries in Colorado. Jim Marty & Associates is a Sponsoring Member of NCIA.
Joe Brezny is the Executive Director of the Nevada Cannabis Industry Association. Joe has 25 years of operative political experience, beginning as a high school senior registering his classmates to vote and turning them out to the polls. He has been a manager or adviser on hundreds of campaigns, spending 22 of those years managing political operations for state parties, legislative caucuses, and candidates at the local, state and federal levels. Joe has spent the last three years as a nonpartisan political advisor to trade associations, developing and implementing strategies that organize their members and effectively engage in the political process. The Nevada Cannabis Industry Association is a Sustaining Member of NCIA and its only officially recognized state affiliate.
With 20 years of experience in consumer marketing tactics and a cross-functional approach to brand leadership, Joe Hodas has a broad skill set across media relations, channel strategy, branding, marketing, advertising, social media, investor relations, crisis communications, events development and community relations. And one day he decided that it might be fun to put those skills to use in helping to build the future of cannabis with Dixie Elixirs and Edibles as Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). As CMO, in addition to fielding thousands of pot jokes and requests for volunteer “tasters,” he heads up an organization of professionals who are helping to define what adult-use marketing of marijuana can and should be. Before his adventures on the green side, Joe served as a partner and Executive Vice President of Channel Management at Vladimir Jones (VJ), one of the largest and oldest independently held advertising agencies in Colorado.
Prior to joining VJ, Joe served as VP, communications for private equity firm Consumer Capital Partners (CCP), where he oversaw communications for emerging brands like Smashburger, as well as established names like Quiznos. Joe honed his PR chops as senior director of corporate communications for Frontier Airlines.
John MacKay holds a Ph.D. from the University of Vermont in chemistry, focused on the synthesis for cancer-fighting molecules using a cyclic-phosphazene backbone.
MacKay joined Waters Technologies in July 1983 after teaching appointments at 3 colleges. His career has included roles in technical sales, product development, and management during the 80s, involved with mass spectrometry business development during the 90’s, and as the Senior Director of Business Development for the Americas from 2002 until recently heading up the Strategic Technology team.
Kayvan Khalatbari holds a degree in Architectural Engineering and worked as an electrical systems designer with a Denver firm for 5 years while volunteering for Sensible Colorado and SAFER, where he was introduced to the medical marijuana community and its devoted base of patients and caregivers.
Through those friendships that were formed Kayvan realized the wonderful benefits that medical marijuana provides for patients and the support system those caregivers make available. It is also through these relationships that he met future partners in his local small businesses, Denver Relief, Denver Relief Consulting and Sexy Pizza. Kayvan currently acts as Operations Manager for Denver Relief and Principal for Denver Relief Consulting. Denver Relief is a Founding & Sustaining Member of NCIA and Kayvan’s business partner is Vice Chair of the NCIA Board.
Ken Sobel is the President and CEO of the Green Halo, LLC, which owns and operates the Green Halo Dispensary in Tucson, Arizona; established the Heavenly Harvest, Arizona’s only approved cannabis infusion kitchen; and is a principal officer or consultant in several other dispensaries scheduled to open later this year. An attorney who has practiced for 32 years in California and Arizona, Ken was the first person to take and pass two bar exams in the same week on his first try. He serves as First Vice President of the Arizona Wellness Chamber of Commerce, the primary trade organization for medical cannabis in Arizona, and co-founded an organization of dispensary owners dedicated to strengthening the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (“AMMA”). Green Halo was the first Southern Arizona business to join NCIA. The Green Halo is a Member of NCIA.
Kevin currently owns and operates Rocky Mountain Remedies, a type 3 medical and retails-sales marijuana center and infused products manufacturer based in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. He is the Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of New England Treatment Access (NETA), a non-profit corporation that will dispense medical marijuana in the towns of Northampton and Brookline, Massachusetts. He also serves as board chair of the Marijuana Industry Group, a non-profit trade association based in Denver, Colorado.
When Kevin finds the rare hour where he is not talking about, provisioning, or cultivating cannabis, he can be found enjoying the great Colorado outdoors in his kayak, or twisting the throttle on his dirt bike or snowmobile.
