Cannabis Counsel, P.L.C.
Matthew Abel is Executive Director of Michigan NORML and a criminal defense attorney. Mr. Abel founded Cannabis Counsel, P.L.C., a five-attorney Detroit, Michigan law firm. The practice includes business, employment and labor, domestic, contract, real estate, landlord-tenant, and other cannabis issues.
Mr. Abel is a NORML Legal Committee and National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys lifetime member, and a member of the National Lawyers Guild, and the legal committee of the ACLU of Michigan. He lectures regularly.
Mr. Abel has a Juris Doctorate from Wayne State University Law School, Master in Public Administration and Bachelor in Philosophy from Central Michigan University, and Associate in Criminal Justice from Castleton State College. He is also an Eagle Scout.
Next Wave Insurance Services, LLC
Michael Aberle has 13 years of experience in the property and casualty insurance market and currently acts as program manager of the Cannabis Insurance Program at Next Wave Insurance Services, LLC in Rancho Cordova, CA.
Along with his extensive sales and marketing background, he designed the first “seed to sale” insurance program in 2009 for all medicinal and recreational cannabis and hemp in the U.S. and international operations . Mike also developed the first Crop and Product Liability policy forms covering bodily injury and property damage resulting from a cannabis related products.
In February 2015, meeting the rapid growth and evolution in the cannabis market, Mike launched a new insurance program with three of the top insurance companies in the world, designed to provide the most comprehensive coverage and increased limits available to the industry.
In 2007 and 2008, Mike expanded his risk management knowledge of cannabis related exposures by working in cultivation, manufacturing, and retail operations. Mike is the only known insurance executive in the country with this extensive experience. He is the bridge between insurance companies, brokers and cannabis business owners.
Marijuana Investment & Private Retreat™ (MIPR)
Khadijah Adams is the founder and senior managing partner of Marijuana Investment & Private Retreat™ (MIPR), a limited liability corporation that bridges the gap between the cannabis industry and the public by sharing strategic ways of investing in the cannabis industry. She is originally from Sugar Land, Texas. An entrepreneur since 1997, Khadijah previously owned and operated a successful nationwide signing agency for over 10 years and went on to own a successful chain of computers stores in Houston, Texas. Khadijah attended Barry University in Miami, FL (Law/English/Theology). She is a presidential board member of the National Cannabis Chamber of Commerce. Khadijah is a business member of MJBA, NCIA, Cannabis Consumers Coalition, Norml, MPP and has participated with Women Grow as a sponsor of local events. She is also an affiliate of Cashinbis and Marketfy.
Students for Sensible Drug Policy
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.
Emerald Growers Association
Hezekiah Allen was born and raised in Humboldt County. He studied Politics and Government at Pacific University. After university he returned to the North Coast to work as a consultant helping local residents increase water storage, implement conservation irrigation practices, and assisting local organizations with fundraising and strategic planning. In 2010 he was hired as the Executive Director of the Mattole Restoration Council. While with the MRC Allen was one of the first community leaders to call attention to the increasingly severe environmental impacts associated with illegal and unregulated marijuana cultivation.
All his life he has been a fierce guardian of and advocate for the heritage of small scale farms and sustainable cannabis cultivation in CA. He has a deep understanding of the impacts prohibition has had on families, communities, and patients throughout the state. It is Allen’s underlying belief that–just as cannabis can heal people–the cannabis advocacy community can heal politics through a collaborative and inclusive approach, cannabis businesses can heal our economy through decentralization and opportunity for all, and cannabis farms can heal the natural treasures of the state by integrating best management practices and a stewardship ethic on to the farm.
In June 2014 Hezekiah relocated to Sacramento after he accepted a contract to work as the Executive Director of the Emerald Growers Association, a trade association focused on promoting public policies that will foster a sustainable, healthy and legal cannabis industry.
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.
Grow Element Technologies
Terry Anderson graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Mechanical Engineering. Anderson
Started Omni Tech Corp in 1978 as manufacturers representative. In 1983 Terry designed and sold PC security enclosures for those fearing theft of their PC’s. In 1986 he assembled and sold desktop PC’s. Later, in 2000, Terry started designing and selling custom computing engines to drive an OEM’s equipment with proprietary software. Once these divisions reached their peak they were sold off and another was started. Terry has received many awards, such as: In 1995, Terry was the Entrepreneur of the Year from Wisconsin, and in 1996, Terry was the Small Businessman of the Year from Wi and No. 2 in the nation for the U.S. Small Business Association.
Otoké Horticulture, LLC
Kurt Badertscher is co-founder of Otoké Horticulture and co-author of Cannabis for Cannabis. An engineer by training and longtime corporate trouble shooter by experience, Kurt’s main focus is on applying the lessons of plant science to the problems of Cannabis cultivation and has an almost full time job keeping abreast of regulations that affect cultivators.
Otoké Horticulture, LLC
Kerrie Badertscher’s life long association with plants and plant production made working with cannabis an easy and natural decision. For over 4 ½ years, Kerrie Badertscher and her husband, Kurt, owners of Otoké Horticulture, specialize in all aspects of Cannabis Production. Otoké Horticulture is proud to have published recently: Cannabis for Capitalists. As an American Society for Horticultural Science Certified Professional Horticulturist, she is the first professionally recognized horticulturist to delve into the Cannabis and hemp industries. After owning a small commercial flower farm and greenhouse for many years, Kerrie earned both a BS and MS in horticulture from Colorado State University. She was an Extension Specialist / Adjunct or Asst. professor to Colorado State University (Horticulture,) University of Colorado (architecture and engineering) along with University of Nevada, Reno. Kerrie started working on sustainability issues pertaining to horticulture in the early 1980’s before sustainable became trendy. Her last fellowship examined the use of plant materials (including hemp) for co-generation of heat and electricity along with the production of bio-char.
Tahoe Wellness Cooperative
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.
Security Grade Protective Services
David Beckett has worked in the security field for the last 9 years. He started his career in home security working for a small ADT dealer out of Indiana. The job moved him from Rochester, NY to Hartford, CT. In Connecticut, David opened the branch for Defender and soon after was promoted to Installation Manager. His branch became #1 in the company, growing his territory into NY, RI, VT, NH, MA, NJ, CT & NYC. With the success of this region, Defender was on the rise, going from the 4th largest ADT dealer to #1 in the nation. The standards and practices he implemented are still in place today set forth nationwide by corporate.
In 2008, David moved to Colorado and opened his own security company. He signed on with four local ADT dealers providing installations for them all. After a few years of non-stop hard work and dedication, he decided to shift gears. He began working for larger companies, expanding his knowledge in home automation and networking. Becoming familiar with fire codes and regulations from commercial high-rise buildings, he also gained an expansive background in all aspects of low voltage. David helped to design and install the new state of the art security system, at a major national armored car facility. The system design included redundant security measures with retinal scanners for employee identity, employee tracking and people counting etc.
In 2014, David was offered a position at the only cannabis security company in the Denver area. Initially getting hired as the Project/Inventory Manager, he excelled rapidly and was promoted to Operations Manager. He quickly improved business, with production ten times higher than ever before.
Staying up to date on the latest technologies helps David consult customers with knowledge of the best security systems and designs in the industry today. David is a member of CEDIA and has taken courses in Remote Access Security & Best Practices, Art of Project Documentation, Home Theater Design, IP Networking & Setup, Z-Wave Technologies, Project Management Principles and Art of Managing a Whole Home System. David has also been factory trained on many products including GE, DSC, Honeywell, Denon, URC, Optex, Paxtox, HIK Vision, Exacq and Speco. After developing solid business relationships with Derek and Ben, the trio plan on taking the industry by storm by offering the best fully comprehensive security solution on the market.
Leland R. Berger
Leland R. Berger Attorney at Law
Leland R. Berger has 32 years in private practice, including his statewide representation of medical cannabis patients and their providers for the past 20 years. A Portland attorney and activist, Leland R. Berger has morphed his law practice from criminal defense to advising cannabusinesses. Co-drafter of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act, its amendments and several dispensary and legalization initiatives and bills (including Measure 91), his activism includes citizen lobbying, public speaking, and protester defense.
Mr. Berger is a member of the National Cannabis Industry Association, the Oregon Cannabis Industry Association, the NORML Legal Committee, Americans for Safe Access’ Board of Legal Advisers and the Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. His awards include High Times’ Freedom Fighter of the Month (Aug. 2001), OCDLA’s President’s Award (2008), NORML’s Citizen Activist Award (2010), and he is the first ever recipient of the Oregon Cannabis Industry Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award (2014). Mr. Berger is assisted at OC3 by Legal Assistant, Office Manager and Industry Insider Leia Flynn.
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.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer
US House of Representatives
A lifelong Portland resident, Earl Blumenauer 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.
Leslie Bocskor is an investment banker and entrepreneur focused on the emerging legal cannabis industry. Bocskor founded Electrum Partners and is working with some of the biggest players in the industry to develop strategies to quickly expand the market for legal cannabis in the U.S. and beyond.
In his role as Founding Chairman of the Nevada Cannabis Industry Association he is bringing time-tested practices from the financial markets and his entrepreneurial experience to assure Nevada’s industry is an example to be emulated worldwide. Bocskor is currently developing a hedge fund that will allow for deployment of capital on a state-by-state and national basis to meet the growing demand for legal cannabis.
As a long time investor, he has a history of success working in early stage disruptive trends and technologies, beginning with internet and new media properties in the late nineties. Since then he has been involved in life science, cybersecurity and internet gaming.
As a member of the Arcview Angel Investor Network he has been mentoring companies for their presentations at investor meetings, is part of the selection committee, is a business advisor, and has been a speaker or panelist at the recent Arcview events. Bocskor is also Chairman of the Figment Project; an international arts festival held in 3 countries on 2 continents and 2 languages in 2014. He is a regular speaker at Arcview Angel Investor Network conferences.
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.
