As the CSO and co-founder of Vertosa, Dr. Harold Han spearheads the development of industry-leading, customized active ingredients for infused product makers, offering pre-suspended aqueous solutions to create incredibly homogeneous, stable products while maximizing bioavailability, clarity, and taste. His work at Vertosa combines his storied background in emulsion chemistry and science with curiosity and fascination in the rapidly growing cannabis industry. Developing nano and micro emulsions his entire career, Harold holds a Ph.D. in Surface Chemistry from NYU and is the author of two patents in emulsion chemistry. Before founding Vertosa, Harold was the senior emulsion scientist at Bio-Rad Laboratories, where his team scaled emulsification oil and supplied products to over 90 countries.
VP of innovationat
Hennesy oversees Wana Brands’ R&D program, new product design, educational training content and partnerships with emerging cannabis technologies. He led the team in creating Wana’s new line of fast-acting Quick gummies, that rank in the top 10 best-selling edibles in Colorado, and use an innovative encapsulation technique to increase the bioavailability of cannabinoids and take effect quickly. Hennesy directed the development of Wana’s unique proprietary terpene blends. He also created Wana’s online interactive training program that covers the science of the endocannabinoid system. Previously, Hennesy managed Wana’s sales team of seven, where the quickly growing business proved demanding but rewarding as his team expanded Wana’s shelf presence in the vast majority of Colorado’s dispensaries with a three-year growth rate of 203%. In 2021, Hennesy graduated from the nation’s first Master’s Program for Cannabis Science and Therapeutics at The University of Maryland’s School of Pharmacy.
Chris served as the founding editor of MJBiz during the company’s launch in 2011, becoming the first journalist in the United States to focus exclusively on covering the business of cannabis. As CEO of MJBiz, he now guides the strategic vision of the company while educating mainstream industries about the marijuana and hemp sectors. He’s also the host of the podcast Seed to CEO. Chris has been quoted as one of America’s foremost cannabis industry analysts by dozens of media outlets, including Harvard Business Review, CNBC and the New York Times. He earned an MBA in international business from Regis University.
Named one of NCIA's “Top 10 Influential Women to Meet” in 2018. I bring a strategic, integrated approach to the marketing ecosystem in order to support and help drive customer engagement and meet revenue goals. A firm believer that every brand interaction is important and should be experienced in an authentic, meaningful way by the audiences who matter most.
Specialties: cannabis, CBD, tourism, real estate, destination, brand building, media relations, influencer relations, community outreach, message development, crisis communications, social media strategy, content development, business development, digital marketing
LKP Impact Consulting
Bio coming soon
President & Founderat
FOCUS (Foundation of Cannabis Unified Standards)
Lezli Engelking is the Founder and CEO of the Foundation of Cannabis Unified Standards (FOCUS), located in Scottsdale, Arizona. She received her Bachelor of Science in Communications and Statistics from Arizona State University. Ms. Engelking brings over two decades of experience in the healthcare and nonprofit sectors. Her keen understanding of the pharmaceutical industry gained during her 12-year tenure with Eli Lilly, prompted her to pivot and apply her expertise to the burgeoning cannabis industry.
Ms. Engelking has been an executive leader in the cannabis industry for nine years, opening the first chain of vertically integrated medical cannabis operations in Phoenix, Arizona. During her two and a half years in that role, Lezli realized the critical need for cannabis specific quality and safety standards. This compelled her to found FOCUS, the International Cannabis Health and Safety Organization, in 2014. With a progressive and intuitive approach, Ms. Engelking has helped shape local and international cannabis policy, including coordinating and developing cannabis specific standards and educational content for the FDA, Department of Agriculture, and the National Environmental Health Association. Most recently, Ms. Engelking participated in the 2018 United Nations and World Health Organization meetings on the global rescheduling of cannabis.
Director of Government Relationsat
National Cannabis Industry Association
Michael Correia is director of government relations for the National Cannabis Industry Association. His focus is raising awareness and building support for the cannabis industry’s issues on Capitol Hill. In addition, Michael works with other national organizations to increase the cannabis industry profile nationally. Prior to joining NCIA, Michael spent many years working on Capitol Hill, including working for Rep. George Radanovich (R-CA), who retired in 2010, and the House Committee on Resources, serving three different Chairmen. Previously, he was director of federal affairs for the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and senior project manager for the Committee for Responsible Federal Budget. In both positions, he advocated for policies in Congress. A campaign veteran, he has worked and volunteered on numerous political campaigns at the local, state, and federal levels over the past two decades. Michael is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego. A native of San Diego, he resides in Washington, D.C.
