Boston Globe, Cannabis Reporter
Dan Adams is a cannabis reporter for the Boston Globe and the author of the "This Week in Weed" newsletter — the irreverent and definitive insider's diary of legalization in Massachusetts. A graduate of Emerson College and eight-year veteran of the Globe, Dan previously covered breaking news, municipal politics, business, and the alcohol industry, and served on the team that won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in breaking news reporting for its coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings. Since being named the Globe's first-ever dedicated cannabis journalist in 2017, Dan has embedded himself in the marijuana community and highlighted the concerns of marginalized groups, while holding the industry and government officials to account. In 2019, he joined the paper's celebrated Spotlight Team for a three-part series on attempts by large cannabis conglomerates to illegally dominate the Massachusetts recreational market at the expense of disenfranchised entrepreneurs. Dan has moderated numerous panels, served as a speaker and emcee at national marijuana conferences, and is a regular guest on public radio.
Chloe Aiello covers the emerging cannabis industry for business news network Cheddar. Prior to joining Cheddar, she worked for CNBC, NBC's Today Show, and local news startup Denverite. Aiello holds a master's degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and bachelor's degrees from the University of Michigan.
Leafly, Deputy Editor
Bruce Barcott is the deputy editor of Leafly, the world’s most popular cannabis information site, and the host of The Roll-Up, Leafly’s weekly news podcast. Barcott is a Guggenheim Fellow and the author of Weed the People: The Future of Legal Marijuana in America. He also wroteTime magazine’s special edition, “Marijuana Goes Main Street.” His features and cover stories have appeared in Time, National Geographic, The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, and other magazines. His previous books include The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw and The Measure of a Mountain.
CEO of What Heals All & Former High Times Managing Editor
Jen Bernstein has worked for more than 20 years in the cannabis industry and publishing. As the managing editor for High Times from 2010-2016, she oversaw the publication of more than 70 issues and authored the magazine's annual "Pot Job Report" as well as the monthly "Cannabusiness" column. She currently writes for Cannabis Now, Cannabliss, The Fresh Toast, The Village Voice, Relix and Latina. A New York City resident, she's CEO of What Heals All and cofounder and president of the Women's Cannabis Club.
• Publisher of CelebStoner.com, one of the leading sources for marijuana and celebrity news on the web since 2007.
•Former Editor-in-Chief of Freedom Leaf magazine and freedomleaf.com
• Co-author of Pot Culture: The A-Z Guide to Stoner Language and Life (Abrams Image, 2007) and Reefer Movie Madness: The Ultimate Stoner Film Guide (Abrams Image, 2010).
• Former editor of High Times where he worked from 1988-2007.
• Produced the Stony and Doobie award shows and the two Hempilation benefit albums for NORML (1995 and 1998) while at High Times.
• Recipient of NORML’s Media & Culture Award in 2004 and honored as a Cannabis MVP by the Cannabis Business Awards in 2018.
• Has 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, Cypress Hill’s SmokeOut and the NYC Cannabis Parade & Rally.
• Board member and co-organizer of the annual NYC Cannabis Parade & Rally.
• Founder and organizer of the Teapot Party with Willie Nelson since 2009.
• Founder and commissioner of the New York Media Softball League since 2007.
• Author of Video Invaders (Arco, 1982) and Watch Out for the Little Guys (St. Martins Press, 1989).
• A native New Yorker who lives in the Bronx, NY.
Green Market Report, CEO + Editor-In-Chief
Debra Borchardt is the CEO and Editor-In-Chief of the cannabis financial news website Green Market Report. She began her career in the securities industry and left her last position as a Vice President at Bear Stearns to earn her Masters Degree in Business and Economic Reporting from New York University. At that point, she embarked on a career as a financial journalist and spent eight years at TheStreet.com working daily with Jim Cramer. As a senior producer and reporter at TheStreet.com, Debra honed her skills as a journalist earning an award from ASPBE.org (American Society of Business Publication Editors) in 2014 for Best Video - News, “Guess Where People Want To Buy Pot.”
Debra has covered the cannabis industry since its earliest stages when she recognized that the legalization story was the biggest news story of the decade. She has appeared on The Today Show, CNBC, CNN, and numerous radio shows and podcasts. Debra has also written for Forbes, Seeking Alpha and cannabis lifestyle website Civilized. Her weekly video Marijuana Money is syndicated on Benzinga and Fresh Toast.
NJ Department of Health, Assistant Commissioner
Jeff Brown is an Assistant Commissioner at the NJ Department of Health, overseeing the newly elevated Division of Medicinal Marijuana. He has years of experience in health policy, government affairs, communications, and both advocacy and electoral campaigns.
In his career, Jeff has worked extensively on the passage and implementation of the Affordable Care Act, particularly the creation of health insurance exchanges and the expansion of Medicaid, has led an association of community-based providers to implement innovative new payment models in Medicaid, and has fought to expand access to healthcare in New Jersey’s urban communities by developing sustainable financing policies.
