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Cannabis Law Institute 2024

Schedule at a glance


Cannabis Law Institutesm 2024 will include two days of substantive legal education and networking opportunities for cannabis attorneys.

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Jessica C. McElfresh's Profile

Jessica C. McElfresh Related Seminars and Products

Founder and Principal

McElfresh Law, Inc.

Jessica C. McElfresh of McElfresh Law, Inc. has worked in cannabis law and policy since 2010. 
She is the Chair of the International Cannabis Bar Association’s Professional Responsibility and 
Ethics Committee and a member of its Board of Directors.  Jessica focuses on local and state 
applications, land use, regulatory compliance, and business law.  She represents cannabis 
retailers, distributors, cultivators, manufacturers, and testing labs, as well as landlords and 
ancillary businesses.  She has guided clients through successful applications in jurisdictions such 
as the City of San Diego, La Mesa, and the County of San Diego.   

Jessica has authored or advised on nearly ten local ballot measures to regulate cannabis 
businesses.  Successes include Measure U in La Mesa and Measure V in Lemon Grove in 2016 
and Measure H in Encinitas in 2020.  As part of this work, Jessica has won writs of mandate at 
the local and appellate level to compel local governments and registrars of voters to accept 
petitions and count voter signatures. 

Jessica represents people facing discipline or loss of state and local licenses, particularly in the 
cannabis industry.  She began her career in criminal defense and continues to take select cases.  
Jessica has unique experience with the crime-fraud exception to attorney-client privilege and the 
duties of an attorney under investigation or facing criminal charges.   

Outside of her law practice, Jessica is an advocate for cannabis and broader drug policy reform.  
She is an advisory board member for A New PATH, an organization dedicated to promoting 
therapeutic rather than punitive drug policies.  Jessica served as a consultant for the American 
Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Northern California about how Proposition 64 affects 
criminal justice reform and individual rights.   

Jessica grew up in San Diego and graduated summa cum laude from Scripps College before 
attending the University of San Diego School of Law on a Dean’s Honor Scholarship.  She has 
spoken at conferences and taught continuing legal education classes for organizations and law 
schools including the National Cannabis Industry Association Business Summit & Expo, California Lawyers Associatoin,
Practicing Law Institute, International Cannabis Bar Association, San Diego County Bar 
Association, and University of San Diego School of Law.  Her publications include “Attorney 
Ethics and Cannabis: Conflicts of Laws, Conflicts of Interest, and Attorney-Client Privilege for 
Cannabis Practitioners” (CLA Real Property Journal Vol. 38, No. 4 2020).


David Ruskin's Profile

David Ruskin Related Seminars and Products


Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP

David is a partner with the Chicago-based law firm, HMB Legal Counsel.  Following 25 years of litigating business and tax disputes, in 2016 David turned his full energy to focus on providing legal counsel to the cannabis industry, representing entrepreneurs, investors and business owners, both plant touching and ancillary trades.

David Ruskin leads the firm's Cannabis practice. He advises both public and privately companies on a wide range of corporate issues including mergers, acquisitions, and financing and tax transactions. David counsels entrepreneurs, investors, and business owners to help achieve their goals in the Cannabis industry. He represents companies facing business and tax litigation and provides outside general counsel services.

Having worked with cannabis companies for nearly a decade, David’s cannabis practice touches every part of the industry. He represents national and expanding brands, licensed retailers, cultivators and processors, and delivery services. David also advises non-plant touching and start-up companies as they look to grow in the evolving industry, and he helps both investors and companies seeking capital create the appropriate agreement to accomplish their goals.

David helps clients navigate unsettled and differing statutes, regulations, and industry-specific legal developments. He enjoys guiding clients through the state licensing process and counseling on issues that arise from early-stage application steps through the company’s lifespan. David has assisted license holders from over 15 legalized states in expanding their operations into new jurisdictions, empowering them to enter new markets with compliance and confidence.

With extensive litigation experience, David represents clients in an array of issues litigated in the cannabis industry and beyond. He often represents clients in partnership, ownership, and contract disputes and defends clients involved in whistleblower (qui tam), False Claims Act claims, and multistate tax issues. David represents clients before state courts, administrative tax tribunals, appellate, and federal courts.

Prior to joining the firm, David was a partner in the Litigation Group and led the Cannabis practice at HMB Legal Counsel, a well-established, corporate-focused law firm based in Chicago, Illinois.

David was recognized as a “Leading Lawyer” in 2024 for Cannabis Law and Closely and Privately Held Business Law by Leading Lawyers magazine.

*Counsel for the Illinois Craft Cannabis Association in lawsuit against the State of Illinois, Governor Pritzker and Illinois Department of Agriculture for a writ of mandamus compelling the scoring and issuance of craft grower and infuser licenses that were indefinitely suspended by the Governor’s emergency proclamations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

*Counsel for an Illinois licensed medical cannabis dispensary, for its sale/transfer of its business and related Illinois dispensary licenses, two medical and one adult-use, to a multi-state operator.

*Counsel for numerous applicants for Illinois cannabis licenses, including dispensing organizations, craft growers, infusers, and transporters.

*General counsel for a specialty chocolate maker that produces cannabis infused chocolate edibles. Provided licensing agreements in Washington and California to produce and sell branded products in conjunction with licensed partners in other jurisdictions.

Fatima Afia's Profile

Fatima Afia Related Seminars and Products


Rudick Law Group, PLLC

Fatima Afia is a cannabis attorney and civil litigator at Rudick Law Group, PLLC, with a background in commercial and business litigation, land use and landmarks law matters, and disability insurance law. As a litigator, Fatima was an instrumental member of the litigation team behind Washington v. Barr, a pro-bono lawsuit brought against the federal government that sought to declare the federal law criminalizing cannabis unconstitutional. As part of her work in Washington v. Barr, Fatima led the effort in securing overwhelming amicus support before the U.S. Supreme Court from seven members of Congress, 19 disparate and highly regarded organizations, and two eminent cannabis researchers and scientists. In connection with her disability insurance work, she has helped secure and maintain disability benefits for clients from some of the largest disability insurance companies in the United States, playing a vital role in the firm's successful administrative appeal against Unum Insurance Company which resulted in an award of approximately $1 million in retroactive benefits for the client. 

As a cannabis attorney, Fatima assists cannabis clients navigate the legal cannabis and hemp industry in the areas of corporate law and regulatory compliance, business transactions, litigation, and state licensing applications in various jurisdictions including New York, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. Fatima is also a social equity advocate, providing instrumental testimony to the Cannabis Control Commission in Massachusetts in 2019 which resulted in an expedited license application-review process for women-and-minority-owned businesses that were unfairly excluded from the regulatory definition of a social equity applicant. Fatima is also an article contributor for Marijuana Venture, has regularly organized and chaired CLE panels and events for the International Cannabis Bar Association (“INCBA”), and is the Co-Chair of INCBA’s CLE Committee. She was the Moot Court Winner at the Medical Cannabis Conference held at Columbia University in 2019, and in 2021 was named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine.

Fatima attended Brooklyn Law School where she graduated in the top 20% percent of her graduating class. 

Kyle Finnegan's Profile

Kyle Finnegan Related Seminars and Products


Ice Miller LLP

Kyle Finnegan is an attorney in Ice Miller's Litigation and White Collar Defense & Investigations practice groups. His experience includes litigation and internal investigations on high-stakes matters in a variety of industries: private equity, financial services, health care, utilities, academic institutions, and publicly traded companies. 

He has handled litigation over acquisition disputes, commercial contracts, wrongful termination, legal malpractice, and civil fraud litigation in state and federal courts. He has significant experience developing litigation strategies, assessing risk exposure, briefing and arguing motions, taking depositions, overseeing large-scale eDiscovery projects and managing local counsel in international and out-of-state commercial fraud matters.

He regularly counsels clients through responses to civil subpoenas, civil investigative demands (CID), and grand jury subpoenas, as well as inquires by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

His practice also includes internal investigations into whistleblower complaints and allegations of bid-rigging schemes, breaches of fiduciary duties, and other unlawful conduct.

Kyle’s pro bono practice illustrates the fierce advocacy he brings on behalf of his clients. He served as lead counsel in three actions for violations of Chicago’s housing discrimination ordinance filed with the Chicago Commission on Human Relations (CCHR). In October 2018, the Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights recognized Kyle with their "Young Lawyer of the Year" award for this work. More recently, he successfully obtained asylum for a political refugee in a contested hearing.  

Kyle formerly served as a clerk for the Honorable Elaine E. Bucklo of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

He earned his juris doctor from Northwestern University, where he served on the Disability Law Society Board and worked on a multi-year evidence code reform project commissioned by the United Republic of Tanzania. Before law school, Kyle worked with blind and visually-impaired job candidates to develop employment programs for people with disabilities through the use of federal procurement contracts.

Jason Horst's Profile

Jason Horst Related Seminars and Products

Managing Partner

Horst Legal Counsel, PC

Jason Horst is the Managing Partner of Horst Legal Counsel. Jason represents businesses, public entities, professional and nonprofit organizations, and individuals in complex civil litigation and appellate cases involving a wide variety of cannabis, real estate, contract, insurance coverage, and technology disputes. He has a proven record of success representing both plaintiffs and defendants at trial, on appeal, and in alternative dispute resolution proceedings. He prides himself in the ability to deliver creative, efficient solutions to thorny legal problems. Before opening Horst Legal Counsel, Jason worked with some of the top international and regional law firms serving clients in California. His clients receive the deep knowledge and ability of large firm counsel, combined with the affordability of a boutique law firm.Jason serves on the INCBA’s Executive Committee as Vice President of Strategic Planning. He has also been an active member of the National Cannabis Industry Association, where he serves as a member of the Policy Committee and past Chair of the Risk Management and Insurance Committee, as well as the California Cannabis Industry Association’s Risk Management Committee. Jason has been recognized as a Rising Star by Super Lawyers® Magazine and been named as one of MG Magazine’s 30 Powerful Cannabis Attorneys You Should Know.

Marialle A. Bell's Profile

Marialle A. Bell Related Seminars and Products

Attorney at Law

The Law Office of Marialle A. Bell, LLC

Marialle A. Bell is the founding attorney of The Law Office of Marialle A. Bell, LLC. Her practice focuses on small business general counsel, small business litigation, and cannabis law & policy.

Ms. Bell obtained a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and a Juris Doctor from the Florida State University College of Law. On the West Coast, Ms. Bell worked several years as in-house litigation counsel for two Fortune 500 insurance companies. However, Ms. Bell began her legal career as an Assistant Public Defender in Orlando, Florida. As a criminal defense attorney, Ms. Bell represented hundreds of people accused of cannabis-related offenses and she witnessed the serious impacts of those convictions.

