2016 CCIA Board of Directors Nominees
(I) = Incumbent
- Damon Bates | Fools Gold Enterprises
- Bryce Berryessa | Hashman Infused
- Chris Boudreau | Distribution Committee Chair
- Juli Crockett | W Vapes
- Steve Dang | FlavRx
- David Dinenberg | KIND Financial
- Joey Espinoza | Coastal Growers Association
- Brett Feldman | Wonderbrett
- Ron Gershoni | Jetty Extracts
- Dan Grace | Dark Heart Nursery (I)
- Aaron Herzberg | CalCann Holdings LLC
- Kristi Knoblich | KIVA Confections (I)
- Gavin Kogan | Grupo Flor
- Jordan Lams | Moxie
- Kenny Morrison | Venice Cookie Co. (I)
- Kristin Nevedal | Humboldt's Finest
- Amy Poinsett | MJ Freeway
- Matt Primm | Viridis Law group
- Mike Ray | Bloom Farms (I)
- Kimberly Simms | Law Office of Kimberly Simms
- Dakota Sullivan | Calyx Brands
Complete List Headshots & Bios coming soon
Damon Bates | Fools Gold Enterprises
Damon Bates is a father, husband, and CEO of Fools Gold Enterprises, an agricultural consultation group working out of Northern California that focuses on turnkey solutions for investors in both small and large indoor crops from the ground up.
Bates focuses on practices in sustainability, community outreach, and quality of life as key components within his working business relationships, as well as his personal life. Through the depth of his experience, Bates has developed and managed three successful businesses from start-up to million dollar firms.
Damon has over 20 years of experience in the cultivation of Marijuana. Through a robust network of partnerships and local connections forged over decades, Damon establishes business practices using only the most current information available across the state of California. Damon coordinates with city officials on new legislation to steer new and even experienced entrepreneurs through the hurdles of licensing and compliance within their county. He collaborates with legal representation to keep within the bounds of the law, building relationships with foundations in well-being for both clientele to community.
Bryce Berryessa | Hashman Infused
I have dedicated myself to studying the cannabis plant, organic pest control management, and sustainable farming practices since 2005. My cultivation and breeding work has been featured in numerous publications. In 2010, I began consulting on cultivation and facility design. I have worked for clients who have secured permits in numerous states, Israel, and Canada.
This year I co-founded and was operations manager for the first ever Enviroganic certified farm in the state. Certification requires standards that exceed those set by CCOF or OMRI organic certification for conventional crops.
In 2012 I helped found a world class manufacturing company focused on corporate culture, product safety, consistency, and innovation. Our flagship brands Hashman Infused and Waxman Concentrates provide several unique SKU’s to thousands of patients across the state.
I am the co-founder and president of The Cookie Co 831, one of Santa Cruz California’s largest storefront dispensaries. We serve over 26,000 patients and aim to provide high-quality lab tested medicine with stellar customer service.
Since 2012, I have served on the board of directors of the Association for Standardized Cannabis (ASC). The ASC works to educate the public and government on medical cannabis and cannabis businesses best practices. ASC has been instrumental in developing policy for several south bay area cities including Santa Cruz.
My years of working with and unwavering devotion for the healing properties of cannabis has led me on a journey with many chapters. Over the past ten years I have worked extensively in several segments of the cannabis industry including cultivation, manufacturing, government relations, and dispensary operations. I believe in conscious capitalism and organizational awareness. I choose to focus my career path on consulting with companies and creating entities that are dedicated to making positive change through their culture, best practices, operations, and products. As a member of the CCIA Manufacturing committee, It is my belief that CCIA is an organization that shares these values and that the emerging cannabis industry has the power to change the world in a positive way. I would be honored to be a part of that change as member of the CCIA board.
Chris Boudreau | Distribution Committee Chair
I currently contribute to CCIA as the Chair of the Distribution Committee, and sit on the Board of ARMA (the CCIA affiliate in San Diego). I am very involved in the cannabis community through these trade associations, and in various events and activities. I would like to offer CCIA and its members some great perspective and insight from my understanding of the cannabis industry, the cannabis community, and both the politics and the issues.
