Conference Presenters

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

Elvy Musikka - Federal Medical Marijuana Patient

elvy_musikka
Elvy Musikka
Elvy has been using Medical Cannabis at her physician's direction for 40 years now! At first she was hesitant because of all the propaganda she was being exposed to at the time. For that reason, she began medicating with edibles in 1975. Due to the schedule I status of Cannabis Elvy quickly found herself fighting, for her right to use it medically. Although, according to Elvy, her doctor told her flat out that she would go blind if she did not start smoking marijuana, in 1988 she was arrested. Following her release, Elvy went straight to the media. She had heard about Robert Randal, who was the first patient accepted to a federal program and like herself, had glaucoma. She was blessed to have an excellent attorney, Norman Kent, come forward to defend her Pro bono. They won the case based on medical necessity due to her Glaucoma. Elvy was the first person to challenge the state of Florida's medical defense laws for Cannabis in 1988. It took another five years for the state to confirm it, but they did confirm it. In other words, Floridians already have medical Cannabis protection on the books. Elvy is currently the only woman still receiving her allotted 300 joints a month in the program. Of course, she still has to go pick them up, and nobody can carry them for her. It's a common misconception that she receives her metal tins filled with pre-rolled Cannabis cigarettes in the post. In reality, she picks up her medicine once a year from the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami. She has been in the program for 27 years now. All 18 patients in the program and the 36 approved who never received their medicine due to Bush seniors termination of the program in 1992 had to jump through hoops. Patients were required to secure a government approved doctor who would keep reliable records regardless of government discouragement to do so. They had to prove to the FDA, DEA, and NIDA that Cannabis was the most reliable, safest, and most efficient medication to treat their ailments. Without even realizing it, Elvy became one of the most recognized activists for Cannabis in the nation. Elvy frequently participates in radio shows, videos, trials, conferences, and events. She is an honored speaker, traveling whenever she can to be present, wherever her voice is needed. In 1995 Elvy recorded & released her album, Truth and Love Are One, but the world wasn't quite ready to hear her message. Today with the quickening pace of legalization throughout the United States the songs ring truth and display her passion. Find more information at ElvyMusikka.com.  

Linda Jackson - Natural Remedies Health Services

linda_jackson
Linda Jackson
Ms. Jackson is a licensed vocational nurse and educator with over 25 years of experience. She has worked with and been of service to a number of hospitals in their trauma, surgical, and recovery units. Additionally, she has worked in convalescent homes, out-patient clinics, and ophthalmic clinics. She is a devoted mother, grandmother, sister, and friend. As she says:

Thirty years ago, I was involved in a major automobile accident, which left me temporarily paralyzed. As you might imagine, the healing process was long and painful. I was confined to a wheelchair and given lots of pharmaceuticals. During this time, I discovered that medical marijuana was much more effective than any of the prescription drugs I had been given. As time when on, I was able to eliminate all but a couple of pills, while continuing to improve my health. With my experience as a both a nurse and a patient, I was really able to empathize with other patients and lend my support to furthering the use of medical cannabis to manage pain.

Fifteen years ago, I realized that I could use my experience as a nurse and a patient, along with the knowledge I had acquired from studying with doctors, research scientists, and other caregivers, to provide the care, love, support, and information people needed to truly heal mind, body, and soul.

As a result, I began to offer my services as a Nurse Consultant to medical cannabis patients, which eventually led me to start Natural Remedies Health Services. NRHS was created out of a desire to dispel all the myths surrounding medical cannabis, and to teach patients how it could really be used to heal and manage pain. Scientific research has proven medical cannabis to be safe and effective in treating chronic pain. As a longtime nurse, I have found that medical cannabis can significantly enhance and improve a patient’s quality of life. So come by to get a hug, and to share some love, while we heal our minds, bodies and souls.


PRESENTERS

Liana Held

liana_held
Liana Held
Liana Held has 20+ years of experience in activism and understands the industry’s unique needs in navigating local governance, accounting, and staffing. She is the CEO of Liana Ltd., a cannabis business development company that provides accounting and human resources services to clients in California - and nationwide. She is a board member of the California NORML. More information can be found at Lianatld.com.

