Ark-La-Tex Cannabis Business Expo
Click on a Speaker Below to Read Full Bio
Biography: Andy Joseph is the President of Apeks Supercritical, an Ohio-based manufacturer of fully automated subcritical and supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) botanical oil extraction systems. Andy is an engineer, a fabricator, and veteran who learned about mechanical operations and principles during six years in the Navy operating nuclear submarine reactors. Andy has worked tirelessly to share his expertise with Ohio’s lawmakers at the local, county and state level to ensure the medical cannabis program in Ohio is successful for both patients and businesses. Andy is the holder of five patents, including the Valveless Expansion Technology featured on all Apeks systems.
The Grow Shop
Biography: Brenton Schnelle is the Operations Manager of five grow shops throughout Colorado, Nevada and Arizona. He has a Bachelor's in Unified Sciences - Chemistry Education from the University of Missouri Columbia. He is also the Vice President of Green Rooster lighting where he works as a grow and lighting consultant for various indoor and greenhouse facilities.
Biography: Cassandra Dittus, cancer survivor, entrepreneur, and innovator, has worked in a plethora of arenas throughout primary and ancillary marijuana businesses over the last 10 years. Her experience operating medical and recreational marijuana facilities in the early days of regulatory compliance gave her unique knowledge which helped her co-found Tribal Cannabis Consulting, a tribal government marijuana consulting firm, as well as Cannabis Compliance Technology, an industry seed to sale tracking software, and DICE corp., a Cannabis based Human Resource and Consulting company. Cassandra has a deep passion for safe access and quality medicine for patients. Her passion has driven her throughout her career to keep finding new opportunities and avenues to benefit and revolutionize the cannabis industry.
The Cannabis Marketing Lab
Biography: Dedicated to what she does and successful in her savvy business-minded ventures, Celeste Miranda is an entrepreneur, author, founder and CEO of Miranda Marketing Labs and The Cannabis Marketing Lab. Undertaking the critical challenges of marketing an emerging industry, Miranda opened a specialized division focused on providing businesses with innovative and affordable marketing strategies. Since then, The Cannabis Marketing Lab has become a highly regarded organization in Cannabis related ventures. Comprised of a 16 person team, Celeste’s staff has years of experience and expertise in a myriad of areas such as Social Media, Search Engine Optimization, Graphic & Web Design, Creative Content Production, Advertising, PR and much more. As an efficient and knowledgeable professional, Celeste is a force of nature in the realm of entrepreneurial business and marketing.
Biography: High Security Specialists in Arkansas and Texas. Founded in 1989, Protection Networks is UL listed for 681 and 2050 for high security, high risk government, military and commercial alarm installations. Specialties include intrusion, cameras, access control, and fire alarm systems.
Biography: Corey Hunt has been at the forefront of the medical cannabis industry as a patient advocate and educator for nearly five (5) years. He first became aware of the promise of medical cannabis when a loved one was diagnosed with cancer in 2013. He began learning as much as he could about medical cannabis and soon afterward, he created an online community to share his knowledge with others, "Illegally Healed." Today, Illegally Healed’s articles, videos and social media reach millions each month. Its 400,000+ members--patients, advocates, researchers, and medical professionals--have become a force for increased medical research, education of patients about responsible use of medical cannabis, and advocacy for sensible change in cannabis policies at the state and federal level.
Corey is a sought-after speaker for a wide variety of groups, including classes at the University of Central Arkansas, on social media advocacy, education, and medical cannabis legislation. He was also instrumental in the petition signature drive and election campaign for the Arkansas medical cannabis ballot issue in 2016. In 2017, Corey became a member of the Board of Directors for the Arkansas Cannabis Industry Association (ACIA) and the Drug Policy Education Group (DPEG).
Biography: Curtis is the Director of Business Development at NCIA. His primary focus is to build and enhance relationships among NCIA, its members, and the broader cannabis community. Curtis got his start in the industry working in marketing and branding before pivoting to advertising. He then went on to launch a cannabis-focused consulting firm that assisted a myriad of companies, from human resources companies and law firms to magazines and celebrity product brands. While diverse work throughout the cannabis industry provided Curtis a sound base in the field, it also motivated him to seek more competitive and rewarding work that held broader policy implications, ultimately galvanizing him to join the team at NCIA. Curtis currently resides West Hollywood, CA.
