Board of Directors

CCIA Board of Directors

Board President: Kristi Knoblich | Kiva Confections

 

Bryce Berryessa | La Vida Verde

Dr. Juli Crockett | MMLG

Andrew DeAngelo | Harborside

Doug Francis | Weedmaps

Dan Grace | Dark Heart Nursery

Dr. Reggie Gaudino | Steep Hills Labs

Dr. Swetha Kaul | Cannalysis Labs

Sean Luse – Berkeley Patients Group

Kenny Morrison | Venice Cookie Company

Kristin Nevedal | Humboldt’s Finest

Amy Poinsett | 

Michael Ray | Bloom Farms

Kimberly Simms | Law Offices of Kimberly Simms

Michael Steinmetz |  Flow Kana

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Kristi Knoblich | Kiva Confection

CCIA President

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.

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Bryce Berryessa | La Vida Verde

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. 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.

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Dr. 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

Andrew De Angelo

Andrew DeAngelo | Harborside Health Center

Andrew DeAngelo began with the cannabis plant as a teenage activist writing about cannabis law reform in his advanced placement courses at T.C Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia. He then accepted scholarships in Theatre Arts to both Chapman University and the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco. While in graduate school in 1991, Andrew helped collect signatures for Proposition P, which legalized medical cannabis in the City of San Francisco, the first such law passed by any jurisdiction in the United States. Building on this momentum, Andrew then helped organize for Proposition 215, which legalized medical cannabis in the State of California in 1996, the first State to do so.  Shortly after he graduated, Andrew was diagnosed with Glaucoma and moved back to Washington D.C to be closer to his family.

Andrew and his brother Steve DeAngelo continued their pursuit of changing medical cannabis laws by raising funds, collecting signatures, and eventually passing Initiative 59, a medical cannabis legalization law in the City of Washington D.C. in November of 1998–a law that was initially overturned by Republicans in the U.S Congress. Andrew also worked with his brother Steve in the successful operation of Ecolution Inc. a hemp clothing company in the 1990s and helped Ecolution grow to over $1 Million in annual revenue. Ecolution was sold when Andrew and Steve decided to leave the Washington D.C area and return to California where medical cannabis was legal and accepted. Andrew’s career in medical cannabis has culminated in his work as Vice President of Harborside Health Center in Oakland, Calif., the largest medical cannabis retail distributor in the world, with annual revenues of $26 Million and with over 156,000 patients as members. Harborside Health Center was the first medical cannabis dispensary in the world to lab test all their medicine, put their infused products into child-proof packaging, and develop inventory control and security protocols that are the industry standard today. Harborside Health Center is considered the leading medical cannabis brand in both quality, safety, and compliance and has been featured in numerous media outlets including the New York Times, Fortune Magazine, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal. The DeAngelo’s were also featured in the reality television show Weed Wars on the Discovery Channel and have also appeared on the Bill O’Reilly Show and The Dylan Ratigan Show among many other appearances.

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Doug Francis | Weedmaps

Doug Francis is an entrepreneur, operator and investor in the emerging cannabis market. Since co-founding his first cannabis company in 2007, Doug has directly and passively helped many of the largest brands in the industry take shape.

Doug cofounded Weedmaps, where he currently serves as President and COO. Weedmaps is the leading marijuana technology and media company with business and consumer relationships spanning the globe. Due to Weedmaps’ size, revenue, reach and data, the company will play a major role in how this industry will transition out of its prohibition era.

Marijuana is core to Doug’s DNA. His primary ambition is to foster marijuana legalization and decriminalization worldwide. To achieve this, Doug is very active in marijuana policy throughout the United States, Canada and Spain. From small municipality efforts in California and Michigan, to large statewide efforts in California and Hawaii, Doug has been involved in many marijuana policy outcomes.

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Dan Grace | Dark Heart Nursery

Having spent the last nine years building Dark Heart Nursery into the state’s most highly regarded purveyor cannabis clones, Dan has developed an intimate understanding of California’s cannabis industry. His work at Dark Heart Nursery has given him a deep appreciation for the plight of cannabis cultivators in particular. He believes that cultivators have suffered from underrepresentation in major policy decisions. As a grower, he knows that cultivators have always been on the front line of persecution in the War on Drugs, and have always borne its most draconian consequences. His mission at CCIA is to give a voice to cultivators and to win support and legitimacy for the cause.

In the last several years, Dan has been closely involved in the development of CCIA’s legislative strategy and in developing its’ Political Action Committee. This year, Dan worked to help elect several state senators and has built relationships that will be valuable in guiding regulations in the state capitol.

