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List of speakers for the 2018 National Cannabis Policy Summit
presented by Dr. Bronner's.

  RICARDO BACA   Founding Editor of The Cannabist a division of The Denver Post & Founder, Grasslands: A Content Agency    Panel: "All the Buzz: How does Media Portrayal Impact the Future of Cannabis?"   Ricardo Baca is a veteran journalist and thought leader in the legal cannabis space.  After serving more than two decades as a staff writer, editor and critic at daily newspapers, Ricardo’s editors at The Denver Post named him the paper’s first-ever Cannabis Editor in 2013. Now Ricardo is considered to be the world’s first (and “most prestigious” according to Vice) marijuana editor; founder of award-winning news vertical The Cannabist; primary subject of Rolling Papers, a documentary released theatrically in February 2016; one of Brookings Institution’s 12 Key People to Watch in Marijuana Policy; one of Fortune magazine’s 7 Most Powerful People in America’s Marijuana Industry; one of Time magazine’s 140 best Twitter feeds; one of Sensi magazine’s 24 Cannabis Pioneers Who Matter.  Read more  here .

RICARDO BACA
Founding Editor of The Cannabist a division of The Denver Post & Founder, Grasslands: A Content Agency

Panel: "All the Buzz: How does Media Portrayal Impact the Future of Cannabis?"

Ricardo Baca is a veteran journalist and thought leader in the legal cannabis space.

After serving more than two decades as a staff writer, editor and critic at daily newspapers, Ricardo’s editors at The Denver Post named him the paper’s first-ever Cannabis Editor in 2013. Now Ricardo is considered to be the world’s first (and “most prestigious” according to Vice) marijuana editor; founder of award-winning news vertical The Cannabist; primary subject of Rolling Papers, a documentary released theatrically in February 2016; one of Brookings Institution’s 12 Key People to Watch in Marijuana Policy; one of Fortune magazine’s 7 Most Powerful People in America’s Marijuana Industry; one of Time magazine’s 140 best Twitter feeds; one of Sensi magazine’s 24 Cannabis Pioneers Who Matter.

Read more here.

  BETSY CAVENDISH   General Counsel, Executive Office of D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser    Keynote Remarks   Elizabeth (Betsy) Cavendish is the General Counsel to the Executive Office of Mayor Muriel Bowser, where she has worked on both budget autonomy issues as well as Statehood. She has a background in field organizing, law, and policy. She was the president of the Appleseed Foundation from 2007 to the end of 2014. She served as interim president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, an American pro-choice advocacy group, during the 2004 electoral cycle, and previously, she served as NARAL’s legal director and on the staff of the Office of Legal Counsel in the Justice Department under Attorney General Janet Reno, as well as in the Civil Frauds section of DOJ. Cavendish has worked in all three branches of government and in academia. She was an assistant professor of law at the University of Illinois College of Law. Cavendish was a law clerk for Judge Gerhard Gesell on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on United States v. Oliver North. She graduated summa cum laude from Yale University and also earned her law degree at Yale.   

BETSY CAVENDISH
General Counsel, Executive Office of D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser

Keynote Remarks

Elizabeth (Betsy) Cavendish is the General Counsel to the Executive Office of Mayor Muriel Bowser, where she has worked on both budget autonomy issues as well as Statehood. She has a background in field organizing, law, and policy. She was the president of the Appleseed Foundation from 2007 to the end of 2014. She served as interim president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, an American pro-choice advocacy group, during the 2004 electoral cycle, and previously, she served as NARAL’s legal director and on the staff of the Office of Legal Counsel in the Justice Department under Attorney General Janet Reno, as well as in the Civil Frauds section of DOJ. Cavendish has worked in all three branches of government and in academia. She was an assistant professor of law at the University of Illinois College of Law. Cavendish was a law clerk for Judge Gerhard Gesell on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on United States v. Oliver North. She graduated summa cum laude from Yale University and also earned her law degree at Yale.

 

  C.J. CIARAMELLA Criminal Justice Reporter, Reason Magazine   Panel:  "Get Up, Stand Up: Can Cannabis Heal Our Broken Criminal Justice System?"   C.J. Ciaramella is a criminal justice reporter at Reason. He was previously a politics editor at BuzzFeed, and a reporter for the Washington Free Beacon. His writing has also appeared in Vanity Fair, Vice, The Weekly Standard, High Times, Salon, The Federalist, Pacific Standard, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, the San Diego Union-Tribune, and Street Sense

C.J. CIARAMELLA
Criminal Justice Reporter, Reason Magazine

Panel: "Get Up, Stand Up: Can Cannabis Heal Our Broken Criminal Justice System?"

C.J. Ciaramella is a criminal justice reporter at Reason. He was previously a politics editor at BuzzFeed, and a reporter for the Washington Free Beacon. His writing has also appeared in Vanity Fair, Vice, The Weekly Standard, High Times, Salon, The Federalist, Pacific Standard, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, the San Diego Union-Tribune, and Street Sense

  TANGANYIKA DANIEL Veteran, United States Marine Corps   Panel:  "The Exit Drug: Can Medical Cannabis End the Narcotic Epidemic?"   Tanganyika Daniel is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, an advocate for cannabis as an alternative to opioids, and a mentor to aspiring entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry. While serving in the military she survived two tours in Iraq that left her with debilitating nightmares and chronic pain. Tanganyika knows firsthand the power of cannabis and she uses her platform to advocate around the world for veterans right to use natural alternatives, and those disproportionately affected by the War on Drugs. She is the co-founder of an organization called Marine Qweenz whose mission is to educate, inspire, and empower those suffering from the residuals of military service. 

TANGANYIKA DANIEL
Veteran, United States Marine Corps

Panel: "The Exit Drug: Can Medical Cannabis End the Narcotic Epidemic?"

Tanganyika Daniel is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, an advocate for cannabis as an alternative to opioids, and a mentor to aspiring entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry. While serving in the military she survived two tours in Iraq that left her with debilitating nightmares and chronic pain. Tanganyika knows firsthand the power of cannabis and she uses her platform to advocate around the world for veterans right to use natural alternatives, and those disproportionately affected by the War on Drugs. She is the co-founder of an organization called Marine Qweenz whose mission is to educate, inspire, and empower those suffering from the residuals of military service. 

  JOHN KAGIA   Executive Vice President, New Frontier Data   Panel:  "Tax Fairness and Cannabis"   John Kagia applies his keen understanding of market research, business strategy and industry analysis to help high performing organizations achieve their strategic objectives. Leveraging his years of experience managing research studies for industry-leading clients including Accenture, Microsoft, The George Washington University, and the U.S. Department of State, Kagia brings a keen understanding of how market insights enable organizations to plan, grow, compete, and measure performance more effectively.  Read more  here .

JOHN KAGIA
Executive Vice President, New Frontier Data

Panel: "Tax Fairness and Cannabis"

John Kagia applies his keen understanding of market research, business strategy and industry analysis to help high performing organizations achieve their strategic objectives. Leveraging his years of experience managing research studies for industry-leading clients including Accenture, Microsoft, The George Washington University, and the U.S. Department of State, Kagia brings a keen understanding of how market insights enable organizations to plan, grow, compete, and measure performance more effectively.

Read more here.

