CANNABIS + LICENSING

 
 

LEADERS IN CANNABIS + LICENSING

We couldn’t be more honored to have some of the most interesting and innovative leaders in cannabis sharing their stories at this event. Join us as they discuss licensing in the cannabis industry.

JASON STARR

Assistant Counsel to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo (NY)

Jason Starr serves as Assistant Special Counsel to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. In this role, he manages legal affairs for a broad portfolio ofcivil rights issues including housing, immigration, healthcare, andcriminal justice. He is also counsel to the Governor’s Council on Community Re- Entry and Re-Integration and the Joint Task Force on Worker Exploitation. Jason oversees all significant legal and policydeliberations in his portfolio including drafting and evaluation proposed legislation, supervising the implementation of laws and policies, formulating the State’s posture in affirmative and defensive litigation, negotiating the annual State Budget, managing outside counsel, and providing strategic counsel to press, public relations, and policy staff within the Executive Chamber and across more than 10 state agencies.

Prior to joining the Cuomo administration, Jason was a public policy counsel at the New York Civil Liberties Union where his practice focused on police reform, immigration integration, and privacy. He was also the principal advisor to the NYCLU’s senior staff and board on diversity, equity, and inclusion. His work in this area led to the first organization-wide equity assessment and an organizational restructuring that included the creation of a senior level role responsible for equity.

A recognized civil rights policy expert, Jason has a proven track record of collaboration with partners in the government, nonprofit, and private sectors and his work has been featured in various media outlets including the New York Times, NPR, the Huffington Post, the Guardian, and City & State.

DR. CHANDA MACIAS

Owner + CEO / National Holistic™ (DC) and Women Grow

Chanda Macias, MBA, PhD is the Chairwoman of the Board of Managers and CEO for Women Grow. She is also the CEO and the owner of National Holistic™ a cannabis and hemp healthcare enterprise. National Holistic™ Healing Center is the leading medical marijuana dispensary in Washington DC, while National Holistic ™ Healthcare proudly produces CBD and cannabinoids as an alternative and natural product. Dr. Macias also expanded her footprint through Ilera Holistic Healthcare which partnered with Southern University -one of two cultivation/processing facilities in the state of Louisiana. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Minority Cannabis Business Association and is a proud member of Americans for Safe Access.

Dr. Macias earned a PhD in Cellular Biology from Howard University focusing in cancer research. She earned her MBA from Rutger’s University in Supply Chain Management. 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 has four children and resides with her husband in the Washington D.C. metro area.

ASHLEY PICILLO

Founder / Point Seven Group (CO)

Ashley Picillo entered the regulated cannabis market in late 2013 after holding positions in corporate finance, logistics and marketing. Shortly thereafter, Ashley joined one of the largest vertically integrated cannabis businesses in Colorado as the Head of Marketing, Operations and Sales. In that role, Ashley oversaw day-to-day operations including five dispensaries, a high volume extraction facility and a 23,000 square foot cultivation facility. She developed, documented and implemented the vast majority of the Company’s standard operating procedures (SOPs), created detailed forecasting models and calculating the facility’s overall production capacity.

Ashley recognized that Colorado was quickly becoming the model for other States and founded Point7 in 2015 to offer support services to new operators facing the daunting learning curve she had experienced just two years prior. Since then, Point7 has rapidly expanded with offices in Ohio, Denver, Los Angeles and Boston (2019). The team has supported Clients in 56 markets worldwide, offering a breadth of services including marketing, licensing, general consulting, facility design, brand development, market research, product development and post-licensure operational support.

Ashley is also the author of Breaking the Grass Ceiling: Women, Weed and Business, published in 2017 and released at SXSW (2017). She earned her B.S. in Business from Northeastern University and her Master of Arts degree in Education.

CONRAD MARTIN

Founder / Sky High Ventures (NY)

Network Editor Producer / Enterpreneur Media (NY)

Conrad Martin is a video producer, on-air host, and entrepreneur. For the past three years, he's served as the video producer and network editor at Entrepreneur Magazine, and currently hosts the Week in Weed segment. With over 10 years in both tv & music, his experience has spanned working with MTV, VH1, BET, Viacom, Will Smith, and FuseTV. He's also the founder and proprietor of the media umbrella, Sky High Ventures. 

