2016 Speakers

Marvin Washington
Marvin Washington
NFL Super Bowl XXXIII Winner, Advocate for NFL Players Rights, Advocate for Cannabis Based Pain Solutions and Neuroprotectant

Marvin Washington is a retired NFL player who played a total of eleven years with three teams: the New York Jets, Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers. He was a member of the Denver Broncos 1998 Super Bowl winning team and was voted by Sports Illustrated as the 36th best N.Y. Jet of all-time.

A voice for former NFL players in the NFL’s concussion lawsuit, Washington addresses the truth about the outcome as well as the effects of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

An advocate for all-natural, non-habit forming cannabis, Washington is speaking out on the topic of using cannabinoids as neuroprotectants as well as an avenue to alleviate the nation’s #1 health epidemic: prescription opioid abuse and addiction.

Washington is a graduate of Idaho University where he is also a 2004 inductee into the University of Idaho Vandal Sports Hall of Fame. He is a Dallas native who is involved with several charities and sits on the Board of Texas Can Charter School. He has three children, two sons; Evan 22, Isaiah 16 and a daughter; Sydney 20. His oldest, Evan Washington is following in his football footsteps playing at L.S.U.

Marvin Washington now works for William Small Wealth Management Group as a Financial Advisor; primarily serving individuals with a select number of Professional Athletes in the NFL and NBA. He has 10 years of experience working in the financial Services field – more specifically in financial planning, retirement planning, and estate planning.

Ken Sobel
Ken Sobel
Co-Founder and Board Member for the three dispensary organizations / co-founded Genesis International Cannabis Solutions, Inc.

NCIA Member, Ken Sobel is an attorney licensed in California and Arizona for 35 years, and he has been a consultant, and cannabis entrepreneur, and a much sought after speaker in cannabis business and law.

Ken was the first person to take the bar exams for two states in the same week, and he passed both on his first try. On behalf of the Arizona Cannabis Nurses Association, he was also the first attorney in the U.S. to sue a state cannabis regulatory body and obtain an order adding PTSD to the list of debilitating conditions appropriate for cannabis use.

Ken was the Co-Founder and Board Member for the three major dispensary organizations in Arizona. He originally became involved in medical marijuana when he lived in Southern California and his family became the primary caregiver for his mother-in-law who passed from cancer in 2003. In 2008, Ken became the primary caregiver for his father, in Tucson, Arizona. His father suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, and he later passed away from cancer. This reinforced Ken’s commitment to ensuring that other similarly situated patients had safe access to cannabis.

Inspired by the amazing beneficial effects from cannabis therapy, Ken went on to establish two (2) medical marijuana dispensaries and a cultivation facility. Ken is currently working with the US Virgin Islands writing and developing the islands new medical Cannabis legislation. He received the highest rating for an attorney (AV) by Martindale-Hubbell and has been the recipient of the San Diego Magazine’s “Best of San Diego – Attorneys” for the past four (4) years.

Locally Ken founded the La Mesa Parks and Recreation Foundation and worked with San Diego Charger, Junior Seau, in raising millions of dollars to build the Junior Seau Sports Complex. He also worked to raise millions more to fund parks and fields for La Mesa National Little League, La Mesa Youth Sports leagues, and several elementary, middle and high schools in San Diego.

Ken served as Chairman of two California statutory Bond Oversight Committees, including a $55 million school construction bond for a 22 school K through 8 school district (La Mesa/Spring Valley), and Chairman of a $300 million community college construction bond (Grossmont/Cuyamaca College District). The latter oversight committee was recognized for its excellence by the San Diego Taxpayers Association. Ken also served for two terms as President of the Grossmont College Foundation.

Ken consults on a national level for cannabis policy, law, business, patient rights, and advocacy. He co-founded Genesis International Cannabis Solutions, Inc., and is focusing his efforts now on the re-emerging California market.

Dr. David Tonkin, MD
Dr. David Tonkin, MD
Award-Winning author / Research Scientist / Renowned Pain Therapy Expert / Cannabis Advocate for Pain Management

David Tonkin, MD, one of the nation’s premier pain management specialists with board-certifications in anesthesiology and pain management, understands the challenges that patients face with addressing pain.  With education and awareness of cannabis and cannabinoids, Dr. Tonkin’s advice is having a positive impact on alleviating the nation’s #1 health epidemic: prescription opioid addiction.

Dr. David Tonkin is a board certified physician specializing in the field of pain management and anesthesia. He completed his undergraduate training at Virginia Tech and his doctorate in medicine at the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine in 2000. His postgraduate training included West Virginia University, the University of Pittsburgh, Temple University/The Western Pennsylvania Hospital, and Wayne State University/Henry Ford Health System. After practicing for several years in the field of anesthesiology, Dr. Tonkin completed an accredited interventional pain fellowship at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. Dr. Tonkin is a national speaker and educator for Medtronic, St. Jude, and Neurotherm. He is board certified in pain management and anesthesia.

After completing a fellowship in Interventional Pain Management, has gone on to become an award-winning author, research scientist, renowned pain therapy expert and teaches physicians throughout the country in pain management techniques and procedures.  

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Daryl “Butch” Williams
Daryl “Butch” Williams
Chief Horticulturist, Plant Pathologist, Geneticist and President of White Mountain Health Center, B.S. of Horticulture, OSU

Butch Williams is the Chief Horticulturist of an Arizona licensed dispensary called the White Mountain Health Center. Butch serves the Senior citizens of Arizona in a town called Sun City. He studied Horticulture from Oregon State University, where he graduated with a BS in Horticulture and Permaculture Design. It is his love and passion for plants, and their medicinal and nutritional value, that give’s Butch his passion for cannabis research. Butch is also a major supporter of medical marijuana, and it’s efficacy in the treatment of all the Arizona qualifying conditions. He was one of the first patients to testify before the State of Arizona Department of Health Services in 2012 to add PTSD to their qualifying patient list. He also helps thousands of patients at the dispensary, White Mountain Health Center. It is at the dispensary, where he is able to talk to the patients about their cannabis use, and how it has helped with their conditions. Butch is also working closely with our veterans who suffer from PTSD. Their dispensary gives major discounts to the veterans, thus allowing them to have affordable access get the help they need.

Laura Bianchi
Laura Bianchi
Partner and Director of Business/Corporate Transactions and Estate Planning and Asset Protection

Laura A. Bianchi concentrates her practice on cannabis law, business, corporate and real estate transactions, as well as estate, special needs and business succession planning.

Laura is an integral member of Rose Law Group’s Medical Marijuana practice group, providing legal advice, guidance and assistance in various realms of the legal cannabis industry, including strategic planning and development, investment and lending relationships and structure, business and financial structure, business, corporate and real estate transactions, agreements and contracts, compliance with state law and local rules, requirements and regulations, best business practices, business consulting, application preparation and drafting, site selection and procurement, and all stages of the Arizona Department of Health Services Medical Marijuana Program.

Laura provides advice and assistance to her business and corporate clients in a wide variety of ways, including corporate formation and entity structure, charitable nonprofit organizations, financing, real estate transactions, corporate and residential leasing, acquisition and disposition of real property and businesses, employment/independent contractor, business, corporate and real estate negotiations.

Laura is on the forefront of the legal cannabis movement and she is passionate about providing information, education and facts about the cannabis and the cannabis industry, as well as its business, medical, investment and economic benefits and potential.

Laura serves as Co-Chair for the Women Grow Phoenix Chapter, she is an active member of the National Cannabis Industry Association, National Cannabis Bar Association, State Bar Association of Arizona, Arizona Women Lawyer Association, Pinal Partnership and Valley Partnership. She earned her JD from Vermont Law School and received a Bachelor of the Arts Degree in Political Science, with a language emphasis in American Sign Language, from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Heather Manus
Heather Manus
Sacred Garden of Santa Fe Medical Advisor / AZCNA President, Founder / ACNA Board Member, Conference Committee Chair / GICS President

Nurse Heather is a native New Mexican and Registered Nurse specializing in all aspects of medical cannabis care. As founder of the Arizona Cannabis Nurses Association, Nurse Heather was responsible for the addition of Post-traumatic Stress (PTSd) as a debilitating condition under Arizona’s medical marijuana act. Her organization recently petitioned to add 8 new conditions in Arizona including Traumatic Brain Injury, Autism, Arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Neuropathy, Tourette syndrome, & Diabetes. In 2015, Nurse Heather was honored for her efforts, and awarded the CannAwards “Best Charitable/Community Outreach Program,” and Cannabis Business Awards “Activist of the Year.”

Heather began her career as a Registered Nurse providing psychiatric home health care to patients in New Mexico. In both, New Mexico and Arizona, she opened the first medical cannabis infusion kitchens to provide cannabis patients with smokeless alternatives. Nurse Heather has an extensive background in natural healing modalities and herbal remedies, some of which she obtained from her close association with Hispanic and Native American healers in New Mexico. Her newest project Nature-Nurse combines years of knowledge and experience to provide high-quality products & services that naturally support the endocannabinoid system and encourage this current Revolution in HealTHCare. Nurse Heather believes Cannabis is a gateway to health and will be a first-line medication of the future.

