San Francisco Speakers 2019

Lori Ajax

CALIFORNIA STATE CANNABIS CZAR

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Lori Ajax

Lori Ajax was appointed Chief of the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation on February 4, 2016. She was previously Chief Deputy Director of the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) where she had served in multiple positions since 1998, including Deputy Division Chief, District Administrator and Supervising Investigator. As Deputy Division Chief, assigned to the Department's Headquarters Office, she oversaw several statewide programs. She began her career as an Investigator in ABC's Santa Rosa District office in 1995 and then transferred to Sacramento to work in the Trade Enforcement Unit where she promoted to Supervising Investigator. In 2006, she was promoted to District Administrator assigned to the ABC Grant Assistance Program (GAP) and the TRACE Unit. She then served as the District Administrator for ABC's Sacramento, Yuba City and Redding District offices from 2007 through 2011, overseeing the licensing and enforcement operations of 20 counties in Northern California. Ms. Ajax also served as an Investigator at the California Fair Political Practices Commission from 1997 to 1998.
Ms. Ajax spent 10 years in private industry prior to her State government career. She holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from California State University, Sacramento. She is a member of the National Liquor Law Enforcement Association and the St. Sava Mission Foundation.

Alex Traverso

CALIFORNIA BUREAU OF CANNABIS CONTROL

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Alex Traverso

Alex Traverso was appointed Assistant Chief of Communications at the Bureau of Cannabis Control at the California Department of Consumer Affairs on November 1, 2016. He had been Assistant Deputy Director of Corporate Communications at the California State Lottery since 2008. He had also previously served as Communications Director in the Office of California State Assemblymember Lloyd Levine from 2006 to 2008; Deputy Press Secretary in the Office of California State Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez from 2004 to 2006; Public Relations Manager at the California Exposition and State Fair from 2003 to 2004; and Assistant Press Secretary in the Office of the Governor from 1999 to 2003. Mr. Traverso earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of California, Davis.

John Salley

CO-FOUNDER OF DEUCES22 PREMIUM BRANDS

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John Salley

Most can achieve a goal and be pleasantly satisfied with their results but to continually create new tasks to accomplish and to reinvent your self is the mark of a versatile and motivated individual. It is the definition of father, athlete, actor, entrepreneur, talk show host, philanthropist, wellness advocate, vegan and champion: John Salley.

A proud native of Brooklyn, New York, John found a love for basketball at an early age. He accepted a Basketball Scholarship to Georgia Tech to play for legendary head coach Bobby Cremins. From there Salley went on to become a 15-year NBA veteran and was the first NBA player to win four championships with three different teams. During the 80's, Salley was a member of the Detroit Piston ``Bad Boys`` squad. Salley went on to Chicago playing with Michael Jordan as part of the Bulls 1996 championship team. In 1999, Phil Jackson invited Salley to come to Los Angeles to provide experience and leadership to the 1999-2000 Lakers' championship team.

After his retirement from the NBA in 2000, Salley explored several opportunities in both television and film. John's film credits include Bad Boys 1 & 2, Eddie and Jerry Bruckheimer's Confession of a Shopaholic. John has served as host for numerous award shows and was also the host of The John Salley Block Party on 100.3 The Beat Morning Show in Los Angeles. John recently hosted the Reunion Shows of VH-1's #1 rated show, Basketball Wives.

John spent 7 years serving as the co-host of the Emmy nominated, critically acclaimed ``The Best Damn Sports Show Period`` on Fox Sports Net. He was also the host of the sports talk show ``Ballers`` on BET. John is the head of his own production company, John Salley Presents, Inc., where he uses his uncanny ability to find unique and interesting people and projects for television, film and Internet. In April 2011 until recently, John hosted his own talk show Game On! airing on The Reelz Channel. In addition, John was also a co-host on The Car Show, airing on Speed Channel. John has also been the MC for numerous Corporate and Charity events.

John is actively involved with Operation Smile, PETA and the fight against Diabetes. In addition, John is involved with PCRM and visited Washington speaking to Congress about the Child Nutrition Act, asking Members to support legislation that would increase vegetarian options in meals served in public schools.

John has adopted a plant based (raw vegan) lifestyle, and is a frequent speaker at VegFest's across the USA. As a Wellness Advocate, one of John's main missions in life is to continue to educate people on the benefits of living a healthier lifestyle thru better eating habits. With a passion for real food, wine and spirits, John is a partner in the label ``Vegan Vine`` in partnership with Clos LaChance Winery. John has contributed articles to Wine Spectator, Cigar Aficionado and LA Confidential. You can follow John on Facebook John Salley, Twitter @thejohnsalley.com and his website, www.johnsalley.com. John currently lives in Los Angeles with his family.

Scott Van Rixel

CEO BHANG CHOCOLATE

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Scott Van Rixel

Leaders in the cannabis industry, the Bhang team produces the most-awarded line of cannabis chocolate bars on the planet, as well as a premium collection of vapes, gums and mouth sprays. Developed and led by Scott Van Rixel, a European-certified Chef de cuisine and Master Chocolatier with 25+ years of gourmet chocolate experience, the Bhang brand is an international powerhouse and consists of many premium products in addition to its award-winning cannabis chocolate. Bhang is best known for innovation.

