Queen Adesuyi is a policy coordinator at the Drug Policy Alliance’s Office of National Affairs in Washington, D.C., where she works to advance DPA’s federal and local District of Columbia legislative agenda. Her areas of focus include marijuana legalization with a racial justice focus, collateral consequences, housing, and overdose prevention.
Adesuyi, who hails from the Morris Heights section of the Bronx, is an alumna from Georgetown University, where she majored in American Studies and minored in Women’s and Gender Studies. Her undergraduate research examined competing models of racial and social justice in the District of Columbia’s pro- and anti-marijuana legalization campaigns, one of the nation’s first legalization campaigns where racial justice was intimately a part of the messaging on both sides.
Prior to joining DPA, Adesuyi worked with the Georgetown University Prisons and Justice Initiative, the National Reentry Network for Returning Citizens, Office of Congressman Jose E. Serrano (D-NY), Mic.com and the New York Times.
Shira Adler has spent a lifetime helping others overcome myriad life challenges, obstacles, and personal issues. An author, speaker, advocate, entrepreneur, and instigator, Shira was forced to go beyond Western medicine to seek answers and new tools to help her own family survive and thrive in today's complicated world. Now Shira is a nationally recognized CBD-centric media wellness personality hailed as "the voice for our time" and Founder & CEO of Shira Synergy, a CBD based consumer products company whose mission is to combine ancient wellness with modern science.
Shira is also author of what has become the "definitive industry guide" — The ABCs of CBD: The Essential Guide for Parents (and regular folks too), (”Author Chat” interview) — just released in its revised edition with a Northern California book tour planned for the Fall, 2018.
Reuters dubbed Shira #TheMarijuanaMama, and other media, organizations, and canna-community leaders have added to that list: #CannaGodmother, #ThePotMom, #MAMA (Modern Alternative Mom Advocate), #MetaphysicalMrsFields, and more... A “recovering anti-pot parent”, Shira's passion and purpose are to educate, uplift, and inspire on a whole You level. Read, connect, and learn The ABCs of CBD — Why Pot Is NOT What We Were Taught.
Jill Agnello completed her undergraduate degree in Economics and Finance at the University of Texas-Dallas, and went on to receive her MBA from Boston College. Prior to PAX, Jill worked on M&A due diligence as a Business Development Manager for Trip Advisor. Jill helped build out the model for the Partner Operations function at PAX and now leads a team of Account and Project Managers. She leads her team with the ethos that everyone deserves to feel inspired, safe, and fulfilled in their work and that unique, personal expression is highly valued. She once owned her own boutique catering company and loves to cook. She also did sketch and improv comedy in Boston.
Cristina Buccola is an attorney, advisor, and advocate who helps her clients build and sustain viable cannabis and hemp enterprises. She's retained by entrepreneurs, institutional and private investors, farmers, artists, and not-for-profit organizations. Cristina advises on transactional matters and investment opportunities, designs brand/IP protection and licensing programs, develops strategic ventures, and manages her clients; day-to-day legal needs. She dedicates a portion of her practice to public interest/policy work related to medical cannabis and economic and social justice issues.
Cristina speaks around the country about cannabis legalization, has testified in front of the New York State and New Jersey Legislatures about cannabis regulatory programs, and has worked with elected officials in developing their cannabis legalization platforms. She is also the creator and founder of Four Twenty One for All, an initiative to make 4/21 a day of cannabis justice observance focused on the non-commercial aspects of legalization.
Cristina served as the General Counsel of High Times, was a partner in an adult-use cultivation concern, and cut her teeth in the M&A and private equity departments of white-shoe law firms in NYC and Chicago. She is admitted to practice law in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Illinois.
Kym Byrnes is the CEO and Founder of Cannabis with KymB (@cannabiswithkymb), a social media education platform to educate and empower the cannabis community in New York City and across the country. In addition to Cannabis with KymB, Kym serves as the Director of Distribution for Tribe Tokes, VP of Community for CannaGather, and, as an ambassador for Women Grow, Lululemon, and Nugg.
Kym's efforts at Tribe Tokes were recently highlighted in Forbes. She is an active member in and advocate for the cannabis community. She encourages participation in events and networking to help uplift others. Education and teaching has been at the heart of Kym's lifetime of work - prior to her involvement in the cannabis industry, Kym was a nutrition and healthy lifestyle coach and Pilates Manager at Equinox providing hundreds of hours of fitness instruction to improve people's well-being.
Chelsea Cebara is a professional sex educator, a medically certified cannabis consultant and an absolutely massive weed nerd. She has been helping humans effectively and mindfully combine sex and cannabis since 2010 and is the developer of the world’s first water-soluble, safer-sex compatible cannabis lubricant, Velvet Swing. She lives in Seattle and speaks nationally on the intersection of cannabis with sex, kink, and consent culture.
Debbie is the Interim Director of Americans for Safe Access (ASA), a medical cannabis patient advocacy non-profit whose mission is to ensure safe and legal access to cannabis (marijuana) for therapeutic use and research. Debbie oversees all organizational and program operations in regards to education, training, policy, research, product safety and business compliance. Current projects include campaigns such as ASA’s End Pain, Not Lives Campaign and programs such as ASA’s Patient Focused Certification (PFC) program and the Cannabis Care Certification
(CCC) program. She has served as a writer, editor, and reviewer on many ASA publications including the Cannabis and Cannabis Resin Critical Review Document, the State of the States Report, and the Medical Cannabis Access for Pain Treatment report. Her previous work experience was in the Behavioral and Public Health fields working on projects in tobacco regulation and substance abuse prevention and treatment. She holds a Master’s degree in Psychology.
Ebony Costain is the CEO and founder of Ujamaa Box™, a subscription box featuring Black-owned brands, and BDTNDR™, a learning platform that connects cannabis brands and dispensary budtenders. The two-time entrepreneur’s personal brand is rooted in identifying business disparities in niche markets and filling them
with socially empowering, innovative solutions. Costain started her career in Product Development and Buying, before transitioning to building brands that encourage brand awareness and conscious spending.
Darby Cox is CEO, Chairman, and Co Founder of Smoke Cartel, Inc., an online retailer for glass water pipes, vaporizers, and other related accessories for the cannabis industry. Ms. Cox is the first female CEO of a publicly listed cannabis company, after serving as Operations Manager for the first four years. She is a business-oriented technologist that has managed innovation and growth, leading Smoke Cartel to their place as a leading online retailer.
Ms. Cox chairs the board of Reform Georgia, a non-profit focused on drug-law & criminal justice reform. Ms. Cox also founded the terrarium company SproutSouth in January 2014. Prior to this, Ms. Cox attended Savannah College of Art and Design and studied Service Design.
Jennifer Culpepper founded the boutique branding agency, Brand Joint, after identifying a need for specialized brand strategy and sophisticated design in the emerging cannabis and hemp industry. With over 20 years of experience designing successful consumer brands, Jennifer is an exceptional brand strategist and advisor, helping passionate cannabis and hemp entrepreneurs communicate their unique brand stories.
In addition to Brand Joint, she is Co-Founder and Chief Creative Strategist for I and I Botanicals, a self-care company that features CBD-infused skin care products.
Erica Daniels is the author of Cooking with Leo: An Allergen-Free Autism Family Cookbook; Founder of Hope Grows for Autism, a nonprofit aimed at improving the lives of families affected by autism through research, education and advocacy; CEO of Autism Advisors LLC, a research; advisory firm which LLC provides strategic consultation and solutions to healthcare professionals, product manufacturers, and universities to empower them in making data- backed business; healthcare decisions involving autism. Erica Daniels is the mother of a child with autism who is determined to give her son and family the highest quality of life possible.
Hannah Davis is the CMO of Mammoth Distribution and Heavy Hitters - a California cannabis distribution company. She manages the brand portfolio strategy and leads the organization’s marketing efforts including advertising, digital media, public relations, consumer research, and retail marketing. She works with the company’s brand partners on product development and differentiation through positioning, packaging and marketing, and is responsible for identifying and cultivating new brand relationships.
Previously, Davis served as Senior Director of Brand Marketing for World of Beer, a national craft bar and restaurant chain and worked as Head of Craft & Import Marketing for Molson Coors UK, where she started the specialty beer sales and marketing department. In her 10 years working in the craft beer industry, she launched and built brands in the US and across Europe.
