The NCIA Policy Council, comprised of industry leaders selected by NCIA’s Board of Directors, plays a critical role in the development of cannabis policy at the federal level. Policy Council members examine federal laws and regulations related to other types of products, as well as the characteristics of cannabis itself, in order to determine the optimal way to treat cannabis at the federal level. Areas of examination include tax policy, the classification of cannabis, advertising and marketing, and the broad range of regulatory issues that will arise at the federal level in the coming years. The Policy Council produces white papers on these topics to distribute to members of the industry, the media, and policymakers. Policy Council members provide financial support for and are also actively engaged in NCIA’s lobbying efforts.
Since overseeing the establishment of the W Vapes brand that she was recruited to launch in 2015, Dr. Juli Crockett has shifted her focus from building the infrastructure of the company to overseeing strategy and compliance as CCO, manifesting the company’s vision of exceptional quality, outstanding service, and committed community engagement in the cannabis space. In 2016, as a member of CCIA, Crockett served on multiple committees including Manufacturing, Distribution, Quality Assurance, Legislative, and CCIA-LA.
Beyond the cannabis space, Alabama-born Dr. Juli Crockett is a bona fide Renaissance woman: singer/songwriter, theater director, undefeated professional boxer and amateur champion, ordained minister, with a summa cum laude PhD from The European Graduate School. Formerly the Director of Marketing for a pioneering online adult toy company, she is also a published playwright, professional singer, and leader of an alt.folk band. After composing the theme song to the mini-documentary “Caine’s Arcade” she assisted in the formation of the Imagination Foundation, a children’s non-profit encouraging creativity & entrepreneurship. Unique to her career, Crockett is an undefeated professional boxer and amateur champion, featured in Sports Illustrated and other news outlets due to her professional connection to Jerry Boyd (aka F.X. Toole) author of Million Dollar Baby.
A lifelong entrepreneur, Adrian Sedlin builds brands and cash flow businesses from $0-$150MM in sales. Over his 25 year career, Mr. Sedlin has raised over $100MM in capital, created 5 successful exits, and thrived in diverse industries including B2B ecommerce, B2G SaaS, direct response, and consumer packaged goods.
Co-founding his first company at age 21, Mr. Sedlin served as its CEO and sold the business to Student Advantage (NASDAQ; STAD). Following this early career success, Mr. Sedlin served as a C-Suite executive in companies such as Credit2B (EVP; sold to S&P in 2001), Bargain Network (COO; Sold to Vertrue in 2004) and CrimeReports (Acting CEO; sold to Motorola in 2014). In addition, Mr. Sedlin served as CEO of Ocenture from 2006-2010, growing sales over 20x, achieving 25% EBITDA margins, and earning Inc. 500 honors for three consecutive years.
In 2015, Mr. Sedlin left early retirement to launch CANNDESCENT, a California cultivator of ultra-premium cannabis, and the first municipally-permitted cultivator south of San Jose. To date, Mr. Sedlin has raised $7.5M in seed capital for CANNDESCENT, and the company plans to open over 125,000 SF of cultivation space by early 2018. As CANNDESCENT’s CEO, Mr. Sedlin also serves on the board of the Desert Hot Springs Cannabis Alliance Network (DHS CAN), advises the CA Dept. of Food & Agriculture on its cultivation committee, serves as a Co-Chair on the Policy Council for the NCIA, and writes a monthly column for mg magazine.
Educationally, Mr. Sedlin earned his BA magna cum laude from Georgetown University and his MBA from the Harvard Business School. More than anything else, Mr. Sedlin relishes spending time with his wife, Kristin, and his three teenage children, Asher, Miles and Sontene.
Mr. Bierman Co-founder and CEO of MenMen, and is a leading voice for institutional practices and clear regulations in the cannabis industry. He is also at the forefront of capital formation, responsible for launching
one of the most successful private equity funds in the industry’s history.
He brings years of experience in strategic business development, and has been featured on CNBC, Bloomberg News, Huffington Post, Time Magazine, Los Angeles Business Journal, and others. In 2010, Mr. Bierman and Andrew Modlin founded MedMen. In 2016, Mr. Bierman led the launch of the MedMen Opportunity Fund, a $100 million private equity fund focused on cannabis ventures.
Mr. Bierman supports sensible and just drug laws. He is a longtime supporter of Marijuana Policy Project, the country’s foremost anti-Prohibition advocacy group, and has partnered with the group to launch the Pledge 4 Growth campaign.
Areas of Expertise:
Institutionalization of the cannabis industry & future outlook.
Market analysis at the local, state & national levels.
The economics of marijuana.
Capital formation & investment opportunities.
The regulatory landscape and impact on business practices.