Chair of the Laboratory Subcommitteeat
ASTM D37, ASTM International's Committee D37 on Cannabis
Alena Rodriguez is a consultant in the cannabis industry with a passion for standardization. She has expertise in business operations, laboratory testing, Quality Management Systems, and regulatory compliance. Alena has an M.S. in biomedical sciences and a B.S. in biology from Florida Atlantic University (FAU). Before entering the cannabis industry, she worked in molecular biology, analytical chemistry, and neuroscience laboratories at FAU, Envoy Therapeutics, and the University of Colorado Anschutz doing drug discovery research. Alena is currently the chair of the Laboratory Subcommittee of ASTM International’s Committee D37 on Cannabis and an executive member of the National Cannabis Laboratory Council (NCLC). She is also a member of AOAC CASP’s Microbiology Working Group and a current member and former chair of the National Cannabis Industry Association’s Scientific Advisory Committee. She most recently worked at Rm3 Labs, an analytical cannabis testing facility in Colorado, where she held several positions including Lead Microbiologist, Quality Manager, and Managing Director. For almost 7 years, Alena managed the lab’s daily operations, worked with regulators, developed contaminant testing methods, and led the lab's efforts to achieve and maintain ISO 17025 accreditation.
Chief Science Officerat
David Kessler is Chief Science Officer at Agrify, the most innovative provider of advanced cultivation and extraction solutions for the cannabis industry. He has 20+ years of cannabis cultivation experience including 10 years of CEA (closed environmental agriculture) indoor farm design. David’s focus on the application of technology to optimize process & workflow while reducing operational costs are a common theme throughout his prolific industry publications. David has written for such companies as Sunlight Supply, Maximum Yield Magazine, Botanicare, and Hawthorne Gardening Company. David also regularly lectures at many cannabis industry events including MJBizCon Las Vegas, Cannabis Science Conference Baltimore, and Michigan’s Cannabis-Aid.
David has also worked as a consultant to Universities and the Hollywood film industry, working on several blockbuster Hollywood films including: The Hunger Games, The Divergent film franchise, and Marvel’s Black Panther.
David’s decades of experience with horticultural lighting have allowed him the opportunity to be a product tester for companies such as Sharp Electronics and the Horticultural Lighting Group. David has worked with independent 3rd party laboratories to provide unbiased testing data comparing the performance of a multitude of horticultural lighting manufacturers.
Additionally, David is the proprietor of Willowbrook Orchids, an orchid nursery specializing in Paphiopedilums and Phragmipediums.
Executive Vice President of Professional Servicesat
Bio coming soon
Jill Ellsworth is the founder and CEO of Willow Industries, the leader in cannabis kill-step and post-harvest microbial decontamination technology. Fueled by her passion for innovation and dedication to health, Jill has made a career of creating solutions for better living. As a Registered Dietitian with a Master of Science in Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Science, her passion for pasteurization techniques began in the food and beverage industry. Prior to launching Willow, Jill built and sold Vibrant Earth Juices, a Santa Barbara-based cold-pressed organic juice company, and beverage distribution company, Vibrant Earth Distribution, which launched the first alcoholic kombucha brand in Colorado.
After selling both companies, Jill transitioned into the legal cannabis industry to address the lack of health and safety standards in this emerging market. Leveraging her science and consumer safety expertise, in 2015, Jill founded Willow to equip cultivators with resources to provide patients and consumers with consistently clean, high-quality products. Her patented WillowPure systems use organic, ozone-based technology to break down harmful microbes living on cannabis without affecting the medicinal properties of the plant. WillowPure systems are currently being deployed by licensed cannabis cultivators and brands in the United States and across the globe, through long-term leases, a mobile service in Colorado, and WillowPure Processing centers in California and Massachusetts.
