Cannabis Law Institute
Speakers and Moderators (Alphabetical Order)
Betty Aldworth (SSDP) joined the SSDP team in February 2014 as Executive Director and has since led the organization through its most substantial growth: the member base and campuses on which SSDP is present have doubled; staff and offices supporting those members have tripled; global presence has quadrupled; and as a result the policy change and education efforts members are leading have grown immeasurably. Since 2009, Betty has specialized in community outreach, public relations, advocacy, and policy reform as a consultant to or staffer for cannabis-related businesses and nonprofit organizations. She served as spokesperson and advocacy director for Colorado’s successful 2012 Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, the collaborative committee responsible for legalizing, taxing and regulating marijuana for adults in Colorado, and was the Deputy Director of the National Cannabis Industry Association in 2013, the organization’s fastest year of growth. Prior to her work in marijuana policy and medical cannabis, she was a volunteer leadership professional with some of Denver’s most well-respected nonprofit organizations, ultimately leading a team of 4,000 volunteers who contributed over 40,000 hours of service annually.
Sherri Altschuler (Aird Berlis) is a member of the firm’s Capital Markets, Corporate/Commercial and Cannabis Groups. She represents a broad range of clients in the cannabis sector, including Canadian licensed producers, international producers and ancillary businesses. Sherri helps her clients navigate the existing medicinal regulatory regime in Canada and the emerging recreational cannabis market. Sherri also helps her clients achieve their growth plans, including financings, go-public transactions (initial public offerings, reverse takeovers and qualifying transactions), listing on the TSX, TSXV and CSE, collaborations, royalty agreements and M&A transactions. She also advises clients on regulatory compliance, branding and cross-border matters. Sherri was an integral part of the team that took International Cannabis Corp public in Canada through a brokered private placement and subsequent qualifying transaction and bought deal offering, and she continues to advise companies involved in the U.S., Canadian and international cannabis industries. Sherri earns the trust of her clients by adeptly managing complex and time-sensitive corporate finance transactions and by providing relevant, business-focused solutions to corporate/ commercial and capital markets issues. Her depth of perspective and understanding of corporate and securities law matters comes from her ongoing representation of clients ranging from small and medium enterprises to established multi-billion dollar corporations. Sherri effectively prioritizes issues on complex and time-sensitive transactions, and works diligently to ensure that outcomes align with her clients’ overall business goals. She is recognized in The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory as a leading lawyer to watch in the area of Corporate Finance & Securities and as one of Lexpert’s Rising Stars: Canada’s Leading Lawyers Under 40, 2017.
Colin Anonsen (Representative Ed Perlmutter) is a Legislative Assistant in the Washington D.C. office and handles financial services issues for Congressman Perlmutter. Prior to joining the legislative team, Colin served as a Constituent Services Representative where he covered housing, small business and tax issues. Colin attended the University of Colorado at Boulder where he earned a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Philosophy.
Wes Anson (Chairman of CONSOR) is a seasoned licensing valuation and marketing professional with a long history of successful programs at firms such as Booz-Allen & Hamilton, Playboy Enterprises and Hang Ten International. He holds a Masters degree in Business Administration (honors) from Harvard University and is active in all of the major international trademark and intellectual property associations as a speaker and an officer. Wes is a prolific author on the subject of licensing and intellectual property and has published over 150 articles in the United States and overseas. Since founding CONSOR in San Diego over twenty years ago, Wes has constructed and implemented numerous licensing programs for major corporations and has performed valuations of hundreds of intellectual property components.
Kate Bally (Director, Thomson Reuters Practical Law's Labor & Employment Service) joined Thomson Reuters from Littler Mendelson P.C., the largest labor & employment law boutique in the U.S. In addition, she practiced employment law with Day Pitney LLP. In her practice she advised and litigated on issues including drug testing, handbooks, sexual harassment, leave law, discrimination, wage and hour, and many others. Through her work with Practical Law, Kate has also written extensively on a broad range of employment topics, such as drugs/alcohol in the workplace, restrictive covenants, sexual harassment, workplace violence, and retaliation. Kate has lectured extensively on topics including handbooks, employment law developments, trade secrets, and legal practice efficiencies. She recently presented on trade secrets in the cannabis industry as part of the 2018 ABA Annual Meeting.
In addition, she served as a law clerk to the Honorable Stefan R. Underhill, U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut.
Jeffrey Barr, (Ashcraft and Barr) is a partner at the law firm of ASHCRAFT & BARR | LLP located in Las Vegas, Nevada. He concentrates his practice on business transactions, crisis management, government affairs, and business dispute resolution for the Nevada marijuana industry.
Mitch Baruchowitz (Merida Capital Partners) has nine years of experience in the legal cannabis industry and is considered a national expert in the diverse licensing regimes governing each state. His cannabis career began in assisting Colorado-based legal cultivators to structure state compliant capital transactions and analyzing the legal cannabis market in order to develop an optimal business strategy for their operations. After several years of work with Colorado companies, he co-founded Theraplant, LLC where he architected the highest scoring application in Connecticut’s highly selective licensing process. In 2014, he cofounded LeafLine Labs, LLC, which was one of only two Minnesota companies to win a license to cultivate and dispense cannabis in extracted form. Mr. Baruchowitz is also a founder of Maryland-based Grow West MD, one of 15 companies selected for a cultivation and dispensing license. He has also founded a Pennsylvania-based cultivator that is in the pre-operational licensing stage. Overall, Mr. Baruchowitz has approximately 20 years of experience in the legal and finance fields. He is the former Associate General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of publicly traded MarketAxess. He was also the General Counsel of investment banking boutique Pali Capital, which had revenues of nearly $200 million and 200 employees when he was appointed in late 2009 by the Board to lead the restructuring and wind-down of the company. Since 2010, he has led numerous public and private offerings, assisted in the formation and funding of several credit funds and a $60 million REIT while the Head of Investment Banking of ACGM, Inc. and at Cavu Securities. Mr. Baruchowitz is a graduate of Brandeis University and Boston University School of Law. He is a member of the New York and Massachusetts Bars and holds FINRA 7, 24, 63 and 79 licenses. He currently sits on the Boards of New Frontier Data and Manna Molecular Sciences.
Avis Bulbulyan, (Siva) Avis Bulbulyan is the CEO and founder of SIVA Enterprises, a multifaceted marijuana company with branches in consulting, management, ventures and brands. Avis is responsible for running the company at the topmost level, making pivotal decisions and using his over ten years of experience in the cannabis industry to guide the company. With Avis' expertise, SIVA Enterprises has established itself as one of the most reputable consulting companies in the cannabis industry and today boasts one of the highest success rates nationwide for state licensing. Originally established as exclusively a consulting firm, SIVA now provides management services, venture opportunities, brand acquisitions and brand licensing. Avis expects to continue broadening the reach of SIVA to all aspects of the cannabis industry and create a brand recognized and valued worldwide
Kendra Clark, (JRG) has helped clients navigate the complex and ever-changing regulations governing the production, manufacture, and sale of chemical, agriculture, and consumer products. Most Recently Kendra was VP and Associate General Counsel at Chiquita Brands International, Inc. and managed all of the legal affairs for Chiquita in North America and for their various entities such as Fresh Express and TransFresh. Kendra currently counsels clients on a variety of transactions, including day-to-day operational agreements including cultivation, packaging, licensing, and service provider agreements, and more complex transactions such as mergers and acquisitions, financings, and corporate restructurings. Attorney Kendra Clark also provides ongoing legal advice regarding food safety, regulatory compliance, and FDA and CDFA interface, intellectual property, and other general corporate issues related to the agriculture and consumer products industry. Kendra has most recently applied her vast knowledge of the produce industry to the cannabis industry. Her representative clients include third party product developers, licensees, cultivators, dispensary owners, product manufacturers, testing facilities, and technology companies. She has also been called upon to counsel and represent industrial hemp farms and processors, landlords, private equity funds, and service companies. Due to her experience as a corporate crisis preparedness and response advocate, Kendra frequently represents food and agriculture producers with critical parts of their business. She has significant experience leading companies though regulatory investigations, product withdrawals, recalls, and other corporate emergencies like media responses and crisis communications. She has played an instrumental role for clients to help them analyze risk exposure; ensuring litigation preparedness, and secure insurance benefits in times of business crisis to assist with future recovery. She has developed vital relationships with multidisciplinary experts that can be deployed and is nimble, responsive, and well equipped with the judgment, skill and sophistication needed to manage financial and reputation related crises on all fronts. In 1997, Kendra received her B.A. from Washington State University before continuing her educational career at Santa Clara University. She would receive her J.D. from SCU in 2000. Kendra currently holds admissions to both the California State Bar and the Washington State Bar.
Amanda Conley (Brand & Branch) is a partner at Brand & Branch LLP and Founding Treasurer of the National Cannabis Bar Association. Amanda has a diversified practice focused on intellectual property and legal issues in emerging technologies and in the cannabis industry, including trademark and copyright counseling, enforcement, and litigation; advising on privacy and data security practices; recovering domain names through Uniform Dispute Resolution Proceedings; and representing clients in district court litigation and before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. Amanda has represented a variety of companies including large computer software and hardware companies, cannabis-infused edibles producers, start-ups focusing on technology, cannabis, home design, education, and gaming, and a major grocery store chain. Amanda regularly speaks on privacy and intellectual property issues and at cannabis industry conferences. Before attending law school, Amanda worked as a statistician for the Institute of Behavioral Sciences in Boulder, Colorado. Amanda also co-founded the Bay Area chapter of Women Grow.
