Meet our professionals
Co-Founder & Compliance Officer
Greatland Ganja, LLC
Leif Abel co-founded Greatland Ganja, LLC, Alaska’s second licensed marijuana establishment. Abel and his family operate Greatland Ganja on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula where they cultivate 40 cannabis strains, sun-grown using organic methods and ingredients, and grown hydroponically indoors. As Executive Director of the Coalition for Responsible Cannabis Legislation and founding board member for the Alaska Marijuana Industry Association, he has been a cannabis advocate in Alaska. After passage of Ballot Measure 2, he was appointed to the Kenai Peninsula Borough Marijuana Task Force by the Mayor, where he served out his term as chairman. Abel is a licensed medical grower and a second-generation cannabis cultivator.
Matthew Abel has been a lawyer in Michigan for 30 years, and is executive director of Michigan NORML. He founded Cannabis Counsel, P.L.C., a Detroit, Mich., law firm devoted to cannabis clients. He serves on the MILegalize Board of Directors. Abel is a lifetime member of the NORML Legal Committee and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and serves on the legal committee of the ACLU of Michigan, among others.
Amy Andrle is one half of L’Eagle Services, an all-natural and sustainable recreational dispensary and cultivation facility located in Denver, Colo. With the efforts of her husband John, Andrle turned L’Eagle Services into a cannabis industry leader by championing organic cultivation methods, responsible pesticide use, sustainable business practices, and strict industry compliance. Launched in 2010, L’Eagle positioned itself as a premier establishment that prides itself on offering the cleanest product while also investing the time to educate consumers on cannabis.
Along with being a mother and running day-to-day operations for L’Eagle, Andrle contributes her time serving on city advisory groups, the Marijuana Industry Group, and as a founding board member on the Organic Cannabis Association.
Green Fire Genetics
Alaina Austin is one of the new breed of cultivators, with a mission to “mix the old with the new” and create new genetics to share with the masses. She works on a 360-acre plot of land, with five parcels of outdoor grow space of at least an acre each, plus a sizeable hoop house and an indoor grow spanning about 2,500 square feet. Austin has been working on developing proprietary genetics for four years, including those with a more balanced CBD-THC ratio, which she believes better serve medical (specifically cancer) patients. She currently sells her medical cannabis through Harborside Health Center, Berkeley Patients Group, and Compassionate Heart.
Otoké Horticulture LLC
Kurt Badertscher is co-owner, with his wife Kerrie, of Otoké Horticulture LLC (OtokeHort.com), and authors of “Cannabis for Capitalists.” They have worked with large-scale cannabis producers for more than 5 years. Badertscher brings his 34 years of corporate experience and operations management skills to bear on the business challenges of cannabis cultivation. The Badertschers co-author a column, “Hort How-To,” for Cannabis Business Times magazine.
Founder & CEO
David Bonvillain owns and runs Elite Cannabis Enterprises and Elite Botanicals out of its center of operations in Loveland, Colo. The businesses include a 25-acre organic CBD farm leveraging a low/no-till permaculture methodology, a 6-acre greenhouse property and botanical-extraction laboratory that operates year-round, producing organic CBD for regional, national and international markets through Mary’s Medicinals, Mary’s Nutritionals, Mary’s Pets, IncrEdibles, and Cheeba Chews. He is a speaker, author, consultant and High Times’ Cannabis Cup winner.
C&H Auxiliary Safety Management, Inc.
Carlos R. Campos is the founder and CEO of CHASM Inc., a company specializing in workplace security and safety training. Campos is a 20-year veteran in this field and has worked with organizations such as the Chesapeake Region Safety Council, Washington Metro Area Construction Safety Association, and Aerosol Monitoring & Analysis Inc. Today, he applies his knowledge and experience to start cannabis and hemp businesses down the path to safety standard compliance by creating and establishing site-specific safety programs.
Colorado Harvest Company
Tim Cullen is CEO and co-owner of Colorado Harvest Company, a vertically-integrated company that grows and sells its own premium, naturally-grown cannabis for adult medicinal and recreational use, and operates three retail cannabis shops (founded in 2009); a partner in the leading cannabis oil production company, Organa Labs; and the national best-selling personal vaporizer brand, O.penVAPE. A botany expert, Cullen spent 10 years teaching high school biology before he turned to cultivating cannabis. Cullen is collaborating with the Colorado Department of Agriculture on a curriculum for professional cannabis cultivators.