Now, Ms. Bell uses her legal training and experience to educate and empower entrepreneurs to develop small cannabis businesses in legal markets. Ms. Bell is an adjunct instructor at Saint Louis University teaching "Cannabis Law & Entrepreneurship." She currently serves as the Chair of the International Cannabis Bar Association’s Ethics Committee and she is the Chair of the Bar Association of Metropolitan Saint Louis’ Marijuana Law Committee. 

Ms. Bell is licensed to practice law in Missouri, California, Washington State and Florida.

Shay Gilmore's Profile

Shay Gilmore Related Seminars and Products

Attorney at Law

The Law Office of Shay Aaron Gilmore

Shay Aaron Gilmore advises and counsels exclusively cannabis operators and investors through the corporate, commercial, and regulatory complexities of California’s legal cannabis markets, focusing on private mergers & acquisitions, joint ventures, private equity financings, cannabis distribution and supply agreements, cannabis licensing and product development and regulatory compliance matters. Shay has been recognized by the Los Angeles/San Francisco Daily Journal, the state’s largest legal news periodical, as one of the Top 20 Cannabis Lawyers in California, and Super Lawyers® Magazine has named Shay a Northern California Super Lawyer in Cannabis Law and in Business & Corporate Law as well. Shay serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the International Cannabis Bar Association and as the Immediate Past Chair of the Bar Association of San Francisco Cannabis Law Section where Shay helped research and articulate the State Bar of California’s Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct (COPRAC) opinion in 2020 finding a lawyer may ethically advise a client concerning compliance with California’s cannabis laws and may assist the client in conduct permitted by those laws, despite the fact that the client’s conduct may violate federal law. Shay holds a B.A. in Economics from Rice University and a J.D. from The University of Texas School of Law.

Mitzi Vaughn's Profile

Mitzi Vaughn Related Seminars and Products


Karr Tuttle Campbell

Mitzi Vaughn is a shareholder at Karr Tuttle Campbell in Seattle, Washington. She represents clients in matters of cannabis regulatory compliance, corporate transactions and governance, and intellectual property. She was a founding board member of the International Cannabis Bar Association and currently sits on its advisory board.


From 2017 to 2020, Mitzi was the Chief Legal Officer of a company that provides intellectual property licensing, financing, real estate and hard assets leases, and other support to U.S. and international cannabis and hemp enterprises. From 2013 to 2017 she worked with Greenbridge Corporate Counsel, a transactional law boutique exclusively serving the cannabis industry in Washington, California, and Hawai’i. She served as its Managing Attorney. She has advised governmental bodies regarding cannabis regulation, including the Jamaican Cannabis Licensing Authority, the Hawaii Legislature’s Joint Health Committee, members of the Washington State Legislature, and the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (“WSLCB”).

In 2019, Mitzi participated in legislative negotiations the resulted in the passage SSB 5318 – the statute “reforming the compliance and enforcement provisions for marijuana licensees.” She drafted revisions to the first bill that were incorporated into the substitute bill and voted into law. Mitzi subsequently assisted in drafting Washington Administrative Code provisions and WSLCB Enforcement Division policies implementing SSB 5318. She continues to be active in the legislative and rulemaking process.

Mitzi is also actively involved with international and U.S. drug policy reform organizations. She served as General Counsel to the Coalition for Cannabis Standards and Ethics (WA) from 2013-2015.  Since 2015, she has represented The Cannabis Alliance (successor to CCSE) in a General Counsel role. Finally, Mitzi is a Board Member for the Drug Reform Coordination Network & the DRCNet Foundation, organizations that are active at the United Nations at home and abroad.


Mitzi was awarded a J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley School of Law, studied international human rights at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary, and earned a B.A. in History, magna cum laude, from the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Shabnam Malek's Profile

Shabnam Malek Related Seminars and Products

Chief Legal Officer

Nuka Enterprises, LLC

Shabnam Malek has a broad practice but takes greatest pleasure in advising clients on how best to grow, navigate risk, resolve disputes, and how to think creatively in balancing business needs and legal concerns. Shabnam is recognized as an expert in the field of cannabis intellectual property and clients and colleagues seek her out for her expertise in addressing particularly thorny and novel legal issues. She’s a creative thinker looking for solutions that help her clients succeed. Shabnam truly enjoys the role of counselor to start-ups, woman-owned companies, large, global companies as well individuals.

Shabnam is a co-founder and the founding President of the International Cannabis Bar Association. Today, INCBA boasts a membership base of over 700 individual attorney members and a strong international presence. She currently sits on the governing board of INCBA and helps plan the educational curriculum of the organization with a focus on INCBA’s flagship event, the Cannabis Law Institute. Shabnam is also the Chair of the PLI Cannabis Business Law program and an Adjunct Professor at the University of New Hampshire School of Law. Shabnam recently joined the editorial board of Law360’s Cannabis Editorial Advisory Board.

In addition to serving the business community, Shabnam developed a robust pro bono practice representing imprisoned women before the California Board of Parole Hearings as well as representing houseless San Francisco residents through the Coalition on Homelessness.

Shabnam regularly speaks and writes on the topics of trademarks, brand expansion, regulated industries such as cannabis and hemp, and the role of women in creating change. Her professional affiliations include holding a seat on the Board of Directors of the International Cannabis Bar Association and a committee role with the International Trademark Association.  She is an active member of the California Lawyers' Association, the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Lawyers Guild, the Queen’s Bench, and the Bar Association of San Francisco. Shabnam was named a Northern California Rising Star three years in a row by Super Lawyers Magazine.

Marie Sanchez's Profile

Marie Sanchez Related Seminars and Products

Lawyer & Founder

Nooa Avocats

Marie Sanchez is a lawyer at the Bars of Paris and Quebec. After beginning her career in Singapore with a large pharmaceutical group, she worked for nearly 10 years in renowned international law firms before founding NOOA Avocats.

A specialist in regulatory and contractual aspects related to life sciences, she has also developed expertise in the field of therapeutic cannabis and well-being hemp. She regularly intervenes in the context of training courses as well as in conferences, in France and abroad.

She holds a Master II Professional in Health Industry Law from the University of Montpellier I as well as an ESSEC-Mannheim Executive MBA.

Richard Y. Cheng, Esq., CHC's Profile

Richard Y. Cheng, Esq., CHC Related Seminars and Products


Ritter Spencer Cheng PLLC

My practice is focused on corporate transactions, healthcare regulations, administrative appeals, and healthcare compliance matters. I represent post-acute care providers (e.g. skilled nursing facilities, assisted living, hospices, home health agencies, rehabilitation providers), physician groups, management service organizations (MSOs), dental service organizations (DSOs), community hospitals, retail medicine providers (e.g. free standing ERs), ancillary providers (e.g. pharmacies, labs, DME), digital health companies, behavioral health, chiropractors, and veterinary practices, private equity groups and investors in the healthcare industry. 

Due to my healthcare practice, I regularly serve as special counsel in conjunction with white collar criminal defense teams in federal cases or investigations involving healthcare fraud and abuse. In these roles, I assist criminal defense attorneys on health care regulatory violations (e.g. Anti-kickback, OIG exclusion issues, etc.), operations, assessment of plea bargains and the sentencing process.

In addition to my healthcare practice, I developed a cannabis regulatory and corporate practice starting in late 2013. I formerly served as outside general counsel for the Texas Cannabis Industry Association, served on the National Cannabis Industry Association’s FDA coalition, which helped co-author a FDA primer in preparation for the 2019 FDA public hearing on CBD products, and currently serve as an advisory board member to a hemp bio-pharmaceutical development company. I represent and regularly advise a broad base of cannabis related clients, including, physicians, private equity groups investing in the cannabis industry, cultivators, processors, wholesalers, retailers, distribution centers, reverse distributors, and ancillary providers (e.g. testing labs, biomass brokerage firms, MLM companies etc.) in regulatory and corporate matters.

Joslin E. Monahan's Profile

Joslin E. Monahan Related Seminars and Products

Member Attorney

Miller Johnson

Joslin Monahan is a trial and appellate litigation attorney experienced in municipal, real estate, business, receiverships, adversarial bankruptcy, and land use and zoning litigation. Ms. Monahan has a robust, full-service cannabis law practice serving individuals and companies that grow, produce, distribute and sell a wide variety of goods and amenities.
Cannabis Law

Ms. Monahan is a recognized authority in emerging cannabis law matters, including entity formation, applicant requirements and background checks, and licensing with Michigan’s Cannabis Regulatory Agency as well as municipal licenses, permits and ordinances. She counsels business interests in the cannabis industry, which encompasses marijuana, industrial hemp and CBD. Ms. Monahan has helped with financing structures, real property use, insurance coverage, dispute resolution, and regulatory compliance.

Beginning in 2012, Ms. Monahan served as Cooperating Attorney with the ACLU of Michigan in the critical decision making process supporting the decriminalization of the possession and use of marijuana in Grand Rapids. Ms. Monahan continues to be a vocal advocate for social justice issues, with particular emphasis on ensuring participants within the cannabis space create opportunities for persons of color wherever possible. The Michigan Supreme Court denied further review of the signature case in 2015, affirming the Michigan Court of Appeals 2013 dismissal of the prosecutor’s lawsuit. This case helped pave the way for the eventual vote legalizing cannabis for recreational use in a statewide ballot in 2018.

Ms. Monahan is a member of the International Cannabis Bar Association (INCBA) and the State Bar of Michigan’s Marijuana Law Section.

Articles and Presentations

Ms. Monahan is a frequent speaker on various cannabis and litigation related topics, including presentations on licensing, professional ethics, hemp regulations, and FDA compliance.

Professional Affiliations, Activities, and Honors

Ms. Monahan is Chair of the Western Branch of the ACLU of Michigan (6/2015 – Present) as well as a member of the Western Branch of the ACLU of Michigan (6/2014 – Present). She is also a member of the Lawyers Committee for the Western Branch of the ACLU of Michigan (10/2013 – Present).