Khurshid Khoja is Principal at Greenbridge Corporate Counsel, a business law firm representing investors, start-ups and established companies in the legal cannabis industry. Before founding Greenbridge, Khurshid practiced corporate, securities, regulatory and transactional law at Reed Smith LLP and Thelen LLP. His expert columns have appeared in the Medical Marijuana Business Daily, and he has been a featured presenter at the National Marijuana Business Conference and the California NORML Conference. Khurshid was President of the Class of 2001 at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, and is an alumnus of The University of Chicago and DePaul University. He was named a Northern California Super Lawyers Rising Star in 2010, 2011 and 2013. Greenbridge Corporate Counsel is a Member of NCIA.
Kris Krane is a co-founder of 4Front Advisors. Prior to forming 4Front, Kris served as director of client services for CannBe, where he helped develop many of the best practices that have become the backbone of 4Front Advisors’ operations. Kris served as associate director of NORML from 2000 to 2005 and executive director of Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) from 2006 to 2009. During his tenure at SSDP, the organization experienced rapid growth; scaled back the law that denies financial aid to students with drug convictions; and was featured prominently in major news outlets around the world. Kris currently serves on the national board of directors for both SSDP and Common Sense for Drug Policy. 4Front Advisors is a Sustaining Member of NCIA.
Kristin Nevedal is a longtime Humboldt County resident and homesteader who has spent over 15 years specializing in organic no-till farming techniques, non-toxic disease and pest management, agricultural compliance, and nursery operations. As chair of the American Herbal Product Association (AHPA) Cannabis Committee’s Cultivation Working Group, Kristin assisted in the development of cannabis cultivation model regulations and best practices for agency consideration. She is also co-founder and board chair of the Emerald Growers Association whose mission is to promote the medicinal, environmental, social, and economic benefits of lawfully cultivated sun-grown medical cannabis from California’s Emerald Triangle region by advocating for public policies that foster a healthy, sustainable medical cannabis industry.
Lance Ott is a 14-year veteran of the electronic payment processing industry. His core competency and expertise covers every aspect of merchant services, including credit and debit card processing, PCI security, fraud and chargeback management, technology implementation, and payment consulting. Lance has a broad knowledge of the industry and has continuously demonstrated mastery not only of sales, but also pricing and interchange; business process, operations and workflow; products and solutions; risk; and regulatory, compliance and security matters.
Lance is the former Vice President of National Bank of California Merchant Services and currently operates as CEO of Guardian Data Systems, Inc. Guardian was created specifically to provide secure, reliable, and transparent financial services for our cannabis community. Lance is a cancer survivor and fierce advocate of alternative medicine, including medicinal cannabis. Lance firmly believes that safe access to medical cannabis must be provided as medicine for any patient in need.
Lance has demonstrated the courage of his convictions by fashioning a network infrastructure of medical cannabis-friendly banks, institutions, processors, and software/hardware developers to provide the medical cannabis dispensing collective with a safe, legitimate venue for all commerce-related and logistical challenges they may encounter. Lance has taken it upon himself to offer preeminent expertise for a unique and complex business model. Lance believes that proper regulation coupled with technology will bring credibility, legitimacy, and transparency to our emerging and evolving industry.
Luke is co-owner/managing director of Walking Raven MMC and founder of Cannabusiness School and Consulting. Prior to entering the cannabis industry, Luke’s experience as an insurance agent provided him with a foundation for understanding complex regulatory environments. Luke strives to bring professionalism to the industry; and has made his company one of the most reputable in Denver. Since Luke took over its operations, Walking Raven has been actively involved in advocacy groups and campaigns such as Amendment 64, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, and NCIA. A young cannabis entrepreneur, Luke is motivated by the ideal to shift cannabis sales from the underground market to professionals who operate peaceful business practices. Walking Raven has been an NCIA member since February 2013, and Cannabusiness School and Consulting has been an NCIA member since its inception in April 2013.
Mark co-founded The Om of Medicine in 2010 and is president of the Ann Arbor Medical Cannabis Guild in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He currently serves as the government liaison for the Michigan chapter of ASA, a nationwide activist group protecting cannabis patients’ rights. He was recently chosen to organize and moderate the 42nd annual Hash Bash, the longest running cannabis reform rally in the country. His interest in the cannabis sector stems from not only his love for the plant but also from his passion for the promise of natural, holistic medicine. Om of Medicine is a Member of NCIA.