Christine De La Rosa
Christine De La Rosa, CEO of The People’s Dispensary, is a transplanted Texan living and thriving in Oakland, CA. She is a social entrepenuer who has spent most of her adult life building businesses that creatively engage and employ the local communities that surround them. Two restaurants, two event production companies, an art gallery, a retail shop and a salon were part of her trajectory that led to co-owning a successful cannabis businesses in both California and Oregon. She is a well-respected advocate and activist for the chronically ill, people of color, women, formerly incarcerated and the LGBTQ community.
Christine is passionate about the industry that saved her life. After 15 years as a database architect and at the very moment when she was at the top of her tech career she almost died from complications of undiagnosed Lupus. Bedridden, she spent five years unable to work or perform rudimentary functions due to her illness and the synthetic medications perscribed by her doctors. In 2015, she found cannabis as an alternative to treat her lupus. No longer bound to 11 pills a day or monthly infusions, she was inspired by her experience to open Benefit Health Collective in 2016, along with her three co-founders. Together they have grown a profitable multi-state dispensary and a national social equity model and enterprise now known as The People’s Dispensary. Christine believes that the cannabis industry has a mandate to serve not only its customers and patients but also the communities that have been most affected by the war on drugs.
Christina DiArcangelo Puller
Christina’s professional work has made a difference in many patients’ lives. Christina DiArcangelo Puller, CEO and Founder of Affinity Bio Partners, CEO, Board President of Affinity Patient Advocacy and CEO and Co-Founder of AI Health Outcomes, has forged a world-class reputation in the Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical industry for the past 20-years. Her engagements have led to numerous industry awards, keynote speaking engagements, multitude of global clinical trials as well as working on several drugs that have received FDA approval and the ultimate respect of her industry peers.
Throughout the course of Christina's career, she has acted in various capacities for Global Clinical Research Organizations, Pharmaceutical Companies and Biotechnology Companies. Christina's professional success and drive has been facilitated by her unwavering strength as a contracts negotiator, visionary entrepreneur, skilled clinical research operations expert and her ability to successfully navigate the pharmaceutical industry with unparalleled success.
Hi, I’m Kimberly! I have spent the last few years leading marketing for one of California's leading Cannabis brands in the wellness space and I am now consulting with a number of brands, retailers, and investors in the category. I have over 15 years of developing purpose driven brands and stories. I have spoken at a number of key conferences including TedWoman, SXSW and was named of the top leaders to watch in tech by the Huffington Post. I have worked at several Blue Chip companies like Proctor&Gamble, the NFL, and Accenture. I founded House of Mikko, one of the early pioneers of the Beauty Influencer movement in 2009. I later went on to help raise millions of dollars for startups around the world and have developed growth strategies for digital brands such as YouTube stars Smosh, Scooter Braun’s Bkstg, and the SIRI spinout Desti.
I have two undergraduate degrees from the University of Pittsburgh and a MBA from the University of Michigan. I live in Los Angeles, where I perform standup comedy in my free time and am working on my 42nd passport stamp.
Jyl Ferris is an award-winning, published, creative director with clients on three continents in the areas of publishing, food & beverage, travel & tourism, fashion, and cannabis.
For four years, Jyl has been immersed in the cannabis industry. She began as a volunteer and was later asked to be a market leader for WomenGrowNYC. Ms. Ferris was chosen by Tikun Olam to launch their brand in the US. She has created their entire graphic program including print, campaigns, display, web, and the packaging line for five states. She recently launched her own Cannabis Branding Agency.
Jyl can be seen throughout the internet as a host of her own cooking series, which she produced for eight years, reaching an audience of over 70 million—mostly male millennials.
Jyl is most proud of her four adult children and baby grandchildren.
Kassandra Frederique is New York State Director at the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). Frederique previously ran the day-to-day operations of the statewide campaign to end New York’s racially biased marijuana arrests, which cut the number of NYC marijuana arrests by nearly 85%. Frederique also represented DPA as a member of Communities United for Police Reform, which focused on addressing Stop & Frisk and broader police reform/accountability measures bridging the gap between the War on Drugs and policing.
In addition to working for policy solutions to reduce the harms associated with drug use, Frederique works with communities throughout the state to address and resolve the collateral consequences of the War on Drugs – state violence. As a co-author of Blueprint for a Public Health and Safety Approach to Drug Policy and as technical advisor to Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick’s The Ithaca Plan, Frederique cultivates and mobilizes powerful coalitions in communities devastated by drug misuse and drug criminalization to develop municipal strategies to foster healthier and safer communities.
Laurel Freedman became a cannabis professional in 2016 when Pennsylvania legislation opted for a medical marijuana program that would impact health sciences, job creation, the environment, incarceration rates, criminal records, the economy (and the list could go on).
Laurel began in an outreach and educational role working at a multi-state operator that was vertically integrated (which means they grow, process and dispense medical marijuana and have licenses in multiple states to do so). With a
portfolio that included sales, education, marketing and events, she began to see the bigger picture of the industry and its ancillary fields.
A second opportunity arose in 2018 to open the US market in order to connect Israeli technology and innovation to the global cannabis ecosystem, an exciting prospect to advance the industry and practice a unique form of Zionism. Through
these two experiences, there was clear evidence of the knowledge gap that existed not only within the fragmented industry, but the general public when it comes to cannabis.
The opportunities to understand the history, science, and potential of cannabis is what brought Laurel to where she is now; bridging the gap through educational programs and events in the cannabis space as a Women Grow local leader, as well as making introductions to stakeholders to advance the field through her business: Laurel Support LLC. She recently joined the leadership team of Proud Pennsylvania Cannabis Coalition to lobby for a fair and equitable local economy when it comes to cannabis. Laurel is working towards a goal of opening her own event space that will lend itself to educational programs, as well as cultural celebrations and social justice opportunities.
Saphira Galoob is Principal and CEO of The Liaison Group (TLG) and serves as the Senior Public Policy Advisor and Executive Director of the National Cannabis Roundtable. Following more than two decades as a lawyer, lobbyist, entrepreneur and small business owner, Saphira founded The Liaison Group in 2016 to establish a focused and dedicated voice for cannabis industry interests in Washington, and to serve as a bridge to federal efforts for the many stakeholders operating at local and state levels.
The Liaison Group was the first - and remains the only - Washington, DC-based lobbying firm focused exclusively on the cannabis industry. Clients include the National Cannabis Roundtable, Acreage Holdings, the country’s largest, multi- state cannabis operator, and the California Cannabis Industry Association, the most influential state-based cannabis trade association, which currently counts more than 500 businesses and 670 brands among its membership. Saphira negotiated the successful acquisition of TLG by Greenspoon Marder LLP in 2018. TLG is now a wholly owned subsidiary of the firm.
A keen strategist who prioritizes transparency and collaboration, Saphira works closely with the both the House and Senate Cannabis Caucus and Working Groups. Saphira was also the driving force behind the creation of the National Cannabis Roundtable which advocates for common sense federal regulation, tax equity and financial services for cannabis businesses. Saphira received her Juris Doctorate from the Oklahoma City University School of Law and a Masters in International and Comparative Law (L.L.M.) from Georgetown University School of Law. She regularly speaks on federal cannabis policy at events around the country. She lives in the DC-area with her family.
As Chief Executive Officer of Women Grow, Kay led the company and the community it serves through a period of dramatic growth. She began her career with Apple, where she learned branding, efficiency, customer service, and innovation from some of the leaders in business, an experience that fueled her desire to create simple solutions to everyday problems. She worked with Tekserve and MoviePass before joining The Esteé Lauder Companies to lead technology implementations for the North American Global Retail Channel.
Kay has also worked on a cattle farm, as a rural mail carrier for USPS, and as an independent consultant while living abroad in London. She is currently offering her consulting services to help fund and propel vetted early stage companies into the cannabis industry.
Sheila Gibson is the founder of Aura IP Law—a minority woman-owned law firm focused in all areas of intellectual property (IP), including patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, IP licensing and agreements, and opinion work. Ms. Gibson started her career at a nationally recognized IP boutique where she received training in all areas of IP. She later practiced at several top-tier law firms over her first 17 years as an attorney and was a partner at her last two law firms. Ms. Gibson has worked with clients in the life sciences, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, food packaging, green technology, mechanical, sports innovation, beverage, and cannabis industries, among others. She has counseled clients ranging from sole inventors, to research institutions, to startups, to small- and medium-sized businesses, to large, publicly traded companies. Through her many years prosecuting a complex cancer immunology portfolio, her experience with plant patents and trademarks, and her personal beliefs about the benefits of marijuana, she became increasingly drawn to the cannabis industry, and solving the unique IP issues facing the industry became a true passion. Most recently, Ms. Gibson left “big law” to start her own law firm in order to provide her skill set in a more tailored and efficient way to her clients, in particular, those in the cannabis industry.
