Meet the leaders featured in the book!
Steve DeAngelo is a cannabis leader who has inspired millions throughout his four decade career as a cannabis activist, advocate, entrepreneur and educator. Driven by his compassion for others, Steve has founded many successful socially responsible ventures including Harborside Health Center, the largest medical marijuana dispensary in the world. Steve is also Co-founder and President of the ArcView Group, a company formed to introduce investors to the cannabis community, and vice versa. To attract the best, brightest and most motivated entrepreneurs and investors for the next innovative American industry, Steve and his staff operate the ArcView Angel Investor Network. He is also the author of The Cannabis Manifesto.
Alain Bankier is a founding partner in New York Angels, one of the longest running active angel groups in New York City. NY Angels has invested over $95 million in entrepreneurial ventures. The Former CEO of The Manischewitz Company, a leading international Kosher food brand, Alain is an early stage investor and entrepreneur and is a member of the ArcView Investor group.
Ben Pollara, a founding partner of LSN Partners, provides strategic counsel to clients as they manage their relationships with local, state and federal elected officials. He also oversees LSN’s grassroots and grasstops advocacy practice. Ben is a driving force behind the legalization effort in Florida.
Betty Aldworth is the Executive Director of Students for Sensible Drug Policy. In 2012, Betty was the spokesperson and advocacy director for Colorado’s Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, the first to make Cannabis legal for adult use. She served as deputy director of the National Cannabis Industry Association in 2013, where she was responsible for developing NCIA’s then-nascent educational programming and framing the national conversation about the industry. Prior to her work in cannabis and drug policy, Betty spent a decade motivating and engaging volunteers as a non-profit leadership professional.
Brandon Hamilton is the CEO of WAM Oil, a Seattle-based innovative and savy concentrate producer specializing in all organic Co2 cannabis oil. WAM Oil was the first cannabis extraction company in Washington State to package, brand and market cannabis oil to patients. Brandon recognized the healing effects of cannabis oil when his partner was diagnosed with cancer.
Charlo Greene is a broadcast journalist and media expert turned activist and businesswoman who has emerged as a leading voice in the ongoing conversation about legalization, as well as diversity, in the cannabis community after garnering more than 100 MILLION VIEWS online. Charlo became a recognized leader in cannabis activism in September 2014, when she punctuated her on-air report on the Alaska Cannabis Club with the bombshell that she was the club’s founder and owner, proudly declared her activism and signed off for the last time with, “F*ck it, I quit…” Immediately following her exit, Charlo successfully led the charge in Alaska’s 2014 effort to legalize recreational marijuana, securing Alaska’s place as the third state in the nation (and first Republican-led state) to legalize usage for adults. charlogreene.com
Dr. Gerry Bedore is widely known as a thought leader in technology-enhanced learning models. He was a co-founder of Socrates Distance Learning Technology Group, and has published studies and books focused on online student success and completion rates. Gerry is recognized as having developed many of the most successful higher education online programs in the world. Gerry served in roles ranging from institutional president to assistant dean for doctoral programs. He is a member of the Cannabis Career Institute, is involved with cannabis agricultural development with Green Cures Inc., is serving in a leadership role for Cannabis State University, and is a U.S. disabled veteran.
Jack Cole knows about the “war on drugs” from several perspectives. He retired as a Detective Lieutenant after a 26-year career with the New Jersey State Police—fourteen in narcotics, mostly as an undercover officer. His investigations spanned cases from street drug users to international “billion-dollar” drug trafficking organizations. Jack is a founding member and for eight years was Executive Director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, an international organization representing cops, judges, prosecutors, prison wardens, and supporters from 86 countries, who know a system of legalized regulation of all drugs will remove the violence which is the result of drug prohibition. He currently serves on LEAP's Board of Directors, and is an international speaker.
Christie Lunsford is founder of Endocannabinoidology, a consulting firm providing cannabis science, technology and education management assistance to businesses and individuals in the cannabis community. A cannabis industry veteran, Christie has served as a consultant during the licensing, development, and formulation phases of multiple Medical Cannabis Centers and Infused Product Manufacturers in Colorado, California, Illinois, Maryland and Washington State. Most recently, Christie helped a client navigate the complex regulatory process necessary to obtain one of the five medical cannabis business permits awarded in New York State.