Biography: Daniel Sanders is the Chief Operations Officer for MaryGold Laboratories—a regulatory testing facility with roots in the craft beer industry. Seeing Issue 6 pass into legislation in 2016, MaryGold Labs immediately began posturing to fill Arkansas’ developing need for regulatory cannabis testing. Taking a proactive approach, Daniel has consulted on various medical marijuana applications, as well as helped in the early procurement of intellectual property within the cannabis industry.
Daniel’s professional background includes earning a degree in Molecular-Biotechnology from UALR, with an emphasis in Genetics; and having participated as Chief Research Officer of Blue Rose Innovations Institute in various projects ranging from plant genetics to sustainable ethanol-biofuel production project. Some other projects he currently aids in clinical trials research and education for Clinical Trials Inc.(CTI); and is awaiting publications of his contributions with ADAMAS Pharmaceutical in the field of epilepsy, through his work with CTI’s composite—the Arkansas Epilepsy Program.
American Cannabis Company
Prior to establishing American Cannabis Company Inc., Mr. Smith designed and built out a 5,000 square foot grow space in Fort Collins, CO for The Happy Camper Organics. Also, Mr. Smith designed and built out a 7,500 square foot grow space in Denver, CO for The Village Green Society Dispensary in Boulder, CO; a vertically integrated licensed facility. For each of these projects, Mr. Smith worked with a mechanical engineer to size the HVAC load and dehumidification.
Biography: Faustino Tijerina is the founder of Can2Biz an industry game changing marketing platform. The company is based in Texas where Faustino has been in the technology industry for over 20 years. His career has been around big data analytic and cyber security, a huge topic on everyone’s mind in the cannabis space. He has learned how to separate vital business data needed to be shared among the business community to secure personal data that needs to kept out of the spot light. Faustino is dedicated to helping companies in the cannabis and hemp space recover valuable time by supplying a B2B targeted leads and products sharing platform. Faustino is helping the industries push forward by encouraging entrepreneurs to start a cannabis or hemp business.
Biography: Greg Eisenbeis has been in the Industrial Automation industry for 15 years and is the President of Grow Remote. He has served industries like solar cell production, T3 data center cooling, large-scale indoor growing control systems, and more.
Greg started in the Cannabis industry in 2015 offering wireless sensors and monitoring. Since then they started integrating almost every imaginable device/system in a facility into one common control / management system. Greg and his company currently are helping companies lower their capex, electric bills by at least 30%, and reducing major labor pains that can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Dr. Jan Bartlett
Southern Center of Cannabis Research
Dr. John MacKay - Keynote
Dr. John MacKay
Biography: John A. MacKay earned his B.A. in Chemistry at the St. Lawrence University. He also earned his Ph.D. At the University of Vermont, where he focused on Inorganic Chemistry and on the synthesis of cancer fighting compounds. After working in teaching positions at the University of Vermont, Lyndon State College, and Davidson College, John went on to join Waters Corporation in 1983.
Over the past several decades, John’s career has included a host of creative leadership roles in innovation and product development. Not only that, but John is a widely recognized scientific expert in sub and supercritical fluid for chromatography and extraction within the botanical space. John seeks to merge the seemingly disparate technologies together and create a synergy to optimize your work flow. His method is based on Six Sigma principles and practices.
Tree of Life Seeds
Biography: Jason Martin, CEO of Tree of Life Seeds, Cannabis Partners and Natural State of Kind, has more than two decades of experience in entrepreneurship and corporate/franchising development. Since 2012, Jason has successfully started multiple companies operating in legal cannabis. He is a member of the National Cannabis Industry Association, a Board Member of the Arkansas Cannabis Industry Association and is recognized as a cannabis industry expert. Jason’s spirit for this industry is contagious. His focus on creating CBD rich, premium hemp genetics has built Tree of Life Seeds into a company trusted and sought after worldwide for industrial hemp seeds.
Biography: Josh Winningham has been a practicing pharmacist, in the state of Arkansas, since graduating pharmacy school in 2011. He is currently based out of Cabot, AR, where he has been since 2014. His current responsibilities include overseeing the clinical services and medication management programs for pharmacy and acting as the preceptor for the intern program.