Jeff grew up in Mercer County and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Rutgers University. He is active in the community and serves on the advisory board of the New Jersey Chapter of the New Leaders Council and on the board of trustees of the Trenton Health Team Accountable Care Organization.
Humble Bloom, Co Founder
Photo Credit: Michael Yeshion
Solonje is a co-founder, cannavist and people advocate at Humble Bloom where it is her mission to give the underrepresented a seat at the table in the cannabis industry. She believes that we can shatter stereotypes and poor business practices through culture curation and by providing the industry with more access to strategic branding, advocacy and inclusive community experiences. She was recently recognized as 15 Women to Watch in the CBD Industry in Marie Claire, and Culture Magazine’s Five Cannabis Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2019.
As a culture consultant, she creates innovative workplace conferences, designs and implements D&I plans, as well as forges partnerships for agencies. Clients include Databricks, Working Mother Media, BetterCloud, and Koya Leadership Partners.
Solonje produces events and festivals for conscious companies, hosts nightlife parties, as well as programs music at membership clubs. Afropunk, Summit Series, Le Bain at the Standard Hotel, Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund and Soho House are among those she has worked for.
Prior to launching her consultancy, she executive produced Life@Work at Live Grey and focused on their inclusion strategy. Additionally, she represented Live Grey on Pineapple Co’s D&I committee. She launched Den Entertainment in 2012, a boutique firm specializing in culture curation, immersive pop-ups, and artist management/promotion. Her focus: creating community for diverse artists.
Solonje is a political activist speaking out on equality and human justice. She is a singer and performs with the Resistance Revival Chorus – born out of the Women’s March. She has an BA from Wellesley College in Psychology with a minor in Africana Studies and a MA from Emerson College in Broadcast Journalism.
| Instagram: @solonjeburnett
Prohibited, Host and Producer
Scott Cecil is the host and producer of Prohibited, a podcast about prohibition which explores the impacts of various forms of prohibition. He is also a former recurring guest and cohost of Marijuana Today the leading podcast on cannabis business and politics. He has been active in the movement to end the war on drugs and drug prohibition since 2009 after experiencing an arrest for cannabis possession as a passenger in a traffic stop. Since that time, he has been involved in volunteer recruitment and organizing for medical cannabis or adult-use cannabis legalization ballot initiative campaigns in Washington DC, Arizona, Florida, Arkansas, Maine, Massachusettes, Nevada, California, Oregon, and Alaska. He is currently a freelance consultant in the Washington D.C area where he has assisted the Mayor's office in developing industrial hemp regulations and proposed adult-use cannabis tax and regulatory regime for DC. He is also an active advocate for safer consumption spaces for injection drug users in Maryland and DC. Scott has worked at several drug policy reform non-profit organizations, including Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) and the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). He lives in the DC-metropolitan area in Mount Rainier, MD where he serves on the City Council.
Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists, Secretary
Tauhid Chappell is an Executive Board member of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists, the first and oldest association of back journalists in the U.S. Recently he worked as a social media producer at The Washington Post before joining the Philadelphia Inquirer as an engagement editor, where he analyzes reader behavior on search, social and digital platforms.
In 2008 Tauhid was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, an autoimmune deficiency disorder. Using cannabis helps manage his condition and his triggers. During his days off, he works part-time as a cannabis patient advisor for the medical marijuana dispensary, Herbology.
In April 2019, he founded the Color of Cannabis Conference, Philadelphia's first cannabis conference that was led by a media nonprofit which educated media professionals and community members on all aspects of cannabis -- from its history to current industry trends.
Tribe Called Curl, Founder
Communications strategist and content creator Imani A. Dawson has nineteen years of experience creating and curating award-winning content across print, linear and digital platforms for major media outlets including MTV, BET, VH1, Fuse, and the Associated Press. She’s a strategic consultant for small businesses focused on creating and executing marketing and public relations campaigns that build brand recognition and boost positioning, engagement and sales. Most recently, Dawson served as Press Secretary for now New York Attorney General Letitia James, the first woman of color elected to New York City citywide and New York State statewide office.
A serial entrepreneur, she’s the founder of Tribe Called Curl, an award-winning digital media network and creative agency with the mission to inform, entertain and inspire people of color, particularly women, and empower them to celebrate themselves and their heritage. She’s also the Executive Director of the Cannabis Education Advocacy Symposium and Expo (C.E.A.S.E.), a 501c3 nonprofit organization with a mission to increase awareness and to educate communities about the medical and economic benefits of cannabis and its blossoming industry, particularly those disproportionately impacted by America’s war on drugs.
Burton Trent, Executive Vice President/Member
New Jersey CannaBusiness Association, Policy Advisor
When the New Jersey CannaBusiness Association formed as the state’s first and largest cannabis trade organization, Edmund was immediately named as a policy advisor to help advance the association’s mission of forming a responsible and sustainable New Jersey cannabis industry.
