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Patient Advocate since 1977.


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European Cannabis News Roundup 2017 And Predictions For 2018 By Marguerite Arnold

Germany, Poland, Spain, Slovenia, Portugal and Greece have made considerable efforts to legalize cannabis.

Europe saw big developments on the cannabis front all year. This includes country-by-country developments that include legalization of medical use and even plans to begin domestic production, no matter how delayed such plans have turned out to be.

By far the most interesting market developments were in Germany all year. The Teutonic state has entered some interesting territory – even if its potential is still in the development rather than rollout status.

Elsewhere, however, medical acceptance is clearly starting to bloom across the continent in a way that is more reminiscent of American state development than what is about to happen in Canada.

One of the most interesting aspects of European reform however, that is in marked difference to what has happened in the U.S., is that grow facilities are being slowly established with federal authorization, even before further reform comes (see Turkey, Slovenia, Germany and even Denmark).

How reform will continue to roll out and shape the discussion however, is still a matter very much left up to individual European states. Cannabis legalization may become the first uniting issue of the new Deutsch ruling parliamentary coalition, whatever that is. In Spain, the cannabis question might yet be a play in simmering separatist tensions. Across the continent, legislatures are, for the first time in two generations, reconsidering what cannabis is, how it should be used, and what the penalties should be for those who use the drug either medicinally or recreationally.

Change is still all over the map. And it is still very, very slow.

Germany

The country’s federal legislators voted unanimously to mandate medical coverage of cannabis under public health insurance (which covers 90% of the population) on January 19th. Since then, however, forward movement has been stymied by a combination of forces and politics. While the legislation became law in March and the government established a cannabis agency, other developments have not been so clear cut. Yes, import licenses are being issued. And yes, there is a pending tender bid. However announcements of the finalists have been delayed since August due to lawsuits over qualifications of the growers, among other things. The new German government (whatever it will be) plus apparent CETA (EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement)-related complications have all added to the drama. That said, when the cannabis opera moves into its next act, as of probably early next year, expect to see domestic medical grow go forward. Importing medical supplies, even from across the continent (which is what is happening now) is ludicrously expensive. Rumours are already flying out of Berlin that further cannabis reform is one of the few things that all parties can agree to as a new government forms.

Holland

Sadly, the biggest cannabis-related “development” this year was the decision by all major health insurers to stop covering the drug, just as the German government changed its mind about the issue. Greater regulation of coffee shop grows coupled with this lack of insurance coverage means that patients are being forced into a coffee shop culture which is also commoditizing and commercializing into a high-volume affair, particularly in Amsterdam. While this might just be the new face of an old business, the laid back “coffee shop” culture of yore is an endangered species.

Barcelona, capital of Catalonia
Photo: Bert Kaufmann

Spain

Catalonian independence made headlines globally this year. So did the associated bid for other freedoms of a cannabis sort – particularly in Barcelona. Club grows were set to become more regulated as of this summer. However the massive Catalonian bid for independence has further muddied the waters. Given the fact that cannabis reform appears to be at the forefront of finding political compromise elsewhere in Germany, perhaps givebacks about taxes for this industry might be one way to temper down the still-raging separatist forces afoot.

Poland

The Polish government surprised everyone this fall, and legalized the drug for medical purposes (at least in theory) in November. What this actually means for patients is another story. There are no plans to cultivate on the radar. Patients under the new law are allowed to travel to other countries to seek their medical cannabis. How they might afford it is another question. Not to mention how they will escape prosecution from personal importation if checked at a border.

Warsaw, Poland
Image: Nikos Roussos, Flickr

Polish pharmacists will however be trained on how to make medicaments from imported cannabis. They will have to be registered with the Office for the Registration of Medical Products. This means that pharmacists must be pre-registered with the government – in a move much like the early days of the Israeli medical program. The medicine is expected to cost about $460 a month. How well this will work in serving the country’s more than 300,000 already eligible patients is another story.

Greece

Cannabis economists have long said that what the Greeks really need to heal their economy is a vibrant cannabis injection. And as of mid-November early investors in the nascent market had already staked close to $2 billion in cultivation opportunities. Senior ministers in the government have also publicly backed plans to move Greece into a strategic position to claim a piece of a global cannabis market estimated to reach 200 billion dollars a year by the end of the next decade. It means jobs. It means capital infusions. Exactly, in other words, what the Greek economy desperately needs. Expect to see further formalization of the grow program here in 2018 for sure.

Lithuania

It appears that quite a few countries in Europe are pushing for real cannabis reform by the end of the year, and this little EU country is joining the list. With a unanimous agreement in Parliament already to change the country’s drug policy, Lithuania’s legislators could vote to legalize the drug on December 12th of this year. All signs look promising.

Slovenia

MCG, an Australian-based company, made news in the fall by announcing a new cannabinoid extraction facility in the country, on track for completion this year. The company also ramped up domestic production operations in August. Real reform here still has a long way to go. However with domestic production underway, greater medical use looks promising.

Denmark

The country signed a production agreement to open a new facility in Odense, the country’s third largest city with Spektrum Cannabis, the medical brand of one of the largest Canadian producers (Canopy Cannabis) now seeking a foothold in Europe late this fall. What this means for ongoing reform in Denmark is also positive. The company will import cannabis via Spektrum Denmark until all the necessary approvals are ironed out for cultivation.

Portugal

While “reform” here is less of an issue than it is elsewhere (since all drugs are decriminalized), Portugal might yet play an interesting role in cross-European legalization. Tilray, another large Canadian-American firm with interests in Europe, announced the construction of a large medical cannabis facility in the country earlier this year. That plant could easily ship medical supplies across Europe as new countries legalize but do not implement grow facilities.

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VERA TWOMEY – Person of the Year 2017

VERA TWOMEY would do anything for her sick child,…even walking 200 miles to the Irish Parliament, in the middle of February, if that’s what it took to get her daughter relief from the daily ravages of childhood Dravet’s Syndrome.

vera

This Irish mother, and her wonderful husband and family, spent the entire year of 2017 working to get Irish government approval for the THC/CBD-based therapy which reduced their daughter’s seizures from 30+ a day,…to zero.

Gaining support from 10,000’s of people throughout the world, but still not getting the approval needed from their government, Vera and the family fled Ireland as medical refugees and moved to Holland.

The epileptic seizures stopped, but their fight back home continued.

Finally, in late November of this year, the Irish Minister of Health granted the approval needed and the family will be back together, at home in Cork, in time for Christmas.

A happy story about a “mother willing to do anything for her sick child” …which blazes the trail for many other patient families in the future.

For youtube videos of Vera’s fight:
https://www.google.de/search?q=youtube+vera+twomey&rlz=1C1CHFX_enDE743DE743&oq=youtube+vera+twomey&aqs=chrome..69i57j69i60l3.4444j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/vera.twomey

=========


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US – German Cannabis Producers Can’t Do Business Together, Here’s Why – by Michael Knodt @ marijuana.com

US, German Cannabis Producers Can’t Do Business Together, Here’s Why


BY MICHAEL KNODT ON

Bureaucratic hurdles and an unexpectedly high demand for medical cannabis in Germany have created a bottleneck that’s plagued cannabis patients and producers alike. It would seem as though working with the United States could alleviate some of the pressure, but the federal government in Germany has avoided working with the country’s producers for fear of violating the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.

Until Germany can develop a robust cannabis cultivation industry, its patients will continue to receive their medicine sporadically from Canada or the Netherlands. While 18 varieties of cannabis are supposed to be available, patients are lucky to find four strains at their local pharmacy — a significant issue when German doctors are required to prescribe a specific strain for patients. If that strain’s not available, the prescription is worthless.

Once the Israeli government has defined their guidelines for cannabis export, their medical cannabis will find its way into German pharmacies to help alleviate the recent bottlenecks. Israel is expected to develop a cannabis export system in the next couple of years.

Cannabis farmers in the U.S. West Coast, Nevada, Colorado, and Alaska might welcome the opportunity to expand into international markets, and patients in Germany could benefit from the new, highly effective selection of U.S. cannabis strains. But the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs labels cannabis on par with cocaine and opium — therein lies the problem for Germany doing business with U.S. cannabis producers.

The Single Convention on Narcotics and Drugs of 1961 is still the foundation of worldwide drug legislation. It includes the coca, opium poppy, cannabis, the opium plant’s raw materials, opiates, heroin, and some synthetic opioids such as methadone. The Convention on Psychotropic Substances of Feb. 21, 1971 extended the list of controlled substances to include psychotropic substances such as amphetamines, barbiturates, and LSD and came into force on Aug. 16, 1976.

Only the medical use of narcotics for pain relief is excluded from the Convention but has to be enacted in compliance with the measures deemed necessary by the United Nations (UN). Member nations must report their produced, exported, stored, and used narcotics to the Narcotic Control Council.

A State Must Purchase All Medical Cannabis Crops

Article 23 of the Single Convention states:

A Party that permits the cultivation of the opium poppy for the production of opium shall establish, if it has not already done so, and maintain, one or more government agencies (hereafter in this article referred to as the Agency) to carry out the functions required under this article.

Article 23 (2) (d) says: “All cultivators of the opium poppy shall be required to deliver their total crops of opium to the Agency. As soon as possible, but not later than four months after the end of the harvest.”

According to Articles 26 and 28 of the Single Convention, the same control system applies to coca and cannabis. Health Canada is in violation of Article 23, paragraph 2d for allowing producers to sell directly to patients. Unlike the Office of Medical Cannabis (OMC) in the Netherlands, the Canadian agency does not purchase and sell the licensed producers’ crops.

The establishment of such an agency is independent of whether government institutions or licensed private providers take over the cultivation. Such agencies only exist in the few states where opium, coca, and cannabis are grown legally: The Turkish Grain Board (for Opium in Turkey), Health Canada’s Office of Controlled Substances, the National Institute on Drug Abuse in the U.S., the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) in Germany, the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety, the Office of Medicinal Cannabis in the Netherlands, the Czech State Agency for Medical Cannabis, and the Medical Cannabis Unit in Israel.

The U.S. government would have to recognize the medical benefits of cannabis and remove the drug from Schedule 1 of the narcotics act before the NIDA could offer medical cannabis for export to the German BfArM.

Ways Around the Single Convention

It is almost impossible for a member of the United Nations to legalize cannabis without coming into conflict with the international community. Uruguay, Bolivia, and Canada have already had to deal with the issue and have each taken different approaches to reconciling new national policy with existing international agreements.

Out and Back In

In 2009, the Bolivian government proposed deleting some provisions regarding the coca leaf, but the proposal was rejected by the other member nations. On June 29, 2011, Bolivia withdrew from the Single Convention through Jan. 1, 2012 and rejoined with an objection to Article 50 on Jan. 10, 2012.

Bolivia stated that it would allow the cultivation, trade, and consumption of coca leaves in its country. Within one year, 15 contracting nations filed an objection, well short of the one-third quorum required to reject Bolivia’s objection. Bolivia was reclassified as a contracting party on Jan. 11, 2013.

Ignore the Issue

Uruguay was reprimanded shortly before the legalization of cannabis by the UN Drug Administration’s International Narcotic Control Board (INCB). The former INCB-president Raymond Yans accused Uruguay’s then-president Jose Mujica of having an “attitude of a pirate” because his government legalized cannabis. Mujica fiercely resisted the allegations repeatedly made against his country and publicly responded to the criticism of the former INCB chairman:

“Tell the old man to stop lying. We can meet whenever he wants in Uruguay. […]. He sits in a comfortable position on the International stage and believes he can tell nonsense.”

