Insider

This Month's Archived Session

CWCBExpoInsider

CWCBExpoInsider is your place for viewing a rotating collection of recorded sessions from the CWCBExpo conference program archive. Our first presentation is by cannabis advocate and NORML founder, Keitih Stroup.
Sit back, relax and enjoy!

"NORML Milestone Message - Celebrating 50 Years of Activism"

Presented by Keith Stroup, with introduction by
Jenn Michelle Pedini

Keith Stroup has devoted his career and life supporting legalization of cannabis, and will deliver remarks on the milestone of 50 years of activism that NORML has provided to the movement. He will highlight the 50-year journey of NORML and comment on the progress of cannabis legislation across the United States. He’ll discuss ballot initiatives in several states post-election and highlight some of the most obvious road blocks to total Federal legalization and removal of cannabis from Schedule 1. As Founder of NORML, Stroup will give us his vision for NORML today as well as for the next few years of its advocacy work and mission. Finally, he will give encouraging words to supporters, activists, and hard-working business people in the industry who remain brave and continue to trailblaze forward under very challenging times.​

Presented November 17, 2020, at CWCBExpoInsider on-line event

Keith Stroup
R. Keith Stroup, Esq.

Founder, NORML

Keith Stroup is a Washington, DC public-interest attorney who founded NORML in 1970. Stroup obtained his undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Illinois in 1965, and in 1968 he graduated from Georgetown Law School in Washington, DC. Following two years as staff counsel for the National Commission on Product Safety, Mr. Stroup founded NORML and ran the organization through 1979, during which 11 states decriminalized minor marijuana offenses.

 

Stroup has also practiced criminal law, lobbied on Capitol Hill for family farmers and artists, and for several years served as executive director of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). In 1994 Stroup resumed his work with NORML, rejoining the board of directors and serving again as Executive Director through 2004. He is currently serving as Legal Counsel with NORML.

 

In 1992 Stroup was the recipient of the Richard J. Dennis Drugpeace Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Drug Policy Reform presented by the Drug Policy Foundation, Washington, DC. In 2010 he received the Al Horn Award for Advancing the Cause of Justice from the NORML Legal Committee. And in 2012 Stroup received the High Times Lifetime Achievement Award.

 

In 2013 Stroup published the history of NORML entitled “It’s NORML To Smoke Pot: The 40 Year Fight for Marijuana Smokers’ Rights.”

Jenn Michelle Pedini
Jenn Michelle Pedini

Development Director, NORML

Jenn Michelle Pedini is the development director of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, and serves as the executive director of the state affiliate, Virginia NORML.

 

Jenn Michelle’s work in Virginia has resulted in the implementation of a regulated medical cannabis program and the establishment of the Virginia Legislative Cannabis Caucus. At NORML, they ensure availability of resources and tools necessary to leverage the organization’s powerful grassroots support and elevate the work of the worldwide affiliate chapter network.

 

Prior to drug policy reform, they enjoyed a successful entertainment and media career with The Walt Disney Company.

They cut their advocacy teeth publishing accounts of two battles with lymphoma, chemotherapy, and finally a life-saving stem cell transplant to raise thousands of dollars for nonprofit organizations like Stand Up to Cancer and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

 

Born and raised in Orlando, FL, Jenn Michelle has flown from the heights of Cinderella’s Castle, danced their way through the Magic Kingdom, and performed principal roles in countless shows throughout the Walt Disney World Resort property. Jenn Michelle resides in Richmond, and brings a sparkle of pixie dust to public policy.

"Opportunities in Psychedelics: Health, Wellness & Business"

Ariel Clark, Esq.
Joe Moore
Keiko Beatie, Moderator
Introduction by Dr. Ken Weinberg

This session highlights the emergence of psychedelics from the 1960s until now, with an energetic discussion about how psychedelics got included as part of the Schedule 1 listing. This panel also discusses psychedelics as an investment opportunity.

Presented November 17, 2020, at CWCBExpoInsider on-line event

Keiko Beatie
Keiko Beatie

CEO, Greenwave Relations

Keiko Beatie has been a practitioner of Ayurveda, Chinese and Holistic Medicine since the 1970s. Her specialty in Bach Flower and Homeopathic has continued with whole plant cannabis medicine and focusing on education to the community for better patient care and health and well-being. She is the Director of Education for Coral Cove Wellness Resort has she has part ownership. This is an all-inclusive cannabis and psychedelic educational resort with cultivation on the oceanfront of the crystal blue waters of Jamaica.

