As loyal TWB readers already know, I will be attending the 2012 National Marijuana Business Conference in Denver, and I encourage any readers that are involved in (or are looking to get involved in) the cannabis industry to attend as well. The 2012 National Marijuana Business Conference is set for November 8-9 at the Sherman Street Event Center in Denver, Colorado.
I have been lucky enough to attend some great events in the 2+ years The Weed Blog has been around, but I’m particularly excited about this one because it’s going to be exclusively dedicated to cannabis business. Other events had a seminar or two that involved the cannabis industry, but the 2012 National Marijuana Business Conference is solely dedicated to it. Below is more information about who will be speaking at the event. It doesn’t take long to realize that this is going to be arguably the greatest lineup of speakers ever. I have admired so many of these people from afar for so long – I CAN’T WAIT TO MEET THEM! (Warning number 2 – if you are an investor that is attending the event, I will be hunting you down!)
Rob Kampia is co-founder and executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, a nonprofit organization that works to reform cannabis laws. He co-authored most of the medical marijuana laws currently on the books in 16 states and the District of Columbia, with MPP taking a leading role in passing the laws in Hawaii (2000), Montana (2004), Vermont (2004), Rhode Island (2006), Michigan (2008), Maine (2009), Arizona (2010), and Delaware (2011). Rob has been quoted in almost every newspaper in the U.S. and has appeared on national TV dozens of times, including on the “Today Show,” “NewsHour with Jim Lehrer,” “Anderson Cooper 360″ and the special “Marijuana: A Chronic History.”
Brian Vicente is a founding member of Vicente Sederberg, LLC, a law firm providing legal solutions for the medical marijuana community. He also serves as executive director of Sensible Colorado – a non-profit focusing on medical marijuana patients and providers – is the chair of the Denver Mayor’s Marijuana Policy Review Panel and is on the Colorado Department of Revenue Medical Marijuana Oversight Panel. Brian is regularly quoted in local, state and national press and is a featured blogger for the Huffington Post.
Troy Dayton is chief executive officer of the ArcView Group, which works to connect investors with entrepreneurs in the medical marijuana space. He co-founded Students for Sensible Drug Policy – an organization that is now active on over 200 college campuses – and helped start both Renewable Choice Energy and the Interfaith Drug Policy. From 2007-2010, he was the top fundraiser for the Marijuana Policy Project and served as the organization’s lead liaison to the legal cannabis industry. CNN profiled Troy as part of a special on the science of happiness, in which he discussed how his responsible drug use supports his ongoing mental well-being. Most recently, Troy became a founding board member of the National Cannabis Industry Association.
Jim Marty has worked in the accounting and auditing profession for three decades. He now runs his own firm, Jim Marty and Associates LLC, which works with numerous dispensaries and medical marijuana businesses on tax issues. Jim earned his master’s of science in taxation at the University of Colorado and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Amy Poinsett is co-founder and chief executive officer of MJ Freeway Software Solutions, which provides point of sale, inventory, sales and patient validation products. She has trained and led technology development teams in software, application design and research analysis across various business sectors within financial services, luxury tourism and medical technology.
Henry Wykowski is a San Francisco-based attorney widely regarded as one of the nation’s leading authorities on tax issues affecting medical marijuana businesses. He has represented numerous dispensaries on tax and litigation matters and is currently involved in several dozen tax audits of dispensaries. Wykowski serves on the board of directors of the National Cannabis Industry Association and is a founding member of both the NCIA Accounting and Tax Issues Committee and the 280E Reform Committee.
Steve DeAngelo is executive director of Oakland-based Harborside Health Center, the largest medical marijuana dispensary in the country. A cannabis leader, visionary and well-known industry advocate, Steve has created a model business for the medical marijuana industry. Harborside has been extensively covered in national and international news media and was the subject of the Discovery Channel mini-series “Weed Wars.”