Diane Czarkowski is a Founding Partner of Canna Advisors, a cannabis consulting firm serving competitive, emerging markets and business expansion. An influential industry leader, she owned one of the first dispensary and cultivation operations in Colorado and has over a decade of experience in real estate development. A Founding Member of the National Cannabis Industry Association, Czarkowski has served many organizational and volunteer roles in her dedication to industry development. She is a Founding Benefactor of Women Grow, Lifetime and Selection Committee Member of ArcView Group, and mentor for Canopy Boulder. This year, she received Arcview’s Outstanding Member award and was named one of the 50 Most Important Women in Cannabis by Cannabis Business Executive.
A Founding Partner of Canna Advisors, Jay Czarkowski leads the cannabis consulting firm’s design and building services with a niche in the greenhouse sector. Czarkowski has held his Commercial General Contractor license since 2002, and played an integral role in multiple cannabis design projects focusing on highly automated, sustainable facilities. An industry insider, Czarkowski is a Founding Member of the National Cannabis Industry Association, an Arcview Group Lifetime Member and recipient of their Outstanding Member Award. Canna Advisors has 15 license wins in competitive state markets, and projects in Canada and Puerto Rico. Before establishing Canna Advisors, Czarkowski gained valuable cultivation-operation experience as co-owner of Boulder Kind Care, one of Colorado’s first licensed cannabis businesses.
P.H.D, Chief Technical Officer
Paul Daley has over 30 years of experience in analytical toxicology and environmental sciences and has over 60 publications in integrated pest management, plant photosynthesis, environmental chemistry, and instrumentation for carbon isotope analysis. He is a consultant with Steep Hill Laboratory, where he assisted in method development for cannabinoid analysis, instrumentation optimization, and isolation of rare cannabinoids. He is also a founding partner and Chief Technical Officer of Essential Medicinals, a medicinal cannabis concentrates producer. Daley is the Research Director and Chemist at the Alexander Shulgin Research Institute in Lafayette, Calif., where his work focuses on the chemistry and pharmacology of psychedelic drugs. He co-authored The Shulgin Index, Volume One: Psychedelic Phenethylamines and Related Compounds.
Steep Hill Laboratories
Addison DeMoura co-founded Steep Hill Laboratories in 2008, but his deep interest for the science of extraction and processing has led him to dive head first into the subject after leaving Steep Hill in 2015. Over the past 13 years, he has been heavily embedded in the concentrate and extraction world and has had an incredibly unique view of hash making as an industry. His friends and colleagues include some of the most recognized breeders and hash artisans in the world. His perspective on hash and hash production as a maker, as well as from a scientific standpoint, is unparalleled and often a source for many in the field.
Founder & CEO
Comprehensive Cannabis Consulting
Nic Easley is the founder and CEO of Comprehensive Cannabis Consulting (3C), a leading cannabis and industrial hemp strategy firm. A decorated veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Easley established a 35-acre organic farm in Colorado after completing his military service, and has degrees in biology and environmental studies. Over the past eight years, Easley has consulted with more than 60 clients in Colorado and formed 3C to bring organic, sustainable cultivation solutions to the world.
Connecticut Pharmaceutical Solutions
Rino Ferrarese is the Chief Operations Officer of Connecticut Pharmaceutical Solutions (CPS), one of four licensed medical marijuana producers in Connecticut. Ferrarese has experience as a compliance officer working in FDA regulated industries under the guidelines of current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) for the production of prescription, Over-The-Counter (OTC), and homeopathic human drug products. He is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt and ISO auditor.
Ferrarese also works with Elite Cannabis Enterprises developing and submitting competitive medical marijuana license applications for clients across the United States.
Vice President and Co-Owner
Berkeley Patients Group
Étienne Fontan is VP/co-owner of Berkeley Patients Group (BPG), the nation’s oldest medical dispensary. He has founded several dispensaries in California, and Maine, Nevada and Oregon.
Fontan was trained by top medical cannabis researchers in the Netherlands on topics from supply chain economics to methods for testing medical cannabis. He has extensive cannabis knowledge on all aspects of indoor and outdoor cultivation. He has managed grows for Ed Rosenthal and consults with master growers on techniques and trends.
A combat veteran of the first Gulf War, he lobbies for veteran access to cannabis for PTSD and post-war injuries, and is a longtime cannabis activist.
