Our 2017 conference is over, but here is a list of the speakers we had for the event.
Currently serving his 13th term in Congress, Dana Rohrabacher represents California’s scenic 48th District. An Orange County Republican with a libertarian bent, Representative Rohrabacher is one of the leading cannabis law reformers in Congress. As a speechwriter for former President Ronald Reagan, Rohrabacher penned the famous line, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall,” in Berlin, Germany. A firm voice for freedom and liberty, Representative Rohrabacher, works today to bring down harmful and failed cannabis policies.
A co-founder of the bipartisan Congressional Cannabis Caucus, Rep. Rohrabacher is helping global momentum for sensible marijuana laws by organizing a bipartisan congressional delegation to Europe for the ICBC and to discuss policy reform with German and other European officials. A Rohrabacher-sponsored amendment, now known as the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment, deprives the federal government of funding that would be used to trample state medical marijuana laws has proven to be a historic step for the United States’ cannabis policy. Additionally, Rep. Rohrabacher has recently sponsored the Respect State Marijuana Laws Act, that would protect all state cannabis laws from federal meddling, and co-sponsored the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, a bill that would revert cannabis laws completely to the states.
1991 – 1998 Study of human medicine at the RWTH Aachen and University of Cologne, Germany, elective period Internal Medicine at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa.
1998-2000 Internship at the Clinic for Psychiatry, University of Cologne.
2000-2003 Public Relations consultant for ethical drugs, Publicis Group, Cologne; Medical.
counseling BertelsmannSpringer Medizin Online, Berlin, certificate DIPR (German Institute for Public Relations).
2003 Doctor of medicine (Neurosurgery of pituitary gland).
2003-2008 Specialization Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Berlin and Brandenburg.
2008-2010 Clinic for Neurology, ukb Emergency Hospital, Berlin.
2012 – 2015 Consultation Psychiatry, ukb Emergency Hospital, Berlin)
Since May 2015 Specialization on treatment with Cannabinoids in own private practice for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Berlin.
Perhaps the most iconic name in all of cannabis, Tommy Chong is best known for his role in the classic Cheech & Chong movies that set the stage for the future of cannabis comedy. A tireless cannabis activist, Tommy Chong has continued his career in the cannabis industry to this day, and is now leading a well-branded line of cannabis products called Chong’s Choice.
Peter Waßmuth completed his studies of pharmacy at Humboldt University Berlin in 2001 and received his medical license in 2003. In 2013 he was entrusted with the organizational administration of the pharmacy “BerlinApotheke am Roten Rathaus”, which holds an exception permit according to § 3(2) of the Controlled Substances Act as of the same year. Since then the pharmacy supplies patients with medical cannabis buds, patient-individual capsules and dripping solutions. Mr. Waßmuth is the responsible pharmacist in the fields of oncology and medical cannabis.
Born in 1957, academic studies of medicine at the University of Cologne. He is running a medical practice, mainly devoted to the medical use of cannabis and cannabinoids. Dr. Grotenhermen is founder and chairman of the German Association for Cannabis as Medicine (ACM), founder and executive director of the International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines (IACM) (www.cannabis-med.org) and chairman of the Medical Cannabis Declaration (MCD). He is editor of the IACM-Bulletin, which is published bi-weekly in several languages and editor of the internet journal CANNABINOIDS, published on the website of the IACM. He is a principal of the nova-Institute based near Cologne and author of many articles, books and book chapters on the therapeutic potential, pharmacology and toxicology of the cannabinoids.
As Chief Scientific Consultant, Dr. Land guides the Science and Product Development groups at Steep Hill. His role includes optimizing scientific processes in the business, developing best practices, and evaluating new business opportunities from a scientific perspective. Dr. Land co-founded Halent Laboratory in 2010, which was then a major competitor to Steep Hill,later merging Halent into Steep Hill in 2013, to unite the two leading cannabis science firms. Dr. Land is a nationally recognized scientific expert on the chemistry of the cannabis plant and is in great demand as an educational speaker on its effects.
Dr. Land is also a currently a tenured professor at UC Davis where his research spans the fields of Forensic Science, Biotechnology and Sensor Development. Dr. Land is a member of the UC Davis Forensic Science Graduate Group and the Designated Emphasis in Biotechnology, in addition to his continuing position in Chemistry. At UC Davis, he developed a program in interfacial analytical chemistry and a wide-ranging program in forensic chemistry.
Dr. Land received a PhD from the University of California, Irvine where he developed novel techniques using laser-induced thermal desorption with Fourier transform mass spectrometry, along with electron and ion spectroscopies. His work at UC Irvine earned him an IBM Corporation Graduate Research Fellowship, as well as a prestigious Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship to conduct postdoctoral research in surface vibrational spectroscopy at the KFA Researchzentrum in Jülich, Germany. Dr. Land was subsequently hired as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of California, Davis in 1991, at just 28 years of age.
is a scientist with 25+ years academic research experience with genetic engineering, stem cell biology, somatic cell reprogramming and the endocannabinoid system. After a family member with cancer began successfully self-medicating with cannabis extracts, Pierre started searching the scientific literature for clues as to why full spectrum cannabis extracts were helping, and found very little. At the same time, he started studying the endocannabinoid system in cancer cells culture, then in various stem cells. In 2015 he left the lab and cofounded MedCann GmbH with the goal to produce cannabis medicines giving German patients more choices, to drive medical cannabis awareness and support clinical research. By the end of July 2016, MedCann had successfully imported medical cannabis from Canada and started distribution to German Pharmacies. Going from biological research direct to CEO of a cannabis start-up is an interesting adventure, more so in Germany. By the end of 2016, MedCann was acquired by Canopy Growth Corporation underscoring the importance of Germany to the growing European Cannabis Industry.