Sherry’s Human Capital experience spans 20+ years across multiple industries including retail, healthcare, legal and entertainment among others. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Virginia Tech and began her career in IT. She migrated to Human Resources mid-career and has served in generalist functions supporting employees and business leaders in all areas of HR. Her area of expertise is in managing projects and delivering solutions to enhance people processes. Sherry’s most recent roles include leading HR programs at an international law firm and working with leaders to drive employee engagement, improve the employee experience, and support talent development at Booz Allen Hamilton. She recently joined Columbia Care, where she is responsible for leading Human Capital initiatives such as leadership development, new manager training, onboarding process improvement, HRIS implementation, and employment branding.
Andi is the Managing Member of the Equitas Partners Fund, a recently opened early-stage cannabis investment fund which has already made several investments while still accepting new capital. Andi’s held various senior underwriting and portfolio management roles and has managed more than $2Bn in institutional investments over almost 20 years so far. In cannabis, Andi’s served as an angel investor, advisor and executive, including as CFO & Head Corporate Finance for FLRish, the management company for the Harborside dispensaries and grow operations.
Andi’s a Chartered Financial Analyst and a former corporate and securities lawyer.
Scottie Gordon Esq.
Scottie Gordon is Vice President of Licensing & Regulatory Affairs at Curaleaf, Inc., headquartered in Wakefield, Massachusetts. Prior to joining Curaleaf in April 2019, Scottie was Chief Operating Officer of Ermont, Inc., the 7th vertically integrated medical marijuana facility to open in Massachusetts. In addition to overseeing a 36,000-square-foot cultivation, production and retail facility that operated seven days a week, she managed all department heads to ensure production schedules and sales forecasts were met and that all human and capital resources were properly allocated to maximize growth. Her background as an attorney was a critical component in her role at Ermont when it came to regulatory compliance, licensing, risk management, corporate and physical security, cash management, and inventory control.
A graduate of Michigan State University and New England School of Law, Scottie was an associate at a Boston law firm where she primarily advised clients in the cannabis industry on corporate, licensing, regulatory and compliance matters.
Lisa Gray CPA, CVA has experience in finance, marketing, business development, and operations primarily within the pharmaceutical industry. Lisa is the Vice Chair of Ilera Healthcare, a vertically integrated Grower, Processor and Dispenser of Medicinal Marijuana in Pennsylvania and Ilera Holistic Healthcare a Grower and Processor in Louisiana. Lisa is also the Co-founder and Managing Partner of PIPV Capital, a Private Equity firm focused on building companies in life sciences, where she manages the financial aspects of the firm and portfolio, generates and leads investments, manages investor communications, and acts as CEO, Board Member and/or plays various management roles, as necessary, for portfolio companies.
Lisa has previously served as COO for GlaxoSmithKline (“GSK”) Pharmaceuticals Ventures, a pharmaceutical venture fund, as well as other operations and transactions roles over 13 years with GSK. Prior to joining GSK, Lisa was a management consultant and auditor with Coopers & Lybrand. Ms. Gray is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA) and holds a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy from Villanova University, an MBA in Finance from Penn State University, and a Post-Graduate Degree in Marketing Management. Lisa is also active in various community organizations and non-profits that positively impact people’s quality of life.
Tanganyika is and advocate and mentor in the cannabis industry that educates entrepreneurs on how to navigate the international cannabis industry to increase medical and financial freedom. Tanganyika is the CEO of cannabis brand Jayn Green, and the Director of Outreach and Development for Coral Cove Cannabis the world’s first all inclusive, cannabis friendly, seaside resort located in Jamaica. Her most important title, however, is United States Marine Corps veteran, and she uses her influential platform to advocate around the world for veterans, and those disproportionately affected by the War on Drugs. She is the co-founder of an organization called Marine Qweenz whose mission is to educate, inspire, and empower those suffering from the residuals of serving.
Fleesie A. Hubbard is a public health professional with more than 15 years of experience in clinical research and community engagement. Her diverse portfolio in academia includes management of specialty research including novice drug therapy trials, investigational new device studies, and behavioral health interventions. Driven by a desire to further public understanding of cannabis therapeutics, in 2016, Fleesie founded FiveTen Wellness, a holistic health organization focused on cannabis education, advancing clinical research and building community partnerships. Her professional memberships include Americans for Safe Access, the Minority Cannabis Business Association and Women Grow.
Fleesie aims to progressively impact discovery-based medicine practices through global advocacy for cannabis therapeutics in combination with personalized medicine tools and integrated care methods. She has visited nearly 40 countries and has coordinated medical humanitarian missions in Fiji, Vietnam and Uganda. At home and abroad, she is passionate about contributing to culturally-diverse, patient-centered, sustainable community health programming.
Jazmin Victoria Hupp co-founded Women Grow and served as CEO from 2014 to 2017. Previously, Jazmin supported transformational education for womxn at Women 2.0 and GLSEN. In 2017, Jazmin dropped 50 pounds without dieting by learning how to process stress with Kundalini Yoga & meditation. Currently she offers Fear Release workshops for womxn throughout Northern America & Europe.
Susan S. Hwang is a South Korean immigrant and cannabis business entrepreneur who has been a vested industry stakeholder since 2012. Susan presides over a diverse portfolio of vertically integrated cannabis brands and a national chain of licensed dispensaries. She is the CEO and Class A Member of Jamestown Center, Inc., a corporation comprised of several Arizona facilities including Jamestown Yuma Dispensary and Eloy Cultivation. Susan also serves as CEO of cannabis consulting firm SH Management Services, LLC, and national brand Daily Dose. In 2019, Susan will launch a first-of-its-kind cannabis retail concept Best Dispensary focused on medical cannabis health care for cannafamilies and geriatric patients. The new dispensary model will debut in Los Angeles, California, and Mesa, Arizona.
Desiree Ivey is the Co-founder and Chairwoman of the Board for the Diasporic Alliance for Cannabis Opportunities. Mrs. Ivey recently opened her own Alternative Wellness Medical Spa called Medicinally Jointed Wellness Center. Desiree has been a long time Medicinal Cannabis Advocate also helming Women Grow Philadelphia as their Co-Market Leader. Desiree was a 16-year-old patient desperately in need of help to manage her newly diagnosed chronic illness, Lupus Nephritis.
Amidst the chronic pain and emotional distress, Desiree quickly discovered her passion to impact the treatment and management of chronic conditions to improve quality of life for patients. With her focused effort on specialized care, Desiree leverages extensive research and personal experience to serve as a trusted resource for patients and healthcare providers demonstrating the beneficial properties of medicinal cannabis use to alleviate symptoms of chronic illness when prescribing is customized and patient-specific.
Desiree is a proud wife and mother striving for greater healthcare reform supporting the decriminalization of medicinal cannabis and legalization for recreational use.
Grace Hyde has a Bachelors of Science in Sustainable Agriculture and has had a longstanding interest in food systems and public health. She also successfully completed a professional certificate program with the University of Vermont in Cannabis Science and Medicine. This program is designed for medical professionals and cannabis employees to better understand the indications and counter-indications of cannabis in the human body. Over the last 5 years, Grace has worked at four different cannabis facilities in two different markets, Rhode Island and Washington DC. Having worked in both the retail and wholesale sectors of the industry, Grace has a unique understanding of the needs of the patient population, and the importance of maintaining the highest internal standards during production when you are working with an immuno-compromised customer base.
Beginning her cannabis career in Rhode Island, Grace managed a kitchen in a vertically integrated dispensary where she curated a line of infused products, including a number of high CBD items. The exposure to patients in the dispensary allowed her to fine tune products for specific ailments and receive real-time feedback. Grace then transitioned to a wholesale operation, where she continued to produce high quality infused products as well as manage the post-harvest operations and production of solventless concentrates. After relocating to Washington DC, Grace returned to dispensary management. Grace became highly proficient in METRC operations while managing one of the Districts medical dispensaries. The dispensary closed after a fire and Grace began working at one of DCs medical cultivation centers where she continues to work today. Her role at the facility includes infused product production, inventory management and METRC training, sales and outreach, HPLC sample preparation and test analysis, as well as production of several forms of concentrate including distillate and rosin.