Mark Sisti and his law firm concentrate on representing individuals charged with state and federal crimes. Mark has been practicing for 35 years and is admitted to the bar in New Hampshire and Vermont. He is also admitted to the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals and the federal district courts of New Hampshire and Vermont. Mark has been an active member of NORML for decades and is also a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He has appeared in courts in New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, California, and Maine. He and his firm are dedicated to the vigorous defense of citizens accused of criminal activity and are aggressively involved in the reform of marijuana laws in the state of New Hampshire.
Matt Simon has been working since 2007 to reform marijuana laws in New Hampshire, lobbying for medical marijuana legislation that passed the House and Senate in 2009 and 2012 (but was vetoed). In December 2011, he began working as a legislative analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project, where he serves as a resource to legislators and reform advocates in 16 states. Matt’s top mission in 2013 is to finish the job and pass a medical marijuana law in New Hampshire. Matt lives in Goffstown, New Hampshire and holds a Master’s degree in English from West Virginia University.
Melvin McDonald has been a partner at Jones, Skelton & Hochuli since 1985, and practices in the areas of criminal defense and major civil litigation. He is a former United States Attorney for the District of Arizona, a former Superior Court Judge for Maricopa County, and has taught Criminal Justice at Arizona State University. Mr. McDonald received both his undergraduate and law degree from the University of Utah and is admitted to practice in Arizona state and federal courts.
Missi Wooldridge earned her M.P.H. from the State University of NY at Albany. Her background is in health behavior theory, program development, and addiction as a public health concern. She has been volunteering with DanceSafe since 2009 and founded the Denver chapter. She was voted onto the Board in 2011 and served as president from 2012- 2013. Missi was hired as Executive Director in the fall of 2013. She has recently been featured in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Billboard, Rolling Stone, VICE, Huffington Post, and The Katie Couric Show, among others. She envisions an electronic music community where harm reduction services and drug checking can openly be provided free of stigma and prosecution.
Nate Ames has spent the bulk of his career in the energy marketplace in various Director and Manager positions. His professional career is underpinned by his graduate degree in welding and material science from The Ohio State University. He has 5 patents and has chaired several national, international, and government committees.
Nate co-founded Apeks Fabrication over 13 years ago with Andy Joseph. He left the business in 2005 to focus on growing opportunities in the oil and gas industry and returned in 2013 to help Apeks through its recent growth. Nate’s core expertise is materials and system design for energy and power facilities, which align well with the technologies leveraged by Apeks Supercritical systems.
Nick Hice is a master cultivator known for managing a large, successful commercial cannabis operation in Colorado. As a founding partner of Denver Relief Consulting, Nick brings over 15 years of experience with indoor growing under high intensity lighting to national and international clients. His innovative plant care techniques and dynamic approach to cultivation team management have lead to the development of highly regarded operations that exemplify industry best practices and maximum efficiency in legal cannabis cultivation.
Patrick McManamon is the Managing Director of Cannassure Insurance Services, LLC. Patrick offers 12 years of alternative risk and insurance industry experience. Cannassure is an insurance organization focused exclusively on the legal Cannabis Industry. The firm develops, underwrites and services alternative property & casualty and risk management products for the Cannabis industry. Cannasure is a Sponsoring Member of NCIA.
Randy Clark is the Vice President of Business Development at BioTrack THC and is responsible for the overall direction of the sales department that has experienced exponential growth over the last year. BioTrackTHC provides “seed to sale” inventory tracking and point of sale software specifically designed for the cannabis industry and is currently deployed in hundreds of locations in 8 states DC and Canada. Randy started his career as a US Marine serving in Desert Storm and Somalia and then spent the majority of his career in the semiconductor industry managing and growing territories exceeding $50 million in revenue.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer
US House of Representatives
A lifelong Portland resident, Earl Blumenaur was first elected to public office in 1972 and has served in Congress since 1996. Congressman Blumenauer is a long-time supporter of marijuana policy reform and, in 2013, was awarded NCIA’s inaugural Legislative Leadership Award.
Rep. Lou Lang
Representative Lou Lang (D) was appointed to the Illinois House in 1987 for the 16th District, and has served Skokie and parts of other northwest suburbs of Chicago since. In 2013, Representative Lang sponsored House Bill 1, creating the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program.
Robert Hunt is the Chairman of the Coalition for Responsible Patient Care in Massachusetts, a trade group for Medical Marijuana Industry Professionals. Rob is also the CEO of Evergreen Garden Centers in ME and MA as well as the CEO of Rocky Mountain Hydroponics in CO. He is also a contributing writer for Hydrolife magazine. Rob has lived in the Boston area for almost ten years and is a graduate of Suffolk Law School. He currently splits his time between MA and CO where as a barred attorney he often consults to Medical Marijuana Dispensary owners. CRPC is an NCIA member.