Ms. Monahan was awarded her law degree from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey Law School in 2007. While in law school, Ms. Monahan was a member of the Journal of Health Care Law and Policy and a member of Phi Delta Phi. Ms. Monahan also received her Masters of Arts degree in Philosophy from the University of Montana in 2003, where she was the recipient of the University of Montana Philosophy Department full scholarship teaching assistantship. She obtained her B.A., summa cum laude, from Hope College in 2000 where she was awarded the Hope College Presidential Scholarship and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

Ms. Monahan is admitted to practice in the State of Michigan, the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan, the State of Montana, the United States District Court for the District of Montana, United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Montana, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

James Gourley's Profile

James Gourley Related Seminars and Products


Carstens & Cahoon LLP

James R. Gourley practices primarily in the following areas:

Commercial Litigation, including Intellectual Property Litigation
Intellectual Property Prosecution
Entertainment Law

Mr. Gourley has prosecuted and obtained patents for clients in a wide range of technology fields, including:

Oil and gas production
Mobile electronics accessories
Computer software
Food chemistry
Product packaging
Medical devices
Pet care
Nuclear energy
Pumps and compressors

He has also applied for and obtained federally registered trademarks for clients in many different industries.  Mr. Gourley understands that intellectual property rights are among a company’s most valuable assets, and he has been successful in helping companies build strong intellectual property portfolios.  He has also negotiated a variety of intellectual property licensing, development, and employment agreements, and provided intellectual property due diligence advice with respect to corporate merger and acquisition transactions.

Mr. Gourley has represented individual artists and filmmakers as parties to copyright infringement lawsuits in federal court.  He has also represented start-up internet companies with a wide variety of copyright, trademark, and patent issues.  He has also helped clients enforce and defend patent, trademark, and other commercial rights in court, including recently serving as lead defense counsel in the first ever patent infringement lawsuit in the field of cannabis formulation.

Mr. Gourley earned his Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from Southern Methodist University in 2005.  Prior to law school, he graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering.  His undergraduate education exposed him to a wide range of technical courses, including high level organic and physical chemistry, biochemistry, physics, mechanics, electronics, and computer science, which gives him the unique ability to help companies protect technology in many different fields.

Mr. Gourley is a registered patent attorney before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.  He currently serves on the Board of the Dallas Bar Association, Intellectual Property Section.  He is also a member of the State Bar of Texas, and he is admitted to practice before the United States District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of Texas.

Shane Pennington's Profile

Shane Pennington Related Seminars and Products


Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP

Shane is a partner in the Litigation Department where he counsels clients on federal regulatory issues involving a number of industries, including energy, pharmaceuticals, controlled substances, aviation and agriculture. A former law clerk to federal judges on the D.C. Circuit, the Fifth Circuit and the D.C. District Court, Shane brings unique insight and strategic thinking to assist clients facing complex regulatory issues.

Rated “One to Watch” and a “Rising Star” in appellate law by The Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers, respectively, Shane has argued cases in the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the First, Ninth and D.C. Circuits, securing landmark results for clients. In a series of cases on behalf of veterans and scientists, for example, Shane raised a novel claim under the Freedom of Information Act to uncover a secret 2018 Opinion of the Office of Legal Counsel that revealed the unlawfulness of a longstanding agency policy that had obstructed cannabis research for over half a century. Shane regularly litigates cases concerning federal and state agencies that involve the Administrative Procedure Act, the Controlled Substances Act, and Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

Clients turn to Shane to advance their strategic goals within existing regulatory and legal frameworks, but also to develop creative strategies to reimagine those frameworks amidst rapidly changing industries. To that end, Shane often advocates for clients at the administrative level, working with state and federal regulators to devise novel solutions to seemingly intractable problems. He has represented companies, scientists and industry coalitions before the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Justice, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Shane has published extensively on topics related to administrative law and drug policy, including the private nondelegation doctrine, the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, judicial deference to administrative agencies, and bureaucratic management and the limits of presidential power. Shane often provides commentary on administrative law issues to the Yale Journal on Regulation Notice & Comment blog and is a regular contributor to the “News From the Circuits” column published in the American Bar Association’s Administrative and Regulatory Law News.

Neil M. Kaufman, Esq.'s Profile

Neil M. Kaufman, Esq. Related Seminars and Products

Managing Partner

Kaufman McGowan PLLC

One of the leading corporate cannabis lawyers in the USA, having participated in over $2 Billion of cannabis industry financing, M&A and other transactions.

Neil M. Kaufman is the managing member of Kaufman McGowan PLLC, Long Island’s Corporate & Securities Law Firm ™ and Corporate & Securities Counsel to the Cannabis Industry™. He is one of the leading corporate cannabis lawyers in New York and the USA and a fixture of the New York and Long Island corporate and securities legal community.

Mr. Kaufman represents emerging growth, middle market and public companies and investment firms in their corporate, securities, financing, borrowing, merger & acquisition and other legal matters. Mr. Kaufman is particularly well known for advising clients with respect to SEC regulation, public offerings, private placements and mergers & acquisitions, as well as all types of commercial contracts. He is a frequent speaker on corporate, securities and cannabis law topics, and is an approved Vistage speaker on mergers & acquisitions.

Zachary Kobrin's Profile

Zachary Kobrin Related Seminars and Products


Saul Ewing LLP

A regulatory and transactional lawyer by background, Zack Kobrin is a nationally recognized leader in cannabis law. Having previously served as the Vice President and General Counsel for one of the largest cannabis companies in the U.S. and as the General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer for a publicly traded, multi-state cannabis company, Zack’s practice focuses on cannabis, marijuana, and hemp law. In his prior capacity, Zack was responsible for all corporate and regulatory legal matters, including transactional, banking, and insurance matters; as well as ensuring compliance with federal, state, and local government regulations. Zack was also a key member of the team that helped take his former company public on the Canadian Securities Exchange.

Zack’s practice involves advising clients on the evolving, complex legal and business issues impacting companies with interests in this heavily regulated industry, including all manner of corporate, real estate, and regulatory legal issues. He speaks frequently at business, legal, and industry events and advises a number of entities on areas such as business development and formation, as well as legal and regulatory and compliance issues in the emerging growth cannabis, marijuana, and hemp industries throughout the United States and international markets. Zack also advises clients on developing federal and state public policy matters and banking and insurance issues impacting clients in the cannabis, marijuana, and hemp industries.

In addition to his work in the cannabis industry, Zack’s practice focuses on antitrust, where he advises clients on the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) review and filing process required to obtain federal antitrust approval for certain mergers and acquisitions. Zack works with clients on HSR reportability and transaction structure issues to ensure compliance with federal antitrust regulatory requirements.

Meital Manzuri's Profile

Meital Manzuri Related Seminars and Products

Managing Partner

Manzuri Law

A leading cannabis attorney and advocate for nearly 15 years, Meital is the Managing Partner for Manzuri Law, leading a diverse team of attorneys and licensing specialists in cannabis and hemp law.  Meital serves as the secretary of the executive committee of INCBA and also the chair of the leading issues committee where they identify cutting edge legal issues for the hemp and cannabis industry and for INCBA members and lawyers serving those industries.

Meital has served as General Counsel for various trade associations responsible for influencing cannabis laws and policies in Los Angeles.  Her other duties include: Vice-Chair of communications for the LA County Bar Association, Cannabis Section, member of the social equity committee to interpret and provide clarity to the industry on LA’s ever evolving cannabis laws and active participation on the pro bono panel for Los Angeles for SEIA.

Meital serves as general counsel for hundreds of cannabis & hemp businesses throughout the country advising on regulatory, corporate and transactional matters and general business law. She has authored hundreds of partnership deals, procured licenses for 200+ different businesses, defended thousands of people accused with cannabis crimes, and her tenure includes some of the most seminal cases in federal and state court.

Meital is the mother of three young children, serves on the board of AYSO and coaches soccer for fun.

Shawn P. Collins's Profile

Shawn P. Collins Related Seminars and Products


The Homegrown Consulting Group, LLC.

Shawn Collins is one of the country’s foremost experts in cannabis policy.  He is sought after to opine and consult on not just policy creation and development, but program implementation as well.  He is widely recognized for his creative mind as well as his thoughtful and successful leadership of both startup and bureaucratic organizations.  In addition to cannabis, he has a well-documented expertise in health care and complex financial matters as well.

Shawn was unanimously appointed as the inaugural Executive Director of the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission in 2017.  In that role, he helped establish Massachusetts as a model for the implementation of safe, effective, and equitable cannabis policy, while simultaneously building out and overseeing the operations of the East Coast’s first adult-use marijuana regulatory agency.

Under Shawn’s leadership, Massachusetts’ adult-use Marijuana Retailers successfully opened in 2018 with a fully regulated supply chain unparalleled by their peers, complete with quality control testing and seed-to-sale tracking. Since then, the legal marketplace has grown at a rapid pace and generated more than $5 billion in revenue across more than 300 retail stores, including $1.56 billion in 2023 alone. He also oversaw the successful migration and integration of the Medical Use of Marijuana Program from the stewardship of the Department of Public Health to the Cannabis Control Commission in 2018. The program has since more than doubled in size and continues to support nearly 100,000 patients due to thoughtful programmatic and regulatory enhancements.

Shawn is an original founder of the Cannabis Regulators Association and also helped formalize networks that provide policymakers with unbiased information from the front lines of cannabis legalization, even as federal prohibition persists.  At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Collins was recognized by Boston Magazine as one of Boston’s 100 most influential people for his work to shape the emerging cannabis industry in Massachusetts.

Before joining the Commission, Shawn served as Assistant Treasurer and Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs to Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg and Chief of Staff and General Counsel to former Sen. Richard T. Moore (D-Uxbridge).  He currently lives in Webster, Massachusetts with his growing family. Shawn is a graduate of Suffolk University and Suffolk University Law School, and is admitted to practice law in Massachusetts.

Shawn has since founded THC Group in order to leverage his experience on behalf of clients, and to do so with a personalized approach.

Dina Rollman's Profile

Dina Rollman Related Seminars and Products


KND Group

Dina is a leader in the regulated cannabis industry. She is passionate about helping businesses, especially startups, thrive. She has diverse skills gained through her myriad leadership roles in the regulated cannabis industry, including as a government affairs executive, attorney, chief compliance officer, regulatory advisor and liaison, trade association board member, and co-founder/president of a cannabis networking organization. She is committed to helping clients navigate the ever-evolving challenges of operating in highly regulated industries.  

Dina most recently served as Senior Vice President at Green Thumb Industries. She guided it in governmental and regulatory affairs matters at all levels of government, provided counsel on regulatory matters, and established and oversaw Green Thumb’s social equity program.  

Dina began her involvement in the cannabis industry in 2014 by helping Green Thumb apply for and win Illinois cultivation and dispensary licenses. She then served as external and then in-house regulatory compliance and litigation counsel. In 2018 she provided legal and regulatory support in connection with Green Thumb going public on the Canadian Securities Exchange. In 2019 she created and then led its government affairs department. Dina also created and oversaw Green Thumb’s social equity program and created its social equity License Education Application Program (LEAP), which helped applicants navigate the adult use cannabis business application process in Illinois. Through these roles and her informal roles, Dina helped Green Thumb go from an idea on paper in 2014 to a publicly traded company in 2018 and to being an industry leader today.  

Dina is an experienced attorney who, before joining Green Thumb and specializing in cannabis law, was a partner at a business litigation law firm, where she spent a decade representing plaintiffs and defendants in business disputes throughout the country. 