Genifer Murray is founder and president of CannLabs, a company that is fully licensed by the State of Colorado to perform third-party testing of medical grade cannabis products. Genifer has helped bring testing education and advocacy to Colorado and the medical marijuana industry overall. She also currently sits on the board of the Women’s CannaBusiness Network. Prior to her time in the MMJ industry, Genifer held sales and marketing position at telecommunications, fitness and real estate companies. She graduated from Colorado State University with a bachelor’s degree in microbiology.
Tripp Keber wears many hats, serving as president and CEO of Red Dice Holdings, president of Medical Marijuana Inc.’s manufacturing division, and managing director of Dixie Elixirs & Edibles, an infused-products company he founded. He also serves as an advisory board member for the Colorado Medical Marijuana Industry Group and is a founding member of the National Cannabis Industry Association. Prior to his time in the MMJ industry, Tripp held number executive positions in real estate and telecommunications.
Kris Krane is a principal and managing partner at 4Front Advisors, a medical cannabis dispensary consulting firm in Arizona. Prior to forming 4Front, Kris served as director of client services for CannBe, where he helped develop many of the best practices that have become the backbone of 4Front Advisors’ operations. Kris served as associate director of NORML from 2000-2005 and executive director of Students for Sensible Drug Policy from 2006-2009.
Hilary Bricken is a medical marijuana attorney with Canna Law Group, which represents MMJ businesses in Washington State. She focuses on helping dispensaries navigate local medical cannabis laws and advises clients on everything from corporate structures and intellectual property protection to licensing, branding and identity protection. Hilary also has been involved with 280e tax reform and participates in community education panels.
Steele Smith is founder of C3 Patients Association, which makes and distributes a cannabinoid pill called Idrasil. He also founded the first dispensary in Orange County, Calif. as well as ASA National, and he is currently the director of the Greater Orange County Collectives Alliance.
Shawn Coleman is currently the executive director of the Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA), a non-profit trade organization for medical cannabis professionals and ancillary businesses. CBA focuses on best practices, business development and state and local policy. Shawn previously served as the industry liaison for Colorado Springs State Bank and began his work in marijuana policy while serving as a legislative Assistant for U.S. Rep Jared Polis.
Ryan Hurley is a partner at Arizona-based Rose Law Group and heads up the firm’s Medical Marijuana Practice Group. He assists clients with all aspects of Arizona’s MMJ law, with a primary focus on the business side of the equation and helping clients apply for and secure dispensary licenses. He is a frequent presenter at MMJ seminars and conferences and has been interviewed numerous times on TV and radio stations.
Robert J. Corry, Jr.
Robert J. Corry, Jr. is a Denver-based attorney specializing in medical marijuana cases. He currently represents more than 100 dispensaries and growers in Colorado and has been involved in several high-profile cases across the United States.
Steve Fox is co-founder and chief lobbyist for the National Cannabis Industry Association as well as the director of government relations for the Marijuana Policy Project. A long-time national leader in the marijuana policy field, he was the driving force behind the first-ever pro-medical marijuana bill in the U.S. Senate and the first-ever roll call vote on the floor of the U.S. House on pro-medical marijuana legislation. Steve also is co-founder, former executive director and current board member for SAFER.
Betty Aldworth founded Evolution Consulting, which provides public, community and media relations services to the medical marijuana industry. She also leads the Women’s Marijuana Movement, volunteers at numerous organizations – including Sensible Colorado and the Women’s CannaBusiness -Network – and is advocacy director for The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol.
Kayvan Khalatbari is co-founder and operations manager of Denver Relief, a medical marijuana dispensary in Denver that is actively involved in the community. He’s also volunteered for Sensible Colorado and SAFER – two marijuana advocacy organizations – and owns Sexy Pizza. Prior to his time in the medical marijuana industry, he worked as an electrical systems designer.
Jason Klein is principal of the Law Office of Jason Klein, PLLC, which works with medical marijuana businesses in the Washington DC area. Jason works exclusively with businesses, patients and doctors to help them understand and comply with the new laws and regulations of the DC medical marijuana program. He organized the First Annual Washington DC Medical Marijuana Symposium in February 2012.