Sarah Russo

sarah russo
Sarah Russo
Sarah is a lifelong nature lover, plant nerd, and vegabond. She spent much of her childhood in the backwoods of Montana. Her work as a cannabis activists started at the age of 17. Her formal educational background is in social justice and environmental studies. She worked for Project CBD during its inception, then moving toward apothecary style natural remedy shops for two years. She is now working for Project CBD once as their Creative Director. She is currently interested in diversifying the cannabis movement integrating the plant into the greater herbal medicine compendium. More information can be found at ProjectCBD.org.

Mikki Norris

mikki norris
Mikki Norris
A cannabis reform activist since 1989, Mikki Norris is best known for her award winning book, Shattered Lives: Portraits from America’s Drug War based on the traveling photo exhibit, Human Rights and the Drug War (hr95.org), which put a human face on the prisoners and victims of US drug policies. Mikki and her husband, Chris Conrad, have been spokespeople for the cause throughout the years and have done many speaking engagements and networking tours around the US, Europe, South America, and Australia. They lived in Amsterdam in 1993 while curating and designing the Hash, Marihuana, and Hemp Museum. Norris and Conrad were grassroots petition drive coordinators for Prop. 215, the medical marijuana law passed by voters in California in 1996. She is director of the Cannabis Consumers Campaign, which asks people to come out of the closet and stand up for equal rights (cannabisconsumers.org). In 2006, Norris was a political consultant to the lowest law enforcement priority initiatives and ordinances that passed in San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, and West Hollywood. She was Managing Editor and Publisher (with her husband, Chris Conrad) of the West Coast Leaf (westcoastleaf.com) newspaper from 2008 to 2013. This newspaper has gone digital and is now theLeafOnline.com. She has been recognized for her leadership and received many awards for her activism. Norris is currently providing consulting services of public education and outreach to the Drug Policy Action, regarding the Adult Use of Marijuana Act 2016.

Chris Conrad

chris_conrad_2
Chris Conrad
Chris Conrad, Oaksterdam University instructor and internationally respected expert on industrial hemp, cannabis cultivation, processing and consumption, is a court-qualified expert witness who legally grew and processed marijuana in Europe and has testified hundreds of times in state and federal courts. He is author of Hemp: Lifeline to the Future and Hemp for Health, one of the first books to promote CBD. His research monograph, Cannabis Yields and Dosage, is a standard in the field and he co-founded theLeafOnline.com news service. His latest book is The Newbie’s Guide to Cannabis and the Industry. He consults with Drug Policy Action (drugpolicyaction.org).

Karyn Wagner

karyn_wagner
Karyn Wagner
Serial Entrepreneur cum Cannabis Entrepreneur, Karyn E Wagner (KEW to friends and associates) has never been one to “wait her turn.” She's a prime mover, inevitably the first to act, making an opening when all ways forward seem to be blocked. Her lists of “firsts” in the field of cannabis is impressive:

- FIRST branded – and sustainable – Humboldt County collective, the Tea House Collective (2010);

- FIRST women owned – and transparent – processing and extraction collective in Humboldt County (2014);

- FIRST women-centric cannabis products from Humboldt County, including SEXXPOT, the blockbuster developed by “women for women” that's a natural alternative to the so-called “Female Viagra” (2015).

Wagner was a pioneer in organizing cannabis cultivators. She succeeded in aligning small family owned farms who in turn committed to adopt environmentally sustainable agricultural and processing practices – an accomplishment that was all but miraculous, considering the fiercely independent nature of cultivators just a few years ago.

Jude Thilman

Jude Thilman
Jude Thilman
Jude Thilman has founded and directed 501(c)3 non-profit corporations and large-scale projects since 1986. She brings 30 years experience in the management of complex, multi-dimensional projects and in the production of educational media, for which she has received national awards. She comes from a life-long commitment to social and political change and has been an activist on behalf of many causes, including civil rights, gender and reproductive rights, peace and social justice campaigns, and many others. She co-founded Dragonfly Wellness Center in 2011 and is herself a cannabis patient. She strongly believes in health care as a human right and sees a return to traditional, herbal medicine as sounding the death knell for a “pharmaceuticals dominant” approach to resolving “dis-ease.” Heritage Initiative  