Cannabis Advisory Group and President and Founder of Miran Consulting
Former commissioner, Deborah Miran, was a member of the Natalie M. LaPrade Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission from 2013- 2016. While serving on the commission, she was also a member of the executive committee, policy, and research subcommittees, and was chair of the education subcommittee. She was responsible for developing education programs for doctors and patients, and was also an integral part of crafting the current regulations. Prior to the commission she was president and founder of Miran Consulting, Inc. There she advised both brand and generic drug makers on the FDA approval process. Ms. Miran was senior director of regulatory affairs for Alpharma, a generic drug manufacturer, where she directed the submission activities for new and abbreviated new drug applications to the FDA. She has spent over 30 years in the US pharmaceutical industry. Ms. Miran received her bachelor of science in chemistry from Iowa State University.
Chief Science Officerat
SoRSE Technology and Science Committee Member at Council for Federal Cannabis Regulation
Scott Riefler has over 45 years of cultivating/commercializing scientific and technological resources, first in Aerospace materials and now Food Ingredients.
Scott is the Chief Science Officer for SōRSE Technology, an innovation leader of materials development for beverage and edible product forms within the cannabis space. He joined SōRSE Technology in June of 2017, he and his team have developed a key water born platform for cannabinoid oils for the food, beverage, and nutraceutical industries.
This unique platform, branded as SōRSE, addresses all the major hurdles associated with transforming cannabinoid extracts as well as a wide range of adaptogens into workable ingredients for confection, food, beverage and topical matrixes. Functional attributes include water-based systems, perfect dosing, neutral and clean sensor, rapid and repeatable bio-absorption, and clean labeling.
SōRSE is quickly becoming the industry standard and go to for bringing cannabinoids and other oils/adaptogens into edible platforms in a safe and reliable manner.
Previously Scott was a member of TIC GUMS (now Ingredion) leadership Team, a privately held producer of hydrocolloids (gums) systems for the food, nutraceutical, and industrial markets. During his tenure at TIC Gums Scott’s roles included VP of Sales, VP of Science and Technology and President.
Chief Operating Officerat
PSI Labs LLC
Elisabeth Berry is the Chief Operating Officer of PSI Labs, a multi-state cannabis testing laboratory with operations in Michigan and California. As COO, Elisabeth oversees the lab’s finance, human resources, compliance, and central operations teams with a focus on guiding the company’s strategic planning and expansion. Prior to joining PSI Labs, Elisabeth led operations and growth initiatives across diverse industries (including venture capital, food and beverage, tech and healthcare M&A), supporting organizations to scale strategically and sustainably. Elisabeth’s passion for early-stage companies has led to participation on a number of investment review committees as well as board roles across private and not-for-profit organizations, including her current board position with the Autism Alliance of Michigan, and role as a founding member of the National Cannabis Laboratory Council (NCLC). Elisabeth holds an MBA from George Washington University, a graduate certificate in public health from the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health, and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Michigan
Director of Cannabis Studies, Professor of Chemistryat
Dr. Andrea Holmes is the Chief Science Officer at KD Pharma, the global leader in pharmaceutical grade omega 3 and API grade phytocannabinoids manufacturing. As a chemistry professor, Dr. Holmes has founded several cannabis science and technology based companies including testing labs and special formulation companies that focus on minor cannabinoids. Holmes explores the needs of the current cannabis industry and identifies the markets that have great potential for rapid growth. Dr. Holmes is also an expert in testing and quality of cannabis consumer products. She serves as a worldwide subject matter expert and consultant, including in the US, Brazil, UK, and Thailand. Dr. Holmes has given local, national, and international lectures and has published two cannabis textbooks, more than 50 peer-reviewed articles and cannabis textbooks on terpenes, endocannabinoid system, major and minor cannabinoids, extraction methods, niche markets like using CBD for the pet industry, and unique topics that involve the rapidly emerging cannabis industry.
Before Co-Founding Receptor Brands in Chicago, Allison spent almost two decades at global agencies creating award winning advertising and marketing campaigns for some of our most beloved brands, including M&Ms, Bacardi, Ziploc, Johnson & Johnson, and YouTube.
Receptor Brands is an end-to-end marketing agency transforming relationships between cannabis brands and their customers. As the leader of business strategy, Allison helps to define the field of opportunity for her clients’ businesses in a category poised to disrupt every aisle at the store.
