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.
Erin Phillips obtained the first recreational cannabis sales license in the world for one of her clients, The Annie’s: A STRAINWISE® Branded Dispensary in Central City, Colorado. Under her guidance, this store was the first to be granted the privilege to sell recreational cannabis within the state of Colorado. With a rare combination of thirteen years of experience in the mortgage industry as a business owner, audit and funding leader, title company closing executive, mortgage loan expert, and loan originator, Erin has become an expert in start-ups, leadership, and what it takes to succeed in the cannabis space.
In addition to consulting on over 200 licenses, her consulting company has developed and designed a federally trademarked cannabis education program to provide guidance on the safe, responsible consumption of marijuana in its various forms. In fact, other Colorado-based marijuana businesses as well as local municipalities have adopted and employed this successful public education campaign.
Erin understands that the primary function of any consulting company is to transition years of hard-earned experience into marketable data that can be easily consumed by clients. Over the last five years, her company has spent considerable time and resources developing written Standard Operating Procedures, and training manuals on all ranges of topics, including Production, Curing/Packaging, Retail Sales, Green Waste, Integrated Pest Control, Laboratory Testing, (potency and microbial), Delivery Security, and Facility Security. Erin has also designed and managed programs for compliant advertising and marketing campaigns, compliant packaging and labeling, social media and internet-based outreach, (podcasts and YouTube) and complete brand creation that appeals to the diverse demographics of marijuana consumers.
Erin uses this same experience to help further and legitimize the industry. She is one of the founding members of the National Cannabis Chamber of Commerce and currently serves on the advisory board of the southern California Association of Cannabis Professionals, the National Cannabis Chamber of Commerce, and eCannex. She has been hired as an expert witness on compliance for marijuana cases tried in the state of Colorado and participates as a council member for Gerson Lehrman Group on compliance and general business acumen in the marijuana industry.
She and her company currently have membership interest and have held board positions in associations throughout the industry. Those include the Colorado Cannabis Chamber of Commerce, Marijuana Industry Group, California Growers Association, National Cannabis Industry Association, California Cannabis Industry Association, National Hemp Association, and the Puerto Rico Medical Cannabis Association.
Erin has co-written rules and regulations for several small jurisdictions and a complete program for a nationally recognized Native American Tribe.
Along with her position as a mother and step-mother of four children, her additional experiences include her diverse background of charity and non-profit work, along with her volunteer work with several large Down Syndrome organizations, hospitals, homeowner’s associations and national sports groups. She has also owned and operated a handful of small businesses in mortgage and finance field.
As the CEO of Strainwise, Erin is committed to growing the company, (as well as the cannabis industry) through powerful and successful client interactions, robust education, rulemaking group participation; thereby continuing to positively disrupt the growing marijuana business world.
National Association of Cannabis Businesses
1) Andrew Kline is President of NACB. Andrew is a former federal prosecutor who previously served as an Assistant United States Attorney and Special Litigation Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice, Senior Advisor in the White House and in the U.S. Senate, and as Special Counsel at the FCC. He cut his teeth with an Internet startup and taught law at American University. Kline got his JD from Pepperdine University and his Master in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government. Most importantly, Andrew is the father of two amazing daughters and would always rather be running a river or in Fenway Park.
2) The National Association of Cannabis Businesses is a self regulatory organization that is leveraging technology to help cannabis-related businesses to stay compliant with state regulations and federal guidance. NACB will also forge relationships with banks for its members in good standing.
3) As the first President of NACB, I bring a wealth of policy experience to the organization. I have been working in Washington, DC for over two decades, and have worked in multiple legal and policy roles for the federal government and in the private sector. After law school, I began my professional career working on the presidential campaign for an unknown Governor from the state of Arkansas. After working on the campaign for more than a year, and after the election in 1992, I received a presidential appointment to the U.S. Department of Justice. After my tenure as a political appointee working for then-Attorney General Janet Reno, I became a career federal prosecutor. As as Assistant United States Attorney working for the US Attorney for the District of Columbia (Eric Holder), I prosecuted violent crimes in Washington DC for six years. My next role was serving as crime policy advisor to then-Senator Biden on the Senate Judiciary Committee. After two years in the US Senate, I went to the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard when I obtained a Master in Public Administration. I returned to Washington to work as a federal prosecutor in the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice. After serving for six years in DOJ Civil Rights, and after the election in 2008, I was asked to join Vice President Biden as his crime policy advisor. I worked in the Obama White House for nearly three years before leaving the federal government to run the policy shop for an Internet startup. I subsequently taught public policy at American University and worked in the Enforcement Bureau at the FCC. I recently became the first President of NACB. I’m excited to leverage my two decades of experience in Washington to help cannabis-related businesses to become compliant with state law and federal guidance. NCIA’s policy council is well positioned to help marijuana businesses to collaborate and bring the full weight of the industry to bear to influence federal policy. I’m very committed to helping to professionalize the cannabis industry and I’m confident that my professional experience, particularly in the White House, Senate, and DOJ will help NCIA to reach its policy goals at the federal level.
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.
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.