Christian Sederberg is a founding member of Vicente Sederberg, LLC. In addition to providing general guidance to medical marijuana businesses, ancillary businesses and caregivers about local and state medical marijuana ordinances, regulations and laws, Sederberg has offered a wide range of transactional and regulatory assistance to the medical marijuana community.
Len Goodman is executive director and chairman of New MexiCann Natural Medicine, which grows and distributes medical marijuana to registered patients in New Mexico. He was also a founding director of the National Cannabis Industry Association and serves on the New Mexico DPA Advisory Board and the AHPA Cultivation and Distribution Committees. Additionally, Len works with the 280e Reform group and is the founder of the NM Medical Cannabis Producers Guild.
Aaron Smith is the executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA), which represents the cannabis industry on the national stage. Prior to launching NCIA, Aaron distinguished himself as a public advocate for marijuana policy reform — first under the auspices of a California-based medical cannabis advocacy group, Safe Access Now, and more recently as the California state policy director for the Marijuana Policy Project.
Lance Ott is chief executive officer of Guardian Data Systems, which was created specifically to provide secure, reliable and transparent merchant services to the medical cannabis industry. Lance has helped form a network infrastructure of MMJ-friendly banks, institutions, processors and software/hardware developers to provide the industry with commerce solutions.
Doug Banfelder is a commercial insurance specialist with Premier Southwest Insurance Group in Scottsdale, Arizona. In his current capacity, Doug provides insurance coverages to all aspects of the medical marijuana industry, from dispensaries and grow operations to ancillary businesses. He’s also a founder of the Arizona Wellness Chamber of Commerce and a proponent of the need for community and political advocacy in MMJ.
Greta Carter is founder and executive director of the Coalition for Cannabis Standards and Ethics in Washington State, co-owner of The CARE Wellness Center, and director and chair of the 280E Tax Reform Committee. She played a lead role in creating Seattle’s first medical marijuana ordinance that paved the way for dispensaries. Greta previously operated a cannabis dispensary in Spokane until a raid forced its closure.
Chris Lindsey is a medical marijuana attorney in Montana and serves as president of the Montana Cannabis Industry Association. He is also on the boards of the Montana Medical Grower’s Association and Patients and Families United. Chris has testified at the state legislature on numerous bills and amendments to medical marijuana regulations. Most recently, he was indicted by the federal government for his involvement in a Montana medical marijuana business, giving him first-hand knowledge of the risks involved in MMJ.
Ralph Morgan is the founder of several medical marijuana companies, including the dispensary Evergreen Apothecary and Organa Labs, an infused products manufacturer based in Denver. Prior to the MMJ industry, Ralph was a medical marketing and sales executive who worked with companies such as Smith & Nephew, Stryker Orthopedics and Paragon Medical.
Richard Evans is a lawyer in western Massachusetts, where he has represented a wide variety of businesses in transactional, regulatory and other matters. He is a long-time marijuana reform advocate and activist, a former member of the NORML board and the author of early marijuana regulation and taxation bills. Richard is poised to represent medical marijuana dispensary applicants and licensees if Massachusetts voters legalize MMJ in November.
Angel Stanz is the founder of BG Medical Technologies, an umbrella company for several ancillary MMJ businesses including the medical marijuana research lab and web portal BudGenius. He has more than two decades of experience in the startup dot-com world – including a stint as senior research and development engineer for CAIS Software Solutions. In the MMJ world, Stanz has focused on developing standards for patient safety and providing Internet marketing support.
Khurshid Khoja is principal and founder of Greenbridge Corporate Counsel, which provides a wide range of legal and corporate counseling services to the MMJ industry. He also currently serves as the outside general counsel to The Emerald Growers Association and the ArcView Group. Prior to founding Greenbridge, Khoja practiced corporate and transactional law, focusing on everything from corporate governance to mergers and acquisitions. He was named to the Northern California SuperLawyers Rising Stars list in 2010 and 2011.
James Slatic is CEO of PotBottles.com, which specializes in medical marijuana containers, bags, labels and related products. He’s also chief executive of MedWest Distribution, a company that provides CO2 extracted products. James has started 13 companies in the past 30 years, two of which have been sold to public firms. He also worked as an investment banker for several years.