• Co-created and co-taught a Cannabis Law & Policy course as an adjunct professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law 

• Co-founded and served as President of Illinois Women in Cannabis, a not-for-profit focused on serving, supporting and advancing women in the Illinois cannabis industry 

• Served on multiple cannabis trade association boards 

• Lecture widely on cannabis topics, addressing national trade conferences and national legal conferences. 


• Northwestern University School of Law – Juris Doctor 

• Oberlin College – Bachelor of Arts  


 • The American Lawyer: named a Midwest Trailblazer for 2021 

• Chicago Sun-Times: named one of the 10 most influential people in cannabis for 2018 

• South by Southwest (SXSW): featured speaker in 2024 and 2021 

• Crain’s Chicago Business: identified as cannabis industry leader in 2014, 2019 and 2020 

Serena Wu's Profile

Serena Wu Related Seminars and Products

Founding Partner

Radicle Law LLP

Serena’s radicle is to be of service for the greater good. She believes that everyone has the power to change the world, starting with ourselves and rippling out in what we choose to create. From addressing social justice issues for the Asian American community in high school through advocating on behalf of indigent clients on consumer protection and tax cases in law school, she continues to use law as a tool for social impact in her current practice. Serena is a Harvard Law School graduate and received her Bachelor of Arts from UC Berkeley.

Serena’s practice includes helping trailblazing clients start companies, fundraise, structure corporate governance, draft employment and business agreements, counsel on securities issues related to NFTs and DAOs, navigate complex regulatory issues related to cannabis, emerging plant medicines and privacy and security, and resolve disputes. 

In addition, Serena understands the need to discern potential pitfalls and risks for clients based on her litigation and regulatory experiences, such as complex, multi-million dollar commercial and securities litigation cases, bankruptcy litigation involving over $1 billion dollars in debt, high stakes regulatory investigations, and a myriad of pro bono matters spanning from bail reform in New York to employment litigation for restaurant workers.

She is committed to support, empower and assist those who seek to transform the status quo and serve their communities. She knows the importance of getting into the trenches with her clients to help them manifest their visions or advocate for their rights.

Outside of her work, Serena works with Reason for Hope, a non-profit focused on changing the approach to mental health care through psychedelic-assisted therapy legislation in New York. Prior to co-founding Radicle Law LLP, Serena was a New York litigation associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP and was a co-founding partner at Plant Medicine Law Group LLP.
Serena enjoys traveling, hiking, learning new languages, and practicing meditation.

Laurie Parfitt's Profile

Laurie Parfitt Related Seminars and Products

CEO | Principal

LKP Impact Consulting, LLC

Laurie Parfitt is an accomplished executive, leader, and coach with more than 2 decades of experience driving innovation and execution across various functional areas of start-ups and Fortune 500 companies, including Kraft Foods, Beam Suntory, Topco Associates, Mizkan America, 4Front/Mission Dispensaries, and LKP Impact Consulting. Through her company, LKP Impact Consulting, Parfitt works with cannabis and other disruptive, highly regulated categories as a Fractional CMO on brand strategy/design, consumer insights, public relations, content development and commercial go-to-market strategy. Her expertise and achievements have made her a renowned speaker at prestigious industry events such as the CBT Cannabis Conference, Benzinga, CannaReg Summit, Illinois Women in Cannabis, Tony P Cannabis Events, Headset Data Nights, Cannabis Drinks Expo, MJ Unpacked, MJ Bizcon, Lackawanna College, and The Hatchery. As Vice President of Marketing & Customer Engagement at 4Front/Mission Dispensaries, Laurie played a crucial role by leading marketing efforts and engaging with customers, and she also held senior positions in marketing, sales strategy, operations, and finance at Topco Associates, Walgreens, Beam Suntory, and Kraft Foods. Laurie's educational background includes a Bachelor of Science degree from Michigan State University. Laurie serves on the advisory boards of EndoDNA, The Cannabis Hall of Fame, Cannabis Business Times-Cannabis Conference as well as The CannaReg Summit and has been a mentor, coach, and teacher for The Hatchery, Illinois Women in Cannabis, CIMA (Chicago Interactive Marketing Association), and Lackawanna College. Laurie's outstanding vision, execution skills, and results-driven approach make her a sought-after leader who can inspire and take any business to the next level.

John Schroyer's Profile

John Schroyer Related Seminars and Products

Senior Reporter

Green Market Report

A versatile journalist with a background in Colorado politics. Since 2014 I've been writing about cannabis business news. I've covered everything from natural disasters to local parades to the state budget, and there's nothing I love more than a good story. Except perhaps the mountains.

Eric P. Berlin's Profile

Eric P. Berlin Related Seminars and Products



Eric Berlin leads the US and global Cannabis teams at Dentons, the world’s largest law firm. Widely recognized as one of the nation’s leading authorities on cannabis and hemp law, Eric dedicates 100 percent of his work to clients involved in, or impacted by, the legal cannabis or hemp industries. He has worked on some of the industry’s biggest deals and counsels several of the top companies in the cannabis ecosystem. Eric’s own involvement in this area goes back more than a decade, when he worked pro bono with legislators and other interested parties to help draft and pass legislation creating medical cannabis programs in Illinois and Ohio.

Eric has represented large, publicly traded companies that sell products or services to the cannabis industry, companies involved in financing the industry, vaporizer manufacturers, testing labs, cultivators and processors, and dispensary operators.

Additionally, Eric has also represented non-cannabis industry clients in high-profile health care and antitrust litigations. Some of his successes include a trial in a $2.3 billion Sherman Act and Robinson-Patman Act case; a False Claims Act case against major pharmacies; a bundling antitrust case against a large medical distributor; an international arbitration between agricultural companies; and appeals in the US Courts of Appeals for the Sixth, Seventh, Ninth and Tenth Circuits.

His groundbreaking efforts for businesses and industry organizations have been well recognized. Eric is ranked in Tier 1 for Cannabis Law by Chambers USA, earned “MVP of the Year in Cannabis Law” by Law360 in 2020 and 2022, and was named a “Leading Lawyer in Cannabis” by The Legal 500 US in 2021.

Sherri Altshuler's Profile

Sherri Altshuler Related Seminars and Products


Aird & Berlis LLP

Sherri earns the trust of her clients by adeptly managing complex and time-sensitive corporate finance transactions and by providing relevant, business-focused solutions to corporate/commercial and capital markets issues. Her depth of perspective and understanding of corporate and securities law matters comes from her ongoing representation of clients ranging from small and medium enterprises to established multi-billion dollar corporations. Sherri effectively prioritizes issues on complex and time-sensitive transactions, and works diligently to ensure that outcomes align with her clients’ overall business goals.

Sherri is co-Practice Group Leader of the firm's Capital Markets Group, co-Chair of the Cannabis Group and Life Sciences Group and a member of the Corporate/Commercial, Mining, Capital Pool Company and Startups Groups. Her practice is focused on mergers, acquisitions, corporate reorganizations, public and private financings and ongoing corporate and commercial matters. She has developed specialized expertise in capital markets transactions in the REIT, cannabis, technology, psychedelics and mining sectors, including with respect to board governance, securities and financing matters.

Sherri regularly advises corporations on public offerings, private placement financings, flow-through financings, reverse takeovers, stock exchange listings, continuous disclosure, corporate governance and the formation and completion of qualifying transactions for companies established under the TSX Venture Exchange Capital Pool Company Program.

Sherri is a member of the TSX Venture Exchange Ontario Advisory Committee and a former member of the Ontario Securities Commission Small and Medium Enterprises Committee. Sherri previously completed a six-month term of secondment with the Corporate Finance Branch of the Ontario Securities Commission where she was responsible for reviewing and clearing prospectuses and considering applications for relief from the requirements of the Securities Act (Ontario). Sherri also instructs Corporate Finance at Windsor Law School and is a frequent public speaker. Additionally, Sherri is called upon by the media to comment on the legal, regulatory and investment issues surrounding psychedelics in Canada.

Sherri is recognized by The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory as a leading lawyer in the area of Corporate Finance & Securities, after previously being named one of Lexpert magazine’s Rising Stars: Canada’s Leading Lawyers under 40. Sherri is also recognized as a leading lawyer in Cannabis Law by Chambers Canada and The Best Lawyers in Canada.

Ruth A. Rauls, Esq.'s Profile

Ruth A. Rauls, Esq. Related Seminars and Products


Saul Ewing LLP

Ruth Rauls represents management in employment disputes before federal and state courts, as well as federal and state agencies. Her extensive litigation experience includes cases at the trial and appellate levels in New Jersey and New York, as well as in private mediations and arbitrations. She litigates claims arising under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, and various other statutory and common law causes of action.

Ruth draws on her litigation experience to help large and small companies alike identify potential legal issues and to provide support for internal decision making that affects their business operations. This includes advice on preventative practices to minimize workplace disputes, including accommodation and harassment issues. 

Employers also look to her for advice on personnel actions, including drafting employment agreements and conducting internal investigations on various workplace matters.

Ruth is well versed in regulatory compliance and internal and external investigations under federal, state and local laws, including sexual harassment, whistleblower and retaliation issues. Depending on the needs of the client, Ruth can conduct an internal investigation or work side by side with the client to provide guidance along the way. 

Ruth also works with clients to develop workplace policies, practices and procedures, including medical cannabis and drug testing policies, employee handbooks and policy manuals. Ruth advises clients on compliance with the continuing changes and updates to state law, including specifically the state law and state court decisions addressing cannabis use by employees in both medical and adult use states.

Katy Young's Profile

Katy Young Related Seminars and Products

Managing Partner

Ad Astra Law Group, LLP

Katy M. Young, Esq. MANAGING PARTNER, Ad Astra Law Group, LLP in San Francisco, CA 

Katy represents both plaintiffs and defendants in business disputes, real estate claims and intellectual 
property litigationwith a unique focus on matters for cannabis industry litigants. Katy is one of the most 
experienced cannabis-focused civil litigators in the country and has  been recognized by the Daily Journal 
for her work. She is passionate about the industry and enjoys the challenges inherent in litigating cases 
on the cutting edge, thereby shaping policy. Katy is graduate of University of San Francisco School of Law 
and University of the Pacific where she was a scholarship athlete. She has been named a Northern 
California Super Lawyer in 2022 and a Rising Star from 2014 through 2022. In 2018-2022, she was named 
to Benchmark Litigation’s Top 40 Under 40 Hot List.  She also served as the President of the InterNational 
Cannabis Bar Association for four years, and was recently nominated to join the Edward J McFetridge Inn 
of Court executive committee. Katy is active in other networking organizations including the ProVisors 
Cannabis Affinity Group, the Bar Association of San Francisco Cannabis section, and the California 
Lawyers Association Cannabis Working Group.