With a wealth of experience in matters of public policy, diversity and economic development, Edmund’s sphere of influence has grown in the cannabis industry. Often recognized as New Jersey’s lead professional African American lobbyist in the cannabis space, Edmund has made public and podcast appearances on the topics of medical and adult use cannabis, and business opportunities in cannabis with advocates Sativa Cross, Minorities for Medical Marijuana, and Mannada Events. He was also recently named a “420 Trailblazer in Cannabis” by mjnewsnetwork.com, and made Insider NJ’s top 100 Cannabis Insiders.
An accomplished executive, Edmund's corporate career includes leadership roles with the country's largest multinational water-related service and environmental companies. Utilizing his skills in the areas of government affairs and business development, Edmund has been part of the external growth, internal development, and public policy and reputation management strategies for these companies. In particular, Edmund was involved with the successful development of some of the nation's largest public-private partnerships for water and wastewater services. Providing numerous television and other media appearances, Edmund established himself as an industry expert on matters involving infrastructure finance and renewal.
In other aspects of Edmund's professional life, he attained the rank of captain in the United States Army, where he received several commendations and graduated from the US Army
Airborne School. He currently serves on the not-for-profit boards of the Civic League of Greater New Brunswick and Elijah’s Promise, and is a former board member of the Foundation for Free Enterprise, New Jersey After 3, the Land Conservancy of New Jersey, the Great Swamp Watershed Association, the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials Foundation, the National Conference of Black Mayors Business Council (chair), and the Sustainable Water Infrastructure Coalition (chair).
Daphne Duret is an investigative reporter for Gatehouse Media. She previously worked for Palm Beach Post as an investigative reporter and covered criminal courts in Palm Beach and Martin counties. Daphne, a graduate of Florida International University who also attended Florida State University, was born in Chicago and grew up in Miami. While in college, she worked part-time at The Miami Herald, and after an internship at the Chicago Tribune, she was hired at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, where she covered crime. One of her first enterprise stories in St. Louis was covering what was then a large-scale cannabis distribution network, and since then she has chronicled how law enforcement and the courts system have responded to both the advancement and decriminalization of the cannabis industry.
MARY, Founder and Chief Creative Officer
Adrian Farquharson is an artistic chameleon. From creative director to project manager to the CEO of Fresh Media, Inc. Based in New York City, Fresh Media is a lifestyle agency, specializing in bespoke marketing, promotions, and special events.
By orchestrating the quintessential brand experiences, Fresh Media is the conduit between corporate and relaxed. Our grassroots approach elevates the traditional lifestyle, fashion, nightlife, and entertainment programs that influence popular culture.
Adrian has an extensive background in the publishing and advertising industry, having worked on the advertising side of Mass Appeal and Esquire magazines and worked with ad agencies such as Digitas, Wunderman, FCB. He regularly consults with various brands, such as Adidas, Atlantic Records, Coca-Cola, Converse, Elle magazine, Esquire magazine, HBO, Sneaker Pimps, and Sony PlayStation.
Adrian is the founder and editor-in-chief of MARY magazine. MARY explores ways to educate and enlighten our society on cannabis culture. The aim is to change negative impressions and eliminate stigmas and cultivate community and togetherness with family and friends.
Prior to launching MARY in the fall of 2014, Adrian founded Limité, a online destination from 2008 – 2016 dedicated to capturing modern world culture; marrying the global worlds of music, fashion, film, and art. Fueled by a desire to serve as the voice that unites all cultures from around the globe through a celebration of diversity, creativity, and fashion lifestyle for the modern man and woman. Adrian lead an editorial team on content and all annual features: Faces to Watch, Fall Film Guide, Young Hollywood, Spring and Fall Fashion, Top 50 Songs of the year and more.
Centennial: Women and Weed Magazine, Editor-in-Chief
As cannabis moves towards legalization and declining social stigma, the green rush has ignited an entrepreneurial spark and that means blazing new trails, and inspiring others. Entrepreneurs are known for heading out into uncharted territory with superhuman dedication. Add to that the grey area of working in the cannabis industry and you’ve got possibilities…challenging but feasible. Elana Frankel in the thick of it. She serves as the founding Editor-in-Chief of Women and Weed, a biannual magazine sold on mainstream newsstands that focuses on the power of personal narratives to bring a better understanding to complex cannabis issues. She is the co-founder of Indigo and Haze, a plant-based marketplace for health, wellness and living, that provides access (to quality products), education (to learn the truth and unlearn the disinformation) and inspiration (good design sells). She is a yoga teacher, 200-hours with Nosara and continuing training with Lit Yoga, as well as a meditation mentor. She is a frequent public speaker on cannabis and wellness and consults regularly with companies who value creative thinking. Elana’s previous work as a creative director, editor and writer has appeared in the Wall Street Journal’s Off Duty, The New York Times and The New York Time’s magazine, One Kings Lane, New York Magazine, Architectural Digest and Martha Stewart Living, among others.
Steve Gelsi is a career journalist in a variety of areas from municipal government in the 1980s to cannabis and culture in the 1990s to finance and corporate M&A for The Deal currently. He authored the book How America Made a Killing and Lost its Shirt about mom and pop stock market investors. He lives in Montclair, NJ with his wife and children and enjoys music, biking and gardening in his spare time.