Kara Bradford is Co-Founder and Chief Talent Officer of Viridian Staffing. She has been an HR professional, specializing in talent acquisition, workforce planning, employer branding, compliance, and organizational design for over 14 years. Her career has spanned multiple Fortune 100 companies in a wide variety of industries. Kara has an MBA in Human Resources & Organizational Behavior and is PRC, CIR, and CSSR Certified. She also sits on the Board of a Global Recruiting organization. Kara has spoken and is slated to speak at several National conferences this year in both the Cannabis and HR industries.
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.
Harris Bricken LLP
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.
Silverback Advisory Group
Morris Brink is Chief Technology Officer and co-owner of the Silverback Advisory Group (SAG) based in Sonoma County, CA. SAG provides world-class consulting and design services, commercial indoors, greenhouse and outdoor architecture, and full implementation and operations services to producers, wholesalers and retailers in the cannabis industry.
Morris has worked with commercial greenhouses for close to 15 years designing indoor environmental systems specializing in heating, cooling, irrigation, humidity, irrigation and fertigation design, lighting, Co2, computer controls and aroma suppression. He started producing cannabis in 1996, growing both indoor and in greenhouses using both organic methods and various hydroponic systems.
As a graduate from the University of California at Davis with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Economics, Morris specialized with an emphasis in business and marketing. He is an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys kayaking, SUPing, surfing, mountain biking, snow skiing and mountaineering. When not outdoors, he will likely be found preparing a meal with his family using the organic bounty that he grows.
Jan Carlos Byl
MedCanna Consulting LLC
Jan Carlos Byl is the founder and Managing Member of MedCanna Consulting LLC. MedCanna provides application support, design, implementation and operations management of commercial cultivation facilities in areas permitting regulated medical cannabis programs.
A first generation American raised in and around Washington DC, Mr. Byl has nearly two decades of practical Cannabis cultivation, breeding, extraction and dispensary operations experience within The Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, Colorado, Arizona and Washington DC. Mr. Byl was first exposed to Cannabis cultivation while at University in Quebec, where he worked with a group that would become one of the first licensed Hemp cultivators in Canada in 1998.
While living in Amsterdam from 1997-2005, Mr. Byl worked for the Greenhouse Amsterdam, working directly with Arjan Roskam. During his tenure at the Greenhouse Mr. Byl was exposed to and able to learn from some of the most respected and revered names in Cannabis and Seed production including Neville Schoenmakers, Shantibaba, Soma, Tony Sagarmatha and Adam Dunn to name a few.
More recently Mr. Byl designed, shepherded through licensing and simultaneously implemented the first two legal cultivation facilities in the strictly regulated Washington DC market. He also helped design and supervise the build-out of three dispensaries in Arizona.
With MedCanna Mr. Byl has written multiple applications for licensure and designed over 200,000 square feet of cultivation space. MedCanna has clients in 5 states, Canada, Switzerland and Spain
Julianna Carella founded Auntie Dolores, The Every Day Edible in 2008, bringing 20+ years of culinary work with cannabis and entrepreneurship in the health space. Julianna is an avid proponent of health freedom, a visionary, and an activist in the MMJ community. As a health food enthusiast, Julianna began incorporating cannabinoids into her own diet and sharing the benefits with friends and family members who later encouraged her to turn her passion into a business. Today, Auntie Dolores healthy gourmet edibles and pet products are sold in over 150 dispensaries throughout California and the brand will launch in additional states in 2015.
Lorianne E. Carey
Oregon SunGrown Growers’ Guild
Lorianne E. Carey has been homesteading on a 30 acre Organic farm in Williams, OR for over 22 years, growing produce for local markets, vegetable/herb and flower seed, medicinal herbs, and for the past 10 years, Medical Cannabis for patients under the OMMP. She is a Professional Member of the American Herbalist’s Guild and practices Clinical Herbalism, Aromatherapy and Flower Essence Therapy at Apothecare, her herbal clinic and dispensary.
Lorianne is a member of the National Cannabis Farmers Association, and is the Co-founder and Secretary of Oregon SunGrown Growers’ Guild, a non-profit organization of growers that is the largest in the State, advocating for and promoting SunGrown Cannabis as Measure 91 is implemented.
A Therapeutic Alternative
Kimberly Cargile has been dedicated to advancing the medical cannabis industry in California for over a decade. Her passion for natural medicine and holistic health was kindled as she worked her way through college as a certified personal fitness trainer and yoga instructor. When she graduated Humboldt State University in 2006, she moved to Sacramento to begin her career. Kimberly gained invaluable patient service experience as the manager of one of California’s first dispensaries, Capitol Wellness Collective. In 2012 Kimberly was able use her scientific knowledge to promote lab testing of medical cannabis throughout Northern California with a position at Sequoia Analytical Labs. Kimberly believes that patients have a right know that their medicine if free of molds, mildews, bugs, pesticides and contaminants. At her current position as the CEO of A Therapeutic Alternative Inc. Kimberly is proud of the fact that her staff can help a patient find a strain that will relieve his or her symptoms based on the strains specific cannabinoid profile. Kimberly has worked hard over the years to continually learn as much as possible about the science and politics of medical cannabis. Her passion for helping others has fueled her desire to stay in the industry through some very hard times. Kimberly is respected for her knowledge, ethics and compassion. Her experience has earned her the title as an expert in the medical cannabis industry.
Green Mountain Harvest
Susan has been an entrepreneur since 1972. This includes owning 5 restaurants, an international and private alternative healing practice, a health and wellness center, being a practicing minister and performing sacred ceremonies including weddings, christenings & memorials, opening a natural insecticide company, achieving top national leadership status in an international health care company, engaging in small business consulting, and speaking in numerous occasions on the radio and national seminars & workshops. Susan is committed to helping people heal in a way that works for them. Most importantly she currently operates the oldest and the first-cleared and compliant marijuana harvest and trim company, Green Mountain Harvest. Green Mountain Harvest is based in Colorado and has been open and serving marijuana businesses nationally since 2010. Susan is a national expert on harvesting and the harvesting business. Susan is committed to helping people heal in a way that works for them.
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.
Meg Collins joined Good Chemistry as the vice president of business development in 2015, bringing more than 30 years of experience in public policy and strategic communications to the leadership team. Collins has led lobbying, public affairs and public relations efforts on behalf of energy, environmental and agriculture clients at the federal and state level. She is noted for her ability to navigate complex regulatory and legislative proposals to achieve sound policies and interact politically at all government levels.
In her role, Collins coordinates and manages Good Chemistry’s strategic planning and business development efforts in Colorado and other states. She will oversee and guide policy development and governmental affairs efforts that are integral to the company’s business efforts and will serve as the point person for community affairs activities where Good Chemistry has operations.
Prior to joining Good Chemistry, Collins was executive director of the Cannabis Business Alliance. During her tenure with CBA, she helped her members navigate the complex regulatory and legislative proceedings that designed the regulatory framework for Amendment 64, which legalized recreational marijuana for those over 21 and authorized the licensing structure for recreational marijuana to be sold in retail marijuana stores.
Before working with the cannabis industry, Collins was the president of the Colorado Oil & Gas Association (COGA). In this role, she led the association’s response to a controversial overhaul of the state’s oil and gas regulations. The rulemaking focused on the increase in exploration and production activity on the Western Slope, which had accelerated because of directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing technologies. Collins worked with industry leaders and state policy makers during the 2007-2008 stakeholder process to craft regulations that reflected both the priorities of Gov. Bill Ritter’s administration and the capabilities of the oil and gas industry.
In agriculture, Collins spearheaded the response to Colorado’s 1998 passage of Amendment 14, which imposed a strict regulatory regime on hog producers. For the Colorado Livestock Association, she implemented a government affairs program focusing on air and water quality regulations impacting the Colorado livestock industry at state and federal levels.
Collins elevated the industry’s profile and was able to position the association as a key player in the environmental arena. Her efforts resulted in the adoption of reasonable, science-based air and water quality and odor regulations for state Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). She also helped drive the creation of the Environmental Agriculture Program in the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment.
Meg served on the state’s Pollution Prevention Advisory Board (PPAB) from 2002 until 2012, serving as board chair from 2004 through 2008. She was a founding member of Colorado’s Women in Energy organization and serves on board of the Humane Society of Boulder Valley.
She has received certificated training in facilitation and mediation from CDR Associates in Boulder and graduated from the University of Colorado with a bachelor’s degree in environmental conservation.
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.
Pioneer Production and Processing
Fitz Couhig was born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and is a graduate of Louisiana State University. Ski bum, tour guide, software, account management, real estate acquisitions, wetland restoration, project and asset management all led to Fitz founding Pioneer Production and Processing in December of 2013, with business partner and growing expert Sean O’Leary, which is a licensed Washington State producer and processor of cannabis products. Fitz is an avid duck hunter, loves family and friends, craft cannabis, farmed food, craft beer, live music, competitive sports, big poker games, adventure travel, and good books. Currently living in Northern Washington, Fitz is the CEO of PPP, distributing a 10 strain menu to 20 retail stores statewide, and growing.
Jay Czarkowski 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.
The ArcView Group
Troy co-founded cannabis investment and research firm, The Arcview Group, in 2010 and serves as CEO. ArcView created the ArcView Investor Network where more than 470 high net-worth investors have pumped more than $41 million into 54 cannabis-related ventures and raised more than $600K for the legalization effort. Arcview also publishes The State of Legal Marijuana Markets, the most oft-cited market data and analysis report on the industry. Arcview co-founded Cannasure Insurance Services in 2011 and launched Canopy, a business accelerator in 2015. Troy is an elected board member of the Marijuana Policy Project and is a founding board member of the National Cannabis Industry Association. He is co-founder of Students for Sensible Drug Policy and also helped launch and served as the first sales director at Renewable Choice Energy, which was recently named the #1 green power provider by the EPA. In his spare time, Troy enjoys karaoke and Burning Man.
Harborside Health Center, LLC
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.
Harborside Health Center
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.