Fontan is an NCIA founding board member and former board chair.
Co-Founder & Director of Operations
Calyx King Consulting
Matthew Gaboury is Director of Operations and Co-Founder at Calyx King Consulting, where he designed Washington’s first and highest-grossing large-scale cannabis operations. He has served as an architect, contractor and grower in the cannabis industry, and has designed over 2 million square feet of production space that includes indoor, greenhouse, hybrid greenhouse and full outdoor. Gaboury has an MS in Architecture and degrees in structural engineering and industrial design.
Brooke Gehring is the CEO and co-owner of Colorado-based FGS Inc., the parent company of Patients Choice of Colorado (serving medical patients) and LiveGreen Cannabis (serving recreational cannabis consumers). In addition, she serves on numerous State of Colorado working groups involved in cannabis rule-making since 2010. Through her dedication and hard work, Gehring has developed strong relationships with government officials, state legislatures, the Colorado Department of Revenue, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Colorado Department of Agriculture, and has established other profound alliances on a national and international scale. She continues to work collectively amongst the industry groups, professionals and advocates toward further legitimizing the evolving marijuana industry.
Consultant and Founding Board Member
Organic Cannabis Association
Ben Gelt is a strategic consultant and entrepreneur with a wide range of experiences including over a decade in politics, working in start-up cultures and with corporate and small business clients. Gelt has been recognized as an emerging leader in the political and business worlds, winning awards from groups like the MacArthur Foundation and appearing on all the major television networks and in publications such as The New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today and Rolling Stone. Currently, he works as a founding board member with the Organic Cannabis Association, as well as offers strategic consulting on business development, executive advising, investor relations and public affairs representing public officials, major corporations, start-ups and small businesses.
Cannabis Business Times
Jim Gilbride was hired by GIE Media in 2004 as Account Manager for the Lawn & Landscape Media Group. In 2005, he transitioned to west coast Account Manager for the PCT Media Group where he was a key factor in driving sales growth until 2009. In June of 2009, shortly after the GIE acquisition of Branch Smith Publishing, Jim was promoted to National Sales Manager of the portfolio which included the brands of Greenhouse Management, Nursery Management, and Garden Center. He was promoted to Associate Publisher in 2010. Since then Jim has overseen the continued growth of the media group and launched the Produce Grower brand in 2012. Jim was promoted to Group Publisher shortly after in July of 2012. In 2015 he oversaw the acquisition and launch of the Cannabis Business Times brand. He has also overseen the launch of several cutting edge industry events including the Cannabis 2017 Cultivation Conference.
Debby Goldsberry, Executive Director at Magnolia Wellness, an award-winning dispensary in Oakland, Calif., is a leader in the medical and adult use marijuana industry with 25+ years’ experience. She co-founded the Berkeley Patients Group (BPG) medical cannabis collective in 1999, directing its growth for over 11 years. Goldsberry developed and implemented standard operating procedures for procurement, product safety, patient relations, and business management, which have become industry standards.
She co-founded and directed Americans for Safe Access (ASA), Medical Cannabis Safety Council (MCSC), and Cannabis Action Network (CAN), is a board member at California NORML and teaches procurement and patient relations at Oaksterdam University. She is also a staff writer at DOPE Magazine and High Times Medical Marijuana Magazine.
Arent Fox, Los Angeles Office
JD Harriman, Partner, Arent Fox, Los Angeles Office JD Harriman's practice focuses on trademark, patent prosecution, due diligence investigations, intellectual property litigation, and intellectual property counseling. He counsels holders of large patent portfolios as well as emerging growth companies and brings technical knowledge of biomechanical devices, medical devices, and Internet patents, among others. Harriman has conducted due diligence for a cannabis investor and can counsel companies in this new industry on trademark issues, legal use, and branding issues.
When top cannabis professionals require the services of a business expert, they’re often referred to Liana Held. With nearly 20 years of experience in the cannabis industry, Held’s specialty is knowing what to do when nobody else has a clue. In 2009, she founded Liana Limited, a business management and development consultancy with a focus on compliance and accounting. Liana has worked directly with many of California’s most prominent cultivators on permitting and licensing issues. She has served as co-director of the Oakland Cannabis Buyers Club and currently serves on the board of California NORML.
Buddhii Cooperative Corp.