  STEVE FOX Director, VS Strategies   Panel:  "All the Buzz: How Does Media Portrayal Impact the Future of Cannabis?"   Steve Fox, Esq., has been at the center of cannabis policy reform in the United States for more than 16 years. While at the Marijuana Policy Project from 2002-2005 and 2009-2013, he lobbied Congress and guided numerous ballot initiative campaigns. He was the lead author of Colorado’s historic Amendment 64 ballot measure, which made marijuana legal for all adults in that state, and managed all aspects that campaign in 2011-2012. Steve’s work in Colorado began in 2004, when he conceptualized and co-founded Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER) for the express purpose of educating the public about the fact that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol in order to change the mindset of voters and eventually pass a legalization initiative. In 2010, seeing the need to raise the profile of the nascent cannabis industry in Washington, DC, he co-founded the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA), which now represents more than 1,500 state-legal businesses at the federal level. He is currently of counsel at the Denver-based law firm Vicente Sederberg LLC and serves as the director of VS Strategies. Through VS Strategies, he directs NCIA’s Policy Council and, in 2017, served as an advisor to the New Federalism Fund.

STEVE FOX
Director, VS Strategies

Panel: "All the Buzz: How Does Media Portrayal Impact the Future of Cannabis?"

Steve Fox, Esq., has been at the center of cannabis policy reform in the United States for more than 16 years. While at the Marijuana Policy Project from 2002-2005 and 2009-2013, he lobbied Congress and guided numerous ballot initiative campaigns. He was the lead author of Colorado’s historic Amendment 64 ballot measure, which made marijuana legal for all adults in that state, and managed all aspects that campaign in 2011-2012. Steve’s work in Colorado began in 2004, when he conceptualized and co-founded Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER) for the express purpose of educating the public about the fact that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol in order to change the mindset of voters and eventually pass a legalization initiative. In 2010, seeing the need to raise the profile of the nascent cannabis industry in Washington, DC, he co-founded the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA), which now represents more than 1,500 state-legal businesses at the federal level. He is currently of counsel at the Denver-based law firm Vicente Sederberg LLC and serves as the director of VS Strategies. Through VS Strategies, he directs NCIA’s Policy Council and, in 2017, served as an advisor to the New Federalism Fund.

  BEN JEALOUS Civil Rights Activist, Former President & CEO, NAACP    Keynote Address   Ben Jealous is the son of two educators. He is a civil rights leader, community organizer, graduate of Columbia University, a Rhodes scholar, and a visiting professor at Princeton. At age 35, Ben was named the youngest ever President and CEO of the NAACP. In 2013, Ben was named Marylander of the Year by the Baltimore Sun for helping to lead the successful efforts to abolish the death penalty, pass marriage equality, pass the DREAM Act, and expand voting rights. Ben is currently a partner at Kapor Capital, an investment firm that invests in progressive social change.

BEN JEALOUS
Civil Rights Activist, Former President & CEO, NAACP

Keynote Address

Ben Jealous is the son of two educators. He is a civil rights leader, community organizer, graduate of Columbia University, a Rhodes scholar, and a visiting professor at Princeton. At age 35, Ben was named the youngest ever President and CEO of the NAACP. In 2013, Ben was named Marylander of the Year by the Baltimore Sun for helping to lead the successful efforts to abolish the death penalty, pass marriage equality, pass the DREAM Act, and expand voting rights. Ben is currently a partner at Kapor Capital, an investment firm that invests in progressive social change.

  KAYVAN KHALATBARI Founding Partner, Denver Relief  Consulting   Panel:  "Get Up, Stand Up: Can Cannabis Heal Our Broken Criminal Justice System?"   Kayvan S.T. Khalatbari moved to Denver in 2004 from his hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska, after graduating with a degree in Architectural Engineering. He spent the next five years working as an electrical systems designer and volunteering for Sensible Colorado and SAFER by participating in call to action activities such as collecting signatures for I-100 and other Cannabis initiatives, and chasing Denver Mayor Hickenlooper around in a chicken suit to protest his hypocritical views on cannabis legalization.  He did so more recently with Hickenlooper as Governor of Colorado during his reelection campaign.  Through his volunteer work, Kayvan became an active member of a growing network of devoted patients, caregivers and medical cannabis business professionals. He soon realized that in addition to the benefits medical cannabis offers to patients, an incredible support system was developing as well. Through this support system, Kayvan met his future business partners for his local businesses, Sexy Pizza, Denver Relief, Denver Relief Consulting, DRx, Sexpot Comedy and Birdy. magazine.  He also works with the city of Denver to produce progressive art events such as art&.  Read more  here .

KAYVAN KHALATBARI
Founding Partner, Denver Relief  Consulting

Panel: "Get Up, Stand Up: Can Cannabis Heal Our Broken Criminal Justice System?"

Kayvan S.T. Khalatbari moved to Denver in 2004 from his hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska, after graduating with a degree in Architectural Engineering. He spent the next five years working as an electrical systems designer and volunteering for Sensible Colorado and SAFER by participating in call to action activities such as collecting signatures for I-100 and other Cannabis initiatives, and chasing Denver Mayor Hickenlooper around in a chicken suit to protest his hypocritical views on cannabis legalization.  He did so more recently with Hickenlooper as Governor of Colorado during his reelection campaign.

Through his volunteer work, Kayvan became an active member of a growing network of devoted patients, caregivers and medical cannabis business professionals. He soon realized that in addition to the benefits medical cannabis offers to patients, an incredible support system was developing as well. Through this support system, Kayvan met his future business partners for his local businesses, Sexy Pizza, Denver Relief, Denver Relief Consulting, DRx, Sexpot Comedy and Birdy. magazine.  He also works with the city of Denver to produce progressive art events such as art&.

Read more here.

  NEAL LEVINE Founder, New Federalism Fund   Panel:  "Tax Fairness and Cannabis"   Neal Levine is an entrepreneur, nationally recognized expert in both ballot initiatives and cannabis policy, and a leading national advocate for the cannabis industry. Neal serves as the Senior Vice President of Government Affairs at LivWell Enlightened Health, one of the largest employers in the cannabis industry. In this role Neal leads the company’s government affairs, public relations, and philanthropic efforts.  Neal is also a founding board member and the Chairman for the New Federalism Fund (NFF). A non-partisan 501(c)(4) organization, NFF is dedicated to fighting for the rights of state-regulated and compliant cannabis companies to be treated equally to any other company in any other industry under federal law, especially with regard to taxation and banking. Neal was elected to the board of directors of the National Cannabis Industry Association in 2016 and served in that role until January of this year.  While one of the cannabis industry’s leading federal lobbyists, Neal has also worked extensively on cannabis policy reform in the states. As a former department head at the Marijuana Policy Project, and later in private practice, Neal has worked to end cannabis prohibition and set up sensible industry regulations in over 20 states throughout the country - including leading or playing a key role on many of the teams that passed the state laws that created the industry. Since joining LivWell Enlightened Health, Neal successfully organized and led industry opposition in Colorado against a proposed constitutional amendment that would have limited the potency of all marijuana products to no more than 16% THC, led LivWell Enlightened Health’s successful support of the Pueblo marijuana industry against a ballot initiative that would have banned the industry in the county, and has advised multiple states on the drafting and amending of their industry regulations. Neal also leads LivWell Enlightened Health’s multi-faceted community engagement program, ranging from partnerships with local non-profits to giving away more than $1.6 million worth of high CBD cannabis to Colorado veterans and medical marijuana patients.  Neal got his start in politics as a volunteer for one of the biggest upsets in modern American political history, Jesse Ventura’s victorious campaign for Governor of Minnesota in 1998.   

NEAL LEVINE
Founder, New Federalism Fund

Panel: "Tax Fairness and Cannabis"

Neal Levine is an entrepreneur, nationally recognized expert in both ballot initiatives and cannabis policy, and a leading national advocate for the cannabis industry. Neal serves as the Senior Vice President of Government Affairs at LivWell Enlightened Health, one of the largest employers in the cannabis industry. In this role Neal leads the company’s government affairs, public relations, and philanthropic efforts.  Neal is also a founding board member and the Chairman for the New Federalism Fund (NFF). A non-partisan 501(c)(4) organization, NFF is dedicated to fighting for the rights of state-regulated and compliant cannabis companies to be treated equally to any other company in any other industry under federal law, especially with regard to taxation and banking. Neal was elected to the board of directors of the National Cannabis Industry Association in 2016 and served in that role until January of this year.