Michael Wheeler is the Vice President of Policy Initiatives at Flow Kana, the Bay Area–based sustainable, sun-grown cannabis company that embraces California values and the small farmer ecosystem. Michael leads the company’s policy interests across the local, state and federal level. Michael is responsible for all licensing efforts for the Flow Kana network across the company’s 5 locations throughout California. He sits on the board of the California Growers Association and is the executive representative to the California Cannabis Industry Association.
Michael Wheeler comes to Flow Kana with more than 12 years of policy expertise in the clean energy sector. Since 2011, Michael Wheeler led one of the U.S.’s largest solar developer’s domestic legislative and regulatory affairs agenda at the state and federal level. Michael acted as a company spokesperson and has spoken about industry wide issues at major industry conferences and has been featured on NPR, and in the Sacramento Bee, Greentech Media, and E&E News Wire.
Prior to his time in the private sector Michael worked for the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) leading Residential Energy Efficiency program design for the State of California and was the Transmission Advisor to a former Commissioner. He previously held positions with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
Michael received his Master’s Degree in Energy Policy from the University of Delaware.
Native Roots Colorado
Shannon Fender joined Native Roots Colorado in December 2016 as Director of Public Affairs. Fender will be responsible for managing a range of government relations initiatives for the company’s 17 statewide dispensaries and cultivation operations. In addition, she will oversee the company’s philanthropic work, political and legislative strategy, and strategic communications. Prior to joining Native Roots, Fender was the Senior Associate for State and Local Affairs at a well-known Denver lobbying and business development firm, Sewald Hanfling Public Affairs. There she worked in various policy areas including cannabis, criminal justice, K12 and higher education, transportation, and health care, where she provided leadership in client relationships and project management. She is known in political and professional circles as being collaborative, charismatic, and diligent.
Cannabis policy has been a focus of Fender’s professional work since voters passed Amendment 64 in 2012. Notable legislative achievements include lobbying the Colorado General Assembly to remove burdensome surety bonds on licenses, continue to allow multi-serving liquid marijuana edibles, exempting topical marijuana products from the one ounce equivalency rule, defending against THC potency cap legislation, and harmonizing the non-resident purchasing differential to the resident purchase allowance of one ounce per transaction. She was among the initial participants on the ‘No on Initiative 139’ campaign which would have constitutionally capped THC potency at 16%.
Fender is a graduate of the University of Colorado Denver where she obtained a degree in political science with an emphasis in public policy. She has been awarded several leadership honors including graduation from the Denver Metro Leadership Foundation’s ‘Impact Denver’ program in 2016 and the Colorado Business Women’s ‘Young Careerist’ award in 2014. Fender is a Denver-area native and currently resides in Arvada with her fiancé and their pit bull Ivory.
Zack Hutson is Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Privateer Holdings, the world’s first private equity firm to invest exclusively in the legal cannabis industry. Prior to joining Privateer Holdings, Zack was Director of Global Corporate Communications for Starbucks Corporation. Before Starbucks, he worked in San Francisco and Washington DC at two of the world’s largest public affairs firms (Edelman and APCO Worldwide) as a consultant to consumer brands, industry associations and a foreign government.
Husch Blackwell Llp
Since 2009, Steve has helped clients navigate the complex and ever-changing regulations governing the state legal sale and use of cannabis. Steve counsels clients on a variety of transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, securities offerings (public and private), debt and equity financings, and corporate restructurings. Steve and his firm also provide ongoing sophisticated legal advice regarding regulatory issues, intellectual property, tax, employment and other general corporate issues related to the cannabis industry. Steve’s representative clients in the cannabis industry include medical and retail centers, medical and retail cultivations, manufacturers of infused products, testing facilities, marijuana technology companies, industrial hemp farms and processors, landlords, private equity funds, credit unions and security companies.
John A. Ritter has been a resident of Nevada for 29 years and has been actively involved in the real estate industry for more than 35 years. In the past few years he became involved in the Cannabis industry in Nevada. Mr. Ritter was integrally involved in the recent successful recreational cannabis campaign as a fund raiser and spokesperson.
Mr. Ritter is also very involved in Nevada politics. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Council for a Better Nevada and through that role works closely with both local and state government to support legislation to improve Nevada. He also currently serves as the Chairman of the Governor’s Nevada Advisory Council on Federal Assistance.
He is the co-founder of the Ritter Charitable Trust, which has given millions of dollars in grants and gifts to dozens of local charitable organizations that seek to make life better for children and families in Southern Nevada.
Mr. Ritter has a passion for horticulture both personally and through his real estate career. His focus is on creating natural sustainable landscapes which limit water use while still creating beautiful and lush environments. He brings this passion to the cannabis industry.
Triple C Collective, LLC. (Cannabis Club)
Mr. Caldwell has an extensive professional history of working for Fortune 500 companies and large
financial institutions. Having served as a senior-level financial adviser, he has a robust skill set of
developing businesses from the ground-up. Creating a successful business model and a predictable,
stable return on investments is the nexus of perfection for which Mr. Caldwell strives.