Lauren Rudick's Profile

Lauren Rudick Related Seminars and Products

Managing Principal

Rudick Law Group, PLLC

Lauren previously co-founded of Hiller, PC's cannabis law practice. What started as a
passion project in patient rights during a brief residency in California, Lauren has become
one of the Nation’s preeminent cannabis attorneys. Her practice is centered upon the
representation of start-up organizations and investors. With her diverse background in
corporate law, litigation, and land-use and zoning, she provides clients with the most up-
to-date information necessary to operate and invest in successful cannabis and ancillary
businesses. Lauren has run successful applications in competitive medical cannabis states
and adult-use markets alike, and represents a broad spectrum of cannabis and hemp
clients, including plant-touching breeders, cultivators, processors, and product
manufacturers; investors, including family offices and angels; and multiple ancillary
businesses, including networking associations, packaging businesses, ingredient
manufacturers, medical professionals, and industry consultants. Lauren is also a member
of the legal team that brought an action against former Attorney General Sessions and the
federal government seeking, among other things, a declaration that the mis-classification
of cannabis as a Schedule I drug is unconstitutional, on, among other things, due process,
equal protection, free speech, and commerce clause grounds.

Lauren is an Expert Contributor to Marijuana Venture Magazine, a frequent
speaker at national and local cannabis events, including, among others, MJ Biz Con, the
Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition, NCIA, Emerald Cup, and the Women
Grow Leadership Summit and provides pro bono legal and advocacy services to the
Cannabis Cultural Association, among others. Lauren also serves on the Executive
Committee of the Board of Directors for the International Cannabis Bar Association, as
the organization’s Treasurer. Lauren enjoys an extensive network of cannabis
professionals nationwide, enabling her to provide full legal and business services to her

Pamela Nicole Epstein's Profile

Pamela Nicole Epstein Related Seminars and Products

Chief Legal & Regulatory Officer

Terpene Belt, Inc.

Pamela is an accomplished legal professional with a wealth of experience.  Pamela currently holds the esteemed position of Chief Legal and Regulatory Officer at Terpene Belt, Inc.  In this pivotal role, she spearheads a dynamic team responsible for a diverse range of functions, including legal oversight, domestic and international governmental affairs, compliance, licensing, corporate stewardship, and corporate governance. Her unwavering dedication is focused on driving solutions that align with the company's strategic priorities while safeguarding Terpene Belt, its customers, and the broader cannabis and hemp industries.

Before joining Terpene Belt in 2022, Pamela served as the General Counsel and Chief Licensing & Regulatory Officer at Eden Enterprises, Inc a legacy cannabis operator. Her trailblazing journey in the cannabis industry began in 2016 when she founded Green Wise Companies, solidifying her position as a thought leader in the field. Pamela provided a comprehensive range of legal, consulting, and government affairs services to various segments of the cannabis supply chain in California and Arizona. She further cemented her reputation as a trusted resource on cannabis matters, lending her expertise to regulatory agencies and municipalities. Notably, she served as the Special City Attorney for cannabis matters to the City of Hollister, guiding them through their inaugural Medical Cannabis Ordinance and application process in 2018.

Prior to her groundbreaking work in the cannabis sector, Pamela seamlessly combined her passion for environmental sustainability with her legal acumen. She honed her skills as the Managing Attorney and Legal Program Coordinator for the San Diego Chapter of the Sierra Club's Environmental Law & Policy Clinic and later with the prestigious law firm of Adams Broadwell Joseph & Cardozo in South San Francisco.

Pamela's diverse background, encompassing legal expertise, land use knowledge, and environmental advocacy, uniquely positions her to lead and advise her clients and the broader cannabis and hemp communities. She is recognized as an expert in her field and a fearless advocate for the normalization and advancement of cannabinoids. Pamela is a sought-after speaker at cannabis industry conferences nationwide, where she delivers engaging and insightful commentary on an array of topics affecting the cannabis and hemp sectors, offering valuable guidance to traditional market participants venturing into this space.

Pamela served two terms as the President of the Board of Directors for the California Cannabis Industry Association (CCIA), the state's largest cannabis trade association, where she was a driving force in shaping the industry's future. Pamela also actively leads the charge to establish standards for Determining Intoxication of Cannabinoids within ASTM's D37 Committee for Cannabis and Hemp.  She also serves on the Food Drug Law Institute (“FDLI”) Cannabinoid Committee. 


Andrea Steel's Profile

Andrea Steel Related Seminars and Products


Frost Brown Todd LLP

Andrea is a member in the firm’s Commercial Finance Practice Group as well as a member of the Hemp Industry Team, focusing her practice on both affordable housing and cannabis business law. In the affordable housing area, Andrea represents both for-profit and non-profit developers across the country, including public and private entities, as well as public housing authorities and tax increment reinvestment zones. Her work is concentrated on the legal representation of developers of affordable housing utilizing both 9% and 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credits, tax exempt bond financing, CDBG and HOME Program funding and other federal, state and local subsidy and economic development programs, as well as the stimulus grants created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 including the Tax Credit Assistance Program, Tax Credit Exchange Program (Section 1602 Program) and the Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

Andrea has represented developers in complex transactions which have combined federal and state Historic Tax Credits with LIHTCs and tax-exempt bonds, and transactions which have involved multiple layers of funding including EB-5 and tax increment financing. Her practice also includes closing construction, bridge and/or permanent loans, conventional as well as Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae loans, FHA-insured loans, and state and local financing. Incorporating various economic development incentives is another area in which her creativity and experience allows her to excel.

Andrea’s work with public housing authorities (PHAs) includes closing transactions that include HUD funds and/or HUD-insured mortgages, including Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) and mixed-finance transactions, those involving Section 8 financing, 221(d)(4) & 223(f) FHA mortgages, Federal Home Loan Bank AHP loans and CDBG Disaster Recovery funds. She has worked with PHAs throughout Texas in addition to Louisiana, Arkansas, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Andrea is also experienced with assisting developers navigate through various state agency processes, including assistance with funding applications, appeals, and compliance issues. Her work also encompasses obtaining ad valorem tax exemptions for qualified projects, and she also assists clients with real estate acquisitions and dispositions.

In addition to real estate, Andrea has deep rooted knowledge and experience with cannabis law. Andrea’s cannabis business clients come from across the supply chain spectrum from cultivators to retailers, as well as distributors, testing labs and more. She advises on regulatory compliance, hemp/medical marijuana licensing, cannabis-related business issues, product labeling/marketing, policy-making participation and real estate issues.

Andrea frequently advises clients on issues unique to the industry, such as delta-8 and other novel cannabinoids, conducting state-by-state research and providing guidance and analysis on proposed laws to policymakers and others. She serves as co-chair of the Legislative Advisement Committee of the International Cannabis Bar Association and has been appointed as Vice Chair of the American Bar Association’s Cannabis Law and Policy Committee for the 2021-22 year. She is also a sought-after speaker at industry events, providing insight into recently approved and proposed laws, rules and regulations and other cannabis business matters. At her prior firm, she successfully launched, led and grew their cannabis business practice group.

With both affordable housing and cannabis being industries that necessitate guidance across a wide range of practice areas, Andrea enjoys collaborating with other team members at Frost Brown Todd to provide clients a full suite of legal services on any issue impacting their businesses, including trademarks, patents, e-commerce, tax matters, debt and equity financing opportunities, corporate structuring and more.

Nabil Rodriguez's Profile

Nabil Rodriguez Related Seminars and Products


Holland & Hart LLP

Nabil is a first-generation, Puerto Rican business attorney with a specialty in highly regulated industries including cannabis, FDA labeling compliance, and healthcare.

Nabil helps clients from formation to exit and every step in between. He has assisted clients with commercial transactions, purchase and sale agreements, and company restructuring matters. On a regulatory front, he works with all cannabis licenses, including hemp cultivators and product manufacturers, in addition to hospitals and pharmacies in navigating state, local, and federal regulations.

Nabil leverages his connections with stakeholders in various states and industries to assist clients in identifying and capitalizing on critical business opportunities.

Before joining Holland & Hart, Nabil practiced as an associate at Greenspoon Marder LLP. He founded the first student National Cannabis Bar Association.

Jana Weltzin, Esq.'s Profile

Jana Weltzin, Esq. Related Seminars and Products



Jana D. Weltzin is the owner of JDW Counsel – a boutique law firm based in Anchorage, Alaska, that represents over 250 small to mid-size companies in Alaska and Arizona. Jana has been immersed with corporate law, start-ups, money raises, employment law matters, regulation and compliance, and land use permitting since early 2013. Jana is licensed in Arizona and Alaska and obtained her J.D. from Arizona State University, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, with a specialization in Federal Indian Law. Jana’s practice focuses on marijuana law and policy, liquor licensing, land use, and transactional work. She is the expert in the Alaska marijuana licensed industry and co-chairs the State of Alaska Governor’s Advisory Task Force on marijuana policy. She is also a founding board member of the Alaska Marijuana Industry Association. Jana also serves as a board member for the International Cannabis Bar Association. Between Alaska and Arizona, Jana represents over 150 direct touch marijuana companies. Jana was recognized as a 2017 Marijuana Venture Rising Stars of Cannabis, 40 under 40, and has contributed to multiple publications. Jana has been quoted in numerous media outlets, including Rolling Stones, Leaders in Law, Alaska Public Media, MSN, ABC News, Marijuana Business Daily, and others. Jana continues to expand the firm through strategic alliances and political relationships.

Michelle Mabugat's Profile

Michelle Mabugat Related Seminars and Products


Greenberg Glusker LLP

Michelle Mabugat has a broad-based corporate and transactional practice that focuses on advising entrepreneurs and high-growth companies on matters that span the business lifecycle, from start-up through exit.

Often acting as outside general counsel, she assists clients with their general corporate and day-to-day transactional needs as well as their most critical transactions, including early- and growth-stage equity and debt financings, joint ventures and strategic alliances, licensing deals, and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in both distressed and non-distressed situations. She also provides strategic advice to boards, management teams and investors on sensitive issues related to corporate governance, shareholder disputes, regulatory compliance and risk management.

She has earned significant accolades in her field, including being listed in Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch® in America in 2024 and Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Stars from 2021 through 2023.

Michelle represents clients across all industries but, as Co-Chair of the firm’s Cannabis Industry Group, she has significant experience representing clients in the cannabis sector. Widely recognized as one of the nation’s leading authorities on cannabis law, she has been named a “Cannabis Law Trailblazer” by the National Law Journal and a “Top Cannabis Lawyer” by the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal. 