Is currently working for the Institut of Addiction Research and as International Coordinator of the EU Central Asia Drug Action Programme (CADAP) at the University of Applied Sciences in Frankfurt on Main, Germany. Had been working for a long period as Head of Unit of Federal Drug Commissioner of the Ministry of Health, Germany.
A sociologist and advisor for treatment of drug dependency, Dr. Michels has served as Head of the Drugs and Prison projects department of the German AIDS-Hilfe in Berlin, as Drug Commissioner of the Federal State of Bremen, Germany, and as Head of the Office of the Federal Drug Commissioner, Federal Ministry of Health in Berlin, Germany.
In 2007 he worked as a Consultant for the German International Development Organization GTZ (Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit – Association for Technical Cooperation) on “HIV prevention among injecting drug users through harm reduction capacity building and advocacy” in Vietnam, Ukraine and Pakistan. Dr. Michels has published widely in international journals on substance use.
As Vice President for Science and Intellectual Property at Steep Hill, Dr. Gaudino is building the company’s Ynsight™ genetic analysis division as a companion to Steep Hill’s successful chemical profiling and chemical testing business. As Director of Genetics, Dr. Gaudino has been recognized as a leader in the field of cannabis genetics and was recently featured in Wired Magazine.
He is building a team to produce the highest quality and respected scientific results suitable for peer review in the field of cannabis research. Steep Hill will bring these scientific advancements to market for growers, breeders, and ultimately consumers. Dr. Gaudino also oversees the dayto- day scientific operations of Steep Hill’s laboratories in California, New Mexico and Washington, to insure they continue to define, lead and exceed industry standards. In addition, Dr. Gaudino identifies new IP opportunities and protects existing Steep Hill IP, through aggressive patent and trademark filing and prosecution.
Prior to his role at Steep Hill, Dr. Gaudino served as a published genetic researcher with 18 years of intellectual property experience in writing, prosecuting and managing patents and patent portfolios in fields as diverse as software and telecom to biotechnology and molecular genetics. Dr. Gaudino came to Steep Hill from Sequenom, Inc. (NASDAQ: SQNM) where he served as a Patent Agent. Previously, Dr. Gaudino managed IP based acquisitions for the Vortice Research Group, and he also has worked at several law firms such as Grant Anderson LLP, Biotechnology Law Group, Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich and Lyon & Lyon, in addition to serving as an advisor and consultant to portfolio investment companies.
Dr. Gaudino received his B.S. in Molecular Biology and Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and he conducted four years of post-doctoral research at the Washington University in St. Louis, studying transcriptional regulation of rRNA.
As Leafly’s Director of Marketing, Linn Baumgardt continuously strives to elevate the cannabis industry by breaking through barriers and partnering with mainstream companies such as Pandora and Twitter. Linn’s creativity, strategic mindset and drive to push boundaries have been invaluable in establishing Leafly as the fastest-growing privately held company in the Pacific Northwest. By analyzing market trends and legislation around the world she created a custom algorithm that has become the standard for how Leafly approaches new regions and global markets.
In addition, Linn launched Leafly’s largest media campaign, Leafly Vote, in support of cannabis legalization in nine states. Prior to Leafly, Linn worked with companies such as Microsoft, Discovery Channel, and consulted for clients such as Amazon, Sprint, and Red Box.
Georg Wurth is a former local politician of Germany’s Green Party. He has lead the German Hemp Association (DHV) since its foundation in 2002. The organisation is one of Europe’s biggest organizations calling for the regulation of recreational and medical cannabis. With 150,000 Facebook fans and more than 3 million Youtube views, the DHV is powerful on social media. After winning a popular vote, Georg became the first cannabis lobbyist to speak to German Chancellor Merkel about reform. In 2014 Georg’s reform campaign idea won one million Euros on a televised show, after which he launched Europe’s first cinema spot campaign against prohibition.
Jürgen Bickel is one of two managing partners at STORZ & BICKEL GmbH & Co. KG, the manufacturer of the first and –to date- only medical cannabinoid vaporizers on the market.
He holds a degree in civil engineering and acted as an international development worker in Peru for 5 years in the late 90ies, where he was dedicated to the water and sanitation sector in different cities like Chiclayo, Ayacucho and Tumbes.
In 2002, Jürgen Bickel joined Markus Storz, inventor of the VOLCANO Vaporization System as a partner and STORZ & BICKEL GmbH & Co. KG was founded. Together, they established a fast growing and international business with highly demanded products. In 2016, STORZ & BICKEL built its “S&B Vapor Factory” in Tuttlingen, Germany, a town with a reputation for being the nexus of medical technology with nearly 500 medical device manufacturers located there. With the VOLCANO MEDIC and the MIGHTY MEDIC, STORZ & BICKEL provided the only validated application method for the administration of cannabinoids, which was crucial for the overall acceptance of cannabis as medicine.
