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Cannabis Public Policy Conference – March 5-6, 2020 – Denver, CO –Click here for the full schedule.

Featured Panelists

Cannabis Public Policy Conference

March 5-6, 2020     Denver, CO

For a full list of panelists click here.

Ed Perlmutter

U.S. House of Representatives – Colorado’s CD-7

Congressman Perlmutter has been at the forefront of national cannabis legislation. He is the author and lead sponsor of the SAFE Banking Act, which overwhelmingly passed the U.S. House in Sept. 2019. He has also been instrumental in the STATES Act and other federal cannabis legislation.

March 6th — 2:30 PM

Roz McCarthy

Executive Director – Minorities 4 Medical Marijuana

Roz McCarthy is a unique force within the cannabis community. Driven by 20-plus years of business expertise and her devotion for equity within the medical marijuana industry, McCarthy founded Minorities for Medical Marijuana (M4MM) in May, 2016, where she serves as Executive Director today. She is CEO of The Genesis Group, an independent full service cannabis consulting firm specialzing in marketing, branding, strategy, public relations, diversity planning, and business development consulting services.

March 6th — 10:00 AM

Dominick Moreno

Colorado State Senator, SD21-Commerce City

A former Daniel’s Scholar and a graduate of Georgetown, Senator Moreno returned to Commerce City after college, and was elected to city council at age 24. In 2012, Dominick was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives. In 2016, Dominick was elected to the Colorado Senate. Senator Moreno serves on the Joint Budget Committee and the Appropriations Committee. And he still lives in Commerce City!

March 6th — 11:00 AM

Wanda James

Co-Founder & CEO – Simply Pure

Ms. James is the co-founder and CEO of Simply Pure and is a leading advocate in the cannabis industry. In 2009, she and her husband, Scott Durrah, became the first African Americans, legally licensed, to own a dispensary, a cultivation and edible company. She is also the founder and President of the Cannabis Global Initiative (CGI), a marketing and consulting firm that specializes in diversity development, regulatory framework and marketing. The company is dedicated to consistently providing innovative solutions through strategic alliances and business development surrounding the legalization of cannabis.

March 5th — 1:15 PM

Kaitlin Urso

Enviromental Consultant – Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE)

Kaitlin is a free environmental consultant, provided by CDPHE, for Colorado small businesses. She conducts free individual sustainability audits for cannabis businesses. Kaitlin is conducting cutting edge air quality research related to the growth of cannabis plants. She is project managing the build of a free online tool for the cannabis industry that will help track, trend, and bench mark environmental data and allow businesses to anonymously share and compare metrics. Kaitlin is working on a project that encourages breweries to recapture CO2 generated from fermentation and then provide excess CO2 to the marijuana industry to supplement their crop growth.

March 6th — 3:45 PM

Karson Humiston

CEO and Founder – Vangst

Karson Humiston is the Founder & CEO of Vangst, the cannabis industry’s recruiting platform. Since launching in 2016, Vangst has connected thousands of people with jobs at leading cannabis businesses around the World. Karson was featured on the 2018 Forbes 30 under 30 list and Vangst was featured in Entrepreneur’s 100 Brilliant Companies of 2018. Prior to founding Vangst, Karson founded On Track Adventures, a student travel organization based out of St. Lawrence University.

March 6th — 10:00 AM

Marion Mariathasan

Co-Founder & CEO, Simplifya

Marion is a serial entrepreneur who has founded, invested, or advised over a dozen start-ups. He is the CEO and CO-founder of Simplifya, the leading cannabis regulatory and operational compliance company, alongside being the Founder and Chairman of Ceylon Solutions, a software development company that he founded in 2005 which now primarily focuses on developing applications for the cannabis industry. He is a regular guest speaker at events such as Denver Startup Week, CU Denver’s program on social entrepreneurship, and the United Nations Global Accelerator Initiative. Marion is currently an investor, board member and advisor to over a handful of cannabis and non-cannabis companies.

March 5th — 2:15 PM

Cindy Sovine

Owner and Founder – Sovine Consulting

Cindy has over 22 years of government relations experience. She is very effective at helping highly regulated industries achieve their goals and successfully navigate ever-changing legislative, regulatory and political environments.