Lisa Olson
Lisa Olson
Tempe and Mesa Teacher, Medical Marijuana Patient and Advocate

Lisa Olson is a teacher in Tempe and Mesa. She is a mother of five and uses cannabis to help her address her Multiple Sclerosis symptoms. She’s been a card carrier for less than two years, accessing it when her pharmaceutical refill prescription was delayed. After using the medication for two weeks, she jumped into a role of activism — a most unexpected endeavor after being a lifelong believer that marijuana was a very dangerous plant, a gateway to harsh drug use and crime.

Andrew Young
Andrew Young
Founder & CEO (Spray-N-Relief & Synergistic Collabs)

Andrew Young began his journey in the CBD and Cannabis industry nearly 10 years ago. Andrew has been an advocate, stakeholder and patient in the medical marijuana industry since 2007.
Andrew’s professional journey working in architecture caused a severe case of carpel tunnel syndrome in his right arm. After numerous failed attempts at pain relief with conventional medicines, he began his quest to find alternative pain relief remedies. After using a THC/ CBD topical pain relief salve bought at a local dispensary, he found the answer to his pain problems.

Andrews’s intrinsic entrepreneurial spirit drove him to create his own natural pain remedy to share with others. He developed Spray-N-Relief, a CBD topical spray based on a thousand-year-old eastern medicinal formula. Consumers began to see the astounding results with instant pain relief after application. With this success and passion, Andrew built a consulting company Synergistic Collabs and assembled a team of professionals to help make the growth journey possible. Synergistic Collabs has created some of the most effective THC & CBD based topical products, as well as an extensive line of CBD-based nutritional supplements for the cannabis and natural products industry over the last several years.

Andrew has an unrelenting drive and vision for the cannabis industry and is committed to making the world healthy through natural alternatives.

Dr. Marc Epstein, D
Dr. Marc Epstein, D
Founder of Mountain View Dermatology & Aesthetics

After graduating from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1981, Dr. Epstein completed residencies in internal medicine at Delaware Valley Medical Center, Langhorne, PA and in dermatology at Temple University, Skin and Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA. He then served in the USAF for 9 years active duty as Chief of Dermatology Services at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, AZ followed by 16 years of Reserve Duty obtaining the rank of colonel. Upon leaving active military duty in 1995, Dr. Epstein opened his private dermatology practice in Tucson AZ. where his dermatology skills have been serving the community’s needs for over 20 years.

Dr. Epstein received his board certification in Dermatology from The American Osteopathic Board of Dermatology (AOCD) to become a Fellow of the AOCD and then achieved Distinguished Fellow Status. He served on the board of the AOCD as vice president and then President. His professional credentials include former Clinical Instructor of Dermatology at the University of Arizona, former Principal Dermatology Investigator for Argus, Hilltop and then Radiant Research and former dermatology section chief at Tucson Medical Center. His medical community memberships include The Tucson Dermatology Society where he served as its president for over 6 years, The American Academy of Dermatology, The Arizona Dermatology Society, The Southwestern Dermatology Society and The American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery.

David Pieser
David Pieser
ProDro Engineering

David Pieser has been cultivating in the Desert Southwest for over 40 years. A grandfather, snowboarder, outdoorsman, stonemason, designer, builder, fabricator and all-phases tradesman, Mr. Pieser brings a wealth of confidence and experience to the field of Cannabis Production.

Indoors or outdoors; Hydro or Aero; Soils or Inert; Greenhouse, Field or Warehouse, all of these environments are viable in a diversified application of Cannabis Horticulture.

Mr. Pieser has developed a warehouse cultivation system that challenges the status quo. The ProDro system reduces material needs, hardware, energy use, disposable media, exotic equipment, excess maintenance and deployment cost.

Mr. Pieser was integral in the design and deployment of the first planned fully outdoor facility in Arizona. Resistance and doubt to outdoor cultivation in the lower desert environment is common. Mr. Pieser’s experience and confidence brought forth a substantial, full-sun outdoor crop this fall in the low desert environment of Yucca, AZ. Plants thrived in the typical mid-summer desert heat exceeding 115 degrees.

Mr. Pieser has been a sole voice in identifying the lower desert as a perfect year round environment to host outdoor cultivation. The cold nights and warm days of the desert winter are an ideal condition to bring forth unique terpene and cannabinoid profiles unseen in controlled environments. Breeding and seed production for this environment are underway.

Just as fruit and vegetable producers utilize the sunbelt to bring seasonal crops first-to-market, Cannabis producers will also gravitate to the desert in search of early spring crops with the unique characteristics of desert grown varietals.

Manny Flores
Manny Flores
Executive Vice President, Imperial Protective Service

Manny Flores is an executive vice president at Imperial Protective Service, a private, full-service security solutions and consulting company, offering premium security solutions for the Cannabis industry, including physical on-premises, armed and unarmed security for grow operations, retail locations, inventory and revenue transport and 24/7 surveillance with remote and/or on-site monitoring. Manny’s primary responsibilities are business strategy and corporate development.

Prior to joining Imperial Protective Service, a company founded by his father, Manny spent 15+ years as a business and marketing strategy executive in New York City, where he provided strategic direction to some of the worlds largest companies, including Google, Facebook, IBM, Disney, Cox. His strategic consulting specialties include market assessment and market opportunity, new product development, brand and communications management, customer assessment and touchpoint experience, corporate reputation and multi-platform passive behavioral measurement.

Most recently, Manny was a senior vice president at Nielsen, the worlds largest measurement company, where he was responsible for $40m worth of business annually as the Consumer Insights leader for North America and $21m annually as the client business partner managing the relationship between Verizon/AOL and Nielsen. Prior to Nielsen, Manny was a senior vice president at Harris Interactive, where he led the transformation from transactional selling to challenger selling and was also a vice president at ORC International, where he led the technology market insights consulting team.

Cetan Wanbli Williams
Cetan Wanbli Williams
CEO & Owner The Buffalo Grass Company, LLC

In addition to Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Education and Mass Communications from University of Washington, Cetan Wanbli Williams completed an Associate of Science Degree in Tribal
Environmental Natural Resources Management.

Wanbli has six years of experience working in the cannabis industry, and over fifteen years of experience working with tribal entities. Williams has grown from roots in the medical cannabis industry and assisted in the development and management of one of the first recreational cannabis dispensaries in Colorado. Williams worked directly with the dispensary ownership to help successfully advance and direct five dispensaries, and four grow facilities. Williams is currently engaged in medical cannabis operations in Arizona, while also providing industry-related consultant services including community education; regulatory and compliance strategy; branding, marketing, and product development; and operations management services. The Buffalo Grass Company was founded by Williams as a means to utilize his education and experience to help tribal communities develop economically, socially, and culturally, using hemp and cannabis as a catalyst.

Additional Hemp and Cannabis Industry Presentation Experience:

– Speaker, Tribal Hemp & Cannabis Summit at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque
– NM April 2015, Speaker Tribal tracks at the National Cannabis Summit Denver CO October 2015
– Facilitator Tribal Panel South West Cannabis Conference Phoenix November 2015
– Speaker Community Education for the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska
– Tribal consulting contract Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska 2016

Kathy Inman
Kathy Inman
Executive Director, MomForceAZ and 2016 Best Cannabis Advocate (Phoenix New Times)

Kathy Inman is the Executive Director of MomForce AZ, and the Coordinator of Arizonans For Safe Access. Focused on marijuana education, harm prevention, and natural wellness, she has been educating lawmen and lawmakers all across Arizona. She currently teaches citizens about marijuana through public presentations and at institutes of Lifelong Learning.

Peter Wilson
Peter Wilson
Cannabis Legalization Advocate and Former Chariman of AZ4NORML

Peter B. Wilson, a Christian, family man, and a former engineer was a founding member of the “2nd wave” of legalization advocacy in Arizona, which emerged in the early 1990’s. He became Chairman of AZ4NORML in 1995, and made news after having marijuana-possession charges dismissed, on account of his having a Cannabis Dealer’s License and tax stamps, issued by the state of Arizona. Prosecutors responded by attempting to blackmail Mr. Wilson with 20-years-to-life w/o possibility of parole, on cooked-up “child endangerment” charges. On appeal, Arizona Superior Court ruled that the state-issued license was fraudulent, and could not be used as a defense in court. Ha-ha! Mr. Wilson was convicted on 9 felony drug charges. He avoided the virtual death-sentence, but the ruse worked: his life and the legalization movement in Arizona were left in tatters.

Mr. Wilson’s license-and-tax-stamps proved embarrassing to the powers-that-be in Arizona. Presently, he is trying to publish his theory on Dark Energy. The Standard Model contains a glaring oversight, which Mr. Wilson suggests may account for Dark Energy. If true, it would be embarrassing to the astrophysics community. He is also a music volunteer with a local hospice organization, and calls the upcoming opportunity to vote on recreational use, “A dream come true.”

Lezli Engelking
Lezli Engelking
Founder and President, Foundation of Cannabis Unified Standards (FOCUS)

Lezli Engelking is the Founder and President of the Foundation of Cannabis Unified Standards (FOCUS). FOCUS is an international, third-party, non-profit, cannabis standards development organization created to protect public health, consumer safety and safeguard the environment.Lezli possesses two decades of professional experience across Lezli possesses two decades of professional experience in pharmaceutical, mental health, non-profit, and cannabis industries. Her passion for new challenges and ability to envision simplified solutions to complicated situations makes Lezli the perfect candidate for work in the formulation of public policy ensuring the highest standards that protect public health and safety are met and maintained. More than twelve years with Eli Lilly Pharmaceuticals laid the perfect foundation for Lezli’s role as Executive Director of the first chain of vertically integrated medical cannabis operations in Phoenix, Arizona.