Despite the dramatic exchanges, the international community has not sanctioned Uruguay for being the first country in the world to legalize cannabis. Incidentally, a similar complaint was addressed to the United States after the legalization ballots in Colorado and Washington State. In November 2012, Yans stated the legalization of the cultivation and possession of cannabis in Colorado and Washington violated the treaty and asked the U.S. government to restore conformity with the single convention.

Recreational cannabis is legal in eight states and the District of Columbia, and the international community is far from sanctioning the U.S. However, ignoring the treaty also means missing out on access to the international market and the opportunity to take part in international research efforts.

Don’t Comply, Justify

At the 59th meeting of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs in March 2016, Undersecretary for Health of Canada Hilary Geller expressed Canada’s interest in international cooperation and made it clear, “the Government remains committed to strong international cooperation to combat the world drug problem and wherever possible, will seek to align its objectives for a new marijuana regime with the objectives of the international drug control framework and the spirit of the Conventions.”

Canada is the first to take the position of “non-compliance.” With Geller’s announcement, Canada has laid the foundation for an ongoing debate on how to regulate cannabis at the national level without violating international legal obligations.

Change

Even if the 1961 Single Convention could be amended, that would involve a complex, years-long process.

Canada could set a precedent in July 2018, by forcing the U.N. to rethink the position of cannabis for the first time since 1961. The aim of the process would be to give all member nations the opportunity to regulate recreational and medical cannabis in the future. Legislation in international agreements is never set in stone, it can be changed any time the democratic will of the member nations demands it.
ABOUT AUTHOR
Michael Knodt is an expert on cannabis politics and cannabis culture across Europe. Born in North Germany, Michael has been living in Berlin since 1990. He initially studied history and journalism before receiving his certification as a carpenter. Since then, Michael has made regular visits to countries where cannabis is cultivated, such as Jamaica and Morocco. He has worked as a freelancer for Weedmaps, Vice Magazine Germany, Sensi Seeds and numerous German-language cannabis magazines since 2004. From 2005 to 2013, Michael was the Editor-in-Chief of Germanys biggest cannabis periodical. He also is the face and presenter of the most popular program on cannabis prohibition and just launched a new channel called “DerMicha.” Aside from his journalistic work, Michael is a cannabis patient, activist, sought-after speaker on conferences and congresses, and a father of two.


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Regulation in Germany….and we aren’t talking about soccer :)

The current regulation in Germany made it difficult for German companies to apply to get a license for Cannabis cultivation.

** And that is why the process is now held up in litigation in the German court system. One of the unsuccessful bidders has sued over the requirements and the entire application process is on hold, with any potential awards being made in Q1 or Q2 2018 at the earliest.

What is the most popular model for cannabis cultivation in Germany, so far?
The cultivation in Germany is currently not legal, done outdoors and indoors and hidden from sight and smell as best as possible.

There is no legal German cultivation currently allowed, even for patients with valid medical approvals.

There is small cultivation being done as part of R+D projects in Universities and Scientific companies.

Regarding joint ventures: How do foreign cannabis companies usually work together with German companies?

In various ways, based on their business objectives and strategy. Three examples are:

Canopy Growth Corporation purchased a German firm Medcann, which became Spektrum Germany. They are considered by many to be the premier cannabis firm in Germany today.

Maricann of Canada purchased a former cargo facility in Dresden for 3€ million and is ramping up their European operations, adding staff, and building out their new European headquarters.

An international firm is currently in discussions with a German startup, to establish a joint venture partnership which will make news around the world. This partnership should be made public in early 2018 and will be ground-breaking.

To cover the demand of medical cannabis Germany is importing from other countries. Supply is coming especially from Canada. Which other countries might be relevant cannabis suppliers in the future?

Canada and The Netherlands are currently the only authorized countries to import into Germany. Supplies are seriously constrained and with Canada becoming a legal recreational country in July 2018, the supply bottlenecks are expected to be exacerbated well into 2019.

Tilray has announced plans to establish a cultivation facility in Portugal to supply the German, and European market in the future.

The governments of Greece, Israel, South Africa, Australia, Chile, Uruguay, and others are currently working with private sector companies to establish their own cultivation and export capabilities.

Germany, with twice the population of California, is a key market for any serious player in the global cannabis industry.

What is your personal opinion about the current German regulation. What will be the next major steps?

Regulation and taxation is always better than the illegality and violence of the black market. Always.

Thank God for the German court system which has brought legalized medical marijuana to the people, if it were up to the politicians, we would still be waiting.

Now the intelligent implementation of recreational laws need to be established to legalize the plant which has been used for thousands of years.

Reducing opioid deaths, helping certain people with their medical conditions, and enabling super-straight people to enjoy jazz music are just some of the benefits of a world where ganja is regulated, safe, and profitable.

The flower of cannabis will always have a place in the market, but in the next years we will see an increase in other forms of cannabis that are more easily consumed….edibles, oils, salves and the like. As a result, GMP (Good Manufacturing Process) certification is going to become very important for those wanting to establish a quality product in the German and European markets.

And if we look at the European Cannabis market. Which major market trends do you identify?

1- Everyone seems to be focusing on cultivation, but this segment is expected to become a commodity item in the near term. Companies may want to look at establishing a product line including “finished products with GMP certification” to become a leading force in this market.

2- At some point the insurance companies are going to become true partners in providing cannabis therapies to the German pharmacies. This will happen as a result of cost-savings and health-benefits realized vs. the current pharmaceuticals offered to patients.

3- In the words of Peter Tosh:
“Legalize it.”

The Berlin Peace Accords (attached) calls for an end to the 80 year World War On Cannabis, and we agree. Legal, regulated, safe and non-violent recreational marijuana markets have already been established in the US and Uruguay, with Canada and others joining the party in 2018.

Pharmaceutical companies don’t like it, Beer companies don’t like it (although the owners of Corona beer just invested $250 million in Canopy Growth’s cannabis business last month) and some short-sighted politicians don’t like it. But “We the People…” have made our opinions known and the calls for a rational, legal, safe and non-violent cannabis market is just a few moments away here in the center of Europe.

These are historic times, Germany is leading the world in many ways, 2018 will be an interesting year.

peace,
Phil


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2017 CBE 75 Most Important Women

2018 Ranking Name and Image Job Title Company Location Category
1
Patricia Rosi

CEO Wellness Connection of Maine Portland, ME PPR
Patricia Rosi is CEO of the Wellness Connection of Maine, the state’s largest group of medical marijuana dispensaries. Wellness Connection operates four state-licensed dispensaries and one growing facility. Motivated by a newfound commitment to make a positive difference in the lives of others, Rosi joined the board of directors of the Wellness Connection. From there, she advanced to VP of Marketing, then to chief operating officer, and finally to her current position as CEO. As the largest medical marijuana dispensary group in Maine, Wellness Connection is currently serving over 10,000 qualified patients a year.
1
Nancy Whiteman

Co-Founder & Co-Owner Wana Brands Denver, CO PPR
Heralded as “The Queen of Legal Weed” by Inc. Magazine (May 2017), Nancy Whiteman is co-founder and co-owner of Wana Brands, which produces Wana Edibles, Wana Extracts, and Wana Medicinals. Nancy founded Wana Brands in 2010, and now Wana Brands is ranked the No. 1 edibles producer in sales revenues in the highly competitive Colorado market according to BDS Analytics. Nancy directs the development of partnerships and licensing agreements domestically and internationally. She also leads the company’s strategic vision, and has been instrumental in Wana Brands’ growth into new and emerging markets. Prior to founding Wana, Nancy was a principal with The Whiteman Group, a sales and marketing consultancy, and previously held a range of senior level marketing and business development positions including Vice President, Marketing and New Corporate Ventures for the Paul Revere Insurance Group in Massachusetts. Nancy holds a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University and an MBA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She is on the Board of the Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA), and is a member of the National Cannabis Industry Association, and Colorado Leads, which promotes an environment of sensible regulation that creates certainty and sustainability for all companies that have benefited from legalization of medical and adult use marijuana. In addition to being available in nearly 85 percent of Oregon’s dispensaries, the company is also in two-thirds of Nevada dispensaries, and has partnerships in Arizona and Illinois that will bring its products to those states in 2017. Additionally, Wana Brands will launch in 2018 in Maryland and Florida, and is in discussion with potential partners in discussion with potential partners in California, Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and internationally in Canada.
3
Beth Stavalo

Founder & CEO of Stavola Medical Marijuana Holdings, Health for Life Inc., President of CGX Health for Life Mesa, AZ PPR
Ms. Stavola is the founder of Stavola Medical Marijuana Holdings, Health for Life Inc., GreenMart of Nevada, GreenMart of Maryland, Elemental Health Group of Pennsylvania, and CBD For Life. She has been the driving force behind the development of these thriving cannabis businesses into profitable, strong brands. Prior to her successful career in the cannabis industry, Ms. Stavola was a senior Wall Street executive, where she spent most of her career at Jefferies and Company, most recently as Senior Vice President, Institutional Equity Sales. Earlier this year, The Canadian Bioceutical Corporation (CSE: BCC, OTC PINK:CBICF) appointed Stavola as President of the Company’s wholly owned subsidiary, CGX. In her new role, Ms. Stavola will be responsible for the operation of the Arizona business, as well as the Company’s other U.S. operations.
4
Kirsten Gillibrand

US Senator New York New York, NY Regulator
In March, 2015, Gillibrand co-sponsored The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States Act (CARERS) which seeks significant reforms in marijuana policy in the U.S., according to the Brookings Institution. In June, 2017, Gillibrand (D-NY) – along with Cory Booker (D-NJ), Rand Paul (R-KY), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Al Franken (D-MN), and Mike Lee (R-UT) – reintroduced the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act, a bipartisan bill that would allow Americans to access medical marijuana in states where it is legal without fear of federal prosecution. The bill would also permit doctors with the Department of Veterans Affairs to recommend medical marijuana to veterans to treat serious injuries and chronic conditions. When the CARERS Act was originally introduced in the last session of Congress, it was the first medical marijuana bill ever to be introduced into the U.S. Senate.
5
Sally Van Der Veer

President & Co-Owner Medicine Man Denver, CO PPR
Sally Vander Veer, president and co-owner of Colorado’s Medicine Man, runs the day-to-day operations of the 40,000 square foot cultivation facility, four dispensaries and 90 employees. Under her leadership, Medicine Man continues to expand their retail footprint by adopting mainstream retail strategies to expand both customer experience, customer base, and profit. Vander Veer holds degrees in chemistry and business, and spent over 20 years in the pharmaceutical industry working for Parke-Davis and Pfizer, first as a research and development chemist and later in sales and clinical trial development prior to entering the marijuana industry.
6
Brooke Gehring