Charles T. Houghton
Charles T. Houghton is the founder and owner of Charles T. Houghton, P.C., a law firm dedicated to providing business, compliance, licensing and regulatory advice to the medical marijuana industry. Charles sat on the Colorado Springs Medical Marijuana Task Force, which assisted the city in developing a regulatory framework. He represents a number of medical marijuana centers and infused products manufacturers throughout Colorado. Charles also is a frequent speaker and lecturer on the business and regulatory aspects of the medical marijuana industry.
Eapen Thampy hails from Columbia, Missouri, where he founded Americans for Forfeiture Reform in 2010. The nonprofit organization works to educate the public, the media and policy makers about the failure of current asset forfeiture policies. Previously, Eapen studied economics and mathematics at the University of Missouri-Columbia and worked in the wine industry.
Micah Johnson is president and co-founder of Cannapages.com, Colorado’s original medical marijuana directory and tech agency. Micah is editor-in-chief of online content and oversees the group’s community involvement, through industry magazines, business groups, websites, outreach and partnerships. After years in dispensary management, his team now offers consultation in product quality, store presentation, niche branding and new media marketing.
Andrew Shotland writes the Local SEO Guide blog and is a highly regarded local search consultant offering full-service SEO, search engine advertising, website strategy and local search consulting with a specialty in yellow pages and local directories. He has provided his services to numerous media outlets, ecommerce companies, franchises and start-ups including Bing.com, Amazon, DexKnows.com, Yellowbook.com and The Los Angeles Times. Andrew has over 15 years of experience in the Internet and is a frequent speaker on SEO, local search and web strategy.
Amanda Reiman is currently the policy manager of California for the Drug Policy Alliance and a lecturer in the School of Social Welfare at the University of California, Berkeley. She earned both a master’s in social work and a PhD, writing her dissertation on serving medical cannabis patients through dispensaries. Amanda served as the chairwoman of the first Medical Cannabis Commission for the City of Berkeley and has consulted with other cities and states on MMJ policy and dispensing.
KC Stark is a medical marijuana entrepreneur and MMJ advocate in Colorado Springs who works to bring local governments, dispensaries and patients together in a free market. He has worked with hundreds of marijuana centers and thousands of patients to insure safe, affordable and legal access to MMJ. KC served on the Mayor’s Medical Marijuana Task Force and is founder of Go Green Cross, the MMJ Exchange, the MMJ Business Academy, MMJ Centers for Sale and the MMJIQ. His knowledge and network has helped to insure a financially viable and patient focused industry. KC has been featured on Colorado news channels and radio stations.
Sytze Elzinga is director of quality control and assurance at The Werc Shop, an analytical laboratory focused on the quality control of medical marijuana. Previously, he served as manager of edible production at Herbal Solutions, laboratory manager at Echo Pharmaceuticals and a laboratory technician at Leiden University in the Netherlands. Sytze holds a master of science in natural products and a bachelor’s in biochemistry, both from Leiden University.
Derek Lebahn is district manager of the Colorado region for Cannaline, one of the top packaging companies in the medical marijuana industry. In his current capacity, Derek works with top dispensaries in the Denver area, helping them grow their businesses, network and find the ancillary products their patients seek. He has more than 10 years worth of experience as a manufacturer’s representative.
Erik Williams the Executive Director of Connecticut NORML and owner of of CampaignsWon.com, a Democratic political consulting firm that works on races from the local level all the way up to the presidential elections. A veteran political operative and public and community relations professional, Erik led the fight to pass Connecticut’s medical marijuana law.
Chris Walsh is editor of Medical Marijuana Business Daily, an online publication covering legal, financial and industry news of interest to dispensaries, investors and cannabis professionals. In his current capacity, he also writes e-books and how-to guides for the industry on everything from finding funding to starting a customer loyalty program. Previously he covered business and technology for the Rocky Mountain News and the Colorado Springs Gazette and served as business editor at the JoongAng Daily in South Korea.