With 7 years of experience as a compliant operator in the cannabis industry, I can bring a great range of legitimate operational experience to this Board position as well. My experience is established and well developed in both retail operations and separately in distribution. I've owned and operated a few stores, and currently have a permitted store in San Diego. I have also owned and operated large delivery businesses. Most recently, I founded and developed Calyx distribution, where I currently help oversee the operations.
Prior to cannabis, I had over 15 years of corporate experience that includes oversight of an entire bank loan portfolio, corporate executive management, developing & managing a regional sales office for a national lender, preparing call reports for the SEC, and crafting financial models & board reports.
I bring a true depth of operational knowledge, business experience, and political understanding to CCIA, and would like to be contribute more on the Board of Directors. I hope that you will vote for me, and allow me to serve you and the greater cannabis community in a higher capacity to help guide our industry's future in the right direction.
Juli Crockett | W Vapes
Dr. Juli Crockett fights for the good of the cannabis industry with W Vapes, the premium vape pen company she was recruited to launch in August of 2015. Since overseeing the establishment of the W Vapes brand, Crockett has shifted her focus from building the infrastructure of the company to overseeing strategy and compliance as CCO, manifesting the company’s vision of exceptional quality, outstanding service, and committed community engagement in the cannabis space. In 2016, as a member of CCIA, Crockett served on multiple committees including Manufacturing, Distribution, Quality Assurance, Legislative, and CCIA-LA.
Beyond the cannabis space, Alabama-born Dr. Juli Crockett is a bona fide Renaissance woman: singer/songwriter, theater director, undefeated professional boxer and amateur champion, ordained minister, with a summa cum laude PhD from The European Graduate School. Formerly the Director of Marketing for a pioneering online adult toy company, she is also a published playwright, professional singer, and leader of an alt.country/Americana band. Unique to her career, Crockett was featured in Sports Illustrated and other news outlets due to her professional connection to Jerry Boyd (aka F.X. Toole) author of Million Dollar Baby. Crockett retired professionally in 2002, undefeated at 3-0 (2 KO’s). Crockett served on the California Institute of the Arts Alumni Board, currently sit on the BOD of Padua Playwrights. After composing the theme song to the mini-documentary “Caine’s Arcade” she assisted in the formation of the Imagination Foundation, a children’s non-profit encouraging creativity & entrepreneurship.
Juli is thrilled at the opportunity to more deeply engage with CCIA and serve the cannabis industry at large. Her dynamic background brings a unique skill, including experience working with quickly scaling startups (and every position within), patent writing, defending intellectual property, as well as improvisation, writing, storytelling, public speaking, team building, and helping others discover and amplify their voice. Creative, passionate, with a good sense of balance and humor (a necessity in this wild and quickly changing landscape) Crockett is committed to finding common ground. And she’s an undefeated boxer, which is an interesting plus to have on any team
Steve Dang | FlavRx
Steven Dang is the Chief Executive Officer and founder of FlavRx. With several years of experience in the marijuana industry, he has helped build the brand and reputation of FlavRx from the ground-up and is responsible for the strong growth the company has experienced in past years. Utilizing his years of experience from working in the pharmaceutical, and technology industry as well as his past business knowledge, he built the foundation of FlavRx’s success on hard work, excellent customer service, efficient business processes and high-quality products.
As the company grew, he managed each department from research to marketing, social media and public relations and strived to build an atmosphere of loyalty and camaraderie. Having helped companies across a variety of industries enhance their brand by helping attract internet traffic, and develop a customer base online, he has used these same techniques to build up Flav Rx’s credibility both outside and inside the industry.
Steven began his career working with start-up companies in the pharmaceutical and technology industries. Here, he helped contribute to the growth of these companies, including Excaliard, Telanetix, Digital on Demand and Reddotnet which were acquired by Pfizer, Intermedia and Alliance Entertainment Corp, respectively.
David Dinenberg | KIND Financial
David Dinenberg is the Founder and CEO of KIND Financial, a financial technology company providing software solutions to ensure businesses within the cannabis industry transact safely, securely, and in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Since launching the company in 2012, David has secured KIND’s reputation as the leading experts on the complicated financial issues unique to the emerging legal cannabis industry.