Co-Founder, Chairwoman, & CEO FGS Inc. Denver, CO PPR
Brooke Gehring founded Live Green Consulting in Denver, Colorado and first became involved in the medical marijuana industry in 2009. She is co-founder, chairwoman and chief executive officer of FGS Inc., Patients Choice of Colorado and Live Green Cannabis, an industry leading state legal medical and recreational marijuana company holding 26 state and local licenses that operates across four locations in the front range of Colorado, and two large-scale cultivation operations that employ upward of 75 state licensed employees. She serves on the executive board of the Marijuana Industry Group (MIG), which is the largest and oldest industry trade organization in Colorado. She is a sustaining member of the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA), and board member of the Cultivation 2017 conference. She is also on the Cannabis Dispensary Times Editorial Board. Gehring is a founding board member of the Council for Responsible Cannabis Regulation (CRCR), and a funding founder of Women Grow. Gehring also consults in three of the country’s extraction-only markets in Minnesota, New York and Pennsylvania. Gehring most recently served on the Colorado State Licensing Authority’s A64 Working Groups several times as member and stakeholder for the Production Management, Licensing, Licensed Premises, Transportation and Storage, Taxation, Testing and Random Sampling discussions, along with the Senate Bill 40 work group. Gehring is actively involved in promoting the public policy for Amendment 20 and 64, 280E tax reform, and banking solutions that will continue to help shape the future of this industry.
7
Rosa Cazares

CEO LaMota Farms Portland, OR
PPR
Rosa Cazares is the CEO of La Mota, one of Oregon’s largest dispensary chains – with fifteen locations so far around Oregon. The company also has a variety of other cannabis businesses and is a force to be reckoned with.
8
Kristi Knoblich Palmer

Co-Founder & CEO Kiva Confections Oakland, CA PPR
Kristi Knoblich Palmer is co-founder and chief operating officer of Kiva Confections. Founded in 2010, Kiva’s mission is to produce safe, consistent and delicious edibles. Palmer is the driving force behind Kiva’s customer service philosophy, employee development and best practices in manufacturing, business and marketing. She and her team have successfully grown the company to more than 80 employees, serving over 1,000 stores in California, Arizona, Nevada and Illinois. Palmer also holds a board seat on the CCIA as the northern California vice president, and chairs its manufacturing committee. She is one of the co-founders of the California Cannabis Manufacturing Association.
9
AC Braddock

CEO Eden Labs Seattle, WA AB
AC Braddock is CEO of Eden Labs an innovative organization that designs and builds multiple types of distillation and extraction systems across industries such as nutraceuticals, flavorings, liquor, essential oils, food oils, hops, and many other applications. She is a board member of Pacific Century Holdings, NCIA (National Cannabis Industry Association), the NCIA Federal Policy Council and Washington state’s The Cannabis Alliance. Ms. Braddock is also a founding supporter of three Cannabis Women’s groups, WOW (Women of Weed), The Cannabis Women’s Alliance, and Women Grow.
10
Debby Goldsberry

Executive Director Magnolia Wellness Oakland, CA PPR
Debby Goldsberry has nearly 30 years experience as a leader in the medical and adult use marijuana industry. She is executive director at Magnolia Wellness, an award-winning dispensary in Oakland, California, and is the managing director of the Berkeley Community Care Center dispensary at Amoeba Music. She co-founded the Berkeley Patients Group (BPG) medical cannabis collective in 1999, directing its growth for over 11 years. Goldsberry also owns and operates Emergent Management Consulting, a cannabusiness firm in Oakland. She developed and implemented standard operating procedures for procurement, product safety, patient relations, and business management and operations, which have been replicated by dispensaries around the nation. As a community leader, Goldsberry is active in the campaign to reform the California cannabis laws and to protect patient’s rights. She co-founded and directed Americans for Safe Access (ASA), Medical Cannabis Safety Council (MCSC), and Cannabis Action Network (CAN). She is a former board member at California NORML and of the Marijuana Policy Project, and is a professor at Oaksterdam University, teaching dispensary operations and management. In 2017, Goldsberry published her first book, Idiot’s Guide: Starting and Running a Marijuana Business (Penguin Random House). Goldsberry has been a staff writer at DOPE Magazine and High Times Medical Marijuana Magazine, was a featured blogger at “Smell the Truth” and “Ladybud.” She currently writes for Freedom Leaf and Cannabis Dispensary Magazine.
11
Sue Sisley

Researcher & Psychiatrist Scottsdale Research Institute, LLC Scottsdale, AZ Advocate
After gaining approval from the National Institutes of Drug Addiction (NIDA) in 2014 to study the effects of marijuana in treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) at the University of Arizona, Dr. Sisley was unceremoniously fired before receiving a $2 million grant from the state of Colorado to study how marijuana affects veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. But an amendment passed by the Senate and the House in 2016 allowing veterans to get medical marijuana in any state that allows the use of therapeutic cannabis was removed during a special committee meeting before the final appropriations bill was approved. In March, 2017, Sisley was dropped by Johns Hopkins University as a reasearch partner for the first-ever study of cannabis for veterans. But she is moving ahead with her study, sponsored by Santa Cruz, California.-based Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), and funded with a $2.1 million grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. She is currently a faculty member for Patients Out of Time, an education forum for the restoration of medical cannabis knowledge.
12-13
Cassandra Farrington & Anne Holland

Co-Founder & CEO Marijuana Business Daily Denver, CO AB
Cassandra Farrington and Anne Holland launched Marijuana Business Daily when the industry was in its infancy and have built a business to business media powerhouse led by Marijuana Business Magazine, MjBizCon the leading tradeshow producer in the Cannabis Industry, the Marijuana Factbook and editorial coverage that spans North America with their recent addition of a Canadian bureau. Inc Magazine ranked Marijuana Business Daily #528 on its 2017 INC. 5000 with $10.1 million in annual revenues with expectations of significant growth in 2017 as well.
14
Meg Sanders

Founding Partner Will & Way Coventry, CT AB
Meg Sanders is a pioneer in the cannabis industry. She was an integral part of the beginning of medical and recreational cannabis in Colorado, and has been fighting for patient access across America, meeting with over 1,000 state legislators and educating them on best practices. She is founding partner of International cannabis consulting firm Will & Way. Sanders previously built one of the nation’s premiere vertically integrated cannabusinesses, Mindful, where she served as CEO for seven years.
15
Jamie Lewis

Founder and CEO Mountain Medicine Denver, CO PPR
Jaime Lewis has over a decade of experience leading medical marijuana dispensary operations and managing the production of medical marijuana-infused products. Prior to joining Mayflower Medicinals, Jaime was the Chief Operating Officer of a large Colorado medical dispensary operation, where she was responsible for operations, strategic planning, business development, governmental affairs and community relations. She is the founder of Mountain Medicine, an infused cannabis product manufacturer and distributor to Colorado dispensaries. Jaime is a founding member and former chair of the Cannabis Business Alliance, an influential trade organization that functions as the Colorado industry’s chamber of commerce, and a current board member and chair of the National Cannabis Industry Association, where she serves as a national spokesperson for the regulated cannabis industry. As a NCIA board member and a founder of the Cannabis Business Alliance, Lewis have effectively supported business involvement and trade group engagement. In an effort to ensure NCIA’s federal representation, Lewis worked to strengthen its lobbying efforts. Lewis recently launched NCIA’s infused Products Council, and was instrumental in facilitating a collaboration with the Council on Responsible Cannabis Regulation on a new Packaging and Labeling Standards Committee. She has provided testimony and guidance to legislators and regulators across the U.S., supporting the creation of responsible regulations.
16
Lilach Mazor Power

Founder & Managing Director The Giving Tree Wellness Center Phoenix, AZ PPR
Lilach Mazor Power is co-founder and managing director of The Giving Tree Wellness Center, an Arizona-licensed medical cannabis dispensary.The Giving Tree has two retail locations and 15,000 square feet of cultivation and extraction. A former Israeli soldier, Power earned her bachelor’s degree in business and marketing from the New England College branch in Tel Aviv before coming to the U.S. and opening The Giving Tree in 2013. Since then,The Giving Tree has continued to grow, with plans to open dispensaries in Puerto Rico and Maryland in 2018.
17
Lori Ajax

Bureau Chief Bureau Chief California Bureau of Cannabis Control Sacramento, CA Regulator
In February, 2016, California Governor Jerry Brown appointed Lori Ajax as bureau chief of the Bureau of Cannabis Control to oversee the implementation and administration of California’s seed-to-sale regulations on medical cannabis. Prior to her appointment, Ajax served as chief deputy director at the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, after spending 22 years working her way up the ranks and 10 years in private industry prior to joining state government. The Bureau of Cannabis Control is the lead agency in developing regulations for medical and adult-use cannabis in California.
18
Gina Berman

CEO & Medical Director Blue Door Therapeutics/The Giving Tree Wellness Center Scottsdale, AZ PPR
Dr. Gina Berman earned her doctorate degree from Georgetown University and is board certified in addiction and emergency medicine. She is currently the medical director of two medical cannabis dispensaries in Phoenix and Mesa, where she counsels patients in alternative therapies, oversees the creation and cultivation of high quality, safe medical cannabis products, and advocates the latest research in medical cannabis. Blue Door is the first opioid outpatient treatment center to combine the use of medical cannabis with traditional medicine, alternative and naturopathic therapeutics as an exit strategy for dependence on pain pills (opioids).
19-21
Amy, Keely and Hillary Peckham

Co-Founders, CEO, COO & CHO Etain, LLC Katonah, NY PPR
Amy (mother) has a long background in corporate administration and management; daugher Keeley has agricultural expertise as a horticultural therapist; sister Hillary is experienced with alternative therapies after suffering from chronic pain and muscular atrophy. Etain is one of five registered medical cannabis companies in New York, and the only company in New York state, that is completely women-run.
22
Allie McAboy

Co-Owner The Novel Tree Washington DC AB
Allie McAboy, formerly with the hospitality industry, opened her dispensary with her partner and husband, Chris, a construction management graduate, in 2014, and subsequently created two distinct shops – a medical dispensary and a recreational dispensary. Novel Tree has grown from ten to 30 employees. The McAboys estimate that they serve about 500 recreational-based customers and 25 medical customers per day and is on pace to do nearly $5 million in 2017 revenue.
23
Kate Brown

Governor State of Oregon Denver, CO Regulator
Kate Brown replaced John Kitzhaber, the longest serving governor in the history of Oregon who resigned amidst scandal in February, 2015. Kitzhaber was less than supportive of the state’s legalization efforts. Brown’s administration oversees the implementation of Oregon’s legalization legislature. It remains to be seen how the oversight of Oregon’s medical and recreational programs will progress in light of the number of state regulatory agencies involved. But stay tuned – her leadership will be crucial! She is seeking re-election as governor in 2018. She is also a staunch supporter of legalized cannabis, one of the state’s governors who responded to Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the summer of 2017 about his unfounded issues with how legalization has evolved in the state.
24
Leigh Coulter

President GGS Structures Ontario, CN AB
Leigh Coulter is the President of GGS Structures Inc. a leading greenhouse manufacturer with sales worldwide. Leigh holds a degree in business from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario, and she has been asked to speak at numerous events regarding manufacturing and business development. GGS manufactures greenhouses for all crops, as well as manufacturing fabric covered buildings. After years of working with cannabis growers to improve medical marijuana cultivation technologies, and as part of the company’s strategic development in 2013 Leigh established a division within the company dedicated to the emerging legal cannabis industry, and as such GGS is on the forefront of the movement. As part of this division new people were brought into the company to expand the company’s knowledge in indoor controlled agriculture cultivation (CEA) as well. GGS was the first greenhouse manufacturer worldwide to actively promote cannabis cultivation in greenhouses through their website, brochures, and in the media. Leigh believes passionately in “doing the right thing” and that supporting people’s rights to choose how they take care of their bodies is fundamentally “the right thing”. Working with cannabis growers all over the world she has developed the utmost respect for people who want to perfect their craft, and grow their best plants, and everyone on the GGS team is delighted to be part of that mission.