John Decker attended University of Maryland, where he became involved with the local SSDP and NORML chapters. After seven years of volunteering his time to drug policy reform, and twelve years in the restaurant business, John decided to combine his two talents, and work in the cannabis infused edible world. Currently John is the production manager of Mountain Medicines. John makes hand crafted confectionery delicacies on a daily basis, while ensuring proper kitchen and METRC guidelines are being followed.
Julie’s Natural Edibles
Julie Dooley, president of Julie’s Natural Edibles and a Celiac patient, wanted to create a premium product that gluten-sensitive adults could freely enjoy. For over 5 years now, with an amazing team and plenty of research, they specialize in cannabutter extraction which is then baked into a product line that consists of strain specific, gluten free, and refined sugar free edibles. Julie’s Natural Edibles is committed to the highest level of ingredients and manufacturing standards in order to provide consumers with the healthiest, most effective edible in the Colorado marketplace.
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.
Marijuana Industry Group
Michael Elliot has served as the Executive Director of MIG since January of 2011. Before becoming an attorney, Michael worked on several political campaigns. Most notably, Michael managed the campaign that defeated a proposed ban of medical marijuana centers in El Paso County (Colorado Springs).
FOCUS: Foundation of Cannabis Unified Standards
Leslie Engelking’s proven success in both the highly regulated framework of the pharmaceutical industry and launching Arizona’s premiere cannabis brand make her ideal to lead this nascent industry out of a patchwork of state regulations into a cohesive international system – resulting in a legal, sustainable marketplace.
Lezli previously created standards for self-policing within the cannabis industry, but is now ahead of both industry self-regulation and lawmakers – developing the first American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited, third party validated, international, quality and safety based cannabis standard in seven comprehensive areas: Cultivation; Retail, Marketing & Patient Care; Extraction; Infused Products; Pharmacology/Laboratory; Security; and Business Sustainability.
A passion for community outreach, coalition building and public policy issues, combined with a deep understanding of the ebb and flow between state and federal regulatory frameworks and industry self-regulation make Lezli exceptionally qualified to lead a project on industry standards.
Gary Fast has been a involved with the Oregon medical marijuana program since 2008, gaining experience with both indoor and outdoor cultivation. In Washington, he is a member in the Collation of Cannabis Standards and Ethics. Gary is also the Northwest Sales Manager for Mosman Machinery, a trim machine company for the cannabis industry, based in Northern California. He works with Producers and Processors all over the Northwest.
Vicente Sederberg LLC
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.
Rocky Mountain Remedies
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.
Berkeley Patients Group
Étienne Fontan is Vice President & Co-owner of Berkeley Patients Group (BPG), a leader in the medical cannabis industry since 1999. He has founded dispensaries in Berkeley, Los Angeles, West Hollywood, and in the state of Maine. For more than a decade, Étienne has positioned BPG as a leading medical cannabis dispensary, focusing on leading the emerging industry as it expands, evolves, and becomes more professional. In 1993 he was a director with the Cannabis Action Network and traveled through 47 U.S. states speaking at rallies, teach-ins, and tours, reaching out to the general public on all cannabis-related issues. As a combat veteran of the first Gulf War, Mr. Fontan now lobbies on veterans’ behalf for the use of cannabis.
Steve Fox, Esq., director of VS Strategies and of counsel at Vicente Sederberg LLC, is one of the leading figures in the movement to create a legal, regulated marijuana market in the United States. Since 2002, he has been deeply involved in marijuana-related lobbying, ballot initiatives, and communications work. He is a co-founder of the National Cannabis Industry Association, which represents more than 800 state-legal businesses, and serves as a strategic advisor to the organization. While at the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) from 2002-2005 and 2009-2013, Steve lobbied Congress and guided numerous ballot initiative campaigns, including the Amendment 64 campaign in Colorado, which made marijuana legal for all adults. He also guided a lobbying team through the Amendment 64 implementation process. In 2005, Steve conceptualized and co-founded Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER) in Colorado for the express purpose of educating the public about the fact that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol. The goal, eventually realized, was to change the mindset of voters in order to make marijuana legal through a ballot initiative. He is the co-author of Marijuana is Safer: So why are we driving people to drink? (Chelsea Green, 2009, 2013), which is based on the strategy that proved successful in Colorado.
Black Dog LED
Kevin Frender has been growing indoors under artificial lights for over 24 years, using every commercially available lighting technology along the way. Over two years ago while continuing his quest for the perfect indoor grow light, Kevin found Black Dog LED and tested their lights. Within a few weeks the results were so obvious he changed out the rest of his lights for Black Dog LED grow lights and a few months later quit his full time job to join Black Dog LED.
Kevin’s extensive experience growing under artificial light, his vast knowledge of plants, and his penchant for science has driven R&D at Black Dog LED to new heights. He is the primary point of contact for science related projects such as CU researchers using BDL grow lights in Cannabis research.
Tony Gallo is the Senior Director of Sapphire Protection with over 30 years experience in the Security, Audit, Safety, and Risk/Emergency Management fields. Tony has a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from New Jersey City University and is a member of National Cannabis Industry Association, Americans for Safe Access, National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, Marijuana Business Association and the American Society for Industrial Security.
Tony is a published author on cannabis security and has spoken at various cannabis business conferences across the United States. Tony is considered one of the leading authorities in cannabis and financial loan service retail loss prevention, armed robberies, smash and grabs, and burglary investigations.
National Cannabis Industry Association
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.
National Cannabis Industry Association
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.
Rachel K. Gillette
Rachel K. Gillette is an attorney based in the Denver-Boulder area of Colorado and she currently serves as the Executive Director of Colorado NORML. A major part of Rachel’s practice is focused on advocating on behalf of medical marijuana patients and caregivers, marijuana consumers, and the representation of state and locally licensed medical and recreational marijuana businesses and their employees throughout Colorado. Since founding her practice in 2010, Rachel has assisted numerous marijuana businesses throughout the complicated local and state business licensing processes. Rachel also represents taxpayers before the Collections, Appeals, and Examination divisions of the Internal Revenue Service, including marijuana business taxpayers facing tremendous tax challenges due to the IRS’s application of 280E, and those marijuana businesses under state, local, or federal tax audit. Rachel is highly involved in the political discussion surrounding the development of Colorado’s new regulatory model of cannabis legalization under Amendment 64, passed by 55% of Colorado voters in 2012. She is committed to ending the prohibition of cannabis at the national level and ensuring state licensed and legal marijuana businesses are fairly taxed and regulated.
Shea Gunther serves as Publisher and Executive Editor of 4Front Publishing. Before joining 4Front, Shea worked as a writer for the Mother Nature Network, the top environmental news site on the internet, and as a media and social marketing consultant. He has worked as an entrepreneur for most of his career, starting with Zoom Culture, a video-centered dotcom that he founded in 1999 that raised $10 million in venture capital, as well as Renewable Choice Energy, now one of the leading providers of wind power in the country. Shea is the executive producer of “Marijuana Today,” the top business and politics podcast covering the legal marijuana industry. He founded the very first chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy in 1998 at the Rochester Institute of Technology.
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.
Suzanne Harank, Co-Founder and CEO of MRM Systems, is a cannabis industry expert and pioneer in the field of regulatory compliance. Nicholas King, Co-Founder and CCO, and Suzanne were the first consultants in the world to perform on-site field compliance assessments in 2011 within the regulated cannabis industry. Suzanne has testified as a compliance consultant at Marijuana Enforcement Division court hearings. She ran the day-to-day operations of a dispensary and cultivation facilities and ensured all compliance requirements were properly implemented, updated, and maintained.
As one of the pioneer owner/operators of a premier Colorado dispensary, Alpine Herbal Wellness, in 2009, Suzanne understands the critical importance and complexities of ensuring full and maintained compliance, at all times, to protect your business investment. Suzanne has over 33 years experience in operational and executive business management, leadership, human resources, and business ownership prior to entering the cannabis industry. She is a published author and a professional business and life coach.
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.
Liana Held has 20+ years of experience in activism and understands the industry’s unique needs in navigating local governance, accounting, and staffing. She is the CEO of Liana Ltd., a cannabis business development company that provides accounting and human resources services to clients in California – and nationwide. She is a board member of the California NORML and has been a featured speaker/panel moderator in conferences worldwide.
Michael Hesser has over 25 years of experience on the front lines of primary research, and is a nationally recognized leader in the fields of consumer insight, directory exchange, wireless technology, and local commerce. Possessing highly refined expertise in the spheres of new product development, customer loyalty, and brand identity, he is both, a sought-after, respected speaker at market research industry conferences, and a well-regarded contributor to major trade journals. Michael founded the market research company Praxi in 2003 which provides customized research projects using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies across an array of industries. He has also moderated over a thousand focus groups during the last decade, in subjects ranging from consumer psychology and behavior to branding and advertising. In addition to Praxi, Michael founded Verabis in 2015 in order to provide market research tailored to the emerging demands of the rising cannabis industry.
Denver Relief Consulting
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.
Solana Business Solutions
Hoban & Feola is Colorado’s original canna-business law firm (since 2008). Bob Hoban is an AV® Preeminent™ rated attorney and seasoned full-service commercial practitioner – serving both THC and CBD business models. Bob is recognized as one of the leading commercial cannabis practitioners nationwide; representing private and publicly held clients in numerous states and abroad. He was identified as one of the, “Five Pot Lawyers to Watch in 2015” by MarijuanaStocks.com.
Bob has litigated nearly every aspect of Colorado’s Marijuana Code and closed over 300 marijuana-related business transactions across the country. Marijuana and hemp-based business operations, related litigation and regulatory counsel are a specialty.
He is also a professor at the University of Denver in the Law and Society Program and regularly instructs regarding government regulations, public policy and research-based policy courses. These courses have been marijuana-policy-centric. In 2014, Bob led a University-sanctioned research practicum concerning the efficacy of marijuana regulation; the first of its kind in the U.S. He is teaching an international travel course in Uruguay this summer concerning the cannabis regulatory framework. Furthermore, Bob has drafted more than 30 bills for the Colorado General Assembly (eminent domain/land use, hemp/marijuana and transportation).