Ryan Hurley is a partner at Rose Law Group in Scottsdale, AZ and heads up the firm’s Medical Marijuana Practice Group. He has a background in land use and zoning law, environmental and water issues and a wide variety of regulatory compliance and administrative law issues. Ryan and the MMJ Practice Group assist clients with all aspects of AZ’s MMJ law including employment and criminal issues but primarily focus on the business of MMJ and helping clients apply for and secure dispensary licenses from the AZ Department of Health Services. Mr. Hurley has been working on AZ’s MMJ law even before it was passed and had significant input on the ultimate Rules that AZDHS developed. He is a frequent presenter at MMJ seminars and conferences throughout the West and is a tireless advocate for AZ MMJ in myriad interviews and appearances on AZ tv and radio. Ryan and Rose Law Group have been committed to the industry from day one and remain the go-to attorneys for all MMJ needs in AZ. Rose Law Group is a Founding Member of the National Cannabis Industry Association.
Scott is a Principal with GRÜN Strategic LLC, a leading medical marijuana public affairs consulting firm, with offices in Boston and San Francisco. Scott has spent his career focused on public relations, food and farming, communications, non-profit management, and strategic development issues. His Santa Cruz-based fresh produce buying brokerage and consulting firm, Hawkins Associates, was a primary contributor to the growth of the organic produce industry in its formative stages during the 1980s and 1990s. He eventually sold the company to Whole Foods Market. He has devoted much time to community health care issues, volunteering as a hospice bedside and grief support volunteer for over a decade. Scott was a member of the NCIA Board of Directors from 2011 until 2013, and GRÜN Strategic is a Sustaining Member.
Sebastopol, CA Vice Mayor Robert Jacob
Sebastopol Vice Mayor Robert Jacob is the founder and Executive Director of Peace in Medicine, a model medical cannabis dispensary in Sebastopol, California, and is the CEO of SPARC in San Francisco. A diligent community leader and visionary entrepreneur, Robert was named in the Top 40 Under Forty by the North Bay Business Journal. He is a member of the Chamber of Commerce and Sonoma County Democratic Party as well as City Liaison to Cittaslow Sebastopol, a nonprofit project-based organization. Robert developed and lead non-profit organizations serving disenfranchised youth and patients, formed a chain of salons, and ran a nationally recognized charter school. Before being elected to the Sebastopol City Council, Robert served as the Chair of the Sebastopol Planning Commission. Peace in Medicine is a Member and SPARC is a Sustaining Member of NCIA.
Senator Tick Segerblom
Richard “Tick” Segerblom was first elected to the Nevada Assembly to represent Assembly District 9 in 2006, and was elected to the Nevada State Senate in 2012 to represent Senate District 3. Tick is also a Las Vegas employment lawyer, a Nevada native, and a fourth generation Nevada representative.
Shayne Lynn founded the non-profit Champlain Valley Dispensary (CVD), Inc. in 2011. He assembled a community network of local government representatives and business leaders to help position and finance CVD. The State of Vermont awarded its first medical marijuana license to CVD in 2012. Mr. Lynn designed, sourced, and managed the construction of CVD’s cultivation facility. Mr. Lynn has provided recommendations and public testimony to state regulators in Vermont for the past four years. He now serves as both executive director and cultivation director for CVD. Mr. Lynn was awarded another license, the fourth and final dispensary license from the State of Vermont. Mr. Lynn opened Southern Vermont Wellness, Inc. in Brattleboro on February 20, 2014.
Steve DeAngelo has almost four decades of activism and advocacy in the cannabis reform movement. In 1998 Steve played a key leadership role in the passage of Washington D.C.’s medical cannabis initiative, Initiative 59. In October 2006, Steve launched Harborside Health Center (HHC) to bring a new model of professionalism and integrity to the industry. Harborside quickly gained recognition for its free holistic care clinic, laboratory tested medicine, low-income care package program, and wide array of other patient services. In 2007 Steve was involved the creation and development of Steep Hill Labs, California’s premier medical cannabis analysis laboratory, and Steve is the founder of the ArcView Group investor network. Harborside Health Center is a Sustaining Member of NCIA and Steve is a member of the Board of Directors.