Brian Caldwell is founder of Triple C Collective, LLC in Washington State, which operated as a
collective garden dispensary for five and a half year before transitioning into a licensed medical
and recreational retailer. Triple C was one of Washington State’s largest medical cannabis
dispensaries, providing a vast array of products for cannabinoid therapy and pain solutions. Under
Mr. Caldwell’s tenure, Triple C became the most awarded store of any type – recreational or
medical – in the state of Washington. Triple C has been awarded Dope Industry Awards for Best
Medical Store (Co-op) and Best Male Budtender for the past three years, Best Female Budtender
in 2015, and Best Medicine Selection in 2014.
Mr. Caldwell also served as Founding Member & Chairman of the Northwest Producers,
Processors and Retailers Association (NWPPR). NWPPR focused on collaborating with legislators
and regulators to define the regulatory framework for cannabis. NWPPR encompassed all aspects
of the cannabis industry ranging from attorneys, accountants, testing facilities, recreational
marijuana, medical cannabis, hemp, and health and beauty aids (HABA). The mission of NWPPR
is to advance the interests of the cannabis industry in Washington and the Northwest through
effective advocacy. The association provides a platform for entrepreneurs to navigate the political
and regulatory environment while maintaining the highest ethical standards.
Mr. Caldwell successfully spearheaded NWPPR merger with four other trade associations in
Washington State in order to aid the industry by creating a united voice for all participants. The
new association is The Cannabis Alliance. Prior to the merger, Mr. Caldwell lead NWPPR to win
the Dope Industry Award for Best Trade Association in Washington State, and was recognized for
his efforts in advocacy by being awarded the Dope Industry Award for Activist of the Year.
Mr. Caldwell’s advocacy efforts are not limited to Washington State. He advocates for reasonable
regulations and oversight at the national level with the National Cannabis Industry Association
(NCIA), of which he is a sustaining member. He is also a member of Students for Sensible Drug
Policy (SSDP), and Retail Chair on the Standard Creation Committee (SCC) of FOCUS
(Foundation of Cannabis Unified Standards). FOCUS is the first and only national organization to
develop accredited quality and safety-based cannabis standards. The mission of FOCUS is to
protect public health, consumer safety, and integrity within the cannabis industry. FOCUS follows
the American National Standards Institute’s essential requirements in all of its practices. The SCC
represents the cannabis and standards industry, regulatory agencies, health departments, public,
business, medical, and research sectors, as well as patients and consumers, forming a balanced
consensus to develop quality and safety standards for cannabis in eight areas.
Seven years ago, MJ Freeway’s Chief Operating Officer Jessica Billingsley co-founded MJ Freeway with a desire to see burgeoning marijuana businesses expand and thrive with smart business solutions in place. To fill a need for cannabis seed-to-sale software solutions, Billingsley and her co-founder launched MJ Freeway in 2010, the first company to bring seed-to-sale software to the market. Since then, featured twice in the INC 5000 fastest-growing companies list, woman-owned MJ Freeway has grown to serve thousands of clients in 5 countries, and processed more than $5,000,000,000 in sales via retail, manufacturing and cultivation management software platforms, as well as consulting services and cannabis licensee application support. In addition, Billingsley has been named to Fortune Magazine’s list of Top 10 Most Promising Women Entrepreneurs.
An avid Ashtanga yoga practitioner, Billingsley applies the skills of balance, discipline, and centeredness to her approach as COO. Her deep management skills and strategic vision consistently result in cohesive teams and large profit margins. MJ Freeway’s industry-leading customer service and high revenue returns has earned Billingsley an outstanding reputation in two highly competitive fields – medical marijuana and software development. Billingsley’s respected reputation also won her a board member seat several years running on the National Cannabis Industry Association.
Prior to forming MJ Freeway, Billingsley cut her teeth building and managing technology operations with an emphasis on executive management, corporate culture, finance, and strategic relations. She has been a successful founder, owner, director, COO, and CEO of companies with revenues exceeding eleven million ($11M).
A highly sought-after speaker, Billingsley also finds time to rock climb and raise her young daughter in Denver, Colorado.
AC Braddock is the CEO of the industry’s most innovative and well respected extraction technology company and a career entrepreneur. She has a keen eye for new trends, product placement, business strategy and creating a strong corporate culture and infrastructure for effective growth. These skills, along with her intense interest in botanicals as medicine and the humanitarian issues surrounding cannabis, drive her tireless efforts to educate the industry and those it serves, on safe, healthful methods of producing concentrates.