While one of the cannabis industry’s leading federal lobbyists, Neal has also worked extensively on cannabis policy reform in the states. As a former department head at the Marijuana Policy Project, and later in private practice, Neal has worked to end cannabis prohibition and set up sensible industry regulations in over 20 states throughout the country - including leading or playing a key role on many of the teams that passed the state laws that created the industry. Since joining LivWell Enlightened Health, Neal successfully organized and led industry opposition in Colorado against a proposed constitutional amendment that would have limited the potency of all marijuana products to no more than 16% THC, led LivWell Enlightened Health’s successful support of the Pueblo marijuana industry against a ballot initiative that would have banned the industry in the county, and has advised multiple states on the drafting and amending of their industry regulations. Neal also leads LivWell Enlightened Health’s multi-faceted community engagement program, ranging from partnerships with local non-profits to giving away more than $1.6 million worth of high CBD cannabis to Colorado veterans and medical marijuana patients.

Neal got his start in politics as a volunteer for one of the biggest upsets in modern American political history, Jesse Ventura’s victorious campaign for Governor of Minnesota in 1998.

 

  DR. CHANDA MACIAS Owner, National Holistic Healing Center & Chairwoman, Women Grow   Panel:  "Amplifying Equity to Create a Stronger Industry"   Chanda Macias, PhD, MBA is the CEO and the owner of National Holistic Healing Center (NHHC), the leading medical marijuana dispensary in Washington DC. Dr. Macias has spent 15+ years developing knowledge of medical marijuana impact on patients. Under her leadership, NHHC has earned $6.5M in annual revenues in 3 years with 98% retention, and adding 100+ new patients/month. Dr. Macias contributes growth to the market through education on ailment strain alignment, aligning a medical marijuana strain with a specific condition or ailment.  Dr. Macias serves on the Board of Directors for the Minority Cannabis Business Association focusing on the growth of the industry in existing and emerging markets. She also educates through her outreach platform with Women Grow with a national educational reach impacting over 50,000+ people and potential patients. Dr. Macias is a proud member of Americans for Safe Access, promoting safe and legal access to medical marijuana for research purposes. In her local market, she serves as the Treasurer and Secretary of DC Medical Cannabis Trade Association that proactively engages in legislation, regulations, and compliance with the Department of Health. Finally, Dr. Macias serves on the Advisory Board of Southern University, a state-funded university, which was granted a license to cultivate medical cannabis in Louisiana.    Dr. Macias earned a PhD in Cellular Biology from Howard University, and extensively studied cancer including breast cancer, colon cancer, and evolved into developing a model to understand the mechanism of prostate cancer metastasizes to bone. She has several scientific publications to support the contribution to biomedical research.  As a Research Scientist, Dr. Macias investigated oral diseases and possible treatment options at Colgate-Palmolive Company, a Fortune 500 Company. She contributed to the launch of several billion-dollar brands. Her innovations have resulted in numerous scientific achievements including publications, compilations, U.S. and Global Patients (World Intellectual Property Organization).  Dr. Macias was the Director of STEM Education in the College of Engineering, Architecture, and Computer Sciences at Howard University, where she was awarded over $10M in federally funded grants. Through the NIH-Minority Health International Research Training grant, Dr. Macias trained students including MD’s, PhD’s, and advanced undergraduates in biomedical research including infectious diseases in several global communities to address healthcare disparities.  Dr. Macias earned a MBA from Rutger’s University in Supply Chain Management, and has demonstrated excellence in the design, planning, execution, control, and monitoring of the supply chain in the medical marijuana market.  She has created net value, built a competitive infrastructure, leveraged logistics, synchronized supply with demand, and measured performance in the industry. Dr. Macias’ education, experience and skill set have contributed greatly to the medical marijuana industry. She is dedicated to biomedical research, the personal and healthcare industries, and education which is clearly demonstrated.

DR. CHANDA MACIAS
Owner, National Holistic Healing Center & Chairwoman, Women Grow

Panel: "Amplifying Equity to Create a Stronger Industry"

Chanda Macias, PhD, MBA is the CEO and the owner of National Holistic Healing Center (NHHC), the leading medical marijuana dispensary in Washington DC. Dr. Macias has spent 15+ years developing knowledge of medical marijuana impact on patients. Under her leadership, NHHC has earned $6.5M in annual revenues in 3 years with 98% retention, and adding 100+ new patients/month. Dr. Macias contributes growth to the market through education on ailment strain alignment, aligning a medical marijuana strain with a specific condition or ailment.

Dr. Macias serves on the Board of Directors for the Minority Cannabis Business Association focusing on the growth of the industry in existing and emerging markets. She also educates through her outreach platform with Women Grow with a national educational reach impacting over 50,000+ people and potential patients. Dr. Macias is a proud member of Americans for Safe Access, promoting safe and legal access to medical marijuana for research purposes. In her local market, she serves as the Treasurer and Secretary of DC Medical Cannabis Trade Association that proactively engages in legislation, regulations, and compliance with the Department of Health. Finally, Dr. Macias serves on the Advisory Board of Southern University, a state-funded university, which was granted a license to cultivate medical cannabis in Louisiana.  

Dr. Macias earned a PhD in Cellular Biology from Howard University, and extensively studied cancer including breast cancer, colon cancer, and evolved into developing a model to understand the mechanism of prostate cancer metastasizes to bone. She has several scientific publications to support the contribution to biomedical research.

As a Research Scientist, Dr. Macias investigated oral diseases and possible treatment options at Colgate-Palmolive Company, a Fortune 500 Company. She contributed to the launch of several billion-dollar brands. Her innovations have resulted in numerous scientific achievements including publications, compilations, U.S. and Global Patients (World Intellectual Property Organization).

Dr. Macias was the Director of STEM Education in the College of Engineering, Architecture, and Computer Sciences at Howard University, where she was awarded over $10M in federally funded grants. Through the NIH-Minority Health International Research Training grant, Dr. Macias trained students including MD’s, PhD’s, and advanced undergraduates in biomedical research including infectious diseases in several global communities to address healthcare disparities.

Dr. Macias earned a MBA from Rutger’s University in Supply Chain Management, and has demonstrated excellence in the design, planning, execution, control, and monitoring of the supply chain in the medical marijuana market.  She has created net value, built a competitive infrastructure, leveraged logistics, synchronized supply with demand, and measured performance in the industry. Dr. Macias’ education, experience and skill set have contributed greatly to the medical marijuana industry. She is dedicated to biomedical research, the personal and healthcare industries, and education which is clearly demonstrated.

  CLARK NEILY   Vice President, Criminal Justice, The Cato Institute   Panel:  "Get Up, Stand up: Can Cannabis Heal Our Broken Criminal Justice System?"   Clark Neily is vice president for criminal justice at the Cato Institute. His areas of interest include constitutional law, overcriminalization, civil forfeiture, police accountability, and gun rights. Neily is the author of Terms of Engagement: How Our Courts Should Enforce the Constitution’s Promise of Limited Government. His writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and National Review Online, as well as various law reviews, including the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, George Mason Law Review, Georgetown Journal of Law and Public Policy, NYU Journal of Law and Liberty, and Texas Review of Law and Politics. Neily is a frequent guest speaker and lecturer for the Federalist Society, Institute for Humane Studies, and American Constitution Society.  Read more  here .