Dr. Jokūbas Žiburkus, PhD is a neuroscientist with over 20 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters. He is a tenured Associate Professor at the University of Houston where his research is focusing on epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, and Alzheimer’s disease. The laboratory’s current focus is on cannabinoid actions in the brain and novel treatments for neurological disorders. Žiburkus is a recipient of both the Global Lithuanian Leader Award for intellectual capital dissemination and the University of Houston’s Teaching Excellence Award. He is a recognized public speaker with a widely watched Tedx Talk entitled, “There is something you should know about epilepsy and cannabis.” Žiburkus currently serves on several prestigious scientific, business, and editorial boards, including Dravet Syndrome Foundation’s Scientific and Medical Advisory Board. He is also a co-founder of CannTelligence,an educational and biotechnological innovation hub for cannabis industry-related projects.
Mr. Lustig holds MSc and MBA degrees from McGill University. He began his professional career in the pharmaceutical industry at Merck & Co. In 2000, he started his capital markets career in institutional equity research in the Life Sciences sector at Orion Securities. For the next 14 years, Mr. Lustig worked as a Director at GMP Securities L.P. and as Head of Capital Markets at Dundee Capital Markets before becoming a Principal at KES 7 Capital. Mr. Lustig founded Cannabis Royalties & Holdings Corp. in early 2015.
Dirk Rehahn (Dipl. Soz.Päd.) has been actively involved in drug politics for over 20 years and has been in the cannabis industry for the same time. He has (co-)founded several successful companies (e.g. Hanf Journal, Deutscher Hanfverband DHV), has consulted and worked with several other companies of the industry and was chairman of the Verein für Drogenpolitik e.V. (Association For Drug Politics). Currently he is managing a Berlin based hydroponics wholesale company (Drehandel GmbH) with his business partner.
He is also part of a company that is preparing to hand in a license application at the German cannabis agency. In 2015 the district of Berlin, Friedrichshain Kreuzberg, invited Dirk Rehahn to consult them on the subject of the production of cannabis flowers with high THC content. The governing parties of the district were preparing an application to the BfArM for a scientific trial to sell recreational cannabis to a selected group of adults.
Dr. Jeřábek works in the Czech State Institute For Drug Control (SÚKL – State Agency for Medical Cannabis) as a medical cannabis specialist and cannabis inspector.
Dr. Pavel Kubů is an expert in the fields of medical informatics and addictology.
In 2001, he graduated in general medicine with a focus on disease prevention and public health from the Third Faculty of Medicine, Charles University.
Since 2005 he has been working for the Intel Corporation as a Business Development Manager, leading projects of the Intel World Ahead Programme for Healthcare in Central and Eastern Europe and Education in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
In 2006 he was appointed as chair of the Ethics Commission at the National Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Addiction.
Pavel has served since 2007 as a board member of the Czech National Forum for eHealth, from 2012 to 2015 as a member of the steering committee of the Czech Healthcare Forum and since 2013 as a board member of the medical cannabis patients’ organisation KOPAC. In these non-profit NGOs he is primarily devoted to the education of healthcare professionals, patients and caregivers and support for the research and development of new treatment and preventive methods.
In 2014 he became a cofounding member of Konomed, a company that focuses on research and development in the field of medical cannabis that was transformed to ICCI – International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute in 2016. ICCI founders share combined experience that includes clinical and basic research, direct patient advocacy, legislative efforts and studies, government relations, advisory and administration, medical informatics, the creation of product safety protocols such as quality control / quality assurance standards and laboratory analysis for the cultivation, manufacturing and distribution of cannabis products and global entrepreneurship. Their unique position leverages unparalleled resources and experience to create a global cannabis resource.
Matei Olaru is the CEO of Lift, Canada’s most recognized cannabis media and technology company. A corporate lawyer and consultant by trade, Matei practiced law for the cannabis industry before joining Lift in 2016. Prior to that, Matei helped advise governments on business and investment policy as a consultant with the World Bank (IFC). Matei holds a law degree and a business degree, and has studied internationally in Italy and Singapore.
Ophelia Chong is the creative genius behind Stock Pot Images and Asian Americans for Cannabis Education (AACE). She is driven to help shape the new conversation of Cannabis and is guided by one mission: to advocate for the legalization of cannabis and offer truthful reflections of the faces and communities that embrace cannabis.
After graduating from the Art Center College of Design in 1989, she traveled the world for a few years and found her calling in photography. She began her career as the photographer for David Carson at Raygun Magazine, Sony Music, Mercury, Epitaph, and Interview Magazine. She went on to become the creative director at Strand Releasing, distributing over 50 films to the Sundance, Toronto, New York, Venice, Berlin and Outfest film festivals. She moved into the stock and assignment photography business next. Since 1999, she has specialized in marketing and designing for photographers, photography monographs and photography agencies.
Ophelia teaches Marketing and Self-Promotion to photography students at the Art Center College of Design since 2010 and is an art director in the MFA writing program at CalArts since 2008.
Ben Dronkers’ eldest son, Alan is a highly skilled and knowledgeable breeder and an integral part of Sensi Seeds breeding programs which took place at the now-legendary Cannabis Castle. Alan possesses an enormous wealth of information about medicinal and industrial cannabis genetics. He also takes a keen interest in the history and use of cannabis around the world as well as in the laws pertaining to the plant.