Lara DeCaro, (Partner, Leland, Parachini, Steinberg, Matzger & Melnick, LLP) is a business lawyer and mediator. She has concentrated her legal career in the areas of intellectual property, corporate governance and compliance, commercial transactions, real property, and mediation. Most of her clients come from highly-regulated industries and she has translated that knowledge into a comprehensive medical cannabis practice but she has also represented event venues, entertainment providers, art galleries, authors, banks, recycling companies, investors, franchisors, and an airport. Whatever their industry Lara takes pride in getting to know her clients and working with them from start-up to wind-up.
Tom Downey, (Ireland and Stapleton) is a Director at Ireland Stapleton Pryor & Pascoe, PC. With his significant experience as both a government official and private attorney, Mr. Downey helps his clients navigate all aspects of regulatory law. The majority of his practice consists of advising and representing corporate clients in the administrative, transactional and disciplinary processes related to liquor licensing, legalized marijuana and licenses governed by the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies. Further, he represents investors, creditors, developers, intellectual property holders and others in and around licensed industries. In providing full services to his clients, Mr. Downey conducts a great deal of zoning, code enforcement and public policy work. Previously, Mr. Downey led Denver’s Department of Excise and Licenses, issuing and regulating 25,000 business licenses in Denver in 180 categories. During that time, he redrafted Denver’s Policies and Procedures for liquor licensing and wrote the original Policies and Procedures for Denver’s legalized recreational marijuana licenses. Governor Hickenlooper appointed him to advise the administration and General Assembly on the legislation creating recreational marijuana. He created and ran the Business and Licensing Division of the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office. He also served as an Assistant Attorney General in the Business and Licensing Section under A.G. Ken Salazar. His higher profile cases included the Congressional Redistricting, State Reapportionment, the GAVEL Amendment and the Blue Book battles. Mr. Downey routinely teaches Continuing Legal Education courses and gives other presentations on regulatory and licensing law around the country. Recently, he sat on the Marijuana Enforcement Division’s Licensing, and Permitted Economic Interest Rulemaking committee.
Timothy Fair, Esq. (Vermont Cannabis Solutions) is the founder of Vermont's first cannabis law & consulting firm, Vermont Cannabis Solutions. Mr. Fair has been a vocal advocate for both cannabis and overall drug policy reform for most of his adult life. Since becoming an attorney in 2012, he has been fortunate enough to be part of the statewide movement to legalize cannabis in Vermont. Mr. Fair has been featured on a number of podcasts and radio shows, including: The Ganjapreneur Podcast, VPR's "Vermont Edition", "In The Weeds" radio show and Paris Marketing's "Creative Warrior" podcast. Mr. Fair has also been quoted in multiple national media sources including: The Washington Post, Marijuana Business Daily and High Times magazine. Mr. Fair has spoken on the topic of Cannabis Law at numerous seminars and events across the country, and was recently tapped to help design and teach Vermont’s first continuing legal education course on Cannabis Business Law in Vermont. When not lawyering, Mr. Fair is an avid swimmer and occasional skydiver.
David N. Feldman, Esq. (Duane Morris LLP) concentrates his practice on corporate and securities law and mergers and acquisitions, as well as general representation of public and private companies, entrepreneurs, investors, and private equity and venture capital firms. Mr. Feldman also advises emerging growth companies with regard to alternatives to traditional financing through initial public offerings. He is also considered an authority on public offerings through the recently implemented SEC Regulation A+. Mr. Feldman also represents investors, social media sites, public and private issuers and applicants for grow and dispensary licenses in the emerging cannabis industry. Mr. Feldman has authored four books on finance and entrepreneurship, and contributed to three other books. His latest book, Regulation A+ and Other Alternatives to a Traditional IPO (John Wiley & Sons), will be available in February 2017. His popular blog at http://www.davidfeldmanblog.com/, focusing on entrepreneurship and the regulatory environment, has been recognized by LexisNexis as a Top 25 corporate law blog, and his videos appear on his YouTube channel, The Entrepreneur’s Advocate. Mr. Feldman is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He has served as chair of the board of Wharton’s global alumni association.
Guillermo Fernandez, (Soriano & Fernandez) Founder of the law office S&F Abogados, Madrid, Spain, who lawyers specialize in the cannabis industry in Spain and, in addiction, work on political advocacy at the national level, cooperating with various organizations and grassroots committees which promote the recreational and medical use of cannabis. Guillermo is a defense attorney, who has been defending cannabis growers/producers, cannabis clubs, grow shops and Banks of seeds, for almost 10 years. He also is legal consultant and adviser to specific businesses focused on CBD and THC products sales in Spain and Europe. Additionally, he provides legal advice to businesses , which specialize in growing hemp then distributing and selling it to specific European markets.
Omar Figueroa (Law Office of Omar Figueroa) has spent two decades at the vanguard of California cannabis law and is widely respected as an industry expert. Starting in 1998 as a criminal defense attorney, he provided tireless representation to those accused of cannabis-related crimes. When legalization changed his clients’ needs, Omar expanded the firm and began specializing in guiding businesses through a new frontier. As author of Cannabis Codes of California, the first comprehensive book of the state’s cannabis laws, Omar frequently appears in media coverage as an advocate for the industry. He has presented at countless conferences, both on cannabis law and on best practices for counseling cannabis companies. Omar earned his Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Yale College, his Juris Doctor from Stanford Law School, and is a proud graduate of Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyers College. Omar also trained under legendary San Francisco trial lawyer Tony Serra. He is a Founding Lifetime Member and current Board of Directors member of the National Cannabis Bar Association, a Lifetime Member of the NORML Legal Committee, as well as a proud member of the Distinguished Counsel’s Circle of NORML.
Steve Fox, Esq. (Vicente Sederberg) has been at the center of cannabis policy reform in the United States for more than 16 years. While at the Marijuana Policy Project from 2002-2005 and 2009-2013, he lobbied Congress and guided numerous ballot initiative campaigns. He was the lead author of Colorado’s historic Amendment 64 ballot measure, which made marijuana legal for all adults in that state, and managed all aspects that campaign in 2011-2012. Steve’s work in Colorado began in 2004, when he conceptualized and co-founded Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER) for the express purpose of educating the public about the fact that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol in order to change the mindset of voters and eventually pass a legalization initiative. In 2010, seeing the need to raise the profile of the nascent cannabis industry in Washington, DC, he co-founded the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA), which now represents more than 1,500 state-legal businesses at the federal level. He is currently of counsel at the Denver-based law firm Vicente Sederberg LLC and serves as the director of VS Strategies. Through VS Strategies, he directs NCIA’s Policy Council and engages in direct lobbying activity.
Saphira Galoob (The Liason Group) is founder and CEO of The Liaison Group, Washington, DC’s only boutique lobbying firm focused exclusively on the cannabis industry. An entrepreneur, strategist, business lawyer and legislative professional with over two decades of experience, Saphira has first-hand understanding of the intersection between entrepreneurial passion and priorities with regulatory and business realities. Within the cannabis space, she has developed - and successfully executed - campaigns to assist businesses in the navigation of the complicated - and rapidly evolving - congressional and federal agency landscape. Earlier in her career, Ms. Galoob served on the staff of Congressman Bill Brewster (OK-3) and as an associate at the DC-based law firm Cole, Raywid & Braverman (now Davis, Wright, Tremaine). She also served as regulatory counsel for France Telecom’s International Law Department in Paris and managed a federal appropriations portfolio for Salem & Saxon. A native of Oklahoma, Ms. Galoob received a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Boston College, her Juris Doctorate from Oklahoma City University School of Law and a Masters in International and Comparative Law from Georgetown University.
Dan Garfield, Esq. (McAllister Garfield) is a shareholder of the Denver-based cannabis law firm McAllister Garfield, P.C., and has been practicing corporate/transactional and regulatory law in the cannabis industry since 2013. He is licensed in Colorado (1995) and Oregon (2017). When he served on the board of the Turnaround Management Association, both at the local chapter (as president) for five years and at the global level (as a board member) for two years. Dan organized and served on CLE panels on cannabis issues in Colorado. When the Colorado Supreme Court was considering changes to the rules of professional conduct, he submitted materials to the court stressing the importance of allowing attorneys to ethically represent the industry; he also drafted a public letter for non-attorney industry participants to sign urging the court to permit attorneys to represent cannabis clients. In 2016, he served on the working group for the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division that considered new rules that opened up capital sources for the industry, such as out of state ownership, private equity, and IP royalties.
Shay Aaron Gilmore is an attorney working with cannabis operators, consultants and other professionals in California’s cannabis industry, providing general counsel services as well as compliance and regulatory advice and counsel. Shay serves as the Vice-Chair of the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Cannabis Law Committee, and he is the Secretary of the Cannabis Law Section of the Alameda County Bar Association. Shay has practiced law in California since 2001, both in private practice as well as in-house for major financial institutions. Shay holds a B.A. from Rice University and a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law.