CLARK NEILY
Vice President, Criminal Justice, The Cato Institute

Panel: "Get Up, Stand up: Can Cannabis Heal Our Broken Criminal Justice System?"

Clark Neily is vice president for criminal justice at the Cato Institute. His areas of interest include constitutional law, overcriminalization, civil forfeiture, police accountability, and gun rights. Neily is the author of Terms of Engagement: How Our Courts Should Enforce the Constitution’s Promise of Limited Government. His writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and National Review Online, as well as various law reviews, including the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, George Mason Law Review, Georgetown Journal of Law and Public Policy, NYU Journal of Law and Liberty, and Texas Review of Law and Politics. Neily is a frequent guest speaker and lecturer for the Federalist Society, Institute for Humane Studies, and American Constitution Society.

Read more here.

  MICHELLE MINTON Senior Fellow, Competitive Enterprise Institute   Panel:  "Tax Fairness and Cannabis"   Michelle Minton is a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Minton specializes in consumer policy, covering regulatory issues that include gambling, alcohol, and food.  Minton has coauthored numerous studies, including topics like the effectiveness and unintended consequences of sin taxes and history of gambling regulation. Her analyses have been published and cited by nationally respected news outlets such as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and USA Today as well as industry blogs and publications. She regularly appears on news media to discuss the effects regulation has on individual’s health and economic well-being and to propose more effective means of achieving public health goals while protecting the rights of individuals. In addition to her work at CEI, Minton is also a visiting fellow at the Maryland Public Policy Institute. 

MICHELLE MINTON
Senior Fellow, Competitive Enterprise Institute

Panel: "Tax Fairness and Cannabis"

Michelle Minton is a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Minton specializes in consumer policy, covering regulatory issues that include gambling, alcohol, and food.

Minton has coauthored numerous studies, including topics like the effectiveness and unintended consequences of sin taxes and history of gambling regulation. Her analyses have been published and cited by nationally respected news outlets such as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and USA Today as well as industry blogs and publications. She regularly appears on news media to discuss the effects regulation has on individual’s health and economic well-being and to propose more effective means of achieving public health goals while protecting the rights of individuals. In addition to her work at CEI, Minton is also a visiting fellow at the Maryland Public Policy Institute. 

  SHANITA PENNY Publisher, Sensi Magazine, D.C.   Panel:  "All the Buzz: How Does Media Portrayal Impact the Future of Cannabis?"   Shanita Penny is a cannabis advocate, business professional and entrepreneur with 17 years of world class corporate experience solving complex issues and improving business performance. She founded Budding Solutions in 2015 to help clients create and grow compliant, successful businesses that positively impact the burgeoning cannabis industry and communities. Shanita is the Washington, D.C. Publisher for Sensi Magazine, a City Lifestyle Magazine with a pro-cannabis stance dedicated to showcasing “the new normal” in the post-prohibition world. She is the President of the Board of Directors for the Minority Cannabis Business Association (MCBA) as well as a member of The New Jersey Cannabis Industry Association’s (NJCIA) Board of Trustees. Connect with Shanita at www.BuddingSolutions.net.

SHANITA PENNY
Publisher, Sensi Magazine, D.C.

Panel: "All the Buzz: How Does Media Portrayal Impact the Future of Cannabis?"

Shanita Penny is a cannabis advocate, business professional and entrepreneur with 17 years of world class corporate experience solving complex issues and improving business performance. She founded Budding Solutions in 2015 to help clients create and grow compliant, successful businesses that positively impact the burgeoning cannabis industry and communities. Shanita is the Washington, D.C. Publisher for Sensi Magazine, a City Lifestyle Magazine with a pro-cannabis stance dedicated to showcasing “the new normal” in the post-prohibition world. She is the President of the Board of Directors for the Minority Cannabis Business Association (MCBA) as well as a member of The New Jersey Cannabis Industry Association’s (NJCIA) Board of Trustees. Connect with Shanita at www.BuddingSolutions.net.

  ATTORNEY GENERAL KARL A. RACINE Attorney General for the District of Columbia    Keynote Address   Attorney General Karl A. Racine is the first elected Attorney General for the District of Columbia. With his inauguration in 2014, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) began an era of independence for the agency and accountability to District residents.  As the chief legal officer for the District of Columbia, Attorney General Racine relies on his 25 years of legal and leadership experience to advise the Mayor and District agencies, defend the city in court, and use the law to advance the public interest.  He has prioritized data-driven juvenile justice reform, consumer protection efforts aimed at assisting the District’s most vulnerable residents, measures to advance democracy and safeguard public integrity, and legal actions to protect affordable housing in communities across the District.  Read more  here .

ATTORNEY GENERAL KARL A. RACINE
Attorney General for the District of Columbia

Keynote Address

Attorney General Karl A. Racine is the first elected Attorney General for the District of Columbia. With his inauguration in 2014, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) began an era of independence for the agency and accountability to District residents.

As the chief legal officer for the District of Columbia, Attorney General Racine relies on his 25 years of legal and leadership experience to advise the Mayor and District agencies, defend the city in court, and use the law to advance the public interest.  He has prioritized data-driven juvenile justice reform, consumer protection efforts aimed at assisting the District’s most vulnerable residents, measures to advance democracy and safeguard public integrity, and legal actions to protect affordable housing in communities across the District.

Read more here.

  ERIC STERLING Executive Director, Criminal Justice Policy Reform Foundation   Panel:  "Get Up, Stand Up: Can Cannabis Heal Our Broken Criminal Justice System?"   Since 1989, Eric E. Sterling has been the Executive Director of The Criminal Justice Policy Foundation, a private non-profit educational organization that helps educate the nation about criminal justice issues and failed global drug policy. Mr. Sterling frequently lectures at colleges, universities, and professional societies throughout the nation and is regularly interviewed by the national news media.  Mr. Sterling helped found and serves on the boards of directors of FAMM -- Families Against Mandatory Minimums (Secretary) and Marijuana Majority (Vice-Chair). He also serves on the boards of directors of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, and the Andean Information Network. Mr. Sterling also serves on the advisory boards of Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP), DrugSense, Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet), and Flex Your Rights Foundation. He helped found FEAR -- Forfeiture Endangers American Rights in 1993, the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) in 1995, the Interfaith Drug Policy Initiative in 2003, and the Voluntary Committee of Lawyers, and served on their boards. Mr. Sterling was Editor-in-Chief of NewsBriefs, the newsletter of the National Drug Strategy Network, for ten years.  Read more  here .

ERIC STERLING
Executive Director, Criminal Justice Policy Reform Foundation

Panel: "Get Up, Stand Up: Can Cannabis Heal Our Broken Criminal Justice System?"

Since 1989, Eric E. Sterling has been the Executive Director of The Criminal Justice Policy Foundation, a private non-profit educational organization that helps educate the nation about criminal justice issues and failed global drug policy. Mr. Sterling frequently lectures at colleges, universities, and professional societies throughout the nation and is regularly interviewed by the national news media.

Mr. Sterling helped found and serves on the boards of directors of FAMM -- Families Against Mandatory Minimums (Secretary) and Marijuana Majority (Vice-Chair). He also serves on the boards of directors of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, and the Andean Information Network. Mr. Sterling also serves on the advisory boards of Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP), DrugSense, Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet), and Flex Your Rights Foundation. He helped found FEAR -- Forfeiture Endangers American Rights in 1993, the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) in 1995, the Interfaith Drug Policy Initiative in 2003, and the Voluntary Committee of Lawyers, and served on their boards. Mr. Sterling was Editor-in-Chief of NewsBriefs, the newsletter of the National Drug Strategy Network, for ten years.

Read more here.