Prior to KIND, David spent 8 years as the COO and a Partner at Grasso Holdings, a full-service real estate development company, where he ran day-to-day operations for the 45 person organization managing an asset portfolio valued in excess of $400 million.
David was recognized as one of the top 20 people to watch in the Philadelphia area by Philadelphia Magazine. He is the co-founder of the Philadelphia Retail Advisory Board and served on several prominent Boards in the region where he spent the majority of his professional career. He is an expert speaker on all facets of the real estate industry and was named President and Member of the Board of Directors for the Philadelphia Chapter of the Jewish National Fund, making him the youngest President of any Jewish foundation in the country.
David is an active mentor to Greenhouse Ventures, a business accelerator program specific for ancillary startups in the cannabis industry. He has also been asked to be part of speaking panels at cannabis related conferences including NCIA’s Cannabis Business Summit & Expo, Native American Marijuana & Hemp Conference, Marijuana Business Conference & Expo, and several others.
David has been featured in several prominent magazines and newspaper articles, such as The New York Times, LA Times, Inc. Magazine, Forbes, Philadelphia Magazine, The Deal, and LA Business Journal, to name a few. He has also appeared on CNBC numerous times as a contributor and trusted resource for developments within the cannabis industry.
David is a seasoned entrepreneur with a track record of successful start-up ventures in the restaurant and entertainment industry including a production company working with a Grammy Award winning singer.
David is a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University and currently resides with his family in the Los Angeles area.
Joey Espinoza | Coastal Growers Association
Joey Espinoza is a lover of all things Cannabis related. He is the President of the Coastal Growers Association and Deputy Director for Monterey County NORML along with being an advisory board member of SLO and LA NORML chapters.
He has been in the Cannabis industry professionally since 2010 when he began to work as the General Manager of a hydroponic store in Salinas, CA. The years of experience at the store helped him develop a great understanding of proper gardening techniques related to cannabis cultivation. Things changed at the store when one of the owners gardens was raided, which obviously spooked customers from returning.
After the stores location was passed onto another company Joey started Canna Freedom Collective which is a delivery service that covers most of Monterey County and focuses on educating the population on the benefits of Cannabis.
In spring of 2015 Joey co-founded Monterey County NORML which has become one of the most prominent chapters for NORML in the State of California. In the fall of 2015 he helped found and became a board of director for the Coastal Growers Association and was eventually elected as the President in early 2016. These experiences have helped him gain a great understanding of government and the importance of our industry being involved in developing regulations.
“When the government gets involved in your industry, you must get involved in government” is a common phrase that Joey uses when explaining the importance of building a good rapport with political officials.
Ron Gershoni | Jetty Extracts
Ron Gershoni first came to realize the medical benefits of cannabis after his father found it to be the only effective treatment for his chronic back pain. Ron co-founded Jetty Extracts in 2013 and has overseen its growth from a local San Diego brand into a leading California extract company. Now located in Oakland, Jetty continues to move the industry forward in regards to extraction techniques and product offerings. Jetty’s unique Shelter Project provides free cannabis oil to cancer patients throughout the State of California. Jetty has collaborated with Stone Brewing and Thorn Street Brewery on cannabis-derived terpene infused beers as well as with Sweet Bricks, an artisanal toffee brand, to create Mind Tricks medicated toffee.
Ron has been an active member of the CCIA manufacturing committee and is co-founder and Treasurer of the California Cannabis Manufacturing Association (CCMA), which fights for the right of companies to simultaneously hold both manufacturing and distribution licenses. Ron is also an active member of the Oakland Diversity & Equity Cannabis Coalition (OakDECC), a cannabis advocacy organization that is helping to shape policy in one of California’s oldest and largest cannabis communities. Ron strives to use his varied business experiences to help educate legislators and regulators on practical, effective policy, and to work together with other entrepreneurs to build a model industry here in California. This is a rare opportunity to develop an industry fostering businesses that are dynamic, unique, fun, and profitable. This opportunity is met by an obligation to ensure businesses are inclusive, safe, honest, and consistent. Prior to Jetty, Ron spent nearly a decade as President of natural deodorant brand Lavilin, and manager of a multi-family real estate portfolio. He has worked at BlackRock Solutions and at Accenture. Ron graduated with a BBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan in 2001. When not working, Ron enjoys spending time in Oakland with his wife and two small children, and loves to mountain bike, practice yoga, ski, and travel.