Tom Haren (Franz Ward) represents growing businesses at each stage of their development, advising them on complex matters involving regulatory oversight, corporate governance, risk management, and other day-to-day business issues. He often works with his clients to overcome short-term regulatory and financial uncertainty to achieve long-term success in developing markets. When litigation is unavoidable, Tom crafts litigation strategies for a defense-led investigation and discovery effort to uncover new favorable facts and witnesses. At times, these strategies also involve utilizing media platforms to protect clients' reputations when facing damaging allegations. Tom has successfully represented clients both at the trial court level and on appeal throughout the State of Ohio. Tom's practice is also focused on marijuana law and policy. He has become one of the go-to attorneys for Ohio's burgeoning medical marijuana industry, working with medical marijuana cultivator, processor, and dispensary applicants and license holders. He assists clients with license acquisition, zoning and municipal law, product labeling and packaging, and regulatory compliance. He also advises ancillary industry stakeholders seeking to service Ohio's medical marijuana market. As a former nominee for the State Senate, Tom knows how important it is to build consensus at the local and State level to further clients' interests. He is an avid contributor to various local and national media outlets and often shares his expertise by speaking at industry conferences and events. Tom regularly provides pro bono litigation services to indigent clients, as well as clients facing defamation claims based on constitutionally-protected online speech.
Heather Haase (IDPC) has served as the IDPC members’ link to UN Headquarters on drug policy issues since 2013, most notably during the 2016 UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) and its aftermath. Her work includes interfacing with key missions and UN agencies on drug policy issues, following UN activities and processes around drugs, and disseminating information to IDPC membership, with the goal of maximizing the involvement of civil society in UN processes around drugs. Heather also chairs the New York NGO Committee on Drugs, a Substantive Committee organized under the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Status with the UN (CoNGO), which promotes global NGO participation in UN processes around drugs. Through the NYNGOC she helped lead efforts to form the Civil Society Task Force for UNGASS 2016, which gave a voice in the UNGASS process to drug policy NGOs from all over the world. A frequent writer and speaker, Heather has presented on civil society advocacy and international drug policy reform at numerous venues in the Americas and Europe. Heather holds a law degree from the Wake Forest University School of Law in North Carolina, and is currently earning an LL.M degree at Columbia Law School, concentrating on international law & diplomacy, public health law and drug policy.
Afzal Hasan, (Canna Royalty) obtained a Juris Doctor (J.D.) and a Bachelor of Science (B. Sc.), Commerce and Human Biology, from the University of Toronto, Canada. Prior to joining CannaRoyalty, Mr. Hasan worked as a securities lawyer at Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, where he developed a broad spectrum of experience providing advice to both public and private companies on transactions in diverse industry sectors. Mr. Hasan’s experience prior to his career in the private legal practice includes a secondment at the Mergers and Acquisitions Group in the Corporate Finance Branch of the Ontario Securities Commission, working with the United Nations and the wholesale banking division of a major multi-national bank in Thailand and completing independent research in microbial genetics at the University of Toronto.
- Represented public companies and underwriters in raising over $500 million through prospectus financing and private placements
- Involved with M&A transactions in the mining, real estate and technology sectors with aggregate deal value in excess of $5 billion
- Completed seven public listing transactions for private companies through reverse take-over structures
- Advised incumbent boards and dissident shareholders in a number of proxy fights for public and private companies
Shawn Hauser, Esq. (Vicente Sederberg) is a senior associate at Vicente Sederberg LLC, the first national law firm dedicated exclusively to marijuana law and policy. Vicente Sederberg was a key player in the historic effort to legalize marijuana in Colorado and leads similar efforts nationally and worldwide. Shawn routinely advises marijuana and hemp businesses in navigating the intersection between state and federal law, managing emerging and complex marijuana laws, business licensing, general business representation, regulatory compliance, and intellectual property. Shawn also works with local governments, in both Colorado and nationally, to develop and implement marijuana regulations to advance the cannabis industry in a dynamic and responsible manner. Shawn was born and raised in Austin Texas, where she got her Bachelors of Science in Psychology from the University of Texas Austin prior to moving to Denver to attend the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. In 2015 and 2016, Shawn was named one of “Denver’s Top Lawyers” by 5280 Magazine.
Patricia Heer (Duane Morris LLP has historically practiced in the area of commercial litigation and business reorganization. Patricia’s litigation and transactional experience at Duane Morris enables her to advise clients in the rapidly shifting cannabis industry. Believing in the importance of education and access to information, Patricia co-founded the Cannabis Law Digest, an electronic platform of legal resources for the cannabis industry. The Digest contains cannabis statutes and regulations, industry specific articles, agency guidelines, and state and federal cannabis court decisions digested by industry attorneys into easy to read summaries. Any cannabis industry participant can empower oneself by reading and analyzing what courts and regulators are actually saying about the issues affecting one’s business. Patricia is a member of the State Regulations Committee of the National Cannabis Industry Association. She is also a member of the National Cannabis Bar Association, and a regular supporter of the New York chapter of Women Grow and CannaGather. She has also published several articles on issues affecting the cannabis industry and is a frequent speaker at industry events and conferences.
Andrea Hill, (SkyLaw) is a corporate and securities lawyer at SkyLaw. Prior to joining SkyLaw, Andrea was an associate at Wildeboer Dellelce LLP in Toronto where she had a broad corporate and securities law practice. Andrea's practice areas include public offerings and private placements of equity and debt securities, going-public transactions, mergers and acquisitions, shareholder disputes, public regulatory compliance issues, and general corporate matters. Andrea also maintains a specialty practice in medical marijuana regulation. She is a frequent speaker to business and government audiences, and a guest writer for the Globe and Mail on the subject of medical marijuana regulation and finance in Canada and abroad. Andrea has completed a secondment at Aequitas NEO Exchange which focused on contract negotiation, regulatory compliance, and business development, and she maintains a keen interest in the evolution of securities trading platforms in Canada. A graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School, Andrea placed in the top 3% of her graduating class and was recognized for her contributions to the student community, including serving as "Dean" of the law school for a day based on her ideas for improvements to the school environment. Prior to attending law school, Andrea taught piano to children and served as the general manager of a high-end restaurant. An adventuresome traveler, she has snuck up on dangerous animals in Africa and hiked the Inca Trail in Peru.
Michael Hiller, (Hiller PC) is the founding and managing principal of Hiller, PC. He has built a career on fighting for his clients against large institutions, multi-national corporations, and state and local governments. In 2010, Michael was named to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, two of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the United States. Michael has been named a Super Lawyer for the New York Metropolitan Area by Super Lawyers Magazine, every year since 2009. In recognition of his achievements on behalf of community groups, neighborhoods, environmental organizations and preservationists, the Historic Districts Council has decided to confer Michael with the Grassroots Preservation Award for 2017. Michael is particularly well known among lawyers for handling business litigation commonly referred to as “business divorces.” His successes in this area include the prosecution and settlement of a lawsuits arising out of a) the break-up of a software development business, b) a law-firm partner freeze out, and c) shareholder litigation to prevent the sale of substantially all corporate assets. Among his many clients are the world’s largest nutrition and health coaching school, international apparel companies, and smaller businesses. Most recently, Michael represented a founding member of an up-and-coming news-gathering dot.com against his fellow shareholders who were attempting to exclude him and dilute his interests. Under circumstances that tracked those depicted in the film “The Social Network,” Michael prevented dilution, obtained his client’s reinstatement to his position as a founding shareholder and assisted in the company’s conversion to a C corporation in anticipation of a multi-million dollar private equity deal.
John Hudak, (Brookings) is deputy director of the Center for Effective Public Management and a senior fellow in Governance Studies. His research examines questions of presidential power in the contexts of administration, personnel, and public policy. Additionally, he focuses on campaigns and elections, legislative-executive interaction, and state and federal marijuana policy. John’s 2016 book, Marijuana: A Short History, offers a unique, up-to-date profile of how cannabis emerged from the shadows of counterculture and illegality to become a serious, even mainstream, public policy issue and source of legal revenue for both businesses and governments. In it, he describes why attitudes and policy have changed, and what those changes mean for marijuana's future place in society. His 2014 Presidential Pork: White House Influence over the Distribution of Federal Grants demonstrates that pork-barrel politics occurs beyond the halls of Congress. Presidents capitalize on their discretionary funding authority to target federal dollars to swing states in advance of presidential elections. His other work explores how agency staffing, expertise, and institutional structure facilitate or hinder presidential power and influence. This research explores the balance between political control and bureaucratic expertise in the delivery of public policy. John’s work has been recognized for its quality and contribution by the Midwest Political Science Association and the American Political Science Association’s Presidency Research Group. His work has been supported by institutions including the National Science Foundation.
Joe Hunter’s experience in the public affairs arena began in 1976, when, while still in college, he joined the staff of John Danforth’s successful first campaign for the U.S. Senate in Missouri. From that beginning, Hunter went on to serve as Press Assistant/Research Director for the 1980 congressional campaign of Bill Emerson, who became the first Republican in almost 50 years to be elected from Southeast Missouri. With periodic interruptions to work on numerous political campaigns, Joe served on Representative Emerson’s congressional staff until l988, when he joined the Bush/Quayle campaign. In 1989, he was appointed to serve as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Water and Science at the Department of Interior for President George H.W. Bush. In that post, Hunter oversaw congressional and public affairs for several Interior agencies. In 2002, Hunter was asked by Congressman Chris Cannon of Utah to return to Capitol Hill as his Chief of Staff, a position he held through 2008. Since returning to the private sector in early 2009, Joe has been engaged in communications and public affairs consulting on behalf of clients ranging from Millenniata, Inc., Ceramatec, Patients First, and DC Vote. In 2016, Joe directed the communications effort for the presidential ticket of former Governors Gary Johnson and Bill Weld, garnering the highest percentage of the nation-wide vote for a third party since Ross Perot. A respected communications professional, Hunter has arranged scores of interviews and appearances for clients with national and international media outlets, including Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, BBC, the Wall Street Journal and many others.