Todd Hill is a Founder and Managing Principal for the Buddhii Cooperative Corp, a B2B Cooperative providing consulting and ancillary services in the cannabis industry. His current focus is preparing for state testing, transport, and distribution licensing under California's medical cannabis act. Hill is actively involved in the industry has participated in regulatory and municipal ordinance development, and community policy in an effort to ensure safe and responsible access to cannabis in California. He is an active member of the Minority Cannabis Alliance, the Cannabis Consumer Coalition, and a well-known participant in the California BMCR, DCA, and CDFA Pre-Regulatory process.
Co-Founder, CEO & Chief Science Officer
David Holmes has a Master’s Degree in Mathematics and was an award-winning adjunct mathematics professor. He was awarded a fellowship to conduct research at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. Holmes was inspired to cultivate marijuana in 1999 after a visit to a high-tech indoor garden. He launched his first large-scale commercial facility in 2007. Shortly thereafter, Clade9 was formed to meet demand for cultivation experts. Applying his expertise in grow room design and management, as well as world-class nutrients, Holmes focused on medical marijuana strain breeding. He has developed over a dozen strains including the Ying Yang, a high-CDB strain with superior seizure-reducing capacities.
Clark Neubert LLP
Nicole Howell Neubert is a California cannabis business attorney and principal of the go-to cannabis law firm Clark Neubert LLP. Amidst a rapidly changing legal environment, Nicole’s incisiveness, fierce client commitment, and wide ranging legal experience makes her uniquely qualified to advise operators through the transition from prohibition to regulation. Actively engaged in the regulatory implementation of California’s medical and adult-use licensing statutes (MCRSA & AUMA), Nicole serves as Policy Committee leadership for California Growers Association, on the board of California NORML, and as one of 16 members invited to serve on State Treasurer John Chiang’s Cannabis Banking Working Group. Nicole regularly speaks on California cannabis law and teaches courses in legal business structures, MCRSA & AUMA at Oaksterdam University.
Panacea Valley Gardens
Jesce Horton is the owner of Panacea Valley Gardens, a medical cannabis cultivation center, and co-founder of Panacea, an award-winning dispensary in Portland, Ore. He is also co-founder and Chairman of the Minority Cannabis Business Association (MCBA), the first non-profit organization founded to create equal access and economic empowerment for cannabis businesses, their patients and communities most affected by the war on drugs.
Currently, he is developing Saints Cannabis, a vertically-integrated cannabis campus that will house adult-use (recreational) retail, cannabis lounge, indoor and greenhouse cultivation, processing and R&D operations on one flagship property in Portland, Ore. He sits on numerous state and city appointed committees that oversee rules and regulations shaping the Oregon cannabis industry.
Ph.D., Laboratory Director
Connecticut Pharmaceutical Solutions
Dr. June-Wells holds a Ph.D. from Rutgers University, where he specialized in botany and trained at the graduate level in chemistry and statistical analysis. During 2013, Connecticut Pharmaceutical Solutions hired Dr. June-Wells as Director of Supercritical Fluid Extraction and Essential Oil Production to take advantage of his multidisciplinary training in their extraction laboratory. Since then, Dr. June-Wells has engineered CPS’ cannabinoid extraction efficiency and tracking programs, developed one of the largest production databases in the United States, and created efficient and repeatable production methods informed by rigorous data collection and statistical model building. Dr. June-Well’s production research and refinement of standard operating procedures has helped place CPS in the upper echelon of East Coast medical marijuana producers.
Vicente Sederberg LLC
Joshua Kappel is a partner at Vicente Sederberg LLC, routinely providing advice to patients, caregivers, and businesses about medical marijuana, licensing, regulatory compliance, general business and transactional law, and the intersection of state and federal law. While in law school, Kappel received the Patton Boggs Public Policy Fellowship and the Public Interest Law Clerkship to work for Sensible Colorado before interning with the National ACLU's Drug Law Reform Project in Santa Cruz. He is also a founding member of the Council for Responsible Cannabis Regulation (CRCR), and the National Cannabis Bar Association (NCBA). Kappel testified at numerous public hearings on issues related to medical marijuana and regularly writes articles about a myriad of medical marijuana issues.
CFO & COO
Creativity is central to Colin Kelley’s leadership at LeafLine Labs. As CFO and COO, Kelley is creating and guiding a company that he envisions will become a model for bringing the evidence-based benefits of medical cannabis to patients in need.