Allison is vocal about her belief in the power of brand marketing and creativity to advance the cannabis industry and her views have been featured in Forbes, Ad Age, High Times, Green Entrepreneur, MJBiz Magazine, Muse by Clios, and more.
Allison earned her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and her BA in Communications from Michigan State University. She is also an Officer on the Marketing and Advertising Committee for the National Cannabis Industry Association, Cannabis Media Council Board Member, and Executive Board Member for the Center for Disability and Elder Law.
Benjamin Larson is the CEO of Vertosa, the cannabis and hemp infusion technology company that creates industry-leading active ingredients for infused products. Prior to Vertosa, Mr. Larson co-founded Gateway Incubator, California's first business accelerator and co-working space dedicated to the emerging cannabis industry. He's a Director and Mentor at Founder Institute where he formerly managed global operations and helped expand the program into over 100 cities around the world. Mr. Larson is a host of the Marijuana Today podcast; he's an active investor, adviser, and board member with companies inside and out of the cannabis industry; and he's a recipient of the San Francisco Business Times 40 Under 40 and was recognized by Forbes in 2022 as one of the 42 pioneers to watch in the green rush.
Howard Lee has led the SōRSE team since 2016, which to date has tripled in size. He has brought SōRSE to the international marketplace through licensing agreements with The Valens Company and FCM Global and into the medical space through a cancer research partnership with Pascal Biosciences.
Howard brings over 20 years of leadership experience in the tech industry and enterprise world, having served as CEO and founder of multiple start-ups where he was responsible for raising seed funding; Series A, B, C funding; and growth equity rounds.
As the former head of U.S. Marketing Communications at AB InBev, Lisa traded her crown as “Queen of Beers” for a new moniker: “The Cannabis Publicist.” She established Trailblaze to bring a more sophisticated, disciplined “big CPG” approach to cannabis brand storytelling and help new players in this nascent industry find their way into the mainstream. (Plus, the “Bud Girl” pun was irresistible).
With over twenty years of experience working inside some of the world’s most admired companies, Lisa has earned a reputation for building culturally relevant consumer brands through creative campaigns and flawless execution within high-stakes, regulated environments.
Under her leadership, Trailblaze has become a go-to marketing communications agency for Fortune 500 companies entering the burgeoning cannabis industry, as well as start-ups looking to put their brands on the map.
Committee D37 on Cannabis Standardsat
Bio coming soon
Founder & Board Chairat
Council for Federal Cannabis Regulation
If my career could be summed up in a sentence, I am a creator, problem solver, and solutions provider across verticals and on a national and international level. With 30 years of legal, business, and public service experience, I have enjoyed serving as a federal prosecutor, presidential appointee, and US delegate and worked as a corporate attorney, entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and turn-around expert. I also have been engaged in mentoring and philanthropy most of my adult life. These experiences give me a unique and well-informed perspective which I bring to the nascent cannabis industry.
In my business life I have acquired and operated companies steeped in chaos and tangled in regulatory and financial difficulties and restored them to fiscal health and compliance, creating jobs along the way. I have insisted on the highest ethical standards for the many businesses I have owned, led, or advised. And, most of all, I am an expert in making order out of chaos and navigating change, with the deep understanding of the disruption inherent in any transition.
Perkins Coie LLP
Andrew brings a rare combination of legal, public policy, regulatory enforcement, rulemaking, and prosecutorial experience to the firm, following decades of service in the highest levels of government and in the private and nonprofit sectors. Andrew also has a deep and celebrated background in coalition creation and management. Drawing on his nearly 15 years of experience as a federal prosecutor, policy advisor to then-Vice President Biden and counsel to then-Senator Biden, and service in the Enforcement Bureau at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Andrew represents clients in some of most sensitive and challenging areas of law and policy.
Most recently, Andrew served as public policy director for the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA), the oldest and largest trade organization for the state-legal cannabis industry. In this role, he led public policy development and created and led its policy council—the “think tank” for the cannabis industry. Under Andrew’s leadership, the council developed public policies to promote, grow, and protect state-legal cannabis businesses. The council’s work served to inform and influence members of the U.S. Congress, executive branch officials, state legislators and regulators, the media, and industry stakeholders on matters critical to the future of the burgeoning industry.