Tim Hochman has spent the last 17 years working in Information Technology in a variety of roles that range from Outsourced CTO to Network and Systems Engineering. He founded Lark Information Technology in 2003 in response to the demand in for quality service providers in the Denver Metro area. Tim has focused a large part of Lark’s workload around privacy and compliance (PCI, SEC, HIPAA) and has drafted the corresponding Information Security Policies for these clients. As CEO of Lark he enjoys working in the junction of business and technology strategy and observing the positive effect it has on companies when these elements are in harmony. Tim also has been performing as a professional bassist for 20 years. He plays with several local bands and supports many national acts when they are on tour in Colorado.
Dixie Elixirs and Edibles
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.
Phylos Bioscience, LLC
Mowgli Holmes is a biologist trained in molecular genetics, microbiology, and evolutionary theory. He received his PhD from the Columbia University Department of Microbiology and Immunology, where he was a National Research Service Award Fellow.
He is the Chief Scientific Officer of Phylos Bioscience, a biotechnology company studying the Cannabis genome. He is also a founding board member of the Cannabis Safety Institute and a member of the Rules Advisory Committee responsible for implementing the legal Cannabis system recently created by Measure 91 in Oregon.
Port Hadlock Alternative Clinic
Gracen Hook began cultivating cannabis at the age of 18, and has been a vocal activist in Washington state marijuana policy ever since. After 4 years gaining experience in the industry, he felt he had developed enough knowledge to open a store front collective. After a successful year of business, he opened a second storefront in the neighboring town of Port Towsend, Washington. Gracen’s company was recently chosen in the retail cannabis lottery to be the sole retail store in Port Townsend. Port Townsend sees an average of 2 million tourist annually, and was recently voted as the best town in Washington state by King 5 News . He is also a guest instructor for the Cannabis Career Institute and is co-chairman of the coalition for cannabis standards and ethics I-502 committee.
The Greener Side
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.
Panacea Valley Gardens
Jesce Horton is the owner of Panacea Valley Gardens and cofounder of the Minority Cannabis Business Association. Before joining the cannabis industry, he worked at an engineering firm focused on business development, process/energy efficiency and strategy. Jesce has since applied this experience directly toward efficient cannabis cultivation, distribution and retail. He sees it as his duty to make a positive sustaining impact on the cannabis industry through sharing good business practices and helping to make the industry more accessible to women and minorities.
Travis Howard splits his time between corporate management practices and the legal areas of dynamic entrepreneurial industries. He holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Colorado School of Law and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Colorado State University.
His cannabis industry experience started in 2009 with KindReviews.com and progressed with owning and operating a Boulder dispensary and multiple cultivation centers. He has been consulting the national industry since 2010, having lectured in multiple states for CannaBusiness Media and the National Cannabis Industry Association. He is currently mentoring the first class of students at Canopy Boulder and thoroughly enjoys sharing his experiences in cannabis.
While he enjoys the cannabis industry, Mr. Howard has a broad business background encompassing specialties in computer information systems, project operations control, and public speaking platforms. In addition, Mr. Howard’s diverse portfolio of professional experiences includes System Administrator roles, Office Director positions, CEO titles, and Board of Directors membership.
Robert Hunt has more than 15 years of experience in the cannabis industry as an attorney, a consultant, and a serial entrepreneur. Robert is currently a Partner, and the Lead Industry Executive of Tuatara Capital. In this role Mr. Hunt is responsible for leading Tuatara’s deal generation efforts, operational due diligence, and execution of new investments.
Robert is an active attorney in the State of Colorado and was also the founder of Consult Canna, a cannabis consulting firm based in Colorado, where he worked as a professional consultant to many dispensary owners and license seekers in multiple jurisdictions to help navigate a rapidly changing legal landscape. Previously, as the owner and CEO of Rocky Mountain Hydroponics in Colorado, and Evergreen Garden Centers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine, Rob tailored his company to specialize in Organic and Hydroponic growing methodology to help maximize yields at commercial cultivation centers. Over the course of four years, Mr. Hunt grew his business from one location to five and significantly increased revenue over each year of leadership, building it to four million dollars in annual revenue before selling the business to GrowLife, Inc. where he served as both the President of the retail division and a director until the early part of 2014.
As an expert in and an advocate for the cannabis industry, Mr. Hunt has been a panelist for the National cannabis Industry Association (NCIA), the Medical Marijuana Business Journal’s annual national summit and the Weedstock National Conference. He has been interviewed by: Entrepreneur Magazine, Fortune Magazine, Men’s Health, The Boston Business Journal, NBC News, ABC News, The Boston Herald, MMJ Business Daily, CNN Money, Businessweek, Mainstreet, Ozy, The cannabis Financial Network as well as numerous other publications and media outlets. He has authored articles for publications as diverse as Hydrolife Magazine, Urban Garden and the Medical Marijuana Business Daily (MMBD). He is often quoted in articles as a professional in both the hydroponics and the medical cannabis industry, including publications such as: The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, The Boston Business Journal, CannaBusiness Magazine, The Phoenix and Wicked Local.
Mr. Hunt was formerly the Chairman of the Coalition for Responsible Patient Care, based in MA, where he spearheaded the initiative to help develop and implement the fledgling medical cannabis market in the Commonwealth. He was the principal developer of cannabis.org, a website focused on changing the scheduling of cannabis away from being a schedule I drug on the Federal Government’s list of controlled substances. Rob still authors all of the written commentary on the cannabis.orgFacebook page where he has an audience of close to 20,000 readers.
Mr. Hunt graduated Suffolk University Law School in 2007 where in his final year he completed a semester long independent study about the disparity between the Federal classification of cannabis as a Schedule I drug while simultaneously 13 U.S. States had medicinal cannabis laws on their books. Rob graduated with a B.A. from the University of Vermont in 2003 where he was the Speaker of the Student Senate and active in fighting against laws that prevented students with prior arrests for drug possession from being able to obtain Federally-backed student loans.
Rose Law Group
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.
Envirotech Greenhouse Solutions
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.
Peace in Medicine
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.
Dr. Lakisha Jenkins
Dr. Lakisha Jenkins, N.D., R.H. (AHG) holds a Doctorate in Naturopathy, a B.S. in Holistic Nutrition and is a registered professional herbalist with the American Herbalist Guild. She is Founder and CEO of The Kiona T Jenkins Foundation of Natural Health (Kiona Foundation Inc, 2003), a 501(c)(3) holistic health nonprofit organization and it’s subsidiary, Kiona’s Farm’acy, has provided holistic health services to the Central Valley since 2010 and is a sustaining member of NCIA. In addition to The Kiona Foundation, Dr. Jenkins also serves as a founding director and President of California Cannabis Industry Association – the California State affiliate of NCIA and trade organization dedicated to unite the cannabis industry in California and to allow it to speak with one voice at the state and local levels.
Pressure Safety Inspectors LLC
Sarah Kaiman has 15 years of experience providing environmental, health, and safety (EH&S) program support in a variety of work environments, including manufacturing, laboratory research, cleanup of contaminated sites, transportation projects, federal government facilities, and the marijuana industry. She has a passion for developing and implementing continual improvement programs aimed at improving environmental sustainability and worker health and wellness. Sarah is passionate about seeing marijuana infused product (MIP) manufacturers be industry leaders and gain competitive edge by achieving the healthiest and most environmentally-friendly workplaces possible. Sarah has a BS in environmental health from Colorado State University and a M.B.A from the University of Colorado at Denver.
Marijuana Policy Project
Rob Kampia co-founded the Marijuana Policy Project in 1995 and has served as its executive director ever since. Rob is the architect of most of the state-level marijuana laws that have been enacted in the United States since 2000. Most importantly, MPP legalized marijuana in Colorado in 2012. As a result, Colorado has the best marijuana law in the world. MPP also decriminalized marijuana possession via a ballot initiative in Massachusetts in 2008. Since then, MPP passed similar laws through the Rhode Island and Vermont legislatures.
GreenWave Advisors LLC
Matthew (Matt) Karnes has over 20 years of diverse finance and accounting experience. Prior to founding GreenWave Advisors LLC, Matt worked in equity research focusing on the Radio Broadcasting and Cable Television industries for First Union Securities. Matt also covered Satellite Communication at SG Cowen and in addition, worked with the top ranked Consumer Internet analyst at Bear Stearns & Co. – this team was consistently recognized by the Institutional Investor’s “All America Research Team”. As a sellside equity analyst, Matt authored and co-authored numerous industry research reports.
In his most recent role, Matt was Principal and Senior Equity Analyst at Bull Path Capital Management, a New York City based hedge fund, where he was responsible for investment strategies of emerging technologies primarily within the Technology, Media and Telecom sectors. Prior to his career on Wall Street, Matt held various finance and accounting positions including auditing roles with PriceWaterhouse Coopers and Delloitte. He graduated from Fordham University with an MBA in finance and earned a B.S. Business Administration with a double major in accounting and finance from Miami University (OH). Matt is also a Certified Public Accountant.
GreenWave Advisors, LLC is based in New York City.
As one of two original founders of the Dixie Elixirs and Edibles company, Colorado’s premiere licensed marijuana infused products manufacturer (MIPS), Tripp Keber now serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Dixie Brands, Inc. Widely hailed as one of this nascent industry’s indispensable leaders, when Tripp isn’t thinking about the future vision of Dixie and the industry, he is supporting the efforts of the National Cannabis Industry Association, where he is a founding member and current Board Director. Additionally since 2013, he has served as a Board Member of the Marijuana Policy Project as well as an Advisory Board member of the Medical Marijuana Industry Group in Colorado. In his current role as CEO of Dixie Brands, Inc,, Tripp gets to work on the really “fun” stuff and is responsible for the overall strategy, licensing, marketing, branding and expansion efforts related to the Dixie brand both domestically and internationally. Prior to building Dixie into a cannabis leader, Tripp served as Chief Operating Officer for Bella Terra Resort Development Company, and EVP of Business Development for Sagebrush Realty Development. He has a BS in Political Science from Villanova University and currently resides in both Aspen and Denver, CO with his family. He is involved in several charitable organizations located within his community, but his greatest philanthropic passion is assisting in the research and development of cannabis support for veterans suffering from PTSD.