25-26
Dr. Christine Gonzalez and Nicki Gonzalez

CEO GfarmaBrands San Rafael, CA PPR
Dr. Cristina Gonzalez – Chief Executive Officer of G FarmaBrands, responsible for the overall vision and direction of the company on a global scale. Dr. Gonzalez has a commitment to best practices and standard operating procedures to set precedent in the industry. Cristina’s corporate and professional leadership skills help accomplish the company’s long-range strategy of continued growth. She is a licensed phamacist in two states. Nichole Gonzalez is co-founder of GFarmaLabs. She is a second generation Cuban-American and member of a fourth generation tobacco family and was responsible for overseeing the day-to-day leadership, general management and its protocol for sales, sales training and intellectual property manual development. At Gfarmalbrands, she is in charge of advising GFarmaBrands throughout all areas of the organization including corporate management, sales protocols, intellectual property manual publishing, technology deployment, customers and network operations and licensee relations. Mrs. Gonzalez carries many lessons learned from the cigar industry, this best of both worlds experience is unique and unmatched in the cannabis industry.
27
Hilary Bricken

Shareholder Harris Bricken Los Angelas, CA AB
Since joining Harris Bricken in 2010, Hilary Bricken has earned a reputation as an advocate for local businesses. Hilary’s clients – start-ups, entrepreneurs, and companies in all stages of development- reflect the diversity and ingenuity of the west coast’s business climate. The Puget Sound Business Journal named Bricken as one of seven deal makers of the year for 2013. In 2015, she was named to the Puget Sound Business Journal’s top list of “40 Under 40” businesspeople for the Puget Sound region. In 2017, the American Bar Association (ABA) named Bricken one of the top 40 young lawyers nationwide. Bricken also authors a weekly column, “Above the Law,” which features content on marijuana policy and regulation.
28-29

Amy Poinsette & Jessica Billingsley

CEO and COO MJ Freeway Denver, CO Regulator
Billingsley, Chief Operating Officer co-founded MJ Freeway Business Solutions. Their company was one of the first movers in providing seed-to-sale and point of sale software to the Cannabis Industry, since then, woman-owned MJ Freeway has grown to serve thousands of clients in 6 countries with consulting and technology solutions and has been recognized three times in the INC 5000 fastest-growing companies list. Prior to founding MJ Freeway Business Solutions, Poinsett successfully directed technology development teams in software application design and research analysis within the financial services, luxury tourism, and medical technology fields. Poinsett serves in a leadership role in the Arcview Investor Network, as a mentor in Canopy Boulder – an incubation organization for cannabis startups – and as a volunteer with local and national women and girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) organizations. Prior to forming MJ Freeway, Billingsley cut her teeth building and managing technology operations with an emphasis on executive management, corporate culture, finance, and strategic relations. Billingsley has been named to Fortune Magazine’s list of Top 10 Most Promising Women Entrepreneurs.
30
Jackie Brassington

General Manager Evergreen Herbal Spokane, WA PPR
As the General Manager and Vice President of Evergreen Herbal in Seattle, WA, Jackie manages a team of over 40 professionals manufacturing quality branded cannabis-infused products including the 4.20 Bar™; HIGHDRATE™ and Stone Cold Soda™ carbonated beverages; Sinners & Saints™ candy; Ruby™ infused cane sugar, Trinity™ Pre-rolls; among others. In October 2017 under Jackie’s management, Evergreen Herbal was awarded and recognized by the Puget Sound Business Journal as a “Top 100 Fastest Growing Private Company in Washington State”. Evergreen is on pace to generate $4.5 million in revenues this year. Jackie came to Evergreen with significant business experience, she co-founded Vintners Global Resource, an international wine bottle and packaging supplier where she functioned as President. While there, the company was recognized by Puget Sound Business Journal as a “Top 100 Fastest Growing Private Company in Washington State” as well as included on INC. Magazine’s “INC 5000”. She was part of Washington Govenor Locke’s Trade Mission to China back in 2002 and was a competitive tennis player, when in her thirties she qualified for the U.S.T.A. National Championships not once – but three times.

2018 Ranking Name and Image Job Title Company Location Category
31
Celeste Miranda

Founder and CEO The Cannabis Marketing Lab Pismo Beach, CA AB
Celeste Miranda is a successful entrepreneur, advocate and pioneer of the cannabis industry. In 2012 she founded The Cannabis Marketing Lab (TCLM), the first digital marketing agency tailored specifically to serve startups in the legal cannabis industry. TCML has been a launching pad for several other endeavors from Celeste Miranda, including The Cannabis Marketing Lab Radio Show and a cannabis magazine published through the company’s website. Celeste regularly presents at high-profile industry events to share her knowledge of the business and also hosts the DIY Sesh, a traveling instructional seminar that educates cannabis entrepreneurs in a one-on-one or small group setting. Celeste also founded MC4MS, a non-profit with the mission to push policymakers to loosen federal restrictions on testing cannabis for its medical benefits in treating symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Celeste sits on the advisory board for the Cannabis Cultural Association, a group dedicated to helping communities of color to become more involved in the industry and gain better access to medical cannabis and serves on the Board of Directors for Canna Mommy. She is also a regular contributor to CBE Press, generously sharing marketing best practices with our readers.
32
Kristi Kelly

Executive Director Marijuana Industry Group Denver, CO Association
Kristi, recognized as one of the country’s 50 most powerful women in cannabis, is the executive director of Marijuana Industry Group, Colorado’s oldest, largest and most diverse trade association for licensed marijuana businesses, where she also served as vice chair and a board member. She recently launched Root Strategies, a national consulting company focused on cannabis strategies and business services. Kristi was an owner, and remains an investor in a group of marijuana cultivation, manufacturing and dispensary business in the Denver area that launched in 2009, considered the beginning of the legal cannabis economy, where she served as COO until December 2015. She is a founding board member of the Fourth Corner Credit Union, the world’s first marijuana financial institution, the founding trustee of CannAbility Foundation, a patient advocacy and resource network for families of children living with conditions and disabilities that can be helped by cannabis and currently sits on the Governor’s Marijuana Education Oversight Committee, Denver’s Social Consumption Advisory Committee, the Colorado Task Force for Drunk and Impaired Driving, the Colorado Department of Health and Environment’s Marijuana Occupational Health and Safety Workgroup, and Denver’s Odor Advisory Workgroup. Kristi has participated in numerous other appointments, workgroups, and rulemaking committees since 2010. Past roles include founding board member and former co-chair of the Association of Cannabis Trades of Colorado and founding board member of Cannabis Business Alliance. Kristi has a BA in Journalism/Advertising from the University of Maryland College Park Honors Program.
33
Peggy Moore

Owner Love’s Oven Denver, CO PPR
Peggy Moore is the board president of the Cannabis Business Alliance and the owner of Love’s Oven, LLC, a fully licensed medical and retail marijuana infused products bakery located in Denver, Colorado. She has been the chair of the board of the Cannabis Business Alliance since January of 2016, and the owner of Love’s Oven bakery since November of 2011. In May of 2014, Moore retired from her position as a director of operations at UnitedHealth Group where she led post-merger/acquisition operational integration projects for the past 15 years, and managed customer service operations for the first 17 years of her career.
34
Wanda James

CEO Simply Pure Denver, CO PPR
Ms. James is the CEO of Simply Pure Dispensary, In 2009, she and her husband, Scott Durrah, became the first African Americans, legally licensed in America, to own a dispensary and edible company. She is also the founder and Managing Partner of the Cannabis Global Initiative (CGI), a marketing and consulting firm that specializes in cannabis production, dispensing and processing, regulatory framework and political outreach. The company is dedicated to consistently providing innovative solutions through strategic alliances and business development surrounding the legalization of cannabis.
35
Emily Paxhia

Managing Director Posiedon Asset Management San Francisco, CA AB
Emily Paxhia is a co-founder and one of the managing directors of Poseidon Asset Management. She is active in the investment decision-making and ongoing investment oversight processes. Paxhia supports policy groups and serves on the board of directors of the Marijuana Policy Project. She has over ten years of experience working as a consultant and researcher.
36
Meg Collins

Vice President Public Affairs Good Chemistry Denver, CO AB
Meg Collins joined Good Chemistry in March 2015 as Vice President of Public Affairs, bringing more than 30 years’ experience in public policy and strategic communications to the leadership team. Her prior experience includes leading lobbying, public affairs and public relations efforts on behalf of energy, environmental and agriculture clients at the federal and state levels. She is known for her ability to navigate complex regulatory and legislative proposals to achieve sound policies and interact politically at all levels of government.
Collins oversees policy development and governmental affairs for Good Chemistry, and leads communications efforts in those areas including the expansion into emerging markets. Collins serves as the liaison for community affairs activities where Good Chemistry has operations. Prior to joining Good Chemistry, Collins was executive director of the Cannabis Business Alliance. During her tenure there, she helped members navigate the complex regulatory and legislative proceedings that designed the governing framework for Amendment 64, which legalized recreational marijuana for those over 21 and authorized the licensing structure for recreational marijuana to be sold in retail marijuana stores. Before entering the cannabis industry, Collins was president of the Colorado Oil & Gas Association (COGA). While there, she led the association’s response to a controversial overhaul of the state’s oil and gas regulations. As Director of Environmental Affairs for the Colorado Livestock Association, she implemented a government affairs program focusing on air and water quality regulations impacting the Colorado livestock industry at state and federal levels. Collins elevated the livestock industry’s profile in the state and was able to position the association as a key player in the environmental arena. Collins served on the state’s Pollution Prevention Advisory Board (PPAB) from 2002 until 2012, serving as board chair from 2004 through 2008. She was a founding member of Colorado’s Women in Energy organization and serves on the board of the Humane Society of Boulder Valley. In 2015, she was a finalist for the Denver Business Journal’s “Outstanding Women In Business” award. Collins graduated from the University of Colorado with a bachelor’s degree in environmental conservation. She successfully completed CDR Boulder’s training and certification in “Facilitation & Mediation of Public and Environmental Conflicts”.
37
Amy Margolis

Executive Director/Shareholder Oregon Cannabis Association/GM Law Portland, Oregon AB
Amy Margolis is shareholder at Greenspoon-Marder’s cannabis law practice group, and founder and director of the Oregon Cannabis PAC and the Oregon Cannabis Association, which is the largest professional cannabis association in the state of Oregon. She has been involved in the Dispensary Rules Advisory Board, and the Better People panel on the state of medical marijuana.
38
Debbie Bacon

Green-Theory Green-Theory Bellevue, WA AB
Debbie Bacon along with her partner and husband John, both well-known philanthropists in Medina, opened Green Theory, one of the first recreational marijuana stores in Bellevue, in 2014. Both are very active in the community, helping with programs for youth in need and other social work. Their shop is on pace to do $3 plus million in 2017 according to the I502 database.
39
Vicki Christofferson