In 2015 LeafLine Labs completed the 3rd largest capital raise in the industry at the time. Recently LeafLine Labs was named by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of the Top 10 Cannabis Start-ups to Watch for 2016.
His career includes positions at Dun & Bradstreet, Investors Bank & Trust and Wind River Capital Management. He has also consulted to SAP, the Civilian Research & Development Fund, and an advisory firm affiliated with Massachusetts General Hospital.
Strawberry Fields/Heartland Industries
Richard Kwesell is the co-founder of Heartland Industries and Strawberry Fields along with his brother, Mike. After starting their company with three plants in a friend’s spare bedroom, the brothers are currently producing 14,000 lbs. of medical and recreational cannabis every year in Colorado.
Kwesell designed, built and currently operates a 90,000-square-foot greenhouse located in Pueblo County, Colo. He currently oversees all cultivation and production, development of internal controls, commercial grow room design, and integrated pest management (IPM) program design at Strawberry Fields. Prior to that, Kwesell worked in commercial agriculture on a greenhouse in northern Israel and became proficient in nutrient administration, IPM and high-volume plant management with quota-based production.
Cannabis Business Times
Brian MacIver joined the editorial team of Cannabis Business Times in July 2016 as associate editor. His coverage areas focus on regulation/legislation and issues growers face. MacIver is a 2015 graduate of Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism and holds a Master’s degree in Journalism. Prior to joining Cannabis Business Times full-time, he freelanced with the magazine as well as with other organizations such as US News and World Report, Christian Science Monitor, UPI, and Playboy.com.
Kenneth Morrow is an author and writer who has been covering cannabis-related subjects for more than 20 years. He is the owner of Trichome Technologies™, a cannabis research and development company. Morrow also is an award-winning grower and breeder. He has made contributions to many of today's extraction methodologies and holds multiple patents in the field. He currently specializes in product formulation and consults on all cannabis-related subjects.
Cannabis Business Times
Cassie Neiden joined the Cannabis Business Times team as managing editor in February. Previously, she worked as the associate editor for GIE Media Horticulture Group’s sister publications, Greenhouse Management and Produce Grower, where she covered topics ranging from greenhouse design, integrated pest management (IPM), horticultural lighting, urban agriculture and more. She’s also an experienced freelance writer, with bylines in publications such as Martha Stewart Weddings, Yahoo! Tech, and Cleveland Magazine. Neiden is an alumna of Kent State University’s School of Journalism & Mass Communication with a bachelor’s degree in magazine journalism.
Co-founder and Managing Partner
Washington’s Finest Cannabis
Crystal Oliver is co-owner/founder of Washington’s Finest Cannabis, an outdoor cannabis farm licensed by the WSLCB since August 2014. She also serves as Executive Assistant for Washington NORML and sits on the Cannabis Farmers Council Executive Board. She has been an advocate for small business and family farm friendly regulations in Washington State, and has represented cannabis farmer’s interest as a member of the Washington State Building Code Council’s Cannabis Issues Technical Advisory Group, Spokane Clean Air’s Marijuana Advisory Committee, and Spokane Conservation District’s Voluntary Stewardship Program. Oliver is regarded as an expert in navigating land use issues for cannabis farming and frequently serves as a resource for officials, regulators, policy-makers, and business owners.
Precision Cultivation Company
James R. Ott has worked in nearly every position in the Ag and food research, production and processing systems over the course of his 30-plus year career in Agriculture. He has extensive experience in genetics, plant science, biotechnology, research and development, and executive management for agribusiness companies around the globe, including international executive management for Syngenta, a multi-billion-dollar Swiss agriculture and biotechnology corporation. After years of improving the production and business models of agricultural and vegetable crops, Ott chose to apply his plant science, research and business experience to develop a model for genetic trait development, production optimization and business sophistication for cannabis.
Poseidon Asset Management
Since 2012, Morgan Paxhia has dedicated his investment focus primarily to the cannabis industry. Understanding the limited information in this emerging industry, and lack of institutional research and industry maturity, Paxhia embraces a "boots on the ground" approach to better understand individual companies and the industry. Through extensive travel across the US and Canada, reviewing hundreds of business plans and overseeing cannabis investments, he has developed Poseidon's investment methodology specific to the cannabis industry. Paxhia utilizes multiple diversification strategies across the industry to minimize risk while capturing growth for their investors. He believes the cannabis industry demands nimble investment analysis and a fluid portfolio allocation as Poseidon continues to capitalize on the maturing cannabis industry.