A life-long tinkerer, Stephen Keen salvaged his first 4-wheeler at 7 years old. Keen attended Texas State Technical College, where he learned the ins and outs of complex mechanical systems. In 2003, he began his entrepreneurial career with a successful construction business remodeling existing and building new commercial and residential properties. In 2007, Keen co-founded Hydro Innovations with one goal: to improve methodology and energy efficiency in controlled environment agriculture. To this end, Keen developed an impressive IP portfolio and manufactured many unique products that have set a new standard for climate efficiency in this market.
As a 14 year veteran of the industry, Keen has gained unique expertise as a controlled environment agriculturalist. He has served as the chief cultivation expert for one of Colorado’s largest MMC operations and has been published in various prestigious industry magazines including Max Yield and Urban Garden. Keen’s mechanical acumen, vast construction experience, and intimate knowledge of indoor agriculture uniquely qualifies him as Surna’s VP of Research and Development.
Canna Consulting Group
Karl Keich is the Executive Director of Seattle-based Canna Consulting Group and owner of the Seattle Medical Marijuana Association. He has positioned himself as one of the most trusted cannabis industry experts out there having formed relationships with the industry’s top processors and producers, and continuously striving to carry the highest quality medical marijuana for his customers. Karl knows a quality product when he sees it, with a keen insight to the characteristics that distinguish the exceptional. The Seattle Medical Marijuana Association has established a reputation as one of the industry’s ‘Top Shelf Dispensaries’ in the State of Washington according to reviews from customers on sites such as Weed Maps, Leafly, and Yelp.
Karl understands the challenges in this industry and launched Canna Consulting Group to fill the knowledge gap in the industry between investors with money but little know-how when it comes to cannabis, and pot connoisseurs who need funding and guidance to set up successful business operations. With the industry still in its infancy and running on a rulebook that is not set in stone, Karl and the Canna Consulting Group are some of the rare few who have a bird’s eye view of where the industry is going and how investors and entrepreneurs can get ahead of the curve. Karl’s unsurpassed knowledge serves to help bypass and work through complications that arise, no matter the issue.
Karl attributes his success to “refining best practices and having ethics in this industry.” He continued, “not everyone is reliable or qualified to advise on an industrial scale. It’s a matter of managing processes, understanding margins, and looking at analytics, and getting results! There’s a lot more to consulting than being a cannabis expert. Success in this industry involves knowledge of zoning, policy, planning, licensing, architecture, HVAC, security, project build out, acquiring the appropriate genetics, production management, best practices for processing, inventory management, packaging, marketing, and point of sale integrations.” Karl’s knowledge of the cannabis industry comes with years of experience that can only be acquired by hands on collaborations within the cannabis industry. Karl’s feel for the pace of innovation in the industry is second to none, personally helping industry leaders develop and refine their products on an industrial scale.
Karl said he is thankful for the State of Washington and the City of Seattle for “getting it” and moving policies forward to regulate the industry. “We see the future, see the long term, and see the benefits of being involved in our communities. Marijuana is changing America. It is providing jobs, it is providing an alternative healthcare option that wasn’t available before, and it is generating huge tax revenues. It’s a win-win-win-win-win situation.” Still, the country as a whole still has a long road to travel before ending prohibition. Participating in paving that road, Karl said, has been one of the best parts of his job. “It’s about more than making money, it’s about being part of a nation-wide movement toward positive change. I’ve never worked so hard and done so many cool things and helped so many people. It is so rewarding.”
Coastal Compassion, Inc.
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.
Denver Relief Consulting
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.
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, and as General Counsel to the CCIA. 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 was named to the Northern California Super Lawyers Rising Stars list in 2010, 2011 and 2013. He was profiled as an Industry Leader in the recently published The State of the Legal Marijuana Markets (2nd Ed.), 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.
Kris Krane serves as a Principal and Managing Partner at 4Front Advisors, the nation’s premier medical marijuana dispensary consulting firm that is dedicated to ensuring the highest standards of operations in the industry, and president of 4Front Ventures, a holding company dedicated to professionalizing the cannabis industry. Since forming 4Front Advisors, the company has experienced unparalleled success in helping clients navigate the complex regulatory process necessary to obtain medical cannabis business permits in state regulated markets. Under Mr. Krane’s leadership, the company has developed the most professional best practice operating standards for retail dispensaries, largely based on professional standards from the retail, hospitality, and medical cannabis industries.
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 got his training in the medical cannabis industry at Harborside Health Center in Oakland, CA, the largest medical cannabis dispensary in the country, which also serves as a training grounds for 4Front Advisors’ clients.
Kris has dedicated his career to reforming the nation’s failed and misguided drug policies, having served as associate director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws from 2000-2005 and executive director of Students for Sensible Drug Policy from 2006-2009. At NORML, Kris was responsible for tracking marijuana legislation in all 50 states and coordinating grassroots networks to support the organization’s reform efforts. As the organization’s chapter coordinator, Kris helped increase the number of NORML chapters to over 120 nationwide.
During his tenure at SSDP the organization experienced rapid growth at the chapter, national and international levels, increasing from chapters on 40 college campuses in 2006 to over 200 when Kris left the organization in 2009. During this time the organization led a successful campaign to convince members of Congress to scale back the HEA Aid Elimination Penalty, the law that automatically denies federal financial aid to students with drug convictions, removing the penalty’s retroactivity and restoring aid to tens of thousands of students. Kris has personally appeared on television news programs including Fox News Weekend Live and Today in New York, and has been featured on National Public Radio, Court TV Radio, Wisconsin Public Radio, The WWRL Morning Show with Armstrong Williams, and dozens of local radio shows nationwide.
Kris currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Students for Sensible Drug Policy and the Board of Directors of the National Cannabis Industry Association, Marijuana Majority, and Common Sense for Drug Policy. He also served as Associate Editor of the 2011, 2013, and 2015 editions of the Arcview Market Research Report, the most comprehensive report on the size and scope of the legal marijuana.
Kyle Kushman is an internationally renowned marijuana cultivator with 12 Medical Cannabis Cups medals to his credit. He currently holds three US Cannabis Cups for Best Flowers. All awards were won using Kushman’s Vegamatrix. which was awarded the coveted STASH Award by High Times Magazine in 2014 as the best new nutrient on the market.
Kushman’s articles have been featured in High Times Magazine for almost 20 years. He has taught courses in advanced horticulture at Oaksterdam University and across the country. As creator of Vegamatrix™, a new line of vegan and organic nutrients launched in 2014, Kyle continues to make advances in cultivating “simply the purest, cleanest medicine possible.”
Additional projects include Kushman Veganix and Kushman Genetics formed by the triumvirate of Kushman, Wadleigh, and Justis where award winning flowers and genetics will be available on a national scale in the future.
Kyle Kushman is a 28 year veteran of Organic Cannabis Cultivation. After working the Q&A section of their new website for several years, Kyle was hired as a staff journalist and cultivation expert for High Times magazine. In 2004 Kyle left New York and his job at High Times to go back to cultivating and experimenting with organic growing. California provided a legal atmosphere to grow.
Kyle has studied and used almost every nutrient, gadget and piece of equipment on the market today. He continues to contribute as a freelancer on a regular basis to many national and international publications. Kyle started Karma Consulting in 2006; a consulting service for Proposition 215 medicinal cannabis gardens.
In 2009 he began teaching advanced horticulture classes at Oaksterdam University in Oakland, California. Later that year, Kyle began cultivating with his own formulation of Veganics. He taught Earth-Friendly Cannaculture classes using organics and Veganics at both Oaksterdam University and Peace In Medicine in SebastopolA twelve page article about Kushman Veganics is featured in the Jan. 2011 issue of High Times; coincidentally it was High Times’ 420th issue ever! Since then, there have been numerous articles published nationally about Kyle and his innovative techniques including the LA Times, Chicago Tribune and the New York Times.
Kyle blogs regularly on KyleKushman.com where growers can discuss all aspects of cultivation. In addition, Kyle has been working on a book and DVD on the subject of earth-friendly Veganics. He has several other projects in the works and you can expect to see Kyle’s products and techniques all over the world. Kyle has dedicated his life to understanding cannabis cultivation and to help normalize its use.
Jill Lamoureux has been involved in management, operations, and consultation within the cannabis industry since 2008. Jill has operated four dispensaries, three cultivation facilities, and one commercial kitchen in Colorado. She coordinated the process for a number of businesses to receive their state and local licenses in Colorado’s first effort to convert unregulated cannabis businesses. She has worked extensively in state and local government administration, developing specialized knowledge necessary for developing policies and procedures in highly regulated environments. This experience allowed her to gain an understanding and deep appreciation for the challenges that come with managing complex application processes and operating a cannabis business in newly regulated spaces.
Steep Hill Halent
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.
Rep. Lou Lang
Illinois State Legislature
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.
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.
Marijuana Policy Project
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.
Midwest Cannabis Consulting
Dan Linn has been working as a cannabis activist and lobbyist for over ten years with the Illinois chapter of the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws (NORML) and has spent most of that time as its Executive Director. He has testified before committees at the Capitol in Springfield, has been published and quoted in numerous newspapers and news broadcasts in Illinois, and is a co-author of the book The Cannabis Papers. He has publicly debated the former head of the DEA Peter Bensinger on television and spoke on a panel at the 2012 American Bar Association’s conference detailing different regulatory and tax models for legal cannabis markets. He is also a co-founder of Midwest Cannabis Consulting, serves as a founding member of the ILCIA Board of Directors and holds a bachelor’s degree from University of Illinois Springfield. Read some of Dan’s published letters and other writing archived at the Media Awareness Project.
The ArcView Group
Kris Lotlikar has been the lead researcher on all three Arcview Market Research reports. He hires and leads a team of experienced researchers to compile the market data and develop the market size estimates and projections. Kris is also the creator and host of the popular business and politics podcast, Marijuana Today. Kris has over a decade of experience following marijuana policy and reforms since co-founding and serving as the first executive director of Students for Sensible Drug Policy in 1998. Since then Kris has been a successful entrepreneur and consultant.