Lezli’s proven success in the highly regulated pharmaceutical industry, and her first-hand experience working in the unregulated cannabis industry place her in an ideal position to lead the company creating the first and only international, quality and safety based voluntary-consensus cannabis standards.

Aari Ruben
Aari Ruben
Director, Desert Bloom Releaf Center

Aari Ruben was born in Madison, WI and raised on a family ranch in the rural town of Sonoita, AZ. Aari graduated from St. Gregory College Prep in Tucson in 1995 and went on to study Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Pharmacogenetics from 2004-2006 at the University of Arizona. Beginning in 1995, Mr. Ruben worked at Shaman Pharmaceuticals in South San Francisco as a Lab Technician where he conducted plant-based pharmaceutical research and development.

He served as an Administrator for Healthcare Southwest Inc., a mental health and pain management group in 1997 and continued his work there until July of 2013 when he proudly opened his first state-licensed medical marijuana dispensary, Desert Bloom Re-Leaf Center in Tucson. As a fierce advocate for marijuana legalization, drug policy reform, and human rights, Aari is proud to be able to provide safer medicine to patients who are in need. He is the proud father of three daughters ages 18,16 and 10. He enjoys travel, dining, golf, swimming and his dogs.

Sonia Martinez, Esq
Sonia Martinez, Esq
Managing Partner, Law Office of Sonia Martinez

Sonia Martinez, Esq. has been the managing partner at the Law Office of Sonia Martinez in Mesa, Arizona since 2008. She focuses her practice on family, dependency, juvenile and criminal defense with an emphasis on cases involving cannabis issues. Her work with thousands of children in the foster care and juvenile justice system has taught her many lessons about cannabis regulation in Arizona. She also practices federal Indian law and is licensed in seven tribal courts. MS. Martinez graduated Magna Cum Laude from Southwestern Law School as a John J. Schumacher Minority Leader Scholar and earned special United States Congressional recognition for ‘Outstanding and Invaluable Public Service to the Community’ in 2004.

Licensed to practice law in California in 2004, Ms. Martinez worked as a Litigation Associate at Stanzler, Funderburk & Castellon in Los Angeles where she worked on complex environmental litigation. Upon moving to Arizona in 2006, Ms. Martinez spent time working as a Special Prosecutor for the Ak-Chin Nation and a few years as a Litigation Associate at Jones Skelton & Hochuli P.L.C. in Phoenix where she handled complex environmental law, commercial and general defense work.

Ms. Martinez is the past Co-Chair of the Arizona State Bar Committee on Minorities and Women in the Law, Co-Chair of the 2015 State Bar Convention, Chair of the 2013 Minority Bar Convention, Past President of the Native American Bar Association of Arizona, and a graduate of the 2009 Arizona State Bar Leadership Institute. The Native American Bar of Arizona selected her as the 2013 “Member of the Year” for her hard work and dedication in Indian Country. She worked as a writing instructor for the Arizona NBA Pipeline Program, teaches a seminar class at the Indian Legal Program at ASU Law on representing defendants in tribal courts as a guest lecturer, and was a mentor for the National Hispanic Bar Association. Ms. Martinez also serves on the Board of Directors for the United Food Bank and as Treasurer of Whisper & Thunder.

In addition, she has taught cultural property and archaeology law for Archaeological Damage & Investigations Inc., authored the article, “Premises Liability, How to Protect Yourself and Others,” is a panel member on the selection committee for the Arizona State Bar Leadership Institute, and presented as a panelist at dozens of educational seminars. She is also a team member for the Maricopa County Superior Court Judicial Performance Review Commission Conference Teams. Volunteering for the “Yes on Prop 205” campaign has kept her very busy these past few months.

Most importantly, she is a mother of two daughters ages 19 and 10.

Noel Palmer, PhD
Noel Palmer, PhD
Chief Scientist, Mary’s Medicinals

Dr. Noel Palmer brings 15 years of experience as a laboratory scientist with an emphasis on plant properties to his role as Chief Scientist at Mary’s Medicinals. In this role, he drives all research, development and testing for current and future Mary’s Medicinals products.

A member of the International Cannabinoid Research Society, his R&D and testing of product potency and efficacy is award winning. Most recently, he was recognized as Americans for Safe Access Researcher of the Year 2014.

In collaboration with Americans for Safe Access and the American Herbal Products Association, Dr. Palmer was closely involved in drafting the Industry Standards for Laboratory Testing of cannabis. He has authored multiple peer-reviewed publications in noted scientific journals.

He graduated from the University of Idaho, Ph.D., Chemistry. He also has an MS and BS Chemistry from UI and UW.

Jerry Chesler
Jerry Chesler
Founder, Chesler Consulting, LLC & Law Offices of Jerald S Chesler, PC

Jerry Chesler is a leading medical marijuana business attorney, both nationally and in Arizona. Jerry is a Founding Member of the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA), a founding director of the Arizona Cannabis Bar Association and the Arizona Editorial Board Member for the Cannabis Law Journal. After years of industry experience, including a year and a half as General Counsel and VP of Cannabis Operations for a publicly traded company (American Green, Inc. OTC: ERBB), Jerry opened Chesler Consulting, LLC.

The consulting practice allows Jerry to use his experience, national reputation, and contacts to focus on the national cannabis industry. He continues to advise Arizona, Washington and California operators on legal, regulatory and business issues with a focus on expansion and accepting investment. Jerry also advises investors and others trying to enter the Industry. He has put together numerous financing and development deals allowing outside parties to establish, operate, finance or help operate cannabis businesses in various states.

Jerry consults with law firms and teaches cannabis law to professionals for an accredited national CE provider. He speaks at events around the country on cannabis issues to business and medical audiences.

Until the passage of Arizona’s medical marijuana law (the AMMA), Jerry was a business and tax attorney in Carefree, Arizona. In this capacity, he assisted and counseled numerous startup ventures and dealt with a variety of issues for ongoing businesses. Over the 10 years prior to the AMMA, his practice moved away from litigation issues and into IRS controversy work.

Jerry has been a well-respected cannabis rights advocate for over four decades. He believes in the medical properties of cannabis and that federal prohibition is unconstitutional.

Jerry and his wife Ellen, a clinical psychologist, have two adult sons.

Duke Merhavy, MBA. Ph.D.
Duke Merhavy, MBA. Ph.D.
President and Chief Marketing Officer, Fractional CMO, LLC

Duke Merhavy is the founder of Fractional CMO, the revolutionary way to manage marketing efforts. With decades of hands-on marketing leadership roles for companies ranging in size from start-ups to Fortune 500 in several different industries, he is a master of integrated marketing strategies and implementation.

Dr. Merhavy’s approach to marketing is to do whatever it takes to meet and exceed the clients’ visions and goals, while providing the best possible return on their marketing investment. He has helped companies go from obscurity to prominence, launch new products, and obtain market dominance. Using his vast experience, knowledge, and a creative mind, Mr. Merhavy formulates strategies, devises plans, and implements them with the help of his team of highly-qualified experts in their fields.

Prior to founding Fractional CMO, Dr. Merhavy spent 25 years in Director of Marketing, VP of Marketing, and Chief Marketing Officer roles in corporate America; and served as a Captain in the Israeli Military Intelligence. Dr. Merhavy earned a Bachelor’s degree and an MBA from Binghamton University in New York, and a Doctorate in Business Administration from California Pacific University.

Roger Martin
Roger Martin
Founder and Executive Director, Grow For Vets U.S.A.

Roger is a proud Veteran of the United States Army who has been coping with chronic pain since the 1970’s. He credits cannabis with having saved his life in 2010, by helping him overcome a ten-year dependency on dangerous prescription drugs, including Oxycontin and Ambien.

In addition to his military service, Roger has a background in law enforcement. As a result, it was not easy for him to accept the fact that, like most Americans, he had been duped into believing that cannabis was a dangerous drug. He blames greedy politicians, driven by the billions of dollars in “contributions” they receive from pharmaceutical companies, for deceiving the American public about the true benefits of cannabis.

Inspired by encounters with fellow Veterans suffering from PTSD and other serious medical conditions, Roger began offering free cannabis to Vets in March 2013. In January 2014, he formalized his efforts by establishing Grow for Vets U.S.A., a tax-exempt nonprofit organization. Since then, Grow for Vets U.S.A. has provided more than $1M of free cannabis to thousands of the bravest among us. Grow for Vets U.S.A. currently operates chapters in several states.

Roger strongly believes that cannabis should be the first treatment option offered to Veterans suffering from serious medical conditions. Driven by the fact that more than 50 American heroes die each day from prescription drug overdose and suicide, Roger works tirelessly to convince VA administrators, elected officials, medical professionals, and the public at large that cannabis is a much safer treatment option for Veterans than are deadly prescription drug cocktails.

Since founding Grow for Vets U.S.A., Roger has had the honor of meeting thousands of brave Americans who have chosen to treat their medical conditions with the medicine that works best for them – cannabis.