 

She is a Board Member for many various organizations starting with OC NORML, The Cannabis Chamber of Commerce, Advisory Board Member for Cannabis World Congress & Business Expo, Head Judge of Edibles for The Emerald Cup, Regional Lead for the California Cannabis Tourism Association and she is the Host of A Seasoned Perspective for Wrazel Cannabis Broadcasting Network. Keiko has started various companies in the industry from delivery services, cultivation and dispensaries, all to support patient care with natural plant-based medicine.

 

In the past Keiko’s passion on holistic natural plant-based medicines took her to study at Twin Lakes Holistic College, Alive Polarity Institute, CIIS Calif. Institute of Intralegal Studies, Esalen Institute, UCLA and LA College of Massage and Physical Therapy. She worked in the music, film, and surf industry prior to dedicating her path to education and patient care with natural and fungi medicines. She has assisted in starting Women Grow OC, and has written for Weedmaps, Marijunia.com, Sensi Magazine, and is currently contributing to The Retreat Journal. Keiko’s mission statement is “Acceptance and legalization of Cannabis and Psychedelic medicines through education and outreach for patient care.”

Ariel Clark, Esq.
Ariel Clark, Esq.

Founder, Clark Howell, LLP

Ariel Clark is one of California’s best and most dedicated business attorneys advising clients in highly regulated, emerging markets.

For over a decade, Ariel has been in the trenches of cannabis law and drug policy reform, helping enact industry-defining regulations while building a client list of leading operators, entrepreneurs, innovators, investors, and healers. When the idea of cannabis business law was considered an oxymoron, she committed her practice exclusively to this emerging industry — foresight that was recognized by Rolling Stone, which named her one of 18 “Women Shaping The Culture of Tomorrow.” Ariel’s hard work, intelligence, and tenacity have earned her a national reputation as one of the industry’s fiercest lawyers.

Ariel works closely with clients on a myriad regulatory and legal challenges in her role as outside general counsel. As the world embraces hemp, the derivative cannabinoids, and other emerging medicines Ariel’s extensive legal and political expertise provide valuable counsel to other trailblazers building successful companies, products, and services.

Ariel’s nationally-recognized leadership is reflected in her inclusion in Cannabis Business Executive’s “75 Most Important Women in Cannabis”; mg Magazine’s “30 Most Powerful Cannabis Lawyers”; Cannabis Law Report’s “Global Top 200 Cannabis Lawyers”; and Entrepreneur’s “Top 100 Cannabis Leaders.”

Ariel’s affiliations include the International Cannabis Bar Association, California Native American Cannabis Association, California and National Cannabis Industry Associations, and California Growers Association. She is vice chair of the Executive Committee and serves on the Social Equity Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Cannabis Law Section. Additionally, she serves as co-general counsel to Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines; is a member of the Council for the Protection of Sacred Plants; and co- founded the Cannaboss Womxn’s Circle, an active community of professionals collectively advancing feminine leadership in the industry.

Ariel founded the Los Angeles Cannabis Task Force, which was instrumental in the passage of Measure M, authorizing the creation of a legal, regulated industry in LA. Over the last ten years, she has advised many other trade associations and drug policy reform organizations on regulatory and legal changes necessary for a thriving legal marketplace.

Prior to founding Clark Howell LLP (originally Clark Neubert LLP), Ariel captained her own firm and worked with California Indian Legal Services in Oakland, Santa Rosa, and Eureka. Her holistic, forward-thinking, and thorough approach to law – coupled with deep policy expertise and progressive vision – is of enormous benefit to clients, colleagues, and fellow paradigm-shifters.
Joe Moore
Joe Moore

Co-Founder, Psychedelics Today

Joe Moore is a co-founder of Psychedelics Today. He is a long time student of psychedelics, psychology, and of the pioneering psychedelic psychiatrist, Dr. Stanislav Grof. After discovering the work of Dr. Stanislav Grof in 2001, Joe began studying psychedelics. In 2003 he started participating heavily in Holotropic Breathwork workshops. Joe spent time community organizing in Boston around permaculture, psychedelics, breathwork, shamanism and more. His biggest event in Boston was the “Ayahuasca Monologues” in 2011.

