John Lord - Chair
Owner and CEO, LivWell Enlightened Health
John Lord is a successful entrepreneur who has founded, built and sold several consumer products companies.
Lord worked hard to put LivWell at the forefront of the industry, blending marijuana culture and solid business principles to create a company that has a strong brand presence in a very cluttered market place, and provides the best possible customer experience. The state of the art cultivation facility – one of the state’s largest - and infused kitchen creates the high quality products that fill LivWell’s stores.
Since entering the industry, Lord has been a proactive member of the cannabis business community. His active involvement has been instrumental in guiding the industry towards robust regulation and educating the public on responsible use.
As a result of the company’s success, LivWell employees over 650 people and is able to provide its employees with paid vacation, employer paid healthcare and competitive salaries, among other benefits.
Ed Conklin - Vice Chair
SVP, Government Relations, Curaleaf
Ed Conklin is the SVP, Government Relations for Curaleaf. Ed brings over 30 years of experience in government and public relations management and strategy, including leading lobbying and grassroots engagement efforts. Ed served as Senior Director and Chief of Staff of Global Government and Public Affairs at McDonald’s and was Director of Public Relations for Jones Intercable Midwest Division and Director of Operations for Centel Cable Television.
Shannon Fender - Secretary
Director of Public Affairs, Native Roots Dispensary
Shannon Fender joined Colorado's largest cannabis dispensary operator as Director of Public Affairs in 2016. She leads the company's global government and community relations efforts, managing teams of consultants in all their operational jurisdictions and expansion efforts. Her work has resulted in implementing one of the industry's largest corporate responsibility programs, organizing and managing over 450 company wide community service hours every year and tens of thousands of philanthropic contributions to nonprofit organizations. Her legislative efforts have resulted in substantial policy changes in Colorado's state legislature, Canadian provinces, and in Washington DC. In May 2017, Shannon was elected by her industry colleagues to serve as a director of the National Cannabis Industry Association where she served until May 2018. She currently serves as the secretary of the Board for the Cannabis Trade Federation, a nationwide coalition of businesses focused on creating a professional, credible, and unified organization for the industry in the US.
Shannon is a graduate of the University of Colorado Denver where she obtained a degree in political science with an emphasis in public policy. She has been awarded several leadership honors including the 2017 Cannabis Business Executive's List of 'Most Important Women' in the industry, the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce's ‘Impact Denver’ leadership program in 2016, and the Colorado Business Women’s ‘Young Careerist’ award in 2014.
Kyle Sherman - Treasure
Founder and CEO, Flowhub
Kyle Sherman is the Founder and CEO of Flowhub, intuitive business performance & point-of-sale software for cannabis dispensaries. Based in Denver, Flowhub simplifies compliance for hundreds of cannabis retailers and cultivators across North America, processing over $1B in sales annually.
A legalization advocate and entrepreneur, Kyle is finding ways to use technology to help drive cannabis legalization forward responsibly in the United States. In 2014, Kyle began lobbying the Colorado Department of Revenue to build an API to Metrc, the state's cannabis tracking system, so that third parties like Flowhub could send data directly to the database instead of entering it manually. The Metrc API is now the standard used in more than 10 states, with Flowhub being the first vendor with a direct integration.
Kyle continually defines the company vision, strategy, and growth as Flowhub innovates the way cannabis businesses manage complex compliance mandates, supply chain data, sales transactions, and reporting.
His goal is to grow a robust, scalable industry that is approachable for all adults and medical patients. This inherent motivation keeps Kyle and the Flowhub team passionate about providing fanatical customer service and building delightful products that enable cannabis retailers to grow their business.
Kyle has been named a Top 100 Cannabis Leader by Entrepreneur Magazine, 30 AND UNDER by Business Insider, and is an Associate Producer for the documentary “Weed the People” which aims to educate mainstream audiences about medical cannabis as a human rights issue. In addition, Kyle serves as a Founding Director and Treasurer on the Cannabis Trade Federation (CTF) board, an organization focused on building an inclusive industry and passing the STATES Act.