An active member of the Los Angeles community, Michell provides pro bono counsel for the Cannabis Equity Retailers Association and to low-income applicants who qualify for the Los Angeles Cannabis Social Equity Program. She is also an Executive Committee Member for the Primerus Cannabis Practice Group; a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) Committee Member for the Association for Corporate Growth - Los Angeles Chapter (ACG-LA); the Lead Member of the Policy Subcommittee for the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA) Cannabis Section; and an Amicus Committee Member for the International Cannabis Bar Association.

Carmen J. Williams's Profile

Carmen J. Williams Related Seminars and Products


Troutman Pepper LLP

Carmen is a seasoned corporate practitioner who represents private equity firms, strategic acquirers and sellers, and other corporate clients in M&A transactions, routine public company reporting, and general corporate matters.


Carmen provides legal representation for both domestic and international public and private companies, covering all aspects of corporate transactions across diverse industries such as sports and entertainment, financial services and payments, technology, insurance, and engineering.


In her mergers and acquisitions practice, Carmen represents private equity funds and their portfolio companies, as well as strategic purchasers and sellers, in public and private mergers and acquisitions, and investment transactions. This includes corporate carve-outs, cross-border transactions, restructurings, and reorganizations.


Additionally, Carmen counsels both public and private companies with respect to a variety of general corporate matters, including corporate governance, annual meetings, fiduciary duties, and organizational matters.


Carmen frequently writes on cannabis jurisprudence and the regulatory framework surrounding cannabis.


She actively recruits for the firm on-campus, and has served as a summer advisor for the firm’s summer program. Carmen is also a member of the firm’s Black Affinity Group.

Brian Ruden's Profile

Brian Ruden Related Seminars and Products



Brian Ruden is an attorney and one of the pioneers of the legal marijuana industry in Colorado. He earned a J.D. from the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law, and began his cannabis career in 2010 with the acquisition of Tree of Wellness, a medical marijuana center in Colorado Springs with an associated cultivation operation in Denver.

In 2013, Mr. Ruden founded Starbuds, which has become one of the largest marijuana dispensary brands in the Colorado marketplace. The Starbuds brand now encompasses eight retail marijuana dispensaries, with three additional locations under construction, a cultivation operation, and a manufacturing facility that produces a comprehensive range of marijuana concentrates for wholesale distribution statewide.

Mr. Ruden’s legal training has given him a competitive advantage in navigating the complex layers of administrative regulation which govern the marijuana industry. He has successfully managed compliance across roughly a dozen separate marijuana regulatory jurisdictions, each with its own unique requirements for operations, safety, and security.

The seed-to-dispensing marijuana experience and legal background gives Mr. Ruden unique understanding and qualification in the marijuana industry. Due to this, he has become a sought-after consultant and is personally involved in teams pursuing marijuana opportunities in other states. Mr. Ruden also has ownership in licensed marijuana businesses in Hawaii and Washington D.C. and now Louisiana with The Apothecary Shoppe.

Amber Littlejohn, Esq.'s Profile

Amber Littlejohn, Esq. Related Seminars and Products

Of Counsel

Ice Miller LLP

Amber Littlejohn has served as a lawyer, strategist, and advocate for businesses in emerging markets for more than 15 years, providing government and business affairs services to businesses, nonprofit organizations, and lawmakers in regulated industries. She creates innovative legislative, regulatory, and public engagement strategies to access and grow markets, stabilize supply chains, and reduce crisis frequency and reach.

Named a Top Cannabis Lobbyist by Business Insider, Amber is a nationally recognized voice for the cannabis industry and related policy initiatives appearing regularly in national media outlets. She has testified before Congress on issues including small business capital access and cannabis legalization. She engages regularly with lawmakers and regulators at all levels of government. Prior to her work in cannabis, she was a business owner, strategist, and advocate for specialty consumer packaged goods and consumer health products including dietary supplements and sports nutrition products. 

Prior to joining Ice Miller, Amber was president and chief strategic officer for a public affairs firm that served to provide solutions in the areas of legislative and regulatory policy development, as well as government and regulatory affairs. She has also served as policy counsel and a consultant for several organizations in Washington, D.C.

Kellie Rivera, Esq,'s Profile

Kellie Rivera, Esq, Related Seminars and Products

Sr. Counsel & VP Corporate Affairs

The Cannabist Company (formerly Columbia Care)

Kellie Rivera serves as Senior Counsel and Vice President of Corporate Affairs at The Cannabist Company Holdings, Inc. fka Columbia Care, one of the largest and most experienced cultivators, manufacturers, and providers of cannabis products and related services, with 124 licensed facilities across 14 states and the District of Columbia.


In her role at The Cannabist Company, Kellie leads the company’s legal, compliance, and licensing efforts in existing and emerging east coast markets. She also focuses on regulatory policy, market design, improvements to medical cannabis programs, and the crafting of successful and equitable adult-use markets. She regularly engages with government agencies, policymakers, industry associations, and lobbyists. Additionally, Kellie manages relationships with state and local cannabis regulators to serve as a subject-matter expert on comparative, emerging markets and to ensure operational compliance. Kellie maintains functional knowledge of current and proposed laws, regulations, and policies impacting The Cannabist Company’s operations, while proactively identifying potential impacts and legal risks. She provides creative, solution-oriented advice to senior leadership to inform operations and strategic decision-making.


Kellie services as Vice-Chair of the New York Medical Cannabis Industry Association and is an active member in the International Cannabis Bar Association and the NYSBA Cannabis Law Section. Kellie received her J.D. with a concentration in International Law from Suffolk University Law School and her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of New Hampshire, with Russian and International Affairs Dual Majors and a Political Science minor. Kellie is personally passionate about the therapeutic potential of medical cannabis due to her own experience as a chronic pain patient following a childhood spinal injury.


David Feldman's Profile

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Managing Partner

Feldman Legal Advisors PLLC

David Feldman concentrates his law practice on corporate and securities law and mergers and acquisitions, as well as general representation of public and private companies, entrepreneurs, investors, and private equity and venture capital firms. David has represented a wide range of clients in the legal cannabis and psychedelics industries since 2013. He provides guidance on private placements, public offerings, loan structuring and fund formation for cannabis companies, as well as corporate structuring advice and applications for grow, processing and dispensary licenses. He also advises on risk assessment issues for large, multinational businesses seeking to enter the cannabis industry. The global guide Chambers & Partners ranked Mr. Feldman as a leading US attorney in cannabis law and one of only seven US lawyers in “band 1” for corporate and transactional work in the industry. In addition, the National Law Journal named him a “Cannabis Law Trailblazer” and Business Insider named him as a top lawyer in the cannabis industry. He has also been listed several times in the Top 200 Cannabis Lawyers published by Cannabis Law Digest. David is the former team lead of an AmLaw 100 firm’s 60-attorney Cannabis Industry Group. He frequently speaks at industry conferences and is quoted by numerous publications about legal developments and business news in this rapidly expanding market.

David also advises emerging growth companies in a range of industries with regard to alternatives to traditional financing through initial public offerings, and is considered an authority on public offerings through SEC Regulation A+. He published a book on that subject, called Regulation A+ and Other Alternatives to a Traditional IPO (John Wiley & Sons), in 2018. David has also published The Entrepreneur’s Growth Startup Handbook: 7 Secrets to Venture Funding and Growth Success (2013) and the award-winning Reverse Mergers and Other Alternatives to a Traditional IPO (First Edition 2006, Second Edition 2009). A Wharton School and University of Pennsylvania Law School graduate and former Chair of Wharton’s worldwide alumni, David is not just a lawyer – he’s a community builder. He’s run, built, bought, invested in, and sold businesses. He feels his clients’ pain but provides the objective outsider’s point of view that founders need.

Samantha Gleit's Profile

Samantha Gleit Related Seminars and Products


Feuerstein Kulick LLP

Samantha Gleit is a partner at Feuerstein Kulick and leads the firm’s debt finance practice. Samantha has structured many of the largest debt facilities in the cannabis industry to date, and well as negotiating corporate restructurings for single-state and multi-state operators. This year Samantha was selected by Crain's New York Business for their list of "Notable Women in Law"; and in 2021 she was selected by Law360 as a "Rising Star" honoring attorneys under 40 whose legal accomplishments transcend their age. Samantha is also an adjunct professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where she co-teaches a course in cannabis law.

Throughout her career, Samantha has advised institutional and alternative investors on distressed debt and high risk lending.  She is known for implementing tailored, regulatory-compliant, loan and workout structures designed to maximize protection in the evolving  cannabis legal landscape. Samantha also has extensive experience advising companies (ranging from startups to large public companies) on debt structure, risk management, workouts, acquisition financing, capitalization and compliance. Beyond traditional legal  advice, Samantha also assists startups and growing companies identify liquidity sources, develop growth strategies and negotiate efficient financing solutions. 

Recent representations include GlassHouse; Jushi; Holistic; Loudpack; lenders to Curaleaf, Terrascend, and Cresco; cannabis-focused REITs, a private lender in a $250 million senior secured credit facility with the factoring arm of a wholesale B2B marketplace;  Navy Capital in leading in a private placement of convertible debt with 4Front; and FocusGrowth Capital Partners on debt and equity financings with various multi-state and single state operators. 

Samantha is regularly interviewed and published in leading debt media outlets. In addition to being selected as a top cannabis lawyer under 40 in 2021 by Law360, Samantha was selected as a Rising Star in the 2015 – 2021 editions of New York Metro Super Lawyers®  and featured in The New York Times Magazine Super Lawyers® Top Women Attorneys in the New York Metro Area. Samantha is regularly interviewed by legal publications on debt and equity financing in the cannabis industry. She has also co-authored an article featured  on the cover of the ABI Journal discussing suggested reforms to the federal bankruptcy process.  In 2013, Samantha was awarded the International Bar Association’s Insolvency Scholarship for her award winning article on distressed law firms. Prior to joining  Feuerstein Kulick, Samantha worked at King & Spalding LLP in New York, in the corporate finance and investments group.

Jeffrey Hamilton's Profile

Jeffrey Hamilton Related Seminars and Products


Farella Braun + Martel LLP

Jeff Hamilton counsels companies of all sizes, from startups to publicly traded corporations, in a broad range of transactional matters. As a practitioner, Jeff is a generalist by design, and typically advises clients in an outside general counsel role. His practice ranges from mergers and acquisitions, including Hart-Scott-Rodino filings, to equity and debt offerings and venture capital financings, to day-to-day business management such as fund formation, investment analysis, negotiating commercial agreements, assisting with corporate governance, and overseeing public company and regulated industry reporting compliance.

As a member of our Cannabis Initiative, Jeff represents investors and investment funds, cultivators, manufacturers, distributors, and ancillary businesses in commercial transactions and general corporate and regulatory matters. 

