Speakers Archive | The National Cannabis Industry Association
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Charles Smith

Charles Smith, Esq. is a New York attorney and Boston based cannabis industry consultant. His law practice focuses on cannabis and criminal defense as well as drug policy and criminal justice reform. Charles serves as an advisor to companies throughout the country. He has assisted and advised companies in all aspects of the cannabis industry on issues including: licensing/compliance, intellectual property and nationwide expansion. Charles is intimately familiar with cannabis laws and regulations throughout the United States. Charles testified on behalf of the New York City Bar Association before the New York State Assembly Health Committee at its hearing regarding medical marijuana in December 2013. Charles has attended and lectured at cannabis and drug policy conferences throughout the country including the National Cannabis Industry Cannabis Business Summit. He is an advisory Board Member of the New York Cannabis Alliance, a member of the New York City Bar Association Committee on Drugs and the Law, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, the Drug Policy Alliance, the National Cannabis Industry Association, a Founding Sustaining Member of the National Cannabis Bar Association, and a lifetime member of the NORML legal committee.

Bethany Moore

Bethany Moore is development officer for the NCIA, and executive assistant to the executive director. Bethany has extensive experience in non-profit activism work, including drug policy reform and church-state separation issues. She spent two years as the campaign manager of the First Freedom First campaign at Americans United for Separation of Church and State, while also volunteering with Maryland Americans for Safe Access. Before NCIA, Bethany served as a multimedia project manager for an international finance and investment firm, and worked for National Foreign Language Center at University of Maryland. She also has a strong background in project management and strategic planning, as well as communications and public relations. Bethany is originally from the Washington, D.C., area and relocated to Denver in January 2014.

Adam Fine

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.

David Rice

David Rice owns and operates San Juan Sungrown, LLC a licensed tier 3 producer and processor in Washington State which recently became the first farm in Washington that will produce marijuana certified as sustainable and grown using organic methods by Certified Kind, LLC of Eugene, Mr. Rice was very active from the onset of I-502 rule-making, helping to ensure changes where made to the original draft rules that allowed for outdoor cultivation of cannabis. He co-founded and is the current vice president of the Washington Sungrowers Industry Association a trade group that promotes sustainable and sensible practices, policy, and implementation for cannabis cultivation. Working to inform entrepreneurs of lower cost and less energy intensive growing practices while helping educate lawmakers statewide to the unique challenges and opportunities created by the legalization of Cannabis. Before returning to Wa to start his I-502 venture David owned and operated Southslope consulting and successful cannabis farms in Northern California.

Zev Illovitz

Zev Ilovitz is a co-founder and president of Envirotech Greenhouse Solutions. He has been responsible for bringing a number of revolutionary greenhouse technologies to the North American market. Zev is excited about the opportunity to be a part of the evolution in the cannabis industry in its move towards commercial greenhouse cultivation.

Ralph Morgan

Ralph Morgan has founded and is a partner in several medical marijuana businesses including Organa Labs, an infused product manufacturer based in Denver and licensed to several other states; O.pen Vape, a personal portable vaporizer; and several retail centers in Denver Colorado. Following extensive work in the medical equipment and supplies field, Ralph and his wife Heidi Morgan became fascinated by the profound medicinal efficacy of marijuana and opened Evergreen Apothecary. Noticing an unmet demand for consistent, safe, and organic products, they created Organa Labs. Ralph completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Nevada, Reno with an emphasis in Advertising and a minor in Marketing. Organa Labs is a Sustaining Member of NCIA.

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.

Aaron Smith

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.

AC Braddock

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 National Cannabis Industry Association and the Council of Responsible Cannabis Regulation.

Adam Dunn

Adam Dunn is a partner and lead genetics consultant with MedCanna Consulting LLC. Mr. Dunn is also a founding partner of HempWorks CV (Netherlands), parent to T.H.Seeds®, (Cannabis genetics), as well as HempWorks International Ltd. (Hong Kong), parent to HoodLamb®, an organic hemp clothing line manufactured in China. In 1993 Mr. Dunn formed the company C.I.A. (Cannabis In Amsterdam). C.I.A. became a driving force in Amsterdam for Cannabis education and a meeting spot for cultivators and researchers of the plant. Robert C. Clark author of “Cannabis Botany, HASHISH!” called C.I.A “The epicenter of the Cannabis universe”. T.H.Seeds®, would be the outlet for all the knowledge Mr. Dunn had collected over years and under his direction T.H.Seeds® went on to develop widely respected strains such as Bubblegum, S.A.G.E.®, Heavy Duty Fruity®, and Chocolate Chunk among many others.

T.H.Seeds® genetic accolades are too numerous to list, but are a staple amongst seed banks and stores the world over.After more than two decades in Amsterdam Mr. Dunn was enticed to return to the United States by the changing legal and political climate concerning Cannabis. In April 2010 Mr. Dunn and his wife CiCi moved to Denver, CO and in March 2011 opened up HoodLab®, the worlds first HoodLamb® concept store and art gallery in Denver. In the years since his return to the United States Mr. Dunn has advised and consulted for numerous political and commercial groups. He provides services ranging from genetic consulting to full-scale design and implementation of facilities for flower, seed and extract production.

Alex Cooley

Alex Cooley is the co-founder of Solstice. Through his diligent efforts, Solstice created the first ever fully permitted cannabis production facility in Washington State. From inception, Solstice’s goal has been to cultivate the highest quality, most beneficial varieties, including the award winning, CBD-rich Sour Tsunami #3. In addition to this he has helped to author the “Collective Garden Model” of safe, legal access for medical cannabis patients in 2011. As part of Alex/Solstice’s mission to be a positive catalyst in the cannabis industry and offer a new message about cannabis, Alex uses environmentally responsible practices, serves as an adviser to Washington State, and continues to advocate for patients’ rights.