Dan Grace | Dark Heart Nursery (I)
Having spent the last nine years building Dark Heart Nursery into the state’s most highly regarded purveyor cannabis clones, I have developed an intimate understanding of California’s cannabis industry. My work at Dark Heart Nursery has given me a deep appreciation for the plight of cannabis cultivators in particular. I believe that cultivators have suffered from underrepresentation in major policy decisions since the beginning. As a grower myself, I know that we have always been on the front line of persecution in the War on Drugs, and we’ve always borne its most draconian consequences. My mission at CCIA is to give a voice to cultivators and to win support and legitimacy for our cause.
In 2016 I launched and chaired CCIA’s Agricultural Subcommittee which serves to increase awareness of cannabis agricultural issues and serves as a resource for state regulators on cannabis agriculture. The Ag Committee advocates for all categories of cannabis farmers at the state and local level. We seek policies that support small farmers while still allowing farmers to scale. We are also working to promote agricultural research on cannabis, especially in key areas such as pesticide usage.
In 2017 we will be heading into an era of increased uncertainty. Donald Trump's victory is a reminder that we have more work to do as activists. California has always been a leader on cannabis and on many other progressive issues. Moving forward we will lead the struggle to defend the progress we have already made.
In the last several years I have been closely involved in the development of CCIA legislative strategy and in developing its Political Action Committee. This year I worked to help elect several state senators and have built relationships that will be valuable to us in directing regulation in the state capitol. These alliances help us influence legislation and ensure that our state institutions will stand up to defend this industry during any hard times that may be ahead.
Aaron Herzberg | CalCann Holdings LLC
Aaron Herzberg is a partner at CalCann Holdings, LLC, a California medical marijuana real estate company with a portfolio of licensed medical marijuana businesses and properties in California. Herzberg is also a strategist, corporate lawyer, cannabis policy expert, and entrepreneur specializing in California’s nascent legal cannabis industry. Recognized for his influence, Herzberg has been interviewed by reporters from Forbes, Rolling Stone, and the New York Times for his insight into the emerging cannabis industry. Herzberg’s expertise has allowed him to successfully raise over $20 million in investment capital for his projects at CalCann since January of 2015. These projects include two new licensed dispensaries in Santa Ana, CA known as “OC3” and “Bud and Bloom” as well as a 42,000 square foot municipally licensed cultivation and processing greenhouse facility in Desert Hot Springs, CA. The company is also in escrow for over 110,000 square feet of real estate in Lynwood, CA and several other cities in Los Angeles County where they hope to cultivate and process cannabis concentrates. Herzberg’s experience and knowledge of the cannabis industry resulted in his serving on the City of Long Beach’s Medical Marijuana Task Force and being a founding member of the Nevada Cannabis Industry Association. In 2015, Herzberg was selected as a Super Lawyer, a distinction that is limited to the top five percent of lawyers nationwide.
Kristi Knoblich | KIVA Confections (I)
Kristi Knoblich is co-founder of Kiva Confections and serves as Chief Operating Officer. Founded in 2010, Kiva’s mission is to produce safe, consistent and delicious edibles. Kristi is the driving force behind Kiva’s customer service philosophy, employee development, and best practices in manufacturing and business. She and her team have successfully grown the company to over 80 employees, serving over 800 stores in California, Arizona, and Nevada with plans to expand into other states and new product lines. Kiva continues to redefine the edible cannabis category and lead the way in developing premium quality, great tasting products. Kristi holds a Board seat on the CCIA as the Northern California Vice President and also chairs the Manufacturing Committee.