Lauren Fraser

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CANNABIS DISTRIBUTION ASSOCIATION

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Lauren Fraser

Lauren Fraser is the Director for the Cannabis Distribution Association, which was co-founded in June 2016 and today has over 120 members across California. Lauren has been a champion for the cannabis distribution segment for the past several years, as an operator and as an organized representative. In 2015, she co-founded River Distribution which became the first and largest permitted cannabis distributor in the State. Now, she supports all operators seeking distribution licenses and distribution partnerships through her work with the Association and as an independent consultant. In addition to her role with CDA, Lauren sits on the Board for California Growers Association and the United Cannabis Business Alliance. Prior to working in the cannabis industry, Lauren worked in venture financing across various industries and developed a life-long passion for entrepreneurship. Lauren holds a Degree in Finance and Masters in Business Administration both from San Diego State.

Ngaio Bealum

ICBC MASTER OF CERMONIES

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Ngaio Bealum

Ngaio Bealum is one of the premiere cannabis comics in the United States and you'll see why he has performed at just about every Hempfest on the West Coast and too many cannabis-related events to even keep track of. He has appeared on Comedy Central, BET, MTV and many other networks and shows across your television dial.  Very recently, he was a featured guest on the hilarious podcast of Doug Benson (Super High Me, Half-Baked), Getting Doug With High. In addition to his cannabis comedy, he is the former editor of West Coast Cannabis Magazine and has been a tireless activist for legalization. While Ngaio's comedy is hilarious whether you are a full-fledged member of the cannabis community or not, it certainly doesn't hurt.

Justin Meiklem

VP SALES & MARKETING, STOCKHOUSE PUBLISHING

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Justin Meiklem

Jamie Pearson

COO, Bhang

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Jamie Pearson

Bhang is a powerhouse cannabis and CBD brand that spans several US States, Canada, Europe and South America. Ms. Pearson is a serial entrepreneur with twenty years of successful business operations experience. In addition to her work at Bhang, she is on the advisory board of Liberty Leaf `{`CNSX: LIB`}`, owns a real estate investment firm, property management company, and holds a real estate portfolio spanning 3 countries.
Jamie was named one of the Top Twenty Women in Business by the Billings Gazette, and was inducted into the Investors Hall of Fame by the Wealth Intelligence Academy. A skilled deal-maker, Ms. Pearson opened a celebrity cannabis agency in 2015 with DJ Muggs of Cypress Hill and paired cannabis companies with celebrity clients. She currently owns cultivation operations in Northern California and Montana and has been a cannabis real estate investor and landlord for over 12 years. A certified ``low ropes`` team builder, Pearson also holds ``Train the Trainer`` certification in several leadership and human resource programs. She studied German at the University of Wuppertal (Wuppertal, Germany), holds a B.A. from Vassar College and a Masters in Leadership from the University of Oregon.

Shanita Penny

PRINCIPAL, BUDDING SOLUTIONS AND PRESIDENT, MINORITY CANNABIS BUSINESS ASSOCIATION

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Shanita Penny

Shanita Penny M.B.A. is an internationally recognized management consultant with over a decade of experience in helping Fortune 500 companies solve complex issues and improve business performance. Her reputation as a strategic thinker and a results oriented leader was cultivated in management and consulting roles with companies such as Pepsico, McCormick and Company and JDA Software.

Shanita is a proud alumna of North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University, where she earned a BS in Transportation and Logistics Management and completed internships with Polo Ralph Lauren, Harley-Davidson and Miller Brewing Company. As a lifelong learner, she brought her corporate experiences into the classroom during her graduate studies at the University of Baltimore and Towson University. Shanita fearlessly led a team of marketing consultants on a semester long project to create a Living Museum for a Portuguese Guitar collection in Lisbon, Portugal as a Wright Global Scholar.

In 2015, Shanita took a leap of faith and founded Budding Solutions and has not looked back.

As a certified Project Management Professional and Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, Shanita brings a much needed skillset coupled with immense passion to the cannabis industry. Prior to founding Budding Solutions, she successfully led
over $5 million in Enterprise Governance, Risk and Compliance software projects for a major telecommunications company.

Shanita is especially proud of her work as a cannabis activist and has lobbied on Capitol Hill with organizations like DC NORML for the reform of national marijuana laws. She also works closely with registered lobbyists on a local level on behalf of her clients.

Combining a passion for her work and a cause she truly believes in has been a dream come true for this budding cannabis entrepreneur.

Lindsay Robinson

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CCIA

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Lindsay Robinson

Prior to becoming the executive director of the California Cannabis Industry Association, Lindsay was the director of development for the Marijuana Policy Project. Lindsay oversaw MPP's national fundraising and membership strategies. Based in San Francisco, California, 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 marijuana like alcohol in Colorado, and Ballot Measure 2, a similar initiative that made marijuana legal in Alaska in 2014. Lindsay was elected to the board of the California Cannabis Industry Association in January 2016 and served as the chairwoman of the Legislative Committee that same year.

Lindsay has been working to end marijuana prohibition for two decades, in both volunteer and professional capacities. Her passion for social justice has also lead to more than 17 years in the non-profit 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.

