2023 CCIA Board of Directors
2023 CCIA Board of Directors
- Tiffany Devitt | CannaCraft
- Pamela Epstein | Eden Enterprises
- Laura Fogelman | PAX
- Eddie Franco | Nabis
- Yvette McDowell | McDowell & Associates
- Tim Morland | Abaca
- Caren Woodson | KIVA
- Sabrina Noah | Cresco Labs
- Nicole Phillis | Davis Wright Tremaine
- Autumn Shelton | Autumn Brands
- Jocelyn Sheltraw | Budist
- Michaela Sweatt | Austin Legal Group
- Josh Wurzer | SC Labs
2023 CCIA Board of Directors
CCIA Board President
Pamela Epstein | Eden Enterprises
Pamela has made a name for herself as one of the cannabis industry’s most respected, prominent, innovative female leaders and featured industry speaker. She serves as the General Counsel, Chief Regulatory & Licensing Officer for Eden Enterprises a vertically integrated company.
Epstein has used her extensive background in environmental law with an emphasis on regulatory compliance to help implement Eden’s novel “Compassion Over Destruction” initiative. In Epstein’s previous role with Green Wise she was known as a fearless advocate for cannabis businesses of all sizes across the supply chain. She successfully guided them through the ever-changing legal and regulatory landscape. Her passion and sense of duty to the community is unparalleled. Epstein also served as the Special City Attorney for cannabis regulation for the City of Hollister and is currently the Co-Chair of CCIA's Special Events & Social Consumption Committee, where she is working to update cannabis events regulations.
CAREN WOODSON -- KIVA CONFECTIONS
Director, Licensing & Compliance
Caren Woodson is a nationally recognized marijuana policy expert with over twenty years of experience advising policymakers at all levels of government about transforming law and policy. Her unique perspective on managing compliance risk comes from her combination of employment with national drug policy reform organizations, licensed marijuana operations, and the State of California. She pioneered relationships with elected officials resulting in strategic gains for the cannabis industry during her tenure with Drug Policy Alliance and Americans for Safe Access; she lobbied early support for the Hinchey-Rohrabacher amendment, organized the first and only electronic dance party on Capitol Hill, facilitated adoption of medical marijuana laws in seven states, and played an integral role in the adoption of San Francisco’s landmark medical marijuana dispensary ordinance.
Ms. Woodson’s success stems from her ability to forge strategic partnerships. She guided favorable policy endorsements from the American Medical Association, National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, and American Public Health Association. Her collaboration with medical and scientific organizations led to the creation of the American Herbal Products Association’s Cannabis Committee and the subsequent production of operating guidelines which many states have used to develop regulations. She has advised marijuana industry leaders across the nation on license acquisition and regulatory compliance. Her ability to design efficient compliance programs and mitigate risk is informed by her previous work as an environmental regulations specialist with the State of California. Successful navigation of complex regulations and consumer expectations has helped her clients strengthen brand reputation and value.
Born in California and raised in Las Vegas, Ms. Woodson received her degree in Political Science from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and her Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the American University in Washington, DC. She is a natural resource volunteer, avid cyclist, and enjoys backpacking in the high Sierras.
CCIA Vice President
Eddie Franco is the Director of Policy at Nabis, California’s leading cannabis wholesaling platform, responsible for overseeing the company’s licensing and regulatory affairs. With over six years of experience in cannabis policy and laws, Eddie is consistently looking to improve California’s legal and regulatory landscape by leaning on his past experiences and the wide network of brands, retailers and operators Nabis serves. Prior to his current role, Eddie was the Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Manager at CCIA, overseeing the trade group’s policy and regulatory objectives, and is honored to continue contributing to the association as a board member. In 2018, Eddie staffed Asm. Bill Quirk’s cannabis portfolio including AB 2020, which established legal cannabis events in California.
In addition to serving as a Board Director at CCIA, Eddie also holds board positions in the Cannabis Distributors Association (CDA) and Oakland Citizens for Equity and Prosperity (OCEP). During his free time, you’ll likely find Eddie at the local comic book shop or spending time with his wife and their ever-growing family of rescue pets.