Katie Moodie & Brooke Brun
KB Pure Essentials
Biography: Katie Moodie and Brooke Brun founded KB Pure Essentials, a wellness and body care line, in late 2013. They expanded KB in 2015 with the belief that hemp CBD based products can improve the physical and mental health of those around them who were struggling. They both experienced the medicinal benefits of cannabis and have now dedicated their lives to breaking the negative stigma of this super-herb!
Since establishing the KB brand, Katie and Brooke have gone far beyond building a CBD wellness and body care line; they have become successful entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry and are currently working on multiple other brands that will launch later in the year. They have a unique friendship, partnership and collaborative vision that they have used to empower themselves their team and their customers.
Steep Hill Labs
Biography: As Chief Research Officer of Steep Hill, Rev. Dr. deCesare trains Steep Hill scientists and serves as a developer various research programs, protocols and methods. Rev. Dr. deCesare is regarded as an industry leader in the cannabis science and analytics testing market. He is sought after as an expert and lecturer on the complexities of the cannabis plant for healing in the medicinal marijuana market, development of specific therapies, and protection against contaminants. He advises growers, developers and consumers on all aspects of the cannabis industry.
She wrote both the 2014 and the 2016 Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act. Melissa and her husband Gary worked diligently at the capital in the 2017 legislative session to guarantee patients received the best program possible. She is in the process of adding several additional conditions to the list and is also seeking a seat in the House of Representatives District 27.
Trinity Herbal Compliance
Biography: Dr. Grifford received his doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. As an undergraduate, he received his bachelors in Biology. He is currently serving as a consultant pharmacist for Trinity Herbal Compliance and support pharmacist for SCA Pharmaceuticals.
In 2011, Dr. Grifford accepted a position with US Compounding Pharmacy, an FDA registered 503 Outsourcing Facility. He was promoted from staff pharmacist, to manager, then to director of the Non-Sterile Department. While overseeing normal day to day compounding processes, he was also involved in extensive research and development of new dosage delivery systems. In 2015, Dr. Grifford took a position with SCA Pharmaceuticals, an FDA registered 503 Outsourcing Facility. During his tenure, he has focused on sterile formulation development, batch record review, SOP implementation, and manufacture troubleshooting. He supervises compounding, labeling, and daily operations in the pharmacy, completes accurate logs of controlled substances and compounding records, performs both pre and post compounding operational checks.
Biography: Neil Juneja is the founder of Gleam Law, a cannabis-focused law firm with offices in Washington and Oregon. He is a licensed patent attorney and has successfully filed over 60 trademark registrations for cannabis with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. In addition, Neil have written numerous article on cannabis law and intellectual property as well as spoken at many events including in the National Mall in Washington DC and at the Seattle Hempfest in front of 150,000 people. Some of Gleam Law’s notable clients include the first Seattle recreational marijuana retailer, the musician Snoop Dogg, and many publicly traded companies working in the cannabis industry. Neil has also been in Newsweek, Time Magazine, and on several documentaries for his work in the cannabis industry.
Biography: Rafael Sabbagh is the VP of State Operations for BioTrackTHC. He focuses on implementing statewide Seed to Sale tracking systems, and providing cannabis businesses with the tools they need to run efficient and compliant operations. Rafael has led the implementation of the State tracking system for Illinois and New York, and has been heavily involved with the implementation in various other States including New Mexico and Puerto Rico. He works hand in hand with licensees, law enforcement, and various different government agencies in order to ensure they are provided with custom tailored systems that provide for all of their Seed to Sale Tracking needs, from the ground up.
Trinity Herbal Compliance
Biography: Dr. Rhonda Beck received her Doctorate of Pharmacy from the UAMS College of Pharmacy in 2002. She is currently a member of the Arkansas Pharmacist Association and International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists. Dr. Beck has over 15 years of experience in clinical hospital pharmacy, geriatric patient care, and pharmaceutical compounding. She is currently licensed in 11 states. She is an expert in aseptic sterile compounding and formulation development in both sterile and non-sterile dosage forms. In 2010, Dr. Beck accepted a pharmacist position with US Compounding, an FDA registered 503 Outsourcing Facility that holds a DEA manufacturing license. She has spent this time focusing on patient specific compounding and bulk manufacturing. She currently serves as Director of Pharmacy for 503B.