Shanita Penny, MBA
Founder and CEO, Budding Solutions
Shanita Penny is a cannabis advocate, business professional and entrepreneur with over 18 years of experience helping world class companies and startups solve complex issues and improve business performance in multiple industries. In 2015, Shanita took a leap of faith and founded Budding Solutions, a boutique cannabis consulting firm based in Baltimore, MD, to provide a variety of services including: Strategy Consulting, Project Management and Merit Based Licensing Application Preparation to startups, small businesses and multistate operators in the cannabis industry.
As an internationally recognized management consultant and certified Project Management Professional, Shanita brings an essential skillset coupled with immense passion to the cannabis industry. As CEO and Principal Consultant for Budding Solutions, Shanita has supported and coached cannabis advocates, business professionals, entrepreneurs and policy-makers nationwide to achieve exceptional results. She works with clients to establish and scale compliant, successful cannabis businesses, while simultaneously empowering them to positively impact the burgeoning cannabis industry and the greater community. Budding Solutions’ client portfolio includes: 4Front, Ardent Cannabis, FiveTen Wellness, Julian Marley JuJu Royal Brand, Keystone Dispensaries and Kind Therapeutics just to name a few.
On a personal level, Shanita’s entrepreneurial pursuits in recent years include partnerships in two state-licensed, plant-touching cannabis businesses, both on-track to launch in 2019. DocHouse is a Pennsylvania-based cultivation and processing operation, with multistate aspirations. Shanita’s expertise will be leveraged in the areas of Business Development and Corporate Social Responsibility for DocHouse. Shanita is also a co-founder of Shady Pines Box Club (SPBC), a cannabis subscription box service based in Oakland, California. In her role as Chief Operating Officer of SPBC, Shanita leads by example. As an incubator for the City’s groundbreaking Equity Permit Program, which minimizes barriers to cannabis licensing for Oakland residents who have been disproportionately victimized by the war on drugs, Shady Pines is providing operational expertise, professional services and strategic partnerships which benefit Equity Permit operators and allow those businesses to grow and thrive.
Shanita proudly serves as President of the Board of Directors for the Minority Cannabis Business Association (MCBA), the first non-profit organization created specifically to progress the cannabis industry by increasing diversity through the creation of equal access and economic empowerment for cannabis businesses, their patients, and the communities most affected by the war on drugs. Shanita is also a member of The New Jersey Cannabis Industry Association’s (NJCIA) Board of Trustees. NJCIA is a nonprofit trade association dedicated to advancing the legalization of cannabis by promoting sensible policy for the responsible development and growth of a legalized cannabis-based economy.
In all of her cannabis business endeavors, Shanita brings focus to the mission of changing the perception of cannabis on a global scale, through the creation and management of compliant and successful cannabis businesses. Shanita’s personal mission is closely aligned as she lives to “end the stigma associated with cannabis” through her advocacy, businesses and responsible consumption. While traveling, Shanita enjoys culinary adventures, music and cultural festivals.
Bill Silver, Ph.D.
CEO, CannaCraft Inc.
Dr. Bill Silver is the CEO of CannaCraft Inc., California’s largest producer of premium cannabis brands including Absolute Xtracts, Care by Design, & Satori Chocolates. Founded by lifetime cultivators and industry experts, CannaCraft is a vertically integrated, community-oriented company. CannaCraft has been at the forefront of industry innovation and advancement, setting the gold-standard for legal and responsible cannabis businesses.
Prior to taking the helm at CannaCraft, Dr. Silver was the Dean of the School of Business and Economics at Sonoma State University, where he helped SSU’s Wine Business Institute, become the premier global center for wine business education and research. He is the co-author of the book, Way of Zing – A Guide to Aligning Work and Life, written with Mark Gregory Nelson. The Way of Zing is a story about living a life of purpose and relevance, where what the world needs from you is in congruence with who you are.