Visionary entrepreneur and political activist, Alex Rogers, is the founder and CEO of three thriving ancillary cannabis businesses. Cutting his teeth as an activist in the early nineties under the tutelage of Jack Herer, Alex has a deep proprietary knowledge of the industry. He has played a key role in professionalizing and mainstreaming the cannabis industry, building one of Oregon’s most popular medical marijuana clinics in a matter of a few years, and the first ever to advertise medical marijuana on network TV in America. He also founded and runs the Oregon Marijuana Business Conference (OMBC), the state’s biggest and longest running cannabis business conference. Living in five different countries throughout his life, and able to communicate in all respective languages, Alex considers himself an international citizen, thusly spawning his latest creation, the International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC). The ICBC is the first and only cannabis business conference in the world to have multiple dates set in multiple different countries. A Magna Cum Laude graduate in Political Science, he has used his knowledge of law and politics to push cannabis policy forward all over the world.
PhD MD, Assistant Professor at the Department of Healthcare Organization, Medical School University of Zagreb, Croatia.
As a vice-president of Croatian Public Health Society he advocated medical usage of cannabis on numerous occasions, in private encounters, public lectures and media. In 2014 he was appointed as a President of Minister’s Committee on Medical Cannabis that has successfully finished first phase of work introducing legal changes necessary to deliver cannabis medicine to pharmacies and patients.
Committee’s further tasks are to track usage and abuse of medical cannabis, suggests improvements, medical indications and guidelines for medical professionals.
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.
Sebastián Marincolo is a former student of the philosophers William G. Lycan, Simon Blackburn, and Manfred Frank. His research focuses on the philosophy of mind, neurocognition, and on altered states of mind. Marincolo has published various articles on the marijuana high, co-edited bewusstseinserweiterungen (“mind expansions”), an issue of the German internetzine “parapluie”, and published three books on the marijuana high: the study “High. Insights on Marijuana” (Dogearpublishing, Indiana, USA, 2010), the essay collection, “High. Das positive Potential von Marijuana” (in German, Klett Cotta/Tropen, Stuttgart, Germany, 2013), which contains his macro art series “The Art of Cannabis”, and the essay collection “What Hashish Did To Walter Benjamin” (Khargala Press 2015).
Marincolo also worked with marijuana expert Harvard Associate Prof. Emeritus Lester Grinspoon on a book project. For more than five years he was a creative director and consultant for one of the biggest foundations in Germany and has more than 25 years of experience as a freelance photographer. His art photography from New York City, Rio de Janeiro, Bali and other places has been shown in various exhibitions and art galleries in Germany and the U.S. He is currently living in Stuttgart, Germany, and works as a freelance writer, creative consultant and photographer.
Òscar Parés Franquero has degrees in philosophy and anthropology and an MA in drug dependencies from the Barcelona University. He is currently the deputy director of the International Center for Ethnobotanical Education Research & Service Foundation (ICEERS). He is the main author of the Drug Policy Report: Catalonia, Innovation Born of Necessity (OSF, 2015) and co-authored the paper “How to regulate Cannabis Social Clubs: analyzing the experiences in Spain, Belgium and Uruguay” (2017 International Journal of Drug Policy). During 7 years he had collaborated with the Government of Catalonia in coordinating risk reduction programs in the nightlife context and, in the context of the regulation of the activity of Cannabis Social Clubs.
Ed Rosenthal is the world’s leading expert on the cultivation of marijuana. In his more than forty years as the “guru of ganja,” he has written or edited more than a dozen books about marijuana cultivation and social policy that cumulatively have sold over two million copies. His “Ask Ed”® marijuana advice column ran in High Times for several decades and still appears internationally. One of his books on marijuana cultivation is the only book of its type to be reviewed by The New York Times.
Currently Rosenthal consults for commercial growers throughout the world, both independently and as a team member of Quantum 9, a cannabis consulting service. He is also on the faculty of Oaksterdam University, the leading trade school for the cannabis industry. His classes teach pupils how different techniques can be used to improve the yield and efficiency of their gardens.
Beyond the garden, Rosenthal views marijuana law as a crucial social issue and has been active in promoting and developing policies of civil regulation. In 2003 he was tried in federal court for cultivation in a trial where the jury was not allowed to hear that he was deputized by the City of Oakland to provide marijuana for patients. His trial shifted public opinion in favor of state medical marijuana laws. He currently serves as the Executive Director of Green Aid: The Medical Marijuana Legal Defense and Education Fund. Rosenthal has also served as an expert witness for federal, state, and civil marijuana cases for over thirty years.
Books by Ed Rosenthal include: Protect Your Garden, Marijuana Grower’s Handbook (2010), Marijuana Pest & Disease Control, Medical Marijuana 101, Why Marijuana Should be Legal, and The Big Book of Buds series.