KCSA, Managing Partner
Lewis is a Managing Partner at KCSA and oversees the firm's public relations practice.
For more than 20 years, Lewis has worked to implement eminence, thought leadership, and public affairs programs designed to build business and garner fairer valuations.
Lewis developed a campaign mentality working in national, state and local politics for U.S. President Bill Clinton, U.S. Senator Robert Torricelli and then-First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. He designs programs with a specific business objective in mind, a targeted timeframe, attention to maximizing limited resources and a measurable ROI.
In 2015 Lewis helped found KCSA’s cannabis practice and has become recognized as one of the most effective strategic thinkers in this growing field. He is the co-host of KCSA’s weekly podcast, The Green Rush, and speaks regularly at conferences on the use of strategic communications to achieve specific business objectives.
He holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Rutgers University. Lewis is a fan of Rutgers, the Mets and Jets and tends to root for sports teams that have a long and storied history of losing. Lewis can be followed on twitter @LewisDG where you will most probably hear about politics, sports, music, cannabis and wine.
Marijuana Today - The Regulars
Dan Goldman is a founding member of Students for Sensible Drug Policy and a one of the hosts of the popular cannabis podcast Marijuana Today. He is also the founder of the LGBT drug legalization organization leGAYlize It! and the communications director for the New York Cannabis Alliance.
DOUGLAS K. GORDAN
CanEx & OCEAN Style, Founder
Douglas K. Gordon Douglas has almost 30 years work experience spanning finance, media, sales and marketing. He began his career in commercial banking with Bank of America before pursuing entrepreneurial ventures that shaped the next 20 years of his career. He is a visionary leader with a natural ability to look beyond the clutter and inspire others towards long term goals. In 2016, he founded CanEx Jamaica - the premier Cannabis Business Conference & Expo that takes place in the Caribbean. The conference celebrated 3 years in 2018 with 1500 attendees from 23 countries and over 60 speakers, including keynotes from some of the top industry leaders across the globe. In the three years in which he has been a part of this burgeoning industry, he has spoken at events in Jamaica, Toronto, Washington DC, Mexico City, Trinidad & Tobago and Medellin, Colombia and forged a wide global network with special attention to developing business opportunities in the Caribbean and LATAM. He serves as Chairman of Zimmer & Co. a medicinal cannabis and hemp-based CBD health and wellness distribution business, since its inception in 2017, where he inspires and leads the team to new markets and opportunities. Douglas has extensive experience in media as the founder of the OCEAN Style brand which has become synonymous with luxury lifestyle in the Caribbean. OCEAN Style evolved from a glossy print-only publication to a media operation producing print magazines, digital ezines, television shows and events to an expanding and influential audience. Douglas was born in New York and raised in Trinidad and Tobago before moving to England and then to the US, where he attended high school in New York before pursuing a degree in Economics at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. He has traveled extensively and enjoys meeting people and exposure to new cultures. Aside from business he is the proud father of two girls and an avid advocate for anything related to progress for the Caribbean or a conversation about football, as a longstanding fan of Liverpool Football Club.
DAVID C. HOLLAND ESQ.
Executive and Legal Director, Empire State NORML
Over more than two decades, David has acquired an extensive background in complex civil and criminal litigation and matters related to the cannabis industry. He has viewed the justice system from nearly every vantage point. His practice has a concentration in civil and criminal R.I.C.O. cases, First Amendment issues, employment claims, consignment agreements between artists and galleries, commercial and residential landlord-tenant litigation and shareholder disputes. David served as Of Counsel to the late Michael Kennedy, Esq., a nationally renowned criminal defense attorney and civil rights advocate for more than 40 years. David spent more than a decade as Counsel to High Times Magazine and is both the Executive and Legal Director of Empire State NORML.
David is a member of the state and federal bars of New York, New Jersey, and Maryland, and is admitted to the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Punk Magazine, Co-Founder & Former High Times Publisher
John Holmstrom founded Punk magazine in 1975. It launched the “punk rock” movement, highlighting musicians like Blondie,
Patti Smith, the Ramones, Iggy Pop, the Dead Boys and the Sex Pistols. The magazine’s hand-lettered graphics inspired many crudely-designed fanzines and Holmstrom’s artwork for many Ramones record covers influenced many artists and illustrators. Punk magazine also inspired the “punk art” movement and the “East Village Art Scene” starring Jean-Micheal Basquiat, Keith Haring and Kenny Scharf a few years later.
From 1987 to 2001, Holmstrom worked at High Times magazine as Executive Editor, and later as President and Publisher before launching the company’s website in 1995. Since then, Holmstrom went back to art and writing. His artwork has appeared in many art museums and gallery exhibitions, in a few clothing deals and in countless books and films.
DALE SKY JONES
Dale is based in Oakland, CA, focused on enhancing the debate for cannabis policy reform since 2007. She took over as President & CEO of Oaksterdam University in 2012 after a crippling federal raid to ensure OU's legacy of cannabis education. Now Oaksterdam is proud of over 40,000 students from more than 40 countries becoming the most engaged professional advocates and business people in the world. Quality training for the cannabis industry is her passion and the Oaksterdam mission. Education is the foundation in establishing the political and social climate that will encourage cannabis policy reform.