When asked why he decided to spend his “retirement” giving free cannabis to Veterans, Roger cites the disgraceful number of needless Veteran deaths being caused by deadly prescription drugs. He believes that “Pills kill and we owe American heroes better!”

Roger describes serving as the Executive Director of Grow for Vets U.S.A. as “the most humbling and rewarding experience” of his life.

Larry Twersky
Larry Twersky
CEO, TimerCap

In the face of the US healthcare challenges, Larry Twersky immediately recognized the importance of the TimerCap and the broad impact it could have on millions of lives. Larry serves as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer where his primary role is keeping the team focused on the company’s mission of engaging current health care challenges at the intersection of technology and pharmacy, and bringing them to market. TimerCap LLC creates solution driven products that result in improved healthcare outcomes. Enabling people of all ages to live healthier, more productive lives.

Previously Larry served as President of 1-800-DENTIST making it the largest and most successful dental practice marketing program in the nation. Prior to joining 1-800-DENTIST, Mr. Twersky served as Chief Executive Officer of Solid Climb a technology consulting company with more than 30 years’ experience in Healthcare Marketing, Digital Marketing, Social Media, and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and considered a pioneer in wireless and Internet-based solutions, having developed the first wireless CRM product for Palm(TM). He also previously served as President of GoldMine Software Corporation’s CRM Division. Prior to that, he founded Corporate Computer Center (CCC) in 1989 as one of the most successful CRM consulting practices.

Larry served on the College of Business and Economics Dean’s Council of Advisors and mentors CSUN business students. He was appointed to the CSUN Alumni Association Board of Directors in 2003 and elected to the association presidency in 2007 and was honored in 2012 with the CSUN Volunteer of the year “Granny Heitz Award.” He is a speaker with topics ranging from Sex Sells, Dogs Bark and Babies Cry, Leadership Lesson you need learn and Video Stores, Book Stores, don’t let your Pharmacy be next!. He is also a five-time marathoner, enthusiastic snowboarder and an avid wine collector who lives in Tarzana, CA, with his wife, Renee while his two daughters, Skyler and Mya make their own positive indelible marks in this world.

Zacariah L Hildenbrand, PhD
Zacariah L Hildenbrand, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer, C4 Laboratories

Dr. Zacariah L. Hildenbrand received his bachelor’s of science and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Texas at El Paso, where he also played on the men’s intercollegiate golf team. Dr. Hildenbrand’s doctoral research focused on the molecular architecture involved in hormone-dependent cancers and was awarded the best doctoral dissertation in the College of Science for the year 2010. Dr. Hildenbrand continued his training as a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas where he contributed to the development of a novel therapy for the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia; a blood-borne cancer that afflicts small children.

Dr. Hildenbrand has published more than 30 peer-reviewed scientific journal articles and textbook chapters, and has presented his research throughout North and South America. As the Chief Scientific Officer of C4 Laboratories in Mesa, Arizona, Dr. Hildenbrand is focused on educating the general public about the scientific merits of cannabis, as well as developing innovative cannabis-based therapies. Dr. Hildenbrand enjoys new research challenges that carry deep social significance and he is driven to provide solutions and find more efficient treatments for those struggling with illness.

Farmer Tom
Farmer Tom
Farmer, Pioneer in the Cannabis Industry

Farmer Tom is currently a farmer with a passion for growing organic cannabis and veggies and educating people on how to grow organically for themselves. The vision for our current lifestyle started back in 1999 after a raid of our Collective Garden in San Diego where I was arrested for possessing 448 plants. Paula (my wife) and I had a common vision of a sustainable cannabis organic lifestyle. We moved to Williams, Oregon and eventually settled almost a decade ago at a farm in Vancouver, Washington. Sixteen years later here we are, sharing our vision with the world.

Tom and Paula continue to grow organic cannabis and produce today. Last year,Farmer Tom submitted 24 fruits and veggies to the Clark County fair last year and took home 21 blue ribbons including a best-in-show for a watermelon that shouldn’t grow so vibrantly in southern Washington State.Tom and Paula also hosted federal agents from the National Institute on Occupational Safety and Health twice last Fall, not to investigate Farmer Tom but, to learn about cannabis and the potential employee safety and environmental quality issues involved in commercial cannabis production. This historic event will eventually produce a public report including Tom, his farm and the data from his harvests.

Farmer Tom is truly a pioneer and an icon in this cannabis industry.

Representative Mark Cardenas
Representative Mark Cardenas
State Representative - District 19 (D - AZ)

An Iraq War Army Veteran, Mark served as a Sergeant in the Army Reserves and managed a multi-million dollar budget, demonstrating the importance of fiscal responsibility and safeguarding our tax dollars. As a legislator, Mark supported ground-breaking legislation last year to expand AHCCCS coverage and increase funding for K-12

As a commissioner on the City of Phoenix’s Estrella Village Planning Committee, Mark is responsible for reviewing new zoning areas and land use proposals. His service as commissioner shapes the future vision and character of the community.

As your Representative, Mark’s priorities are to: Attract quality jobs to Arizona, Increase funding for education, including affordable access to a college education, Enhance public safety services, Improve access to affordable health care, and Honor and support our Veteran population.

Josh Miller
Josh Miller
Compliance Officer, AOW Management, LLC

Josh Miller serves as the Compliance Officer for AOW Management, LLC. After graduating law school from the University of Arizona, Josh founded a consulting firm in Denver providing business planning, regulatory compliance, and licensing services for cannabis businesses. He has successfully helped businesses in Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, New Mexico, and Oregon attain cannabis licenses through—in AZ, IL, and NM—highly competitive application processes. Josh, along with Tom and Paula Lauerman, hosted federal agents from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in Vancouver, WA for a first-of-its-kind Health Hazard Evaluation for a cannabis farm. He has also served on the formation committee for the Washington State Cannabis Commission. Josh knows and seen the powerful transformation possible in this wonderful cannabis industry.

Don Ream
Don Ream
Cannabis Activist & Educator, Dispensary Agent

Don Ream Sr is a cannabis activist/educator and dispensary agent, who shares his cannabis success story to help others suffering from PTSD, chronic pain, and cancer. A resident of Sun City, Don attends many cannabis events to spread the truth about cannabis as medicine and a safer alternative to alcohol for relaxation and recreation. Don proudly served his country in the Navy, and is a Vietnam Veteran. He gained much respect, support, and notoriety when Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery insulted  him and his military service at a public forum on marijuana in 2015. Not one to back down, this confrontation only fueled Don’s desire to spread love, his cannabis knowledge, and his journey of healing thanks to this amazing plant.

Ginger Mace
Ginger Mace
Founder, Pain Warrior Crew / Chronic Pain Patient Rights Advocate

Ginger Mace is the Founder of Pain Warrior Crew and a Chronic Pain Patient Rights Advocate. Pain Warrior Crew offers education on natural / alternative pain control methods and promotes access to effective, reasonable pharmaceutical relief when naturally-based treatments to do not provide sufficient pain relief or improvement in quality of life for fibromyalgia sufferers and other chronic pain warriors.

This education is customized for each audience, whether fellow patients, community leaders where a cannabis or botanical venture will be opening, veterans and active duty members of our armed services, corporate wellness officers, convention/conference attendees, or social media audiences. Ginger also employs her 20 years of marketing experience to help her business clients receive both increased exposure and positive media attention during her speaking and educational tours. Whether it is planning and executing events, meeting one-on-one with medical professionals or civic leaders to gain their confidence and support, providing original content, giving interviews, or assisting with branding, Ginger makes sure there isn’t a moment wasted during her visit.

Ginger calls herself a “professional patient”, having experienced fibromyalgia symptoms as early as 1985, as well as the years upon years of frustration trying to find the best treatments for her as an individual. Before founding Pain Warrior Crew, Ginger worked for over 10 years with other patients like herself on a volunteer basis, sharing her knowledge with them and learning a great deal along the way.

Her passion for both helping other fibromyalgia sufferers and chronic pain warriors find relief, and for sharing knowledge on alternative pain control methods, led her to create Pain Warrior Crew, and to speaking engagements and teaching classes nationwide.

Due to changes in access to pain control pharmaceuticals starting in March 2016, Ginger began helping fibro and pain warriors who were (without regard to comfort, safety, or common sense) either abruptly taken off of those medications, or their doses cut drastically, She made it her mission to relieve as much of this cruel and unnecessary misery as she could, by sharing her knowledge of botanicals and her successes with more naturally-based treatments.

“Access to natural and effective medications like cannabis has never been more important than it is right now. I’m deeply concerned that with no relief from their doctors, cannabis being illegal in over half this country, and threats to ban botanicals like kratom, exponentially more patients in pain will give serious consideration to ending their lives. Some have chosen to do so already – a choice that was preferable to them than dealing with severe, intractable, unrelenting pain and no quality of life. To me, this is an absolutely unacceptable situation, considering we have botanicals and naturally-based options that we cannot freely use due to reasons that never made sense in the first place. We must help those we can with information, educational opportunities, and compassion.”