Cindy began working in cannabis policy in 2016 after her step-dad’s journey with lymphatic cancer and seeing firsthand how cannabis alleviated his suffering and provided a quality of life that traditional treatments could not provide. She now works in hemp, marijuana, and psychedelic policy and speaks all over the country helping states create sound policies. 

March 6th — 9:00 AM

John Bailey

Executive Director – Black Cannabis Equity Initiative

John Bailey founded the Black Cannabis Equity Initiative (BCEI) as a value added to the state and as a necessary step for the uplifting and fast tracking of the social equity conversation in the Colorado cannabis space. BCEI’s mission is to promote progressive sustainable dialogue, positive community engagement and action around fairness and opportunity in the statewide cannabis landscape. BCEI is an equity thought partner and an equity focal point as well as a bridge between the Black community and the Colorado cannabis industry in the areas of corporate-community accountability, community engagement and outreach, collaborative partnerships, investment opportunity and public policy.

March 6th — 10:00 AM

Paul Botto

President and Co-Founder – Lucid Green

Paul Botto is the Co-Founder and President of Lucid Green, a platform that enables the cannabis industry to communicate trust and transparency through a direct connection with the consumer. With nearly 20 years of analytics and data technology experience, his previous roles include former Head of Analytics Sales and Consulting at Google, GM of Visible Measures Analytics, and Founding Member of Conduce supply chain data platform working with companies like DHL, Cisco, and PwC.

March 6th — 2:30 PM

Laura Eder

Regulatory Affairs Manager – Mile High Labs

Laura has more than 17 years of experience in the life-cycle management of pharmaceuticals, both proprietary and generic, as well as medical devices. Through her time spent in the world of pharmaceuticals, she has developed a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of FDA regulations.

Since joining Mile High Labs, she has helped guide the company through several significant regulatory milestones leading a team to complete ISO 9001:2015, as well as GMP 111 and 117 certifications in record time.

March 6th — 2:30 PM

Jim Marty

CEO – Bridge West CPAs and Consultants

Jim is a nationally recognized expert on marijuana tax, accounting and banking issues. Jim has been featured on FOX Business News, CNBC and numerous other media outlets. Founded in 2012, BridgeWest was the first accounting firm to focus solely on the cannabis industry. Jim continues to be a spokesman and endorser of the cannabis industry through his highly attended marijuana education business presentations.

March 6th — 1:15 PM

Sheilah Ophaug

Cannabis Compliance Expert, Allay Consulting

Sheilah is a specialist in regulatory compliance in FDA, OSHA, Fire Code, MED and cGMP practices. Sheilah previously worked as a cannabis regulator for the City & County of Denver, and enjoys sharing that knowledge to help cannabis businesses be successful in this ever-evolving industry.

March 6th — 1:15 PM

Matthew Greer

CEO, GoldLeaf Print & Packaging

Matthew serves as CEO of GoldLeaf Print & Packaging. He graduated from Auburn University with a Bachelors in Business Administration and a concentration in Management Information Systems. As a founding partner, he has been instrumental in directing the company in its Digital Print & Foil technology initiatives. Benefits of these initiatives include short run production processes that are key to the success of many cannabis customers across the United States. Part of his role is to continuously expand GoldLeaf’s product offering, including Child Restraint Packaging.

March 6th — 3:45 PM

Amy Rose

Partnerships Manager, National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA)

 Amy Rose is the Partnerships Manager at the National Cannabis Industry Association. She joined NCIA in 2017. Prior to NCIA, she worked in testing and retail in the cannabis space. Amy runs NCIA’s Allied Associations Program which partners with trade associations at the state or local level, while supporting NCIA’s overall mission to advance federal legislation. Amy is a native of New Jersey. She graduated from the University of Tampa with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. Amy has a passion for travel and has been calling Denver home since 2014.

March 6th — 9:00 AM

Kevin Gallagher

Director of Compliance and Regulatory AffairsApothecary Extracts

Kevin has worked to amend or develop bills that overcome regulation roadblocks. As an industry advisor, he mediates communication between licensees, the MED, the Governor’s Office, Colorado Department of Revenue, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and other regulatory bodies to develop sensible policy.  Kevin has truly moved the needle forward and closed the gaps between licensees and the regulatory bodies that govern them.