Adona White

adona white
Adona White
Adona White is a Water Resource Control Engineer on staff with the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (Regional Water Board) working in their Compliance Assurance Unit addressing discharges from waste discharges from private properties with cannabis cultivation in the north coast region. Adona was born and raised in northern California and received her bachelors of science in Environmental Resource Engineering from Humboldt State University. Adona has worked for the Regional Water Board since 2000, working on non-point source pollution control, timber operations review, watershed assessments, sediment and streamflow monitoring design and data analysis, restoration and stewardship strategies and partnerships. Over the past year, she has been working to implement the Regional Water Board’s new Cannabis Regulatory Program, including interagency coordination, education and outreach, development and implementation of a regulatory order, and enforcement. Adona’s presentation will describe the North Coast Regional Water Board’s Waiver of Waste Discharge Requirements for Cannabis Cultivation and Associated Activities (Order No. R1-2015-0023) (the Order) adopted in August 2015. As of February 15, 2016, properties with greater than 2000 square feet of cannabis cultivation are required to enroll in the Order, either directly or through an approved third party program. The Order contains standard conditions (e.g. site maintenance and erosion control, riparian setbacks, water use and storage plans) which describe performance standards intended to protect water quality. A tiered structure for enrollment is based upon the potential threat to water quality. The applicable tier for a property depends if all standard conditions are met (or if corrective action is necessary to achieve them) and site conditions such as the cultivated area’s slope, proximity to surface waters, and size. Enrollment in the Order is accomplished by submitting to the Regional Water Board the Notice of Intent and a section of the Monitoring and Reporting Program and an annual fee. The remainder of the site specific information is to be kept on-site and made available upon request by Regional Water Board staff or an approved third party program. The Order and additional resources can be found at: - http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/northcoast/water_issues/programs/cannabis/

Casey O'Neill

casey oneill
Casey O'Neill
Casey O’Neill co-operates HappyDay Farms, a micro-diversified farm in northern Mendocino County, California. His family raises two acres of Clean Green Certified vegetables, poultry and medical cannabis in a small-farm setting while working towards sustainability. He is passionate about representing small farmers as Board Chair for California Growers Association and as a voice in the legalization and functional regulation movement. - http://www.happydayfarmscsa.com CGA logoCGA: The California Growers Association is focused on developing sensible public policy, advocacy, outreach and education. Working through local chapters and in Sacramento, CGA’s job is to ensure that legislators from the State Capitol to county seats and city halls across California protect independently owned farms and businesses as we move toward a well regulated industry. It is critical to provide adequate protections for existing small farms and businesses. emerald_grownEmerald Grown: The Emerald Grown Project is a Marketing Services Cooperative that expects to become an Agricultural Cooperative as cannabis moves forward into regulation as an agricultural commodity under CDFA. We are working to organize farmers, provide compliance support, and establish standards and procedures for production of high-quality, medicinal cannabis.  

Lauren Vazquez

Lauren Vazquez
Lauren Vazquez
Lauren Vazquez is the Fired Up Lawyer. Over the last decade she has helped lead the fight to end cannabis prohibition and advance alternatives to the failed war on on drugs. From her work as a student activist, when she founded UC Santa Barbara's chapter of NORML, to founding the nation's first and only pro bono legal clinic for medical cannabis patients at SPARC Collective in San Francisco, Lauren has been recognized as a premier spokesperson for drug policy reform. In 2008 Santa Clara University's Law School honored her with its prestigious Social Justice Service Award. Most recently, in 2011 Lauren launched her law practice to provide advice and legal services to advocacy groups, collectives, cooperatives, vendors and cultivators. She is on the faculty of Oaksterdam University and is National Deputy Director of Communications for the Marijuana Policy Project. A frequently sought after speaker, Lauren has made numerous media appearances at cannabis events across the United States. Fired Up Lawyer  