  JANE WEST CEO, Jane West & Founder, Women Grow   Panel:  "All the Buzz: How Does Media Portrayal Impact the Future of Cannabis?"   Jane West, Colorado-based CEO of the eponymous cannabis lifestyle brand Jane West, has emerged as a central figure on the legalization landscape, one who’s working to build a diverse industry that’s filled with companies, products and values that define the emerging cannabis culture.  When West lost her job as a corporate event planner in 2014 after her employer saw her consuming cannabis on CNBC, the working mother dove headfirst into the cannabis industry. She launched Edible Events, Colorado’s premiere cannabis event production company, one whose breakthrough “On a High Note” collaboration with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra captured international media attention. She also founded Women Grow, the cannabis industry’s largest professional networking organization, an operation dedicated to changing the perception of women in cannabis, both as consumers and as business leaders.    Now, as CEO of Jane West, she’s developing accessories and home goods that invite all women to experience cannabis, and building a global online community that celebrates the new legal lifestyle. Designed for longtime enthusiasts and first-timers alike, her sophisticated, user-friendly products are intended to elevate the cannabis consumer experience and ignite broader social change.

JANE WEST
CEO, Jane West & Founder, Women Grow

Panel: "All the Buzz: How Does Media Portrayal Impact the Future of Cannabis?"

Jane West, Colorado-based CEO of the eponymous cannabis lifestyle brand Jane West, has emerged as a central figure on the legalization landscape, one who’s working to build a diverse industry that’s filled with companies, products and values that define the emerging cannabis culture.

When West lost her job as a corporate event planner in 2014 after her employer saw her consuming cannabis on CNBC, the working mother dove headfirst into the cannabis industry. She launched Edible Events, Colorado’s premiere cannabis event production company, one whose breakthrough “On a High Note” collaboration with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra captured international media attention. She also founded Women Grow, the cannabis industry’s largest professional networking organization, an operation dedicated to changing the perception of women in cannabis, both as consumers and as business leaders.  

Now, as CEO of Jane West, she’s developing accessories and home goods that invite all women to experience cannabis, and building a global online community that celebrates the new legal lifestyle. Designed for longtime enthusiasts and first-timers alike, her sophisticated, user-friendly products are intended to elevate the cannabis consumer experience and ignite broader social change.

  JOSE BELEN   Veteran, United States Army & Founder, Florida Mission Zero   Panel:  "The Exit Drug: Can Medical Cannabis End the Narcotics Epidemic?"   Jose Belen is a decorated United States Army Combat veteran who has dedicated his life to bringing national awareness to the PTSD and suicide epidemic plaguing U.S. veterans.  A native of Amsterdam in Upstate New York, Jose enlisted in the Army at age 19. He deployed to Iraq in 2003 during the initial Operation Iraqi Freedom invasion and spent 14 consecutive months in combat. Jose was honorably discharged in 2005, and two years later he moved to Florida, where he began raising a family and launched a successful corporate career in the real estate and insurance industries. Meanwhile, he was silently battling the debilitating effects post-traumatic stress disorder, with medical and veterans-support systems he had access to offering little help. Jose’s struggles came to a head in 2016, when the war within his own mind almost robbed him of everything: His career, his family, nearly his own life.  Ultimately, however, Jose was able to overcome his personal demons. Inspired by his triumph, in 2017 Jose and his wife Danielle founded Florida Mission Zero, an organization dedicated to proving PTSD isn’t a death sentence or the end of the line for U.S. veterans and their families.  An inspiring public speaker, Jose has shared his story at major conferences nationally and internationally and has graced the stage with the likes of Montel Williams and former NFL star Marvin Washington. Based on his own experiences, Jose is also an outspoken advocate for compassionate access to medical cannabis for veterans and non-veterans alike. He is one of five individuals and organizations who are currently suing the federal government to remove cannabis from its list of Schedule I drugs.   

JOSE BELEN
Veteran, United States Army & Founder, Florida Mission Zero

Panel: "The Exit Drug: Can Medical Cannabis End the Narcotics Epidemic?"

Jose Belen is a decorated United States Army Combat veteran who has dedicated his life to bringing national awareness to the PTSD and suicide epidemic plaguing U.S. veterans.

A native of Amsterdam in Upstate New York, Jose enlisted in the Army at age 19. He deployed to Iraq in 2003 during the initial Operation Iraqi Freedom invasion and spent 14 consecutive months in combat. Jose was honorably discharged in 2005, and two years later he moved to Florida, where he began raising a family and launched a successful corporate career in the real estate and insurance industries. Meanwhile, he was silently battling the debilitating effects post-traumatic stress disorder, with medical and veterans-support systems he had access to offering little help. Jose’s struggles came to a head in 2016, when the war within his own mind almost robbed him of everything: His career, his family, nearly his own life.

Ultimately, however, Jose was able to overcome his personal demons. Inspired by his triumph, in 2017 Jose and his wife Danielle founded Florida Mission Zero, an organization dedicated to proving PTSD isn’t a death sentence or the end of the line for U.S. veterans and their families.

An inspiring public speaker, Jose has shared his story at major conferences nationally and internationally and has graced the stage with the likes of Montel Williams and former NFL star Marvin Washington. Based on his own experiences, Jose is also an outspoken advocate for compassionate access to medical cannabis for veterans and non-veterans alike. He is one of five individuals and organizations who are currently suing the federal government to remove cannabis from its list of Schedule I drugs.

 

  DR. IMANI CHEERS   George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs   Panel:  "All the Buzz: How does Media Portrayal Impact the Future of Cannabis?"   Dr. Imani M. Cheers is an award-winning digital storyteller, director, producer and filmmaker. As a professor of practice, Dr. Cheers uses a variety of mediums including video, photography, television and film to document and discuss issues impacting and involving people of the African Diaspora.  Her scholarly focus is on the intersection of women/girls, technology, health, conflict, agriculture and the effects of climate change in sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. Cheers is also an expert on diversity in Hollywood, specifically the representation of Black women in television and film. Her first book, The Evolution of Black Women in Television (Taylor & Francis/Routledge) was released in July 2017.  Dr. Cheers is the co-creator and managing editor of Newsroom U, an innovative, immersive multimedia journalism initiative for high school and college students. She is also the executive director for the Global Media Project, an international storytelling program.  Before joining SMPA, Dr. Cheers was director of educational resources and a multimedia producer for the PBS NewsHour, a producer/writer at Howard University Television and a multimedia producer at Newsweek.com. She is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, DAWN (Diaspora African Women's Network) and a 2013 New Media Fellow with the International Reporting Project. Dr. Cheers is also a regular contributor for CGTN America and CTN Canada, offering insight into American race relations and popular culture.   

DR. IMANI CHEERS
George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs

Panel: "All the Buzz: How does Media Portrayal Impact the Future of Cannabis?"

Dr. Imani M. Cheers is an award-winning digital storyteller, director, producer and filmmaker. As a professor of practice, Dr. Cheers uses a variety of mediums including video, photography, television and film to document and discuss issues impacting and involving people of the African Diaspora.

Her scholarly focus is on the intersection of women/girls, technology, health, conflict, agriculture and the effects of climate change in sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. Cheers is also an expert on diversity in Hollywood, specifically the representation of Black women in television and film. Her first book, The Evolution of Black Women in Television (Taylor & Francis/Routledge) was released in July 2017.

Dr. Cheers is the co-creator and managing editor of Newsroom U, an innovative, immersive multimedia journalism initiative for high school and college students. She is also the executive director for the Global Media Project, an international storytelling program.

Before joining SMPA, Dr. Cheers was director of educational resources and a multimedia producer for the PBS NewsHour, a producer/writer at Howard University Television and a multimedia producer at Newsweek.com. She is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, DAWN (Diaspora African Women's Network) and a 2013 New Media Fellow with the International Reporting Project. Dr. Cheers is also a regular contributor for CGTN America and CTN Canada, offering insight into American race relations and popular culture.