Amy Jenkins, (Precision Lobbying) has over 20 years of experience in legislative, public affairs and campaign experience at the federal, state and local levels. She has specific expertise in matters involving local government, revenue and taxation, the political reform act, public safety, water policy, environmental regulation and medical cannabis policy reform. She excels in developing legislative, political, communications and campaign strategies for businesses, local government agencies and professional associations. Amy joined Platinum Advisors in November 2014 where she manages a divers client portfolio that includes the County of Orange, the Personal Care Products Council, the California Cannabis Industry Association and Ygrene Energy Fund. Prior to joining Platinum, Amy served as chief of staff to State Senator Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana) where she planned and directed all administrative, financial, and operational activities for the Senator’s Capitol and District offices; represented the Senator with other Legislators, government officials, stakeholder groups, and members of the public; and managed all communications and information flow. Prior to joining the Senator’s Office, Amy served as Legislative, Intergovernmental and Public Affairs Officer for the County of Solano. During her tenure at the County, Amy’s many successes included the development of a legislative strategy to establish the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta as a National Heritage Area (NHA). These efforts led to the successful introduction of federal legislation by Senator Dianne Feinstein and Congressman John Garamendi. She also worked closely with the State Legislature and community stakeholders, as the County sought to implement AB 109 Public Safety Realignment. Prior to joining the County, Amy served as the director of the League of California Cities’ nationally recognized grassroots program. During her 7 years as program director, Amy led a team of 17 professionals through a number of successful statewide ballot measure campaigns to protect local government revenues and authority including: “No on Prop. 90” in 2006, “No on Prop. 98 and Yes on Prop. 99”, both in 2008; and “Save Your City”; a campaign launched in 2009 to prevent additional raids of local government revenue by state lawmakers. Amy began her grassroots work in 2003 during the League’s historic Prop. 1A. Sponsored by the League of California Cities and the California State Association of Counties, Prop. 1A enjoyed bi-partisan support from over 600 statewide and local organizations, as well as hundreds of individual supporters. Prop. 1A passed with 83.7 percent approval by California voters in 2004. Prior to her work at the League, Amy worked in the California State Assembly as a legislative aide to then-Assembly Member Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana); committee consultant to the Assembly Business & Professions Committee; and field representative to former Assembly Member Valerie Brown (D-Sonoma).
Alana Joyce, (Hinman & Carmichael LLP) advises alcohol and cannabis industry clients on all aspects of federal and state requirements related to the sale, distribution, and marking of these regulated products. She has a particular interest in counseling clients on the legality of promotional programs, events, and related activities, navigating restrictions applicable to online sales and the direct shipment of wine, and finding compliant business models for unlicensed third party providers serving regulated industries. Alana also advises clients on regulatory risks and liabilities in connection with corporate transactions such as mergers and acquisitions. Before joining Hinman & Carmichael, Alana was an associate in the corporate and wine law group at Gaw Van Male in Napa Valley, where she advised wineries and vineyards on purchase and sales of real estate and businesses and negotiated and drafted wine industry contracts. She later joined Strike & Techel, advising clients on a wide variety of state and federal alcoholic beverage issues. Alana has a bachelor’s degree in International Studies and Political Science, as well as a minor in Italian Language and Literature from Loyola University Chicago. She received her J.D. from the University of California, Davis School of Law and also received the Witkin award for the highest academic achievement in her Wine and the Law course.
Jeremy Kapteyn, (KW Law) is a plant biologist-turned-patent attorney focused on helping startups and established companies in the cannabis industry recognize, protect, and commercialize their valuable intellectual property assets. He spent 10 years as a plant biologist doing research in the fields of natural products biochemistry, phytochemical profiling, and functional genomics. His postdoctoral research specifically focused on specialized biochemical pathways in the glandular trichomes of different basil and tomato varieties. After changing career directions to become a patent attorney, he joined a large southwest firm, where his practice included patent procurement and strategic IP counseling services for companies developing medical devices, diagnostic and therapeutic solutions, and next-generation sequencing technology. He left biglaw to concentrate on providing IP legal services to the cannabis industry, leveraging his technical training and legal experience to help clients ranging from cannabis breeders to ancillary service providers develop and commercialize their IP assets.
Rob Lando (Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP) is a cross-border corporate and securities lawyer with significant practice experience in the United States and Canada. He provides concurrent advice on both the U.S. and Canadian law aspects of structuring, planning and executing public and private cross-border corporate finance and M&A transactions. Recently, Rob represented the underwriters in the IPO of Tilray, Inc. and represented the initial purchasers in a Cdn. $600 million convertible debenture offering by Canopy Growth Corporation. Rob also advises on compliance with U.S. and Canadian public company disclosure and corporate governance requirements, including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and corresponding Canadian rules and policies.
Matt Lapple (Lapple Ubell) is a US Patent & Trademark Office (PTO)-registered attorney who has prosecuted patents and trademarks and has litigated patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secret cases for his clients. He also has negotiated and drafted a variety of intellectual- property licensing and software-development agreements and prepared non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) for clients. Matt is experienced in a wide variety of technology areas and has litigated patent cases in the fields of software, medical devices, wireless communications, and semiconductors.Matt also has litigated a wide range of non-intellectual issues important to technology companies, including anonymous on-line trade libel, breach of software license, responding to computer hacking attacks, and the defense of a consumer class action lawsuit for allegedly defective disk drives.
Juan Luis Serrano Leets, (Sanchez Devanny) joined Sánchez Devanny to lead our firm’s Intellectual Property practice group. He has more than sixteen years of experience advising multinational companies on Intellectual Property and Regulatory matters. Juan Luis has broad experience in high level management of complex legal and policy issues in Mexico and Latin America. Before joining Sánchez Devanny Juan Luis was the General Counsel for the Mexican division of the multinational pharmaceutical laboratory AstraZeneca, where he provided high level advisory on a wide array of legal issues, including intellectual property and data privacy. He also worked at several renowned law firms specialized on Intellectual Property matters. Juan Luis was also the vice-president of Intellectual Property at AMIIF (The Pharmaceutical Innovation Industry Association in Mexico).
Jaime Lewis, (Coldwater Consulting) has more than nine years of experience managing the production of medical marijuana-infused products (MIP), as well as all facets of managing and operating a medical and recreational marijuana dispensary. A California Culinary Academy graduate, she’s worked in many highly-acclaimed kitchens, including serving as the executive chef of a Michelin-rated three-star restaurant in San Francisco. She began creating medical marijuana edibles for HIV/AIDS patients in California in 2006 as part of the Elmar Lins Compassion Co-op. Further, she advised the San Francisco health department on proper food handling procedures for medical marijuana edibles manufacturing in the City and County of San Francisco. In 2009, Jaime moved to Colorado and founded Mountain Medicine, a medical marijuana-infused product manufacturer that is now an operating company of Good Chemistry Colorado. The manufacturer supplies high-quality medical and recreational marijuana edibles and products to Good Chemistry Colorado, in addition to a number of dispensaries throughout the state. As the founder and executive chef, Jaime designed the commercial kitchen and supervised its start-to-finish construction. She developed recipes leading to a variety of product lines to meet patients’ individual needs and developed product packaging that favors discreet design on behalf of patient confidentiality and safety. As the vice president of business development for Good Chemistry, Jaime is responsible for strategic planning and business development, policy development and governmental affairs, and marketing and serves as the community liaison to demonstrate good corporate citizenship. Further, she oversees education initiatives for patients, physicians and customers, as well as analyzing patient and customer surveys to compile information on medicinal and recreational characteristics and the efficacy of marijuana strains.
Shabnab Malek, Esq. (Brand & Branch) is a partner at Brand & Branch LLP and co-founder and President of the National Cannabis Bar Association. She advises clients on domestic and international growth, strategic expansion, intellectual property development and enforcement, and regulatory compliance. She also represents clients in disputes and state and federal disputes—work that gives her valuable insight and perspective when drafting and negotiating agreements for clients. Shabnam also advises on advertising law, privacy law, and all things internet. Shabnam’s professional affiliations include the International Trademark Association and California Lawyers' Association, where she serves on committees, the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Lawyers Guild, the Queen’s Bench, the Bar Association of San Francisco, and Women Grow, where she served as a founding co-chair of the Bay Area chapter. She regularly speaks about growth and intellectual property issues pertaining to the cannabis industry and on intellectual property matters generally. Shabnam has been named a Northern California Rising Star three years in a row by Super Lawyers Magazine.