Prior to launching Endocannabinoidology, Christie distinguished herself as an industry thought leader by focusing on cannabis industry standards. Christie served on the 2013 American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) Cannabis Committee and the 2015 Standards Creations Committee for Infused Products for the Foundation of United Cannabis Standards (FOCUS).
Currently (2016), Christie contributes to the State of Colorado Local Government Marijuana Impact Grant Program as Retail Industry Stakeholder. Additionally, Christie is an avid supporter of hemp agriculture and commerce and writes the History of Hemp for The Hemp Connoisseur magazine.
Mrs. Lunsford is recognized as a founding member of National Cannabis Industry Association and Women Grow and was recently honored as 2015 Cannabis Woman of the Year at the 5th Annual Cannabis Business Awards.
Jazmin Hupp Named a “genius entrepreneur” by Fortune Magazine and a top businesswomen in the cannabis industry by Forbes, Jazmin Hupp is the Founder & CEO of Women Grow. Prior to entering the cannabis industry, Jazmin launched six companies in retail, eCommerce, business services, and media. Her core practice is customer experience design, which combines product design, branding, and business operations. Recently, she served as the Director of Digital Media for Women 2.0, which helps women start high-growth ventures. During her tenure, the brand expanded from the Bay Area to hold events across six countries for over 100,000 business women.
Jerry Szycer: Even before receiving his MBA from NYU’s Stern School of management, Jerry created many successful companies --everything from Kosher Sushi to home electronics. Jerry's latest endeavor, CouchLock Corporation, produces the first and best selling terpene infused drinks formulated to enhance the effects of cannabis. CouchLock has sold over 500,000 bottles since it's launch back in 2012. KannaBliss was written up in Ed Rosenthal's latest book, Beyond Buds. The company believes in giving back to the cannabis community and has sponsored many activists and educational events. Feel free to reach out anytime [email protected] He believes that we all rise by lifting others.
Cy Scott: Co-founder of Leafly and now CEO of Headset, a tech company that provides insight and education to the cannabis industry. Cy is a tech entrepreneur who went from a startup, to a national company, to a successful exit and new project. There are not too many people in the industry who have done that. Leafly is one of the most recognizable brands in Cannabis.
Larisa Bolivar, Executive Director of the Cannabis Consumers Coalition, has over 14 years of experience as a trailblazer and pioneer in the cannabis movement. Her years of dedicated activism to cannabis policy reform and fighting for the rights of patients and marginalized community members led to her creating the Cannabis Consumers Coalition. She works nationally on cannabis policy issues and provides consulting in the cannabis industry helping businesses build consumer-based standards and growth strategies for successful start-up launches.
Mara Gordon specializes in the development of cannabis extract treatment protocols for seriously ill patients in California. She is the co-founder of Aunt Zelda’s and Zelda Therapeutics. Prior to that, Mara worked as a process engineer, helping Fortune 500 companies create intelligent software by utilizing the Rational Unified Process. Mara sits on the boards of Zelda Therapeutics, #illegallyhealed and New Frontier.
David Hua is an entrepreneur, marketer, problem solver, and catalyst. He is currently the CEO and co-founder of Meadow Care. Meadow's on-demand delivery service allows patients to shop online for medical Cannabis products and get access to quality medicine from the comfort of home.
Rachelle Yeung co-hosts the podcast “This Week in Drugs.” She began her drug policy reform work when she co-founded a chapter of SSDP at the University of Colorado Law School, and then worked closely with the historic campaign to legalize marijuana in Colorado. In 2013, Rachelle moved to Washington, D.C. to serve as a legislative analyst at the Marijuana Policy Project. Then she became the Government Affairs Manager for Vicente Sederberg, the nation’s leading cannabis law firm.