 

  CONGRESSWOMAN TULSI GABBARD (D-HI 2ND DISTRICT)    Keynote Address    Tulsi Gabbard spent her life growing up in beautiful Hawai‘i. As a teenager, she co-founded an environmental non-profit called Healthy Hawai’i Coalition, focused on educating children about protecting Hawaii’s environment.     An advocate for environmental policy, Tulsi was elected to the Hawai‘i State Legislature in 2002 when she was just 21 years old, becoming the youngest person ever elected in the state. A year later, she joined the Hawai‘i Army National Guard to serve Hawai‘i and our country. In 2004, Tulsi volunteered to deploy with her fellow soldiers, becoming the first state official to voluntarily step down from public office to serve in a war zone.    Tulsi served two tours of duty in the Middle East, and she continues her service as a Major in the Army National Guard. Tulsi’s 2005 deployment was a 12-month tour at Logistical Support Area Anaconda in Iraq, where she served in a field medical unit as a specialist with a 29th Support Battalion medical company. She was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal at the end of this tour.     Read more here.

CONGRESSWOMAN TULSI GABBARD (D-HI 2ND DISTRICT)

Keynote Address

Tulsi Gabbard spent her life growing up in beautiful Hawai‘i. As a teenager, she co-founded an environmental non-profit called Healthy Hawai’i Coalition, focused on educating children about protecting Hawaii’s environment. 

An advocate for environmental policy, Tulsi was elected to the Hawai‘i State Legislature in 2002 when she was just 21 years old, becoming the youngest person ever elected in the state. A year later, she joined the Hawai‘i Army National Guard to serve Hawai‘i and our country. In 2004, Tulsi volunteered to deploy with her fellow soldiers, becoming the first state official to voluntarily step down from public office to serve in a war zone.

Tulsi served two tours of duty in the Middle East, and she continues her service as a Major in the Army National Guard. Tulsi’s 2005 deployment was a 12-month tour at Logistical Support Area Anaconda in Iraq, where she served in a field medical unit as a specialist with a 29th Support Battalion medical company. She was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal at the end of this tour.

Read more here.

  ADAM EIDINGER Director of Social Action, Dr. Bronner's   Panel:  "All the Buzz: How Does Media Portrayal Impact the Future of Cannabis?"   Adam Eidinger is Director of Social Action at Dr. Bronner’s, the top-selling brand of natural soaps in North America. He has worked with Dr. Bronner’s since 2001 on a variety of projects on behalf of the brand and the many different causes it supports, including advocating to label GMO foods, promoting organic integrity in body care and allowing U.S. farmers to once again grow industrial hemp.  Read more  here .

ADAM EIDINGER
Director of Social Action, Dr. Bronner's

Panel: "All the Buzz: How Does Media Portrayal Impact the Future of Cannabis?"

Adam Eidinger is Director of Social Action at Dr. Bronner’s, the top-selling brand of natural soaps in North America. He has worked with Dr. Bronner’s since 2001 on a variety of projects on behalf of the brand and the many different causes it supports, including advocating to label GMO foods, promoting organic integrity in body care and allowing U.S. farmers to once again grow industrial hemp.

Read more here.

  JON FASMAN Washington Correspondent, The Economist   Panel:  "Tax Fairness & Cannabis"   Jon Fasman is the Economist's Washington Correspondent. Until July 2017, he was the South-East Asia bureau chief, covering finance, business, politics and policy across the region. In 2010 he opened The Economist's Atlanta bureau, where he covered American politics and policy with a particular focus on criminal-justice policy. In addition to his work for The Economist, he is also the author of two novels, both published by The Penguin Press: “The Geographer’s Library”, which was a New York Times bestseller in 2005 and has been translated into more than a dozen languages; and “The Unpossessed City”, which was published in autumn of 2008 and was a finalist for the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award. Jon was born in Chicago and raised in Washington, DC.

JON FASMAN
Washington Correspondent, The Economist

Panel: "Tax Fairness & Cannabis"

Jon Fasman is the Economist's Washington Correspondent. Until July 2017, he was the South-East Asia bureau chief, covering finance, business, politics and policy across the region. In 2010 he opened The Economist's Atlanta bureau, where he covered American politics and policy with a particular focus on criminal-justice policy. In addition to his work for The Economist, he is also the author of two novels, both published by The Penguin Press: “The Geographer’s Library”, which was a New York Times bestseller in 2005 and has been translated into more than a dozen languages; and “The Unpossessed City”, which was published in autumn of 2008 and was a finalist for the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award. Jon was born in Chicago and raised in Washington, DC.

  JOHN HUDAK Deputy Director, Center for Effective Public Management, The Brookings Institution   Panel:  "Tax Fairness and Cannabis"   John Hudak is deputy director of the Center for Effective Public Management and a senior fellow in Governance Studies. His research examines questions of presidential power in the contexts of administration, personnel, and public policy. Additionally, he focuses on campaigns and elections, legislative-executive interaction, and state and federal marijuana policy.  John’s 2016 book, Marijuana: A Short History, offers a unique, up-to-date profile of how cannabis emerged from the shadows of counterculture and illegality to become a serious, even mainstream, public policy issue and source of legal revenue for both businesses and governments. In it, he describes why attitudes and policy have changed, and what those changes mean for marijuana's future place in society.  Read more  here .

JOHN HUDAK
Deputy Director, Center for Effective Public Management, The Brookings Institution

Panel: "Tax Fairness and Cannabis"

John Hudak is deputy director of the Center for Effective Public Management and a senior fellow in Governance Studies. His research examines questions of presidential power in the contexts of administration, personnel, and public policy. Additionally, he focuses on campaigns and elections, legislative-executive interaction, and state and federal marijuana policy.

John’s 2016 book, Marijuana: A Short History, offers a unique, up-to-date profile of how cannabis emerged from the shadows of counterculture and illegality to become a serious, even mainstream, public policy issue and source of legal revenue for both businesses and governments. In it, he describes why attitudes and policy have changed, and what those changes mean for marijuana's future place in society.

Read more here.

  RABBI JEFFREY A. KAHN, M.A.H.L., D.D.   Takoma Wellness Center    Panel: "The Exit Drug: Can Medical Cannabis End the Narcotic Epidemic?"   Rabbi Jeffrey A. Kahn, M.A.H.L., D.D., has three decades of experience serving as the spiritual leader of four synagogues – in Adelaide Australia, Rockford Illinois, Miami Florida, and Central New Jersey. Ordained a Rabbi on June 5, 1981 – the day the CDC reported the first AIDS patient – he devoted his career to ministering to families and individuals struggling with the devastating effects of serious illnesses. Rabbi Kahn has been fully engaged in the development of Takoma Wellness Center since 2010 and now works full-time at the center.   

RABBI JEFFREY A. KAHN, M.A.H.L., D.D.
Takoma Wellness Center

Panel: "The Exit Drug: Can Medical Cannabis End the Narcotic Epidemic?"

Rabbi Jeffrey A. Kahn, M.A.H.L., D.D., has three decades of experience serving as the spiritual leader of four synagogues – in Adelaide Australia, Rockford Illinois, Miami Florida, and Central New Jersey. Ordained a Rabbi on June 5, 1981 – the day the CDC reported the first AIDS patient – he devoted his career to ministering to families and individuals struggling with the devastating effects of serious illnesses. Rabbi Kahn has been fully engaged in the development of Takoma Wellness Center since 2010 and now works full-time at the center.