Katheryn McCall, (Sideman Bancroft) focuses on helping early stage and mature companies, as well as family‐owned and lifestyle businesses, succeed. Her clients appreciate her pragmatic and strategic advice regarding their entity formation, business financing, and operational concerns. As outside general counsel for many of her clients, Ms. McCall advises businesses on a wide variety of corporate and other legal matters. In addition, she has extensive experience counseling businesses in all aspects of the business life cycle from the initial structuring and formation of the business to financing that business; hiring employees; corporate governance; day‐to‐day operations; negotiating licensing and other commercial agreements; equity incentive plans; and liquidity events. She advises corporations, boards of directors, investors, CEOs and CFOs, and business owners on a wide range of corporate and securities transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, securities offerings, venture capital, joint ventures, and corporate finance. She has worked with clients in a variety of industries, including: media; technology; internet of things; education; internet‐based products, services, and applications; consumer products; retail; publishing; and health and fitness.Ms. McCall also assists businesses in the cannabis industry develop the necessary infrastructure and organization to succeed while remaining in compliance with the complex legal and regulatory framework burdening the industry. Working with other members of the firm’s well‐rounded Cannabis Industry Team enables her to create a strategic and coordinated approach to not only business structuring, organizational, and regulatory matters but also intellectual property, tax, estate planning, and business and criminal litigation issues. Ms. McCall is a mentor at Draper University advising budding entrepreneurs regarding the legal aspects of starting and running a business.
Jeffrey Merk, (Aird Berlis) practices corporate law at Aird & Berlis LLP in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with an emphasis on public and private financings, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and ongoing general corporate and commercial activities. Among his other professional activities, Jeffrey is currently the Co-Vice Chair of the International Bar Association's Professional Ethics Committee.
Dr. Robert Mikos (Vanderbilt University) is one of the nation’s leading experts on federalism and drug law. His most recent scholarship analyzes the struggle among federal, state, and local governments for control of marijuana law and policy, which includes a first-of-its-kind casebook, Marijuana Law, Policy, and Authority (Wolters Kluwer, 2017). In that vein, he has written, testified, and lectured on the states’ constitutional authority to legalize marijuana, federal preemption of state marijuana regulations, the political and budgetary considerations that limit enforcement of the federal marijuana ban, federal law’s influence on state regulation and taxation of the marijuana industry, and the desirability of marijuana localism. He has also written on the states’ constitutional authority to withhold information from the federal government, the political safeguards of federalism, accuracy in criminal sanctions, the economics of private precautions against crime, and remedies in private law. Professor Mikos earned his J.D. summa cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School, where he served as articles editor on the Michigan Law Review and won numerous awards, including the Henry M. Bates Memorial Scholarship. After graduation, he was a law clerk for Chief Judge Michael Boudin of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Professor Mikos has taught at the University of California at Davis, where he was twice nominated for the school’s Distinguished Teaching Award, as well as at Notre Dame and the University of Michigan. He teaches courses in Federalism, Constitutional Law, Marijuana Law and Policy, Federal Criminal Law, and Drug Law and Policy.
Barrington Miller, (Canadian Stock Exchange) is currently the Director of Listed Company Services at the Canadian Securities Exchange (“CSE”)
Responsible for helping companies stay listed through promotion and marketing efforts
First touch Business Development
Education and outreach about the CSE
Worked at a pro trader with Dundee Securities and Raymond James
Commodities trader with Weyerheauser
Worked as a sugar trader with ED&F Man in New York and Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Graduate of Princeton University
Barton Morris, (Cannabis Legal Group) is the principal attorney and founder of the Cannabis Legal Group, specializing in all marijuana related legal issues including criminal defense, business law, licensing, consulting, land use and real property. Barton is well known as one of the top cannabis law lawyers in Michigan having developed this expertise since 2008 with the enactment of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act. He is an official spokesman for the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol and is a council member of the Marijuana Law Section of the Michigan Bar Association and chair of its science committee. One of the ways Barton has developed his marijuana law specialty is through the training he received becoming the only attorney in Michigan certified by the American Chemical Society as a Forensic Lawyer-Scientist maintaining a focus on marijuana related science. He is also a graduate of the prestigious Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers’ College and sits on its Alumni Board of Directors. Barton maintains board positions with the DUI Defense Lawyers Association and the Michigan Association of OWI attorneys. He also is on the faculty of both of those organizations regularly providing presentations and teaching lawyers from all over the country. Barton has been recognized professionally with several awards including being rated 10/10 by AVVO, and a Super Lawyer Magazine outstanding attorney in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. Dbusiness Magazine also named Barton Morris a Top Attorney in Metro Detroit in 2012 and 2013 and named the Cannabis Legal Group the “Face of Cannabis Law” for 2016, 2017 and 2018. On behalf of the State Bar of Michigan Marijuana Law Section he has presented public policy section positions before the Michigan legislature. He has also written journal articles in the Marijuana Law Section Journal. Attorney Morris has also enjoyed a very successful and distinguished career as a criminal defense trial lawyer and cannabis business specialist. He is known for his trial preparation and expert knowledge in marijuana related science by industry attorneys, judges and prosecutors. In October of 2014 Barton Morris was the first, and presently only, attorney in Michigan to earn the American Chemical Society designation Forensic Lawyer-Scientist due to the completion of several intensive courses in forensic chromatography comprising of over 160 hours of education and lab and passing a very difficult comprehensive examination. Barton Morris is one of only 44 attorneys in the nation to have earned this distinction.
Jason Moscovici, (Robic) is a Lawyer and Biochemist with ROBIC, LLP in Montreal, Quebec. When wearing a suit, he has a general intellectual property practice and specializes in Regulatory Affairs matters, as well as IP litigation. His legal and scientific background allows him to counsel clients on both their intellectual property and compliance needs (trademarks, patents, copyrights, industrial designs, licenses, trade secrets, plant breeders’ rights, dealings with Health Canada ). Jason is also a go-to legal advisor to the Canadian cannabis industry and is often solicited to give talks and provide opinions on the many hurdles and opportunities that the stakeholders in this industry face, whether related to commercial strategy, regulatory matters, labeling, licensing, advertising, etc. Jason sits on the life sciences committee of the firm.
Don Murphy (MPP) is a former member of the Maryland General Assembly who defeated the House Majority Leader in 1994. He was the original lead sponsor of the Darrell Putman Compassionate Use Act, an affirmative defense bill, which was signed into law in 2003. With a grant from MPP, in 2002, Murphy founded Republicans for Compassionate Access where he organized two political campaigns leading to the defeat of the legislature’s top medical marijuana opponents, one a Republican state senator, the other the Democratic House Speaker. Don has successfully lobbied in over a dozen states, including Vermont, Rhode Island, New York, Connecticut, Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Texas, Arizona, and South Carolina, and on Capitol Hill for patient access. In 2008, he was elected chair of the Maryland Delegation to the Republican National Convention. Prior to joining MPP, Murphy was a partner in a bipartisan Annapolis lobbying firm with an eclectic list of clients. Most recently, he was the legislative liaison for the Anne Arundel County Executive.
Kim Napoli, Esq. (New England Treatment Access) is a Roxbury, Massachusetts-based attorney practicing labor and employment law. In 2006 Ms. Napoli co-founded the Hempest in Harvard Square (now The Hempest, Inc.), a hemp-based retail clothing boutique whose mission is to educate the public about hemp and cannabis. Ms. Napoli continues to educate the public on the benefits of cannabis and equity in Massachusetts through her work as Director of Diversity Programs and Marketing Specialist at New England Treatment Access, Inc. She is also Of Counsel to the Vicente Sederberg law firm. As a Massachusetts state Cannabis Advisory Board member, Napoli also works to develop and deliver messaging on the significant topic of social justice and equality in the Massachusetts cannabis industry in order to support and bolster equity in ownership amongst disparately impacted communities such as her own. Ms. Napoli served as the Director of Outreach for the successful Yes on 4 Campaign to Regulate and Tax Marijuana in Massachusetts in 2016.
RA Kai-Friedrich Niermann, (KFN+) founded the KFN +, a law firm in Paderborn, Germany, in 2014. He consults for companies seeking to enter the cannabis market on CBD products. So he's a member of the German Patient Roundtable. He served as a legal expert at the Federal Department of the Federal Diet, worked for the Berlin District Court, the Director of Public Prosecution in Berlin, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution and the Hong Kong Consulate General.
Shanita Penny M.B.A. is a cannabis advocate, business professional, and entrepreneur with 17 years of experience helping world-class companies and startups solve complex issues and improve business performance. In 2015, Shanita took a leap of faith and founded Budding Solutions to change the perception of cannabis on a global scale. As an internationally recognized management consultant and certified Project Management Professional, she brings an essential skillset coupled with an immense passion for the cannabis industry. Shanita has supported and coached cannabis advocates, business professionals, entrepreneurs, and policy-makers throughout the country to get results. She works with clients to create and grow compliant, successful cannabis businesses and empower them to positively impact the burgeoning cannabis industry and communities. As the Washington, D.C. Publisher for Sensi Magazine, a City Lifestyle Magazine with a pro-cannabis stance dedicated to showcasing “the new normal” in the post-prohibition world, Shanita connects local business leaders and owners with the each other and the community. Sensi Magazine is currently in print in Denver/Boulder, Southern Colorado, Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego and Las Vegas. Shanita serves as the President of the Minority Cannabis Business Association’s (MCBA) Board of Directors. The MCBA is the first non-profit organization created specifically to progress the cannabis industry by increasing diversity through the creation of equal access and economic empowerment for cannabis businesses, their patients, and the communities most affected by the war on drugs. She is also a member of The New Jersey Cannabis Industry Association’s (NJCIA) Board of Trustees, NJCIA is a nonprofit trade association dedicated to advancing the legalization of cannabis by promoting sensible policy, responsible development, and growth of a legalized cannabis-based economy.