Julia Carrera

Julia Carrera
Julia Carrera
With 25 years as an alternative healthcare provider studying medical cannabis through Chinese herbology, including research in Pakistan on the plant's origins, Ms. Carrera brings a plethora of experience to the medical cannabis landscape. Starting as a 90-acre organic farmer through her work at Bloomfield farms in her 20s, creating the first farm to table delivery in Sonoma County in the 80s, to becoming the first 3rd Party Compliance Inspector of medical cannabis farms in the nation for Mendocino County, Julia Carrera breaths cannabis compliance, certification and knowledge on the farm and in the capital. She is grateful for her role in being one of the first to bring legitimacy of the medical cannabis industry to local and state governments through expertise in regulation, in-the-field experience and on farm scientific data that has earned her the role of subject matter expert at the California State Capital, and beyond. small farmers associationThe Small Farmers Association evolved out of the Mendocino County Ordinance 9.31 Permittee and Zip-tie Program instituted by the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors and Administered by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s department. Our missions is to ensure that Small Farmers have an integral role in the Medical Cannabis market now and in the future, while maintaining sustainable environmental practices - To support Small Farmers Cottage Industry Rights, while promoting Local Economies. - To promote Sustainable Environmental Farming Practices. - To prevent Corporate Stronghold over Farming. - To Promote Cannabis Genetic Diversity through Heirloom Seed Preservation. - To Promote Equitable Licensing and Taxation for Small Farmers’ Success. - To represent Small Cannabis Farmers to Local and State Government Agencies in order to promote Reasonable and Fair Laws. The SFA started with Julia Carrera who was one of only three certified inspectors for the Mendocino County 9.31 Zip-tie program. For over two years Julia and 87 of her farmer clients met with each other, agriculture commissioners, organic certifiers, bio-dynamic certifiers, permaculture experts, and dispensary owners to create a Best Management Practices (BMPs). The BMPs have evolved into a certification process which helps farmers create financial budgets, improve water conservation, enhance yields, create more efficient processing methods, eliminate diversion and create the highest quality medicine possible. The goal of our certification process is to help small farmers become 100% sustainable and be reimbursed for their products legally and without the need for diversion. To learn more about the certification process and it’s benefits check out our certification info page. We exist to help small farmers. To assist in protecting their farms and families. To help improve farming methods. To connect them with other farmers so that we can all stand strong and proud to call ourselves small farmers.

Ben Larson

ben larson
Ben Larson
Ben Larson is a serial entrepreneur, professional business coach, and startup advisor based in San Francisco, California. He is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Gateway, the premier business accelerator for the burgeoning cannabis industry. Ben is also a Director for the Founder Institute in San Francisco, and formerly managed global operations for the Founder Institute’s 100+ cities. He advises early stage companies around the world with a focus on brand foundation, customer development, user experience, and pitching. Ben loves dogs, scotch, and burritos. Gateway Incubator

Don Duncan

Don Duncan
Don Duncan
Don Duncan has served on the Board of Directors since he co-founded American for Safe Access in 2002. As California Director, he is coordinating the grassroots and grasstops campaign to fully implement the states medical cannabis laws, respond to federal interference, and build a broader and more powerful coalition for medical cannabis in California. Mr. Duncan was instrumental in galvanizing grassroots resistance to federal raids and in seeding local self-regulatory alliances for medical cannabis providers statewide. He has worked closely with elected officials, law enforcement, collective operators, and community members in local implementation efforts in several California cities and counties, and is currently working with lawmakers in Sacramento to adopt legislation to expand rights for patients. Mr. Duncan co-founded one of the oldest and most reputable families of medical cannabis dispensing collectives in California, helping to open legal facilities in Berkeley, West Hollywood, and Los Angeles. He is a leading consultant in the field of medical cannabis and has been featured in major media coverage, including 60 Minutes, Dan Rather Reports, Retirement Living TV, and the Los Angeles Times. Americans for Safe Access

Kristin Nevedal

Kristin Nevedal
Kristin Nevedal
Kristin Nevedal is the Director of the Patient Focused Certification Program. Before joining ASA she co-founded and served on the board of the Emerald Growers Association whose mission is to promote the medicinal, environmental, social, and economic benefits of lawfully cultivated sun-grown medical cannabis from California’s Emerald Triangle region by advocating for public policies that foster a healthy, sustainable medical cannabis industry. As chair of the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) Cannabis Committee’s Cultivation Working Group, Kristin assisted in the development of cannabis cultivation model regulations and best practices for agency consideration. Kristin is also an instructor at Oaksterdam University, teaching classes on environmental sustainability and Best Management Practices. Kristin’s broad policy and advocacy experience also includes serving as a board member for the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform (CCPR), Californians to Regulate Medical Marijuana (CRMM), Americans for Safe Access’s Patient Focused Certification Program, and the 420 Archives. Americans for Safe Access