Robert Cormier - Keynote
Erigere Rapidus Solutions
Biography: Robert is our highly decorated jack of all trades. Honor Graduate from the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. Designed and implemented force on force training at a national level for major agencies, drafted policy and procedure, supervised high level labor racketeering/organized crime investigations and was on the front lines of federal law enforcement as a US Border Patrol Tactical Team member.
Biography:Steve DeAngelo is a prominent, life-long cannabis entrepreneur, activist, author, and on-screen personality. He co-founded several iconic cannabis businesses and organizations: Harbor side, Steep Hill Laboratory, the Arc View Group, and the National Cannabis Industry Association. Steve's creative projects include a book, The Cannabis Manifesto; and a Discovery Channel mini-series, Weed Wars. He was a lead organizer and fundraiser for I-59, Washington DC's medical cannabis initiative; and is famed for his successful litigation against the Department of Justice, which halted DOJ's last-ditch 2011 campaign to shut down California,s medical cannabis dispensaries. He lives in California with three dogs, three cats, and his lovely wife Yolanda.
Hemp Ace International
Biography:Jonah used his consumer sales and marketing background to help build MRX Labs into one of the premier testing labs in the country. That experience led to the creation of MRX Xtractors. Jonah is a seasoned business leader and requested speaker in the cannabis and hemp industry. Jonah holds a business and accounting degree from Western Oregon University, and uses his passion for analytics to help customers meet their goals.
Biography:Christina De Giovanni founded the Emerald Magazine in 2012 during her last semester at Humboldt State University, where she graduated with a degree in journalism. Initially a community and activities publication, Christina rebranded the magazine to cannabis three years in, when her mother was diagnosed with cancer. The Emerald Magazine now stands as a resource to demystify cannabis for non-traditional, new medicinal users. Designed to appeal to a boutique culture, the pages of the Emerald Magazine eschew the dude-centric stoner culture and feature no scantily clad women or bong adverts. Instead, easy-to-navigate profiles of companies and reviews of products target Baby Boomers interested in researching a healthy, non-toxic alternative to pharmaceuticals. The Emerald Magazine counts 20,000 in readership and is distributed in the Bay Area, Emerald Triangle, Sacramento, and LA markets.
Biography:David Muret is the Co-Founder and COO of Viridian Staffing. With a diverse background including Public Policy and Law, Information Technology, Finance and Business Development he serves as Viridian's "Swiss Army Knife," providing essential support to Viridian's best-in-class recruiting team. David has extensive experience working with industry organizations, not only serving as a board member but personally spearheaded the effort to broker the merger of four separate organizations to form what remains Washington State's largest cannabis industry association. David's responsibilities include managing all marketing, sales, trade shows, events, contracts, and negotiations as well as the selection, deployment and management of all information technology. David has also become an increasingly frequent public speaker at industry conferences and has even served as a Master of Ceremonies on a couple occasions.
Biography:Ed Rosenthal is recognized worldwide as a leading authority on marijuana. In almost 40 years as America's "Guru of Ganjasm" he has written or edited more than two dozen books about marijuana cultivation and social policy that cumulatively have sold over two million copies. His first book is the only title on marijuana cultivation to be reviewed by the New York Time's Book Review and his latest release, Marijuana Grower's Handbook has become the definitive marijuana cultivation resource and official course book for Oaksterdam University, the leading trade school for the cannabis industry. After almost three decades, his Ask Ed column continues to answer questions on all matters of marijuana from readers around the world.
Biography:Aaron Smith is co-founder and executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, the largest trade association representing legal cannabis businesses in the U.S and the only one working to advance the industry on a national level. Prior to launching NCIA, Aaron distinguished himself as a public advocate for marijuana policy reform - first under the auspices of a California-based medical cannabis advocacy group, Safe Access Now in 2005, and then as the California state policy director for the Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project until founding NCIA in 2010. Aaron has successfully built coalitions with elected officials on both sides of the aisle in order to advance marijuana law reform legislation. Aaron's opinion pieces have appeared in major newspapers, including the San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times, and he has been a frequent commentator on national television news networks. Originally from California, Aaron is currently based in Denver.