Dale Sky Jones created the blueprint as the spokeswoman and legislative liaison for the first statewide legalization effort, the Prop 19 campaign in California, igniting the international debate in 2010. Over the next seven years, she served as Chairwoman of the Board for the diverse Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform (ReformCA) whose efforts led to legalization in California. She is a founding board member of the National Cannabis Industry Association.
Dale is focused on civil rights issues and who is allowed to participate; recognizing small business as imperative to our new national cannabis policy to address the inequities created by prohibition, and vital to the success of the cannabis industry. Her time is often spent educating legislative and government entities, attending various research and policy conferences, local community meetings, occasionally speaking at conferences and participating in debates to encourage descheduling marijuana. Dale and her husband, veteran cannabis crusader Jeff Jones, stay busy keeping up with their young sons, Jackson and Jesse, and new daughter Quinn.
JAMES B. MANN
Greenspoon Marder LLP, Partner
James B. Mann is a partner with the Tax practice group of Greenspoon Marder LLP in New York. Mr. Mann has over 25 years of experience serving as a trusted advisor to a broad range of stakeholders in the financial services, real estate, and energy industries. He is advising a number of different cannabis companies on business and tax aspects of their operations, including representing Harborside in its appeal to the Ninth Circuit from the Tax Court.
Mr. Mann graduated from Harvard Law School and also has an MBA from Columbia and a BA from Cornell. He was a Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Tax Division of the Department of Justice in charge of federal appellate litigation. Mr. Mann was the North American Head of the Tax and Debt Advisory Group at Societe Generale and has also worked at Goldman Sachs and in private practice.
Powerplant Global Strategies, Senior Vice President
Honed across the corporate, political, government, entertainment, technology and cannabis industries, Ellen brings clients more than 20 years of strategy, communications, public affairs, issue/change management and crisis communications experience.
Prior to joining Powerplant, Mellody worked in strategy, communications and media relations positions with two White House administrations (Clinton and Obama), at Comcast-NBC Universal, General Electric, The North Face and as a co-founder and partner at Collective Consulting. Mellody also brought her strategy and communications expertise to three presidential campaigns (Gore 2000, Kerry 2004 and Obama 2008) and the Office of the New Jersey Governor James E. McGreevey, where she served as a primary spokesperson and as liaison to the 9-11 Families and memorial. Throughout her career, Ellen has served in various locations around the globe, including in Sydney, Paris, and Baghdad and has worked with clients such as HBO, ABC-Disney, Sony, WarnerMedia, Big Machine Records, Harvest Health & Recreation Inc., Merida Capital Partners, Vicente Sederberg, and others.
Ellen holds certificates of achievement from the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and a degree in Communications from the University of Scranton.
The Fresh Toast, Founder/Publisher
JJ McKay is the Founder/Publisher of The Fresh Toast, the most trusted voice in cannabis. They are working with 45,000+ physicians to help them with the medical marijuana conversation and to prepare for legalization. In addition, they are the largest voice in cannabis, generating engaging stories and syndicating into a large number of newspapers in the United States and Canada.
A native of the deep south, McKay currently lives in Seattle and spends part of his time in NYC. He has a rich history in consumer appetites and worked on programs with companies including Costco, butter London, the American Heart Association, and The Daily Beast.
McKay also serves on the advisory board of US Bank NW. Early in his career, JJ had a weekly cooking segment on WTVY in Dothan, Alabama. JJ has served on the several non-profit boards including the immediate past chairman of Mary’s Place and serves on the Pike Place Market PDA. Past boards include Seattle Opera, the internationally renowned Pilchuck Glass School, Junior Miss (now Distinguished Young Women) and he chaired the 50th Anniversary for Seattle Center.
Ganja Beach Radio, Founder/ Creator
Gabe Ozbourne is the founder and creator of Ganja Beach radio, a daily cannabis podcast designed to educate communities on current cannabis topics, findings and stories. The podcast features experts in the industry and always uses a keen sense of humor and comedy to teach all things cannabis. Born and raised in Queens, he moved to Florida 15 years ago, and for the last 3 years has enjoyed helping people learn the benefits of cannabis. His hobbies include DJing, and learning as much as possible about the industry.
Prior to the creation of Ganja Beach Radio, Gabe worked with Cannabis Life Radio as a soundboard engineer and guest coordinator. It was with Cannabis Life Radio that he learned the benefits of using live social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, to deliver the pro-cannabis message and education.
FELICIA R. PALMER
Founder & President, Cannaramic Media & 4CONTROL Media
Partner, The Impact Canna Group
Felicia Palmer is an internet media pioneer, often recalling the early ‘90s when people would ask her “What’s the internet?”
A native of The Bronx, New York, Felicia trailblazed the online entertainment sector with the launch of SOHH.com in 1995. It is the longest-running hip-hop destination online with over 7 million visitors monthly. Throughout her 25 years as an online expert and President of 4CONTROL Media, Felicia has been featured in WIRED, Forbes, ESSENCE, Black Enterprise, Fox News and CNN among other media outlets.
In 2016, after battling breast cancer with the help of cannabis, Felicia founded Cannaramic Media with the mission to make people #SeeCannabisDifferent and to reveal the power of cannabis to restore our bodies and revitalize our devastated communities.
Felicia launched The Cannaramic Online Summit in May 2019 which featured over 30 of the leading experts in cannabis, from Dr. Raphael Mechoulam (“The Father of Cannabis Research”) to UFC Champion Frank Shamrock and rapper/actor/activist Redman. Despite the outstanding educational lineup, the summit was blocked by Facebook -- prompting the federal lawsuit -- Palmer vs. Facebook -- to highlight the social media giant’s capricious and harmful policies toward legal cannabis content.
Recently, Felicia launched The Impact Canna Group to leverage cannabis industry capital to positively impact communities harmed by the war on drugs.
Felicia has a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University. She enjoys being active and travelling internationally with her business partner husband and two entrepreneurial children.
Honeysuckle Magazine, Founder and CEO
Ronit Pinto is the founder and CEO of Honeysuckle Magazine, an award-winning, internationally-distributed media house that produces the print and digital publications Honeysuckle (culture, social issues, and sustainability) and Honey Pot (cannabis culture and lifestyle). As Honeysuckle’s founder, Ronit is one of the chief figures responsible for spearheading the first Times Square advertising campaign on New Year’s Eve to openly feature cannabis and hemp brands. Honeysuckle's social justice coverage has been awarded the highest honors by the New York State Assembly and State Senate for its progressive stance on social and economic issues, and for significant contribution to the culture and community of NYC.
Ronit founded Honeysuckle in 2015 as a digital publication; its first print editions were published in 2015. A sister site for younger readers, Honeysuckle Girl, was soft-launched in 2018. Honey Pot, a pioneering cannabis culture and business guide, launched in 2019. Honeysuckle and Honey Pot can be found in print nationally in Barnes and Noble, Books A Million, and other major retailers, as well as digitally on Zinio, Amazon, and Apple News. Both publications are available on the Honeysuckle app for iTunes and GooglePlay. (http://honeysucklemag.com/, https://hshoneypot.com/)
Outside of Honeysuckle, Ronit has contributed journalistic features and editorial work to numerous publications. Also a filmmaker and cofounder of the media production company Blck Neon, Ronit has helmed acclaimed shorts, music videos and commercials, including Eodipus (NYC Independent Film Festival), Go! (Los Angeles Underground Film Festival), Murder’s Sweet Scent (AltFest NYC) and most recently Big Love. Her work as a producer includes Overlay, which premiered at the 2018 Cannes Short Film Corner, Planet New York and Birth of the EMs. She has also worked on features such as the Scream and Transformers series, Demolition, and Only Lovers Left Alive.
SCHERIL MURRAY POWELL. ESQ.
Agricultural and Cannabis Attorney at Doumar, Allsworth, Laystrom, Voigt, Adair, and Dishowitz.
Scheril Murray Powell, Esq. is an Agricultural and Cannabis Attorney at Doumar, Allsworth, Laystrom, Voigt, Adair, and Dishowitz. She is the Executive Director of the Black Farmers and Agriculturalists of Florida and former Director of Federal Affairs for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Scheril is on the Hemp Pilot Program Advisory Board for the University of Florida. She is on the board for the Hemp Feed Coalition and the U.S. Hemp Builders Association. She is also President of consulting firm Green Sustainable Strong, LLC. In 2018, she was a recipient of the Crohns Foundation Blood, Sweat, and Tears Award and the Cannabis Business Award's Industry MVP Award. She is In House Counsel for Sunflora/ Your CBD Store and former In House Counsel for Green Roads World She is a graduate of Florida International University College of Law. As a Cannapreneur, Scheril is the President of Canna Headhunters, a staffing agency in the Cannabis Industry that connects Cannabis talent to opportunities. She has been selected to present at a number of Cannabis Conferences including the South East Cannabis Conference, the Women Grow Leadership Sumit, the U.S. Cannabis Conference, Canex Jamaica Conference, South East Cannabis Conference, Cannaday, The University of the West Indies Caribbean Neuroscience Conference, Women Grow Leadership Summit, The Kentucky Hemp Convention, The Kentucky State Hemp Symposium, the University of Technology Jamaican Medical Cannabis Integrated Symposium, The Women of Cannabis Conference, the Cannabis Science Conference, Detroit’s Canna Con, Florida Medical Marijuana Conference, and Canna-Ed Conference hosted by the Florida Cannabis Coalition. She has been asked to speak at Jamaica’s Pharmacological Board Mandatory Meetings and Jamaica Bureau of Standards meetings based on her international reputation as a Cannabis Expert. In May of 2019, she planned and hosted the 1st Annual Cannurban-Unifest Agricultural Symposium in collaboration with the City of Lauderdale Lakes and the FAMU-Cannurbian Hemp Town Hall with Florida A&M University. Scheril was the regular Cannabis Law expert on Cannabis