Steve Bloom is editor-in-chief of Freedom Leaf magazine. He also publishes and edits CelebStoner.com, one of the leading sources for marijuana and celebrity news on the web since 2007. Steve was named editor of Freedom Leaf in November 2014. He’s co-author of Pot Culture: The A-Z Guide to Stoner Language and Life (Abrams Image, 2008) and Reefer Movie Madness: The Ultimate Stoner Film Guide (Abrams Image, 2010). A former editor of High Times, Steve produced the Stony and Doobie awards shows, and the Hempilation benefit albums for NORML during his more than 15 years with the magazine, from 1989 to 2006. He was the recipient of NORML’s Media & Culture Award in 2004. Steve’s also appeared as a moderator, panelist and speaker at many marijuana-reform events, including the NORML conference, the Drug Policy Alliance conference, the International Cannabis Business Conference, Seattle Hempfest, Boston Freedom Rally, Cannabis Peace March, and Cypress Hill’s SmokeOut and Spring Gathering events. He and Willie Nelson founded the Teapot Party in 2010. He’s also the author of Video Invaders (Arco, 1982) and Watch Out for the Little Guys (St. Martins Press, 1989). He lives in Bronx, NY.
Michael Knodt was born in Hessen, Germany, and has been living in Berlin since the Berlin Wall fell. He initially studied history and journalism before receiving certification as a carpenter. He has worked as a freelancer for German-language hemp magazines since 2004 and from 2005 to 2013, he was the editor in chief of Germany’s biggest cannabis periodical. Currently, this father of two writes for Vice magazine, marijuana.com, Sensi Seeds, numerous German and English-language publications. He is also the face and presenter of DerMicha, his new YT-Channel on cannabis and its prohibition.
Susan Audino obtained her PhD in Chemistry with an analytical chemistry major, physical and biochemistry minor areas. Susan was the recipient of NSF Chemometric Graduate Fellowship and was a visiting scientist at NIST where she completed her graduate research. She currently owns and operates a consulting firm to service chemical and biological laboratories, is an A2LA Lead Assessor and Instructor, and serves as a Board Member for the Center for Research on Environmental Medicine in Maryland. She is also serving as Quality and/or Technical Director for several laboratories and has worked with a variety of laboratories to establish and/or improve their quality management and technical operations.
Susan has been studying the chemistry and applications of cannabinoids and provides scientific and technical guidance to medical marijuana dispensaries, testing laboratories, medical personnel, and regulatory agencies. Dr. Audino’s interest most directly involves marijuana/cannabis consumer safety and protection, and promotes active research towards the development of official/consensus test methods specifically for this industry. Her perspective is that inadequate testing is worse than no testing. In addition to serving on Expert Review Panels, she has been working closely with AOAC to develop interest and movement toward the development of scientifically sound methodologies for the cannabis sector, and is chairing the first such AOAC Cannabis Working Group.
Of the legal cannabis users in Germany, three patients have been able to take their cases against the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) for not allowing them to grow their own plants since the imports are incredibly expensive and not covered by health insurance.
Günther Weiglein is one of the three cannabis patients who the German court allowed the ability to potentially grow his own medicine.
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’s experience in the theatre and film industries saw her take up residence in New York, Toronto, Las Vegas and Los Angeles before locating in Vancouver. She was a Director and spokesperson for the BC Compassion Club Society (BCCCS), and served as President of the Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries (CAMCD). Her successful lobbying for these organizations Dispensary led the city of Vancouver to not only develop bylaws for dispensaries, but to create a separate class of license for compassion clubs like the BCCCS, that requires membership in CAMCD.
Jamie co-founded the Women Grow Vancouver Chapter, and is a prolific writer whose work is featured on the websites Canlio, and Lift. She continues to consult, lobby and advocate for dispensaries, and currently serves in the role of Government Relations for MMJ Canada.
Aaron Smith is the co-founder and executive director for the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) – the only national trade association representing the social and political interests of legal cannabis businesses in the United States. Founded in 2010 and now representing nearly 1,000 member businesses, NCIA maintains offices in Washington, D.C. and Denver, Colorado.
Prior to launching NCIA, Aaron distinguished himself as a public advocate for common sense marijuana policy reforms — first under the auspices of a California-based medical cannabis advocacy group, Safe Access Now, and later as the California state policy director for the Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project. Aaron’s opinion pieces have appeared in major newspapers, including the San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times, and he has been a frequent commentator on national television news networks. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Aaron is currently based in Denver, Colorado.
Kirk Tousaw is a barrister and advocate for law reform. His primary practice areas are Medical Cannabis Regulatory Compliance, Cannabis Criminal Defence and Strategic Litigation.
In addition to the daily practice of law, Kirk advocates for law reform. He sits on the all-volunteer Board of Directors of the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association. He also sits on the Board of NORML Canada, MAPS Canada and the Sensible BC Society. Kirk drafted the Sensible Policing Act, a recent ballot initiative in BC that garnered more than 200,000 signatures.
Kirk has written and spoken extensively on issues related to drug policy, privacy, religious freedom, and criminal justice policy. In addition, Kirk has had the privilege of testifying several times before the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights of the House of Commons and also before the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs. In 2015 he litigated the first medical cannabis case to be heard by the Supreme Court of Canada.
Ross Mirkarimi was elected the thirty-fifth Sheriff of the City and County of San Francisco, and served until 2016. Prior to becoming Sheriff, he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors (City Council) for two terms. Throughout his 22 years of public service, Ross has been an outspoken advocate for the legalization of cannabis – the only Sheriff in California’s 58 counties. In 2005, Ross was the first municipal legislator in California to author a comprehensive regulatory framework for legalizing medical cannabis. He received NORML’s “hero of the year” award in 2006. Appointed by the State Senate, Ross also served on the California Costal Commission between 2009-2011. Since leaving public service, Ross is consulting governments domestic and abroad on criminal justice reforms, and implementation of cannabis regulations.