 

In addition to running Psychedelics Today, Joe coordinates Breathwork workshops in Breckenridge, Colorado. Joe previously spent 15-years in the software industry.

Dr. Ken Weinberg
Dr. Ken Weinberg

Chief Medical Officer, Cannabis Doctors of New York

Cannabis Doctors of New York’s Chief Medical Officer Kenneth R. Weinberg is a Board Certified Emergency Medicine and Registered Medical Marijuana physician. As a third generation doctor following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, Dr. Weinberg is passionate about advancing the quality of healthcare in America.

After earning a medical degree from St. Georges University School of Medicine in 1980, Dr. Weinberg continued on to complete his residency in Internal Medicine at USC-LA County Medical Center. He then returned to New York City and pursued a Fellowship in Psychoneuroimmunology at the Manhattan VA and NYU. Following that he trained in Emergency Medicine at NYU and Bellevue Hospitals. After 30 years of practicing Emergency Room Medicine, Dr. Weinberg transitioned to Urgent Care.

In January of 2016, when NY State’s Compassionate Care Act went into effect, Dr. Weinberg began certifying patients to receive medical marijuana. He is one of three founders of Cannabis Doctors of New York. As with many physicians and healthcare providers, Dr. Weinberg’s vast experience caring for patients over decades with a vast array of medical conditions has provided him with a unique perspective about the impact of public policy on the practice of medicine. He has been featured on several panels, radio and on TV as a thought leader and medical marijuana expert. He is a strong advocate for legalization of medical marijuana and its benefits and recognizes the value of education as well as science-based research.

"The Legalization of Cannabis & Future Business Opportunities in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut"
Julianne Avallone
Axel Bernabe
Jeff Brown
Kelly Crosson, Moderator

Cannabis laws in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are changing rapidly and are creating a multitude of new business opportunities in the most ethnically and geographically diverse region in the nation. This panel discussion provides insight into the state of medical cannabis, the emergence of adult-use cannabis businesses and how to begin the process of raising capital to help you reach your goals.

Presented November 17, 2020, at CWCBExpoInsider on-line event

Julianne Avallone
Julianne Avallone

Legal Director, Department of Consumer Protection, State of Connecticut

The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) is the licensing and regulatory agency overseeing over 200,000 credential holders in more than 200 industries, including health care, pharmaceutical distribution, liquor production and sale, food supply, weights and measures, legal gaming, real estate, financial services, and construction.

The DCP Legal Division consists of 23 staff members, more than half of whom are attorneys. In addition to licensing enforcement, the Department oversees: 1. The Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act, bringing cases against businesses and individuals engaged in deceptive or unfair business practices in the state; 2. Eighteen professional Boards, Councils and Commissions, most of which adjudicate administrative cases; and 3. Lemon Law arbitrations between consumers and vehicle manufacturers.

Prior to joining DCP in 2015, Julianne worked in private practice, with a focus on commercial real estate, corporate acquisitions and financing. She previously served at the City of Hartford overseeing housing and economic development initiatives, and at not-for-profit organizations

Axel Bernabe
Axel Bernabe

Assistant Counsel to the Governor for Health, NYS Executive Chamber

Axel Bernabe is Assistant Counsel for Health to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. In this role, he oversees all legal and policy deliberations in the health portfolio and provides strategic counsel to the operations, press, and budget teams in the Executive Chamber and the State Department of Health. As part of his responsibilities, Axel oversees the development and implementation of all medical, hemp, and adult-use cannabis initiatives in the State. Over the past four years he has directed and supervised the expansion of the medical cannabis program and the launch of the State’s hemp program. Axel is also responsible for driving the administration’s proposed Cannabis Act that would comprehensively regulate all segments of the cannabis economy, including the creation of a new Office of Cannabis Management that would permit the implementation of an adult-use program.

Prior to joining the Cuomo administration, Axel was a partner at the law firm of Constantine Cannon, where he was a nationally recognized legal expert in the healthcare sector, particularly on antitrust matters.

Jeff Brown
Jeff Brown

Assistant Commissioner Medical Marijuana, NJ Department of Health

At the NJ Department of Health, Jeff Brown oversees the newly elevated Division of Medicinal Marijuana. He has years of experience in health policy, government affairs, communications, and both advocacy and electoral campaigns.