Silver holds a B.A. in organizational psychology from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in Business Administration from the University of Washington. He is an avid martial artist, an enthusiastic explorer of wineries, and a determined trail runner.
Founder and CEO, Cresco Labs
President and CEO, Dixie Brands Inc.
Chuck Smith is the President and Chief Executive Officer for Dixie Brands Inc, the parent company of the Dixie Elixirs & Edibles brand, as well as Therabis, and Aceso Wellness, two of the leading hemp supplement brands. As one of two original founders of Dixie, Chuck helped the company grow from a “garage operation” to a 27,000 square foot state-of-the-art, vertically integrated manufacturing facility that was the first-of-its-kind for the marijuana industry.
Prior to building Dixie Brands, Chuck was President of Bella Terra Realty Holdings where he oversaw all aspects of the Bella Terra Resort Development Company. He was also President of Sagebrush Realty Development and was responsible for developing, selling and managing residential condominium projects valued at over $85 million in revenue.
Chuck has over 25 years of experience in a variety of industries, including holding the position of Chief Financial Officer for a mid-sized retail apparel chain and has built and managed sales and marketing teams for private and publicly traded technology companies.
Chuck has a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Maryland and an MBA from the Owen Graduate School at Vanderbilt University. Mr. Smith is married and lives in Denver, Colorado. He actively participates in a wide variety of philanthropic organizations and is an avid golfer.
COO, General Cannabis
Joe Hodas currently serves as Chief Operating Officer for General Cannabis (OTCQX: CANN), where he oversees the day-to-day operations of the Company as well as its portfolio of companies which includes Iron Protection Group, Chiefton Supply and Next Big Crop. Prior to his tenure at General Cannabis Corp., Mr. Hodas served as Principal of his consulting firm, CXjoe, LLC, where he assisted multiple early stage start-up companies in a shared executive role ranging from business development to operations and marketing. From January 2014 until December 2017, Mr. Hodas was Chief Marketing Officer at Dixie Brands, Inc., where he was responsible for the overall brand development and national expansion of three brands including Dixie Elixirs and Edibles, Therabis and Aceso.
Before joining Dixie Brands, Inc., Mr. Hodas served as Executive Vice President of Channels for Colorado marketing and advertising agency Vladimir Jones from December 2008 to January 2014. In that role, he managed a team of about 20 employees focused on all areas of paid, owned and earned media, while also helping grow the company’s overall revenue. In addition, over the past decade, Mr. Hodas has served in various leadership roles for well-regarded brands such as Smashburger, Quiznos and Frontier Airlines.
Joe earned a Master of Sciences in Public Relations and Marketing from the University of Denver. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from The University of Texas at Austin.
Chief Executive Officer, Green Thumb Industries
Pete Kadens is a serial entrepreneur and dedicated philanthropist. He has started three companies, which have employed thousands of people over the last 16 years. Pete is the former CEO of Green Thumb Industries, one of the largest legal cannabis operators in the US. The company is publicly traded and has a market capitalization of over $2 billion today and was named the highest performing stock in Illinois in 2018 by Crains Chicago. Pete retired from Green Thumb Industries (GTI) in August 2018 at the age of 40. Pete also started one of the largest commercial solar companies in the US, SoCore Energy, in 2008. Under his leadership at SoCore grew into a company with operations across 17 states and was named one of Chicago's most innovative businesses by Chicago Innovation Awards. In 2013, he sold SoCore Energy to Edison International, a Fortune 500 energy holding company. In 2018, Pete was named one of the “20 People to Watch” in the cannabis industry by Marijuana Business Daily Magazine.
Pete believes deeply in, and actively leads, organizations that seek to transform lives and strengthen communities, serving as Chairman or Vice Chairman of StreetWise (2009 – 2018), one of the largest homeless aid organizations in Chicago, and presently serving as Chairman Emeritus. Pete also served on the Cara Board of Directors from 2014-2016. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Cannabis Trade Federation, Chicago Innovation and several corporate boards.