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.
Chris Driessen is the President of Organa Brands, the Colorado-based parent company of O.penVAPE, Bakked, District Edibles, Magic Buzz and Organa Labs products. Organa Brands is home to the largest consumer cannabis brands in the United States, with ancillary and CBD products in eight European countries. As President, Driessen is responsible for all aspects of day-to-day operations, corporate strategy and overall performance of the organization.
Driessen’s competitive background managing sales efforts for Starwood Hotels and Resorts allowed him to prepare Organa Brands as an international house of brands. Through intensive sales and brand training with Starwood (and other international hotel enterprises), Driessen understands the necessity for brand development and delivering a unique consumer experience. This background paved the way for Driessen to contribute to O.penVAPE becoming the most widely recognized and globally distributed brand in cannabis.
O.penVAPE’s dramatic revenue growth for the past several years is in part due to Driessen’s ability to lead and motivate his sales teams. With his sales leadership experience with Konica Minolta Business Solutions, one of the largest technology companies with offices in 49 countries worldwide, he brings systematic practices and highly developed organization skills to Organa Brands. He is responsible for tripling the size of Organa Brands’ licensee network within the United States and expanding the company’s international presence into both Europe and the Caribbean. The company revenues have grown 10X under his leadership as both a sales leader and executive.
As President, Driessen drives higher revenue by increasing efficiency and overseeing new product and upcoming brand roll outs in the THC and CBD markets. Chris directs all operations at Organa Labs, the Organa Brands Fulfillment Center and the Organa Brands Corporate Office.
Chris Driessen is committed to industry advocacy, corporate responsibility, scientific research, product innovation and safe access to cannabis.
Charlie is the Business Development Director at Boveda and his personal story is what informs Boveda’s mission in maximizing the quality of cannabis. In 2013 Charlie was hit on his motorcycle by a careless driver, resulting in amputation of his left foot. Desperate for a more effective and safer relief for phantom limb pain than increasing amounts of opiates, Charlie reluctantly turned to cannabis. In one night, he went from skeptic to believer. The quality of life that cannabis provides allows Charlie to compete in golf, mountain biking, downhill skiing and marksmanship. The only difference before and after the accident, he says, is that now he gets much better parking.
Kevin Jodrey is one of the most well known growers in Humboldt County and is an internationally respected cannabis expert, known for improving and forwarding the modern cannabis movement. As a world renowned hunter of ganja genetics, Kev is fascinated by the search for rare, desirable, and marketable traits.
Kevin is the creator of Port Royal, owner of Wonderland Nursery, and co-founder of The Ganjier. He’s been a cannabis cultivator for decades, running his own operations and offering consulting services to the broader community. He’s spoken at universities, judged at the Emerald Cup, and consulted on cannabis related educational shows for National Geographic and A&E.
Featured in the New York Times, a pulitzer prize winning Washington Post article, countless other articles, books, and radio, and tv shows, he is at the epicenter of the Green Rush (and graces the walls of the Oakland Museum to prove it) and is guiding the industry as it transitions to legalization.
Clint Younge had ten years of Sales/PR, and Management experience before entering the Cannabis industry, where he worked his way up from budtender to assistant manager, to manager and brand ambassador before becoming CEO of MMJ Canada. He is a Director of the Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries, and is an advocate who loves connecting people. MMJ Canada has eight stores (and growing) across Canada, and works closely with the LOST Organization, a mental health division that reflects Clint’s main focus with Cannabis.
Michael Robbie, P.Eng., MBA. Michael is the Director of Marketing with Conviron – the world leading designer/supplier of controlled environments for plant growth rooms in the plant research and ag-biotech sectors having installed thousands of units around the world over the last 50 years. Michael is leading Conviron’s expansion into the cannabis sector, leveraging their designs and technologies proven in the precision-based world of plant science and applying them to commercial cannabis production facilities.
In 2010, Mr. Roycroft founded MCRCI, a private organization with licensed physicians that educate and sign in support of qualified patients looking for legal access and guidance for medicinal cannabis. MCRCI soon became the leading cannabis clinic in Canada with a team of doctors who specialize in prescribing cannabis. With his knowledge and experience in the medicinal cannabis industry, Mr. Roycroft soon became one of the top consultants in the country for the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) and the former Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR). Mr. Roycroft continues to expand his network and database within the industry, locally and internationally, by working with production sites, pharmacists, medical laboratories, doctors, and patients. Mr. Roycroft has recently done talks in Australia to the College of Physicians and a number of talks across Canada to HR groups regarding medicinal cannabis in the workplace.
A successful lawyer and businessman who knows firsthand how the naturally healing power of cannabis can replace traditional medicines, Max has taken his incredible passion for cannabis and transformed it into a company dedicated to helping others. From the extremely approachable and knowledgeable customer service team to the carefully selected strains available, Max wants every aspect of the #EmblemExperience to be a positive one.
Alex Revich has been working in the legal medical cannabis industry since the newest regulations began 4 years ago (called the MMPR –Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations) and was there at the formation of the Industry association – CMCIA (Canadian Medical Cannabis Industry Association). In this period he has spoken to thousands of patients with various conditions and hundreds of first responders with ailments like PTSD and chronic pain. Alex has worked with Veterans Affairs Canada on coverage of cannabis and vaporizers. He also is a big proponent of not smoking cannabis and also alternative forms of use. With a strong passion for helping patients and encouraging research – Alex was chosen to be the Executive Director of the CMCIA while he was continuing to help MedReleaf’s thousands of patients and clinic partners.