Executive Director The Washington CannaBusiness Association (WACA) Seattle, Washington Association
The Washington CannaBusiness Association (WACA) was formed late in 2014 and appointed Vicki Christofferson as executive director and lobbyist. WACA represents all levels of licensees including retail, producers, processors, and ancillary businesses. Under her leadership, WACA has become the most influential cannabis trade group in Washington, and has recently expanded its policy efforts to the federal level.
40
Tara Wells

Founder The Ganja Goddess Seattle, WA PPR
Tara Wells is the owner of Ganja Goddess, one of Seattle’s first recreational shops that opened in 2014 and recently launched their online shop. Wells is active in supporting the development of the industry, and reportedly sees it going in the direction of the alcohol industry. Ganja Goddess would like to develop a lounge where people can consume like they would alcohol, according to a write-up by the Better Cannabis Bureau. She has also been quoted in GeekWire that Ganja Goddess would like to be part of the legal delivery of cannabis. “By licensing existing retailers of cannabis to deliver, that [black] market will be eliminated.” According to the I502 database, ganja Goddess is on pace to do nearly $5.5 million in revenue this year.
41
Sage Peterson

CEO Canuvo Biddeford, ME PPR
Sage and her husband Glenn founded Canuvo, a a licensed for seed to sale Maine medical cannabis dispensary in 2010. Sage’s previous professional life before cannabis was sales & marketing. This area of expertise has been invaluable as she has guided the growth of Canuvo from inception. Everything Canuvo has done in the last 7 years to reach its current success was carefully orchestrated and executed. Her mantra for the sustained growth in the cannabis industry is: cash flow management, remain flexible, expect change.
42
Bugi Perrone

Owner/President Gobi Analytical Denver, CO AB
Bugi Perrone reports that, since Gobi Labs opened their doors on May, 2014, the company has been developing new methodology and resetting standards. The team now collectively holds over 30 years of analytical testing experience.
43
Dr. Lakisha Jenkins

Owner http://www.drlakisha.com Pleasanton, CA PPR
Dr. Lakisha Jenkins has practiced traditional naturopathy since 2006, but has been around alternative medicine her whole life. She remembers her grandfather preparing herbs for medicinal use. After experiencing the devastating effects of cancer treatments with her daughter – and her subsequent death – Jenkins became more involved in traditional and alternative health therapies.
44
Nicole Smith

CEO Evolab Denver, CO AB
Nicole Smith brings more than 20 years of global marketing and business development experience to her new position as CEO of Evolab. Before Evolab, Nicole was CEO of Mary’s Medicinals. Under her leadership there, the company expanded into eight states and won more than 15 awards for its innovative products and marketing approaches. Smith created the cannabis industry’s first transdermal products and holds the first patent issued in the legal cannabis market in the US.
45
Diane Czarkowski

Principle CannaAdvisors Boulder, CO AB
Diane and her husband Jay are the founders of Canna Advisors, a cannabis enterprise consulting firm, and a founding member and benefactor of Women Grow. She is also a founding member of the National Cannabis Industry Association, and has served many roles within the organization as it has grown, including participation in the Lobby Days in Washington D.C. and writing an industry report. She was a board member of the former Women’s CannaBusiness Network (WCBN).
46
Karson Humistan

CEO Vangst Talent Denver, CO AB
Probably the youngest member of this year’s list, Karson founded Vangst, arguably the cannabis industry’s largest hiring resource. Through direct hire, contract to hire, temporary staffing, career fairs and its job board, Vangst has successfully connected over 4,000 professionals with jobs in the cannabis industry. Vangst goal is to continue connecting the best talent on the market with the best jobs in the cannabis industry. Karson is a graduate of Saint Lawrence University and the daughter of Dan Humiston, the founder of The Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition.
47-48
Whoopi Goldberg & Maya Elizabeth

Co-Founders Whoopi & Maya Medical Cannabis Los Angeles, CA PPR
Whoopi & Maya was launched in 2016 by Whoopi Goldberg and award-winning edibles maker Maya Elisabeth, founder of Om Edibles and winner of ten High Times Cannabis Cup awards. The California-based medical marijuana company’s initial offerings included a signature line of herbal medical cannabis products, formulated to provide relief for women experiencing menstrual cramps and discomfort. One year later, Whoopi & Maya products are available in over 300 dispensaries, becoming one of the fastest growing brands in California.
49
Samantha Miller

President and Chief Scientist Pure Analytics, LLC Santa Rosa, CA AB
Samantha Miller is an internationally recognized biochemist and founder, president and chief scientist of Pure Analytics Laboratory, a cannabis analysis facility. As a Beckman and NIH scholar, Miller discovered and published descriptions of new reactions allowing the development of potential new cancer and AIDS pharmaceuticals. Early in her career she oversaw federally regulated laboratories and became an expert in trace-level detection of contaminants.
50
Cat Parker

Executive Director Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation Los Angelas, CA Regulator
Cat Parker, the former California coordinator for the Drug Policy Alliance, was recently announced as the executive director of the five-member Los Angeles Cannabis Commission, which will provide input on cannabis rules for the city. In an article in the LA Times announcing her new job, Packer said the department will protect Los Angeles’ neighborhoods, children, the environment and the legal cannabis businesses.
51
Colleen Keahey

Executive Director Hemp Industry Association Phoenix, AZ AB
In 2013, Colleen Keahey began advocating for industrial hemp legalization in the state of Tennessee. She founded the first state chapter of the Hemp Industries Association, known as the TNHIA. After successfully presenting to the Tennessee General Assembly, the hemp law that was considered a “non-priority” became law with near unanimous support. She was recruited by Vote Hemp as national outreach coordinator. Vote Hemp is the nation’s single-issue non-profit advocacy organization founded in 2000 by members of the hemp industry to remove barriers to industrial hemp farming in the U.S. through education, legislation and advocacy.
52
Noelle Skodinski

Editor Cannabis Business Times Valley View, OH AB
Noelle Skodzinski is the editor of Cannabis Business Times, which she co-founded with previous owner Tim Hermes in 2014. The brand has grown to serve cannabis cultivators with business and cultivation intelligence through its monthly magazine, weekly enewsletter, daily website, digital magazine edition and mobile app, as well as through the annual Cannabis: Cultivation Conference, to be held March 12-14, 2018, in Oakland, California. Skodzinski’s role recently has expanded to include serving as the founding editor of Cannabis Dispensary magazine – a business magazine exclusively dedicated to dispensary owners and other senior management- – which was launched in November, 2017. An industry veteran with more than two decades of experience in publishing, she was named among the Top 50 Most Influential Women in Cannabis in 2016.
53
Lezli Engleking

Founder Focus Phoenix, AZ AB
Lezli possesses more than two decades of professional experience across cannabis, government relations, pharmaceutical, mental health, and nonprofit industries. More than twelve years with Eli Lilly Pharmaceuticals laid the perfect foundation for Lezli’s role as Executive Director of the first chain of vertically integrated medical cannabis operations in Phoenix, Arizona. Lezli’s proven success in the highly regulated pharmaceutical industry, combined with her firsthand experience working in the nascent cannabis industry, provided the perfect experience to create Foundation of Cannabis Unified Standards (FOCUS). Founded in 2014 as the Cannabis Health and Safety Organization, FOCUS addresses the many short comings in quality, safety and consistency that became evident with the explosive growth of the global legal cannabis industry. FOCUS is an international, non-profit, cannabis standards development & third-party certification organization dedicated to protecting public health, consumer safety and safeguarding the environment. FOCUS is not an advocacy organization, nor an industry trade association. FOCUS does not accept membership dues or fees for standards development. This autonomy fosters a principled, objective environment that serves end users, and acts as the much-needed bridge between industry and regulatory.
54
Dale Sky Jones

Executive Chancellor, Oaksterdam University Oaksterdam University Oakland, CA AB
Dale Sky Jones took over as president and CEO of Oaksterdam University in 2012, now hosting over 30,000 students from more than 30 countries. She served as the chairwoman of the board for the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform for seven years, stemming from her experience as the spokeswoman and legislative liaison for the Prop 19 Campaign in California. She was named by Marie Claire as one of the most influential women in the industry. Jones has a voice in setting national priorities and is an expert commentator on current events. She is a founding board member of the National Cannabis Industry Association, ReformCA and Californians to Regulate Medical Marijuana.
55
Amy Andrle

Co-Owner L’Eagle Services Denver, CO PPR
Amy Andrle is one half of L’Eagle Services, an all-natural and sustainable recreational dispensary and cultivation facility specializing in clean cannabis based in Denver, Colorado. Along with the efforts of her husband John, Amy has positioned L’Eagle as one of Colorado’s most respected and highly lauded cannabis dispensaries, leading the industry by championing organic cultivation methods, responsible pesticide use, sustainable business practices, and strict industry compliance. Established in 2010, L’Eagle has positioned itself as a premier establishment that prides itself on offering the cleanest product while also investing the time to educate consumers-both novices and connoisseurs-on the intricacies of the cannabis plant and its derivatives. L’Eagle is the first–and currently only–cannabis dispensary to earn recognition as a Certified Green Business from the City and County of Denver Department of Environmental Health. Prior to working in the cannabis industry, Amy, who holds a graduate degree in nonprofit management, was an executive at a cultural art organization, where she gained an appreciation of cooperative compliance and collaboration. Successful business partnerships were paramount then, and these tenets continue to carry over into her marijuana career. Today, in addition to being a mother and running day-to-day operations for L’Eagle, Amy actively participates in outreach by contributing her time serving on the City of Denver’s Cannabis Sustainability Work Group, and as a founding board member of the Cannabis Certification Council. She also provides consulting services for legal marijuana companies looking to improve sustainability in their operations.
56
Shannon Fender

Director of Public Affairs Native Roots Denver, CO PPR
Shannon Fender joined Native Roots Dispensary in December 2016 as Director of Public Affairs. With 20 locations in Colorado, Native Roots is among the largest and best known cannabis brands in the country. Shannon is responsible for the company’s federal, state, and local government relations initiatives, directing political and legislative activity, as well as Native Roots’ philanthropic affairs, community engagement, and strategic communications. In May of 2017, Shannon was elected by her industry peers to serve on the Board of the National Cannabis Industry Association, where she also serves on the organization’s policy council. Shannon is highly involved in federal industry lobbying efforts on reforming 280E regulations withe The New Federalism Fund.
Cannabis policy has been a focus of Shannon’s professional work since voters passed Amendment 64 in 2012. Notable achievements at the Colorado legislature include lobbying the General Assembly to: remove burdensome surety bonds on cannabis business licenses; continue to allow multi-serving liquid marijuana edibles; exempt topical marijuana products from Colorado’s recreational one ounce equivalency rule; prevent a THC product potency cap; and, harmonize the non-residential purchasing differential from one-quarter ounce to one ounce. She was among the initial participants on the ‘No on Initiative 139’ campaign which brought industry leaders together to prevent a constitutional amendment on THC potency caps. Prior to joining Native Roots, Shannon was the Senior Associate at a well-known Denver lobbying and business development firm, Sewald Hanfling Public Affairs, where she represented cannabis clients Dixie Brands and Medicine Man. She is known in political and professional circles as being collaborative, charismatic, and diligent. Her ability to bring diverse stakeholders together to affect change is among the qualities that make her successful as a cannabis executive. Shannon is a graduate of the University of Colorado Denver where she obtained a degree in political science with an emphasis in public policy. She has been awarded several leadership honors including the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation’s ‘Impact Denver’ program in 2016 and the Colorado Business Women’s ‘Young Careerist’ award in 2014.