Law Radio every Saturday morning on Cannabis Life Radio and is launching a Cannabis Talk Show called “Terps in the City” in Summer of 2019. She presented at the National Association of Black Journalists and National Association of Hispanic Journalists Joint Conference in August 2016 on the topic of: “Exposing the Truth: Getting Access to Audio and Video Evidence in Police Involved Shootings”. Scheril is the Treasurer of the FIU College of Law Alumni Board. While at FIU Law, she was the Charter President of the Palm Beach ABA Student Organization and a member and coach of the Board of Advocates Negotiation Team. In 2013, Scheril won the FIU Law Intramurals Negotiation Competition, also she and her partner won the ABA Southern Region Negotiation Competition. In 2014, she and her partner came in 2nd place in the Nelson Mandela International Negotiation Competition and she was awarded the distinction of Best Overall Negotiator for her efforts. Scheril served on the Black Law Student Association’s National Board for two years and is passionate about eradicating sex trafficking and other social justice issues such as police brutality. She has interned at the State Attorney’s office in the 15th Judicial Circuit of Palm Beach County and for two judges of the 17th Judicial Circuit of Broward County. In the summer of 2014, she served as an Anti-Defamation League Summer Associate. She believes that practicing the law and advocacy for the disadvantaged go hand in hand. She is an activist and has dedicated her time and resources to promoting awareness, access to educational resources, and support for survivors of domestic violence and trafficking. She has a Facebook page called “Police Chronicles” which documents national police interactions with the community. She mentors Pre-Law and Law School students of diverse backgrounds and has been a speaker at the Black and Hispanic Prelaw Conference, the Diversity Prelaw Conference, and the HBCU Prelaw Summit and Expo. Law is a second career for Scheril. She spent over a decade in the wireless industry working for T-Mobile, USA; T-Mobile, UK; RIM BlackBerry; and MetroPCS as a Customer Retention Strategist and Marketing Interface Manager rolling out training, technical change, cultural change, and process improvement projects Nationwide. Scheril received her undergraduate Business Management degree from Florida Atlantic University with a minor in Marketing where she pledged Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and served as the Student Government Senate Speaker for seven campuses. Scheril credits her hard working and strict Jamaican parents James and Judith Hall for her work ethic, tenacity, persistence, and commitment to excellence. She was taught at a young age that we all have a responsibility to each other and must be the example that tears down stereotypes while opening the door for others to follow in your footsteps. She stays motivated by remembering that her son Judah is watching how she lives her values and “walks the talk” in her daily activities. Scheril believes that every test is for a testimony that will glorify God. If He can do all that he has done for me…imagine his plans for you.
Cannabis Wire, Co-Founder
Nushin Rashidian is the co-founder of the news organization Cannabis Wire, and the co-author of the book A New Leaf: The End of Cannabis Prohibition (The New Press, 2014). She is an adjunct professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and she also serves as the research lead on the "Platforms and Publishers" project at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism.
Jan Roberts, DSW, LCSW is a recognized leader and clinician in the field of cannabis and mental health. Dr. Roberts is a licensed clinical social worker and the founder and CEO of Partners in Health and Wellbeing, one of the largest multi-site mental health and wellness private practices in the mid-Atlantic region in the United States. Dr. Roberts became interested in cannabis’ effects after seeing how cannabis was helpful in improving the lives of some of her clients who had experienced little help from traditional medications. After seeing her own cases improve, Dr. Roberts embarked on a path to further her understanding of cannabis and its impact on mental health, and to provide objective information and advocate for its healthy use.
As a result of her clinical work, Dr. Roberts joined Dr. Jahan Marcu in forming the International Research Center on Cannabis and Health (IRCCH), a collaborative research institute located in New York that bridges university and community-based projects across the globe on cannabis and mental health. Dr. Roberts is the Chief Executive Officer, founded in 2017, which has become a recognized objective leader in cannabis research design, education, and consultation all over the world.
Dr. Roberts teaches at the NYU Silver School of Social Work and is the current Guest Editor for the Clinical Social Work Journal’s upcoming special issue on cannabis and mental health. In addition to her academic role, Dr. Roberts is a governor-appointed member of the Delaware Medical Marijuana Act Advisory Committee.
Most recently, Dr. Roberts joined Dr. Jahan Marcu, and social activist/cannabis-entrepreneur Randy Cameron in creating a weekly podcast titled “New Hemp Times” which is dedicated to providing accurate analysis and commentary around cannabis research, policy issues, and its societal impact in a smart yet approachable and often comedic way. Dr. Roberts lives in New York and sees patients at her private practice in Manhattan.
CNBC's "Fast Money"
Timothy J. Seymour, CIO, Seymour Asset Management (SAM)
Tim Seymour is founder and Chief Investment Officer of Seymour Asset Management (SAM).