Jeff also counsels clients in connection with construction projects, such as negotiating construction contracts and architect’s agreements for both commercial and residential projects.

Regardless of the specific situation, Jeff approaches his engagements with a combination of responsiveness and meticulousness to help his clients achieve their objectives efficiently and strategically, maximizing opportunity while managing risk. Not one to shy away from complex problems, he is particularly skilled at drafting clear and workable agreements that move complicated deals forward.

David White's Profile

David White Related Seminars and Products

Director of Conflict Management Program | Professor of Legal Practice

Seton Hall Law School

I am a practitioner-scholar whose pedagogical interest is the application of Crisis Negotiation techniques to the boardroom and the courtroom. I train future attorneys and members of the public to be effective negotiators when failure is not an option. 

For over 18 years I have maintained strong ties to the federal and local law enforcement communities (FBI, NYPD). I am an alumnus of the FBI/NYO Citizens Academy and a member of the Metro New York InfraGard Alliance and NYPD SHIELD counter-terrorism initiative. 

I am one of a discrete number of civilians to complete the FBI Basic Crisis Negotiation Course (FBI/NK) and have trained with the NYPD's Hostage Negotiation Team and the NYPD Crisis Intervention Team. I have also participated in FBI Interview/Interrogation and Active Shooter Survival training. 

In partnership with the FBI Crisis Negotiation Unit (Quantico, VA), I designed and instructed the first full-length Crisis Negotiation course to be offered at an ABA-accredited law school (Seton Hall School of Law, 2015). 

My areas of instructional expertise include:
• Crisis Negotiation (Hostage/Barricade);
• Active Shooter Survival;
• Police Ethics;
• Interviewing;
• Constitutional Law;
• Commercial Negotiation; and
• Mediation. 

I am licensed to practice in New York, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia and am admitted to practice before the following federal courts:
• United States Supreme Court; 
• United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (NY, CT, VT); 
• United States District Court for the Southern District of New York; 
• United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York; and 
• United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.

My areas of practice-based professional expertise include:
• Complex Commercial Litigation; 
• Employment Discrimination; and 
• Securities Law

Toni Forge's Profile

Toni Forge Related Seminars and Products

Founder | Attorney


For over 20 years,Toni Forge has worked as a litigator, managing attorney, state mediator and associate general counsel. A graduate of Hastings College of the Law and the University of San Francisco, Toni has used her solid legal foundation to provide solutions to business both large and small.

As a litigator for State Farm Insurance Company, Toni has worked with hundreds of clients in conducting mediations and depositions. Through her work with several Fortune 500 companies, she has developed a unique collection of skill and expertise in contract management and compliance, finance, negotiation, and mediation.

Toni brings knowledge of the legal and business environment that will empower new CannaBusinesses along their path to compliance and success.

A member of LA Cannabis Task Force, Women Entrepreneurs in Cannabis and Kalogia,  Toni has done radio shows and compliance tutorials regarding the regulatory environment in California.  She has also participated in the LA Cannabis Task Force Social Equity project.  Toni will be featured in an upcoming documentary regarding cannabis compliance in California.  Toni has served as a faculty member for the Cannabis Compliance Bootcamp in Los Angeles and has done a host of cannabis compliance seminars.

Carolyn Pellegrini's Profile

Carolyn Pellegrini Related Seminars and Products


Saul Ewing LLP

Carolyn Pellegrini assists employers with labor and employment disputes and other sensitive matters affecting their professional relationships with their employees. Colleges and universities in particular rely on Carolyn for representation in litigation and advice on day-to-day operations involving HR issues and their compliance with federal and state laws. Carolyn brings a holistic understanding of how the many stakeholders within institutions of higher education -- including administrative, academic and athletic departments, student affairs and public safety -- can affect HR departments. 

She handles tenure and collective bargaining agreement disputes and claims involving allegations of harassment and discrimination based on race, age, disability and other protected classes. To help minimize the risk of such disputes, Carolyn also drafts faculty and staff handbooks, as well as policies and procedures, and provides training on how to follow them.

Carolyn's experience with discrimination matters for educational institutions includes compliance reviews, investigation of complaints, issuance of investigation reports, and responses to information requests from the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

Carolyn extends this same skill set to assist businesses across numerous industries with labor and employment matters. Carolyn represents clients in federal and state employment litigation and arbitration, including matters involving Title VII, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act and the National Labor Relations Act. She also handles investigations of employee misconduct, and the implementation of HR policies and procedures.  

Paul A. Isaac, Esq.'s Profile

Paul A. Isaac, Esq. Related Seminars and Products


Paul A. Isaac

A highly accomplished attorney with a demonstrated track record of success in financial regulation, consumer protection, cannabis, and occupational oversight. I bring nearly a decade of experience in government leadership roles, including serving as the Deputy Secretary at the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation as well as previously serving as Acting Cannabis Regulation Oversight Officer appointed by Illinois Governor JB Pritzker. Throughout my career, I have excelled in developing and implementing policies, managing complex cases and investigations, and fostering collaboration with industry and government stakeholders. As a strategic thinker and problem solver, I am skilled at navigating regulatory challenges and shaping legislative initiatives. I strive to maintain a deep understanding of current market trends, which I leverage to drive positive change. I welcome the opportunity to connect with like-minded professionals and innovators. If you are interested in discussing regulatory trends, sharing insights, or exploring potential strategic partnerships, please feel free to reach out.

Tom Haren's Profile

Tom Haren Related Seminars and Products


Frantz Ward LLP

Tom represents growing businesses at each stage of their development, and is regularly asked to serve as outside general counsel for his clients. In that role, Tom advises his clients with respect to innumerable legal issues, including regulatory compliance, corporate governance, contract negotiations, risk management, litigation and other day-to-day business issues. He often works with his clients to overcome short-term regulatory and financial uncertainty to achieve long-term success in developing markets.

As a result, Tom is one of the most sought after attorneys serving the Ohio and national cannabis industry, in which he represents licensed operators in medical and adult use markets, ancillary service providers, and companies operating in the hemp industry. He supports clients with everything from license acquisition, zoning and municipal law, to product labeling and packaging and regulatory compliance. Tom has also led some of the largest M&A deals in the Ohio cannabis market, representing both the selling license holders and acquiring entities.

His record of achievement as an expert in one of the most rapidly growing segments in the country has earned him considerable recognition, including the Crain's Cleveland Business' 2021 list of Forty Under 40. He has been named to Chambers USA: A Guide to Leading Lawyers in Business in the area of Cannabis Law, is one of the Top 7 Cannabis Attorneys in the U.S. (The Vape Report) and is on The Best Lawyers in America list in the area of Cannabis Law. He has also been named to the Ohio Super Lawyers Rising Stars list. As a result of his national reputation, Tom is an avid contributor to various local and national media outlets and often is asked to share his expertise by speaking at industry conferences and events.

Tom is also a former nominee for the State Senate. He knows how important it is to build consensus at the local and State level to further clients' interests. Tom has served on the firm’s Management Committee since January 2024.

Jonathan Robbins's Profile

Jonathan Robbins Related Seminars and Products

Chair, Cannabis Practice Group

Akerman LLP

Jonathan Robbins serves as chair of Akerman’s Cannabis Practice, counseling clients on the evolving, complex legal and business issues impacting companies with interests in the regulated substances industries. Ranked by Chambers USA as a top lawyer in Cannabis Law and recognized in 2018 by the National Law Journal as one of the country’s “Cannabis Law Trailblazers,” he has been published and quoted in national media outlets such as U.S. News & World Report, The American Lawyer, Politico, Washington Post, Bloomberg News, and Law360. He is a founding board member of the National Cannabis Bar Association and is also an active member of the National Cannabis Industry Association.

Jonathan brings deep experience representing public and private companies and individuals in complex regulatory and litigation matters in the regulated substances sectors. His experience encompasses investigations and administrative and enforcement proceedings brought by federal, state, and self-regulatory bodies, including the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Florida Attorney General’s Office, Florida Department of Financial Services, and Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.

In addition to his growing cannabis practice, Jonathan also represents public and private companies and individuals in complex regulatory and litigation matters in the financial services and regulated substances sectors. His experience encompasses investigations and administrative and enforcement proceedings brought by federal, state, and self-regulatory bodies, including the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Florida Attorney General’s Office, Florida Department of Financial Services, and Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. He is a go-to resource for broker-dealers and registered persons in securities-related cases filed in both federal and state courts, as well as in FINRA arbitration proceedings addressing both customer and sector disputes.

Jonathan has represented numerous broker-dealers and clearing firms ranging in size from smaller, regional broker-dealer and investment advisory firms to major national wirehouses. He serves as an arbitrator in securities arbitrations between both customers and members and associated persons and members. He frequently represents clients adverse to the SEC while working with the enforcement agency as counsel for receivers appointed by U.S. District Courts.

Gillian Schauer, PhD, MPH's Profile

Gillian Schauer, PhD, MPH Related Seminars and Products

Executive Director

Cannabis Regulators Association

Gillian Schauer, PhD, MPH was elected CANNRA’s first Executive Director in 2021, and served as a Senior Advisor to CANNRA before the association’s founding. 

Gillian Schauer, PhD, MPH was elected CANNRA’s first Executive Director in 2021, and served as a Senior Advisor to CANNRA before the association’s founding. Dr. Schauer has worked in public health and policy for nearly two decades, and has a decade of experience working with federal and state agencies on cannabis policy, data monitoring, and research translation. Through her federal work, she founded and led the Multi-State Collaborative for Cannabis and Public Health from 2014-2021 to foster learnings and cultivate best practices for public health across states with legal cannabis. Prior to working on cannabis policy, Dr. Schauer worked on tobacco control policy. She was the Senior Editor on the 2020 Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking Cessation.Dr. Schauer is an affiliate researcher at the University of Washington and has more than 70 peer-reviewed research publications on cannabis and other substances. She has a PhD from Emory University, a Master of Public Health from University of Washington, and a Bachelors of Science from Northwestern University.

Rebecca Stamey-White's Profile

Rebecca Stamey-White Related Seminars and Products


Hinman & Carmichael LLP

Rebecca Stamey-White is a partner representing the alcoholic beverage, hospitality, and cannabis industries and their investors and service providers. Rebecca helps her clients secure and maintain their required alcohol and cannabis licenses by providing licensing, production, distribution, sales, and marketing counsel, and defending clients before regulatory bodies when their licenses are at risk. She frequently works with clients at the intersection between the alcohol, cannabis and/or hemp industries and provides special regulatory counsel to other law firms. 