J. Chandler
J. Chandler
Vice President of Cultivation Technologies, urban-gro

Serving as the Vice President of Cultivation Technologies, Chandler has a passion for assisting growers in efficiently producing high-quality horticultural crops. He has been managing and consulting for large-scale organic vegetable farms and greenhouses, as well as Cannabis production facilities since his graduation from Texas A&M with a Bachelor of Science in Production Horticulture in 2003. Chandler has a wide breadth of knowledge of integrated pest management, fertility, and automation in large-scale operations. After three years as Director of Cultivation for a highly awarded Denver dispensary, he successfully launched Cannabis IPM Solutions in 2014. In 2015, urban-gro brought him on board to do the same for their customers.

Chandler is a Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) by the California CCA Board. The CCA certification program was established in 1992 by the American Society of Agronomy to provide a benchmark for practicing agronomy professionals in the United States and Canada. Chandler is also certified in Maryland’s Nutrient Management Program, which trains and certifies qualified applicants to provide crop producers with nutrient management plans that maximize crop yields while minimizing nutrient losses to the environment.

Ryan Hurley
Ryan Hurley
Partner and Head of Marijuana Practice Group, Rose Law Group

Ryan Hurley is a partner at Rose Law Group in Scottsdale, AZ and heads up the firm’s Marijuana Practice Group. He has a background in land use and zoning law, environmental and water issues, renewable energy and a wide variety of regulatory compliance and administrative law issues.

Ryan and the Marijuana Practice Group assist clients with all aspects of AZ’s Medical Marijuana law including employment and criminal issues but primarily focus on the business of MMJ and helping clients apply for and secure dispensary licenses from the AZ Department of Health Services. Ryan currently represents both licensees and outside investors throughout North America and helps facilitate and document deals to bring them together. Mr. Hurley has been working on AZ’s MMJ law even before it was passed, and he had significant input on the ultimate Rules that AZDHS developed.

He is a frequent presenter at marijuana seminars and conferences throughout the country and is a tireless advocate for marijuana reform in myriad interviews and appearances on TV, print and radio. Mr. Hurley is the attorney for the Arizona Campaign to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol a committee to legalize marijuana for adult-use in Arizona in 2016. In addition Ryan has a strong interest in industrial hemp and has been working behind the scenes with Arizona farmers to bring industrial hemp as an alternative crop to AZ’s large cotton industry.

Ryan and Rose Law Group have been committed to the entire cannabis industry from day one and remain the go-to attorneys for all cannabis needs in AZ. RLG is a founding member of the National Cannabis Industry Association.

Lindsay Topping
Lindsay Topping
Marketing Director, Dixie Brands

For over a decade, Lindsay has focused on building brands that consumers love. With expertise in brand development and positioning, innovation planning, merchandising concept, creative leadership, and consumer engagement, she has brought this focus to global brands such as American Crew, Exclusive Resorts, Starwood Hotel Group (Sheraton, Le Meridien, W) and Ritz-Carlton Group. Which is great news for Dixie as Lindsay spends her time in the marketing lab, leading the team to build a brand that truly is the Future of Cannabis, embraced by a broad audience of the initiated and the curious alike.

Lindsay excels at leading teams with an agile approach to marketing – which happens to work very well in an industry that is constantly shifting. Prior to Dixie, she put that agility to practice leading luxury destination club Portico (which subsequently merged with Exclusive Resorts) through an aggressive start-up and growth phase as Director of Marketing. She also spent several years honing her marketing and branding skills at leading Colorado ad agency, Karsh and Hagan, as account director.

Isaac Griffin
Isaac Griffin
Host of 1100AM KFNX Radio’s “Living the High Life”

Isaac Griffin, renowned radio personality, and ex-professional football player is the host of the KFNX show “Living The Highlife,” a one-hour talk show dedicated to the hot topic of cannabis.

“Living The Highlife” features candid conversations about cannabis, including the topic of growing, extracting, producing and selling and how Arizona will be affected by changing marijuana laws. “This is a wonderful opportunity to share what the cannabis world is really thinking and talking about,” says Griffin. “It’s the first cannabis radio show ever to reach Arizona listeners.”

As the booming cannabis industry expands and contracts across the nation, Griffin is on the front lines. The show explores cannabis communities all around the world to provide the latest and most relevant information on legislation, culture, business, technology, and sustainability.

Griffin is a professional personality in talk radio and media today. He has hosted and created sports talk radio shows from Michigan to Florida. With his deep roots in radio, professional sports and now cannabis travel, Griffin explores a variety of topics and passions that listeners are curious about when it comes to the cannabis culture.

Tabitha Hauer
Tabitha Hauer
Organic Chemist, Desert Valley Testing

Tabitha has been an Organic Chemist for 16 years and has extensive instrumentation experience. Most of her career has been comprised utilizing GC, GCMS, and HPLC. She provides only accurate and ethical data to your business. Integrity is of the utmost importance as she analyzes samples and provides critical information to the end user of the medical marijuana. Tabitha opened DVT ultimately for her passion in the product and educating patients on the importance of testing and providing accurate data to properly medicate. She is open to laboratory tours, audits, and reviews of any and all services DVT provides.

One morning in 2008, Tabitha woke up with slightly cloudy vision in her left eye. Looking in the mirror, she noticed her pupil was shaped abnormally. The cloudy haze over her vision did not go away and kept progressing over the cornea.

Tabitha went to see specialists after specialist to determine what was causing her loss of vision. After about 2 years of being undiagnosed, high eye pressure and pain her doctors diagnose her with Iridocorneal Endothelial Syndrome (ICE) syndrome. ICE is a unique ophthalmic disorder that involves an irregular corneal endothelium that can lead to varying degrees of corneal edema, iris atrophy, and secondary angle-closure glaucoma.

The syndrome continued to progress causing major clouding and the diseased cells grew over the entire front of the cornea. The pupil continued to misshape and the cells replicated to cause a secondary condition of glaucoma. After several surgeries for glaucoma, cataract and cornea transplant, Tabitha has some relief but has lost vision in her left eye.

Due to the cornea becoming diseased she found herself taking several pain medications and eye drops for relief. Tabitha was up to 1200-1600 mg of ibuprofen a day and was worried about her overall health.

Tabitha’s doctor recommended she look into medical marijuana for relief. She obtained a patient card and researched which strains was going to help her with her ailments. She went to dispensaries looking for strains high in CBG. With disappointment, most dispensaries were not testing their flowers.

Tabitha, an Organic Chemist for 16 years decided to acquire and instrument and develop a method for testing cannabis. She started to test her own meds and decided other patients needed to know what is in their meds so they can make the proper choices when it comes to choosing a strain that will benefit them.

Tabitha opened Desert Valley Testing in November 2014 and continues to test patient meds and educate on the importance of testing.

Pamela Epstein, Esp, LL.M
Pamela Epstein, Esp, LL.M
Founder & Owner Green Wise Consulting, LLC

Pamela is the Founder of Green Wise, LLC. In 2014, Pamela started working in the cannabis industry. She has become known as a fearless advocate for local businesses with current clients ranging from startups and entrepreneurs to companies in all stages of development. Pamela ensures that her clients have the proper planning and business structure that will result in efficiency and profitability as well as an overall benefit for the cannabis industry. Pamela is a featured speaker at several cannabis conferences speaking on land use, zoning, regulatory compliance and environmental issues. Pamela also serves as the legal advisor for the Inland Empire California NORML Chapter.

Prior to her work in the cannabis industry, Pamela founded and became the Managing Attorney & Legal Program Director for the Sierra Club San Diego’s Environmental Law & Policy Clinic. In this role, she worked extensively with elected and appointed governmental officials and regulatory agencies. She spearheaded a coalition of environmental groups to challenge the first Regional Transportation Plan with a Sustainable Community Strategy pursuant to SB 375. Before leaving private practice, Pamela worked as an Associate Attorney with the prominent South San Francisco-based law firm of Adams Broadwell Joseph & Cardozo, PC, specializing in environmental compliance issues and large-scale renewable resource development.

Pamela graduated with Honors and earned her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Arizona in both Communications and Political Science. She received her Juris Doctorate from the University of La Verne College of Law. After law school, Pamela earned her Master’s of Law from Golden Gate University School of Law in International Environmental Law & Policy. During her LL.M program, Pamela drafted and published an article in the International and Environmental Law Journal. Subsequent to law school, Pamela served as General Counsel for Mountain View Aesthetics & Dermatology and was the consulting Attorney for the American College of Osteopathic Dermatology focusing on healthcare administrative law and general business matters.

In sum, Pamela’s diverse back round inclusive of non-profit and environmental workplace her in a unique position to understand and advise clients on the emerging intercession of environmental and cannabis compliance. Her career has and will continue to focus on helping clients build successful, sustainable and responsible businesses in the cannabis industry, and assisting those businesses in the process of negotiating the rapidly changing landscape of cannabis law and regulations at the local, state and federal level.

Megan Stone
Megan Stone
Owner and Founder, High Road Design Studio

Megan Stone, owner and founder of High Road Design Studio, is an award-winning interior designer and consultant specializing in the design needs of cannabis retail businesses, from branding & identity to immersive in-store experiences. She has designed for cannabis retailers and businesses in thirteen states, in both recreational and medical markets.
She has been involved in the legal cannabis industry for nearly 10 years, as a medical marijuana patient, former budtender and dispensary manager, and now as a leading female business owner. She is the pioneer of cannabis retail design, helping to reinvent peoples’ expectations and perceptions of the cannabis industry in its public-facing spaces.