2018 Ranking Name and Image Job Title Company Location Category
57
Bethany Sherman

Founder, CEO OG Analytical Eugene, OR AB
Bethany Sherman founded Oregon Growers Analytical in 2013 under the inspiration of creating a safer environment for her family and community. Born and raised in Oregon, Sherman studied environmental and political science in Eugene at Lane Community College before moving on to University of California – Berkeley to study marketing. Sherman is also the director of the Cannabis Safety Institute, a not-for-profit organization aimed at providing recommendations for sensible cannabis regulation across the US. Her involvement in the industry led to the appointment on the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) Recreational Marijuana Rules Advisory Committee’s technical subcommittee for laboratories and traceability.
58
Chandra Macias

Owner National Holistic Healing Center Washington DC PPR
Dr. Chanda Macias, the Owner of the National Holistic Healing Center Medical Marijuana Dispensary (NHHC) in Dupont Circle, Washington D.C., is a Cell Biologist (PhD) with extensive experience with cancer and infectious disease research PhD from Howard University, and extensively trained at the Howard University Cancer Center studying breast cancer where her studies included a focus on developing a model to understand how prostate cancer metastasizes to bone. At Colgate Palmolive Company she researched oral diseases and possible treatment options which contributed to the launch of several billion dollar brands. Her innovations have resulted in three (3) U.S. Patents, and eleven (11) Global Patients (World Intellectual Property Organization), and numerous scientific publications. She has served as the Director of STEM Education in the College of Engineering, Architecture, and Computer Sciences. Dr. Macias has also managed several federally funded grants, and have trained MD’s, PhD’s, and advanced undergraduate students in biomedical research. To top it all off, Chanda has a MBA from Rutgers University (Newark) in Supply Chain Management.
59
Rowshan Reordan

CEO Green Leaf Labs Portland, OR AB
Rowshan Reordan is a licensed attorney in the state of Oregon and the founder and owner of Green Leaf Lab, the first cannabis analytical laboratory in the nation to be licensed and accredited by a state agency. Established in 2011, before cannabis testing was part of the discourse in the cannabis industry, Reordan’s mission has been to help create accuracy and integrity in the cannabis industry. She has participated in testing committees for both Oregon’s medical marijuana and recreational marijuana programs. She has presented at a variety of educational seminars and conferences, and collaborated with leaders in and outside of the industry, to promote consumer safety and standardization in analytical testing.
60
Lindsey Robinson

Executive Director California Cannabis Industry Association Denver, CO Association
Lindsay Robinson was named executive director of the California Cannabis Industry Association in January, 2016. Prior to that, Robinson was the director of development for the Marijuana Policy Project. She oversaw MPP’s national fundraising and membership strategies. She was one of the primary fundraisers for both Amendment 64, the 2012 ballot initiative to regulate marijuana like alcohol in Colorado, and Ballot Measure 2, a similar initiative that made marijuana legal in Alaska in 2014.
61
Shaleen Title

Commissioner Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission Boston, MA Regulator
In September 2017, Shaleen was appointed by the Governor, Treasurer, and Attorney General of Massachusetts to lead the agency tasked with implementing our marijuana law, along with four other commissioners. She previously helped connect marijuana businesses with employees as a co-founding partner of THC Staffing Group, an inclusion-focused marijuana industry recruiting firm. Additionally, she is an an attorney specializing in marijuana regulations.She has helped draft marijuana laws and provided regulatory expertise for leading consulting firms including Vicente Sederberg and 4Front Advisors. She has earned several awards for her advocacy work and efforts to bring more women and people of color into drug policy reform, including the Hunter S. Thompson Young Attorney Award and the High Times Freedom Fighter Award. Shaleen is a Trustee of Students for Sensible Drug Policy and a founding board member of the Minority Cannabis Business Association and Marijuana Majority.
62
Chandra Hall

General Manager Urban Bud Tacoma, WA PPR
Chandra Hall is the General Manager and Miracle maker at Urban Bud. A Washington native, Chandra started her career path with the Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound where she ran daily operations and implemented programs at six main branch sites and 15 outreach sites. Her time at the non-profit organization was critical to her success in life and to finding her way to the cannabis industry. Chandra began her cannabis career in 2013 at Rainier Wellness Center as a budtender. Within three months, she was general manager of Urban Bud. Urban Bud started with several challenges and obstacles but with her business savvy and ability to network and build relationships, the business grew three fold. Urban Bud is projected to do nearly $5.0 million in 2017 revenues. Chandra has a passion for educating the public on cannabis and its medicinal properties. Having had several family members battle multiple types of cancer she truly believes that cannabis is our gate way to a cure. She is a member of the National Cannabis Chamber of Commerce and an advocate for the medical use of cannabis.
63-64

Laurie Zrenda & Meredith Elmer

Co-Owners Thames Valley Alternative Relief Uncasville, CT PPR
Laurie Zrenda is a 1987 graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy. After working 27 years in retail pharmacy, she and her niece, Meredith Elmer, applied for a medical marijuana license in Connecticut in 2013. After being awarded one of the first six licenses in the state, Zrenda and Elmer opened their dispensary, Thames Valley Alternative Relief, in September, 2014. The patient count has grown from 118 registered patients to over 3,300 patients.
65
Andrea Sligar

General Manager Herbn-Elements Seattle, WA PPR
Andrea Sligar, after a 17 year career in event planning, opening Herb(n) Elements cannabis shop in Seattle in 2015 with her husband and nephew utilized Sligar’s many skills sales & marketing, high level organization, creative problem solving, vendor relations, customer loyalty, networking and a sense of humor. The business has grown to 28 employees. Herbn Elements celebrate the ever-growing diversity of cannabis products, accommodating all tastes and priorities.
66
Shannon Wilson

Owner Mahatma Concentrates Denver, CO PPR
For the past 7 years, Shannon has built a nationally and internationally recognized cannabis brand based in Colorado. Mahatma Concentrates was founded in 2009 and has established itself has a high end boutique Extraction Lab and wholesale concentrate processor for the marijuana industry. Mahatma is currently focusing on expanding to other states such as Nevada, Arizona, Florida and Puerto Rico.
67
Fiona Ma

Board Member California State Board of Equalization, Assemblymember Speaker Pro Tem, San Francisco Supervisor San Francisco, CA Regulator/Advocate
Assembly Speaker pro Tempore Emeritus Fiona Ma was elected to the State Board of Equalization (SBOE) on November 5, 2014 and represents close to 10 million people in 23 counties from the Oregon border to Santa Barbara County. The 5,000 person tax agency affects every taxpayer in California and has broad regulatory and adjudicatory powers and is the only elected tax board in America.
Ms. Ma was elected to represent the 12th Assembly District from November 2006 to November 2012 (after serving the maximum three terms). She was the #112 woman to ever be elected to the California Legislature and the first Asian woman to ever serve as Speaker pro Tempore since 1850 (first Legislature). Ms. Ma first became interested in politics as a small business owner advocating on behalf of other small businesses. She was an elected delegate to the 1995 White House Conference on Small Business under President Bill Clinton and later was elected a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors from 2002-2006.

In the Assembly, Ms. Ma authored groundbreaking legislation to protect consumers, prevent the spread of Hepatitis B, and increase access to quality healthcare. As a joint author of Proposition 1-A (Nov 2008), she was the legislature’s leading advocate to bring high-speed trains to California. Additionally, Ms. Ma has been and continues to be a leader in promoting trade and fostering relationships between California and Asia.
She is running unopposed to date, for State treasurer in California. Ms. Ma received her B.S. from the Rochester Institute of Technology (NY), her M.S. in Taxation from Golden Gate University (SF), and an MBA from Pepperdine University. She has been licensed in California as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) since 1992. Fiona can be reached at fiona.ma@boe.ca.gov.
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Genny Kiley

Shareholder Emerge Law Group Portland, OR AB
Kiley focuses her practice on business and corporate transactional law. She has extensive experience assisting clients with business structuring, entity formation, mergers and acquisitions, corporate securities, and commercial loan transactions. She also specializes in franchise law and alcohol regulatory law. She serves as chair of the firm’s Cannabis Compliance and Licensing practice group, and has helped many cannabis businesses navigate state and local marijuana rules and regulations, obtain recreational and medical marijuana licenses, and avoid common pitfalls unique to the cannabis industry.
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Dr. Rachel Knox

Co-Owners & Founders Green Flower Media Ventura, CA AB
Dr. Rachel Knox, MD, MBA is one of four co-founders of The American Cannabinoid Clinics (The AC Clinics), a title she proudly shares with her mom, dad and sister – Drs. Janice, David and Jessica Knox. She also serves as Medical Chair for the Minority Cannabis Business Association. Dr. Rachel (as she is commonly called in a shared setting with 3 other Drs. Knox) received her medical and business degrees from Tufts University after completing her undergraduate studies at Duke. She trained in Family and Integrative medicine before pursuing additional study in the areas of Functional, Cannabinoid and Cannabis Medicine, and is a current member of the American Academy of Cannabinoid Medicine. Dr. Rachel speaks nationally as a clinical cannabis expert, and is recognized as a Doctors for Cannabis Regulation Ambassador. She also serves in the Portland Minority Cannabis Cabinet, on the Portland Cannabis Tax & Community Budgeting Committee, and is a nominee for a Governor-appointed seat on the Oregon Cannabis Commission.
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Stephanie Swimmer

Director, Operations INDO EXPO Denver, CO AB
Originally from Miami, Florida, Stephanie set her sights on living and working in NYC. She attended Hofstra University in New York, graduated with a BA in Business Administration in 1996 and moved into Manhattan. In early 2000’s Stephanie began working at ENK, the leading Fashion Trade Show production house in NYC. Working in every facet of event production, Stephanie learned from the ground floor and over time became the Director of Fashion Coterie. Producing Coterie, with 1400 booths, over 40,000 attendees, working in union environments, she learned what there is to love and hate about the event and trade show business. With a birds eye view, she followed the changing times, and in 2012 Stephanie left Manhattan and moved to Denver Colorado. Stephanie immediately entered the event business in Denver, taking the Events Director postion at the Denver Mart, and oversaw the production of all in-house events such as the nationally recognized Gift Show and Apparel Shows. In 2013, Stephanie partnered with Chris Olson, a master grower and together conceptualized and built INDO EXPO Trade show and PipeLine Productions. Through these two entities the pair began building their dream event businesses. Their mission via these entities was to provide a professional forum for those working within the cannabis space. In 2015 Stephanie and Chris moved to Southern Oregon and recently began building Carpenter Hill Farms “while we love running INDO EXPO, we also wanted to be out on the farm and get back to #farmlife… in this day and age it’s amazing to be able work remotely” said Stephanie.
71
Sharon Jacobson

Founder & Owner Herb’s House Ballard, WA PPR
Jacobson, a medical marijuana patient who loves to bake, opened Herbs House in 2013 as a woman-friendly, family-friendly social gathering medical marijuana collective dispensary that she describes as “a little out of the box.” In 2015, they expanded to include recreational. She said that, as a lady entrepreneur, she is thrilled to create an environment where “even my mother can feel comfortable accessing cannabis.” Herb’s House is on pave to generate $3.25 million in 2017 revenues.
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Melissa Etheridge