 

  DR. MIKHAIL KOGAN Medical Director, George Washington Center for Integrative Medicine   Panel: " The Exit Drug: Can Medical Cannabis End the Narcotic Epidemic?"    For Dr. Mikhail Kogan, Medical Director of the GW Center for Integrative Medicine, the practice of medicine, much like the rest of his life, has been a journey of great distance across many cultures, with valuable new learning and different perspectives coming at every step along the way. All of those experiences – here or abroad, in the classroom or the clinic, on the road and at home, in his professional career and his personal life – have endowed Dr. Kogan with the skills, talents, openness, and inquisitiveness that set him apart as a committed and caring practitioner of integrative medicine.    Read more  here .

DR. MIKHAIL KOGAN
Medical Director, George Washington Center for Integrative Medicine

Panel: "The Exit Drug: Can Medical Cannabis End the Narcotic Epidemic?"

For Dr. Mikhail Kogan, Medical Director of the GW Center for Integrative Medicine, the practice of medicine, much like the rest of his life, has been a journey of great distance across many cultures, with valuable new learning and different perspectives coming at every step along the way. All of those experiences – here or abroad, in the classroom or the clinic, on the road and at home, in his professional career and his personal life – have endowed Dr. Kogan with the skills, talents, openness, and inquisitiveness that set him apart as a committed and caring practitioner of integrative medicine.

Read more here.

  AMANDA CHICAGO LEWIS Investigative Reporter, Rolling Stone Magazine   Panel:  "The Exit Drug: Can Medical Cannabis End the Narcotics Epidemic?"   Amanda Chicago Lewis writes about marijuana and the war on drugs, with an emphasis on public safety, the influence of special interests, and the ways in which the documented racial disparities of drug law enforcement are being cemented into the details of legalization. She writes a biweekly column for Rolling Stone. Her work has also appeared in GQ, BuzzFeed News, Vice, LA Weekly, Pop Up Magazine, and the LA Review of Books.

AMANDA CHICAGO LEWIS
Investigative Reporter, Rolling Stone Magazine

Panel: "The Exit Drug: Can Medical Cannabis End the Narcotics Epidemic?"

Amanda Chicago Lewis writes about marijuana and the war on drugs, with an emphasis on public safety, the influence of special interests, and the ways in which the documented racial disparities of drug law enforcement are being cemented into the details of legalization. She writes a biweekly column for Rolling Stone. Her work has also appeared in GQ, BuzzFeed News, Vice, LA Weekly, Pop Up Magazine, and the LA Review of Books.

  ALYSSA MASTROMONACO    New York Times  Best Selling author of  Who Thought This Was A Good Idea? , and contributor to Crooked Media   Panel:  "Amplifying Equity to Create a Stronger Industry"   Alyssa Mastromonaco’s recent book, Who Thought This Was a Good Idea about her time working for President Obama and being a short woman with gastrointestinal issues and an advocate for free tampons was a New York Times Best Seller and she is very proud of that.   She loves pinot noir, persian rescue cats, jambands generally, the Grateful Dead specifically and if she could have lunch with one person it would either be Stevie Nicks or Jennifer Aniston. 

ALYSSA MASTROMONACO
New York Times Best Selling author of Who Thought This Was A Good Idea?, and contributor to Crooked Media

Panel: "Amplifying Equity to Create a Stronger Industry"

Alyssa Mastromonaco’s recent book, Who Thought This Was a Good Idea about her time working for President Obama and being a short woman with gastrointestinal issues and an advocate for free tampons was a New York Times Best Seller and she is very proud of that. 

She loves pinot noir, persian rescue cats, jambands generally, the Grateful Dead specifically and if she could have lunch with one person it would either be Stevie Nicks or Jennifer Aniston. 

  NIAMBE MCINTOSH Criminal Justice Reform Advocate, Daughter of Peter Tosh, Sister of Jawara "Tosh1" McIntosh   Panel:  "Get Up, Stand Up: Can Cannabis Heal Our Broken Criminal Justice System?"   Niambe Mcintosh is the last child of the revolutionary musician and activist Peter Tosh. Despite being the youngest of nine, Niambe is an executive of her father’s estate and brand. In addition, she puts heavy emphasis on a health and wellness lifestyle while advocating for freedom, justice, and equity.  Born in Jamaica and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, Niambe is a frequent traveler between the two distinctly different worlds. As a precocious child and young adult, she recognized society’s disparities in lifestyle, infrastructure, income, and opportunities; thus, her passion for helping those who are marginalized ignited.  McIntosh first graduated the Wentworth Institution of Technology with a Bachelor's degree in Engineering, then later obtained her Master’s degree in Education. Niambe spent her early twenties as an engineer, but her passion for children influenced her to change her career.  After teaching in the Boston Public School system for a decade, in February of 2017, Niambe’s career as a teacher was abruptly interrupted by a serious and unfortunate event. While incarcerated for cannabis possession, Jawara McIntosh (Tosh1), a musician, cannabis activist, and son of Peter Tosh, was brutally attacked in jail. Since then, on behalf of the Tosh Family, Niambe launched Justice for Jawara, a campaign geared towards breaking the stigma around cannabis and supporting families directly affected by its prohibition.  In 2016, the Tosh family opened the Peter Tosh Museum , a landmark edifice located in Kingston, Jamaica. The museum exhibits and codifies the physical and intellectual properties of its namesake, Peter Tosh. In 2017, Niambe and her family founded the Peter Tosh Foundation . The philanthropic intent of the Peter Tosh Foundation is to uphold her father's legacy through education, empowerment, and advocacy. Niambe is a woman who is serious about transforming minds and furthering equal rights and justice. She wishes to use the foundation in order to serve as a mechanism for disseminating the ideals of freedom, justice and equity to the international platform.  Niambe McIntosh urges you to visit the Peter Tosh Museum in Kingston, Ja, and delve into the life and legacy of Peter Tosh. Furthermore, Niambe is available for speaking engagements, consulting and other forms of outreach. 

NIAMBE MCINTOSH
Criminal Justice Reform Advocate, Daughter of Peter Tosh, Sister of Jawara "Tosh1" McIntosh

Panel: "Get Up, Stand Up: Can Cannabis Heal Our Broken Criminal Justice System?"

Niambe Mcintosh is the last child of the revolutionary musician and activist Peter Tosh. Despite being the youngest of nine, Niambe is an executive of her father’s estate and brand. In addition, she puts heavy emphasis on a health and wellness lifestyle while advocating for freedom, justice, and equity.

Born in Jamaica and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, Niambe is a frequent traveler between the two distinctly different worlds. As a precocious child and young adult, she recognized society’s disparities in lifestyle, infrastructure, income, and opportunities; thus, her passion for helping those who are marginalized ignited.

McIntosh first graduated the Wentworth Institution of Technology with a Bachelor's degree in Engineering, then later obtained her Master’s degree in Education. Niambe spent her early twenties as an engineer, but her passion for children influenced her to change her career.

After teaching in the Boston Public School system for a decade, in February of 2017, Niambe’s career as a teacher was abruptly interrupted by a serious and unfortunate event. While incarcerated for cannabis possession, Jawara McIntosh (Tosh1), a musician, cannabis activist, and son of Peter Tosh, was brutally attacked in jail. Since then, on behalf of the Tosh Family, Niambe launched Justice for Jawara, a campaign geared towards breaking the stigma around cannabis and supporting families directly affected by its prohibition.

In 2016, the Tosh family opened the Peter Tosh Museum , a landmark edifice located in Kingston, Jamaica. The museum exhibits and codifies the physical and intellectual properties of its namesake, Peter Tosh. In 2017, Niambe and her family founded the Peter Tosh Foundation . The philanthropic intent of the Peter Tosh Foundation is to uphold her father's legacy through education, empowerment, and advocacy. Niambe is a woman who is serious about transforming minds and furthering equal rights and justice. She wishes to use the foundation in order to serve as a mechanism for disseminating the ideals of freedom, justice and equity to the international platform.