Bonita “Bo” Money
Bonita “Bo” Money
Founder, Women Abuv Ground

A cannapreneur, Bonita “Bo” Money is one of the few women of color in the emerging, billion dollar cannabis business. She’s the co-creator of That Glass Jar ™ , a cannabis-infused topical, and founder of  Women Abuv Ground, a networking organization, dedicated to introducing the cannabis business to  women of color. As a 25-year veteran of the entertainment business, her current projects include producing segments for ESPN’s “30 for 30” sport documentaries as well as a scripted television series, called “The Chronic,” which documents her inner working with mega rappers Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg within the walls of record label Death Row.

Despite the glitz and glamour of the entertainment business, Money became interested in the cannabis industry, especially as the legalization of medical marijuana was picking up steam in various states across the country. She wanted to be on the ground floor of a new frontier in alternative medicine – that is, a “woman in weed” on a Wall Street level.

Born in Seoul, Korea, and raised in Monterey, CA, Money began her research of the cannabis industry and became very interested in the healing properties of marijuana. As she traveled to cannabis-related social events and conventions, she eventually met Cheryl Shuman, dubbed the Queen of Cannabis and founder of the Beverly Hills Cannabis Club. Shulman became a mentor to Money, and taught her the ins and outs of the cannabis business. Unlike some cannapreneurs, Money decided to specialize in the use of cannabis for health and beauty reasons – that is, oils, topicals and creams — forgoing the cultivation route or running a medical marijuana dispensary.

In her kitchen, Money began extracting oils from marijuana, and sharing her concoctions with friends and family. Also, with a passion for cooking, she began infusing cannabis into her Korean dishes. Her experimentation prompted interest in producing cannabis-infused edibles and a coffee line. However, the illnesses of two close friends changed Money’s attention from edibles to the medicinal use of cannabis.

Sara Gullickson
Sara Gullickson
Cannabis Industry Expert

Sara Gullickson is the Executive Director of DispensaryPermits.com and a national leader in the medical marijuana consulting industry. As an influential woman in the cannabis reform movement, Sara has a vision for the medical marijuana industry of wellness and accessibility. It is with this vision, that she has passionately guided clients through every step of the medical marijuana process. From application processes to logistics and cultivation practices, Sara has successfully advised numerous groups in seven states’ medical cannabis processes over the last four years. Combined with nearly a decade of experience executing online and traditional marketing campaigns, Gullickson has used her comprehensive knowledge to assist and consult on successful applications across the United States and currently is working with applicants in Illinois, Nevada, New Hampshire, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, and New York. Sara has mastered the intricate balance between community involvement, knowledge of local markets, awareness of ever-changing legislation, and most importantly, wellness that has proven to be the key to success throughout the U.S.

Previously, Gullickson led multiple clients’ marketing initiatives. Gullickson specialized in health, beauty, medical, dental, fitness, and spa marketing as the founder of SpaFitAZ.com, a start-up website offering salon, spa and fitness deals as well as marketing services. Prior to that, she was a project manager for an interactive agency where she executed online, demographic-specific advertising and marketing campaigns targeting high school students. She earned a Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in marketing from Keller University. Sustaining member of NCIA.

Kim Prince
Kim Prince
Owner, Proven Media

Kim Prince, owner of Proven Media, is a nationally recognized public relations and marketing expert who specializes in media outreach and strategy for cannabis companies and cannabis events. A seasoned veteran of the emerging industry, Prince is co-chair of Women Grow Phoenix. Her firm has created groundbreaking, award-winning public relations campaigns for cannabis companies across Arizona and the nation.

Cheryl Shuman
Cheryl Shuman
Women In Cannabis

Cheryl Shuman brings 25 years of industry experience to her agency with a list of satisfied clients including such stars as Tom Cruise, Madonna, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Demi Moore, Michael Jackson, Steven Tyler, the Black Eyed Peas and hundreds of other celebrities through her first company, Starry Eyes. Shuman specializes in lifestyle, entertainment and consumer marketing, never underestimating the importance of viral marketing as well as grassroots initiatives.
Cheryl’s first media exposure came at age 16 when she created a coupon and refunding system so unique it prompted her hometown newspaper to write a feature coining her as “The Coupon Queen”. Overnight, she became a huge sensation with that first article leading to several weekly television appearances. After moving to Los Angeles at 23, Cheryl quickly found a job working for an optical retailer in Encino and just as fast met Michael Jackson, becoming his personal optician by offering to make a house call.

That first house call led to a new business named Starry Eyes and within three years reached revenues of $22 million, working on the biggest films, TV and music properties in Hollywood. Her expertise led to regular appearances on The Today Show, Access Hollywood; Entertainment Tonight. With the huge success of Starry Eyes, Shuman was approached by QVC Network to have her own show and entered into a mutually rewarding seven-year relationship. During the time, Starry Eyes also added product placement, production and branded entertainment divisions to their range of offerings. Shuman became the #1 go-to person for product placement and EPK’s Electronic Press Kits.

Cheryl built the largest cannabis media source in the world with Kush Magazine in 2010 as Director of Celebrity, Media & Public Relations, taking them from $150,000 in gross revenues to more than $6.5 million in revenue within 18 months.
Known as the “Martha Stewart of Marijuana”, Cheryl now manages a $100 million funding facility to invest in the cannabis sector as well as a personal endorsement contract with ancillary products in the cannabis industry. In a short time, Cheryl has secured product placements for products in FX’s Wilfred, CBS News, The New Ricki Lake Show, and more. Shuman lectures internationally about everything from seed to sale of the Cannabis Plant and is currently working with the prestigious William Morris Endeavor Agency in Beverly Hills for film, television, book and lecturing deals.

Larry Banegas, MSW (Kumeyaay)
Larry Banegas, MSW (Kumeyaay)
Founder & CEO of Kumeyaay.com

A lifelong advocate for human rights, Larry Banegas, MSW, represented the Kumeyaay nation during the Native American occupation of Alcatraz.  He has since devoted his time to working on behalf of children who couldn’t defend themselves.  Larry worked his way through the ranks of Mental Health Counselor, Intervention Counselor, Foster Parent Recruiter, Adoptions Applicant Social Worker, and Child Protective Service Worker.  

In 1997, duty called and Larry joined the ranks of tribal councilman on Barona, his Native American reservation located east of San Diego, California. During that term, he and fellow council members completed years of due diligence to set into motion the establishment of the now multi-billion dollar per year Native American gaming industry. Larry has defining experiences of working with local, state and Federal governments and combatting corruption and greed that plagues the industry. The business persevered and Barona Resort & Casino is a premier Southern California family-friendly gaming destination. Having successfully established this “family business”, Larry was able to retire at an early age. Today, Barona Resort & Casino hosts hundreds of thousands of visitors annually and employs thousands.

In 2000, the entrepreneurial spirit took over and Larry launched Kumeyaay.com. The website is a go-to online resource for Native American news, is a portal for sustaining the Kumeyaay language and culture, and celebrates all indigenous cultures of the world.  

Throughout his life, Larry has focused his energy by teaching Kumeyaay culture and tradition in a variety of outlets including:

San Diego Film Festival – Native American Advisory Board
San Diego State University – American Indian Recruitment (AIR) Program Board Member
San Diego Museum of Man – Board Member
Southern Indian Health – Ret. Director & Social Services Program Chair
San Diego Natural History Museum – Board Member 2005-2008
Barona Cultural Center and Museum – co-Founder
Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College – Early California History, Humanities Instructor
D.Q. University at Sycuan – Indigenous Studies Instructor
Kumeyaay Adult Education – Instructor

San Diego State University (SDSU) recognized Larry’s contributions to society with their prestigious Monty Award in April 2013.  In May 2013, on the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s commencement speech at the SDSU, Larry was honored to deliver the school of Health and Human Services’ commencement address.

In addition to teaching Native American culture, music has been a passion for Larry from a young age.  He instilled this in all of his children and, in turn, passed it along to his grandchildren.  Larry actively plays in rock and blues bands and has produced many works by industry renowned artists.

In mid-2013, Larry broke ground on the Barona reservation and created the Kuseyaay (medicine person) Spiritual and Healing Center.  In early spring 2014, the Kuseyaay Healing Center opened and continues to welcome spiritual leaders, healers, and community leaders from around the world.  The Kuseyaay Wellness Center is a private location that attracts people who are seeking the ancient practice of natural ways of healing the mind, body and spirit.  

History shows that the Kumeyaay have inhabited the region now known as Southern California and northern Mexico for at least 14,000 years.  Larry believes in combining ancient ways of healing with advances in today’s medicine; he is a private investor in three California dispensaries.  Larry feels that cannabis is a sacred botanical and its restoration by sovereign nations is a next-step in exercising Native American human rights.  

Larry explains that addiction is a brain disease; he is advocating for addiction to be a qualifying condition for medical cannabis.  He will share his experience of empowering individuals with the knowledge of cannabis and, with it, witnessing them overcome a variety of ailments including alcohol and prescription opioid addiction.

Juhlzie Monteiro
Juhlzie Monteiro
RN, BSK

Nurse Juhlzie Monteiro RN, BSK (@AskNurseJuhlzie) is a Registered Nurse in the state of Nevada and a UNLV Alumni. She has worked over twenty years in medicine specializing in Internal Medicine, Orthopedics, Pediatric ER/Trauma (PALS) and Adult ER (ACLS/TNCC), Outpatient Surgery and Pain Management, and a Nurse Educator in many of these specialties.