Sara Presler, (Presler Consulting, LLC) Sara Presler has been practicing law since 2005 and is a graduate of Northern Arizona University and Michigan State. She clerked for the Michigan Attorney General, State of Michigan Office of Administrative Law and Federal Relations, the Michigan Attorney General’s Health, and the Michigan State University General Counsel’s Office. In 2005, Sara began practicing as a public defender in Coconino County, Arizona representing abused children and seriously mentally ill patients. Sara was twice elected Mayor of Flagstaff, Arizona and was the youngest person and first woman to ever
hold the office. Through appointment by the Governor, Sara has served on numerous state and regional commissions. Following her service in public office, Sara served as the CEO of a medical company responsible for patient billing, collections, and physician credentialing. In 2013, Sara was selected as CEO of the Arizona Foundation for Women and guided the nonprofit to earn a landmark grant from the National Football League. In 2015, Sara began working full time in the cannabis industry. Sara is General Counsel for seven Arizona cannabis licenses and a Director for six Arizona cannabis licenses. Each license is vertically integrated––meaning that each license allows for a retail dispensary, up to two cultivation facilities, one processing facility, transportation, distribution, and testing. Sara holds a dispensary license in Ohio and she serves as the primary business and compliance consultant for a licensed cultivator in California. Each of these cannabis businesses operate through the brand families of Mohave Cannabis Co. and Debbie’s Dispensary. Fun fact? Sara and her wife, Ali, have TRIPLET newborns—two boys and a girl—born in March of this year.
Maruf Raza, CPA, CA, (MNP) is the National Director of MNP’s Public Companies practice and an Assurance Partner in the Toronto office. Maruf serves as an advisor to public companies, and private companies planning on going public through direct initial public offerings or reverse mergers. Regarded as a thought leader on International Financial Accounting Standards (IFRS), Maruf has conducted technical research on IFRS and U.S. accounting standards, including being part of the CPA Canada’s IFRS Discussion Group and various committees at the Ontario Securities Commission. He has worked in many countries around the globe and specializes in helping finance these companies in Canada, either through public or private transactions. Maruf has extensive experience working with clients in the technology, mining and gaming sectors. He is also involved with investment funds and Exempt Market Dealers. A 1999 graduate of Ryerson University, Maruf earned his Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and Chartered Accountant (CA) designations in 2001. Maruf currently serves on the PDAC-CPA Canada joint Mining Task Force. He also serves as a director to a TSX listed company and has been a past board chair of a TSX-V listed company.
Dean Richardson, Esq. (Moye White) is the Vice-Chair of the trial section at Moye White LLP in Denver, Colorado, where he represents a variety of cannabis clients. He received his undergraduate degree in finance from The George Washington University where he was a scholarship athlete and member of the Men’s Swimming Team. He received his J.D. from the University of Denver where he graduated with the highest academic distinction, Order of Saint Ives, and served on the Law Review. Prior to private practice, Mr. Richardson interned at the appellate court level (Colorado Supreme Court) and clerked for two different trial courts (Colorado District Court; Maryland Circuit Court). He was selected as a Rising Star by Colorado Super Lawyer Magazine and is rated AV® Preeminent™ by Martindale-Hubbell.
Megan Rimovsky, (Cannabistry) has directed the intellectual property strategy and management at Cannabistry Labs, an IP licensing company, since August 2016. Cannabistry Labs’ intellectual property portfolio includes the technology and know-how to commercialize and scale a diverse array of product, manufacturing and packaging technologies and the trademarks to brands that effectively communicate with targeted consumers. Megan is both the Director of Intellectual Property and in-house legal counsel, which gives her a unique perspective in an emerging industry where the law has not yet caught up to the practice. In addition to her J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law, Megan has a Master’s in Intellectual Property Markets & Management from the Illinois Institute of Technology. She has previously worked in financial services in the IP department of the leading futures and options trading platform and in the legal departments for financial institutions.
Valerio Romano (Vicente Sederberg) is a partner at Vicente Sederberg LLC. After graduating from the University of San Francisco School of Law, Valerio worked with cannabis pioneers at Pier 5 law offices in San Francisco to defend against the government overreach into the marijuana industry. Since 2012, with VGR Law Firm, PC, and now Vicente Sederberg LLC, Valerio has worked to site cannabis businesses in Massachusetts and across the country. Currently representing numerous cannabis business licensees and hopeful licensees from the Berkshires to Cape Cod, Valerio's practice is focused on all aspects of land-use and municipal law. He works with clients through the application and licensing process, helping to site and secure real estate and maintain ongoing regulatory compliance. He also works regularly with mayors, city councilors, selectmen, planners, police chiefs, and state officials to resolve issues cannabis businesses face with host communities. A staunch advocate for his clients and the cannabis industry, Valerio is a co-drafter of the Question 4 ballot initiative in 2016, opening the doors for the new legal cannabis industry in the Commonwealth.
Lauren Rudick, (Hiller, PC) has a wealth of knowledge in multiple facets of law and is responsible for a wide variety of complex commercial matters. For ten years, Lauren practiced litigation exclusively, where she successfully represented clients in a variety of business, licensing, intellectual property, and Internet/media disputes, while contributing to the Firm’s land use and zoning practice. With a trained and sensitive eye for keeping clients out of litigation, Lauren has refocused her career on commercial and secured transactions. In 2015, Lauren was named a Rising Star among Top New York Metro Attorneys, as featured by Superlawyers®. Lauren is the co-founder of Hiller, PC’s Cannabis Law practice area. What started as a passion project in patient rights during a brief residency in California, Lauren has become one of the nation’s preeminent attorneys servicing medical Cannabis industry players in the Green Rush. Lauren has combined her knowledge and familiarity with Cannabis trends and upturns in the industry with her diverse background in corporate law, litigation, and land-use and zoning, to provide clients with the most up-to-date information they need to operate and invest in successful medical Cannabis and ancillary businesses. Lauren is a Regular Contributor to Marijuana Venture Magazine and a member of the National Cannabis Bar Association, and she supports the New York City chapters of Women Grow, the Cannabis and Hemp Association, and High NY. Lauren enjoys an extensive network of Cannabis professionals nationwide, enabling her to provide full legal and business services to her clients. Prior to joining the Hiller, PC team, Lauren was an associate at Weiss & Hiller, PC, and an attorney in the New York office of Weil, Gotshal, and Manges, LLP, where she worked primarily in the Business and Securities Litigation Department. She gained considerable experience working on a successful trial team and managing complex discovery issues involving e-discovery.
Krystal Saab, (Solace Holdings) is the General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer at Ether Gardens. In this role, she oversees legal operations for all U.S. entities. Most recently Ms. Saab worked in-house in the casino industry directing AML Compliance. From 2016 to 2017, Ms. Saab served as the BSA Officer and Director of AML Compliance at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas where she was responsible for overseeing the AML Compliance program. From 2013 to 2016, Ms. Saab worked at The Sands Corp. and The Venetian/The Palazzo as an attorney focused on AML Compliance. She started her legal career as a litigator in Southern California and then in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Steve Schain, (Sr. Counsel, Hoban Law Group) chairs global cannabis law firm Hoban Law Group's Financial Services Practice. With 14 offices and 41 lawyers, Hoban Law Group is only practice 100% devoted to cannabis and hemp law. Admitted to practice in PA and NJ for over 25 years, Steve represents entities, governments and individuals in choosing a structure, preparing and submitting license application, regulation, compliance and litigation, and drafting legislation. A nationally recognized consumer finance litigation, banking law and cannabis law expert, Steve is a The Legal Intelligencer, New Jersey Law Journal, and Cannabis Business Executive columnist, frequent Pennsylvania Bar Institute and National Bar Institute author and lecturer and serves as a court appointed judge pro tempore and arbitrator. Steve serves on, and makes regular presentations to, Pennsylvania Credit Union Association, Bank Secrecy Act Compliance Group, Cannabis Professional Advancement Series, and Greenhouse Venture, LLC. Steve also serves on both Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Philadelphia County administrative committees charged with drafting and revising state and local cannabis related regulations. Steve earned his B.A. degree from Pennsylvania State University and his J.D. degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, where he served as an editor of the Law Review and graduated with honors. Before entering private practice, Steve served as law clerk to a U.S. District Court judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Matt Schweich, (MPP) is the deputy director of the Marijuana Policy Project and oversees ballot initiative operations. He is the treasurer of the 2018 marijuana legalization campaign in Michigan and also coordinates MPP's support of the 2018 medical marijuana campaign in Utah. He previously served as MPP's interim executive director. During the 2016 elections, he was the campaign director for the successful marijuana legalization ballot initiative campaigns in Maine and Massachusetts, and he also worked on the 2016 Nevada campaign. In addition to running ballot initiative campaigns, he has coordinated legislative advocacy efforts in a number of states including Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Prior to joining MPP, he worked in Rhode Island politics. He is a graduate of Bowdoin College.