Pete was awarded the Distinguished Alumnus for Citizenship in 2010 by his alma mater, Bucknell University, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. He was also named 40 under 40 by Crains Chicago Business in 2012.
Pete and Amy dedicate as much times as possible to the growth and development of their three young kids.
Board Member, The Grove
John A. Ritter has been a resident of Nevada for 30 years and has been actively involved in the real estate industry for more than 35 years. In the past few years he became involved in the Cannabis industry in Nevada. Mr. Ritter was integrally involved in the successful recreational marijuana campaign as a fund raiser and spokesperson.
Mr. Ritter currently serves as a board member of the Council for a Better Nevada and as the Chairman of the Governor's Nevada Advisory Council on Federal Assistance. He was also appointed by the governor as the only non-lab marijuana industry representative on the Governor’s Task Force for the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana.
He is the co-founder of the Ritter Charitable Trust, which has given millions of dollars in grants and gifts to dozens of local charitable organizations that seek to make life better for children and families in Southern Nevada.
Co-Founder and President, iAnthus Capital
Randy Maslow is a co-founder and President of iAnthus Capital, a U.S. multistate regulated cannabis cultivator, manufacturer and retailer with operations in 11 states. Prior to co-founding iAnthus in 2014, Mr. Maslow was a tech industry attorney and entrepreneur, with more than 25 years' experience as a senior executive and General Counsel to rapidly growing companies in emerging industries. Mr. Maslow was Executive Vice President and General Counsel at one of the first online travel companies before joining the founding management team of the early nationwide internet service provider that became XO Communications, Inc., where he served as Senior Vice President for Business Development and General Counsel and as a member of the company's Board. Following the company's initial public offering, Mr. Maslow founded Electric Ventures, a New York-based angel investor network for startup technology companies. Mr. Maslow later co-founded Internet Gaming Entertainment U.S. ("IGE"), where he served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel and as a board member. IGE pioneered the currency exchange business for virtual assets in multi-player online games and became a leading worldwide publisher of multi-player computer game content, with 400 employees in the U.S. and Asia and over $100 million in annual revenue.
Mr. Maslow is a member of the Federal Policy Council of the National Cannabis Industry Association, the Board of Directors of the Cannabis Trade Federation, and the Board of Trustees of the New Jersey Cannabis Industry Association, as well as a member of the Massachusetts Responsible Regulation Alliance and the New York Medical Cannabis Industry Association.
Mr. Maslow is a graduate of Cornell University and an honors graduate of the Rutgers University School of Law, where he served as an editor of the law review. Prior to entering the tech industry, Mr. Maslow was an attorney in private practice with the law firm Greenberg Traurig LLP.
Chief Executive Officer, CanCore Concepts, Inc. “Keef Brands”
Erik Knutson is a co-founder of Keef Brands and is currently the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of CanCore Concepts Inc (owner of Keef Brands Intellectual Property). He has over 9 years’ experience operating a wide variety of enterprises within the legal Cannabis markets. Keef Brands are currently manufactured and sold in California, Colorado, Arizona, Puerto Rico, Michigan, Nevada and Jamaica. In addition, he is a co-founder and President of the American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp (“ATACH”) and is a founding board member of the Cannabis Trade Federation (“CTF”). Mr. Knutson is a graduate of the University of Colorado Business School.