Dena Jalbert is founder and CEO of Align Business Advisory Services, a mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and business advisory firm. Align breaks the mold of traditional advisory firms by providing resources for the companies deemed too small by large investment firms, bringing innovative solutions to growing and selling middle-market businesses. The company has a focus in the Cannabis industry, helping many companies secure investment or acquisition by some of the biggest names in the industry.
Align is currently representing nearly $500MM in cannabis M&A volume and has been named as one of the industry’s top service providers. Dena leverages her nearly 20 years of success in building, scaling, and buying and selling businesses to accomplish her clients’ goals. Her career experience spans many years in “Big 4” public accounting and consulting firms, in addition to holding executive positions with Fortune 500 and hyper-growth middle market companies.
As an M&A expert, Dena has facilitated nearly $1 billion of buy and sell-side transactions. Dena is a CPA and holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Florida State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in public accounting from Illinois Wesleyan University. She has been featured in many top-tier media outlets such as Inc, Fast Company, Entrepreneur, Chief Executive, and Mergers & Acquisitions Magazine. However, her most important job is Mom to two beautiful girls.
Ms. James is the co-founder and CEO of Simply Pure Dispensary and is a leading advocate in the cannabis industry. In 2009, she and her husband, Scott Durrah, became the first African Americans, legally licensed, to own a dispensary. She is also the founder and President of the Cannabis Global Initiative (CGI), a marketing and consulting firm that specializes in diversity development, regulatory framework and marketing. The company is dedicated to consistently providing innovative solutions through strategic alliances and business development surrounding the legalization of cannabis.
Wanda’s political and entrepreneurial work on cannabis reform has led to her being named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Cannabis by High Times magazine in 2018 and one of the 2016 Cannabis Business Executive (CBE) 50 Most Important Women in the Cannabis Industry. She has been featured on the covers of Sensi Magazine, Cannabis Dispensary Magazine, Cannabis &Tech Magazine and Black Enterprise. She and her husband have been featured in numerous national and international shows including The BBC, Democracy Now, The Atlantic, MIC.com, MSNBC, Smile Jamaica, Viceland, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, CBS Sunday Morning Holiday Special, “Eat, Drink and be Merry” and CNBC’s Marijuana USA, to name a few.
Assisting in the development of the policies for medicinal cannabis, led to Ms. James’ selection for the Amendment 64 campaign committee which legalized cannabis in Colorado. After legalization, she worked on several of Governor Hickenlooper’s cannabis work groups for edibles, packaging, dispensary operations and communications. Her expertise on cannabis reform, regulation and policy has assisted numerous municipalities including, Jamaica, Maryland, and California, in their legalization efforts.
Ms. James prior political involvements have included Jared Polis for Congress in Colorado’s CD2 and Lt. Colonel Jay Fawcett for Congress in Colorado’s CD5. In 2008, Ms. James was appointed to President Obama’s National Finance Committee and became one of the largest bundlers of donations for President Barack Obama in Colorado.
Graduating from the University of Colorado, Boulder, she was commissioned an officer in the United States Navy and served for four years in Naval Integrated Underwater Surveillance (IUSS). She was stationed in Virginia Beach, Bermuda and New York City.
Ms. James is a graduate of the Inaugural Class of the Los Angeles African American Women’s Public Policy Institute at the University of Southern California and a former President of the National Women’s Political Caucus. She was appointed to the Los Angeles Small and Local Business Commission and sat on the Board of Directors for the Starlight Children’s Foundation, and the Board of Directors of the Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce. Ms. James was also a former member of the University of Colorado Alumni Board of Directors. She was recently appointed to Governor Jared Polis’ Transition Team.
Photographer Credit: Kali Wilder
Ms. Deborah Johnson represents The Arcview Group to investors and entrepreneurs who offer the best private equity cannabis investment opportunities in the world. She joined Arcview in 2017 and is responsible for investor relations as well as serving as Director of the Breeze Investment Team managing ~$5M AUM in several ancillary companies including Wurk, BDS Analytics, Pathogen DX, Growcentia, Mirth and Springbig. Upon arrival she helped to found the Arcview Women’s Investor Network (A-WIN) in order to foster a supportive environment for women to engage as funders, founders and C-Suite / Board seat occupiers.
Since 2011, Ms. Johnson has been engaged in early stage angel investment and the startup entrepreneurial ecosystem. She previously led various angel groups including the Gulf Coast Venture Forum in Naples / Sarasota and Keiretsu Forum in Miami and well as special event coordination for the Tamiami Angel Funds and the Enterprise Development Corporation. She also managed an entrepreneurial mentoring program at Fusion Pointe where she facilitated over 40 mentors and 16 companies.
Living in the tropical paradise of Naples, FL, Deborah enjoys triathlons, half marathons, golf, snorkeling, cooking vegetarian meals and traveling.
Kristin L. Jordan
Kristin L. Jordan is senior counsel with the Cannabis Law practice group at Greenspoon Marder LLP. She has over 20 years of real estate, state licensing, and governmental regulatory experience. In addition to her legal practice, Ms. Jordan is a Co-Founder of the Cannabis Cultural Association and served as its first Executive Director. She is also the Founder of Mannada, a NYC-based professional event production company serving the cannabis industry, which produces the Cannabis Law Summit, Cannabis Media Summit, Cannabis Real Estate Summit, Cannabis Medical Summit, and The Maze, a weekly event listing newsletter.
Kristin currently serves as Regional Representative for the National Cannabis Bar Association, is a member of the Committee on Cannabis for the NYS Bar Association, serves on the Public Policy Committee of the Minority Cannabis Bar Association, facilitates the Asian Cannabis Roundtable, and acts as the East Coast Representative for Asian Americans for Cannabis Education.
Lisa Jordan is a leader of brand transformations for premier organizations including the largest privately held wireless carrier in the US, law firm with Fortune 100 and international clients, and a leading non-profit women’s foundation. Lisa currently leading brand development and marketing strategy for Canna Advisors and has won numerous national awards and a Cannes Bronze Lion across her extensive career.
A strong supporter of women’s issues, economic security for women, and social justice issues, Lisa developed a groundbreaking sex education program called “Fact Not Fiction”, brought the first TEDx and TEDxWomen to her home state of Mississippi, and chairs the Social Justice subcommittee of the NCIA Marketing & Advertising Committee.
A Chicago-native and cannabis connoisseur, Melanie began working in the cannabis industry in 2015 as a junior cultivator for a Black-owned cultivation center in Washington, DC. After becoming pregnant and feeling unsupported in the industry,
Melanie began to cultivate a career in birth work and childbirth education through her business Happy Brown Baby, LLC to empower and support other women in their journey to motherhood.Her passion for working with Black women inspired her to further the conversation and Shatter The Stigma associated with cannabis and women’s health, bridging her love of cannabis care and education with supporting families through pregnancy and childbirth.
The Cannabis Doula (www.thecannabisdoula.org) was created to advocate and support families who choose to consume cannabis through empowering events, education, and professional caregiver services. Melanie is a proud, revolutionary mama to two young boys, currently crafting recipes for her family friendly, cannabis-infused body, bath, & lifestyle brand.
Given today's crowded market, Rachel understands the need to create unique brand identities, relevant content and strong campaigns that resonate to stand out. Having worked both in-house and on the agency side, she is currently the Director of Marketing and Revenue at IGC, a cannabis pharmaceutical company based in DC. After a decade of working in the marketing and advertising space in New York, she specializes in translating brands into engaging consumer experiences that result in desirability and sales. She has worked with new and established brands on accelerating business growth by developing omni-channel strategies and overseeing execution.
Rachel graduated from Tulane University cum laude with honors and a double major in finance and marketing. She has worked with a multitude of people and brands including Sex and the City stylist Patricia Field, Erin Fetherston, Revlon, Almay, Red Bull and Warner Bros.