A BIG THANK YOU TO OUR GENEROUS SPONSORS!

TRESS CAPITAL - ANNUAL SPONSOR

Established in 2013, Tress Capital is a leading institutional-grade cannabis investment management firm embedded at the core of the cannabis industry, supported by a world-class infrastructure. With a unique industry network, unparalleled deal-flow pipeline, and experienced team with in-house niche expertise, Tress is the go-to for sophisticated investors seeking competence. Tress originates, guides, and manages investment for HNW, SFO, and institutional clients in both fund and bespoke SMA vehicles. Tress works closely with its companies and sector as an active value-add investor. Its portfolio includes industry leaders such as Headset, Baker Technologies, SC Labs, Cannabis Now, Infusion Biosciences, Grownetics and North Bud Farms.

MAGICALBUTTER® - ANNUAL SPONSOR

The MagicalButter machine is the world’s first countertop Botanical Extractor™, designed for creating fantastic recipes, infusing the essence of healthy herbs into butter, oil, grain alcohol, lotions, and more!

AON INSURANCE - SILVER SPONSOR

Aon plc (NYSE:AON) is a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions. Our 50,000 colleagues in 120 countries empower results for clients by using proprietary data and analytics to deliver insights that reduce volatility and improve performance.

POINT 7 GROUP - SILVER SPONSOR

Point Seven Group (Point7) is a tenured, global management consulting firm dedicated to the commercial cannabis industry. Our world-class team of experts, with direct hands-on experience in the regulated cannabis industry, is known for agility, speed and exceptional service. Our success is measured by that of our clients’ whether that’s winning licenses, creating global brands or expanding operations into new markets.

We’ve developed a holistic, seven-phase service offering that addresses our clients’ business needs from pre-application to operations, compliance, expansion and exit. We create a custom strategy and roadmap for each client, delivered with high-touch service to ensure that our clients hit every milestone, in every market, every time.

When our clients succeed, we succeed.

TONIC - SILVER SPONSOR

TONIC sells plant-based wellness solutions for mind, body and soul.

Handcrafted in NY, TONIC’s small batch CBD+botanical blends use organic, sun-grown hemp flower with purposeful ingredients to help you restore your essential balance and #FixYourVibe

COME BACK DAILY - BRONZE SPONSOR

Come Back Daily is the world’s first CBD wellness center and experiential retail shop committed to bridging the gap between the consumer and the product. We encourage conversation within the community to learn, educate, and experiment with the best products that are available on the market. Unlike a dispensary, vape or head shop, we create an atmosphere that welcomes and encourages people to understand their bodies and how CBD works within their endocannabinoid system, the system which keeps homeostasis for all other bodily systems.

Sourcing from only the highest-quality cannabis products, and providing them in an environment that meets the needs of today’s modern customers. We set a new standard for quality, comfort, and excellence.

WORD ON THE TREE - BRONZE SPONSOR

Word on the Tree is a daily cannabis newsletter from journalist Mona Zhang. Readers can view past editions of the newsletter on this site, along with cannabis news, drug policy analysis, product reviews, playlists, and more.


KMACCONNECT PR - BRONZE SPONSOR

kmacconnect pr helps brands join the conversation by creating and distributing content wherever connecting is happening: on your own assets, in traditional media, on social media and at events. The way media is consumed today requires that all businesses act as publishers – producing and circulating new and engaging content that is consistent, clear, concise, educational and entertaining.


 
 

A BIG THANK YOU TO OUR GENEROUS SPONSORS!

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THE PEOPLE'S DISPENSARY - SILVER SPONSOR

We created The People’s Dispensary in 2016 because the cannabis market was not serving our needs as people of color, women, queer people, veterans, formerly incarcerated and people with chronic illnesses. We started in Oakland thinking we’d serve a few hundred of our friends – but we quickly developed a loyal, diverse, active client base of almost 4,000members, with a monthly retention rate of 84%.

As we began to expand, however, we realized we were only solving part of the problem. The cannabis industry was (and still is) exploding, but the communities we served – some of which had been historically harmed by the war on drugs – were unable to benefit from its legalization.

  • They were not accredited investors who could passively benefit from an emerging market

  • They lacked access to capital and business development training to build their own companies

With this knowledge, we were no longer content to only reach these communities – we wanted to uplift them. Our equity structure, which remains unique to the industry, allows people to help bring dispensaries to their towns, enrich their communities, and improve their quality of life.