VP OF MARKETING & CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, LIGHTSHADE
Shannon Brooks is VP of Marketing & Corporate Social Responsibility at Lightshade. An engineer by education, she spent 8 years in Materials Engineering before changing careers to work for American Express. She gained extensive marketing experience during her 12 years with this Fortune 100 company as she managed large accounts like Southwest Airlines, Wynn Las Vegas, Vail Resorts and Chipotle. In 2010, her husband, a former high-end home builder, partnered with two other builders to plan, build and open the first Lightshade retail location and cultivation facility. As the business grew, Shannon saw an opportunity to work in the cannabis industry and left corporate America in February 2015. At that time, she took over all branding and marketing responsibilities. Lightshade has since grown to 8 retail locations and owns over 70,000 square feet of cultivation space, including a recently completed a 40,000 square foot state-of-the art greenhouse. Lightshade employs over 300 people and provides fully subsidized healthcare, a matching 401K program, paid vacation as well as ongoing education for career advancement. Shannon also created Lightshade’s Corporate Social Responsibility program in 2016. The CSR program was the first of its kind in the cannabis industry and established Lightshade as a pioneer in cannabis CSR. The CSR program supports over 10 local non-profit organizations that focus on hunger relief, supporting those experiencing extreme poverty or homelessness and veterans affairs. She loves working in this dynamic and pioneering industry.
Managing Partner, Los Sueños Farms
CEO, Medicine Man
Andy Williams is among America’s most pioneering thought leaders and entrepreneurs in the legal cannabis space.
As co-founder and Interim CEO of industry-leading consultancy Medicine Man Technologies, Williams has expanded his influence exponentially—helping entrepreneurs in other states via his extensive cultivation expertise and unparalleled business acumen. As a founding partner in phytopharmaceutical company MedPharm, Williams is investing heavily in the future of pharmaceutical-grade cannabis research.
With years of experience in the world’s first regulated market, Williams is a leading expert on the cannabis industry. He has been featured in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, BBC and the MSNBC docu-series “Pot Barons,” which focused on Williams as one of the show’s central characters.
Williams continues to elevate his politically active leadership in the ever-expanding marijuana industry, working daily to protect and grow the cannabis industry as a board member with the Cannabis Trade Federation, which works federally on tax reform and other industry-specific issues, and Colorado Leads, a pro-growth organization focusing its efforts locally.
He also serves as a board member for the American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp and as a voting member on ASTM Committee D37 on Cannabis, which is currently developing important standards for cannabis, its products and processes for the esteemed worldwide standards organization.
Williams is proud to serve as co-founder and director of the Medicine Man Family Foundation, a community-focused nonprofit investing in impact-driven projects rooted in the communities in which the Medicine Man brand operates.
Co-Founder, Mesh Ventures
Martin Kaufman has extensive entrepreneurial experience in cannabis cultivation, dispensary operations and cannabis product and business development. Kaufman is the founding CEO of MKSI Investments and Mesh Ventures and co-founded numerous other successful companies and brands, including Blüm, IVXX, Core Security Solutions, Grasshopper Kiosks, Lemonnade, General Agriculture, Highland Events, Coyote Hills Agricultural Enterprise. His current focus is industrial scale cannabis and hemp cultivation, extraction and post refinement for purposes of supplying the ever growing consumer goods market.
General Counsel and Owner, Native Roots Dispensary
Jon has been in the marijuana industry since 2013. In addition to managing all legal matters for Native Roots, Jon is involved in licensing, public affairs, risk management, and business development for the brand. He received his law degree from the University of Colorado Law School. Prior to working at Native Roots, Jon worked in private practice in Denver and Vail and was in-house counsel for Solaris Redevelopment Corporation for nine years. Jon lives in Edwards, Colorado with his family.
Vice President of Public Policy, Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility, PAX Labs
Jeff Brown is Vice President of Public Policy, Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility for PAX Labs — a popular consumer technology brand in cannabis. From 2013 to October 2018, he served as Senior Vice President of Communications, Policy, Analytics/Insights and Customer Service at GoPro. From April 2010 to 2013, Jeff was the Senior Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs for Electronic Arts. He also served 13 years at PepsiCo Inc. finishing as Director of Public Relations at the company's headquarters in Purchase, New York.