Sarah Kenney is the owner and President of Wash Hydro, a boutique style hydroponic store located in Adams Morgan, Washington, D.C. Wash Hydro was opened in January 2016, with the idea of teaching city residents how to cultivate their own cannabis. Wash Hydro since opening has handed out thousands of free clones, hosted free grow classes, and has continued to maintain the moto of “knowledge is always free.” Ms. Kenney also manages with her father, DC Glass Gallery, with two locations (Woodley Park and Georgetown) and The King Weedy Collective a non profit 501c3 dedicated to providing education and safe access to cannabis. In her free time, Sarah enjoys spending time in her garden, enjoying the “fruits” of said labor, and catching as many concerts and shows as she can .
Aisha Khan is the VP of eCommerce & Digital Strategy at Vireo Health focused on developing the next frontier of digital retail solutions for cannabis consumers nationwide. Aisha also manages digital marketing strategy for Vireo with a relentless push to stretch the boundaries of cannabis advertising within the context of legal compliance. She comes with a wealth of business management expertise having spent the past 10 years working at Johnson & Johnson, Goldman Sachs, and various entrepreneurial projects. Aisha holds an MBA in Marketing & Supply Chain from Rutgers University and earned her B.A. in Finance & Mathematics from Rutgers College with Magna Cum Laude distinction.
Dr. Jenelle Kim
Dr. Jenelle Kim, DACM, L.Ac., is founder & formulator for JBK Wellness Labs. Dr. Kim is carrying on the medical knowledge and wisdom of her lineage, which is rooted in the teachings of the great Dr. Heo Jun (1539-1615), a royal doctor of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). Dr. Heo Jun compiled the Dongui Bogam, a 25-volume medical encyclopedia, that was completed in 1613, with its basic theories based on the Yellow Emperors Inner Classic (Huangdi Neijing). Dr. Kim is the first female in her lineage to hold the treasury of her family’s proprietary Bi Bong® formulas that have been passed down for centuries and the first to share them on such a large scale.
In order to preserve the medical history of her family and to further her love of medicine and her understanding of the human mind and body, Dr. Kim received her Doctorate in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. She is honored to have studied and practiced abroad training with some of the most respected doctors and herbologists of our time.
Natural health and lifestyle expert Robyn Griggs Lawrence educates people about how to safely prepare and imbibe sustainably grown cannabis for health and wellbeing through books, media, workshops, and catered events. She wrote the bestselling Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook and the just-released Rowman; Littlefield Studies in Food and Gastronomy title Pot in Pans: A History of Eating Cannabis, and she taught a popular cannabis cooking course for Green Flower Media.
Robyn helped introduce mainstream America to sustainable, healthy lifestyles as editor-in-chief of Natural Home magazine for 11 years and introduced Western readers to the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection in her books The Wabi-Sabi House and Simply Imperfect: Revisiting the Wabi-Sabi House. She's been featured in major media including the New York Times, Bloomberg, Time, USA Today, Fast Company, The Guardian, CNN, and others.
Dr. Chanda Macias
Chanda Macias, MBA, PhD is the Chairwoman of the Board of Managers and CEO for Women Grow. She is also the CEO and the owner of National Holistic™ a cannabis and hemp healthcare enterprise. National Holistic™ Healing Center is the leading medical marijuana dispensary in Washington DC. National Holistic™ Healthcare proudly produces CBD and cannabinoids as an alternative and natural product.
Dr. Macias also expanded her footprint through Ilera Holistic Healthcare which partnered with Southern University, which is one of two cultivation/processing facilities in the state of Louisiana. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Minority Cannabis Business Association, Treasurer and Secretary of DC Medical Cannabis Trade Association and is a proud member of Americans for Safe Access.
Dr. Macias earned a PhD in Cellular Biology from Howard University, and earned her MBA from Rutger’s University in Supply Chain Management. As a Research Scientist, Dr. Macias investigated oral diseases and possible treatment options at Colgate-Palmolive Company, a Fortune 500 Company. She contributed to the launch of several billion-dollar brands. Her innovations have resulted in numerous scientific achievements including publications, compilations, U.S. and Global Patients (World Intellectual Property Organization).
Dr. Macias has four children and resides with her husband in the Washington D.C. metro area.
Roz McCarthy is the Founder/CEO of Minorities for Medical Marijuana Inc a national nonprofit organization representing the Cannabis and Hemp industry. She is also the CEO/President of The Genesis Group a full- service Cannabis consulting firm and Managing Partner of Plant Life Company a full spectrum Cannabis nutrient company. As a proud Florida State University graduate, she has over 22 years of experience in marketing, business development, training and coaching and currently resides Orlando, Florida.
Liz McCall McCauley
Liz is the Deputy Director of Virginia NORML. Liz currently sits on the steering committee of a regional (Northern Virginia) progressive politics organization. Liz is a proud mother, union member, & Girl Scout assistant leader. ADHD is Liz’s superpower.
Liz’s brain tumors and other health issues have allowed her to experience, adapt to, and compensate for intermittent disabilities.
Maureen McNamara wants to live in a world where compliance is a smile inducing word and cannabis prohibition is as out of style as the rotary phone.
With 25+ years of professional training experience, Maureen is the Founder and Chief Facilitator with Cannabis Trainers™. She has led thousands of workshops and inspires cannabis industry professionals to create and sell products compliantly and professionally. She has combined her skills and expertise with Food Safety and Responsible Alcohol Service into a comprehensive, engaging program to ensure the responsible, knowledgeable and safe sale of cannabis: Sell-SMaRT™.
The Sell-SMaRT™ program created by Cannabis Trainers was the first enforcement division and state health department approved program in the U.S. With the recent launch of on-demand computer based training, inspiring people to know the rules and never break them is readily available anytime/ anywhere.
Maureen is the chairperson of The Infused Products Committee with FOCUS (Foundation of Cannabis Unified Standards). Cannabis Trainers is a member of The National Cannabis Industry Association, The California Cannabis Industry Association, a founding member of Women Grow and a member of The Minority Cannabis Business Association.
Maureen and the team at Cannabis Trainers deliver highly interactive and compelling workshops with enthusiasm, humor and professional facilitation.
When she’s not empowering people to ensure the legal cannabis industry can move forward powerfully and compliantly, you can find her laughing with friends, debating the benefits of white chocolate vs. dark chocolate and pretending she’s flexible in yoga.
Linda Mercado Greene
Linda Mercado Greene is the Co-Founder, Board Chair/ CEO of Anacostia Organics, the first medical marijuana dispensary located East of the River in Washington, DC in Historic Anacostia. She is the Founder/CEO of The Linda Greene Group, a public relations firm. Considered a Washington insider, she has been very influential in shaping the cannabis industry, locally and nationally. Linda is the Chair of the DC Medical Cannabis Trade Association, a member of the Executive Leadership Team of the Cannabis Trade Federation, a member of the Board of MCBA, and the Steering Committee of National Cannabis Festival.
Mary-Alice Miller is the Chief Risk Officer of Columbia Care, a patient-centered healthcare company setting the standard of care for medical marijuana. Columbia Care is one of the largest vertically integrated medical marijuana operators in the United States. As Chief Risk Officer, Mrs. Miller oversees all legal aspects of the organization, including corporate governance, corporate finance, strategic transactions, contract negotiations, intellectual property, litigation and employment matters, as well as assist with regulatory and compliance matters.
Mrs. Miller has served as a senior legal advisor at Fidelity Investments and General Catalyst, a venture capital firm, and spent several years running a media technology startup, which she sold in 2016. She started her career at the law firm of Ropes & Gray as a corporate and transactional attorney.
Gia Morón is the Executive Vice President for Women Grow. She oversees the company’s dya-to-day operations, internal and external communications, education programming, and strategic partnerships. She began working with Women Grow headquarters in January 2017 as Director of Communications, after transitioning from the Women Grow New York City market in 2016. With 25 years of experience in public relations, in 2012 Gia launched GVM Communications, Inc., a public relations, brand and business development firm. Her client base ranges from small to mid-sized businesses, non-profit organizations, entrepreneurs, authors and celebrity clients. Prior to launching her firm and working with Women Grow, she was a Media Relations Officer in the Corporate Communications department for fifteen years at the Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
While at Goldman Sachs, Gia oversaw various business areas from Private Equity, Urban Investment, Investment Research and Technology to the firm’s organizational focus on Corporate Engagement, Diversity, Recruiting, Human Resources and Corporate Services. Before joining Goldman Sachs, Gia was Director of Promotions and Publicity for six years at The Fremantle Corporation, an international television distribution and production company. Outside of her professional accomplishments, she continuously works with a number of non-profit organizations in New York City and mentors up-and-coming young women entrepreneurs across the country to South Africa. Gia currently resides in her hometown of Brooklyn, NY, with her daughter.