March 5th — 2:15 PM

Lisa Buffo

Founder & CEO, Cannabis Marketing Association

Lisa is the Founder & CEO of the Cannabis Marketing Association (CMA), a national organization focused on education and best practices for industry businesses. CMA has chapters in 9 U.S. cities and has hosted over 50 educational events for over 3,000 cannabis communications professionals. She is the Founder of the NCIA’s Marketing and Advertising Committee and has been quoted in Forbes, The Guardian, VICE, LeParisien (France), Contagious (UK), Denver Business Journal, The Boulder Daily Camera, and many other publications. Lisa was crowned one of 2019’s 40 Under 40 Rising Stars in Cannabis by Marijuana Venture Magazine in 2019 and was named “The Marketing Guru” by Women in Weed Magazine.

March 5th — 4:15 PM

Andrew Floor

Head of Marketing, Dixie Brands

Andrew has been the Head of Marketing @ Dixie Brands for over a year following 20+ years in adult beverage sales & marketing roles across 3 different continents. He brings a depth of experience in building strong consumer brands in highly regulated industries on a global scale to Dixie Brands – a company that has been crafting award winning cannabis-infused products since 2010. Operating in 6 states, Dixie Brands aims to be the leading CPG company in the cannabis space and is on a journey to transform over 100 SKU’s across 15 product segments into a true house of consumer brands.

March 5th — 4:15 PM

Amy Larson

Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Simplifya

Amy is the Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Simplifya, the cannabis industry’s leading operational and regulatory compliance software platform. Prior to joining Simplifya, Amy served as the Vice President of Marketing for COHN, and led its dedicated cannabis division, COHNNABIS, which she helped to launch in 2016. Amy spent nearly 20 years working in marketing and PR for the destination, retail, and tourism hospitality industries. She currently serves as the Vice-Chair of the National Cannabis Industry Association’s Marketing & Advertising Committee.

March 5th — 4:15 PM

John Vardaman

Chief Compliance Officer, Simplifya

John W. Vardaman, III is Chief Compliance Officer & General Counsel of Simplifya, the leading provider of regulatory and operational compliance software for the cannabis industry. Prior to joining Simplifya, Mr. Vardaman served as Executive Vice President & General Counsel at Hypur, a compliance-based cannabis banking and payments company.
Mr. Vardaman is an attorney with fifteen years of senior federal government experience in the enforcement of federal laws and policies concerning money laundering, the Bank Secrecy Act,
and other financial crimes. From 2006 to 2016, Mr. Vardaman worked at the Department of Justice, first in the Office of Legal Policy, and then as Assistant Deputy Chief in the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section. In 2014, Mr. Vardaman drafted the DOJ policy regarding marijuana banking, known as
the Cole Memorandum, which set forth enforcement parameters designed to enable banks to permissibly service marijuana-related businesses.

March 5th — 4:15 PM

Jenny Germano

CEO & Founder, ICS Consulting Service

Jennifer began working in the Colorado Marijuana Industry in 2009. She worked her way from the ground floor through every employee and management position in medical dispensaries to the level of director of operations of a multi-million dollar recreational dispensary and cultivation operation in 2014. In 2015 Jennifer founded ICS Consulting Service and transitioned from being an employee in the industry to an owner of a compliance focused consulting business. ICS specializes in compliance-based services. ICS Consulting expanded nationally in 2018 and is currently consulting in 9 States.

March 5th — 1:15 PM

Sarah Woodson

Owner, Kush & Canvases

Sarah comes from a long line of entrepreneurs, business is in her DNA. Sarah founded one of the largest Pro-Se Bankruptcy & Divorce companies in the state of Colorado.  As the CEO of a pro-se bankruptcy and divorce company, she created an equity program for women of color to start their own legal pro-se businesses. In 2016, she founded Kush & Canvases, a consumption-friendly cannabis art class. She is currently serving as the Legal Redress Chair for NAACP Denver Chapter. She sat on the Cannabis  Social Community Committee for the city of Denver. She is currently serving on the Denver African American Commission and is a consultant for Marijuana Industry Group.

March 6th — 10:00 AM

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