Gavin Kogan | Grupo Flor
Gavin Kogan is a California cannabis business attorney turned cannabis entrepreneur. As an attorney he co-founded the Monterey County-based Cannabis Law Group at L+G, LLP where he assisted growers, extractors and distributors formalize their business endeavors to survive law enforcement encounters in the field. While at L+G, LLP he also founded the Cannabis Extractors National Trade Association (CENTA) to promote cannabis extraction safety and improved processes in an environment that was hostile to cannabis extraction and concentrates.
In late 2014 Gavin left law practice to co-found Indus, a cannabis product manufacturer and distribution company which in early 2015 launched Altai Brands, Dixie Elixirs and other edible brands into the California market. Indus promoted high concept brands that emphasized clear dosage and safety in an effort to bring attention to the quality of cannabis products in California's emerging marketplace.
In mid-2016, Gavin left Indus management and co-founded Grupo Flor, a real estate leasing firm which currently leases greenhouse, manufacture and distribution properties in permitted zones throughout Monterey County. In addition to his work with Grupo Flor, Gavin and his partners have founded Ag Pistil Fund, a private equity fund that is raising $25MM to deploy investment capital along California's cannabis wholesale supply chain. Ag Pistil Fund will be unveiled in January 2017. The purpose of the fund is to assist professional investors navigate California's opaque cannabis marketplace and financially help promising cannabis companies scale to meet the growing market and regulatory hurdles that lie ahead.
Gavin lives in Monterey, California. He is a frequent industry speaker on cannabis legal & regulatory matters and is politically active in local and state politics. Gavin is an executive member of California Cannabis Manufacturers Association and executive member of the California Cannabis Industry Association. In his free time, he likes to surf and bitch about how he has no free time.
Jordan Lams | Moxie
Jordan Lams, Chief Executive Office and Co-Founder of Moxie, thanks the membership of the California Cannabis Industry Association (CCIA) for their consideration of his nomination to the board of directors.
Founded in 2015, Moxie Extracts is committed to serving the growing demand for medicinal cannabinoid products. Moxie Extracts follows and utilizes Class 1 Div 1 pharmaceutical methods and devices and has been awarded numerous accolades, namely for their non-psychoactive cannabinoid products.
Mr. Lams is one of the leading manufacturing advocates for responsible regulations in the medical cannabis industry. He is currently working with governments across the United States, Europe and South America to ensure emerging markets are regulated safely and responsibly.
Mr. Lams currently manages market expansion, operations, and brand development for Moxie. His responsibilities include developing standard operating procedures, interfacing with regulators, and maintaining compliance for its laboratories. His leadership has driven Moxie from a self-financed startup to an international enterprise with facilities in four states and over 40 other countries.
After Mr. Lams lost his younger sister lost a seven-year battle with leukemia, he dedicated his life to the medical cannabis industry. This personal experience has driven him to further expand the understanding of cannabinoid therapies and to advocate for accessible, standardized, pharmaceutical-grade cannabis products.
Kenny Morrison | Venice Cookie Co. (I)
Kenny vice chairs the CCIA manufacturing committee and is co-founder and President of the California Cannabis Manufacturing Association (CCMA) which works closely with CCIA. His California company survived a debilitating smash and grab raid just 13 months ago (10 days after Governor Brown signed MCRSA) and overnight went from having 41 employees to just 1 employee. Sales went to zero. 13 months later, most of his employees have returned and his company is doing 50% more in weekly revenue than it was just prior to the raid. VCC Brands has been a pioneer in cannabis manufacturing and distribution since 2008, and currently produces over 140 of the skus in its distribution portfolio, operating in 2 states.
"My first two years on CCIA’s board of directors has been an amazing experience. The growth we created and the work we’ve accomplished has made me incredibly proud. I believe that cannabis legalization benefits everyone, not just those who consume and produce cannabis products. I am dedicated to helping continue the momentum towards national acceptance of the idea that cannabis legalization is a positive step towards freedom of choice and government credibility. It’s up to Californians who are currently inside the industry to use our legacy and success to make a positive social impact in the national spotlight. I hope I can count on your support. I look forward to working with you all!"