Scheril Murray Powell, Esq.
Scheril Murray Powell, Esq. is currently employed as a Cannabis and Civil Law Attorney, Scheril Murray Powell, P.A.. She is also General Counsel for Minorities for Medical Marijuana, General Counsel for Buds 4 Vets and General Counsel for Patience with Patients. She is a graduate of Florida International University College of Law. She is a member of the Florida Bar, Dade County Bar Association, Broward County Bar Association, Palm Beach County Bar Association, and National Bar Association, and was selected by her peers to speak at the FIU Law Commencement Ceremony. As a Cannapreneur, Scheril is the President of Canna Headhunters, a staffing agency in the Cannabis Industry that connects Cannabis talent to opportunities. She has been selected to present at a number of Cannabis Conferences including the Canna-Ed Conference hosted by the Florida Cannabis Coalition. Scheril is the regular Cannabis Law expert on Cannabis Law Radio every Sunday.
Mary Jane Oatman
Mary Jane Oatman is a mitochondrial matriarch of the Nimiipuu people who inherited the responsibility of recuperating sacred sites in her Treaty territory. The mother of three is known for her advocacy of returning to ancestral indigenous knowledge systems that strengthen identity, language, kinship and economies. She served as an Obama appointee to the National Advisory Council on Indian Education and was elected to serve as the youngest president of the National Indian Education Association.
In 2012, Oatman returned to her birthplace Qemyex-or Kamiah, Idaho- the site of the Nez Perce creation documented by Lewis and Clark's expedition as the "Valley of Hemp." In the spring of 2017, Oatman worked with a grassroots group of tribal members to legislate pro-cannabis legislation on the Nez Perce reservation. She is the founder and executive director of the Indigenous Cannabis Coalition, an organization advocating for the restoration of Indigenous cannabis and hemp economies in traditional homelands.
Kelley O’Connell aka “Keo Pink”, a half of Pink Fox, a life-style brand based in Washington DC, and a quarter of the Pink Fox Podcast. Keo moved to DC from Colorado in 1994 for an internship on Capitol Hill. 4 years on Capitol Hill, 4 years in the computer industry, and 15 years in the motion picture industry all lead to the creation of Pink Fox. Created with one of her co- workers from the motion picture industry, the two have set out to provide consumers with high-quality, attractive D.C. centric merchandise. Keo is a national champion rower (in the “Masters” age categories only) and a big fan of My Morning Jacket.
Sheri L. Orlowitz
Ms. Orlowitz has more than three decades of experience with mergers and acquisitions and working at executive-level positions – both domestically and internationally. Today, her portfolio includes small and emerging businesses in the cannabis industry.
Ms. Orlowitz has raised an excess of $100 million to build, acquire, and sell a dozen companies in the manufacturing, professional services, consulting and real estate industries –from start up to $70 million. Most recently, she secured equity commitments of $8.5 million for a cultivation and dispensary license, $2.5 million for a well-known industry SaaS company, and $7.5 million for a $45 million multi-family housing project.
As a former Justice Department prosecutor, Ms. Orlowitz ensures her clients are properly organized to meet all compliance regulations. Her continued success can be directly attributed to well-practiced functional experience, time-tested financial and legal acumen, a globally renowned network, and a reputation for integrity.
Ms. Orlowitz received numerous accolades, awards, and appointments. Most notable: She founded the Orlowitz-Lee Children’s Advocacy Center which is for sexually abused children and a safe-haven for trafficking victims and the American University International Law Review. A few of the many awards include Leading Entrepreneur of the World award;INC 5,000; and Enterprising Woman of the Year and she has served on the board of more than a dozen public and private companies.
Of most relevance to her current work in the cannabis industry is her appointment to the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) where she serves as Treasurer. MPP, founded in 1995, is an architect and creator of this new industry and continues to provide guidance in the legislative process as laws, referenda and regulations are being written to facilitate legalization in the states.
Tanya Osborne, Founder of CannaDiva, LLC and NYC Market Leader for Women Grow, is a true Renaissance woman! From the Music Industry to Financial Services, Business Coaching and now… Cannabis. The common theme here is the connection… from being a champion for Women in Music, sharing the importance of women investing in and for their future, coaching women entrepreneurs and now contributing to changing the stigma of the plant and bringing awareness to the role of women in the Cannabis industry.
She is the CEO of CannaDiva, LLC, a brand committed to supporting women in the space from hosting Canna-events and shining a spotlight on women entrepreneurs and the products and services that are women-focused, and the NYC Market Leader for Women Grow which is a national organization encouraging and supporting women to build and “grow” in the Cannabis industry.
Exuding a passion for entrepreneurs, diversity, and women has led Tanya to the Cannabis industry which is positioned for exponential growth. Her goal is to educate, connect and support women leaders in this industry.
Marsha "Stella J" Owens
Marsha “Stella J” Owens is the Director of Business Development for YouGroGurl LLC Marsha’s role with YGG is to help develop new business and implement business practices that move the mission and vision forward.
Marsha believes that every interaction is an opportunity for new business, she often says “It’s all in the 30 commercials”. Having been a business owner herself since 2007, Marsha knows that presentation is key to operating and maintaining your business.
Since starting her position with YouGroGurl, Marsha has assisted in taking YGG to one of the biggest Cannabis Festivals in the country; the National Cannabis Festival held in Washington, DC. YouGroGurl has also participated in other events across the Metropolitan area.
Marsha is a Master Life Skills Instructor and facilitates and speaks to a diverse group of clienteles, speaking and teaching on a wide range of topics, from “Influence Skills” to “30 Seconds of You”. Her engaging and creative style is informative and thought provoking. Marsha’s motto is, “You hold the key to your life experience.”
Andrea Paine is National Director of Government Relations (GR) at Aurora Cannabis, a producer of medical cannabis and cannabis oils under license from Health Canada. She is the lead director for Federal and provincial government relations, community relations with municipalities and local non-profit associations, and is leading collaborative GR efforts in Europe.
Before joining Aurora, in May 2017, Andrea was a Citizenship Judge in Montreal, where she was a member of the Citizenship Commission at Refugees, Immigration and Citizenship Canada. There she conducted residence hearings, lectured in high schools and colleges about Citizenship issues and administered the Canadian Oath of Citizenship to new Canadian Citizens. It was a very rich and rewarding part of her public service career.
Andrea also has a long professional career in politics and government. She worked for over twenty-five years with cabinet Ministers in Quebec provincial departments of Food and Fisheries, Transport and Education, and Federal Ministers of Human Resources and Social Development, Heritage, Health, as well as with the Government House Leader. While in the Government House Leader’s office, Andrea was responsible for all legislation going through Canadian Parliament, Parliament committee hearings, negotiating with the opposition parties and stakeholder groups. During her time at Health Canada, Andrea was responsible for the drafting and successful passage, through the House of Commons and the Senate, of the Canadian Consumer Protection Act, and was part of the team that brought forward the first medical cannabis regulations in Canada. She also ran as a Federal candidate in Montreal’s West Island during the 2004, 2006 and 2008 Federal elections.
An eleven-year breast cancer survivor, Andrea is a published author of a chapter in a book entitled “The Cancer Survivors Club”, by Chris Geiger, and has written a blog about cancer survivorship and running that can be found at www.lifepowerblog.ca . She has also been a public speaker for the 2011 fundraising campaign for Montreal based Saint Mary’s Hospital Cancer Care Centre and a guest speaker for the Federated Press, in 2012 and 2013 talking about issues management in Ministers’ offices.
An avid runner and student of yoga, Andrea lives in rural Montreal, Quebec, Canada with her husband and three daughters.
Kelly Perez is the CEO/co-founder of kindColorado, LLC (kindCO) and of Cannabis Doing Good, created to connect cannabis businesses to community serving nonprofits, and to highlight the good that the sector is doing. Our trademarked, Cannabis Social Responsibility (CSR), puts into action, purpose driven cannabis partnerships to support equity/justice, positive community impact, and environmental sustainability. CSR helps to shift the cannabis narrative from the War on Drugs, to a cultural sea change where opportunities are equitable, policy is just, communities benefit, and cannabis is a circular economic practice.
Kelly was the Human Services Policy Adviser to Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, and led the creation of the nation’s first Office of Marijuana Coordination, to implement Amendment 64 and to effectively roll out the world’s first legal, adult-use, cannabis market. She works to continuously improve local, state and national policy to benefit the community.
Women Grow scholarships and networking events helped Rebecca Perrick launch her career in the Las Vegas cannabis industry almost 4 years ago. As the Las Vegas Women Grow Market Leader, she is now able to help others grow and design events that build community and showcase emerging leaders and businesses. Rebecca works with dispensaries throughout the state of Nevada distributing marijuana products of the highest quality for Canabella Kitchen. She has a unique background in health; wellness from her years of experience as an Aerial Yoga instructor and her Masters degree in Occupational Therapy. Rebecca enjoys participating in a variety of educational events & sharing what she's learned as she grows in this industry.
Caroline Phillips is the founder and Executive Producer of the National Cannabis Festival and principal of The High Street, a marketing and events company based in Washington, D.C. Caroline focuses her work on conceptualizing, strategizing, and executing live event and marketing experiences that leverage business and advocacy to champion social good.
Caroline founded National Cannabis Festival to celebrate progress on cannabis legalization through music, art, education, and exhibitions. Now in its fifth year, NCF is the largest ticketed cannabis-themed event on the east coast.
Caroline lives in Washington, D.C. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest University, completed post-graduate studies at Howard University and received her Master’s degree from Georgetown University.
Ms. Jessica Potts is a Louisiana native who has 14 plus years of education experience. After graduating from Louisiana State University of Baton Rouge with a Bachelor’s in Sociology and Psychology, she went on to attain a Master’s Degree in Special Education and Educational Diagnostics.
Since childhood and now, Jessica battles the effects of Multiple Sclerosis and other health issues but remains steadfast in her efforts as an educator for students with special needs and as an advocate for people who struggle with various health issues. With experience as a special education teacher,diagnostician, and curriculum design, she established an innovative academic program that catered to a population of students with learning deficits at area educational institutions. In 2016, Ms. Potts expanded her expertise in education and advocacy into the Cannabis Industry through building relationships with political leaders and industry leaders via networking events in Maryland, Washington DC, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, and other emerging markets. In 2018, she established her company, Bonne Santé, which provides patient education and enrollment into the state medical marijuana program. Jessica has become a well- known industry leader in her native state in the Cannabis industry for education and advocacy. She is now the Education Specialist for Ilera Holistic Healthcare which partners with Southern University.
Amongst her colleagues, Mary Pryor is known for being a trendsetting, innovative, passionate and strategic problem solver. Mary has always been ahead of the curve due to being immersed in automotive design, electrical engineering, music, education, digital arts, and marketing while being raised in Detroit, Michigan. She is a bicoastal media expert with an impressive roster of employers and clients.
Mary has worked for major brands across the music, media, technology, and marketing industries including Sony Music Group, Viacom, Attention PR, City Parks Foundation, Mirrorball, Black Enterprise, CBS News, Ebony Magazine, Essence Magazine, Rolling Stone, VaynerMedia, Mindshare, SheKnows Media, McCann XBC, McCann Health, Byron Allen Group, Sean Combs Enterprises, and McGarryBowen. Having realized there was a pressing need for agencies that catered to culturally rich and niche audiences through digital and social marketing integration, Mary founded her own firms, WeFancy (consulting) and Urban Socialista (digital marketing consulting).
Mary participates in speaking engagements nationwide to share her expertise in digital innovation. In 2014 she was recognized as SXSW’s Innovator of the Year. Mary’s goal is to provide online branding and digital trend-forecasting for the general market by empowering communities through the utilization of digital tools. She is the co-founder and CEO of Cannaclusive, a collective focused on inclusive marketing and business advocacy in the cannabis industry, New York Chapter President of Minorities for Medical Marijuana, and she serves as the current New York advocate for The People’s Dispensary.
Parisa Mansouri-Rad also known as “The Marijuana Momma” is a marketing executive and Cannabis advocate whose experience as the mom of a special needs child propelled her into the industry. When spinal fusion surgery to correct scoliosis left her then 15-year-old daughter with a rare, life-threatening condition characterized by chronic abdominal pain, Parisa’s search for palliatives led her to Cannabis (Medicinal Marijuana).
After witnessing her daughter’s dramatic improvement, Parisa decided to leverage her marketing experience to re-brand the maligned Cannabis industry through ongoing advocacy and education of the public on the benefits of medicinal marijuana.
Parisa graduated with honors from New Mexico State University with a Major in Agriculture Business and a Minor in Marketing. She serves as Market Leader Program Director for Women Grow & President of MjMomma Consulting LLC, a Cannabis focused Marketing Agency.
Rand immersed herself in medical cannabis advocacy on behalf of her son who has epilepsy. She played an integral role in passing the legislation in Maryland. In 2015,
Rand became CFO and Patient Advocate for ForwardGro, the first of fifteen companies licensed to cultivate cannabis in Maryland. In 2017, she had the honor of speaking in the halls of Congress at the Marijuana Big Thinker Talks.
Prior to becoming the Executive Director of the California Cannabis Industry Association, Lindsay was the Director of Development for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). Lindsay oversaw MPP’s national fundraising and membership strategies. Based in San Francisco, Lindsay was a key member of MPP’s fundraising team starting in 2010 and took the helm of the department in early 2014. MPP was responsible for passing adult use ballot initiatives in Nevada, Massachusetts, and Maine in 2016 while playing a supporting role in California with Prop 64. Lindsay’s team at MPP helped raise over $18 million for these campaigns in the 2016 election cycle.
She was one of the primary fundraisers for both Amendment 64, the 2012 ballot initiative to regulate cannabis like alcohol in Colorado, and Ballot Measure 2, a similar initiative that made cannabis legal in Alaska in 2014. Lindsay was elected to the Board of Directors for the California Cannabis Industry Association in January 2016 and served as the Chair of the Legislative Committee that same year.
Lindsay has been working to end cannabis prohibition for two decades, in both volunteer and professional capacities. Her passion for social justice has also led to more than 17 years in the nonprofit industry, fundraising for organizations like the SF-Marin Food Bank, the Center for Justice and Accountability, and La Raza Centro Legal. Lindsay received her undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Vermont and has her Master’s in Nonprofit
Administration from the University of San Francisco. She’s also a registered yoga instructor and tequila enthusiast, not necessarily in that order.
Gabriela D. Rodriguez
Born in San Diego, California raised in the beautiful island of Puerto Rico. Gabriela D. Rodriguez is a young woman striving in the medicinal cannabis industry in Puerto Rico with hopes of helping others as she did her sister who suffered from convulsions. By the age of 25, after graduating from Law School and just when the industry was starting, Gabriela decided to take a leap from her practice to start working in a local dispensary chain called Clínica Verde. After 4 years dedicating herself to the Puerto Rican cannabis community, managing 5 dispensaries and studying vastly about patient-cannabis interactions, she has decided to start her own educational platform via web with her project titled, Tropical Haze PR. With Tropical Haze, Gabriela wishes to educate the Spanish speaking community about the many benefits of cannabis as well as advocate about the needs and well-being of our community.
Aliza Sherman is a Latina entrepreneur and CEO of Ellementa, Inc., the fastest growing global cannabis wellness network for women connecting women, cannabis experts, and brands online and in person in over 50 cities and counting. She is also the publisher of HerCannaLife.com, a website showcasing women in the cannabis industry. In the 1990s,Aliza started the first woman-owned c. and first worldwide Internet networking organization for women, Webgrrls International.
In 1995, Newsweek named her one of the “Top People Who Matter Most on the Internet.” In 2009, Fast Company called her one of the “Most Powerful Women in Technology.” Aliza is the author of 12 books including The Happy, Healthy Nonprofit, Social Media Engagement for Dummies, Mom Incorporated, and her latest, Cannabis and CBD for Health and Wellness (Ten Speed, June 2019).
Kebra Smith-Bolden is a Registered Nurse in Connecticut and the proud mother of four, including 16 year old triplets and two grandchildren Jax and Joey. Kebra received a Certificate of Competency in the Cannabis Industry from Northeastern Institute of Cannabis. She is the CEO of CannaHealth a Holistic Cannabis Health and Wellness Center, and the Market Leader for Women Grow CT, a networking organization that empowers Women to become entrepreneurs in the CannabisIndustry. Her memberships include The Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana, Connecticut Norml and The Minority Cannabis Business Association.In addition, Kebra is the President of the Connecticut Chapter of Minorities for Medical Marijuana. Kebra is also the CO-Chief Nursing Officer of the Steering Committee for Huerfano County, Colorado’s Faris Green Campus project to Fight Opiate Addiction with Cannabis.