Alan Brochstein

CFA, FOUNDER OF 420 INVESTOR AND NCV MEDIA

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Alan Brochstein

Alan is the founder of 420 Investor, an online community featuring ideas, research, and conversation about stocks in the cannabis industry, and NCV Media, the company behind New Cannabis Ventures, a publicly facing curated content aggregation site focusing on the most promising companies and investors in the space.

Anna Serin

DIRECTOR OF LISTINGS DEVELOPMENT, CSE

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Anna Serin

Ms. Serin has more than 15 years of experience in securities and corporate finance. She has an unwavering passion, perseverance and commitment to the capital markets and investment industry.

She started her education in Business and Psychology, accomplished her brokerage and wealth management designations with honours and real estate licensing via Sauder School of Business.

Anna has worked with public companies providing all of their corporate and restructuring needs in the small cap space. She has aided companies with financings, financial reporting and maintenance, debt settlement and negotiations as well as all public disclosure and filings. She joined as Director of Listings Development with the Canadian Securities Exchange in 2016 and focuses on many areas of business and professional development initiatives within the community.

Chris Coulombe

CEO PACIFIC EXPEDITORS DISTRIBUTION

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Chris Coulombe

David Hua

CEO, CO-FOUNDER MEADOW

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David Hua

David Hua is the CEO and Co-Founder of Meadow, a cannabis software company building tools for dispensaries, delivery, doctors, and patients in California. Hua has dedicated the last 4 years to bridging the divide between cannabis and technology. He has partnered with dispensaries and delivery services of all sizes across California, utilizing technology to maintain compliance with local and state regulations, prepare for the demand and scale of an Adult Use market, and create operational efficiencies that allow these businesses to thrive in a regulated industry. He has also collaborated with California's cannabis community and California regulators to draft, implement, and provide stakeholder feedback on medical and Adult-Use regulations.

Neal Levine

CEO OF THE CANNABIS TRADE FEDERATION (CTF)

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Neal Levine

Neal Levine is a nationally recognized expert in both cannabis policy and ballot initiative/independent expenditure campaigns, and a leading national advocate for the cannabis industry. Neal co-founded and serves as the CEO of the Cannabis Trade Federation (CTF), which is a national coalition of cannabis-related businesses that represent all aspects of the industry including cultivators, dispensaries, wholesalers, distributors, and ancillary businesses.

Prior to forming CTF, Neal served as Senior Vice President of Government Affairs at LivWell Enlightened Health, one of the largest employers in the cannabis industry. In this role Neal led the company's government affairs, public relations, community engagement, and philanthropic efforts. Neal is also a founding board member and currently serves as Chairman for the New Federalism Fund (NFF). Neal was elected to the board of directors of the National Cannabis Industry Association in 2016 and served in that role until January of this year.

While one of the cannabis industry's leading federal lobbyists, Neal has also worked extensively on cannabis policy reform in the states. As a former department head at the Marijuana Policy Project, and later in both private practice and leading government affairs for one of the largest companies in the industry, Neal has worked to end cannabis prohibition and set up sensible industry regulations in over 20 states throughout the country - including leading or playing a key role on many of the teams that passed the state laws that created the industry.

Neal got his start in politics as a volunteer for one of the biggest upsets in modern American political history, Jesse Ventura's victorious campaign for Governor of Minnesota in 1998.

Ben Arn

CEO OF CANNATRADE.CH

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Ben Arn

Ben started working in the cannabis industry in 2004 as an activist for the swiss hemp initiative. Beside the engagement in cannabis politics, Ben was an event organizer in the swiss music scene. In 2008, those two things came together, and Ben became the CEO of CannaTrade.ch AG, european's oldest still existing hemp fair. Next to the CannaTrade, Ben is also working for the CannaSwissCup (Switzerland's Cannabis Cup) and the Cannabis Village, a fair-brand to bring the cannabis-topic into the big swiss public fairs.

MARK LAWSON

MANAGING PARTNER OF CLERMONT CAPITAL PARTNERS INC

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MARK LAWSON

Mr. Lawson has over 20 years of capital markets experience in North America & the emerging markets, and is currently a Managing Partner of Clermont Capital Partners Inc., a boutique private equity & financial advisory firm based in Toronto, Canada. He was previously an investment banker with Morgan Stanley in New York where he was involved in the execution of over $6 billion worth of mergers and acquisitions, $8 billion worth of debt offerings and $500 million of equity financings in the technology, healthcare, and energy sector.

He received his Bachelor of Arts in Statistical Sciences from The University of Western Ontario, Canada and his MBA from The Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario, Canada. Mr. Lawson serves on the board of directors of various publicly listed companies, and is also a Director of the Regent Park Film Festival, and the Hugh & Ilene Lawson Charitable Organization (HILCO).

MITCHELL WAGNER

CO-FOUNDER AND CTO OF WAGNER DIMAS

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MITCHELL WAGNER

As Co-founder and CTO of Wagner Dimas, Mitchell and his team developed a ground breaking manufacturing process for preroll manufacturing. Through this innovation he also became a managing partner in Herban. Which manufacturers pre-rolls to unmatched scale in Oakland California for over 40 brands. He is currently spinning off a hemp cigarette company, highlighting the big opportunity in CBD. Mitchell has a BS in visualization from the Minneapolis College of Art & Design, and studied economics at Macalester College. Before cannabis he worked within advertising, science, and technology. His current focus is managing and growing his engineering team, and inventing more novel solutions throughout the cannabis industry.