Kristin Nevedal is the Director of the Patient Focused Certification Program, serves as Chief Compliance Officer for Humboldt’s Finest Farms and Co-Chairs CCIA’s AG Committee. Before joining ASA she co-founded and served on the board of the Emerald Growers Association whose mission was 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.
Amy Poinsett | MJ Freeway
Seven years ago, Amy Poinsett co-founded MJ Freeway Business Solutions with a desire to see burgeoning marijuana businesses expand and thrive with smart business solutions in place. To fill a need for cannabis specific software solutions, Poinsett and her co-founder launched MJ Freeway in 2010, the first company to bring seed-to-sale software to the market. Since then, featured twice in the INC 5000 fastest-growing companies list, woman-owned MJ Freeway has grown to serve thousands of clients in 5 countries, and processed more than $5,000,000,000 in sales via retail, manufacturing, and cultivation management software platforms, as well as consulting services and cannabis license application support.
As CEO, Poinsett, a former web developer, has swiftly earned a reputation as a passionate pioneer committed to creating the best technology solutions for the medical and adult-use marijuana industry. Poinsett’s focus on strategic planning and customer satisfaction consistently has earned MJ Freeway an above-industry average customer retention rate and large profit margins.
A dive master and fine arts painter, Poinsett applies fearless leadership and intelligent design across her personal and professional pursuits. Poinsett stands out as a new-breed CEO skilled in strategy as well as team building. With a track record of successful entrepreneurship, she founded, directed, and held COO and CEO positions for various high-earning tech start-ups in the point of sale and e-commerce spaces.
Years of being a pioneer in the tech industry fueled Poinsett’s passion to see other women flourish in science and technology. To that end, Poinsett serves in a leadership role in the Arcview Investor Network, as a mentor in Canopy Boulder – an incubation organization for cannabis startups - and as a volunteer with local and national women and girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) organizations.
Poinsett is recognized nationally as an industry expert and has been a frequent guest speaker at many industry events. She has been interviewed and quoted by many local and national media outlets including CNN Money, Fortune, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Forbes. Poinsett was featured in Cannabis Now's Eight Cannabis Entrepreneurs to Watch.
Matt Primm | Viridis Law group
Matt Primm heads the Viridis Law Group, a subsidiary of the full service civil litigation firm Bremer Whyte Brown & O’Meara. Viridis Law Group is committed to providing corporate cannabis guidance to its clients, many of which are leaders in this emerging industry all across California. Primm’s transactional background utilized in conjunction with a Master’s in Laws of Taxation allows Viridis Law Group to provide guidance in setting up cannabis businesses in a way that protects both the entity and individual in what is a promising but still uncertain time. Additionally, Primm’s tax background is not only helpful generally with respect to corporate cannabis businesses but also of specific importance in developing strategies to navigate the treacherous waters of 280E. Importantly, Primm’s close work with cannabis businesses in all phases of the seed to sale paradigm has augmented his business acumen to the benefit of his clients. Combined with his legal background, Primm possesses a skill set that will provide CCIA an unique and thoughtful perspective by way of analyzing business objectives through a legal lens that will ultimately aid in supporting the blossoming California cannabis industry going forward.
Mike Ray | Bloom Farms (I)
Michael Ray was born in San Francisco and raised in the Sierra Foothill Mountains on his family ranch known as Bloom Farms. He is a cannabis advocate, lobbyist for social change, and entrepreneur with a passion for technology and design.
In 1999, Michael moved to New York City to start his career on Wall Street. By 2001 he was one of the youngest and most successful traders at his firm. But Michael tired of the “money first” mentality of Wall Street and decided to return to California and the farm he grew up on -- a place with new and unique business opportunities thanks to the development of the legal cannabis industry.
There was a social revolution occurring on the West Coast and Michael found himself on the doorstep of a perfect opportunity to create a uniquely universal cannabis product. By focusing less on high potency and more on high quality, Michael and Bloom Farms’ Highlighter vapor products found success with experienced and novice cannabis consumers, alike.
