Ark-La-Tex Cannabis Business Expo
Click on a Speaker Below to Read Full Bio
Biography: Andy Joseph is the President of Apeks Supercritical, an Ohio-based manufacturer of fully automated subcritical and supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) botanical oil extraction systems. Andy is an engineer, a fabricator, and veteran who learned about mechanical operations and principles during six years in the Navy operating nuclear submarine reactors. Andy has worked tirelessly to share his expertise with Ohio’s lawmakers at the local, county and state level to ensure the medical cannabis program in Ohio is successful for both patients and businesses. Andy is the holder of five patents, including the Valveless Expansion Technology featured on all Apeks systems.
The Grow Shop
Biography: Brenton Schnelle is the Operations Manager of five grow shops throughout Colorado, Nevada and Arizona. He has a Bachelor's in Unified Sciences - Chemistry Education from the University of Missouri Columbia. He is also the Vice President of Green Rooster lighting where he works as a grow and lighting consultant for various indoor and greenhouse facilities.
Biography: Bryan Spivey is Vice President of ProKure’s Cultivation Channel, leading sales and marketing efforts in the growing medical/recreational cultivation market. He is incredibly passionate about providing solutions for cultivators that ensure their facilities are clean, safe, and free of harmful chemicals and microbials. He previously held leadership positions in a fast-growing organic beverage startup and lead strategic initiatives at the iconic energy drink brand, Red Bull. A native of southern California, he graduated from UCSB and lives in Orange County, CA.
Biography: Cassandra Dittus, cancer survivor, entrepreneur, and innovator, has worked in a plethora of arenas throughout primary and ancillary marijuana businesses over the last 10 years. Her experience operating medical and recreational marijuana facilities in the early days of regulatory compliance gave her unique knowledge which helped her co-found Tribal Cannabis Consulting, a tribal government marijuana consulting firm, as well as Cannabis Compliance Technology, an industry seed to sale tracking software, and DICE corp., a Cannabis based Human Resource and Consulting company. Cassandra has a deep passion for safe access and quality medicine for patients. Her passion has driven her throughout her career to keep finding new opportunities and avenues to benefit and revolutionize the cannabis industry.
The Cannabis Marketing Lab
Biography: Dedicated to what she does and successful in her savvy business-minded ventures, Celeste Miranda is an entrepreneur, author, founder and CEO of Miranda Marketing Labs and The Cannabis Marketing Lab. Undertaking the critical challenges of marketing an emerging industry, Miranda opened a specialized division focused on providing businesses with innovative and affordable marketing strategies. Since then, The Cannabis Marketing Lab has become a highly regarded organization in Cannabis related ventures. Comprised of a 16 person team, Celeste’s staff has years of experience and expertise in a myriad of areas such as Social Media, Search Engine Optimization, Graphic & Web Design, Creative Content Production, Advertising, PR and much more. As an efficient and knowledgeable professional, Celeste is a force of nature in the realm of entrepreneurial business and marketing.
Biography: High Security Specialists in Arkansas and Texas. Founded in 1989, Protection Networks is UL listed for 681 and 2050 for high security, high risk government, military and commercial alarm installations. Specialties include intrusion, cameras, access control, and fire alarm systems.
Biography: Corey Hunt has been at the forefront of the medical cannabis industry as a patient advocate and educator for nearly five (5) years. He first became aware of the promise of medical cannabis when a loved one was diagnosed with cancer in 2013. He began learning as much as he could about medical cannabis and soon afterward, he created an online community to share his knowledge with others, "Illegally Healed." Today, Illegally Healed’s articles, videos and social media reach millions each month. Its 400,000+ members--patients, advocates, researchers, and medical professionals--have become a force for increased medical research, education of patients about responsible use of medical cannabis, and advocacy for sensible change in cannabis policies at the state and federal level.
Corey is a sought-after speaker for a wide variety of groups, including classes at the University of Central Arkansas, on social media advocacy, education, and medical cannabis legislation. He was also instrumental in the petition signature drive and election campaign for the Arkansas medical cannabis ballot issue in 2016. In 2017, Corey became a member of the Board of Directors for the Arkansas Cannabis Industry Association (ACIA) and the Drug Policy Education Group (DPEG).