Roy Schultheis, (Sr. Advisor, Carlos Curbelo) Roy Milan Schultheis is an entrepreneur who started a financing and real estate company, while simultaneously working as chief strategist and partner at a business consulting firm. After nearly a decade growing three successful businesses, Roy accepted an offer as chief of staff to a member of Congress representing South Florida. During his tenure as chief of staff, Roy worked on key legislative issues including tax reform, climate change, immigration, and cannabis. Roy was born and raised in Miami, Florida, and graduated with a degree in finance from the Warrington College of Business at the University of Florida.
Sundie Seefried (CEO/President of Partner Colorado Credit Union & Safe Harbor Private Banking, located in Denver Colorado) She has served in the Credit Union industry since 1983 and as CEO since 2001. She holds a Bachelors in Business Management from the University of Maryland and an MBA in Finance from Regis University. Instead of heading into retirement at the end of 2014, she designed a full scope Cannabis Banking Program that has withstood the scrutiny of 8 Federal and State exams and has realized great success in terms of removing cash from the communities; thus, making the State safer for the public as well as assisting Federal and local law enforcement. She now banks $100 million per month in cannabis funds; resulting in more than a 35% market share of the Colorado cannabis industry that includes both licensed cannabis and ancillary businesses serving the industry. To assist other financial institutions interested in serving this emerging market, she authored the book ‘Navigating Safe Harbor – Cannabis Banking in Uncertain Times’ in 2016, which is available at SafeHarborPrivateBanking.com or Amazon.com. She regularly provides cannabis banking education to legislators, regulators and financial institutions and has established herself as an expert on the topic; having her program featured in the NY Times Magazine this past January. To take the Safe Harbor program to the national level and help bring banking to the cannabis industry in other states, she launched a new company in 2017 owned by Partner Colorado Credit Union and will have 4 additional financial institutions operating the Safe Harbor Program by year end.
Joe Segalia, (Terra Tech) is the General Counsel of Terra Tech Corp., the country's first publicly-traded cannabis company, where he oversees the company’s legal department, including mergers and acquisitions, financings, regulatory compliance and government relations. Prior to joining Terra Tech, he was a partner at a boutique New York City law firm where he represented several cannabis clients. Joe has a JD from NYU and an LLM from University College London.
Tom Sellers (West Coast AML Services) served as a federal money laundering prosecutor for 10 years with the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. and is a leading expert in the financial operations of Colombian and Mexico-based drug cartels. While at DOJ, Mr. Sellers specialized in the prosecution of Bank Secrecy Act, Money Laundering Control Act and Office of Foreign Assets Control violations, and was the lead prosecutor responsible for most of the Department's landmark prosecutions of financial institutions for money laundering. Most recently, he served as the Chief Investigative Counsel for Treasury’s Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, responsible for more than 160 criminal and civil prosecutions of banks and bankers for complex financial crimes. Mr. Sellers is a recognized expert in enterprise-wide risk management and has specialized experience in the identification and mitigation of risks in banking and corporate operations.
Mary Shapiro (Evoke Law) is an intellectual property attorney specializing in trademark, copyright, and internet law. A former client of intellectual property law services, her focus is on effectively enhancing and protecting the value of her client’s intellectual property. Following a 20-year career in the publishing industry, she started her legal career at Townsend and Townsend and Crew LLP (now Kilpatrick Stockton), then the largest intellectual property law firm in the west. Mary began her solo practice in 2009, continuing to focus on trademark, copyright and internet issues for technology, medical device and pharmaceutical companies, wineries, foundations and consumer products.
Steph Sherer (President, ASA and Director of Innovations, ICCI ) is founder and President of Americans for Safe Access, the largest national member-based organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists, and concerned citizens promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research.
Her direct experience with the medical benefits of cannabis and her political organizing background led Steph to form ASA in 2002 with the purpose of building a strong grassroots movement to protect patients and their rights. As a powerful advocate, a skilled spokesperson, and an energetic initiator of campaigns, Steph has trained over 100,000 individuals across the country on civic engagement. Steph has become the foremost international leader and expert on medical cannabis patient advocacy and, alongside American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), has created the first industry standards in the areas of Distribution, Cultivation, Analytics, and Manufacturing, Packaging and Labeling.
Aaron Smith (NCIA) is co-founder and executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, the largest trade association representing legal cannabis businesses in the U.S and the only one working to advance the industry on a national level. Prior to launching NCIA, Aaron distinguished himself as a public advocate for marijuana policy reform — first under the auspices of a California-based medical cannabis advocacy group, Safe Access Now in 2005, and then as the California state policy director for the Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project until founding NCIA in 2010. Aaron has successfully built coalitions with elected officials on both sides of the aisle in order to advance marijuana law reform legislation. Aaron’s opinion pieces have appeared in major newspapers, including the San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times, and he has been a frequent commentator on national television news networks. Originally from California, Aaron is currently based in Denver.
Andrew Smith, (Surterra Holdings) is Senior Vice President of External Affairs for Surterra Holdings, a medical cannabis company with licenses in Florida and Texas. Surterra is a vertically integrated medical cannabis company that sells several products of extracted CBD and THC oils. Andrew is a member of the Executive Team and is responsible for overseeing and managing the Government Relations team at the State and Federal level as well as all external communications in this space.
Previously, Andrew served as a Senior Vice President at McGuireWoods Consulting in Washington, DC. Andrew served clients that are highly regulated at the state and federal levels of government. Prior to joining the private sector, Andrew spent a decade working in government, campaigns and the public policy arenas. In particular, Andrew worked as Finance Director & Senior Advisor for Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe where he oversaw the strategy, development and implementation of a record-breaking $44 million fundraising operation. Andrew began his career in public policy with Senator Mark Warner (D-VA). During Senator Warner’s 2008 campaign for the U.S. Senate, Andrew served as his personal aide, followed by working in Senator Warner's Capitol Hill office and later promoted to overseeing the Senator's political action committee as its Executive Director. Andrew has also worked on numerous other national Presidential campaigns, including Hillary Clinton's presidential bid in 2008 and on President Obama’s 2012 re-election overseeing Mid-Atlantic fundraising operations.
Andrew is originally from Chicago and is a graduate from Georgetown University with a degree in Government and History. He currently lives in Greenwich, Connecticut with his wife Laura and son Holden.
.Jazmyn Stover, Esq. (SSEG Law) is a member of several SSEG practice groups including Commercial and General Litigation; Business, Transactional, Securities, and Corporate; Human Resources, Labor and Employment; and Regulated Products. Her practice focuses in the areas of labor and employment law, general civil litigation and business matters. Jazmyn helps businesses and corporate clients reduce employment-related risks by emphasizing proactive workforce management. She takes a proactive approach with clients by reviewing and analyzing company policies and human resource practices to ensure legal compliance and minimize the possibility of disputes. As such, Jazmyn’s practice focuses on counseling employers of all sizes concerning compliance with employment laws and regulations and assists employers in resolving day-to-day employment-related issues. She has experience representing both public and private clients before administrative agencies, including the State Employment Relations Board, the Department of Labor, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Ohio Civil Rights Commission, as well as in state and federal courts. Ms. Stover also assists employers with workplace-related matters such as employment discrimination, wage and hour issues, unfair competition and contract disputes. In addition to litigating matters for public and private entities, Jazmyn is a trusted advisor to many businesses and their owners seeking legal advice. She assists business clients in everything from business entity formation to dissolutions, including sales & marketing, mergers & acquisitions, real estate transactions and business succession planning. Jazmyn helps clients with meeting their goals, preventing and minimizing problems and increasing profits. Jazmyn is recognized by Ohio Super Lawyers as a Rising Star in the area of labor and employment law.
Daniel Straga, (Venable LLP) is an associate in Venable's Corporate Practice in the Washington, DC office, where he counsels publicly and privately held companies on a wide variety of corporate and business matters across a range of industries. He has advised both strategic companies and financial sponsors in mergers and acquisitions and private equity transactions. With a particular focus on cross-border acquisitions, divestitures, and reorganizations, he has offered recommendations to clients on transactions touching over 60 countries throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and South America. Dan has also guided financial sponsors in several venture capital transactions and equity capital financings, and assisted both public and private companies with a diverse array of corporate governance matters. His experience includes service to clients in the media, banking, automotive, technology, industrial, logistics, and consumer goods industries.
Jeanne Sullivan, (The Arcview Venture Fund) – Advisor, Investor, Speaker is a fierce advocate and for the regulation and legalization of the Cannabis industry. Jeanne is a co-founder of StarVest Partners, a venture capital firm in NYC and long- time tech investor. Ms. Sullivan is a sought-after industry speaker on the subject of “how to get the wallet out of investors’ pocket.” Named by Business Insider 2018 as one of the “rising stars” in the cannabis investing landscape, Sullivan likes leveraging her tech investing experience in this fast growing sector about science, wellness, social justice issues and wealth creation. Jeanne is a member of the Women’s Leadership Board at the Harvard Kennedy School and is an Athena Entrepreneur Fellow for Barnard College. She is on the Global Board of Trustees of Astia, an organization that funds high-growth women entrepreneurs. Forbes cited Sullivan as “one of the women VCs changing the world – grooming the next generation of female entrepreneurs”. The New York Angels organization honored Jeanne as the OPEL award winner – Outstanding Professionals for Entrepreneurial Leadership. 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.