Musician and Advocate Wine Tincture Los Angeles, CA PPR/Advocate
Etheridge has been treating herself with cannabis ever since she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004, and has been an outspoken proponent for the benefits of using medical marijuana. She recently launched her own brand of cannabis products, Etheridge Farms.
73
Jennifer Hansen

Vice President Business Development Tilray New York, NY AB/PPR
Jennifer brings a strong background of strategy and deal-making to Privateer Holdings, where she is responsible for developing Tilray’s business globally through supply chain and distribution deals, as well as strategic product, marketing, sales, and operations initiatives. After starting her career on Wall Street, Jennifer amassed over a decade of experience in business development and management from roles at AOL, MLB Advanced Media, FIFA, Sony Music, and Bitly. At Tilray, she continues her record of transforming industries by working with category-defining brands to leverage their assets and craft accretive partnerships and develop strategic initiatives. At Sony Music, Jennifer was responsible for precedent-setting deal activity in the music industry and working with industry trade bodies like the RIAA. She negotiated a partnership with Spotify to launch the on-demand streaming music category, and represented Sony in industry-level broadcast and internet radio discussions. While on the executive team at Bitly, Jennifer led the company’s key strategic initiatives and business development including data licensing and platform partnerships. She launched Bitly’s Platform Partner Certification Program to align with the leading marketing technology companies like Adobe around product integration, sales, and marketing.
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Steph Scherer

Executive Director Americans for Safe Access Washington DC Advocate
Steph Sherer is founder and Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access (ASA), 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. Sherer 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, manufacturing, packaging and labeling. Her direct experience with the medical benefits of cannabis and her political organizing background led her to form ASA in 2002 with the purpose of building a strong grassroots movement to protect patients and their rights. Sherer has trained over 100,000 individuals across the country on civic engagement regarding medical cannabis.
75
Dr. Cara Christ

Director Arizona Department of Health Phoenix, AZ Regulator
Dr. Cara Christ has worked for the Arizona Department of Health Services for more than nine years in multiple positions. In May, 2015, Dr. Christ was appointed as director by Governor Doug Ducey. Dr. Christ started her ADHS career in 2000 as an infectious disease epidemiologist.
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Cindy Abbott

President The Holistic Center Phoenix, AZ PPR
Cindy Abbott is the president of The Holistic Center in Phoenix, Arizona, a licensed medical cannabis dispensary. She got into the medical marijuana business as a result of her own issues treating her multiple sclerosis. She said that she tried marijuana because she couldn’t take pain pills and now treats her MS with high THC, tinctures and vapes to help “keep her mellow.” She is a graduate Boston University.
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Rachel Cooper

Director of Operations Monkey Grass Farms Kirkland, WA PPR
Monkey Grass Farms is one of the state’s largest growers – a Tier 3 producer/processor in north central Washington. Many of Monkey Grass Farms owners and employees developed their expertise in the industry through using and growing medical marijuana.
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Ariel Clark & Nicole Howard Neubert

Attorneys Clark Neubert Santa Monica, CA AB
Clark founded and became the chair of the Los Angeles Cannabis Task Force. Dedicated to finding a workable alternative to Prop D, the task force raised awareness through an aggressive grassroots organization and a series of town halls. This effort has led to the task force working directly with the city of Los Angeles in the ongoing effort to develop effective rules for cannabis business permitting, zoning, and other regulatory issues.
Nicole Howell Neubert is a California cannabis business attorney. As a counselor and industry advocate, Nicole serves as outside general counsel to numerous cannabis operators, providing advice on corporate and business matters, entity formation and operation, M&A, local and state permitting and compliance, and business litigation. She is also actively involved in local and state legislative and regulatory efforts, most recently as a member of California State Treasurer John Chiang’s Cannabis Banking Working Group.
Nicole previously practiced criminal and civil law at the San Francisco firm Clarence Dyer & Cohen LLP and Farella Braun + Martel LLP, where she worked on a range of complex business litigation, parallel civil, criminal, and regulatory actions, high stakes tort, trade secret, and employment litigation, and trust and estate disputes. She serves on the Board of California NORML, as Policy Committee leadership for California Growers Association, and is actively involved in other industry-related organizations, including the California Cannabis Industry Association and the National Cannabis Bar Association. Nicole teaches legal courses at Oaksterdam University in Oakland, which enables her to share her knowledge with students, and provides her with important insights into the evolving needs of the community.
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Diane Savino

State Senator (D) NY New York New York, NY Regulator/Advocate
After creating a medical marijuana program in the state of New York, NY State Senator Diane Savino, along with state Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, has continued pushing to expand the law that the Cuomo administration watered down to create one of the most restrictive state marijuana programs. One bright spot: The New York State Senate in June, 2017, passed legislation sponsored by Savino to add post traumatic stress disorder to the list of qualifying conditions treatable with medical marijuana in the state. Savino currently serves as chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Banks and has previously served as chair of the Labor Committee, the Civil Service and Pensions Committee and the Children and Families Committee.
81
Maria McFarland Sanchez Moreno

Executive Director Drug Policy Alliance New York, NY Advocacy
Maria Sanchez-Moreno brings nearly thirteen years of international and domestic drug policy experience from her work at Human Rights Watch, where she served as co-director of the U.S. program. She has big shoes to fill following industry advocate Ethan Nadlemann.

Filed Under: Industry People, Spotlight
Tagged With: CBE 75 Most Important Women
About The Author:

Rob Meagher
Rob Meagher, CBE’s Founder, President and Editor-in-Chief is a 30 year veteran of the media world. His career has spanned from stints representing the Washington Post, USA Weekend, Reader’s Digest, Financial World & Corporate Finance to the technology world where he worked at International Data Group, Ziff Davis before starting his own Marketing and Publisher’s Representative Firm. He also ran all print and online media sales and marketing for the Society for Human Resource Management before partnering with Forbes and then Fortune to create Special Sections covering a variety of topics. Rob enjoys golf in his spare time with his wife Lyn and has two sons that occasionally help-out at CBE Press.


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WOW – Canopy Growth, Organa Brands and Green House Seeds Joint Venture announced!

http://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/new-collaboration-joins-three-of-the-worlds-most-influential-cannabis-businesses-658196733.html

SMITHS FALLS, ON, DENVER and AMSTERDAM, Nov. 17, 2017 /CNW/ – Green House Holdings North America Inc. (“Green House”), its affiliate in the Netherlands, GHSC Trading B.V., National Concessions Group Inc. (“Organa Brands”) and Canopy Growth Corporation (“Canopy Growth” or “the Company”) (TSX: WEED), together three of the most storied and successful global cannabis businesses are pleased to announce the planned creation of a collaborative joint venture (the “JV”).

To establish the JV, Canopy Growth will allocate a portion of ownership in ACMPR-licensed Agripharm Corp. (“Agripharm”), a 20,000 sq. ft. indoor growing facility located in Creemore, Ontario, to its new partners. Canopy Growth will retain 40% ownership of Agripharm, while Green House and Organa Brands will own 40% and 20%, respectively, of Agripharm. In exchange for the issuance of shares, Green House and Organa Brands have granted an exclusive, royalty-free licence in Canada to certain proprietary technology, trademarks, genetics, know-how and other intellectual property to Agripharm, subject to compliance with applicable law.

The JV will create a new Canadian home-base for Green House and Organa Brands where they will work together with Canopy Growth to produce cannabis products for the Canadian market. Pursuant to the JV, the Company has the right to purchase all of the cannabis products produced by Agripharm to be exclusively distributed via Canopy Growth’s national channels, subject to limited exceptions. In addition, the Company will sublicense the proprietary technology, trademarks, genetics, know-how and other intellectual property from Agripharm in order to ensure that Canopy Growth is able to satisfy consumer demand across Canada for the suite of Green House and Organa Brands products.

Although Agripharm is focused on the Canadian market, Canopy Growth, Green House, Organa Brands and their respective affiliates will also explore other federally-legal international opportunities as they arise, including with respect to medical research and development opportunities, product distribution platforms, and brick-and-mortar retail locations. Agripharm will not conduct any business in the United States.

“Our business has separated itself from the competition by focusing on brands and products that resonate with people but also because we’ve found creative ways to collaborate with like-minded businesses to increase the breadth of our product offering,” said Mark Zekulin, President, Canopy Growth. “From world-class breeders like our partners DNA Genetics and now Green House Seeds, to sector innovators like Organa Brands, to cultural icons like Snoop Dogg, we work with the best in order to bring the best possible cannabis forward to our customers.”

The JV is expected to close on or about December 1, 2017. Operationally, Canopy Growth will transfer oversight to its new collaborators who will operate a pristine licensed facility with modular growing rooms designed to produce only the very best cannabis flowers. Green House will oversee day-to-day operations and bring their own expertise into cultivation, while Organa will implement world-class extraction functions as new and novel value-add products become part of the regulatory environment. Canopy Rivers Corporation, a partly-owned subsidiary of Canopy Growth, has also entered into an agreement to provide the JV with up to $20 million in funding for the expansion of the facility in exchange for ongoing royalty payments and a warrant to acquire up to 4% of the issued and outstanding common shares.

“For 30 years Green House Brands has been at the forefront of cannabis legalization by advocating for its normalization and expansion into new territories,” said Arjan Roskam, the founder of Green House Brands. “We’re now operating in four continents (Europe, Africa, South America and North America) and thanks to this new partnership with these two prominent market leaders in the industry, Canopy and Organa Brands, we will create even more opportunities globally to help the world access cannabis in a legal way. This epic move will allow us to maintain our position as a world leader in genetics and cannabis retail, while alerting the cannabis consumer that we will continue striving to make cannabis available worldwide for all medicinal and recreational consumers one day.”

Canopy Growth, Green House, and Organa Brands each bring a unique set of skills that are strategically complementary to one another. Canopy Growth has built an online distribution platform that touches every province and territory in Canada as well as 7 international markets; Green House is a genetic leader that has bred some of the world’s most sought-after strains; and Organa Brands is an extract product innovator. Together, the JV is positioned to take sought after genetics, insert those genetics into consumer-friendly ingestion formats, and put them on stores shelves across the country, and abroad.

“We are incredibly excited about this new partnership – since the inception of Organa Brands, one of the key tenets of our business has been forming smart partnerships with mutually beneficial results. Working with Canopy and Green House has been a surreal moment as we continue to fully recognize the impact of what this deal means for the industry as a whole” said Organa Brands Co-Founder, Jeremy Heidl. “We couldn’t have asked for better partners in Canada and beyond- this new global partnership will prove to be a defining moment for all parties involved.”

Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP acted as legal counsel to Canopy Growth with respect to the JV, Dentons Canada LLP acted as legal counsel to Green House, and Stikeman Elliott LLP acted as legal counsel to Organa Brands.

For more information on this new partnership click here.

Here’s to Future Growth.