Rhory Gould is CEO of the Arborside Health & Wellness in Ann Arbor, MI. A cannabis activist for 35 years and counting, he started what has become one of the top dispensaries in Michigan. He also was one of the first dispensary owners in the state to begin on-site testing of medical cannabis for potency. Rhory was recently honored by High Times as a recipient of the Trailblazer award for his dedication to activism.
Ethan Nadelmann: Described by Rolling Stone as "the point man" for drug policy reform efforts and “the real drug czar,” Ethan Nadelmann is widely regarded as the outstanding proponent of drug policy reform both in the United States and abroad. Ethan is the founder and executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, the leading organization in the United States promoting alternatives to the war on drugs. He received his B.A., J.D., and Ph.D. from Harvard and taught at Princeton University for seven years. He has authored two books on the internationalization of criminal law enforcement and written extensively for academic, policy and media publications.
Robert Calkin has more than 25 years of experience in the cannabis industry. Robert has helped create numerous businesses that are successful today. He is a delivery service expert and is sought after for training throughout the cannabis industry. He created Green Dot Delivery Service in Los Angeles in 1988, and that same year he was one of the original members of the American Hemp Council with Chris Conrad and Jack Herer. Robert is the author of Starting Your Own Medical Marijuana Delivery Service: The Mobile Caregiver’s Handbook, a bestseller in the cannabis industry. Robert is the founder and president of the Cannabis Career Institute, which opened in 2009, and Cannabis State University, established in 2010.
Robert A. Raich practices law in Oakland, California, where he specializes in medical cannabis law, business law, political law, and lobbying. A graduate of Harvard University and the University of Texas School of Law, he previously practiced law with Eber, Nakagawa & Kitajo in San Francisco and with the Federal Election Commission in Washington, D.C. He was the attorney in both of the U.S. Supreme Court cases ever to consider medical cannabis issues: United States v. Oakland Cannabis Buyers’ Cooperative, 532 U.S. 483 (2001), and Gonzales v. Raich, 545 U.S. 1 (2005). Mr. Raich was a member of the California Attorney General’s Medical Marijuana Task Force (Chairman, Caregiver Issues Subcommittee), and he has taught classes on medical cannabis to cadets at Police Department Police Academies, as well as continuing education classes to other lawyers.
Evan Eneman, along with Snoop Dogg and Ted Chung, is a founder and Managing Director of Casa Verde Capital. Casa Verde is a pioneering venture capital firm that makes seed and growth-stage investments in innovative, high-growth companies. Casa Verde has invested in cannabis media platform MerryJane, compliant packaging company FunkSac and delivery startup Eaze. Prior to Casa Verde, Evan spent 11 years with PricewaterhouseCoopers, advising Fortune 100 companies on enterprise IT, risk management, data security, privacy, regulatory compliance, and process improvement.
Scott Greiper is the President and Founder of Viridian Capital Advisors, a New York based financial and strategic advisory firm dedicated to backing and building market leaders in the emerging cannabis sector. Viridian provides capital raising and M&A advisory services to its clients, while its advisory practice provides board development, business development and strategic advisory services. Mr. Greiper is also President and Founding Partner of The Secure Strategy Group, a New York and Washington, D.C. based financing and strategic advisory firm dedicated to backing and building market leaders in the security, IT and communications technology sectors.
Scott Reach: A stand out in the cannabis breeding community, Scott Reach is the mastermind and founder of Rare Dankness. As a Master Grower, award winning Breeder, and cancer survivor, Scott's life work and love is deeply rooted in Cannabis and span more than 15 years. Rare Dankness has won over 50 awards globally for their genetics.
Greg Gamet: Owner of the Denver Consulting Group, Greg has more than twenty years of business development, investor relations and cannabis regulatory experience. He is also co-owner of Kush Bottles Colorado, DANK, and Elm Properties.
Michael Zaytsev is a Brooklyn-based Coach and Entrepreneur. His professional background includes Private Wealth Management with J.P. Morgan and Enterprise Software Sales with Google. When he's not coaching high performers, Michael organizes Cannabis education and networking events for High NY, New York's largest community of Cannabis activists and entrepreneurs.
Michael’s TED Talk - “Thinking Differently About Cannabis”