She is the President of Nevada Cannabis Nurses Association (NVCNA), a member of American Cannabis Nurses Association (ACNA), a member of the ANA and Nevada State Nurses Association (NSNA). Through ACNA she has earned certificates in The Basic Core Curriculum for Cannabis Nursing and the Advanced Curriculum for Cannabis Nursing. She is on the Executive Board of Nature Nurse, and one of the Founders of Cannabis Nurses Network which is a Global network for Nurses around the world.

Juhlzie is known in the Las Vegas Community as “Ask Nurse Juhlzie” and educates professionals, patients, caregivers, corporations, and legislation on Cannabis Therapeutics in numerous platforms. She owns or contributes to “Ask Nurse Juhlzie”, Canna-Aid Foundation, Impact Network, and Cannabis Nurses Magazine which are national platforms within the Cannabis Industry to promote cannabis information and education within the Nursing profession. She is a Cannabis Nurse consultant for patients at Green Cross Pharmacy Dispensary within the State of Nevada. She is an advocate and voice for the patients and believes “Education is the key”.

Denise Mahaffey
Denise Mahaffey
Founder, Malama Marketing

In 2005, Denise Mahaffey established Malama Marketing as an outsourced agency with full-service capabilities
to support businesses and organizations of all sizes. The Company’s focus is full-spectrum marketing, business
development, PR, events, and community outreach. Mahaffey’s leadership catapults brands and initiatives to
Industry-leading status. Since 2013, her best-practices in the cannabis industry contributed to nearly 1,000 mainstream news reports featuring the agency’s clients, products, and initiatives. In 2016, Mahaffey established Cannabis PR & Media by Malama Marketing to exclusively serve the global cannabis industry’s fast-paced needs.

Mahaffey was recognized with the prestigious “40 Under 40” award for her business and charitable leadership.

Jeff Riedel
Jeff Riedel
Gentleman Farmer

After retirement from a 20 year career specializing in Logistics and Management in the U.S. Air Force, Jeff earned his Graduate degree in Organizational Management and started a very successful career in marketing and finance. In 2009, Jeff attended Oaksterdamn and then was one of the first students of Cannabis Career Institute. The class proved to be inspirational as Jeff decided to escape a lucrative corporate job and went “all in” in the cannabis business. With a well-planned strategy, Jeff immersed himself in every aspect of the industry – from seed to sale. Jeff’s industrious nature and business acumen helped glean amazing results. Since the beginning of the decade, Jeff has brought in 94 cannabis harvests and shared THOUSANDS OF clones and small plants. These cultivation achievements have led Jeff to meet many growers, patients and dispensary owners as well as gain valuable experience about medical marijuana. As well as having bountiful knowledge about the cannabis business, Jeff is an indoor grow operations expert who has helped dozens of new growers get their start in the cannabis business.

Ariel Clark
Ariel Clark
Founding Partner, Clark Neubert LLP

Like nature herself, Ariel Clark abhors a vacuum. So it makes perfect sense that this lawyer, activist, and founding partner at Clark Neubert LLP, took a long, hard look at the chaos that was the Los Angeles cannabis industry and instead saw an opportunity.

Ariel, half Grand Traverse Band Ottawa, went to Berkeley Law School to pursue a career in Indian Law. She was particularly fascinated by its welter of overlapping federal, state, local, and tribal jurisdictions. After graduating, she practiced Indian Law and complex civil litigation in Oakland, and quickly took the unusual step of going out on her own so early in her career to found a cannabis business law practice.

Contrary to popular stereotypes, cannabis pioneers skillfully juggled politics, risk, and business demands in order to survive, and were willing to fight to protect what they had achieved.
Knowing we were at a unique point in history and seeing Los Angeles as the largest cannabis consumer market in the world, yet without much local and state regulation, Ariel opened an L.A. office eight years ago. Since then, the practice has thrived, helping clients navigate a chaotic environment lacking in legal protection.

Through her experiences as an attorney in this quickly moving industry, she realized that she needed to create a community out of disparate elements who had traditionally been isolated, distrustful, and competitive. Knowing that there was an unsuspected depth waiting to be tapped, she reached out to her clients, friends, and peers and founded elevateLA, a nonprofit that brought the cannabis industry together as a community and raised money for social justice issues.

Then she turned her attention to Prop D, the repressive and short-sighted piece of legislation that puts Los Angeles directly at odds with the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA). MCRSA is a set of regulatory standards that took 20 years to craft, was finally passed by the California legislature and signed into law in 2015 and effectuated on January 1, 2016.

Observing that process was inspiring to Ariel. “It showed what could be done when voices from different agencies, businesses and points of view came together,” she says.

“If they could do it on the state level, I saw no reason why we couldn’t have the same sort of consensus in Los Angeles.” To raise awareness and influence public policy, she founded the Los Angeles Cannabis Task Force in 2016. Assembling a functioning team of concerned, informed, and resourceful community members, she and the Task Force are working towards a comprehensive and equitable policy that aligns Los Angeles with state law.

At stake is nothing less than untold billions of dollars in tax revenues, thousands of jobs and, most importantly, low-cost, safe, and effective medicine to the thousands of patients in the city limits. Without minimizing the difficulties inherent in navigating public policy, she remains confident that the messages of social and economic justice will prevail. “We are doing nothing less than creating the bones of an industry and a community,” she says. “It is a fallacy to think that we have no choice or no ability to succeed. What we do matters. It’s just that simple.”

Ariel Clark is a founding partner of Clark Neubert LLP, Chair of the LA Cannabis Task Force, board member of California NORML, founding board member of elevateLA, member of the California Growers Association, National Cannabis Industry Association, California Cannabis Industry Association, among other industry groups.

Peggy Noonan
Peggy Noonan
Founder, Cornucopia Infusions

Peggy Noonan is the founder of Cornucopia Infusions, an Infused product, and concentrates Company in Arizona since 2013. She has been an advocate for the healing benefits of the plant for several decades. Her original involvement in the industry began during a time when Cannabis was predicted to bring higher consciousness and Peace to the world. Her passion is “creating.” Cornucopia creates handcrafted scratch-made products and concentrates. She began with a healthy savory line. But she listens to the feedback of the market and continually expands the Cornucopia product line. These Products are sold throughout Arizona and will be expanding into other States.

She is adamant about the need for education, standardized testing, and proper dosing. She and her staff hold training sessions at Dispensaries and Cannabis education schools, teaching aspiring professionals in proper dosing and how infused products can better serve their patients. She is also on a Labeling and Packaging Committee with the Arizona State Department of Health Services for best practices in labeling and packaging, regarding dosage and safety.

Peggy a Native New Yorker graduated Arizona State University and Parsons School of Design. She has been a Substance abuse Therapist, an Interior Designer, Developer and General Contractor, with ownership and a specialty in food service and Restaurants.

She has spoken at the Marijuana Business Convention in Las Vegas
The Southwest Cannabis Conference
The High Times Summit
Received Trail Blazer of the year award from High Times

Dan Schmink
Dan Schmink
Executive Director, Southwest Healing Group

Dan Schmink is Executive Director of the Southwest Healing Group, cannabis activist, entrepreneur, and OEF/OIF Veteran. His organization is currently developing mobile and online tools for public access to high quality cannabis resources.
A Phoenix native, Dan has operated in many areas of the cannabis industry including dispensary operations, marketing, branding and patient consultation. His mission is to reduce the number of Veteran suicides through community efforts and public awareness.

Jane Fix
Jane Fix
Head of Patient Services, Monarch Dispensary

Jane Fix started working in the Arizona cannabis industry in 2011. She was the manager of Element’s Caregiver Collective. In 2013 she was recruited to be Head of Patient Services at Monarch Dispensary in Scottsdale. Jane spends her days working with patients who are new to the product or intending to use cannabis for their specific medical conditions. She has a background in Botany and a degree in Education. As a life long believer in the benefits of cannabis, Jane has found her purpose.

Shelly Peterson
Shelly Peterson
Vice President of Lighting Technologie

Serving as the Vice President of Sales since 2012, Shelly manages urban-gro’s sales force located across the United States. Her passion for eco-friendly solutions and creating a sustainable environment ensures that the commercial cultivator is provided with a lighting plan that utilizes the least amount of equipment. Further, her skills learned in the commercial lighting industry have enabled her to work with regional electrical providers to maximize available utility rebates for urban-gro’s customers.

Shelly holds a Bachelor Degree in Finance and resides in Fort Collins, Colorado with her husband and their two children.

Amy Donohue
Amy Donohue
Owner, Get Hybrid Social

Amy Donohue moved to Phoenix in September 2002 and started her comedy career soon after. Her first gig was a contest at the world-famous Tempe Improv. From there, she was a radio DJ for four years on KWSS 93.9FM. Her show showcased local talent: Bands, musicians, fellow comedians, and performers of many industries.

A shameless self-promoter, she created a great fanbase on Myspace, then Twitter and Facebook. As people went to her comedy shows and listened to her radio show, she realized the value in doing Social Media the right way: by being social.

In January 2011, Amy saw a tweet from a Twitter follower, about her mother needing a kidney. “I’ll do it. I’ll donate my kidney. What do I have to do?” Her kidney was donated on April 19, 2011, at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix. In the testing to donate, Amy lost her job for missing her sales goal. She was hired by a Twitter follower the next day. Her career in Social Media started right away.