Ali Nagib

Ali Nagib has been working as a cannabis activist and organizer for over three years and has helped support the growth of Illinois NORML and its mission to change cannabis policy on the local and state level in Illinois, including passing the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act (HB1). He has spoken on cannabis policy reform on panels at the Illinois Consortium on Drug Policy at Roosevelt University in Chicago and has done numerous TV and radio interviews, as well as presentations and seminars at Illinois universities and high schools on the subject. As a co-founder of Midwest Cannabis Consulting he has worked to support the emerging Illinois Medical Cannabis industry and all of the relevant stakeholders. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and an MBA from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and has been a lifelong Illinois resident.

Amy Poinsett

Amy Poinsett is a co-founder and the Chief Executive Officer of MJ Freeway Business Solutions, a women-owned software company focused on providing a business software platform including point of sale, inventory tracking, manufacturing and cultivation management 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 software technology development teams, 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 numerous 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.

Andrew Deangelo

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.

Andrew Myers

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.

Betty Aldworth

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.

Billy Marcoe

Billy Marcoe is the Processing Manager at Solstice, a Seattle based cannabis company focused on production and processing. Billy gained exposure to food processing early as the son of a 3rd generation candy maker, and started on the ground floor with Solstice in 2011. Since then he has handled a wide range of processing tasks in route to managing the department, including harvesting, curing, manicuring, extraction, and packaging. Solstice’s goal has been to standardize how cannabis is processed and allow consumers to access high quality cannabis on a consistent basis. Billy helps lead the charge in clean practices with a focus is on creating scalable, sustainable practices. Previous to Solstice Billy graduated from California State University, Fullerton in 2010 with a Bachelors degree in Business Marketing. He was drafted in the 2010 Major League baseball amateur draft by the Seattle Mariners and played 2 seasons in their minor league system.

Brandon Hamilton

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 Gilbert

Brian Gilbert is Events Coordinator for the National Cannabis Industry Association. He works to ensure the success of the NCIA events program through sponsorship support among member businesses, coordination of promotional efforts, and management of on-site event logistics. Brian got his start in the drug policy reform movement in 2009 as one of the founding members of the Students for Sensible Drug Policy chapter at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. He quickly became involved on the local, state, and national level as an Outreach Coordinator for SSDP’s live music activism-based AMPLIFY Project, transforming it over four years into a leading voice for drug policy reform and harm reduction within the live music community. In addition to his work with NCIA, Brian also serves as director of artist and volunteer relations for the AMPLIFY Project and sits on the board of directors of the non-profit harm reduction organization DanceSafe. He is originally from northern Virginia but relocated to Denver in 2014.

Brian Vicente

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 founding Board Chair and Vicente Sederberg is a Sustaining Member of NCIA.

Brooke Gilbert

Brooke Gilbert is Director of Events and Education for the National Cannabis Industry Association. Prior to joining NCIA, Brooke served as the Outreach and Events Coordinator for medical cannabis patient-advocacy group, Americans for Safe Access, where she facilitated the organization’s first-ever national conference in 2013. As a passionate advocate of drug policy reform, Brooke has been involved in a number of projects and campaigns geared toward reforming our country’s failed drug policies. In 2011, she started a statewide medical amnesty campaign in Virginia in response to the rising number of overdoses happening across the state and country. She has also been instrumental in program development as an intern for Students for Sensible Drug Policy, where she coordinated the first round of mentors & mentees of the Sister-to-Sister program. She continues to volunteer with SSDP as the director of development & special projects for the AMPLIFY project, which brings musicians and volunteers together to advocate for reform together. Brooke currently resides in Denver, Colorado with her husband Brian and dog Lola.

Carole Richter

Carole Richter, the Principal at CRichter~HR Consulting, partners with business owners to improve profits by analyzing HR metrics, generate sales by aligning employees and teams to goals, and increase productivity through enhanced organizational design and culture.

Carole’s experience is grounded in business operations and she has consistently worked with start-ups and organizations undergoing explosive growth. She has extensive experience in recruiting, training and facilitation, employee relations, negotiation and conflict resolution, talent management, leadership development and succession planning. She has a Masters in HR specializing in Organizational Leadership and successfully applies and shares her knowledge on the latest trends affecting HR and business today. She serves on the Board of Directors for Mile High Society for Human Resource Management.

Chelsea Hopkins

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 Lindsey

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

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, CBS News and Crain’s Michigan Business. MMJ Business Daily is a Member of NCIA.

Chris Wrenn

Christopher Wrenn is the Vice President of Americas Sales for AEssense Corp., a Silicon Valley developer and manufacturer dedicated to providing innovative technological solutions for plant growers worldwide. Previously Mr. Wrenn was Sr. Director of Sales and Marketing for Environics USA, a provider of sophisticated gas & vapor detection solutions for the military, 1st responder, safety and homeland security markets. Mr. Wrenn was also a key member of the RAE Systems team, helping to grow RAE’s revenues from $1M/yr to nearly $100M/yr in the above mentioned markets. Chris has been a featured speaker at more than 100 international conferences and has written numerous articles, papers and book chapters on gas detection in HazMat and industrial safety applications.

Christian Sederberg

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

A cannabis industry veteran, Christie Lunsford has served as a consultant during the licensing and formulation phases of multiple Medical Cannabis Centers and Infused Product Manufacturers in Colorado, California, Illinois and Washington State. As a member 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 over 20 years of experience in communications, with a broad background in cannabis therapeutics, uptake systems, consumer safety and corporate branding. She has been interviewed by many local and national media outlets including 5280, Huffington Post, Times.com, Forbes and The New York Times.

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

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.