About Canopy Growth Corporation
Canopy Growth is a world-leading diversified cannabis company, offering distinct brands and curated cannabis varieties in dried, oil and capsule forms. Through its wholly‑owned subsidiaries, Canopy Growth operates numerous state-of-the-art production facilities with over half a million square feet of GMP-certified indoor and greenhouse production capacity, all to an unparalleled level of quality assurance procedures and testing. Canopy Growth has established partnerships with leading sector names in Canada and abroad, with interests and operations spanning four continents. The Company is proudly dedicated to educating healthcare practitioners, providing consistent access to high quality cannabis products, conducting robust clinical research, and furthering the public’s understanding of cannabis. For more information visit http://www.canopygrowth.com

About Green House Holdings North America Inc.
Green House Brands is bringing the most awarded and recognized cannabis brand in the world to the North American market. Established in 1985 in Amsterdam, the Green House Brands portfolio includes five leading marijuana businesses – Strain Hunters, Green House Seed Co., Green House Feeding, Green House Coffee shops & King of Cannabis — as seen on VICE & National Geographic. Green House assets have won the company numerous accolades, including over 40 High Times Cannabis Cups and 200+ awards for top genetics, establishing the company’s leadership in the global cannabis industry. Green House was a pioneer in the development of the European cannabis coffee shop market, where its Green House Coffee shops in the Netherlands and Strain Hunters Clubs in Spain remain market leaders. As Strain Hunters, the company has been featured in documentary series on HBO and VICE, highlighting its globetrotting journeys to find the rarest landrace strains of cannabis. Green House and Strain Hunters media has over 150M views and has one of the most powerful marketing platforms in the industry. Green House enters the rapidly developing legal North American cannabis markets with all of its enterprises. For more information please visit http://www.greenhousebrands.com

About Organa Brands
Organa Brands revolutionized the cannabis industry with the introduction of supercritical CO₂extracted cannabis oil in 2010 and the introduction of the groundbreaking O.penVAPE device in 2012. Today, the company is home to the world’s largest consumer cannabis brands. After developing O.penVAPE, Bakked, and Organa Labs into world-class brands with nationwide distribution, the company acquired The Magic Buzz, and entered into a joint venture to form District Edibles. Organa Brands sells one of its products every 4 seconds around the world, and has delivered over one billion puffs through its flagship O.penVAPE line. A brand incubator and pioneer in the cannabis space, Organa Brands utilizes its 12 production facilities in 11 states and Jamaica to manufacture its extensive catalog of products. Organa Brands sells its cannabis products in over 1,200 retail locations with ancillary hardware sold in thousands of retailers globally– making it the largest cannabis-oil-based consumer products company in the United States. Agripharm– a joint venture between Organa Brands, Canopy Growth Corporation (TSX: WEED), and the world-renowned Greenhouse Seed Company– ushers in a new era of international distribution for the three brand powerhouses. Organa Brands is committed to dominating the global cannabis market through the marriage of science and technology, all for the benefit of the consumer. For more information, please visit http://www.OrganaBrands.com


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Kai-Friedrich Niermann has a really good update on the potential for legal cannabis here in Germany…….news on the “Jamaica Coalition” is expected within hours,……..more later. – Phil

https://www.kfnplus.de/jamaica-current-german-coalition-and-cannabis-control-act/#comment-2

Jamaica [Current German Coalition) and Cannabis Control Act

Annotation on practical implementation by Kai-Friedrich Niermann, Attorney, Paderborn [Germany]

Let‘s say the coalition partners part this evening and determine the uptake of coalition negotiations. And let us furthermore assume The Green Party with tie-in of FDP achieve Cannabis liberalisation in full as well as pushing through their Cannabis Control Act in the negotiations going on from mid December until shortly before Christmas. And also let’s assume the Cannabis Incorporate Act is then voted in by Bundestag in May or June [2018]; then Germany will be faced with even more massive changes and the latter in various sectors.

The Cannabis Law includes the option of applications for cultivation licences (farming), wholesale trade licences as well as retail licences such as specialist shops. In addition to this import and export licences can be applied for. Expert prior knowledge is not required and simply personal trustworthiness as demanded within public-houses law is stipulated. Business owners must not have previous convictions.

Assuming a conservative estimate of 10 t of Cannabis per week being consumed in Germany this results in an annual demand of 520 t. The production of Cannabis is deemed to result in a harvest of 440 g per m² within a harvest cycle of 52 days which allows for 7 harvests per year. To cover 107% consumption of Germany an acreage of 180.000 m² would be prerequisite.

Breaking down and allocating these figures to an average municipality such as Paderborn with a population of 140.000 this would result in a required cultivation acreage of 307 m².

With the scheduled Cannabis Control Act tax of 4€/g provided by statute, 1€/g for production costs, 2€/g for wholesale trade and also 3 €/g for specialist shops this results in a price of 10€ in total per gram which is equivalent to the current black market price. It will be a balancing act not to drive the price to high to enable draining the black market effectively as intended.

For Paderborn alone and at this retail price it would amount to a turnover for cultivation/farming of approx. 890.000 €, 1,8 million € for the wholesale trade and 2,6 million € for specialist shops.

However the Cannabis Control Act provides for numerous regulations as to Quality Assurance, protection of production lines, safeguarding of youth protection and prevention. Consequently production facilities must be secured with fences and alarm systems. Transport of Cannabis is governed by specified security restrictions, the specialist shops must train their personnel and deliver proof for consistent follow-up trainings as well as a substantial social concept. Also packaging has to be secured to a high extent and must feature comprehensive warning and reconnaissance information.

It remains doubtful that the current illegal Cannabis producers will meet these requirements in full and step out from illegality. For this reason it is to be expected that capital investors who with their capacity are able to administer the task more economically will edge into the market.

Then within the 2nd half of 2018 the race for the desired licences for farming, wholesale trade, import, export and specialist retailers would begin.

Restrictions as to numbers of licence permits are not scheduled within Cannabis Control Act so any desired number of farming facilities or specialist retailers could operate. Indeed we may assume that the Authorities will initially be totally snowed under and will authorise thoroughly drawn up applications at first which are based on convincing technical programmes and a business plans.

Any potentially interested party striving to be a player in this new and strictly regulated market is to focus on the new situation just in time and develop technical and operational concepts, investment concepts as well as calculations of overall return on investment as well as liquidity calculations. And just in time could „slip into gear“ as from tomorrow morning!

RA Kai-Friedrich Niermann

http://www.kfnplus.de

k@kfnplus.de

+491773108923

Jamaika und das Cannabiskontrollgesetz

English Version

Einige Anmerkungen zur praktischen Umsetzung, von Rechtsanwalt Kai-Friedrich Niermann (Paderborn)

Nehmen wir einmal an, die Jamaika-Koalitionäre gehen heute Abend auseinander und beschließen die Aufnahme von Koalitionsverhandlungen. Nehmen wir weiter an, dass die Grünen im Verbund mit der FDP es schaffen, die vollständige Freigabe von Cannabis zu erreichen und ihr Cannabiskontrollgesetz in den Verhandlungen von Mitte Dezember bis kurz vor Weihnachten durchbringen. Nehmen wir weiter an, dass das Cannabiskontrollgesetz dann vom Bundestag im Mai oder Juni beschlossen wird, dann stehen Deutschland große Änderungen und in vielen Bereichen noch größere Herausforderungen bevor.

Das Cannabisgesetz sieht die Möglichkeit der Beantragung von Anbaulizenzen, Großhandelslizenzen sowie Einzelhandelslizenzen, sogenannte Fachgeschäfte, vor. Ferner können Einfuhr und Ausfuhrlizenzen beantragt werden. Besondere Vorkenntnisse sind nicht erforderlich, es muss lediglich die üblicherweise zu verlangende Zuverlässigkeit, wie im Gaststättenrecht zum Beispiel, vorliegen und beim Geschäftsinhaber dürfen keine einschlägigen Vorstrafen bestehen.

Geht man nach konservativen Schätzungen davon aus, dass pro Woche 10 t Cannabis in Deutschland konsumiert werden, ergibt dies einen Jahresbedarf von 520 t. In der Produktion von Cannabis geht man davon aus, dass ein m² einen Ertrag von 440 g erbringen kann, was bei einem Erntezyklus von 52 Tagen ca. 7 Ernten pro Jahr ermöglicht. Man benötigt also allein 180.000 m² reine Anbaufläche, um dem Bedarf von Deutschland zu 107% zu decken.

Bricht man diese Zahlen auf eine durchschnittliche Kommune wie Paderborn mit einer Einwohnerzahl von 140.000 herunter, ergäbe dies eine benötigte Anbaufläche von 307 m². Bei einer im Cannabiskontrollgesetz vorgesehenen Steuer von 4 €, bei Produktionskosten von 1 €, bei Kosten für den Großhandel von 2 € sowie bei Kosten für die Fachgeschäfte von 3 € pro Gramm ergebe sich ein Grammpreis von insgesamt 10 €, der dem Preis auf dem derzeitigen Schwarzmarkt entspricht. Der Spagat wird sein, den Preis nicht zu hoch zu treiben, um auch tatsächlich, wie beabsichtigt den Schwarzmarkt austrocknen zu können.

Allein für Paderborn ergebe sich bei diesem Verkaufspreis ein Umsatz beim Anbau in Höhe von ca. 890.000 €, beim Großhandel von 1,8 Millionen €, und bei den Fachgeschäften von 2,6 Millionen €.

Das Cannabiskontrollgesetz sieht allerdings zahlreiche Vorschriften bezüglich der Qualitätssicherung, der Sicherung der Produktionsanlagen, der Sicherung des Jugendschutzes und der Prävention vor. So müssen die Produktionsanlagen mit Zäunen und Alarmanlagen gesichert werden, der Transport von Cannabis unterliegt bestimmten Sicherheitsauflagen, die Fachgeschäfte müssen ihr Personal am Beginn schulen und regelmäßige Nachfolgeschulungen nachweisen sowie ein umfangreiches Sozialkonzept erstellen. Ferner müssen die Verpackungen umfangreich gesichert und mit zahlreichen Warn- und Aufklärungshinweisen gestaltet werden.

Ob es für die zahlreichen, bisher illegalen Cannabisproduzenten möglich sein wird, diese Anforderungen in Gänze zu erfüllen und aus der Illegalität herauszutreten, bleibt zu bezweifeln. Es ist daher zu erwarten, dass große Investoren mit größeren Anlagen auf den Markt drängen werden, die allein aufgrund ihrer Kapazität in der Lage sind, kostengünstiger zu wirtschaften.

Sodann würde im 2. Halbjahr 2018 ein Wettlauf um die begehrten Lizenzen für Anbau, Großhandel, Import, Export und Fachhandel beginnen. Eine zahlenmäßige Beschränkung der Erlaubnisse ist vom Cannabiskontrollgesetz nicht vorgesehen, es können also beliebig viele Anbauflächen oder Fachgeschäfte betrieben werden. Allerdings ist davon auszugehen, dass die Behörden zunächst völlig überlastet sind und die Anträge zuerst genehmigen, die vollständig ausgearbeitet sind und denen ein in technischer und betriebswirtschaftlicher Hinsicht überzeugendes Konzept zu Grunde liegt.

Es ist somit allen Interessenten, die in diesem neuen, strikt regulierten Markt agieren wollen, sich rechtzeitig auf die neue Situation einzustellen und bereits jetzt technische Betriebskonzepte, Investitionskonzepte und Rendite- und Liquiditätsberechnungen zu entwickeln. Die Zeit könnte ab morgen früh zu laufen beginnen.

RA Kai-Friedrich Niermann
http://www.kfnplus.de
k@kfnplus.de
+491773108923