As a Social Media Consultant, Amy educates small business owners in the cannabis industry on the nuances and etiquette of social media, so they can develop their brands online. She has been teaching workshops for over 5 years. Her focus is on compliant social media, as networks have many rules with regards to cannabis.

Along with being active in the kidney and cannabis communities, Amy also volunteers her time with animal shelters and rescues.

Amy has been a member of the Phoenix chapter of Women Grow since January 2015. She consults on the Prop 205 campaign and takes on every opportunity for public speaking about medical marijuana.

Payton J Curry
Payton J Curry
Cannabis Chef, Flourish Kitchens

Growing up in Rochester, Minnesota, Chef Payton Curry and his twin brother were raised by a hard-¬‐working dad who taught his pre-¬‐ teen boys to cook so they could eat dinner together as a family every evening. Payton credits his dad with an obsessive work ethic, leadership model and memorable camping trips where father and sons collaborated on ‘hobo dinners’ over an open fire.

At age 11 and dressed in his first suit, Payton dined at Chicago’s Drake Hotel. He asked to see the kitchen and was simply awed by the bustling scene on the other side of the sedate dining room. Subsequent travels with his mother and stepfather (to the Caribbean, Hawaii, and Mexico), were the catalyst for his passion for food. While he enjoyed sophisticated new tastes like foie gras and escargots, his lasting impressions from those early fine-dining experiences were just as often about feeling special and cared for by the service staff.

In high school, Payton was the all-¬American jock. He played baseball and captained the football team. After graduation, he attended the University of Minnesota at Winona, where he played rugby and majored in Business Administration. Payton wasn’t partying hard at fraternity parties; he was enthusiastically cooking dinner parties for professors and fellow students, usually for nothing more than the cost of ingredients.

The summer after High School Graduation, Payton landed his first official cooking job as Garde Manger for Chef Mark Weimer at Chardonnay in Rochester. He was quickly promoted to sous chef and by the time he returned to school in the Fall, he knew he needed to change direction and follow his heart.

Taking a leave of absence, he applied to the Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park. He found an interim job cooking at an upscale retirement home, where he delighted residents with familiar foods prepared in diverse, creative ways and felt genuinely rewarded by their appreciative feedback.

While attending the CIA (2003), Payton was nominated as group leader of his class, he was president of the Gourmet Society and he did multiple charity dinners for groups like the March of Dimes and Possibilities, an organization that helps disabled individuals find employment and live independently. Payton’s tireless energy and creativity also allowed him to run a booth at the weekly Farmer’s Market, where he and fellow students offered market-¬‐goers complimentary seasonal tastes of items such as soup, salsa, and pot chocolate.

Midway through the CIA program, Payton and girlfriend/fellow classmate Shantal Abdo (now his wife) were offered apprenticeships in Singapore through At-Sunrice, the Singapore Culinary Academy, and Spice Garden. The Four Seasons hired them both after two weeks of training and government certification.

Aside from the tremendous experience gained catering to wealthy residents and tourists in a cosmopolitan center of four million, Payton’s culinary knowledge expanded through travel to nearby countries including Bali, Malaysia, and Indonesia. He learned new definitions of bar food (fried frogs legs in black oyster sauce), breakfast (congee – rice porridge with dried shrimp and fish sauce) and staff meals (chicken feet and ‘tails’). Lobster sashimi was the strangest thing he ate in Asia; he compares it to the electric jolt one would get by touching a live battery to one’s tongue.

Returning to New York, Payton took on random cooking jobs and cannabis cuisine caterings while completing the CIA program. After graduation, he moved to Napa Valley and spent two years at Martini House under chef Todd Humphries while moonlighting on banquets at Niebaum-¬Coppola Vineyards and his beloved French Laundry. His shared responsibility for family meal six days a week was the highlight of his time at Martini House. Cooking for his chef, peers and co-¬‐workers became his favorite ‘dish’ to prepare—for the creative freedom and the challenge of thrilling palates using by-¬‐products and inexpensive ingredients.

Ame in San Francisco’s St Regis hotel was Payton’s next stop, where he cooked under chef Hiro Sone and chef Greg Dunmore. Working with pristine fresh ingredients and items not usually available in America was a thrill, but when Union policies restricted his creativity and did not allow him to spend extra hours in the kitchen on his own time, he moved on to Quince.

Quince was the new Italian darling on the San Francisco dining scene and Payton was eager to work under Chef Michael Tusk. So eager in fact, he spent a month working without pay while waiting for a line cook position to open. With no prep cooks and minimal recipes, Quince was a true proving ground. Pressure was intense daily and unrelenting during nightly service, but the opportunities for growth and personal expression were invaluable. In Chef Tusk’s kitchen, Payton found his mentor and industry role model. He learned to maintain grace under fire while producing exceptional food with minimal staff.

Payton then traveled to help the expansion of Caffe Boa from a long tenure at Digestif in Scottsdale, where he spearheaded the farm-¬‐to-¬‐table vision with renowned restaurateur Peter Kasperski. Known for championing locavore dining, Payton has aligned with various local organizations and causes to bring fresh produce and farm goods closer to his kitchen than ever. Together with Caffe Boa owners Jay & Christine, Payton aspires to revolutionize the way people think about food and restaurant dining with his signature cooking style and dedication to providing the freshest culinary experience possible.

After nearly two years with Caffe Boa Payton moved on to provide his knowledge to the entire industry that he fell in love with nearly 20 years ago as a dishwasher. Payton then launched Flourish Cannabis, an Arizona-based scratch cannabis company which has provided staffing to various professional kitchens throughout the country, as well as; public and private rebranding, cannabis scratch kitchen design and layouts, menu structure and core ordering policies, etc.

Payton’s favorite ingredients: stocks and fresh greens. Favorite foods: the nightshade family, fresh gnocchi, braises, crusty breads. Ethnic cuisines: Mexican and Thai. Influenced by chefs he has trained under Payton is a fanatical disciple of the Farm to Stable cannabis cuisine mentality. Even beyond that, he values relationships with each and every purveyor whenever possible, from the Okra Grower in Peoria to the cheese monger at Fossil Creek. His approach to cooking simply: “I always cook as though I’m cooking for my Farmers, Parents and my main Muse-the cannabis vegetable skeptic”

Mikel Weisser
Mikel Weisser
State Director, AZ NORML and Democratic Congressional Candidate

A cannabis consumer since the 1970s, longtime political writer and activist Mikel Weisser left teaching to fight for legalization as a congressional candidate in 2012. From 2013 to 2015 Weisser served as the political director for the original Safer Arizona, sending decriminalization legislation to the state house 3 yrs in a row, helping with their 2014 legalization initiative and serving as a lead negotiator drafting Prop205.
In addition to becoming the state director of NORML after leaving Safer AZ, and running in his 3rd congressional race, Weisser teaches the history of cannabis for Staff MMJ, an industry training company. He has a Masters in English from the University of Illinois at Springfield and a Masters in Secondary Education from Northern Arizona University. He lives with his wife and daughter in So-Hi, AZ.

Cristala Mussato-Allen L.M.T. (Caddo)
Cristala Mussato-Allen L.M.T. (Caddo)
Founder/Executive Director of Native Workplace, Inc.

Founded in 1999, Native Workplace has fostered tribal business development, provided community
education, strategic planning and workforce development training through contracts with tribes and
federal agencies. Past contracts and presentations include DOI Office of Indian Energy & Economic
Development, HUD-Office of Native American Programs, DOE-Tribal Energy Program, BIA 477 Program,
National Congress of American Indians, National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development,
National Tribal Employment Rights Council and many tribes nationwide.

In addition to her work at Native Workplace, Cristala is a licensed myotherapist and herbalist in practice
since 1990. As a certified specialist she has treated over 30,000 people with traditional methodologies and has been a member of the Native American Church for more than 25 years. Cristala has given several interviews on hemp and cannabis to T.V. networks and radio outlets and has a B.A. In Fine Art from San Diego State University.

Hemp and Cannabis Industry Experience:
Held the Tribal Hemp & Cannabis Summit at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in NM 2015
Speaker at National Cannabis Chamber Indo Expo Tribal Panel Denver 2015
Facilitator/Speaker at the Tribal tracks at the National Cannabis Summit Denver CO 2015
Speaker Tribal Panel South West Cannabis Conference Phoenix 2015
Interviews on tribal cannabis for Native America Calling Radio 2015-2016
Pre-Feasibility Analysis Plan and Community Education, Omaha Tribe of Nebraska, 2015-2016
Hemp Project Development Plan and Community Education, Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, 2016

Thomas Rimbach and Nadeem Al-Hasan
Thomas Rimbach and Nadeem Al-Hasan
Baked Bros - Owners

Thomas Rimbach and Nadeem Al-Hasan are the owners of Baked Bros, the makers of The Original Pourable THC Syrup and medicated gummies. With a tagline of #DedicationToMedication and a comprehensive bud tender training program, Baked Bros provides accurately dosed, delicious medicine for Arizona patients. Business partners Rimbach, a former U.S. military veteran and Al-Hasan, an accomplished athlete, will share their experience as they made their way to the top of the Arizona medicated edibles market.