Kris is founder and President of Renewable Choice Energy, one of the leading renewable energy providers in the country with over 50 Fortune 500 clients. He brings years of experience operating in newly emerging and fast growing markets in the U.S. and is a prominent proponent of sustainable and mission-driven businesses.
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.
Champlain Valley Dispensary
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.
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.
Brand & Branch, LLP
Shabnam Malek is a partner at Brand & Branch LLP and President and Executive Director of the National Cannabis Bar Association. She advises clients on domestic and international trademark clearance, rights, registration, and enforcement. She also represents clients in disputes, develops worldwide expansion strategies, and negotiates and drafts agreements, including settlement agreements, co-existence agreements, trademark license agreements, and interstate license agreements. In addition to trademark law, Shabnam practices promotions law, privacy law, and all things internet.
Shabnam’s professional affiliations include the International Trademark Association and California Bar Association, where she serves on committees, the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Lawyers Guild, and the Queen’s Bench. She regularly speaks about intellectual property issues pertaining to the cannabis industry, and co-authored an article title, “Likelihood of Confusion – Three Areas of Uncertainty in Trademark Law,” IP Litigator, September/October 2010. Shabnam has been named a Northern California Rising Star three years in a row by Super Lawyers Magazine.
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.
Bulbulyan Consulting Group
Jennifer Martin is the winner of the 1998 San Francisco Bay Area Cannabis Cup, and is a pioneer in the US marijuana clone industry, having been the original clone provider to prominent San Francisco Bay Area dispensaries starting back in 1996. She has cloned over 200 strains, trained over 100 workers, and has set up and managed 20 grow facilities. She now focuses on consulting and writing from her home in Maui, Hawaii and writes the monthly cultivation column for the SF Evergreen Cannabis Magazine.
Jim Marty and Associates, LLC
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.
Sean T. McAllister
McAllister Law Office
Sean T. McAllister is the founding partner of McAllister Law Office, and along with his team of six other lawyers, the firm focuses their practice on marijuana industry work. The Firm handles a myriad of legal issues on behalf of its marijuana industry clients all across the country, but specifically in Colorado, New York, Nevada, Oregon, Maryland, Arizona, California, and Illinois.
Sean and his Firm’s practice focuses on all aspects of marijuana law including, regulatory compliance, intellectual property, business transactions, real estate, civil litigation, and marijuana criminal defense matters. In Sean’s role as counsel to dispensaries, he has sued state and local regulators over enforcement actions, litigated pesticide standards for marijuana grows, negotiated settlements to rules violations allegations, and drafted licensing/endorsement agreements with celebrity personalities. Sean has also represented several dispensary owners and employees charged or accused of criminal violations in state and federal court. He also played integral role in assisting in the drafting of the 2012 marijuana legalization initiative Amendment 64, which was ultimately approved by the voters of Colorado in November 2012. From 2000 to 2003, Sean served as an Assistant Attorney General with the state of Colorado. Sean is a graduate of the University of Colorado School of Law, class of 1999.
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.
Cannassure Insurance Services, LLC
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.
Maureen McNamara is an International Speaker, Facilitator and Coach. She has led hundreds of workshops and coaches business professionals and entrepreneurs to have more ease and success in their lives.
With 20+ years of professional training experience, Maureen has specializes in the hospitality industry. She has trained and certified 10,000+ employees, managers and owners in national certification programs. She has facilitated classes for small locally owned businesses as well as international corporations.
Maureen has been a consultant and facilitator for courses and course design with the National Restaurant Association and has been partnering with the Colorado Restaurant Association to deliver their training since 1999. She has worked with the Colorado Department of Revenue- Liquor Enforcement Division on the Responsible Vendor Act that was passed in 2005. She will be working the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division to design the Responsible Cannabis Vendor Program this year.
Maureen is the Founder and Chief Facilitator with Cannabis Trainers™; a corporation founded to create and deliver solutions for the Cannabis Industry. She has combined her skills and expertise with Food Safety and Responsible Alcohol Service into a comprehensive, engaging new program to ensure the Responsible, Knowledgeable and Safe Sale of Cannabis: Sell-SMaRT™, safe marijuana retail training.
Maureen and the team at Cannabis Trainers deliver highly interactive and compelling workshops with enthusiasm, humor and professional facilitation. In addition to the Sell- SMaRT™ program, they are pleased to deliver the nationally recognized ServSafe® Food Safety training to edible makers.
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.
Jeremy Moberg is a marine biologist and sungrown cannabis cultivator with over 20 years of experience. Jeremy successfully transitioned from the medical market to commercial scale with last year’s harvest of over 2000 lbs of premium quality cannabis. He is a nI-502 WA Licensed Producer/Processor, prominent in the industry, and runs the Washington Sungrowers Industry Association, which successfully reinstated sungrowing rights into the Washington recreational legislation. His CannaSol Farms has been featured in High Times as “the best weed in Washington State” and he remains focused on quality, sustainability, and fairness in the industry. Jeremy brings a scientific approach to farm management and optimization; he has spent countless hours performing marine fisheries surveys and is responsible for a number of published advancements in that field.
Healthy Choices Unlimited
Martha Montemayor, Certified Nutritional Consultant, is the owner of Healthy Choices Unlimited, a medical marijuana evaluation clinic. With MDs and clinic locations across the state, she has helped over 20,000 patients join the Colorado Medical Marijuana Registry. She assists the doctors with treatment plans and patient education.
Ms Montemayor also serves as Director of HCU Education, a non-profit educational charity that produces monthly Society of Cannabis Clinicians Colorado meetings and the Marijuana for Medical Professionals conference, Colorado’s only CME-certified conference on cannabis medicine. Prior to joining the cannabis industry, Ms. Montemayor was a clinical nutritionist with Crayhon Research, specializing in brain nutrition.
National Cannabis Industry Association
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.
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.
David Murét is the Co-Founder and COO of Viridian Staffing. With a diverse background including everything from Public Policy and Law, to Information Technology, Finance and Business Development he serves as Viridian’s “Swiss Army Knife,” rounding out the executive team. As a veteran of multiple start-ups he demonstrates a keen appreciation of the challenges business owners face as well as the importance of assembling the right team. A natural-born leader, activist and organizer he has a gift for identifying and valuing people’s innate strengths and putting them in positions where they can realize the greatest positive impact within an organization.
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.
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.
Midwest Cannabis Consulting
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.
Emerald Growers Association
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.
Guardian Data Systems, Inc.
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 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.
Envirotech Greenhouse Solutions
Kurt Parbst is currently Director of Business Development for Agam Greenhouse USA a division of Envirotech Greenhouse Solutions. He served as President of Ludvig Svensson, Inc., the Svensson subsidiary for the Americas for over 12 years. Kurt regularly writes articles for industry press about the importance that the growing environment has on greenhouse crop production.
Kurt has an MS in Biological and Agricultural Engineering from NC State University. He is a member of and active in the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers and the National Greenhouse Manufacturers Association.
Om of Medicine
Mark Passerini is a Chicago native and graduate of the University of Michigan. He is the co-founder of The Om of Medicine as well as the Ann Arbor Medical Cannabis Guild in Ann Arbor, MI, for which he served as president for its first two years. He currently serves as the government liaison for the Michigan chapter of Americans for Safe Access (ASA) and is the president of the Illinois Cannabis Industry Association (ILCIA).
Mark was instrumental in crafting local licensing and zoning ordinances with the City of Ann Arbor and is currently working with various state legislators to further clarify existing Michigan laws to ensure patient access. He was an early member of The Arcview Group, a private cannabis investment and market research firm. Mark had the honor of organizing and emceeing Hash Bash, the nation’s longest running cannabis reform rally, for the past two years. He was most recently invited to speak at the Chicago Cannabis Conference at Navy Pier and the National Cannabis Industry Association’s (NCIA) first Midwest CannaBusiness Symposium on the topic of dispensary operations. Mark has 20 years of sales and executive management experience in a variety of industries, most recently renewable and energy efficient technologies. His interest in the cannabis sector stems not only from his love for the plant but also from his passion for the promise of a natural, holistic alternative.
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.
Rodger Voelker, PHD
Oregon Growers Analytical
Rodger Voelker has had a long interest in using analytical chemistry to help ensure consumer safety. Rodger received his BS in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Oklahoma and his PhD in Molecular Biology from the U of O. He began his career in Analytical Chemistry with the Oregon Department of Agriculture in 1996, performing trace level analysis of pesticide residues in water, soil, foliage, and food products. Rodger worked for the Oregon Department of Agriculture first as a chemist II, and later as the supervising chemist for the pesticide residue laboratory. Rodger then left the Oregon Department of Agriculture and took a position at the University of Oregon where he focused on developing and using computational methods to analyze genomic data. During that time he also worked as a consultant for a local company where he developed analytical and computational methods to analyze various natural products.
In 2014 Rodger accepted his current position as the Lab Director for Oregon Growers Analytical (OG Analytical), which is an independent cannabis testing laboratory located in Eugene, Oregon. OG Analytical is focused on providing quality testing of cannabis sold in Oregon to ensure that it is compliant with current regulations. Rodger is also an active board member of the Cannabis Safety Institute, a not-for-profit research organization aimed at providing regulators with recommendations for sensible cannabis regulation.
Gabriel B. Plotkin
Miller Shakman & Beem LLP
Gabriel Bankier Plotkin is a partner at Miller Shakman & Beem LLP, a litigation firm in Chicago. A former federal public defender, Gabe has significant experience representing clients in federal criminal matters. He also represents a wide variety of clients in commercial disputes in both state and federal court, including in litigation involving contract disputes, corporate and partnership disputes, fraud, and RICO allegations. In addition, Gabe has advised numerous lawyers and law firms on issues of ethics and malpractice. Gabe is a graduate of Yale Law School and currently teaches a clinical course on criminal justice at the University of Chicago Law School.