Laura Thrift, (Representative Blumenauer)
Jeremy Unruh, (PharmaCannis) serves as the PharmaCann director of regulatory and external affairs. He brings a fifteen-year track record as a government prosecutor and big firm lawyer to the nascent medical cannabis industry. Jeremy is responsible for the company’s external matters, including legislative policy and public affairs; media relationships; and coordination with state and local regulators. He works closely with PharmaCann’s finance team to facilitate investor and banking relationships. He manages lobbying efforts in seven statehouses and Washington, D.C., and is at the tip of the spear as PharmaCann works to develop its licensed facilities in Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. As one of the company’s original employees, Jeremy served as PharmaCann’s first general counsel and chief compliance officer, responsible for the buildout, security, and warehousing functions of the three existing PharmaCann cultivation centers and eight operational dispensaries in Illinois and New York: Developed and commissioned two 60,000 ft.2 cultivation centers and four dispensaries in Illinois. Developed and commissioned a 130,000 ft.2 manufacturing center and four dispensaries in New York. Managed interaction between company and the state regulatory agencies of New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio and Massachusetts relating to the licensed cultivation and distribution of medical cannabis. Developed the legal and regulatory compliance systems for all of the PharmaCann operational facilities with more than 240 employees.
John Vardaman, III (Hypur) is Executive Vice President & General Counsel of Hypur, a compliance and payments software company that enables financial institutions to service cash-intensive businesses, including state-legalized marijuana businesses and money service businesses. Mr. Vardaman is an attorney with fifteen years of senior federal government experience in the enforcement of federal laws and policies concerning money laundering, the Bank Secrecy Act, and other financial crimes. From 2006 to 2016, Mr. Vardaman worked at the Department of Justice, first in the Office of Legal Policy, and then as Assistant Deputy Chief in the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section. In 2014, Mr. Vardaman drafted the DOJ policy regarding marijuana banking, known as the Cole Memorandum, which explains how banks can permissibly service marijuana-related businesses. From 2001 to 2006, Mr. Vardaman served as Special Assistant to the General Counsel at the Department of the Treasury. Mr. Vardaman received his undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University in 1993, and his law degree from Georgetown University in 1997.
Mitzi Vaughn, (AltoTerre Capital Partners) currently serves as the Director of Legal for AltoTerra Capital Partners and The Verte Advisors. From 2013 to 2017 she was the Managing Attorney of Greenbridge Corporate Counsel, a transactional law boutique exclusively serving the cannabis industry. She advised a wide range of cannabis industry clients regarding corporate, transactional, and employment matters, as well as Washington adult-use and medical cannabis regulations. In addition to her practice, Mitzi has advised governmental bodies regarding cannabis regulation, including the Hawaii Legislature’s Joint Health Committee, the Jamaican Cannabis Licensing Authority, the Washington State Legislature, and the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board. She regularly speaks at conferences about cannabis law, and has been interviewed by radio, print, and television media regarding cannabis industry issues. Mitzi serves as General Counsel for The Cannabis Alliance and sits on the Advisory Council of Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP), the founding committee of the Ad Hoc US Coalition for Global Drug Policy Reform, and the founding board of the National Cannabis Bar Association (NCBA).
David Wenger, Esq. (Nicoletti Hornig & Sweeney) a senior associate, focuses his practice on the litigation and arbitration of complex disputes. David has significant experience handling litigation matters in courts across the United States, including first-chair federal court trial experience and appeals before several Circuit Courts of Appeal. David has also represented corporations and foreign government entities in numerous domestic and international arbitration proceedings. David has formulated and implemented successful strategies for clients involved in high-stakes parallel proceedings in multiple forums. He has also worked on several landmark arbitration-related litigation matters.
In addition to David's dispute-resolution experience, David advises sophisticated corporate clients on high-value transactions and prepares complex contracts in industries including financial services, healthcare, media, construction, manufacturing, software, energy, and real estate. He also has significant experience with regulatory and internal investigations in diverse industries including pharmaceuticals, transportation, and logistics.
Prior to joining the firm in 2015, David practiced litigation and arbitration at a global law firm for 9 years. David also worked in the Chambers of the Honorable Harold Baer, Jr. in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York as a law student clerk.
Jane West is CEO of the eponymous cannabis lifestyle brand Jane West, which is dedicated to developing sophisticated, user-friendly products designed to elevate the cannabis consumer experience and ignite broader social change. Since launching the company in 2015, West has raised more than $1.3 million in capital through early stage fundraising and an innovative equity crowdfunding campaign, expanding the company’s ownership from a single seed investor to an international group of stakeholders in which 80 percent of equity is owned by women and people of color. West is also the founder of Women Grow, the cannabis industry’s largest professional networking organization. West began her work in the mainstream cannabis industry with the 2014 launch of the consumption-friendly cannabis events company Edible Events,whose breakthrough “On a High Note” collaboration with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra captured international media attention.
Elizabeth Westbrook, (Buchanan, Ingersool & Rooney) is an executive with 30 years’ professional operations experience applied within a variety of industries including real estate, finance, .com, interior design and investment banking. Credentials include development of strategic initiatives, project management, program management, and operations staff management. Broad range of expertise in the operations arena from origination to management of IT (including software development), marketing, finance, contracting and negotiation, human resources and benefits, member services, certification program management, event management, day-to-day operations, and corporate analytics and reporting.
Joe Wilson, (Kelley Drye) is involved in business litigation in federal and state courts, before government agencies, and in arbitrations and mediations. Joe’s experience includes representing companies in litigation and dispute resolution involving business and employment law issues and various other kinds of commercial disputes, such as those pertaining to commercial and financial transactions, intellectual property and issues of telecommunications law, among others. Notably, Joe also advises on litigation and other matters involving the increasingly contentious area of federal, state and local laws pertaining to the taking, use, display and sale of animals and animal products. These claims frequently involve the Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act and Animal Welfare Act. Joe is known for his creativity and practical approach to problem-solving. In addition to honed skill in litigation management and cost containment, Joe is appreciated for his ability to align litigation objectives with each client’s overall business objectives. A smart and charismatic negotiator and strategist, both inside and outside of the courtroom, Joe resolves even the most difficult disputes, often by finding value for both sides in support of the right outcome for his client.
Will Woodlee, (Kleinfeld, Kaplan, Becker) is a partner who joined Kleinfeld, Kaplan & Becker in 2010. Will’s practice focuses primarily on counseling and advocating on behalf of food, dietary supplement, cosmetic, pharmaceutical, medical device, tobacco, and consumer product companies on regulatory and advertising law matters. In particular, he: Provides practical, creative, and strategic advice to help clients achieve their business goals in compliance with laws implemented and enforced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Drug Enforcement Administration, and related federal, state, and local agencies; Represents clients before and against these agencies, including in the context of rulemaking and guidance development proceedings, facility and import inspections, pre-market submission reviews, enforcement actions, and legal challenges to agency action; Assists clients with developing, reviewing, defending, and challenging advertising copy and claim substantiation; Provides due diligence and related services to clients in transactional matters involving regulated entities; Assists clients with internal and other (e.g., CRO) investigations involving regulatory issues; and Provides guidance on the design and implementation of sweepstakes, contests, and related promotional programs, especially those conducted using social media. Will currently serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of the Food and Drug Law Journal and has previously served on the Food and Drug Law Institute’s (FDLI’s) Food, Dietary Supplements, and Cosmetics Committee and on the Editorial Advisory Board of FDLI’s Update magazine. He frequently writes and speaks about the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, and he served as editor for FDLI’s The Food Safety Modernization Act: A Comprehensive, Practical Guide to the Landmark Legislation. He also has extensive experience with the regulation of tobacco products, electronic cigarettes, and other nicotine-containing products at the federal, state, and local levels. For 2015-2018, Super Lawyers named Will a “Rising Star” of the Washington, DC, metro area’s “Food & Drugs” bar.
Brandon L. Wyatt Esq., is a decorated army combat soldier and disabled veteran.He received his Juris Doctorate from Howard University School of Law. Despite being a business attorney, Brandon is dedicated to law & applied sociology in the arena of employment/ labor law, civil rights, disability rights, and Veteran’s health care. Throughout his legal education and career, Brandon has sought and undertaken targeted tasks which have cultivated keen analytical skills, a functional understanding of policy development.
Henry Wykowski (Wykowski & Associates) is a nationally recognized cannabis attorney and counsel of choice for the most significant challenges facing the industry. Henry has orchestrated successful representation in the industry’s most important cases, including the forfeiture actions filed by the federal government against Harborside Health Center (the nation’s largest dispensary), and Berkeley Patient's Group (the oldest operating dispensary). Henry has also distinguished himself in the representation of dispensaries in actions brought by the IRS. As counsel in Californians Helping to Alleviate Medical Problems (CHAMP) v. Commissioner, he established important precedents recognizing the right to deduct cost of cannabis sold and limiting the punitive applicability of IRC Sec. 280E. Henry’s legal strategies have assured his clients, and the industry, continued success. His firm represents and advises clients in all areas relating to the cannabis industry. Henry is a frequent speaker and serves as counsel for many of the most prominent leaders in the industry. A former federal prosecutor, he currently is counsel of the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA), the California Cannabis Industry Association and the National Cannabis Bar Association.
Katy Young, Esq. (Ad Astra Law Group) represents both plaintiffs and defendants in business disputes and real estate claims, including matters for cannabis industry litigants. She graduated from University of the Pacific cum laude and received her law degree from University of San Francisco where she graduated magna cum laude. She has been named a Northern California Super Lawyer Rising Star for 2014 through 2017.