Sharon Stolt is a transformational career strategist & communications coach, writer and speaker. Five years ago, Sharon had achieved “success” by every measure: traveling the globe as a master facilitator, designing award-winning training programs, with a shiny new promotion and paycheck to match. It took her two more years and massive burnout to face the truth: she was living someone else’s story of success. Now, she’s on a mission to help ambitious, purpose-driven women leaders take a strategic approach to their career and develop their authentic voice at work.
When she’s not coaching or speaking you can find Sharon exploring the trails with her husband, their toddler son, and their big, friendly dog at home in Boulder, Colorado.
Marvina Thomas, founder of 420 Skincare and 420 Mediables is dedicated to providing other solutions for patients. Her previous years of being a nurse stimulated her desire to create her products. Her desire to help others began her journey in the cannabis community solely off of wanting to help another human beings. Her aspiration to spread kindness and compassion was poured into her products and the results of her intentions has manifested into 420 Skincare and 420 Mediables. Every product is handmade and hand packaged in the United States, employing men and women who can’t find employment due to struggles throughout life.
Being a part of this wonderful line is more than Beauty and wellness and medicated treats. Being a Part of 420 Skincare and 420 Mediables is helping humanity grow with love and kindness and using what God has placed on this Earth to do so.
Reba Thomas is a sexuality educator, entertainer and full-time entrepreneur. In 2015 she founded Sexpert Consultants LLC, a company that is bridging the sexual health education gap through live events and online courses that teach adults about basic human sexual anatomy and sexual response cycles, promote sexual health and wellness, and improve communication around sexual desires and concerns. Reba is a member of Women of Sex Tech and also serves as an ambassador for the American Sexual Health Association (ASHA) and Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington (PPMW).
Camille Tindal, a native of Washington DC, has long been an advocate for the medicinal benefits of cannabis. Enthusiastic about DC’s medical cannabis program, Camille left the restaurant industry to leverage her experience in food and production to pursue a deeper knowledge of cannabis cultivation. Camille joined the District Growers, LLC team, as a Junior Gardener in 2017. Now Garden and Production Manager at DG, Camille leads in the creative efforts to develop and improve concentrates and edible product offerings, enhance the company’s cultivation methodology, and redesign cultivation management processes. With a unique perspective grounded in equity and justice, Camille is excited about the opportunities for industry growth in her home city and to utilize her genuine passion for natural and holistic remedies.
Heidi Urness, Strategic Legal Counsel at Cultiva Law, is a Chicago born-and-raised litigator. With a background in corporate litigation and environmental compliance, Heidi is thrilled to meld these passions to cultivate effective legal solutions across all stages of corporate development, operation, and litigation.
After gaining sub rosa insights into the highest levels of judicial decision-making while serving as the Judicial Assistant to the Presiding Justice of the First District Court of Appeal in California, Heidi relocated to Seattle and joined Cultiva Law, where she leverages her skill, tenacity, and reputation for results to develop and execute insightful legal strategies on behalf of clients including corporate entities and/or individual members, licensees, investors, entrepreneurs, and more.
Heidi graduated from Wake Forest University with a degree in Psychology, and received her J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law. She is a member of the WSBA Cannabis Law Section and WSBA Editorial Advisory Committee. She also manages the Cultiva Law Blog, and is a regular contributor to many of the nation’s premier cannabis publications including Marijuana Venture, CannaBiz Journal, and the Cannabis Law Journal, among others. She was also recently named one of the Top 30 Cannabis Litigators You Should Know. Heidi has been a leading author on CBD regulations and she has been asked to speak throughout the nation on the topic of CBD laws.
Heidi is personally and professionally passionate about advancing the interests of a legitimate and integrous cannabis industry, establishing and enforcing equitable relationships among business partners, supporting and promoting decriminalization efforts, and also coffee. Connect with her on Instagram @MaryJaneEsquire, or email her directly at email@example.com.
Dr. Kisha Vanterpool
Kisha Vanterpool, M.D. currently serves as Medical Director at Medicinally Jointed, an alternative health center and medical cannabis spa. As director, her goal is to create personalized treatment plans that apply vitamin and nutrient therapy, as well as diet and lifestyle counseling to optimize health and prevent disease. She also assists patients to safely utilize cannabis as botanical medicine. A board certified Internist, she has worked in the field of Hospital Medicine for over fifteen years with an acute focus of practice on serving the geriatric population and medically underserved communities. She has performed research in the field of genomic medicine at Columbia University New York State Psychiatric Institute on Alzheimer’s Disease and Panic Disorder. She completed her internship and residency program in Internal Medicine at Rutgers University Hospital.
Dr. Vanterpool received her B.S. in Chemistry from Howard University and obtained her medical degree from Howard University College of Medicine.
Chris Visco, President of TerraVida Holistic Centers, was born and raised in Conshohocken. The Montgomery County native and her business partners first submitted the application for a medical marijuana license in March 2017. In that round TerraVida was awarded one license and the application scored highest in the region and 2nd highest in the state. TerraVida is only WBE certified and operates the 3 dispensaries in Sellersville, Abington & Malvern.
Prior to owning a dispensary, Chris owned a marketing firm and worked as a political strategist. In addition to an extensive marketing background, Chris brings over 20 years of retail and buying experience to Pennsylvania's medical marijuana market. Her vision of next level patient care and outside the box marketing techniques have consistently translated to impressive sales stats in Pennsylvania's medical marijuana market that even The Inquirer has recognized. In a recent article Chris Visco was dubbed, "The Queen of Cannabis".
Jeannette Ward Horton
Jeannette Ward Horton is a strategic marketing and communications leader with 15 years of experience leading communications, marketing, and change management for large and small companies, including The Coca-Cola Company, The Home Depot, UPS, and now MJ Freeway, a software and data company serving the cannabis industry, the fastest growing industry in the U.S.
Jeannette’s role at MJ Freeway is Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Insights. MJ Freeway is the world’s largest cannabis technology company having processed more than $10B in sales with clients in Australia, Canada, Chile, Columbia, Denmark, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, and the United States. Jeannette’s team harnesses the power of the cannabis industry’s largest POS data repository to deliver insights that inform industry decision makers, including cannabis industry forecasting and trendspotting. She also leads all product and brand marketing globally.
Because MJ Freeway also believes in building a better cannabis industry, Jeannette is also a founding board member of NuLeaf Project, a City of Portland-funded initiative to increase the number of successful cannabis businesses of color within Portland through capital grants and business coaching. Jeannette launched NuLeaf building upon her experience as founding Vice Chair of the Minority Cannabis Business Association, the only non-profit organization created to service the specific needs and interests of minority cannabis entrepreneurs, investors, and patients.
Jeannette’s prior roles at The Coca-Cola Company included a Sales and Marketing leadership role where she had responsibility for $9.2M of Coca-Cola product sales in 1,360 U.S. retail locations owning the complete in-store Coca-Cola brand experience, marketing communications, shopper messaging, pricing, SKU assortment, and merchandising. She also led internal data acquisition and management for The Coca-Cola Company’s North American marketing business. Before Coca-Cola, she led corporate communications functions for global audiences at The Home Depot and UPS.
Jeannette’s work has been featured in BusinessWeek and among Corporate Executive Board’s world- class best communications practices. Jeannette has a BA from Spelman College and an MA from Georgia State University.
L. Renee Williams
L. Renee Williams is a Sensual Wellness expert she has been working in Biotech industry for over 21 years, and over 15 publications from Indiana University Purdue University, was a Study research fellow at Howard University, and Cornell University in New York, NY. Just recently in 2016, she received her entrepreneurial business certificate from Harvard University.
Currently, Renee and her business partner are working full time on their startup company Triple Apex, which is a health and wellness company that develops and distributes sensual enhancement products for women, through her clinical expertise Renee developed Triple Apex a vaginal suppository that achieves three benefits which are Tightening the vagina, Replenishes (Moisturizes), and enhances sensual pleasure. Renee believes this product can achieve a healthy balance for All Women.