In his career, Jeff has worked extensively on the passage and implementation of the Affordable Care Act, particularly the creation of health insurance exchanges and the expansion of Medicaid, has led an association of community-based providers to implement innovative new payment models in Medicaid, and has fought to expand access to healthcare in New Jersey’s urban communities by developing sustainable financing policies.

Jeff grew up in Mercer County and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Rutgers University. He is active in the community and serves on the advisory board of the New Jersey Chapter of the New Leaders Council and on the board of trustees of the Trenton Health Team Accountable Care Organization.

Kelley Crosson
Kelley Crosson

Horticulture & Cannabis Consultant

Kelley Crosson is a horticulturist, designer, cannabis advocate, and public speaker. She owns KC, Inc., a horticulture and design consulting company based in Manhattan. She currently serves as an advisor for the CWCBE and several other US cannabis companies. From 2009 – 2018 she worked with major donors for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP.) MPP played the leading role in drafting, funding, and staffing the historic 2012 Amendment 64 initiative in Colorado – which made CO the first place in history to legalize marijuana for adults and regulate it like alcohol. MPP also led the coalitions that passed measures to legalize and regulate marijuana in Alaska, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada in 2014 and 2016, and led medical marijuana and decriminalization reform efforts in multiple states. Kelley also served as Vice President of the Board of Trustees for the New Jersey Cannabis Industry Association (NJCIA) from 2017-2019.

From 1992-2009, she worked as a freelance designer for a multitude of luxury event, home, floral, and garden design companies in San Francisco, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, St. John (USVI) and New York City. Kelley received her BA in English from the Pennsylvania State University in 1991 and is a 2013 graduate of the School of Professional Horticulture at the New York Botanical Garden. The main emphasis of her horticulture studies and current practice is low-impact, sustainable design and the use of native plants. While a student at the NYBG, Kelley interned with the US Fish and Wildlife Service in New Jersey to study Helonias bullata, a plant federally listed as a threatened species. She was an instrumental part of the installation team for the 3.5-acre, $15 million Native Plant Garden at the NYBG, which included Helonias bullata and other plants native to the region. She also taught the first class on “Growing Cannabis” at the NYBG in Jan/Feb 2020, and will continue as a guest lecturer in the Fall/Winter 2020 session.

"Update on Landmark Petition Filed with SCOTUS to Declare the Federal Criminalization of Cannabis Unconstitutional"

Presented November 18, 2020, at CWCBExpoInsider on-line event

Presented by:
Joesph Bondy, Esq.
Michael Hiller, Esq.
Lauren Rudick, Esq.
Leo Bridgewater, Plaintiff
Mona Zhang, Moderator
Introduction by Madelon Gauthier

Hear from the legalization advocates who litigated America’s most consequential lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Controlled Substances Act and its mis-classification of cannabis as a Schedule I drug. A case that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, Washington v. Barr was brought on behalf of five plaintiffs, including 15-year-old legalization activist Alexis Bortell, Iraq War Veteran Jose Belen, and nine-year old Jagger Cotte — three plaintiffs whose treatment with cannabis keeps them alive.

While SCOTUS ultimately decided not to hear the appeal, the case is expected to set the stage for the next phase of the legalization movement throughout the U.S. Moderated by Politico’s Mona Zhang, the panel will discuss what the next steps are for legalization, as well as the future of the issues that the case highlighted. We will get first-hand remarks and answers from Lauren A. Rudick, Joseph A. Bondy, and Michael S. Hiller, the lawyers who handled the case “pro bono,” as well as speak with one of the plaintiffs, Leo Bridgewater of the Cannabis Cultural Association. Don’t miss it.

Joseph Bondy, Esq.
Joseph Bondy, Esq.

Criminal Defense and Cannabis Business Attorney

Joseph A. Bondy is a criminal defense and cannabis business attorney, with offices in Manhattan. A graduate of Columbia University and Brooklyn Law School, Mr. Bondy is admitted to practice in New York, the United States District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of New York, the District of Connecticut, the United States Courts of Appeal for the First, Second, Third, and Fourth Circuits, and the Supreme Court of the United States. Over the past twenty-four years, he has represented more than one thousand individuals at all stages of litigation, including dozens of federal and state cannabis clients.