He volunteers on the boards of The League to Save Lake Tahoe (Keep Tahoe Blue) and Community Gatepath, a Bay Area organization supporting children and adults with developmental disabilities. Jeff and his wife Kate live in Burlingame, CA and Incline Village, NV -— where Jeff managed to ski 30 days last year while working full time (it's not as easy as it sounds).
Director, Government Affairs, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company
Brian Herrington serves as the Director of Government Affairs for The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company’s subsidiary The Hawthorne Gardening Company. Prior to becoming Director Brian managed the state and local government affairs program for The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (SMG), which is world’s largest consumer lawn and garden products company with over $2.3 billion in sales annually.
Before managing the national program he was responsible for SMG’s government affairs program for the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast Region. Before joining Scotts Brian was an Assistant Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for the New York State Attorney General’s Office working with elected officials, business leaders, labor unions, academia, civic, charitable and advocacy organizations. Brian also worked as an aide in the Suffolk County Executive’s Office and the New York State Assembly. In the past he has served as the Vice Chair for the Consumer Specialty Product Association’s State Government Affairs Advisory Committee whose members are responsible for over $1 billion of consumer products sales annually in the United States.
Brian is a graduate of Hofstra School of Law and was admitted to the bar in 2011. He received a Bachelor of Arts double majoring in Political Science and Latin American Studies with a minor in History from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh.
Senior Vice President of External Affairs, Surterra Wellness
CEO and Co-Chairman, TILT
Prior to co-founding Sea Hunter in 2017, Mr. Coleman founded Annex Capital Management LLC, a U.S. based middle market private equity group, where he served as Managing Partner from 2004 to 2017. Annex focused on control equity positions in a broad array of industries and also acquired distressed debt and direct equity in the secondary market. Mr. Coleman also served as Managing Director of Citicorp Venture Capital from 2007 to 2009. Mr. Coleman served as Chairman of Big Red Group Holdings, LLC from 2007 to 2017. Mr. Coleman received a M.B.A. from the University of Cambridge and a B.A. degree in Economics from the University of Vermont.
CEO, Tryke Companies
Founding Partner, Vicente Sederberg LLC
VS founding partner Christian Sederberg is a widely recognized leader in the cannabis industry. He represents a variety of marijuana and other businesses with a primary focus on real estate, private equity, commercial, and corporate transactions — and he has been doing since the inception of Colorado's state-regulated medical marijuana program. He also works closely with government officials, trade associations, businesses, and advocates to advance thoughtful cannabis policy proposals at the national, state, and local levels.
Christian played an integral role in the passage and implementation of Colorado’s historic legalization initiative, serving as the campaign’s representative on Gov. John Hickenlooper’s Amendment 64 Implementation Task Force. He also sat on the executive committee of the Committee for Responsible Regulation, which coordinated the campaign to establish statewide excise and sales taxes on the sale of adult-use marijuana in Colorado.
Christian currently serves on the boards of the Cannabis Trade Federation and Colorado Leads, and he previously served as a board member for the National Cannabis Industry Association. He was included in the National Law Journal’s inaugural list of “Cannabis Law Trailblazers,” as well as the Cannabis Business Executive 100, a list of the 100 most influential people in the global cannabis industry and policy reform movement. He has been included in 5280’s list of “Denver’s Top Lawyers” every year since 2015.
Founder, Viola Extracts
Viola was founded by Al Harrington, a former NBA player who was a first-round pick in the 1998 NBA draft. Al went on to play for 16 seasons and became personally aware of the medicinal benefits of cannabis after suffering complications from a botched knee surgery towards the end of his NBA career. But the original inspiration for starting a company came from Al’s beloved grandmother who suffers from glaucoma and diabetes. With some convincing from Al, she reluctantly agreed to try cannabis for her pain and found immediate relief. Her name is Viola. The rest, as they say, is history.
Viola has since grown to become a respected, top-selling national brand in the Cannabis industry. We offer consistently high-quality products that are developed with our award-winning extraction techniques and cultivated in our facilities across the country.