Ms. Braddock was introduced to concentration technology by Fritz Chess, the Founder of Eden Labs in 2001. She instantly recognized Mr. Chess’s interest in whole plant extractions and that the highly sophisticated botanical extraction systems he designed would transform the evolving world of medicinal cannabis.
In 2010, Ms. Braddock became CEO of Eden and proceeded to guide the company through exponential growth. Eden is currently listed as one of the top 10 fastest growing women led companies in Seattle, Washington. She has a developed a reputation as a thought leader in modern business practice, a unifier across industries, and an inspirational speaker in this emerging industry.
A founding supporter of three cannabis women’s groups, WOW (Women of Weed), MJBA’s Women’s Alliance, and Women Grow. She is also a board member of the Council of Responsible Cannabis Regulation.
Harborside Health Center
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.
Greenbridge Corporate Counsel
Khurshid Khoja is the founder and Principal of Greenbridge Corporate Counsel, a business law firm which advises start-ups, established businesses and other social enterprises within the legal cannabis industry and ancillary industries. Greenbridge represents clientele from across sectors in the legal cannabis industry: non-profit advocacy organizations, medical marijuana collectives, consulting firms, publishing companies, consumer electronics manufacturers, infused products producers, agricultural equipment manufacturers, software companies, trade associations and others.
Khurshid currently serves on the founding Boards of the California Cannabis Industry Association (CCIA) and the Illinois Cannabis Industry Association, as General Counsel to the CCIA, and as a member of the Advisory Council of Students for Sensible Drug Policy and the Advisory Board of the Council on Responsible Cannabis Regulation. While serving as The Arcview Group’s counsel, Khurshid helped Arcview CEO Troy Dayton launch the Arcview Investor Network, the legal cannabis industry’s first private investment network — providing advice on securities laws compliance, drafting membership and other critical path agreements.
Among other honors, Khurshid has been named to the annual Northern California Super Lawyers Rising Stars list on multiple ocassions. He has been profiled in multiple editions of the The State of the Legal Marijuana Markets report, and his early days as the General Counsel of MendoGrown (later the Emerald Growers Association) are chronicled in Doug Fine’s book Too High To Fail. He has been a featured presenter at numerous ArcView Investor Network conferences, the American Bar Association’s Business Law Section Conference, the National Marijuana Business Conference, the California NORML Conference, the Students for Sensible Drug Policy National and Regional Conferences and at numerous National Cannabis Industry Association conferences, symposia and speaker events, among other conferences.
Khurshid earned his J.D. at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, where he served as President of the Class of 2001.
iAnthus Capital Management
Jaime Lewis is the founder and executive chef at Mountain Medicine, a leading producer of medical and recreational cannabis edibles in Colorado. With a decade of experience in marijuana-infused product manufacturing and dispensary operations, Lewis is a leading voice for corporate responsibility and compliance in the cannabis industry. She is a founder and former chair of the Cannabis Business Alliance chamber of commerce and is the National Cannabis Industry Association’s current board chair. A formally trained chef, Lewis began her cannabis career making medical marijuana-infused edibles for HIV/AIDS patients in California. She formerly served as chief operating officer overseeing the expansion of one of Colorado’s most respected dispensary operations and managed all cultivation, dispensary, and infused product activities and led the licensing process and physical build out of the company’s second location.
Denver Relief Consulting
Ean Seeb is a legal cannabis industry pioneer, entrepreneur, advocate, and thought-leader, most recognized for his recent sale of and exit from Denver’s oldest dispensary, Denver Relief to long-time cannabis enthusiast Willie Nelson, and for the boutique full-service cannabis consulting firm he co-founded, Denver Relief Consulting. He proudly serves on the board of Boston-based Manna Molecular Science as a general director.
Ean brings broad industry alliances, knowledge of ancillary products, and operational acumen to Manna Molecular’s innovative infused products brand and delivery forms. He appreciates the positive impacts of 3D-printing technology on the cannabis space — foremost accuracy and reproducibility in dosing — and supports Manna’s efforts to improve the delivery of cannabis by uniting sophisticated science and agile manufacturing.
Ean has significant experience navigating complex legislation and regulatory demands: He served as the National Cannabis Industry Association’s (NCIA) Chair (’13-’15) and Vice Chair (’12–’13). He holds leadership positions in charitable organizations focused on a range of impactful social causes including civil rights, history and arts and culture. The Denver Relief GREEN TEAM, which now boasts over 35 cannabis industry and community sponsors, is a direct product of his civil and entrepreneurial leadership in the cannabis community. Ean has translated these values to Manna Molecular Science since its founding, and continues to do so as its representative at NCIA. In addition to his work at Manna Molecular Science, Ean works with dozens of cannabis or cannabis related companies and is partners in Quark Distribution, Vapor Slide, Whaxy, Silver Sage Wellness, Cresco Labs, sits on the Board of Directors of MassRoots, and more.