Bondy is a life member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), and a life member of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws’ (NORML) National Legal Committee. He is the Founder of In the Know 420, a well-known weekly livestream on cannabis law and policy, and Vice-President of the Cannabis Cultural Association (CCA). The American Trial Lawyers College rates Mr. Bondy as one of the top 100 criminal trial attorneys in the United States. Mr. Bondy lectures on a variety of federal criminal and cannabis law topics at various community, bar association and legal programs throughout the country. Mr. Bondy serves on the faculty of Cardozo Law School’s Intensive Trial Advocacy Program (ITAP), and immensely enjoys mentoring young lawyers and advocates.

Michael Hiller, Esq.
Michael Hiller, Esq.

Co-founder, Hiller, PC

Michael Hiller is the Managing Principal of Hiller, PC, a national law firm with concentrations in cannabis and corporate law, and litigation. For years, Michael has been a leader in the cannabis legalization movement, having served as lead counsel in the Washington v. Sessions (Barr) litigation to legalize cannabis nationwide. For his efforts, Michael was awarded the International Hope Award by the CBA (2018); 420 Advocate of the Year by Canna-Gather (2018); and was designated one of the 30 Most Powerful Litigators in America by MG Magazine (2018). In addition to his work on behalf of the cannabis industry, Michael concentrates his practice in zoning and insurance litigation. In recognition of his success, Michael received Grassroots Preservation Award (2017); has been designated a SuperLawyer by SuperLawyer Magazine every year since 2010; is a Life Member of the Million Dollar and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forums (for obtaining multiple trial verdicts in excess of $2 Million); and, in 2018, was denominated “Defender of the Little Guy” by the New York Law Journal.

In addition to his law practice, Michael was a member of the faculty as a Professor of Constitutional Law at John Jay College of Criminal Justice for eight years, and has served as a Standing Mediator for the New York State Supreme Court (Commercial Division) since 2005. Prior to working as an attorney, Michael was a professional musician. His band, Lunar Tourists (which still performs occasionally), has released two CDs, the title track of one of which will be featured in a documentary feature film on the legalization movement to be released later this year.

Lauren Rudick, Esq.
Lauren Rudick, Esq.

Assistant Commissioner Medical Marijuana, NJ Department of Health

Lauren Rudick is the co-founder of Hiller, PC’s cannabis law practice. After starting with a passion project in patient rights during a brief residency in California, Rudick 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.

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 clients.

Leo Bridgewater
Leo Bridgewater, Plaintiff

National Director of Veterans Outreach, Minorities for Medical Marijuana

In 2001, Leo Bridgewater enlisted into the United States Army in response to the September 11 attacks. There, he spent 5 years as a Telecommunications specialist with multiple deployments to Iraq. After separating from the Army in 2006, he spent another 2 ½ years working for the Dept. of the Army at the Pentagon in Washington DC. Having had 3 battle buddies attempt suicide and 2 being successful, Leo’s advocacy for veterans’ rights has seen him testify in NJ Senate Committee to have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) added to the NJ Medical Marijuana Program (NJMMP). As a result of his efforts, in September of 2016, NJ Gov. Chris Christie signed bill S-2345 adding PTSD to the NJMMP.

Mona Zhang
Mona Zhang, Moderator

States Cannabis Policy Reporter, POLITICO

Mona Zhang is the States Cannabis Policy Reporter for POLITICO. Before joining POLITICO, she founded and edited the daily cannabis newsletter Word on the Tree. She was also a freelance journalist on the cannabis beat, and her work has appeared in Forbes, The Outline, Vice, High Times, and more.

Madelon Gauthier
Madelon Gauthier, Introduction

Member, CWCBExpo Advisory Committee

Madelon Gauthier practiced law in the litigation, bankruptcy and creditors’ rights groups at Pryor Cashman LLP in New York City for seven years. As an attorney Madelon volunteered her services to the Her Justice organization in several matrimonial and immigration pro‐bono cases. She serves on the Special Committee for Drugs & the Law at the New York City Bar Association and regularly contributes as a speaker at nationwide cannabis industry events. Madelon holds a Masters in Public Health from the University of Illinois at Chicago and obtained her J.D. from Rutgers Law–Newark.

Check back soon for more from the archive!
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