As the Executive Director at Bloom Farms, Michael oversees the day-to-day operations. Bloom Farms’ first priority is to make consistently high-quality cannabis products that are available for medical cannabis patients throughout California. Michael also oversees Bloom Farms’ 1-for-1 program: with every product purchased, Bloom Farms donates one meal to a food-insecure family in California. Bloom Farms has donated over 250,000 meals to food banks throughout California in 2016
Michael has a passion for community, and since becoming a cannabis entrepreneur, he has worked with industry leaders, regulators and community leaders to legalize, regulate and legitimize California’s medical cannabis industry.
Kimberly Simms | Law Office of Kimberly Simms
Kimberly R. Simms earned her law degree from Thomas Jefferson School of Law and became a member of the California State Bar in 2009. Kimberly started her law practice immediately after law school focusing on the legal and political needs of the medical marijuana community. In her law practice, she has negotiated with government officials to craft reasonable and effective regulations that allow for safe access, litigated complex land use and zoning cases, and advised hundreds of cannabis entrepreneurs. Kimberly is recognized as a leading expert in this emerging area of law. She has taught courses and lead seminars which focus on how to comply with the ever-changing legal and regulatory requirements of the cannabis industry. She is considered a trusted source by the media and has been interviewed by NPR, CNN and many local media outlets. Kimberly is a founding Board Member of the Alliance for Responsible Medicinal Access, San Diego’s leading cannabis chamber of commerce and political advocacy organization. Kimberly is also proud to serve as Chapter Chair for San Diego Women Grow. Kimberly most recently joined the Retail & Delivery Committee of the California Cannabis Industry and is working hand in hand with other cannabis industry leaders to navigate the implementation of the Medical Cannabis Regulation & Safety Act.
Kimberly maintains the following memberships: California NORML, American’s For Safe Access, National Cannabis Industry Association, California Cannabis Industry Association, Women Grow and the National Cannabis Bar Association.
Dakota Sullivan | Calyx Brands
Dakota is co-founder, CEO of Calyx Brands. Calyx is a leading wholesale distributor of legal cannabis products to more than 400 dispensaries throughout California. The Company represents nearly 50 popular brands such as Defonce Chocolatier, Eureka Vapor, Jane’s Brew, Yummi Karma, HGH Extracts, Foria and many others. Calyx Brands has raised over $900,000 in private equity funding led by TL Partners and Hypur Ventures (formerly Anslinger Capital).
Previously, Dakota was co-founder, CEO of the Cannabis Rep Network (CRN). In 2016, the CRN was merged with California Holistic Transfer to form Calyx Brands. The Cannabis Rep Network helps manufacturers get their products into dispensaries for a fraction of the time and expense of building their own sales team. Since its founding in March, 2015, CRN has helped more than 100 brands sell into 250 dispensaries in California and Colorado.
A native of Oakland, CA, who returned there in 2013, Dakota was drawn into the cannabis industry after a successful career as a technology executive, in part to help address the injustices done in the name of enforcing cannabis laws.
Prior to becoming a cannabis entrepreneur, Dakota served as SVP Americas, for Amobee, a company providing mobile ad tech to Fortune 1000 brands on five continents. Dakota was responsible for all mobile advertising sales revenue and operations across the US, Canada and LATAM.
Dakota joined Amobee from Velti, a global mobile ad tech provider, where he was SVP, GM of the company’s global Mobile Marketing business unit. Dakota joined Velti as VP of global marketing in 2009 and drove the company’s successful 2011 NASQAQ IPO before being promoted to business unit GM.
Dakota also served as VP Sales & Marketing for Adap.tv, an online video exchange that was acquired by AOL for $400MM. Previously, he was Chief Marketing Officer for BlueLithium, an online advertising network that was acquired by Yahoo! Inc. for $300M cash. Prior to BlueLithium, he was VP Marketing and Channel Sales for LookSmart, a pioneering search engine.
Dakota was also co-founder of Big Island, a New York-based interactive ad agency that was acquired by Marc USA in 1999. He holds a B.A. in English and Business from the University of California, Berkeley. Dakota has served on the boards of several early stage startups and also AdTech, the largest global marketing trade show.