Tiffany Devitt | CannaCraft
Tiffany Devitt is responsible for overseeing CannaCraft's consumer and government affairs. As such, she plays a valuable and vital role in shaping and executing the company's legislative priorities in Sacramento and DC. As a member of the National Cannabis Roundtable Board, she is working collaboratively with industry leaders from across the country to promulgate federal financial services reform and tax equity for the cannabis industry.
Tiffany is a current and founding Board Member of CannaCraft, Kind House, and Emerald Pharms. She was the 2018 recipient of the North Bay Business Journal Women in Business Award. Tiffany received an undergraduate degree from Tufts University and a Master’s from Stanford University.
Yvette McDowell | McDowell & Associates
From City Prosecutor to Cannabis Law Consultant, Yvette McDowell.
As a former firefighter-paramedic and a retired Emmy Award Winning Assistant City Prosecutor and trial attorney, she brings to the table years of hands on experience. She has a deep respect and value for justice and believes that equity is where justice begins and ends. Described by colleagues as relentless, determined and a force to be reckoned with, she balances her tenacious spirit with compassion and empathy.
“Equal justice under cannabis law for all” has become Yvette’s motto! Her ultimate focus is to educate those in power and make sure that regulation is tolerant in its impact and is inclusive of the entire community. Working side by side with city and county governments to educate and foster economic growth will bridge the communication gap between local government and the community regarding the cannabis industry. Regulation should be followed, but not overly burdensome.
During and after Yvette’s retirement from city government she has been a part of numerous associations and boards: California District Attorneys Association, California Cannabis Industry Assn, National Cannabis Industry Assn, National Cannabis Bar Association, Law Enforcement Action Partnership, California Peace Officers Association, Minority Cannabis Business Association, Women Leaders in Law Enforcement.
As an Amazon bestselling and a #1 International bestselling author, Yvette wants to help create a paradigm shift in the cannabis industry where “Equal justice Under Cannabis Law” becomes a reality for all choosing to enter into this exciting field.
Tim is the Owner of Morland Consulting, LLC, a premier cannabis compliance firm, specializing in financial services, licensing, applications, compliance and governmental affairs work. Tim serves as the California Market Lead for Abaca x Pacific Valley Bank.
Tim served as the Senior Vice President of Cannabis Business Relations at Pacific Valley Bank. Tim has extensive knowledge of federal banking regulations pertaining to the cannabis industry. Tim has also been integral in providing traditional financing to the cannabis industry in his position at Pacific Valley Bank.
Tim served as the Director of Compliance and Governmental Affairs for Kiva Confections, a leading cannabis edible company. Tim was responsible for directing all compliance related issues over Kiva’s multiple licenses. Tim represented Kiva in the State Capitol and with State regulators. Tim was also responsible for maintaining and acquiring new licenses for Kiva Confections.
Tim served as the Compliance and Policy Director for Origin House. Tim managed and directed compliance for all Origin House acquisitions. While working for Origin House Tim directed an ambitious legislative package. Tim also worked closely with all agencies, which regulate the cannabis industry in the State of California.
Prior to joining Origin House, Tim served as the Director of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs for Board of Equalization Member Fiona Ma from 2015-2017. Tim staffed Chairwoman Ma on the State Treasurer’s Cannabis Banking Work group. Tim served as a member of the San Francisco Cannabis Task Force on behalf of the State Board of Equalization. Tim also staffed Chairwoman Ma on cannabis taxation and cannabis legislation.
Tim served in the Assembly Chief Clerk’s Office from 2008-2015. Tim was the Assembly Daily File Clerk from 2013-2014, and the Reading Clerk for the California State Assembly from 2009-2013. Tim also served as the Engrossing and Enrolling Clerk for the Assembly
Chief Clerk’s Office from 2008-2009. He graduated from California State University Sacramento with a degree in Government with high honors in 2008 (Phi Kappa Phi).
Sabrina Noah | Cresco Labs
As Cresco Labs Senior Vice President of Public Affairs, Sabrina Noah’s work advancing the company’s presence in new markets has led the company to grow operations from one state to 12 and generate annual revenue of over $43 million (2018). In a highly regulated industry where each state’s cannabis program is comprised of different and precise requirements for operations, Ms. Noah ensured the company was compliant with laws, regulations, internal policies and controls in all the states where the company is currently operational as well as in states where the company is advancing the business. Ms. Noah’s work is a critical component to Cresco Labs’ growth strategy to be one of the largest vertically and most compliant integrated US-based cannabis companies.