Niambe McIntosh urges you to visit the Peter Tosh Museum in Kingston, Ja, and delve into the life and legacy of Peter Tosh. Furthermore, Niambe is available for speaking engagements, consulting and other forms of outreach. 

  GROVER NORQUIST President, Americans for Tax reform   Panel:  "Tax Fairness and Cannabis"   Grover Norquist (Twitter: @GroverNorquist) is president of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), a taxpayer advocacy group he founded in 1985 at President Reagan’s request. ATR works to limit the size and cost of government and opposes higher taxes at the federal, state, and local levels and supports tax reform that moves towards taxing consumed income one time at one rate.  ATR organizes the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, which asks all candidates for federal and state office to commit themselves in writing to the American people to oppose all net tax increases. In the 115th Congress, 212 House members and 45 Senators have taken the pledge.  Read more  here .

GROVER NORQUIST
President, Americans for Tax reform

Panel: "Tax Fairness and Cannabis"

Grover Norquist (Twitter: @GroverNorquist) is president of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), a taxpayer advocacy group he founded in 1985 at President Reagan’s request. ATR works to limit the size and cost of government and opposes higher taxes at the federal, state, and local levels and supports tax reform that moves towards taxing consumed income one time at one rate.

ATR organizes the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, which asks all candidates for federal and state office to commit themselves in writing to the American people to oppose all net tax increases. In the 115th Congress, 212 House members and 45 Senators have taken the pledge.

Read more here.

  JOSEPH PLENZLER Director of Media Relations, The American Legion   Panel:  "The Exit Drug: Can Medical Cannabis End the Narcotic Epidemic?"   Joe Plenzler is the Director of Media Relations for The American Legion National Headquarters in Washington, D.C.. The American Legion is our nation’s largest wartime veteran service organization with two million members and 12,000 posts around the country.  Joe is a 20-year Marine Corps combat veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  He served in the Pentagon from 2010 to 2015 as the press secretary, spokesman and staff group director for the 34th, 35th, and 36th Commandants of the Marine Corps.

JOSEPH PLENZLER
Director of Media Relations, The American Legion

Panel: "The Exit Drug: Can Medical Cannabis End the Narcotic Epidemic?"

Joe Plenzler is the Director of Media Relations for The American Legion National Headquarters in Washington, D.C.. The American Legion is our nation’s largest wartime veteran service organization with two million members and 12,000 posts around the country.  Joe is a 20-year Marine Corps combat veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  He served in the Pentagon from 2010 to 2015 as the press secretary, spokesman and staff group director for the 34th, 35th, and 36th Commandants of the Marine Corps.

  TAHIRA REHMATULLAH Managing Director, Hypur Ventures   Panel:  "Amplifying Equity to Create a Stronger Industry"   Tahira is a Managing Director of Hypur Ventures, where she is responsible for portfolio company management and investment sourcing and execution, and is MTech Acquisition Corp’s Chief Financial Officer. She is also a Director of Dope Media, a cannabis media company and portfolio company of Hypur Ventures. Tahira has been named one of the most powerful women in the cannabis business by Fortune Magazine and Complex, and has a passion for developing female and minority leadership in the industry.  Prior to joining Hypur Ventures and MTech, Tahira was an Investment Manager at Privateer Holdings, which lead to her serving as the General Manager for Marley Natural, where she was responsible for the brand's launch and running day-to-day operations. Before venturing into cannabis, Tahira was a Portfolio Manager at City First Enterprises managing CFE’s community development investment portfolio, and an associate at Perry Capital where she led research initiatives for the asset-backed securities team. Her career began in Ernst & Young’s Financial Services Advisory practice.  Tahira earned her MBA from the Yale School of Management, where she was a Yale Entrepreneurial Institute Venture Creation Advisor. She holds a B.S. in Finance and Life Sciences from The Ohio State University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude and was a Presidential Scholar.

TAHIRA REHMATULLAH
Managing Director, Hypur Ventures

Panel: "Amplifying Equity to Create a Stronger Industry"

Tahira is a Managing Director of Hypur Ventures, where she is responsible for portfolio company management and investment sourcing and execution, and is MTech Acquisition Corp’s Chief Financial Officer. She is also a Director of Dope Media, a cannabis media company and portfolio company of Hypur Ventures. Tahira has been named one of the most powerful women in the cannabis business by Fortune Magazine and Complex, and has a passion for developing female and minority leadership in the industry.

Prior to joining Hypur Ventures and MTech, Tahira was an Investment Manager at Privateer Holdings, which lead to her serving as the General Manager for Marley Natural, where she was responsible for the brand's launch and running day-to-day operations. Before venturing into cannabis, Tahira was a Portfolio Manager at City First Enterprises managing CFE’s community development investment portfolio, and an associate at Perry Capital where she led research initiatives for the asset-backed securities team. Her career began in Ernst & Young’s Financial Services Advisory practice.

Tahira earned her MBA from the Yale School of Management, where she was a Yale Entrepreneurial Institute Venture Creation Advisor. She holds a B.S. in Finance and Life Sciences from The Ohio State University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude and was a Presidential Scholar.

  SHALEEN TITLE Commissioner, Massachussets Cannabis Control Commission   Panel:  "Get Up, Stand Up: Can Cannabis Heal Our Broken Criminal Justice System?"   Commissioner Shaleen Title was jointly appointed last year by the Massachusetts governor, treasurer, and attorney general to the Cannabis Control Commission, the independent state agency charged with regulating the newly legal marijuana industry. She previously co-authored the Massachusetts marijuana legalization referendum and has consulted on state and local marijuana policy around the country. As an attorney specializing in marijuana regulations, she has provided regulatory expertise for leading marijuana consulting firms. Shaleen was a founding board member of the Minority Cannabis Business Association, where she led the drafting of the first state-level model bill created to give states guidance to implement a process of reinvestment and reconciliation. She was also a founding board member of Marijuana Majority, and she previously served as a trustee for Students for Sensible Drug Policy as well as a board member of the Family Law and Cannabis Alliance and the National Lawyers Guild. She has won several awards for her advocacy work and her efforts to bring more women and people of color into drug policy reform and the cannabis industry. Shaleen holds a business degree, law degree, and graduate degree in accounting from the University of Illinois and was previously a consultant in the multistate tax group at Deloitte Tax.

SHALEEN TITLE
Commissioner, Massachussets Cannabis Control Commission

Panel: "Get Up, Stand Up: Can Cannabis Heal Our Broken Criminal Justice System?"

Commissioner Shaleen Title was jointly appointed last year by the Massachusetts governor, treasurer, and attorney general to the Cannabis Control Commission, the independent state agency charged with regulating the newly legal marijuana industry. She previously co-authored the Massachusetts marijuana legalization referendum and has consulted on state and local marijuana policy around the country. As an attorney specializing in marijuana regulations, she has provided regulatory expertise for leading marijuana consulting firms. Shaleen was a founding board member of the Minority Cannabis Business Association, where she led the drafting of the first state-level model bill created to give states guidance to implement a process of reinvestment and reconciliation. She was also a founding board member of Marijuana Majority, and she previously served as a trustee for Students for Sensible Drug Policy as well as a board member of the Family Law and Cannabis Alliance and the National Lawyers Guild. She has won several awards for her advocacy work and her efforts to bring more women and people of color into drug policy reform and the cannabis industry. Shaleen holds a business degree, law degree, and graduate degree in accounting from the University of Illinois and was previously a consultant in the multistate tax group at Deloitte Tax.