Steve White has been practicing law in his native Arizona since 1999. In 2005 he founded White Berberian PLC and has achieved an AV rating from his peers, representing the highest rating in legal ability and ethics. He successfully litigated important medical marijuana matters including challenges to Maricopa County’s zoning ordinance and Arizona Department of Health Services’ medical marijuana dispensary license renewals rule. Steve is a Board Member of Harvest of Tempe, a successful medical marijuana dispensary in Tempe, Arizona. Steve’s oversight of the dispensary includes both the dispensary and cultivation facility. Steve graduated summa cum laude from Arizona State’s Honors College with a degree in political science and attended law school at Washington and Lee School of Law.
Taylor West is the deputy director of the National Cannabis Industry Association. She has spent more than a decade in communications and leadership positions in the political, policy, nonprofit, and business arenas. Taylor came to Denver after four years in Washington, D.C., where she worked first as a strategist for a variety of policy and regulatory reform efforts, and then as communications director for National Journal, a highly respected national media organization. She is also a veteran of several high-profile political campaigns and has appeared as a commentator on MSNBC, Fox News, and CNBC. Taylor first became involved in drug policy reform 15 years ago with an internship at DRCNet, now known as StoptheDrugWar.org.
Tim Keogh is currently the CEO of Coastal Compassion, Inc., a Massachusetts Registered Marijuana Dispensary applicant. Tim has over 15 years of commercial real-estate experience in designing, building, and operating mixed-use waterfront developments. In 2011, Tim became involved in Rhode Island’s MMJ program, working with a network of caregivers and advocating on behalf of patient’s rights. Tim oversaw the implementation of industry best practices including laboratory testing, seed-to-sale tracking, and patient and caregiver training in preparation for Massachusetts’ robust application process. Tim is an active member of NCIA, an Advisory Board Member of Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition (RIPAC) and was recently asked to organize the Cannabis Producers Association of New England.
Tim Smale is co-founder and Executive Director of Remedy Compassion Center, a medical cannabis dispensary located in Auburn, Maine. Remedy is one of eight Maine Department of Health and Human Services regulated dispensaries. Since 2011, Remedy has served thousands of Mainers with high quality medical cannabis, specializing in CBD-rich medical herbal products, and mostly from its own garden. Tim also serves as the current chair of the cannabis committee of the American Herbal Products Association, and is Vice-President of the Maine Dispensary Operators Association.
Todd Mitchem is a trusted business leader, business development expert and leadership advisor. Todd’s current mission has him working as the EVP of Corporate Development with one of the largest cannabis-related product companies in the U.S. Todd’s mission is to build a world-class culture and help O.penVape and OrganaLabs become the “Zappos of Cannabis” while developing ground-breaking products. Todd is a self-titled “corporate dropout” because he has created a new way to do business with purpose.
Since 2000 Todd has consulted for many of the world’s top companies. In his executive role at Eagle’s Flight Training Excellence (9 years), Todd guided companies in solving challenges, simple and complex, by getting more from their people. He accomplished this by helping each person get more from themselves, utilizing Eagle’s Flight’s unique brand of experiential learning as well as his own experiences in leadership, business development, and entertainment management.
Tripp Keber currently serves as the Managing Director of Dixie Elixirs and Edibles as well as President and CEO of Red Dice Holdings, LLC a portfolio company of Medical Marijuana, Inc. Mr. Keber is an Advisory Member of the Medical Marijuana Industry Group in Colorado as well as a Director of the Board for the Marijuana Policy Project. Dixie Elixirs is a Founding Sustaining Member of NCIA and Tripp is a member of the Board of Directors.
Troy Dayton cofounded ArcView in 2010 with Steve DeAngelo. ArcView started the ArcView Investor Network (responsible for more than $4 million in angel investments), ArcView Market Research (produces the State of Legal Marijuana Markets report sponsored by NCIA), and Cannasure Insurance. Formerly, Troy was a fundraiser for the Marijuana Policy Project and now serves on their board. Troy co-founded Students for Sensible Drug Policy (now on over 200 campuses), helped start Renewable Choice Energy (named #1 green power provider by EPA) and worked on the Flex Your Rights film BUSTED (seen by millions). His work gathering support from religious leaders for legalization in 2006 made national headlines. Troy is regularly featured in the media as an expert on the cannabis industry. Troy is a founding board member of the NCIA.