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Dr. Reggie Gaudino | Steep Hills Labs

Steep Hill is proud of our cannabis geneticist, Dr. Reggie Gaudino— blazing trails for over 20 years in his quest to further scientific research, reveal DNA secrets of the cannabis plant and integrate them into mainstream, science-based medical health protocols. A self-described “geek scientist” with a passion to go “where others had not,” Reggie was one of the first African-American molecular biologists to enter a PhD program in the United States in 1985.

For the past 3 years, Dr. Gaudino has overseen scientific research and development for Steep Hill, managing the YnsightTM genetics division. Dr. Gaudino spearheaded the research team that developed GenKitTM, the first cannabis DNA-based sex test. Gaudino’s research has been peer-reviewed and published, guiding important new discoveries in the cannabis industry. Internationally recognized as a leader in the field of cannabis genetics, Reggie’s experience as a former patent agent for Sequenom brings valuable insight to the cannabis industry. His work has been featured in WIRED magazine. https://www.wired.com/2016/04/the-science-of-marijuana/ Reggie’s “superhero moment” came when his father, a highly respected surgeon, suffered a debilitating stroke. Gaudino turned to cannabis when traditional medicine failed his father. Through research, he found the right strain of cannabis, helping rehabilitate his father. But Reggie experienced first-hand the dangerous downside of an unregulated California cannabis marketplace. Well into the journey, he purchased $1,500 of labeled cannabis, hitting what he describes as “every bad spot in the industry,” only to find the product mislabeled, misrepresented, riddled with mold and contaminants. Unfit for human consumption, the cannabis could not be used.

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Dr. Swetha Kaul | Cannalysis Labs

Swetha Kaul serves as the Chief Scientific Officer and Laboratory Director at Cannalysis. Cannalysis is a tech-forward analytical testing laboratory that uses validated scientific methods to analyze cannabis products. Cannalysis seeks to empower customers through technology integrations, big data analytics and access to information. Swetha plays an integral role in driving innovation and exploring novel methodologies. She is responsible for the overall scientific direction and regulatory compliance for the company.

Swetha holds a BS in both chemistry and biology from the University of Missouri, an MS in Pharmacology and Toxicology and a PhD in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Kansas. Prior to joining Cannalysis, Swetha worked at Allergan where she was responsible for leading drug development efforts including analytical method development, formulation research, stability studies, new process development, and optimization of processes.

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Sean Luse – Berkeley Patients Group

Sean Luse is an advocate, business leader, and expert in the field of cannabis dispensary operations. He has been with Berkeley Patients Group for nine years and currently serves as Chief Operating Officer. Sean also serves as Executive Director of Calvape, a manufacturing and distribution company that serves California dispensaries.

Sean is a founding Board Member, former chair of the Legislative Committee, and former President of the California Cannabis Industry Association.  He also plays a central role in CCIA’s community relations, representing the organization to its many external stakeholders and expanding its network of relationships.

Sean has served as a board member and officer at several other non-profit organizations, including Students for Sensible Drug Policy, the Nevada Cannabis Industry Association, and the Emerald Growers Association.

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Kenny Morrison | Venice Cookie Company

Kenny is founder and CEO of Venice Cookie Company.  Venice Cookie Company 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!”

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Kristin Nevedal | Humboldt’s Finest

Kristin Nevedal is the President of The International Cannabis Farmers Association, serves on the State of California Cannabis Advisory Committee, serves as Chief Compliance Officer for Humboldt’s Finest Farms and Co-Chairs CCIA’s AG Committee.

Kristin 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 includes serving as a board member for the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform (CCPR), Californians to Regulate Medical Marijuana (CRMM), Americans for Safe Access’ Patient Focused Certification Program, and the 420 Archives.

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Amy Poinsett |

Amy Poinsett co-founded MJ Freeway Business Solutions with a desire to see burgeoning cannabis 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. 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.

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Michael Ray | Bloom Farms

Michael Ray is a cannabis advocate, lobbyist for social change, and entrepreneur with a passion for technology and design.

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.

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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.

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Michael Steinmetz | Flow Kana

Michael Steinmetz is the CEO and founder of Flow Kana, a business and community leader who believes in building mission-driven companies that embrace California values and the small farmer ecosystem. Michael’s unique, hands-on approach has been instrumental in developing Flow Kana’s value creation model, as well as the tools and infrastructure needed for farmers and partners to compete successfully in a regulated, legal marketplace

Prior to founding and leading Flow Kana, Michael built and sold a Venezuelan national brand management company Distribuidora DanMic that manufactured and distributed food products which grew in popularity as innovative, unique, value-added products quickly becoming the leaders in their categories.

Michael blends deep business strategy and community outreach skills that leverage his diverse background and experience, including prior roles as an investment banker at Merrill Lynch and as an engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

He is originally from Caracas, Venezuela, and pursued a double major in Mechanical Engineering and Economics with a minor in Business at Carnegie Mellon University.