Liam runs several distribution businesses in the UK, including hydroponics, agriculture, and a healthcare business with a specialist focus on quality CBD products. Graduating from the University of Wales, Bangor in Marine Science in 2002, he spent 6 years rising to management level in UKAS accredited materials testing and development laboratories, during which considerable experience was gained in European testing standards and quality management systems. Liam then moved to the hydroponics industry, excelling in technical sales and product development, and developing knowledge and expertise in animal nutrition. He is a Director of Elite Healthcare Distribution, which aims to supply quality, innovative products to the healthcare sector, with a particular focus on cannabinoid medicines. Having experienced the explosion of the UK CBD market, and attempting to develop a range of high quality products, Liam identified the need for industry regulation and instigated the formation of ECTA. The aim of ECTA is to raise the profile of cannabinoid therapies within the medical sector, to channel the expertise from across the continent into programmes that can engage with and help educate the healthcare market, as well as drive research and innovation in the cannabinoid therapy field.
Michael Aberle is a Senior Vice President for Next Wave Insurance Services, which specializes in the underwriting of cannabis, hemp and CBD operations in the US and Internationally. Mike is one of the foremost experts in this industry, having spent the past 12 years exclusively underwriting cannabis and hemp related accounts in all legalized states including Canada. During that time, he played a significant role in developing industry guidelines, local and state regulations, and the actual policy forms utilized today in P&C industry. Michael’s extensive knowledge of the insurance and cannabis industry is only surpassed by his passion developing and providing the most comprehensive coverage available in the market.
Dr. Horowski worked for over twenty years as doctor and pharmacist in brain research, and has written more than 200 papers in leading journals in the fields of neuropsychopharmacolgy, endocrinology, neurology an general medicine. He published several scientific publications and lectures regularly, and is an Honorary Member of the Austrian Parkinson Society and of the German Parkinson Society.
Dr. Horowski’s latest book is Hölderlin Wasn’t Insane.
Michael Ray was born in San Francisco and raised in the Sierra Foothill Mountains on his family ranch known as Bloom Farms. He is a cannabis advocate, lobbyist for social change, and entrepreneur with a passion for technology and design.
In 1999, Michael moved to New York City to start his career on Wall Street. By 2001 he was one of the youngest and most successful traders at his firm. But Michael tired of the “money first” mentality of Wall Street and decided to return to California and the farm he grew up on — a place with new and unique business opportunities thanks to the development of the legal cannabis industry.
There was a social revolution occurring on the West Coast and Michael found himself on the doorstep of a perfect opportunity to create a uniquely universal cannabis product. By focusing less on high potency and more on high quality, Michael and Bloom Farms’ Highlighter vapor products found success with experienced and novice cannabis consumers, alike.
As the Executive Director at Bloom Farms, Michael oversees the day-to-day operations. Bloom Farms’ first priority is to make consistently high-quality cannabis products that are available for medical cannabis patients throughout California. Michael also oversees Bloom Farms’ 1-for-1 program: with every product purchased, Bloom Farms donates one meal to a food-insecure family in California. Bloom Farms has donated over 250,000 meals to food banks throughout California in 2016
Michael has a passion for community, and since becoming a cannabis entrepreneur, he has worked with industry leaders, regulators and community leaders to legalize, regulate and legitimize California’s medical cannabis industry.
Kris Krane serves as a Principal at 4Front Advisors, the nation’s premier medical marijuana dispensary consulting firm that is dedicated to ensuring the highest standards of operations in the industry, and president of 4Front Ventures, a holding company dedicated to professionalizing the cannabis industry. Since forming 4Front Advisors, the company has experienced unparalleled success in helping clients navigate the complex regulatory process necessary to obtain medical cannabis business permits in state regulated markets, assisting clients in procuring forty-four dispensary and cultivation licenses in seven states in highly competitive application processes.
Over the course of 2015 and 2016 4Front Advisors has assisted partners in opening professional, compliant, retail dispensaries in Arizona, Nevada, and Illinois, all of which count themselves among the market leaders in their respective states. The company is currently in the process of helping additional partners implement their retail dispensaries in Nevada, Illinois, Massachusetts, and California, all of which are set to open throughout 2017.
In 2015 Kris Krane helped launch Mission Partners, a wholly owned subsidiary of 4Front Ventures, as a vehicle to directly own and operate medical cannabis businesses, as opposed to solely assisting other owners through 4Front Advisors. Under the Mission brand, Kris’ team has secured medical cannabis licenses in Illinois, Massachusetts, California, and soon-to-be Maryland. Mission is in the process of building out a dispensary in Berkeley, CA, a dispensary in Chicago, IL with a cultivation venter outside the city, and a 65,000 square foot cultivation center in Worcester, MA with an attached dispensary and a satellite retail location in Burlington, MA.
Under Mr. Krane’s leadership, the company has developed the most professional best practice operating standards for retail dispensaries, largely based on professional standards from the retail, hospitality, and medical cannabis industries. Since Kris Krane and his partners founded the company in February 2011, it has grown from three staff members to over twenty today. Kris’ work has been profiled in publications including Forbes Magazine, Boston Globe, Boston Business Journal, and USA Today.