Dave Branfman

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY SUPER LAWYER®

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Dave Branfman

Dave Branfman has been practicing law in San Diego County for over thirty years. Mr. Branfman's practice focuses on intellectual property and entertainment law, including trademarks, domain names, copyrights, trade secrets, licensing, motion pictures & TV, and music. He has also developed a leading specialty in the intersection between intellectual property law and the growing medical and recreational marijuana industries and speaks regularly on this subject.

Mr. Branfman graduated Cum Laude from Alfred University in New York and received his law degree from the University of San Diego in 1978. He is an instructor on intellectual property law at the UCSD (University of California, San Diego) Executive Perspective for Scientists & Engineers program. Mr. Branfman is a member of the NORML Legal Committee and the National Cannabis Bar Association and has spoken multiple times at NORML Legal Committee conferences. He was Chairman of the Board of the San Diego Film Commission from 1998 - January 2000 and was a member of the Board of Directors from 1998 - 2007. He was Legal Chair of the Pacific Southwest Chapter of the National Television Academy for approximately two decades and is a member of the State Bar of California's Intellectual Property Section and its Executive Committee which helps to guide and govern the Section. He is a regular speaker at Comic-Con and has lectured or spoken on entertainment, intellectual property and Internet Law at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and California Western School of Law.

He has been selected as a Southern California Super Lawyer® in intellectual property more than six times since 2007 including most recently this year.

Dean Arbit

CEO WAGNER DIMAS & BUD.COM

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Dean Arbit

Dean has been a trailblazer in Cannabis related media, helping found Smell the Truth on SFGate in 2011, where he currently serves as Publisher.  In 2015, Dean also conceptualized and co-founded New West Summit, which he sold the following year. Prior to entering the Cannabis space in 2011, Dean served as CEO of West Coast Outdoor Media Inc., which he founded 1998, and he help build into one of the largest independent outdoor advertising companies in the Western U.S., with clients such as Apple, NIKE, and Bank of America. New York-based private equity firm Flexis Capital acquired West Coast Outdoor Media in January of 2011. Dean studied Economics and International Finance at San Francisco State University.

Jamie Shaw

PARTNER AT GROUNDWORKS CONSULTING AND DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE FOR PASHA BRANDS

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Jamie Shaw

Jamie Shaw is a Partner of Groundwork Consulting, Director of the BC Independent Cannabis Association, and an Advisor to NICHE Canada. She has previously served as Government Relations and Sr. Policy Development for Indigenous Bloom, Government Relations Director for MMJ Canada, President of CAMCD, a Director of the B.C. Compassion Club, and co-founder of Canada's first Women Grow Chapter.

She was an expert witness in the Allard trial that won patients the right to grow for themselves, and her lobbying efforts led to dispensary licensing in multiple B.C. municipalities. She is a co-author of the Lift Retail Cannabis Training Course, and her writing on cannabis issues can be found in various publications.

Kevin Haller

SENIOR MANAGER AKENE CONSULTING, LLC

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Kevin Haller

Kevin Haller and PP&Co have been serving the cannabis industry since 2015. With 24 years of personal experience and knowledge of the cannabis industry and 13 years as a public accountant, Kevin has a deep understanding of both the industry and financial framework. We have helped clients with the following services:
1. Financial forecasts and projections
2. Audited financial statements
3. City of San Jose Application Agreed Upon Procedures
4. Tax provision and interim tax note disclosures in reviewed financial statements
5. Preparation of federal and state tax returns
6. 280e analysis to maximize deductions while staying compliance with the rules
7. Internal controls analysis and documentation of best practices (various aspects of financial reporting, including inventory)
8. Inventory/COGS data capturing and analytics
9. Grow plan analysis
10. Bookkeeping

David Downs

LEAFLY'S CALIFORNIA BUREAU CHIEF

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David Downs

David Downs is an award-winning journalist and best-selling author who covers cannabis policy and legalization as Leafly's California Bureau Chief. As the cannabis editor at the San Francisco Chronicle, he founded GreenState.com, is the co-founder of the cannabis podcast, The Hash, and was the senior editor at Cannabis Now. Downs is the co-author of the crop science book, Marijuana Harvest (2017) by Ed Rosenthal and David Downs.

Downs has been a guest lecturer at the Loyola Marymount University Law School's Journalism Law School, UC Berkeley Extension, and a contributor to Continuing Education of the Bar's Marijuana Law Hub, sponsored by the University of California and the State Bar of California. He shared in a 2018 Scripps Howard Award for Breaking News for his ``Wine Country Fires`` reporting.