E.D. Lerman

E.D. Lerman
E.D. Lerman
E.D. Lerman has been a patient advocate licensed to practice law in the state of California since 2006. She has represented and continues to represent lawyers, doctors, patients, collectives, cooperatives, and brick & mortar dispensaries in both civil, criminal and administrative courts. E.D. has been advising agencies, operators and individuals on the subject of medical cannabis helping them navigate the very confusing and ever changing laws. E.D. is admitted to practice law both federally and in California. In 2012 she was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of U.S. in Washington DC. E.D. has never lost a medical cannabis trial. Law Offices of E.D. Lerman

Shiloh Wisham

Shiloh Wisham
Shiloh Wisham
Shiloh Wisham is an entrepreneur, advocate of the cannabis industry, business advisor, and social media specialist. She’s the founder and creative director of Graphic Heart, a creative studio located in Arcata, CA. Shiloh has worked on hundreds of branding projects in a variety of industries which has given her a unique perspective in what it takes to build a successful brand. She’s been a mentor to many small business owners including over a dozen cannabis start-ups. As a business owner and community member of Humboldt County she understands the importance that the cannabis industry has on the economy in Northern, CA. She’s passionate about helping cannabis businesses build a solid brand foundation from the start. Graphic Heart Design

Melissa Moore

Melissa Moore
Melissa Moore
Melissa Moore is the co-founder of Emerald Triangle Analytics. She earned her B.A. in organismal biology with a minor in chemistry from Keuka College in Penn Yan, NY. She moved to Laytonville, California over 13 years ago, where she has been a part of the medical cannabis movement ever since. Emerald Triangle Analytics works in conjunction with Steep Hill Labs to provide analytical services for legally-authorized distributors, producers, and licensed regulators of cannabis. http://www.emeraldtriangleanalytics.com/

Zeta Ceti

Zeta Ceti
Zeta Ceti
Zeta Ceti, Founder and CEO, is a master cultivator, patient advocate, and entrepreneur. He is passionate about advancing the cannabis industry, and founded Green Rush Consulting in Oakland in 2012 to help industry businesses achieve their highest potential. By bringing together a team of select experts and innovators at GRC, Zeta has helped clients across the US build better cannabis businesses, and win licenses to operate dispensaries, cultivation facilities, and other cannabis-based businesses. Early in his career, Zeta developed many innovative cultivation concepts to help cultivators provide patients with the most effective medicine possible. He continues to forge new ground by developing creative business ideas and strategies that help entrepreneurs become successful in the fast-growing cannabis industry.

Kerry Reynolds -- MC on Friday

Kerry Reynolds
Kerry Reynolds
Kerry Reynolds is the Executive Director and Founder of Cannabis Consciousness News (CCN), a non-profit syndicated radio show that airs weekly on six radio stations nationwide. Reynolds has been a cannabis journalist and educator since 2011, when she launched Cannabis Consciousness, a monthly magazine-style news and talk show on KMUD-FM in Redway, CA. Reynolds is currently developing CCN-TV, a monthly video podcast for national distribution. She received her BA in Writing from Johns Hopkins in 1997, and her MS in Environmental Education from the Audubon Expedition Institute in 2005. Cannabis Consciousness News

Sherry Glaser -- MC on Saturday

Sherry Glaser
Sherry Glaser
Sherry and her family founded the first Medical Cannabis Dispensary in the Village of Mendocino in February of 2011. They were raided in March of 2014 and reopened in April. Sherry, with the help of an asset forfeiture attorney, was able to reclaim all financial assets seized from the raid, something unheard of in Mendocino County. Because of the 3 year statute of limitations on prosecution, her case remains open in the D.A.'s office giving her plenty of inspiration to TAKE THE HIGH ROAD. http://sherryglaser.net    
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