MJ Freeway Business Solutions
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.
Security Grade Protective Services
Derek Porter has over 15 years of experience in multiple facets of the security industry. He passionately advocates for safety and security for people and assets. As a former special operations Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team (F.A.S.T.) Marine, he has implemented cutting edge maximum security practices both as a Marine and as a private contractor operating over the course of 2 deployments to Iraq.
Derek has worked in the executive protection world and has practiced security consulting for over a decade with industry specific consultation for the cannabis industry. Derek has a B.S. in Business Management from California State University and a M.S. in Security Management (Summa Cum Laude) from The University of Denver. Derek holds dozens of security certifications including being board certified by the American Board of Homeland Security and a Business Identity Theft certification from the Institute of Consumer Financial Education to name a few.
Derek has been involved in strategic partnerships since 2012 and is Co-owner and VP of Operations for CannaRabbit, Colorado State’s industry leading courier and test sampling service for cannabis. Derek is also the Co-founder and COO of The War Writers’ Campaign, Inc. He wrote his first book to help fund The War Writers’ Campaign called “Conquering Mental Fatigues.” Derek is a huge veteran advocate and prides himself on hiring U.S. Veterans to join the Security Grade Team.
Scott Proctor has been involved in the printing and graphic arts world for more than 30 years. He is a rare commodity in printing, combining extensive background in all aspects of print production with sales leadership. Throughout his career, Scott has pushed the envelope by working with bleeding- edge technologies in the printing arena, then finding ways to incorporate them into the client experience by adapting and exceeding all expectations.
Most recently, he joined Lightning Labels – a division of Cenveo, a printing industry leader that operates more than 50 print manufacturing locations throughout North America and Canada. Pooling these resources, he services edibles and dispensary clients with a diversified array of printing solutions. Scott is laser-focused on the rapidly changing cannabis business world. He applies expertise with new technology to the ever-evolving labeling and packaging needs of cannabis clients—finding practical, cost-effective and efficient solutions that meet demanding deadlines. He works hard to create true partnerships that strengthen long-term trust and loyalty in this fast-changing industry.
Dr. Jeffrey Raber
The Werc Shop
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.
Walking Raven Retail Marijuana Center
Luke has actively been in the cannabis industry since 2009. Since taking control of his company’s operations in 2011, he has changed the entire culture of the shop and successfully completed the process of converting all 3 licenses from medical to retail. Within his organization he is responsible for all finance management, staffing, compliance reporting, marketing/inventory control, and public relations, among other things.
Luke has been featured on many media outlets, such as CNBC, national CBS, and numerous local news stations. He is also actively involved in multiple cannabis trade organizations, lobbying efforts, and advocacy groups.
As a young cannabis entrepreneur, Luke is motivated by the ideal to shift cannabis sales nationwide from the black market to reputable professionals who contribute to their communities and operate peaceful business practices. Luke strives to bring a sense of professionalism to the industry, and he has made his shop one of the most reputable in the cannabis community.
Patrick Rea is a Founding Partner of CanopyBoulder and acts as the Managing Director. A 17-year veteran of startups, growth companies and corporate entities, Patrick’s role at CanopyBoulder is connecting teams with the resources and expertise they need. Before entering the cannabis industry, Patrick’s career spanned M&A, venture capital, strategic management consulting and B2B media in the health, wellness and self-care industries.
San Juan Sungrown, LLC
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.
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.
Scott J. Van Rixel
Bhang Chocolate Company
Scott J. Van Rixel is the Founder and CEO of Bhang Chocolate Company and PURECBD Inc. He has been involved in the wholesale manufacturing of food products for over 20 years. Scott is a Certified Chef d’Cuisine and a Master Chocolatier. He has been proud to serve on several boards for the betterment of the cannabis Industry, including a current term with NCIA. Bhang Chocolates has raised the bar in the cannabis edibles category since being founded in 2010. They are proud to be the first company in history to have acquired full product liability insurance on a consumable containing cannabis. Their products are currently available through five different states and two countries. PURECBD Inc. is their newest venture, focusing principally on hemp and high-CBD product development. Bhang has been a proud member of NCIA since its inception and has been honored to sponsor several NCIA events.
Heather Manus, RN
The Greene Consulting Group
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.”
Keith Roberts has always been an unorthodox thinker. Keith started Zenman out of his living room in 1998 as a way to drive more business as a photographer, having graduated from the Brooks Institute of Photography three years prior. Keith’s approach to both photography and design directly reflect his personal “Zen” philosophy: treat your clients as you would want to be treated and success will follow.
Rogoway Law Group
Joe Rogoway is the lead attorney and founder of Rogoway Law Group, A Professional Corporation. Throughout California, Joe has gained a reputation as a skilled trial attorney and trusted corporate counsel. Joe is also the co-founder of CAN PAC, the political action committee for the cannabis industry dedicated to pursuing the end of cannabis prohibition and the creation of a regulatory regime for adult cannabis use, production, and distribution. A lifelong California resident, Joe grew up in southern California prior to attending UC Santa Cruz and the University of San Francisco School of Law. He studied abroad at Paracelsus Gymnasium, Germany, Universteit Leiden, the Netherlands, Pazmany University, Hungary, and Charles University in Prague. Joe is currently attending the Stanford Center for Professional Development in order to obtain the Stanford Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Joe is admitted to practice in California and Federal Courts where he has saved his clients from hundreds of years of possible incarceration.
Joe Rogoway has been featured in news outlets such as National Geographic Explorer, Culture Magazine, East Bay Express, the Press Democrat, Anderson Valley Advertiser, Kush Magazine, West Coast Leaf, and the Cal Bar Criminal Law Journal. Joe has also spoken at conferences organized by NORML, the Drug Policy Alliance, Cannabis Law Institute, the Mendocino Medical Marijuana Advisory Board, Sonoma Alliance for Medical Marijuana and at the West Coast Cannabis Expo.
Kyle Rooney has been consulting and growing under Washington State’s MMJ system for the last 7 years. He is a co-founder at Iunu, a Seattle based company, developing full-spectrum lighting and control systems. Kyle helps growers leverage technology to improve efficiency and consistency. He first practiced hydroponics in Holland and continues to mix Dutch and West Coast methodologies today.
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.
Natural Care Consulting
Peter Schweda is Co-founder and Master Grower for Nature’s Grace & Wellness in IL/District 14 and obtained a successful license for cultivation in Illinois. Peter has been in the green and cannabis industries for over 20 years. He has vast experience in commercial greenhousing and outdoor nurseries/tree farming operations.
Sussex Law Group, PC
Tim Scott is the managing director of Sussex Law Group, PC, a boutique law firm with offices in Denver and Las Vegas. He practices in the areas of business, individual and international income tax planning, exit and succession planning, captive insurance company structure design, estate planning and mergers and acquisitions.
Tim is a trusted advisor to the firm’s clients. He possesses a unique skill set to the business owner, bringing to a client an sophisticated tax, business and estate planning practice to complement the desires, plans and objectives of his clients. Tim has been named a Colorado SuperLawyer Rising Star in 2010 and 2011. He is the Past Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Denver/Boulder Better Business Bureau, and in 2012 served as a director on the Board of Directors for the national Council of Better Business Bureaus. He has received the Five Star Wealth Manager Award in 2012, 2013 and 2014. He recently concluded service to the Council of Better Business Bureaus, having served on its Finance Committee for several years. He remains very active in the community as a member of the Denver Rotary Club.
Vicente Sederberg LLC
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.
Denver Relief Consulting
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.
Senator Tick Segerblom
Nevada State Legislature
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.
Mary L. Shapiro
Mary L. Shapiro Law, PC
Mary L. Shapiro started her law firm in the heart of San Francisco’s Financial District in 2009 after ten years at the renowned firm Townsend and Townsend and Crew, LLP. As an independent trademark and copyright lawyer, Mary counsels a broad range of clients in owning, enforcing, protecting and profiting from their intellectual property.
In the first 20 years of her business career, Mary worked her way up in the publishing world from book retailing to publishing, and rose to vice president of marketing and corporate communications for an international book distributor. At the time, as a purveyor, not yet a protector, of intellectual property, she was not yet aware of how perfectly her combined experience in marketing and publishing would serve her IP legal career later in life.
As former vice president of marketing for Baker & Taylor Books, a global publishing distributor, Mary was on the receiving end of intellectual property legal advice. She learned to challenge advice that didn’t square with her fixed marketing budget and the bigger business picture. She’s been the unfortunate recipient of an IP lawyer’s demand letter that ultimately led to rebranding and re-launching a product. After becoming an IP attorney herself, Mary maintains a balanced perspective, giving great weight to immediate marketing objectives and the long view of her clients business vision.
Marijuana Policy Project
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.
Sisti Law Offices
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.
Mark Slaugh founded iComply, LLC. Mr. Slaugh has more than 5 years of experience in the regulated cannabis industry, development, consulting and compliance business. Through his expertise, he has built a successful startup providing valued services to clients on regulatory models, starting operations, production/manufacturing/retail management, and compliance consulting, training, and certification. Additionally, Mark has served as the Colorado Springs Medical Cannabis Council (CSMCC) industry membership and executive director, and as the Southern Colorado Regional Coordinator for the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (Amendment 64).
Prior to the commercial cannabis sector, Mr. Slaugh managed risk and fraud for major financial institutions including Total Merchant Services, and Barclays Bank. In this capacity, Mark developed risk mitigation protocols and navigated and enforced complicated banking and credit card regulations for 8 years.
Most recently, Mark Slaugh served on four rule making panels for the Marijuana Enforcement Division promulgating rules for administration, enforcement, and discipline as well as taxation, and edible safety workgroups and multiple topics for the State of Colorado. He is a member of the El Pomar Foundation’s Emerging Leadership Development program serving as a member of the Native American Council in Colorado Springs where is politically active. Mark is considered an expert in marijuana regulatory affairs from policy to operational implementation.
Remedy Compassion Center
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 President and Treasurer of the Maine Dispensary Operators Association.