Tim has over 22 years of investment experience as a portfolio manager, allocator, and capital markets professional across multiple asset classes. Tim is a recognized voice within the investment community as a trader and market strategist on CNBC, including over a decade on top markets show, Fast Money.
With a history of investing in new and emerging asset classes, Tim has been an early stage investor in the cannabis industry and acts in a formal advisory capacity to multiple companies in the sector. Tim is a Senior Strategic Advisor to JW Asset Management and the JW Growth Fund a dedicated cannabis hedge fund. Tim is also Portfolio Manager of the Amplify Seymour Cannabis ETF, ticker: CNBS.
Tim was the CIO and co-founder of Triogem Asset Management where the firm’s flagship fund was a long short global EM strategy. Triogem’s investment approach was rooted in running a low volatility portfolio that managed top down risks while employing a rigorous research process to bottom up stock picking.
Prior to Triogem, Tim was co- founder and Managing Partner at Red Star Asset Management (Moscow, New York), where the core strategy was a low volatility, multi-strat fund investing across Russia/CIS.
Before launching Red Star, Tim was a Partner and Managing Director at Troika Dialog, Russia's largest investment bank in Moscow. At Troika Tim served in various roles including running fixed income sales and trading and launching the firm’s US broker/dealer and overseeing all US capital markets activity.
Tim started his career at UBS in New York, focusing on international macro (cash bonds, swaps, forex). Tim completed the firm's capital markets training program after graduating with an MBA in International Finance from Fordham University. Tim received his undergraduate degree at Georgetown University.
Follow Tim on Twitter @timseymour
Contact Tim at www.seymouram.com
JEANNE M. SULLIVAN
General Partner – The Arcview Venture Fund
Jeanne M. Sullivan – Advisor, Investor, Speaker is a fierce advocate and for the regulation and legalization of the Cannabis industry. Jeanne is a co-founder of a venture capital firm in NYC and long- time tech investor and now building the Arcview Venture Fund and a number of investment platforms – to invest in the vibrant cannabis sector.
Sullivan is a sought-after industry speaker on the subject of cannabis investing. Named by Business Insider as one of the “rising stars” in the cannabis investing landscape, Sullivan is leveraging her tech investing experience in this fast growing cannabis sector about science, wellness, social justice issues and wealth creation.
Forbes cited Sullivan as “one of the women VCs changing the world – grooming the next generation of female entrepreneurs”. Sullivan serves on the Board of Trustee of Astia – funding women-led businesses. The New York Hall of Science honored Jeanne for her work inspiring girls and women in science, technology (STEM) sectors. Jeanne also serves on the Board of Trustees of the New York Hall of Science – a museum that introduces people of all ages to STEM learning.
MA Cannabis Control Commission, Commissioner
Commissioner Shaleen Title was jointly appointed in 2017 by the Massachusetts governor, treasurer, and attorney general to serve in the social justice seat on the Commission. Named to the Boston Business Journal’s 2018 list of the 50 most powerful people in Boston, she has won several awards for her advocacy work and her efforts to bring more women and people of color into drug policy reform and the cannabis industry.
Before her appointment, she co-authored the Massachusetts marijuana legalization referendum and has consulted on state and local marijuana policy around the country. As an attorney specializing in marijuana regulations, she has provided regulatory expertise for leading marijuana consulting firms.
She also served as founder of a women-led recruiting firm and as a founding board member of the Minority Cannabis Business Association, where she led the drafting of the first model bill created to give states guidance to implement a process of reinvestment and reconciliation. She previously served on the national boards of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Marijuana Majority, the Cannabis Law and Family Alliance, and the National Lawyers Guild.
Commissioner Title holds a business degree, law degree, and Master’s degree from the University of Illinois and was previously a consultant at Deloitte.
You can follow her on Twitter @shaleentitle.
Andrew Ward is a Brooklyn-based freelance writer. His work regularly appears on High Times, Benzinga, The Marijuana Times and many more. His first book, Cannabis Jobs, was released in October 2019.
Estrohaze, CO-Founder and CMO
Sirita Wright @siritasavage is the co-founder and CMO of EstroHaze, a media platform highlighting the businesses and lifestyle of women of color and multicultural communities in the cannabis industry. With a focus on creating dynamic content EstroHaze provides cannabis ‘edutainment’ via their website, podcast, and live events. Sirita graduated from Marymount University with a degree in Fashion Merchandising. She is a Canopy Boulder alum, former Social Media Manager for Black Enterprise Magazine, and her work has been featured on HuffPost, Fortune, Black Enterprise and Marley Natural. Sirita is based in NYC and is also a professional actress currently playing Camille in the award-winning web series 195Lewis. She’s been featured on The Breakfast Club (3x) and Arise TV. Sirita speaks on entrepreneurship and lifestyle design, social media marketing, and cannabis culture.
POLITICO, States Cannabis Policy Reporter
Mona Zhang is the States Cannabis Policy Reporter for POLITICO. Before joining POLITICO, she founded and edited the daily cannabis newsletter Word on the Tree. She was also a freelance journalist on the cannabis beat, and her work has appeared in Forbes, The Outline, Vice, High Times, and more.