Chris Husong

DIRECTOR OF SALES AND MARKETING ELIXINOL

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Chris Husong

Chris Husong is an international branding and marketing expert with over 20 years' experience in emerging and regulated industries including telecom and finance.
Having worked in cannabis since 2014, Chris has a deep knowledge for global hemp standards. Motivated to exceed those standards, since 2015, Chris Husong has been leading the international growth of Elixinol which is sold in 40 different countries. As a strong advocate for quality standards and industry best practices Chris' support of industry organizations such as Hemp Industry Association (HIA), US Hemp Roundtable and Realm of Caring (ROC) is notable. As Director of Sales & Marketing for Elixinol, a global company with triple-digit year over year growth since 2015, Chris oversees all Elixinol international digital properties and sales efforts including product development, partnerships, branding and public relations.

Lance Lambert

Advocate | Speaker | Strategic Business Unit Manager- Boveda Inc.

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Lance Lambert

Over the past several years Lance has worked in the digital media space for tech companies and top media publishers including; Scripps, The Cannabist, Weedmaps and Marijuana.com news site. Efforts around content in the cannabis space occurred late 2013 after joining DFM's flagship property, The Denver Post. Here he was able to assist in the launching, and shaping of the true news-first site focused in this space--The Cannabist.

Lance quickly learned the true benefits of this plant from the stories they produced around positive effects on those with autism, cancer and epileptic seizures. Being a cancer survivor himself, this especially hit home. In 2017 he shifted gears to head up the herbal division of Boveda, the global leader in 2-way humidity control. He is constantly furthering his knowledge around the cannabis industry as a whole. He's an advocate, an influencer and true believer in the magic this plant holds for mankind.

Nic Easley

CEO, MULTIVERSE CAPITAL

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Nic Easley

Nic is an engaging and dynamic speaker, bringing original content to each speech, custom tailored to each audience. Nic's scientific background, combined with over 15 years of agricultural field and biological experience offers the cannabis industry new possibilities of, productivity, profitability, and professionalism. Over the past nine years - both in Colorado and nationwide - Nic has been asked to speak and keynote at multiple industry conferences and contributes to numerous industry publications . Nic holds degrees in Environmental Studies and Biology, and is a Veteran of the United States Air Force.

Emanuel Kotzian

CEO, EMPALIKO UG, BERLIN

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Emanuel Kotzian

Emanuel Kotzian dedicates himself to the education about the effects of marihuana and lobbies for the re-normalization of this classic cultural plant. In 2000 he established Germanys biggest magazine ``Hanf Journal`` and founded Agentur Sowjet GmbH, where he currently serves as CEO. With more than 1 million fans, followers and readers on several channels, Agentur Sowjet is one of the leading marketing companies on the European Hemp Market. Its network of companies and branch offices extends from the Canary Islands to Kiev in the Ukraine and represents a unique platform for any market participant.
Emanuel Kotzian was born 1972 in Krakow and immigrated with his family to Germany. After finishing High School in 1992 he studied Economics.

Mary Patton

VP OF MARKETING FOR SUNNIVA

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Mary Patton

Mary Patton is a seasoned business executive and veteran cannabis activist whose professional career path has taken her from award-winning marketing campaigns, working with clients such as Intel and Sun Microsystems for L!VE Marketing, to high profile entertainment industry positions with KZOK FM Radio, Harpo Studios, Rhino Entertainment, and Amoeba Music, before settling full-time into the cannabis industry with a focus on policy reform and business development. Since 2010, Ms. Patton has been a sought-after cannabis industry consultant, lending her expertise and advice to cannabis industry start-ups, many of which have gone on to become some of the top companies in the cannabis industry.

Vince Ning

FOUNDER AND CEO AT NABIS - A CANNABIS SERVICES GROUP

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Vince Ning

Vince is the Founder and CEO of Nabis, a tech-driven cannabis services group. Vince brings his successful technology background from Silicon Valley into the cannabis space. His previous company scaled to bring several thousand apps to market, and it was eventually bought by Amazon. Prior to that, he worked on engineering teams at Microsoft to help build tools for their financial infrastructure. On a personal and professional level, he is a major proponent of cannabis products, shaping regulation, and scaling the industry from a supply chain perspective. His major areas of focus are bringing a wide variety of products to market compliantly, while ensuring that the cannabis businesses that help in that effort thrive in this highly-regulated environment from an operational and financial perspective. In addition, he serves as a Venture Partner at Pioneer Fund and as an active alumnus of the Y Combinator incubator community, helping provide access to capital for growing startup businesses.

Debby Goldsberry

CEO OF MAGNOLIA WELLNESS OF OAKLAND AND CHIEF COMPLIANCE OFFICER OF HI FIDELITY IN BERKELEY

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Debby Goldsberry

Debby Goldsberry has nearly 30 years experience as a leader in the medical and adult use marijuana industry. She is Chief Executive Officer of Magnolia Wellness, an award-winning dispensary in Oakland, CA, and is a board member at Hi Fidelity dispensary in Berkeley. She co-founded the Berkeley Patients Group (BPG) medical cannabis collective in 1999, directing its growth for over 10 years.

Goldsberry is author of Starting and Running a Marijuana Business (Idiot's Guide), a well-known industry guide. She developed and implemented standard operating procedures for procurement, product safety, patient relations, and business management and operations, which have been replicated by dispensaries around the nation. She has proven experience in nonprofit business management, public and government relations, and product development and marketing. Goldsberry was also a top rated mentor at Gateway Incubator in Oakland, CA, and is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs succeed.

As a community leader, Goldsberry is active in the campaign to reform the California cannabis laws and to protect patient's rights. She is a former board member at California NORML and the Marijuana Policy Project, and is a Professor Emeritus at Oaksterdam University. Goldsberry has been a staff writer at DOPE Magazine andHigh Times Medical Marijuana Magazine, and was a featured blogger at ``Smell the Truth`` and ``Ladybud.`` She currently writes for Cannabis Dispensary Magazine, and is the managing editor of Ibudtender, an online news site and dispensary finder.

Felipe Recalde

RISE LOGISTICS DEVELOPER

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Felipe Recalde

Felipe Recalde shares a vision for an industry-leading supply chain technology. Felipe developed RISE Logistics by leveraging leading data, analytics, and machine learning technology to develop the leading distribution technology platform for the cannabis industry. Felipe also has advisor and investor roles across the cannabis ecosystem in tissue culture, agricultural sensory platforms, and delivery technology. A lifelong technology geek and advocate of the ``hacker`` approach to problem-solving, Felipe has been in the cannabis industry for over 20 years and in distribution and delivery logistics for different industries for over 15 years. In addition to his operational and advisory roles, Felipe serves on board of multiple associations that help drive policy and legislation as the industry transitions.

Ashley Elsner

CEO AND FOUNDER OF ARTERY INC.

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Ashley Elsner

Ashley is CEO and Founder of artery Inc. She is a FinTech expert with 14 years of global financial law, regulation and operations experience. Prior to artery, Ashley cofounded and was Vice President of Operations for Greenshoe Asset Management, an online hedge fund investment platform. She managed the investment process and financial regulatory compliance of $600M+ transactions for Bessemer Venture Partners in their legal and operations group, including interests and responsibilities for LinkedIn's IPO and Amazon's acquisition of Diapers.com, among many other exits, and developing the regulatory compliance strategies for India's new Foreign Venture Capital Investors and Foreign Portfolio Investors laws.
She spent 4 years in the financial regulatory group of Sidley Austin LLP, where in addition to managing SEC and state regulatory compliance for its top-ranked fund services team for 800+ hedge funds and 6 publicly traded companies, she was instrumental in managing a year-long internal regulatory audit of an $850B+ international investment bank, clearing the firm's regulatory record and saving the firm $40M+ in fines. Ashley holds a B.A. with majors in Political Science and Classics from Yale College and a J.D.M.B.A from Northwestern School of Law focused on the intersection of Law and Economics and Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management with majors in Finance and Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Nadeam Elshami

POLICY DIRECTOR AT BROWNSTIEN HYATT FARBER SCHRECK

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Nadeam Elshami

A formidable voice in the most important policy debates of the last decade, Nadeam Elshami leverages his
insights on policy, politics, communications and navigating Washington in crafting legislative solutions for his
clients.
Formerly chief of staff for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), his 25-year career on the Hill is
punctuated by a collection of achievements fueled by his expertise in negotiating policy on behalf of
Democratic leadership and in forming the bipartisan relationships that helped move key pieces of legislation
through a gridlocked Congress. During his time with Leader Pelosi, Nadeam oversaw every aspect of policy,
communications, operations and member relations. He previously served as her communications director and
senior advisor working on messaging around the successful passage of the Affordable Care Act, Dodd-Frank
Wall Street Reform Act and other historic legislation.
Prior to joining Brownstein, Nadeam was an executive vice president at a D.C.-based public affairs firm. He
was named a spring 2018 fellow at the Georgetown Institute of Politics and Public Service, is included in
Politico's Playbook Power List of the 30 most powerful people and groups in Trump's Washington and is a
regular CNN contributor.

Zack Darling

CEO (CHIEF ETERNAL OPTIMIST) AT THE HYBRID CREATIVE

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Zack Darling

Zack Darling is the CEO (Chief Eternal Optimist) at The Hybrid Creative, a thriving creative agency in Santa Rosa, California, focused on cannabis, hydroponics and medical marijuana ventures. His 20+ years experience in branding, design and marketing serve as a wealth of valuable information that he loves to share with fellow entrepreneurs. Having been raised on a hippie commune by pot growers in the Emerald Triangle, he is truly ``second generation.`` With a broad perspective that ranges from the front lines of the war on drugs to building brand strategy for many of California's most prominent cannabis businesses, Zack offers unique context and perspective toward the importance of building a meaningful brand in the cannabis space.

Zack's presentations are rooted in his core belief that the most successful brands are fueled by authenticity. His favorite topics include, Cannabis Brand Strategy & Marketing, Identifying Your ``Why``, Building a Value-Based Brand, Differentiation in a Crowded Marketplace, Brand Voice, Personality and Archetype, Creating A Strong Brand Story & Narrative, Naming & Trademark Protection Strategy, Product Design, Packaging & Compliance, Identifying Your Target Demographic, Understanding Your Competition and The Importance of Resonance.

Andrew M. Shore

FOUNDING PARTNER OF JOCHUM SHORE & TROSSEVIN

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Andrew M. Shore

Andrew Shore is a founding partner of Jochum Shore & Trossevin. Previously, he was a Partner in the Washington, DC office of Mayer Brown LLP and a top aide in the House Republican Leadership. As the Chief of Staff for the House Republican Conference, Mr. Shore was one of the senior advisors to the Congressional Leadership, a position that earned him accolades on the Hill and has led to regular quotes and appearances in the media since moving to the private sector.
He has parlayed his experience as the Policy and Coalitions Director at the House Republican Conference into having a hand in several major private sector coalitions. Mr. Shore built and leads the Owners' Rights Initiative which is a coalition of Internet resale platforms, libraries, retailers and others protecting your ability to resell or give away the goods you own. He was one of the main advisors to the Digital Fourth Coalition seeking to ensure personal privacy for electronic communications against unwarranted government intrusion. He was the chief legislative strategist for NetCoalition in the campaign to defeat the so-called SOPA and PIPA Internet regulation bills. There he helped a small group of tech companies wage a political campaign against the massively funded movie, music and luxury goods manufacturers.
Mr. Shore does not shy away from high profile clients. He represented the Antigua Online Gaming Association in their landmark dispute against the United States to open the door to cross-border internet gambling. He currently represents the Cannabis Trade Federation in their quest to ensure states are able to continue to chart their own regulatory path in the space. He has traveled and lectured in Serbia on behalf of the International Republican Institute assisting political operatives and elected officials in the development of communications and grassroots tools.
Mr. Shore spends an extensive amount of time with innovators working on behalf of companies like Virgin Hyperloop One, Google and eBay. His passion project is the journey to fund a prize competition to accelerate advancements in treating kidney disease with the ultimate goal of an efficient, implantable, organ. He has assisted the American Society of Nephrology with building relationships in various health care agencies and on Capitol Hill to assemble the parts necessary to launch the accelerator, Each day brings them closer to the launch of a program that will radically alter the healthcare landscape.
His other passion is working with startup and early stage companies to access funding, navigate government regulations or amend laws that will make it easier for them to enter the marketplace. JST's subsidiary Black Swan LLC, an intellectual venture capital company, currently holds positions in 12 companies ranging from cybersecurity, to biotech to advanced transportation.
He is a graduate of the George Mason University School of Law, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Kansas. He is a member of the District of Columbia, Supreme Court and Court of International Trade Bars'. For three years he was Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Friends of the National Zoo. During his time in the Leadership, he was recognized as a top Congressional staffer by Roll Call and The Hill. During a brief hiatus from politics, he launched the tech startup HillZoo.com. A native of Glencoe, Illinois, and an honorary Texan (named by then-Governor George Bush), he has two children and currently resides in Arlington, Virginia.

Maruf Raza

CPA, CA; NATIONAL DIRECTOR MNP

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Maruf Raza

Maruf Raza, CPA, CA, is National Director of MNP's Public Companies
practice and an Assurance Partner in the Toronto office. Maruf serves as an advisor to public companies and private companies planning on going public through direct initial public offerings or reverse mergers.
Maruf is one of the leaders of the firm's Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulation (ACMPR) team. His principal role has been auditing these companies as well as assisting them in their IPO process. He has also helped in securing financing for some of the companies in this sector.
Maruf is considered a thought leader in the practical application of the IFRS biological asset standard and measurement of fair value of the assets. He has experience with the medical marijuana sector internationally and has assisted with these companies listing in Canada.
Maruf has helped numerous Canadian and international companies go
public in Canada. He has worked around the globe, with a special focus on Latin America and Africa and specializes in helping finance these companies in Canada, either through public or private transactions. Maruf has extensive experience working with clients in the technology, mining, pharmaceutical and gaming sectors. He is also involved with investment funds and Exempt Market Dealers.
Maruf is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), qualifying as a
Chartered Accountant (CA) in 2001. He currently serves on the PDAC-CPA
Canada joint Mining Task Force for IFRS. He also serves as a director to several TSX and TSX-V listed companies.

Michael Steinmetz

CEO & FOUNDER OF FLOW KANA

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Michael Steinmetz

Michael Steinmetz is the CEO and founder of Flow Kana, a business and community leader who believes in building mission-driven companies that embrace California values and the small farmer ecosystem. Michael's unique, hands-on approach has been instrumental in developing Flow Kana's value creation model, as well as the tools and infrastructure needed for farmers and partners to compete successfully in a regulated, legal marketplace.

Prior to founding and leading Flow Kana, Michael built and sold a Venezuelan national brand management company Distribuidora DanMic that manufactured and distributed food products which grew in popularity as innovative, unique, value-added products quickly becoming the leaders in their categories.

Michael blends deep business strategy and community outreach skills that leverage his diverse background and experience, including prior roles as an investment banker at Merrill Lynch and as an engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

He is originally from Caracas, Venezuela, and pursued a double major in Mechanical Engineering and Economics with a minor in Business at Carnegie Mellon University.

Yannik Schlup, MSc.

CHIEF BUSINESS OFFICER PURE CANNABIS RESEARCH AG

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Yannik Schlup, MSc.

Yannik Schlup is a co-founder and director of the internationally oriented cannabis breeding company Pure Cannabis Research AG. Together with his scientific team from renowned universities and partners in the private sector he is currently revolutionizing cannabis breeding. Proprietary and tailored cannabis varieties are just around the corner. Additionally, he is CBO of the Pure Holding Inc. Pure Holding is the umbrella organization to five Pure companies and is one of the European market leaders in CBD cannabis - from variety breeding to products on the shelf. In his position he is involved in the strategic operations of the group. He holds a Master's degree in agricultural sciences from ETH Zürich - the leading university in continental Europe - with additional specializations in management, entrepreneurship and molecular plant breeding.

Melissa Kuipers Blake

SHAREHOLDER AT BROWNSTIEN HYATT FARBER SCHRECK

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Melissa Kuipers Blake

Karli Warner

CO-FOUNDER, GARDEN SOCIETY

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Karli Warner

Karli began her career in the wine industry at a boutique PR agency in Napa, learning the ropes of pitching and building media relationships while also expanding her wine education. Building her repertoire in food and wine, both professionally and personally, she quickly began exploring other aspects brand and event marketing in those fields. As her career progressed she moved to Constellation Brands, the world's leading wine company, where she learned firsthand the importance of partnerships and cross-brand collaboration to become a top-tier marketer. Through thoughtful storytelling, pitching and partnerships, Karli landed media coverage for brands on the Today Show, and in national publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Wine Spectator and Food & Wine magazine.

During her time at Constellation, Karli helped launch a wine brand that, at the time, she didn't know would eventually shift her career from wine to cannabis - which is where her Garden Society story begins. A former wine industry peer, Erin Gore founded Garden Society, a cannabis company focused on women's wellness, in 2016 and shortly thereafter asked Karli to join the team to lead their marketing and communication efforts. Together they have quickly built a well-recognized luxury cannabis brand that has garnered the interest of the Today Show, CNBC, Marie Claire, Los Angeles Times, Forbes and many more.

As she loved telling the story of wine - from vine to glass - she is even more so passionate and personally touched in telling the Garden Society story, from seed to delectable confection. As a working mom and wife to a cancer survivor, she knows the positive wellness impact low-dose edible cannabis can have on the mind, body and soul.

Wesley Hein

MAMMOTH DISTRIBUTION

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Wesley Hein

Wesley Hein is head of regulatory and government affairs and compliance for Mammoth Distribution, one of the largest state-wide cannabis distributors in the California. Prior to Mammoth, Wesley served as a consultant to Colorado's Way To Grow (one of the country's largest hydroponic chains) helping them navigate California's new regulatory system. Wesley has extensive experience in founding and managing high growth companies. Past experience includes being co-founder & president of Enigma Records (acquired by EMI),EVP Hollywood Records Division of the Walt Disney Company, co-founder Cinebase Software (Kodak), and co-founder of Enigma Digital (acquired by Clear ChannelCommunications).

Vinoo Varghese, Esq.

VARGHESE & ASSOCIATES, P.C.

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Vinoo Varghese, Esq.

CBS News, Fox News, and HLN regularly call on Vinoo Varghese for legal commentary. He is both a Martindale AV Preeminent rated attorney and a New York Metro Super Lawyers rated attorney in the white collar criminal defense arena. Earlier in his career, the New York Law Journal recognized him with a Rising Stars award. Varghese's advocacy has led The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the New York Law Journal, and Law360 to quote him multiple times.
In 2000, Varghese began his career as a prosecutor. In 2006, he founded Varghese & Associates, P.C., a criminal defense and white-collar defense firm.
Since then, Varghese and his team have won a complete acquittal for a client in a tax trial against the IRS and DOJ Tax Division. He has tried nearly 40 cases to verdict and has won multiple appeals including before the Second Circuit. Varghese graduated from Brooklyn Law School, New York University, and Chaminade High School. Finally, he is a long-suffering Mets fan.

Justin Hall

CTO BUD.COM

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Justin Hall

Justin Hall has spent more than 20 years pushing the potential of networked media. Today he is the CTO of bud.com, a California benefit corporation delivering recreational cannabis. Justin registered that domain in 1994, the year he launched his personal site ``Justin's Links from the Underground`` and served on the launch team of the first commercial web magazine HotWired. In 2004 the New York Times referred to him as ``perhaps the founding father of personal weblogging.`` In 2007 Hall received an MFA from the University of Southern California, School of Cinema-Television, Interactive Media Division. He then served as CEO of GameLayers as they built PMOG / The Nethernet to transform web surfing into a massively multiplayer online game. In 2010 Hall worked with ngmoco:) / DeNA producing Touch Pets Cats, a top-10 grossing iPhone game simulating cat ownership. Hall has been published in leading publications including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Wired, Rolling Stone, and the South China Morning Post.

Lee Hilpert

CO-FOUNDER ORGANNX

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Lee Hilpert

Lee Hilpert is an accomplished small business owner and co-founder of Organnx. He is an active innovator and named inventor on several processes and automation related patents. Lee is keenly aware of the need to establish legitimate legislation and productive regulation within the cannabis industry to ensure its legal future. Lee is active within NCIA and its Infused Products Committee, CCIA and its Manufacturing Subcommittee, and ASTM Committee D37 on Cannabis.

 

 

 

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