Biography: Curtis is the Director of Business Development at NCIA. His primary focus is to build and enhance relationships among NCIA, its members, and the broader cannabis community. Curtis got his start in the industry working in marketing and branding before pivoting to advertising. He then went on to launch a cannabis-focused consulting firm that assisted a myriad of companies, from human resources companies and law firms to magazines and celebrity product brands. While diverse work throughout the cannabis industry provided Curtis a sound base in the field, it also motivated him to seek more competitive and rewarding work that held broader policy implications, ultimately galvanizing him to join the team at NCIA. Curtis currently resides West Hollywood, CA.
Biography: Daniel Sanders is the Chief Operations Officer for MaryGold Laboratories—a regulatory testing facility with roots in the craft beer industry. Seeing Issue 6 pass into legislation in 2016, MaryGold Labs immediately began posturing to fill Arkansas’ developing need for regulatory cannabis testing. Taking a proactive approach, Daniel has consulted on various medical marijuana applications, as well as helped in the early procurement of intellectual property within the cannabis industry.
Daniel’s professional background includes earning a degree in Molecular-Biotechnology from UALR, with an emphasis in Genetics; and having participated as Chief Research Officer of Blue Rose Innovations Institute in various projects ranging from plant genetics to sustainable ethanol-biofuel production project. Some other projects he currently aids in clinical trials research and education for Clinical Trials Inc.(CTI); and is awaiting publications of his contributions with ADAMAS Pharmaceutical in the field of epilepsy, through his work with CTI’s composite—the Arkansas Epilepsy Program.
American Cannabis Company
Biography: Mr. Smith has 17 years of horticultural experience, 8 years owning/operating businesses, and 2 years of international business experience in Kyrgyzstan Central Asia. Working in the specialty cut flower market and running indoor gardens early in his career helped him understand complex growing systems and production protocols while developing his master gardening skills. Some of his accomplishments include assisting in the identification of the Hemp Russet Mite within the Colorado Medical Cannabis market and working with SKUNK magazine to enlighten and educate the industry. Additional articles in SKUNK magazine highlighted his use of True Living Organics (TLO) cultivation methodology in a regulated, commercial market.
Prior to establishing American Cannabis Company Inc., Mr. Smith designed and built out a 5,000 square foot grow space in Fort Collins, CO for The Happy Camper Organics. Also, Mr. Smith designed and built out a 7,500 square foot grow space in Denver, CO for The Village Green Society Dispensary in Boulder, CO; a vertically integrated licensed facility. For each of these projects, Mr. Smith worked with a mechanical engineer to size the HVAC load and dehumidification.
Biography: Faustino Tijerina is the founder of Can2Biz an industry game changing marketing platform. The company is based in Texas where Faustino has been in the technology industry for over 20 years. His career has been around big data analytic and cyber security, a huge topic on everyone’s mind in the cannabis space. He has learned how to separate vital business data needed to be shared among the business community to secure personal data that needs to kept out of the spot light. Faustino is dedicated to helping companies in the cannabis and hemp space recover valuable time by supplying a B2B targeted leads and products sharing platform. Faustino is helping the industries push forward by encouraging entrepreneurs to start a cannabis or hemp business.
Biography: Greg Eisenbeis has been in the Industrial Automation industry for 15 years and is the President of Grow Remote. He has served industries like solar cell production, T3 data center cooling, large-scale indoor growing control systems, and more.
Greg started in the Cannabis industry in 2015 offering wireless sensors and monitoring. Since then they started integrating almost every imaginable device/system in a facility into one common control / management system. Greg and his company currently are helping companies lower their capex, electric bills by at least 30%, and reducing major labor pains that can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Dr. Jan Bartlett
Southern Center of Cannabis Research
Biography: Jan Bartlett, PhD is a researcher, educator, author, coach and entrepreneur turning thoughts into action. As a university professor and administrator for 15-years in the counseling psychology and counseling field she conducted, supervised and mentored research projects. Dr. Bartlett is the Director of The Southern Center of Cannabis Research, which seeks to increase medical cannabis knowledge and hemp innovations for job creation and quality of life. The center partners universities, colleges, and technical schools with linkages to the medical community and cannabis industry to develop meaningful and rigorous research studies. Through data collection The Southern Center of Cannabis Research will communicate the impact and influence of the cannabis and hemp industry.
Dr. John MacKay - Keynote
Dr. John MacKay
Biography: John A. MacKay earned his B.A. in Chemistry at the St. Lawrence University. He also earned his Ph.D. At the University of Vermont, where he focused on Inorganic Chemistry and on the synthesis of cancer fighting compounds. After working in teaching positions at the University of Vermont, Lyndon State College, and Davidson College, John went on to join Waters Corporation in 1983.
Over the past several decades, John’s career has included a host of creative leadership roles in innovation and product development. Not only that, but John is a widely recognized scientific expert in sub and supercritical fluid for chromatography and extraction within the botanical space. John seeks to merge the seemingly disparate technologies together and create a synergy to optimize your work flow. His method is based on Six Sigma principles and practices.
Tree of Life Seeds
Biography: Jason Martin, CEO of Tree of Life Seeds, Cannabis Partners and Natural State of Kind, has more than two decades of experience in entrepreneurship and corporate/franchising development. Since 2012, Jason has successfully started multiple companies operating in legal cannabis. He is a member of the National Cannabis Industry Association, a Board Member of the Arkansas Cannabis Industry Association and is recognized as a cannabis industry expert. Jason’s spirit for this industry is contagious. His focus on creating CBD rich, premium hemp genetics has built Tree of Life Seeds into a company trusted and sought after worldwide for industrial hemp seeds.
Biography: Josh Winningham has been a practicing pharmacist, in the state of Arkansas, since graduating pharmacy school in 2011. He is currently based out of Cabot, AR, where he has been since 2014. His current responsibilities include overseeing the clinical services and medication management programs for pharmacy and acting as the preceptor for the intern program.
Josh has partnered with Whole Plant Technologies, an ancillary cannabis company out of Bend, OR, to launch PhytoPharm.D - an Arkansas medical cannabis pharmacist consulting company. PhytoPharm.D offers the medical cannabis industry 50 combined years of pharmacy and cannabis cultivation, processing, and dispensing experience. Merging pharmaceutical standards of compounding and dispensing with medical cannabis knowledge and dispensary experience, PhytoPharm.D offers a patient first, science driven, holistic approach to education and supporting medical cannabis patients.
Katie Moodie & Brooke Brun
KB Pure Essentials
Biography: Katie Moodie and Brooke Brun founded KB Pure Essentials, a wellness and body care line, in late 2013. They expanded KB in 2015 with the belief that hemp CBD based products can improve the physical and mental health of those around them who were struggling. They both experienced the medicinal benefits of cannabis and have now dedicated their lives to breaking the negative stigma of this super-herb!
Since establishing the KB brand, Katie and Brooke have gone far beyond building a CBD wellness and body care line; they have become successful entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry and are currently working on multiple other brands that will launch later in the year. They have a unique friendship, partnership and collaborative vision that they have used to empower themselves their team and their customers.
Biography: Keiko's passion for the plant has expanding with focusing on education to the mainstream for patient care. She speaks at many mainstream and cannabis conference across the country on topics of edibles, topicals, patient care, minorities in cannabis, how to create a business in cannabis, just to name a few. Her background, education and knowledge on the plant has assisted many to be able to be in this industry and community, but most of all heal themselves from many serious diseases. She started the first cannabis based TV network on Roku TV, The US Weed Chanel, Board Member of NORML, former Leadership Women Grow, Instructor at CCI Cannabis Career Institute, Contributing Writer at Edibles Magazine, Co-Host at Hemp Radio and now co-writing a book with Ed Rosenthal set for release in April of 2018. Her mission statement is “Acceptance and legalization through education and outreach”. Patient Care is the goal!
Steep Hill Labs
Biography: As Chief Research Officer of Steep Hill, Rev. Dr. deCesare trains Steep Hill scientists and serves as a developer various research programs, protocols and methods. Rev. Dr. deCesare is regarded as an industry leader in the cannabis science and analytics testing market. He is sought after as an expert and lecturer on the complexities of the cannabis plant for healing in the medicinal marijuana market, development of specific therapies, and protection against contaminants. He advises growers, developers and consumers on all aspects of the cannabis industry.
Biography: Mark Doherty is the Director of Sales, Eastern Region, at urban-gro. Mark has a professional background in commercial scale indoor aquaponic farming. Mark’s passion for positively impacting the Cannabis industry comes through personal experience. Mark’s wife was diagnosed with cancer and she had to undergo numerous surgeries as well as several months of chemotherapy. While her doctors highly recommended the use of Cannabis, Mark and his wife lived in a state that lacked a legal program at the time. Mark’s experience as a caregiver, without options, propelled him into advocacy to improve conditions for those who can benefit from the use of Cannabis.
Mark then combined being a passionate advocate with his agricultural experience. He founded MedCann Advisors and then joined the urban-gro team. urban-gro delivers Integrated Pest Management, lighting solutions, fertigation and water treatment, and odor suppression systems. Mark is now able to provide top-notch expertise and technologies that support cultivators' efforts to increase yields and lower costs. Mark has a BS in Business Administration from SUNY Polytechnic Institute, and a MBA from the State University of New York Institute of Technology at Utica/Rome.
Biography: Melissa Fults is a long time patient advocate. She is the Executive Director of Drug Policy Education Group, Inc (DPEG) and the former Executive Director of Arkansans For Compassionate Care. A wife, mother of 3 and grandmother of 5, she works to guarantee that patients in Arkansas can get their cards and keeps them abreast of any changes in the program.
She wrote both the 2014 and the 2016 Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act. Melissa and her husband Gary worked diligently at the capital in the 2017 legislative session to guarantee patients received the best program possible. She is in the process of adding several additional conditions to the list and is also seeking a seat in the House of Representatives District 27.
Trinity Herbal Compliance
Biography: Dr. Grifford received his doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. As an undergraduate, he received his bachelors in Biology. He is currently serving as a consultant pharmacist for Trinity Herbal Compliance and support pharmacist for SCA Pharmaceuticals.
In 2011, Dr. Grifford accepted a position with US Compounding Pharmacy, an FDA registered 503 Outsourcing Facility. He was promoted from staff pharmacist, to manager, then to director of the Non-Sterile Department. While overseeing normal day to day compounding processes, he was also involved in extensive research and development of new dosage delivery systems. In 2015, Dr. Grifford took a position with SCA Pharmaceuticals, an FDA registered 503 Outsourcing Facility. During his tenure, he has focused on sterile formulation development, batch record review, SOP implementation, and manufacture troubleshooting. He supervises compounding, labeling, and daily operations in the pharmacy, completes accurate logs of controlled substances and compounding records, performs both pre and post compounding operational checks.
Biography: Neil Juneja is the founder of Gleam Law, a cannabis-focused law firm with offices in Washington and Oregon. He is a licensed patent attorney and has successfully filed over 60 trademark registrations for cannabis with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. In addition, Neil have written numerous article on cannabis law and intellectual property as well as spoken at many events including in the National Mall in Washington DC and at the Seattle Hempfest in front of 150,000 people. Some of Gleam Law’s notable clients include the first Seattle recreational marijuana retailer, the musician Snoop Dogg, and many publicly traded companies working in the cannabis industry. Neil has also been in Newsweek, Time Magazine, and on several documentaries for his work in the cannabis industry.
Biography: Rafael Sabbagh is the VP of State Operations for BioTrackTHC. He focuses on implementing statewide Seed to Sale tracking systems, and providing cannabis businesses with the tools they need to run efficient and compliant operations. Rafael has led the implementation of the State tracking system for Illinois and New York, and has been heavily involved with the implementation in various other States including New Mexico and Puerto Rico. He works hand in hand with licensees, law enforcement, and various different government agencies in order to ensure they are provided with custom tailored systems that provide for all of their Seed to Sale Tracking needs, from the ground up.
Trinity Herbal Compliance
Biography: Dr. Rhonda Beck received her Doctorate of Pharmacy from the UAMS College of Pharmacy in 2002. She is currently a member of the Arkansas Pharmacist Association and International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists. Dr. Beck has over 15 years of experience in clinical hospital pharmacy, geriatric patient care, and pharmaceutical compounding. She is currently licensed in 11 states. She is an expert in aseptic sterile compounding and formulation development in both sterile and non-sterile dosage forms. In 2010, Dr. Beck accepted a pharmacist position with US Compounding, an FDA registered 503 Outsourcing Facility that holds a DEA manufacturing license. She has spent this time focusing on patient specific compounding and bulk manufacturing. She currently serves as Director of Pharmacy for 503B.
Robert Cormier - Keynote
Erigere Rapidus Solutions
Biography: Robert is our highly decorated jack of all trades. Honor Graduate from the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. Designed and implemented force on force training at a national level for major agencies, drafted policy and procedure, supervised high level labor racketeering/organized crime investigations and was on the front lines of federal law enforcement as a US Border Patrol Tactical Team member.