Director of Produciton
Precision Cultivation Company
Jeremy Raab is a professional cannabis grower, researcher and consultant with 12 years' experience in the cannabis production industry. Raised in Colorado, he was introduced to cannabis cultivation in 2004 while attending Whittier College in Southern California. The state had a flourishing medical cannabis industry, giving Raab the opportunity to work his way through school while learning the processes he would refine in the years to come. His areas of focus included lighting, environmental control, nutrient profiles and fertigation methods, growing substrates, plant manipulation and canopy management, production cycles, plant populations and integrated pest management. These efforts resulted in the development of a standardized production process tailored to the unique needs of the cannabis plant.
Founder & COO
Scott Reach is the founder and COO of RD Industries, parent company for Rare Dankness (one of the most well-known brands in cannabis) and the owner of a brand-new 54,000-square-foot cultivation facility/ dispensary in Denver, called House of Dankness. Rare Dankness strains are grown and traded worldwide thanks to its international seed banks. Reach also has consulted on more than 300 grows over the last five years and countless more before that. His new Denver facility is one of the most high-tech, automated cultivation sites in the world.
Jonathan Rubin has 25+ years of business experience in commodity markets, including 15 years in commodity data services. He co-founded and launched New Leaf Data Services, LLC and its Cannabis Benchmarks® division in February 2015 to bring transparency and efficiency to cultivators, dispensaries, investors, traders and other cannabis market participants through validated production cost data and standardized benchmark price assessments. Over the past decade, Rubin directed the turn-around of the energy commodity analytics business acquired by S&P Global Platts from The Financial Times; provided due diligence on the acquisition of a globally recognized commodity information service valued at $1.5 billion; and co-launched The Petrochemical Standard, a commodity price reporting agency serving traders of petrochemical futures.
Connecticut Pharmaceutical Solutions
Tom Schultz is a Wall Street lawyer and investment banker turned pharmaceutical executive. In 1996, Schultz completed an IPO-oriented merger of the last major producers of witch hazel, the EE Dickinson Company and the TN Dickinson Company. Witch hazel is a heavily used botanical product in the health, wellness, and beauty industry. He assumed leadership of Dickinson Brands Inc., the resulting firm, until 2014. By 2003, Schultz had led the buyout of the EE Dickinson interests and managed the acquisition of Humphreys Pharmacal Incorporated, a company that marketed witch hazel to Central and South American markets. Since 2013, Schultz has served as President of Connecticut Pharmaceutical Solutions, one of four licensed medical marijuana producers in Connecticut.
At 20 years old, Adrian Sedlin began his career as a CEO and has been building and selling early-stage companies ever since. Specializing in taking companies from $0-$150M in revenue, Sedlin currently serves as co-founder and CEO of CANNDESCENT, a cultivator of ultra-premium cannabis flower whose mission is to fill the world with light. Prior to CANNDESCENT, Sedlin helped build, sell, and turnaround five companies as a C-level executive with an IPO and exits to Standard & Poor’s, Vertrue, and Motorola on his resume. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Georgetown University, earned his MBA from Harvard, has raised over $100M in startup capital, and relishes the 5 years he had as a stay-at-home dad after selling his companies.
Vice President of Quality Assurance
Tweed is Canada’s largest Licensed Producer, and Tom Shipley’s No. 1 one priority has always been ensuring Tweed’s product safety and quality. Shipley graduated from the University of Ottawa with a degree in Biopharmaceutical Sciences, specializing in Genomics. He worked for Health Canada and focused on the effects common materials in our environment such as printer toner, paint, sunblock, tobacco smoke and road-side dust have on DNA mutations. He later transferred to the Center for Vaccine Evaluation of Health Canada, where he reviewed vaccine production practices and performed testing on vaccines including influenza, hepatitis, yellow fever and rotavirus. He also contributed to the development of new vaccine testing methods to replace traditional animal testing methods.
The Bakeree, Urban Paragon, Inc., Targeted Intent Inc.