To take advantage of 4Front’s positive reputation and wide national reach in the emerging cannabis industry, in 2014 Kris participated in raising nearly $3 million in growth capital. In his role as president of 4Front Ventures, Mr. Krane helps to identify potential strategic partners and investment targets for 4Front Advisors and Mission Partners.
Prior to forming 4Front, Kris served as Director of Client Services for CannBe, where he helped develop many of the best practices that have become the backbone of 4Front Advisors’ operations. Kris got his training in the medical cannabis industry at Harborside Health Center in Oakland, CA, the largest medical cannabis dispensary in the country. While at CannBe, the company helped open or revamp some of the more successful dispensaries in Northern California, including Harborside San Jose, SPARC, and Elemental Wellness.
Kris has dedicated his career to reforming the nation’s drug policies, having served as associate director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws from 2000-2005 and executive director of Students for Sensible Drug Policy from 2006-2009. At NORML, Kris was responsible for tracking marijuana legislation in all 50 states and coordinating grassroots networks to support the organization’s reform efforts. As the organization’s chapter coordinator, Kris helped increase the number of NORML chapters to over 120 nationwide.
During his tenure at SSDP the organization experienced rapid growth at the chapter, national and international levels, increasing from chapters on 40 college campuses in 2006 to over 200 when Kris left the organization in 2009. During this time the organization led a successful campaign to convince members of Congress to scale back the HEA Aid Elimination Penalty, the law that automatically denies federal financial aid to students with drug convictions, removing the penalty’s retroactivity and restoring aid to tens of thousands of students. Kris has personally appeared on television news programs including Fox News Weekend Live and Today in New York, and has been featured on National Public Radio, Court TV Radio, Wisconsin Public Radio, The WWRL Morning Show with Armstrong Williams, and dozens of local radio shows nationwide.
Kris currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Students for Sensible Drug Policy and the Board of Directors of the National Cannabis Industry Association, Marijuana Majority, and Common Sense for Drug Policy. He also served as Associate Editor of the 2011, 2013, and 2015 editions of the ArcView Market Research Reports, the most comprehensive and widely quoted reports on the size and scope of the legal marijuana market.
Dr. Darryl Hudson received his PhD in Molecular Biology & Genetics from the University of Guelph, Canada in 2010. Following a postdoctoral fellowship developing transgenic rice and corn, he has focused the majority of his time towards the emerging Cannabis industry. After helping to form a Cannabis production company in 2013 under the newly established Canadian MMPR regulations, Dr. Hudson moved on to work as a consultant for projects around the globe. With a focus on both quality and safety, he continues to utilize his expertise to optimize cultivation and quality assurance protocols within the Cannabis industry. Dr. Hudson has helped develop SOP’s and QA standards for all aspects of Cannabis production including cultivation, extraction, formulation and analytical testing. Through his work in the Cannabis industry, Dr. Hudson has become involved with the treatment of PTSD, specifically in military veterans. This includes breeding new Cannabis varieties designed specifically developed to alleviate the symptoms of PTSD. He remains an advocate for quality, affordable medicine produced from the Cannabis plant while also overseeing hundreds of acres of hemp cultivation for food and fiber.
Aundre Speciale began her cannabis advocacy in 1990 when her neighbor Jack Herer, asked her to join him on the Hemp Bus, touring California promoting hemp for fuel, food, fiber, fun, and medicine. Thus began her lifelong love and dedication to cannabis reform. Aundre has been involved in countless cannabis campaigns and projects, including being a founding member of Americans for Safe Access, and serving on the board of the Marijuana Policy Project.
In 2004 Aundre’s desire to introduce a dispensary model focused on compassion, patient services, and community responsibility led her to open the first of many dispensaries across the state of California, including the earliest dispensaries in San Francisco, Sacramento, South Lake Tahoe, and Venice Beach. In 2007, Aundre became Director of one of the oldest collectives in the state, CBCB, which has been in operation since 1996. Her model for dispensing medical cannabis has included opening community centers that provide hundreds of classes and services per month free of charge to both patients and the entire local community, working closely with community service providers and city government to create enlightened cannabis policy, and funding major cannabis research and reform projects. She currently shares her vast operational experience by sitting on the boards of a number of licensed dispensaries throughout California.
Most importantly, Aundre is the mother of two amazing kids, Electra and Will. Aundre’s philosophy is that love is the best business practice of all.
Boris Moshkovits is a digital strategist, media expert and entrepreneur. He is the co-founder of the CannaBusinessClub Berlin and was the publisher of Amuse, the platform for new luxury and premium Lifestyle of Vice Media Germany. Prior to this has served as head of digital media for Ringier Publishing Germany, where he was responsible for the digital platforms of the magazines Cicero, Monopol and Literaturen.
Boris has also worked internationally as the project director of the Russian Jewish Museum in Moscow, which opened in fall 2012. Concurrently he was publishing the international culture magazine „berliner.“ Always focusing on premium lifestyle, art and sophistication, Moshkovits is currently working on platforms to establish cannabis lifestyle in mainstream culture based on new digital storytelling. Boris is a regular speaker at digital conferences like re:publica and TechOpenAir and also the co-initiator of dday network, a community of likeminded entrepreneurs exploring social change in the digital age.
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.
Common topics Nic speaks on: