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National experts facilitate the exchange of knowledge with current industry information

Imperious prides itself on its ability to assemble speakers who are expert, entertaining, and nationally respected. These pros are a perfect complement to our roster of industry specialists who exhibit with us.

Each speaker is handpicked. More importantly, each is dedicated to developing and improving the medical cannabis and industrial hemp industries.

Representing our focus on informational diversity, past speakers have spoken on licensing, cultivation, insurance, distribution, lighting, carbon footprint, construction, security, best management practices, water, sustainability, and state-specific legal issues.

If there is a speaker you would like to hear at our next regional expo, or if you are a speaker that would like to share with our expo audiences, please click or call.

Speak at an Imperious event

If you feel you have industry depth and experience and have something relevant and valuable to share and are interested in speaking at an Imperious event, there are opportunities.

Everything in the education room is pro bono. The sole purpose is to educate. We don’t sell to the highest bidder.

We have a limited number of speaking positions available. Our line up consists of individual speakers as well as groups of speakers in panels who discuss topics such as marketing, networking, farming, investment, wellness, growing, etc. where experts in their respective fields speak about their specific area of expertise.

To inquire, please call or email Eric Norton.


Imperious CEO Eric Norton hanging out with keynote speakers Ed Rosenthal and Eric Brandstad at our last event.

diagram showing the problem with misaligned head and spine

Our speaking events have grown over the last 4 shows and have become one of the most important parts of our expos.


NOTE: This line-up will grow tremendously as we get closer to our Ark-La-Tex show date. We’ll also include each Speaker’s bio soon. Their stories, knowledge and achievements  are quite amazing. You won’t want to miss a single speaking event. This is where we all learn and grow! Keep coming back for updates. Thanks!

Cannabis Guru,/Pioneer | Keynote Speaker

Ed Rosenthal

Ed Rosenthal is recognized worldwide as a leading authority on marijuana. In almost 40 years as America’s “Guru of Ganjasm” he has written or edited more than two dozen books about marijuana cultivation and social policy that cumulatively have sold over two million copies. His first book is the only title on marijuana cultivation to be reviewed by the New York Time’s Book Review and his latest release, Marijuana Grower’s Handbook has become the definitive marijuana cultivation resource and official course book for Oaksterdam University, the leading trade school for the cannabis industry. After almost three decades, his Ask Ed column continues to answer questions on all matters of marijuana from readers around the world.




Cannabis Expert | Keynote Speaker

Ed Brandstad

Eric Brandstad is a Greenhouse and Cannabis Industry Expert that has been in the Industry for over 25 years. 
Eric is originally from San Joaquin County, California where his family has been commercially farming since 1862. He worked on his family’s farm growing up and has been farming his whole life. After high school, he moved to Humboldt County and started learning everything he could related to the cannabis plant. 
Many years later, Eric managed a successful greenhouse company for 11 years and has now started his own consulting and management company called Greenhouse Advisory Group helping farmers worldwide.

Eric has helped pioneer light deprivation techniques that are used throughout the industry today. He has written articles, blogs, recorded many videos, and podcasts. Eric has had the opportunity to speak, judge and moderate panels at many industry events. He has has hosted educational events, been a keynote speaker and will again be the keynote speaker at the upcoming Imperious Expo in Arkansas in November 2019.
Eric currently travels throughout the US and abroad speaking, consulting, networking and sharing his passion primarily in the cannabis industry. He teaches greenhouse courses at Oaksterdam University in Oakland, California and is also working with Boxcar/Payne’s distribution company.
With over 25 years of experience in the industry, Eric has many personal references available from people across the industry and is now available for private consultations. With his vast amount of connections and sought after advice, he looks forward to sharing his passion by helping you make your farm thrive.  




Founder/CEO | Sun God Medicinals | Speaker

Brie Malarkey

Brie is a fantastic speaker for the cannabis industry as she and her husband own a seed-to-sale family of companies focused on the cannabis industry, from a farm in Southern Oregon to cannabis dispensaries, a cannabis processor, and an herbal and hemp products company.  She has seen every aspect of this industry grow here in Oregon, and has watched other states struggle with many of the same issues Oregon struggled with as this industry grew.

Their cannabis dispensary in Gold Hill, OR was actually the very first OMMP (Oregon’s medical cannabis program) dispensary in Southern Oregon, the very first to get a moratorium against cannabis dispensaries lifted in the state of Oregon, and is also the very first and oldest OLCC licensed (recreational) cannabis dispensary in the entire state of Oregon.  Brie has absolutely seen it all, and has been involved in the cannabis industry in Oregon since long before recreational cannabis was legalized here.





David Murét

With a diverse background including Public Policy and Law, Information Technology, Finance and Business Development David serves as Viridian’s “Swiss Army Knife,” providing essential support to Viridian’s best-in-class recruiting team.  David’s responsibilities include overseeing marketing, partnerships, trade shows, events and negotiations as well as the selection, deployment and management of information technology.  David also has extensive experience working with industry organizations, serving as a board member and personally spearheaded the effort to broker the merger of four separate organizations to form Washington State’s largest cannabis industry association.  With roughly six years in the industry, David is also a frequent public speaker at industry conferences.


Tel:1 (800) 961-6527

CEO/Endocannabinoid forensic researcher | Gnupharma

Chip Paul

Chip’s entrepreneurial career began after a very successful post-college corporate career that includeed startup’s in retail, healthcare, and natural products. In late 2013 Chip and his wife Cynthia sold their startup home care business and launched the first brick and mortar retail e-cigarette franchise, Palm Beach Vapors which led to research and discoveries in how other plants beside cannabis could modulate the endocannabinoid system. This research led to the founding of GnuPharma where Chip leads R&D development. 

The company was featured in Entrepreneur Magazine in the February 2015 issue. The couple also founded and launched a 501c4 non-profit called Oklahomans For Health which is the founder and leader of the medical marijuana initiatives in Oklahoma.  Chip authored State Question 788 which went on to become Oklahoma’s Medical Marijuana law and has been deeply involved with State lawmakers to build the regulations under the law.

Chip is a recognized and sought out speaker and educator on the endocannabinoid system and also speaks about regulations needed for the medical marijuana and CBD industries.




Sales Director | Panacea Payroll

Teresa Kearney

Teresa Kearney is the Sales Director of Panacea Payroll, located west of Philadelphia, PA. Panacea Payroll is solely focused on providing payroll, HR and timekeeping services to the cannabis and hemp industries in all 50 states. With over 20 years as a sales professional, Teresa will settle for nothing less than providing the most personalized service possible to all of Panacea Payroll’s clients. Teresa earned her Bachelor of Science in Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and completed graduate study in Psychology at Texas A&M University.


Phone: 610-310-7615


Analytical Chemist, US Sales | Formulaction

Matt Vanden

Matt has extensive experience and background in synthetic organic and analytical chemistry. Research projects include catalyst development and methodology, small molecule synthesis, and biological phase tag synthesis. He has experience teaching sophomore-level organic chemistry courses at a major public university. Additional experience includes researching and supporting product formulation stability and rheology analysis including food & beverage, home & personal care, pharmaceutical, and paint & coating materials.


Phone:+1 (614)-888-0023


President | Hemp Road Trip

Rick Trojan

Rick Trojan brings over 21 years of entrepreneurial expertise, a vast global network and passion to cannabis. Motivated by extensive history, positive impact and the plant itself, Rick understands the need to accurately portray the benefits of a once flourishing plant stigmatized through a century of propaganda. He constantly strives to build a platform to encourage Hemp potential through strategic alliances.

His journey began as a personal experience that launched his passion for this cause, creating the Hemp Road Trip in 2015. He continues to expand education to other continents where cannabis legalization has led to an industrial boom. His work assists in uniting the industry on a global scale by bridging the gaps, building the foundations and extending the overall network. Trojan brings his passion, extensive business experience, and global cannabis networks on the quest to educate and develop solutions. He serves as Vice President of Hemp Industries Association, and a board member of Vote Hemp, Industrial Hemp Research Foundation, and Colorado HIA.




Founder | Bulldozer Health Inc.

Wendy Edge

Wendy “Love” Edge graduated Magna Cum Laude from Boston University in 1987 and worked for 25 years as an occupational therapist.  She treated many patients over the years in a variety of settings and worked as an area director for a major healthcare company.  She has served as a volunteer health worker in Guatemala and Nicaragua for the nonprofit organization CHANGE in 1992 and 1994 respectively.  In 1999 she opened a gift shop and operated it for three years. In 2009 she helped to set up a nonprofit organization, Guitars for Peace.  She also assisted in the setup of the Worcester MA area RLC, a peer based organization for individuals with mental illness.

She became gravely ill in 2011 and was told she was going to die on three separate occasions.  She was bulldozed on 16 medications.  She took her health into her own hands in October of 2013. She is still working on her own health and dealing with the effects of pharmaceutical overload.  Bulldozer Health Inc. is her brainchild.  Through the organization and its volunteers, she wants to reach everyone, and urge them to take charge of their own health, and support them in that endeavor.



President | CEO Lab Society

Michael Maibach

Michael Maibach has turned his passion for developing cannabis–specific laboratory equipment into a thriving company. After graduating with a degree in Environmental Chemistry with a focus on Sustainability, he became an environmental consultant and soon learned he had a knack for entrepreneurship. Since then, he’s taken a start-up from zero to a widely recognized industry leader in just a few short years, all before turning 27. More importantly, Mike’s passion to learn and grow as the market matures sets him apart from the rest. His respect for knowledge and his dedication to never-ending research development has kept him at the forefront of an increasingly competitive industry.


Phone:(720) 684-6857


CEO/Founder | Guru Systems

Rafael Sabbagh

After years of working with cannabis regulators and businesses nationwide, Rafael realized there was a glaring need for real-world software solutions and founded Guru Systems, working beside Seed to Sale Software to provide API integrated tools to provide a unified approach, filling in the operating gaps.

Guru Systems is a subscription-based software service set up to resolve the business needs providing easy access, mobile features, and responsive user support. Guru also provides marketing software for cannabis industry businesses offering SMS & MMS Marketing, Online Ordering, Website Embedded Menus, Loyalty Programs with 3rd Party Rewards, all integrated with your current seed to sale tracking system.



Research Analyst | Alinga Capital

Preston Gardner

Specialist cannabis research analyst with CVC Partners. Prior to joining Alinga, Preston spent ten years as an analyst and consultant in the financial services sector, with institutions such as The Vanguard Group, Wachovia Securities / Wells Fargo Advisors, MetLife Securities, and LPL Financial. Preston obtained his BS from UNC-Charlotte; MBA from Wake Forest; JD from Thomas Jefferson; MS Finance from Boston College.

Alinga Capital is a cannabis trading and investment business focused on the evolving global legalization and commoditization of medical, adult-use, and industrial cannabis markets. Alinga Capital manages the Alinga Capital Equities Fund and provides hemp trading and commodity risk management solutions.


Phone:(858) 900-2210


Medical Marijuana Consultant | Medical Missouri

Lonnie Kessler

In 2007, Lonnie was diagnosed with a large brain mass that required multiple surgeries, enduring months of rehabilitation, leaving portions of his mouth and face paralyzed.  The trauma to his brain caused him to live with a host of illnesses including severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss, depression, and epilepsy. Traditional medication and treatment were unsuccessful in helping him. He turned to Missouri doctors for certification to enroll in the state-run CBD program, but was denied each time so he became a leading advocate for New Approach Missouri and became instrumental in the passage of Amendment 2 by speaking at state NORML conferences.

Now a graduate of Columbia College, Lonnie is a patient advocate and certified cannabis consultant.  Lonnie is currently the Director of Patient Advocacy for Mid-Missouri NORML and serves as Patient Advocacy Consultant for Minorities for Medical Marijuana-Missouri.  Lonnie continues his advocacy by providing cannabis business owners, patients, and caregivers the educational resources needed to ensure the patient-first approach remains the focus.




Executive Director | Drug Policy Education Group & Arkansans For Cannabis Reform

Melissa Fults

Melissa Fults is the Executive Director of both Drug Policy Education Group, Inc and Arkansans For Cannabis Reform.  She is the former Director of Arkansans For Compassionate Care.

Melissa has worked as a patient advocate and worked to pass cannabis legislation since 2011. She was the author of Issue 7 and is the sponsor for the 2020 Adult-Use amendment and the 2020 cannabis expungement amendment.

Melissa has testified before many legislative committees to fight for better patient care and access with the Arkansas Medical Marijuana program. Part of the reason for her adult-use amendment is to allow the thousands of patients that got left behind with the passing of Issue 6 in 2016. She has testified numerous times before legislative committees of Arkansas fighting for patient’s rights and is the sponsor of the Arkansas Adult-Use Cannabis Amendment and the Arkansas Marijuana Expungement Amendments for 2020.




Founder | CenTex Community Outreach

Karen Reeves

Karen C Reeves was born and raised in Central Texas and has been a proud Cannabis consumer for the last 45 years. Karen started consuming cannabis when she was only 13 years old. She has considered herself a Cannabis Patient for the last 28 years after fracturing her vertebra the first time in 1991.

Karen has been on a ‘Crusade for Cannabis’ most of her life while enduring the pain and heartache of being disabled in her pursuit of happiness, never giving up hope. Besides fracturing her back (3x) she has also survived a mini stroke, three heart attacks and an open heart single bypass surgery.  Karen is a Heart Disease Survivor thanks to Cannabis!

After turning 50, Karen made the decision to stop all the harmful pharmaceuticals she had been taking for so many years. Karen has been a proud Texas Cannabis Activist for the last seven years after she started educating others about the therapeutic benefits of cannabis and hemp.

She finally started the CenTex Community Outreach group in 2014. Team CenTex has been busy advocating for Cannabis Reform by reaching out across Texas and around the world helping to change hearts and minds through education and compassion.

Karen was a Speaker at the Texas SWCCExpo in 2017 and the Ark-La-Tex Business Cannabis Expo in 2018. Karen has been very passionate and vocal, speaking at rallies and events across the state. She has also participated in the last three Texas Legislative Sessions where she has testified numerous times in front of a variety of committee hearings at the State Capitol regarding reforming unjust cannabis laws in Texas.

Karen is relentless in her pursuit to help bring awareness in her community and has been featured on the local news stations dozens of times. CenTex Community Outreach wants to remind people that THE POWER OF THE PEOPLE IS STRONGER THAN THE PEOPLE IN POWER and your voice and your story are very important. Never Give Up Hope!

The CenTex Community Outreach believes no one belongs in jail for a plant! They started a social media campaign called Action For Alex to help bring awareness about Jury Nullification after Karen’s son was unjustly arrested.

TeamCenTex “Patches for People Against Prohibition” were created to honor those that have been affected by prohibition. Sadly, everyone knows someone! Karen and the Team CenTex Community Outreach family are definitely on a Mission To End Prohibition in the great State of Texas once and for all.




We’re currently working on our speaker lineup for the November Ark-La-Tex show but couldn’t resist previewing this special add-on seminar that David Murét with Viridian Staffing will be offering. Check it out. More details to come.

Cannabis Career Readiness Seminar

Juana Career Readiness Workshop

Powered by Viridian Staffing

Juana Career in the cannabis industry?

Join Viridian Staffing for their signature Juana Career Readiness Workshop, presented in partnership with the Imperious Expo.

Benefits of attending include:

● A general overview of the state and scope of the cannabis industry today
● Current hiring trends
● Gain an understanding of how these companies operate and prefer to be approached
● How to stand out as a desirable candidate to a cannabis industry employer
● An opportunity to have your questions answered
● An option to upgrade to the conference floor, to take advantage of a detailed
resume review & expert advice from Viridian Staffing.

Tickets for the Cannabis Career Readiness Seminar will be available at registration/ticketing desk when you arrive. Additionally we will add an on-line option to purchase soon. This will be a very affordable seminar. We’re very excited about it and wanted to let you know while we’re working on our line up of speakers and panel discussions. Thanks! 



Eric Norton
CEO Founder/Partner
Nick Norton
Justin Chambers



14102 CR 1134
Tyler, TX 75709

(903) 200-1066

Monday – Saturday
8 a.m –  8 p.m.