VP of Partnershipsat
Brooke Butler is the VP of Partnerships at Simplifya, the leading regulatory and operational compliance software platform serving the cannabis industry. She is an energetic professional who has spent the last decade building her career across four continents before returning to the US to help grow Simplifya. Heading up the local offices as a Country Director for global research and publishing firm Oxford Business Group, Brooke gained vital experience introducing a brand and products to new markets and fostering commercial partnerships with the public and private sectors.
She was convinced it was the right time to move back to America after she saw how quickly the cannabis industry was growing and knew the expertise she had gained from working in some of the world’s most dynamic and regulated frontier economies could be used to help this emerging industry. Her greatest desire is to help ensure that any cannabis business setting out to operate in the legal market has a chance to thrive in this highly regulated industry. Some of Brooke’s favorite things: traveling, frontier and emerging economies, the San Antonio Spurs, Sous-vide cooking, finding new books and all things music (bonus points awarded to anyone who listens to Fela Kuti).
Co-Founder and CEOat
Jocelyn Sheltraw is the CEO of Budist, a cannabis product reviews and ratings platform launching soon. Prior to Budist, Jocelyn spent 4.5 years as the Head of Industry Relations at Headset, the leading data and analytics company for the cannabis industry.
Jocelyn currently serves on the Board of Directors of the California Cannabis Industry Association, the Advisory Board for American National Standards Institute, and lectures at StartSe University, an international business school. She is a recognized industry thought leader, influencer, and public speaker, as well as one of the creators of the ‘CannaPac’, a monthly meetup for cannabis founders and executives.
Prior to the cannabis industry, Jocelyn spent 10 years working in mobile advertising and technology developing advertising and monetization strategies for apps including: Flipboard, Spotify, SoundCloud, Pandora, and Uber to name a few.
Amanda Reiman Ph.D.
Chief Knowledge Officeat
New Frontier Data
Amanda Reiman is the Chief Knowledge Officer for New Frontier Data an data insights company serving the cannabis space, the Founder of Personal Plants, a psychedelic plant nursey and Co-Founder of SACRΞD GARDΞN, a phygital platform dedicated to psychedelic plant cultivation, conservation and education.
After earning her PhD from UC Berkeley, Dr. Reiman was the Director of Research and Patient Services at Berkeley Patients Group, one of the oldest dispensaries in the country, and the Manager of Marijuana Law and Policy for the Drug Policy Alliance, a national non-profit that was engaged in the drafting and campaigns of legalization initiatives across the country and abroad. She also taught courses on substance abuse treatment and drug policy at UC Berkeley for 10 years.
Dr. Reiman is an internationally recognized cannabis expert and a leader the field of cannabis as a substitute for alcohol and other drugs. She has presented her research on cannabis dispensaries and the use of cannabis as a substitute for opiates all over the world and has written for/been quoted in The Huffington Post, New York Times, Washington Post, Rolling Stone and Playboy as well as numerous peer reviewed academic journals and several textbooks.
She currently sits on the Board of the Cannabis Travel Association International and is a member of the Ganjier Council.
Vice President of Salesat
Elizabeth Corbett, VP of Sales for AE Global, is on a mission to build sustainable packaging & supply chain programs for Cannabis and CBD companies that honor their brand identity, drive revenue growth, protect the product, and do so cost-effectively. “CannaBeth”, as she is fondly known, entered the Cannabis industry more than eight years ago after spending the first part of her career developing packaging solutions for significant players in the retail and health & beauty markets such as Starbucks, Tiffany, and Estee Lauder. Based in Seattle and Miami, Beth is passionate about finding environmentally responsible and sustainable solutions no matter what the form or substrate.
VP and COOat
Zachary Eisenberg is the VP and COO of Anresco Laboratories (1943), a family operated analytical laboratory providing comprehensive sampling and testing services to food, cannabis, and related industries. As the grandson of the founder, he grew up around the company and accrued knowledge of different aspects of its operation from a young age. After receiving his MBA from the Ross School of Business (U of Michigan) in 2015, he returned to the company and spearheaded efforts to broaden its scope of services and modernize its operations. He is Co-Chair of the ACIL-CWG (American Council of Independent Laboratories – Cannabis Working Group), which now includes over 100+ organizations.