The Law Offices of Charles Sanford Smith, P.C.
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.
National Cannabis Industry Association
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.
The Green Halo
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.
Damian has had a successful career during his 16+ years in the greenhouse and controlled environment growing industry. Having graduated in 1998 from The University of Arizona’s College of Agriculture with a degree in Plant Sciences and Crop Production, he has worked with some of North America’s largest high technology greenhouse operations. This includes working as a grower for Eurofresh Farms, which had 350 acres of hydroponic greenhouses. Damian was fortunate enough to be able to design, supervise the construction of, and manage a large Dutch style glass greenhouses for the purpose of both conventional hydroponic and organic crop systems. He has extensive knowledge of plant nutrition, irrigation/fertilization, crop physiology, pest & disease management, crop growth management, labor efficiency, and agri-business. He has also worked for a global vegetable seed company, where he learned many aspects of plant genetics and breeding, as well as seed production, sales, and marketing. Damian has often been asked to participate in industry panel discussion groups and has lectured in university sponsored workshops on such topics as crop registration, crop growth management, proper climate strategies, and integrated pest management. He has a respected reputation in the greenhouse industry as an expert in the field of high density, high output controlled environment crop systems.
Beginning in early 2014, Damian has been involved in the cannabis industry as a technical consultant offering agronomic services to his clients. He has worked with several of Canada’s largest cultivation facilities, as well as some recreational facilities in Colorado. During this time Damian has been able to build a strong network of cannabis growers, consultants, manufacturers and suppliers within the industry. Damian is progressively minded, and has a passion for what he does. He likes to blend the art of growing with technology to optimize the results of the entire operation. Being bilingual, Damian is able to conduct business in both English and Spanish
Noah Stokes, founder of CannaGuard Security, the Nation’s Premier Cannabis Security Company, has years of experience in the security and technology industries. Noah believes that with the proper utilization of technology and intelligent design you can make your facility one that people will avoid, rather than attack. Noah saw a great need for a company to come into the security space and use technology to help protect people, rather than solely being used against them. His personal mission is to provide the most secure, robust and easy to use systems to his clients, without needing to charge the exorbitant rates the industry is used to.
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.
Originally from The Bay Area, California, Nick Tanem now lives and works in Denver, CO as a leading cannabis industry consultant, public speaker, processor, activist and owner of the world renowned Solvent-less hash company, Essential Extracts. He also spends the rest of his days DJing, throwing and hosting various MMJ related events including weekly and monthly Reggae parties, huge festivals and sold out shows, always with a spliff hanging out of his mouth.
When Nikka T is not processing solvent-less hash for patients through numerous Colorado Medical Marijuana Centers, innovating new ancillary products, or playing music, he is traveling the world seeking knowledge and teaching the art of Solvent-less extraction. Nikka T has played with such artists as Rebelution, Mr Vegas, The Pharcyde, KRS One, STS9, E-40, Grizz, Matisyahu, J Boog, Capleton, Black Uhuru, Euforquestra, I-Wayne, Gappy Ranks, and Dubskin, just to name a few. He has hosted and thrown festivals and shows throughout the world including receiving the honor of hosting and DJing Reggae on the Rocks last year, as well as South Park Fest, Chalice Fest and The Great North Fest this year alone. Winner of 5 Cannabis Cups with his Essential team and another 5+ won by clients using his Essential Bags and technique; Nikka T is a father, Reggae Disc Jockey, Radio Producer, Promoter, Public Speaker, Extract Artist, Networker and Consultant.
Micah Tapman is a partner of CanopyBoulder and acts as the Program Manager. A veteran of both the U.S. Marine Corps and the Fortune 500 world, Micah is an entrepreneur and seed investor with an eye on strategy driven execution. Micah is a tech geek and cybersecurity pro who sees the cannabis industry as the most compelling business opportunity today.
Marijuana Policy Project
Mason Tvert is director of communications at MPP and oversees MPP’s media strategy and online outreach efforts out of the organization’s Denver office. Prior to taking over MPP’s communications department, he co-directed the successful campaign in support of Amendment 64, the 2012 ballot initiative to regulate marijuana like alcohol in Colorado.
Previously, Mason co-founded and directed Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER), a Colorado-based nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public about the relative safety of marijuana compared to alcohol. In this role, he was the driving force behind the campaigns in support of the successful Denver ballot initiatives to remove all penalties for adult marijuana possession (2005) and designate it the city’s lowest law enforcement priority (2007).
Mason is a co-author of the book, Marijuana Is Safer: So why are we driving people to drink?, and he appears frequently in the news discussing marijuana and marijuana policy. In January 2013, the Denver Post named Mason the state’s “Top Thinker” in the area of politics and government.
Jonathan Valdman is an entrepreneur, farmer and educator of agricultural practices that are based in permaculture, sustainability and efficiency. He has been farming organically for over 20 years and has been legally growing cannabis since California’s medical marijuana law was passed in 1996. With knowledge of land design, growing indoors, outdoors and in greenhouses via soil and hydroponics he has acquired a well rounded level of experience within the many modalities of cannabis cultivation. In 2006 Jonathan founded Forever Flowering Greenhouses, FFG, in an effort to develop a commercial grade greenhouse company that could address the future needs of the medical Cannabis industry. Through the experience of growing in greenhouses and utilizing the technology of light deprivation he found the solution to an alternative to the high-energy consuming practices of the indoor gardening reality. Through years of hands-on experience and commitment to the highest quality products he and his staff have created the standard of the greenhouse light deprivation industry. Innovative solutions and products that were created over these years of trial and error can be seen within a vast majority of the cannabis industry today.
After years of working within Forever Flowering and growing the company into a place of success Jonathan has branched out to launch the Greening Corporate Cannabis, GCC, campaign. GCC is his response to the direction that the industrial and often corporate side of the Cannabis industry is heading. With a large number of licensed facilities being grown indoors under lights and being fed synthetic, salt-based nutrients he feels time is of the essence to educate both investors and cultivators of the benefits and increased profits that come naturally from a reduced carbon footprint operation. When the US Federal Government came down hard on the cannabis industry growers went indoors. Now that the laws are changing it is no longer necessary for cannabis to remain the only plant on the planet grown its entire life cycle under lights. There is a vast pool of knowledge these days when it comes to growing organically/biologically and in a method that is not destructive to the planet nor a company’s bottom line. GCC aims to collaborate like-minded companies, certifiers, and individuals to educate and consult about profiting from reduced carbon footprint growing and operating procedures.
Lauren Vazquez has worked for over a decade to end cannabis prohibition and advance alternatives to the failed war on drugs. In 2011, she launched her law practice providing advice and legal services to California cannabis businesses focusing on multigenerational growers, mom and pop producers, and female owned businesses. Prior to this Lauren founded the Silicon Valley chapter of Americans for Safe Access (ASA) helping to launch a $50 million cannabis industry in San Jose. She organized patients, community members, and industry leaders to lobby the city council to allow storefront dispensaries. Lauren is currently working on the 2016 CA initiative campaign.
Vicente Sederberg, LLC
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.
MMJ Business Daily
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.
National Cannabis Industry Association
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.
Harvest of Tempe
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.
Todd Winter began representing companies involved in the medical cannabis industry in 2008 shortly after the Attorney General Guidelines in California were released. He has a vast amount of experience in every facet of the industry, from indoor and outdoor cultivation, dispensaries, technology companies, testing labs and edible companies, including two of the largest edible companies in the world. Considered one of the foremost experts in corporate structures, transactional documents, intellectual property and licensing for the cannabis industry, Mr. Winter advises clients on real estate and legal matters from the Oregon coast to Arizona and everywhere in between, including Nevada and Colorado. Todd is a founding member of the NCIA, and was one of its first board members.
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.
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.
Henry G. Wykowski & Associates
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.
Luigi Zamarra is the owner of Luigi CPA, an accounting firm that provides tax and consulting services to the marijuana industry. Luigi specializes in performing IRC Section 280E Allocations, having performed over 50 such allocations. Luigi’s clients span six states and include companies operating in a variety of related industries, including cultivation, retail dispensing, laboratory testing, concentrate and edible manufacturing, and LED indoor grow lighting.
Luigi is also member of BOTEC, a consulting firm that provides advisory services to Washington State and other governments related to regulation of the marijuana industry. See his white papers published on the Liquor Control Board’s I-502 website.
Luigi, formerly Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for Harborside Health Center in Oakland, CA, one of the largest marijuana retailers in the U.S., was involved heavily in IRC Section 280E, including lobbying efforts and drafting proposed legislation to change the law, and educational efforts to inform others in the industry. He also served as Director for PricewatherhouseCoopers, the world’s largest professional services accounting firm. During his 12 years of experience within the Big 4, Luigi worked with a variety of not-for-profits and other large companies to address their most complex tax law issues.
Mendocino Agricultural Products, LLC
Scott Zeramby is a well-known consultant in the medical cannabis industry with more than 30 years of experience in organic horticultural methods. He is the owner of Mendocino Agricultural Products LLC (mendoag.com) a manufacturer of potting mixes and fertilizers, and a retail garden store, Dirt Cheap Garden Supply, both based in Mendocino County, California. He is also a partner in the consulting group EntityX, Inc., whose clients are among the few companies that won permits for medical cannabis production and processing facilities in Connecticut and Illinois.
Scott’s 2011 collaborative work with Nobel Laureate, Dr. Evan Mills, scientifically quantified indoor cannabis production methods and the resulting carbon footprint. This peer reviewed study, “Energy Up In Smoke” has been reprinted in articles featured in hundreds of newspapers including: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg View, The Huffington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, MSNBC, Forbes, CNN Money and many others. Scott has also been interviewed on the subject of cannabis production methods in numerous radio programs in both the US and Canada, including KCBS Radio, The Rutherford Report and SeaChange Radio as well as a number of NPR affiliated stations. Scott continues to work closely with policy makers in California, Colorado and Washington State in order to help craft public policies that encourage cannabis growers to use the most environmentally sustainable and economically efficient agriculture methods in order to keep cannabis production green and clean.