Anna Shreeve is a 30-year veteran in broadcast and digital media, having held positions with top media companies including CBS, NBC and Cox Communications. She later launched eTAGZ Inc., serving as VP Director of Sales, monetizing its process and methods patent by partnering with Fortune 100 companies focused on Pharma. Five years ago, Shreeve entered the medical cannabis industry with her son, and she and her team opened The Bakeréé, a division of Cookie Fam Genetics, a collaboration with legendary breeder “Jigga.” Shreeve’s group holds two recreational producer/processor licenses in Washington, recreational retail/processor in Oregon and consults on two Bakeréé-licensed retail locations in Seattle for Cookie Fam Consulting Group.
Cannabis Business Times
Noelle Skodzinski has 20+ years’ experience in publishing. She co-founded Cannabis Business Times with previous owner Tim Hermes in 2014. She has been named among the Top 50 Most Influential Women in Cannabis. In 2012, she founded mediaShepherd–a website serving media professionals–where she served as president and editorial director. Previously, she was editorial director of the Publishing Group at North American Publishing Co., where she oversaw two national business magazines, all related digital content products, as well as the annual Publishing Business Conference, and Publishing Business Virtual Conference. Skodzinski also held posts as editor of The Crafts Report magazine, managing editor for Inside Direct Mail, senior writer for Target Marketing, among other posts.
Founder and Executive Director
Resource Innovation Institute
Derek Smith is Executive Director of the Resource Innovation Institute, a non-profit whose mission is to promote and quantify energy and water conservation in the cannabis industry. He has been a leader in triple bottom line ventures in the public, private and nonprofit sectors for 15 years. Most recently, he founded and led Clean Energy Works, a nationally-recognized nonprofit organization that facilitates residential energy efficiency upgrades throughout Oregon and Washington. He has directed energy programs for the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability and also created an award-winning sustainability program for a national retailer.
Purple Heart Patient Center (PHPC)
Keith Stephenson is the owner and operator of the Purple Heart Patient Center (PHPC) which has been serving patients since Sept. 18, 2006, and is the longest running dispensary in Oakland. As a small-business owner, Stephenson understands the challenges businesses face in today’s economic environment. He started PHPC from the ground up and currently has 26 employees. The PHPC Management Team has over 25 years of experience in the field of medical cannabis and serve up to 600 patients a day. A grower since 2009, he is working on developing a 1 million-square-foot cultivation site with an additional 26 acres in Hanford, Calif. When completed, it will be the largest cultivation site in the United States.
Milestone Safety Group
Luke Tipton has been working in steel erection for the past 15 years, with considerable experience in detailing metal deck, material ordering, estimating, project management, and construction safety management. He has been a part of Milestone Safety Group for the past four years, with experience in full-time onsite safety supervision, site specific pre-planning and Job Hazard Analysis. He is knowledgeable in Steel Erection and Detailing, Tower Crane Erection, Metal Deck installation and Fall Protection. Tipton is organized in his approach to problem solving, working efficiently and effectively within a team approach.
Jeremy Unruh brings a 15-year track record as a government prosecutor and big firm lawyer to the nascent medical cannabis industry. Unruh presently serves as the PharmaCann general counsel and director of external affairs. He is responsible for overseeing the legal and compliance function of the organization. He is also responsible for external matters, including: Legislation and public affairs; media inquiries; interface with state and local officials; and developing investor and partner relationships. He was the company’s first chief compliance officer, helping to manage the buildout, security, and warehousing functions of the 11 existing PharmaCannis cultivation centers and dispensaries. Unruh is also responsible for regulatory compliance at eight medical cannabis dispensaries licensed pursuant to New York and Illinois law.
Buddy Boy Farm, Inc.
Steven Walser is a long-time (40-plus years) organic farmer. He and his wife Margaret, along with their 5 children, turned Walser’s small garden into a large-scale organic farming and processing operation, growing thousands of acres of irrigated organic vegetables and fruits. When Washington approved I-502, the Walsers formed a partnership with friend DJ Parker and started Buddy Boy Farms Inc., which remains a family business to this day. Initially an outdoor operation, they have since built 45,000 square feet of light-dep greenhouse space outfitted with heat, lights, dehumidification and CO2 enhancement.
Susy Wilson is co-owner/operator of W.O.W. Weed, a Tier 2 producer/processor that was one of the first 10 licensed i502/recreational cultivators in Washington. She operates the company with her business partner, Hayden Woodard, and the help of her daughters, Sophy and Rachael, and four full-time employees. W.O.W. Weed grows both indoors and outdoors in soil, with over 160 strains in cultivation.