The cannabis industry is projected to become a $500 billion market. The People’s Dispensary makes sure it leaves no one behind.

 
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SILVER SPONSOR

Aon plc (NYSE:AON) is a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions. Our 50,000 colleagues in 120 countries empower results for clients by using proprietary data and analytics to deliver insights that reduce volatility and improve performance.

 
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FLOWER HIRE - SILVER SPONSOR

FlowerHire is the leading talent gateway into and major building of the regulated Cannabis industry. Our founders are serially successful startup and recruiting entrepreneurs who left the old world in search of something better.  We’ve built and have been early investors and operators of cannabis tech and vertically integrated brands. Through it all, we realized that our background in bridge building and seeding talent into growth markets, was more important for this industry than anything else we had ever done before - and created FlowerHire.  We are the first and only cannabis talent firm, grown out of the cannabis industry.

 

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Speakers

 
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CHRISTINE DE LA ROSA 

Co-Founder + CEO / The People’s Dispensary (CA, OR)

Christine De La Rosa is a proven entrepreneur with an extensive background in creating social equity and impact models. She co-owns several successful businesses in both California and Oregon. She is a well-known advocate for the chronically ill, people of color, women, and the LGBTQ community. She was recently awarded the Economic Justice Leadership Award by the San Francisco LGBT Center. Christine’s business experience and savvy has been a driving source for growing Benefit Health Collective into a profitable dispensary and now transitioning that model into the socially equitable and wellness enterprise known now as The People’s Dispensary across multiple cities and states.

WEBSITE / FACEBOOK / TWITTER / INSTAGRAM


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JOYCE CENALI

Partner + COO / Big Rock Partners (CA)

Joyce Cenali is a founding partner and leads operations at Big Rock Partners, a strategic advisory firm serving investors and companies at the intersection of food, hospitality and cannabis. Big Rock Partners portfolio includes PharmaCann, Kikoko, Cannacraft, Sonoma Hills Farm, Garden Society, Phylos, Juna, Sava, Octavia Wellness, and others that are growing the next generation of cannabis. She previously founded a boutique artist management firm, and lead business development, licensing and partner integrations for e-commerce start-ups Zazzle, GearLaunch, and DesignCrowd. A long time craft cannabis cultivator, she co-founded of an Emerald Cup winning operation, and served as Co-Chair for Women Grow, Sonoma. Her speaking engagements include SXSW, New West Summit, SF Music Tech, CMJ, etc. She attended Smith College is fluent in Portuguese, and lives with her wife and puppy children in San Francisco.

WEBSITE 


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DAVID BELSKY 

Founder / FlowerHire (CA)

David Belsky is a 15 year recruiting industry veteran and founder of FlowerHire, an Executive Talent Firm, founded out of LA, that has become a core building block of the Cannabis industry.  Quickly rising to leadership and helping to scale a $250 Million dollar tech recruiting agency for the majority his career, Dave was an early Investor in Eaze and was retained to build out their early executive team, leading to the founding of FlowerHire.  Since then, FlowerHire has grown to become the leading bridge-building and talent advisory firm, seeding industry leaders into the companies that are actively shaping the cannabis industry. Dave Graduated Cornell University and with a degree in Industrial Relations and resides in LA with his wife and four children.


WEBSITE / FACEBOOK / TWITTER / INSTAGRAM


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JOE DIMEO - Host

Host / My West Coast Buds (OR)

Joe Dimeo has been building businesses in the cannabis industry since 2008. His cannabis career started with an edible company where Joe drove sales and distribution. Following a successful expansion, Joe transitioned to dispensary management. During this time, Joe recognized many areas in the cannabis supply chain that could operate better and his passion for process improvement developed by way of best practices and standard operating procedures. With over 10 years in legal cannabis, Joe’s experience allows him to evaluate markets and organizations from a perspective few can match. If there’s a job in cannabis, Joe’s probably worked it, identified inefficiencies, and improved the positions process.
When he’s not on site or online consulting clients, Joe can be found hosting the My West Coast Buds podcast, the number 1 podcast for cannabis business insights and interviews

WEBSITE / INSTAGRAM / FACEBOOK

 
Jacobi Holland