Prior to Hinman & Carmichael, Rebecca was an associate in the San Francisco litigation group of Kirkland & Ellis LLP, where she worked on litigation involving dormant commerce clause challenges to state alcohol laws and provided alcohol regulatory advice to wine and technology companies. Rebecca received her BA in History & International Studies from Northwestern University and her JD from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law.

In addition to her law practice, Rebecca is an adjunct professor at law at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, teaching Cannabis Law, Business, and Policy at the San Francisco Immersion Program. She is also a frequent speaker at industry conferences, law and business schools, and continuing legal education programs on the latest legal issues in the alcoholic beverage and cannabis industries. 

Jonathan Havens's Profile

Jonathan Havens Related Seminars and Products

Partner - Cannabis Law Practice Co-Chair

Saul Ewing LLP

Jonathan Havens is the co-chair of Saul Ewing's Cannabis Law and Food, Beverage & Agribusiness Practices. Companies in the cannabis (both hemp and marijuana), life sciences, food and beverage, and cosmetics industries turn to Jonathan for advice on how to get and keep their products on the market.

Since 2019, Chambers USA has recognized Jonathan as a leading lawyer in cannabis law. In 2021, Law360 selected Jonathan as a cannabis law rising star, and in 2018, the National Law Journal named Jonathan to its inaugural Cannabis Law Trailblazers list. He has been quoted by or authored pieces for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Reuters, CNBC, WIRED, MarketWatch, Engadget, Law360, High Times Magazine, and Marijuana Business Daily.

Jonathan counsels clients on regulatory, compliance, enforcement, and transactional matters related to products regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). His experience also includes matters involving the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), state and municipal agencies, and state attorneys general.

Jonathan's deep understanding of the complex requirements that govern myriad products is enhanced by his experience working in government and on Capitol Hill. Before entering private practice, Jonathan served as regulatory counsel with the FDA, where he focused on promotion, advertising, and labeling. Prior to law school, Jonathan served as a legislative aide in both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives.

David Suetholz's Profile

David Suetholz Related Seminars and Products


Herzfeld, Suetholz, Gastel, Leniski and Wall, PLLC

David Suetholz is a founding member of HSGLaW.  He concentrates his practice on labor and employment law, appellate practice and civil litigation. He has broad experience in representing working people and their unions in Kentucky, Indiana, West Virginia, Ohio, Illinois and Missouri. He previously served as the general counsel of the Kentucky Labor Cabinet and was partially responsible for record-breaking wage recoveries for Kentucky workers. Additional legal accomplishments include victories at both the Kentucky Supreme Court in Workforce Development Cabinet v. Gaines (2008) and the U.S. Supreme Court in Thompson v. North American Stainless LP (2011), which changed the law for the entire country to more broadly protect people from retaliation under Title VII. Mr. Suetholz is a graduate of Villanova University, where he studied history and theology. He credits his theology background for his decision to attend Notre Dame Law School, where he earned his J.D., and ultimately become a Union-side labor attorney. After law school, he spent nine months at the Instituto de Idiomas in Cochabamba, Bolivia, to learn Spanish and assist immigrant workers. He served as the General Counsel of the Kentucky Labor Cabinet for nearly three years before returning to private practice in 2012. He is licensed to practice law in Kentucky and Indiana.

Paul-Michael Keichel's Profile

Paul-Michael Keichel Related Seminars and Products


Cullinan & Associates

Paul-Michael (“PM”) has been admitted as an Attorney of the High Court of South Africa, with right of appearance, since 2013, when he accepted the brief of the now-famous ‘Dagga Couple’ to assist them in decriminalising cannabis use, possession and trade in the country. Apart from this landmark human rights work, he continued to practice as a general and commercial litigator for a large law firm in Johannesburg, often appearing in Court himself, until his departure to pursue other opportunities and lifestyles in October of 2021. In his former role, he contributed to many matters that resulted in reported judgments in favour of his clients.

With its genesis in a cannabis assignment, written to complete his law degree in 2009, his dedicated cannabis and entheogen practice and advocacy afforded him the honour of appearing in the Constitutional Court in 2018 and noting its famous “privacy judgment” (which marked the effective start of meaningful drug reform in the country). P-M has since advised numerous local and international clients on wherever in the cannabis value chain that they may wish to establish themselves, made written and oral submissions to Parliament on more humane drug laws, assisted government, otherwise engaged with regulators, lectured and interviewed on the topic, been invited to steering committees, handled other cannabis-related litigation, and even presented on drug policy at the United Nations in Vienna.

Now practicing and consulting to Cullinan and Associates remotely from Kwa-Zulu Natal, he is leading a High Court (ultimately Constitutional Court) challenge to decriminalise the multiple legitimate uses of psilocybin, and is trying his hand generally at progressing Earth jurisprudence, while learning the ropes of being an environmental lawyer, in addition to his general human rights work – which he considers as entirely complimentary, given that humanity and nature are (inseparably) one and the same.

Akshita Singh's Profile

Akshita Singh Related Seminars and Products


Greenspoon Marder LLP

Akshita Singh is an associate in the Cannabis Law practice group at Greenspoon Marder LLP, providing legal counsel and support to clients on cannabis industry-related matters, including regulatory issues and compliance concerning state and federal laws. Ms. Singh also focuses her practice on state applications for medical and recreational cannabis for dispensaries, processing, and cultivation licenses. Ms. Singh’s practice is not limited to the cannabis industry, however. In addition, she has extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions (M&A), having been involved in numerous high-profile transactions. Her M&A experience spans across various industries, providing her with a unique perspective and a deep understanding of the intricacies involved in such transactions. She is adept at guiding clients through the entire M&A process, from due diligence to negotiation, structuring, and closing of the deal. As well as her M&A experience, Ms. Singh also has a strong background in public company securities. She has represented both issuers and underwriters in initial public offerings (IPOs), secondary offerings, and private placements. Her expertise in securities law also extends to regulatory compliance, corporate governance, and disclosure obligations. She is well-versed in the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other regulatory bodies, ensuring that her clients are always in compliance.

Casey Grabenstein's Profile

Casey Grabenstein Related Seminars and Products


Saul Ewing LLP

Casey Grabenstein handles complex commercial litigation for clients nationwide across an array of industries. His litigation experience includes class actions involving securities, consumer fraud, and ERISA, including defeating class certification in multiple cases for a leading insurance company. Casey is also a member of the firm's Cannabis Law Practice and has successfully handled multiple high-profile cannabis lawsuits.

Casey also devotes a substantial portion of his practice to the litigation funding industry. He serves as both due diligence counsel and as primary counsel for funded cases. Casey is also a regular writer and speaker on litigation funding topics.

In addition to his litigation experience, Casey acts as general outside counsel for companies, particularly in the food, beverage, and cannabis industries. His work in this area includes providing legal advice on contractual and business matters, assisting with licensing, and developing compliance programs. 

Casey has an extensive pro bono practice that includes getting a death sentence vacated for a Texas man on death row for eight years and obtaining asylum for a Tanzanian woman following an immigration trial. He also has handled numerous Section 1983 cases involving prisoners and arrestees.

Mitchel Kay's Profile

Mitchel Kay Related Seminars and Products

General Counsel & Corporate Secretary

PTS Corp.

Mitchel Kay serves as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at PTS Corp., where he oversees, leads, and manages all legal and compliance functions – ranging from mergers and acquisitions to financing and real estate transactions, to general business management, corporate governance, and regulatory policy and compliance.  PTS Corp. is an Illinois-based, multi-state cannabis operator with vertical operations around the country.  PTS is known for its stellar retail experience at its Consume Cannabis locations, as well as their quality cannabis products, including its line of Tonic beverages, edibles, and multiple flower and concentrates SKUs.

Mitchel’s legal career – having worked both within businesses and in private practice – has given him a unique perspective and expertise in the cannabis industry. He also has extensive experience in the real estate, technology, marketing, and intellectual property sectors and is a certified information privacy professional (CIPP/US).

He is an active member of the Association for Corporate Counsel and currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Association for Corporate Counsel's Real Estate Network.

Mitchel is admitted to practice in the State of New York, the State of New Jersey, and the State of Illinois.  He holds a J.D. from Rutgers School of Law – Newark and an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor.  Mitchel previously lived in Bari, Italy, Florence, Italy and London, England. 

Kelly D. Fair's Profile

Kelly D. Fair Related Seminars and Products



Kelly Fair is a partner in Dentons' Cannabis and Health Care practices and focuses on regulatory compliance, corporate transactions, corporate governance, and public policy, primarily in the cannabis and hemp industries.

With 18 years of in-house and major law firm experience advising high-growth, disruptor industry companies and boards, Kelly has an understanding and appreciation of the broad range of legal, regulatory, operational and financial considerations involved when working with clients in the cannabis and hemp markets.

Prior to rejoining Dentons, Kelly served as Canopy Growth Corporation's first-ever US General Counsel and Vice President of US and European affairs. There, she managed all of the company’s US and European legal and policy affairs, global mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and continuous disclosure. While navigating the limitations of US federal and securities laws related to cannabis and hemp-derived products, Kelly helped bring Canopy’s hemp-derived CBD products to market to the US market, including launching Canopy’s Martha Stewart brand. Kelly also developed innovative deal structures that grew the company’s US footprint and built a first-class US business, which led to creation of Canopy's newly formed US-domiciled holding company, Canopy USA, LLC. Within Dentons, Kelly serves as Canopy USA, LLC’s external US General Counsel, providing all legal services to the holding company and its $600M operating assets under management.

Dr. Jayashree Mitra's Profile

Dr. Jayashree Mitra Related Seminars and Products


Carlton Fields, P.A.

Dr. Jayashree Mitra focuses on patent litigation, including Hatch-Waxman patent litigation. She represents clients in federal court and before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board and the International Trade Commission in a full range of patent litigation, including Hatch-Waxman actions, inter partes review, post-grant review proceedings, and trade secret disputes. She also advises clients in the cannabis industry and psychedelic industry on regulatory compliance, helping them align their IP strategies to comply with FDA and DEA regulations and guidance.

Jayashree is well known for her detailed understanding of the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, cannabis, psychedelics, and emerging technology sectors. A former neuropharmaceutical researcher at Yale University, Jayashree's technical knowledge extends to small molecules, protein therapeutics, protein conjugates, vaccines, injectables, biologics, and biosimilars, as well as blockchain and data privacy. She has particular insight into the science underlying innovative cannabis technology products and psychedelics. Her research in neuropharmacology at Yale specifically involved analyzing the effects of psychoactive substances on the developing brain.

She also has experience handling antitrust matters, as well as intellectual property due diligence and technology agreements for mergers, acquisitions, and other corporate transactions. She is recognized as a certified information privacy professional (CIPP/US) by the International Association of Privacy Professionals.

Jayashree engages in extensive pro bono work, including criminal appeals and death penalty cases.