Under Ms. Noah’s leadership, Cresco Labs opened and operated 23 cultivation/production facilities and 56 retail dispensary licenses across Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Arizona, California, New York, and Michigan.
Previous to joining Cresco Labs, Ms. Noah worked for 15 years in government relations and organizing grassroots campaigns across the country. During this time, Ms. Noah was integral in helping several new medical cannabis markets draft legislation. Before joining the cannabis industry, Sabrina worked with Fortune 500 companies in healthcare, automotive and technology industries.
Nicole Phillis | Davis Wright Tremaine
Nicole Phillis is a commercial litigator at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP (“DWT”) and co-chairs DWT’s Cannabis Industry Group. She has represented some of the largest brands, investors, and enterprises in the cannabis industry in a wide range of litigation matters, including supply chain disputes, trademark and trade dress litigation, breach of contract and corporate governance disputes, unfair competition disputes and class actions, trade secret actions, and defamation matters, among other things.
In addition to her litigation practice, Nicole advises clients in both the cannabis and hemp industries on speech, advertising, and compliance-related issues. She has written extensively on cannabis advertising and been featured on multiple panels based on her advertising and speech expertise, including most recently for the LACBA Cannabis Section’s Second Annual Litigation Salon (2021), the LACBA Cannabis Section’s Cannabis Advertising CLE (2021), and the International Bar Association’s panel on Cannabis Trends in the Americas (2021).
Nicole is also very active in industry advocacy spaces, serving as a co-chair for CCIA’s Risk Management Committee (2021-Present) and as an executive board member and former VP of Communications for the Los Angeles County Bar Association Cannabis Section (2019-Present). She focuses much of her pro bono practice on serving social equity applicants and licensees in the cannabis industry.
In her civic life, Nicole is an elected commissioner and past chair of the Santa Monica Rent Control Board, a municipal office to which she was first elected in 2014. Nicole has also served as a delegate to the California Democratic Party (2017-present), the Los Angeles County Democratic Party (2017-2021) and previously chaired Santa Monica’s Commission on the Status of Women (2013-2017).
In her personal life, Nicole is a dog-mom to three Golden Retrievers (Loki (12.5 years), Parker (11 years), and Georgia (7 months)) and a Maine Coon cat (Theo, 8 years). Nicole is also an avid Settlers of Catan player and won her first Catan tournament in 2021!
Jocelyn currently serves on the Board of Directors of the California Cannabis Industry Association, the Advisory Board for American National Standards Institute, and lectures at StartSe University, an international business school. She is a recognized industry thought leader, influencer, and public speaker, as well as one of the creators of the ‘CannaPac’, a monthly meetup for cannabis founders and executives.
Prior to the cannabis industry, Jocelyn spent 10 years working in mobile advertising and technology developing advertising and monetization strategies for apps including: Flipboard, Spotify, SoundCloud, Pandora, and Uber to name a few.
Michaela Sweatt is Licensing and Compliance Director and Chief Operating Officer at Austin Legal Group/ALG Strategies. Michaela delivers local permit, state licensing, and compliance services to a large portfolio of cannabis clients from small operators to large MSOs. She is known as a problem solver when working with local jurisdictions and the California Department of Cannabis Control (DCC). As a California regulatory compliance consultant Michaela assists clients by providing up-to-date knowledge of the laws and regulations that affect the cannabis industry so that cannabis business owners have the information they need to make business decisions.
Michaela is currently Co-Chair of the Agriculture and Manufacturing Committee of the California Cannabis Industry Association (CCIA) where she shares her expert-level knowledge of licensing and compliance while working with other industry professionals to provide input into proposed legislation, regulation, and best practices in the ever-changing cannabis industry.
Prior to joining the cannabis industry in 2017, Michaela was a product-launch consultant and entrepreneur. She co-founded Nurture Connect, a company that created a distribution and sales platform for digital health technology companies to launch their health, safety and communication technology products and services for healthcare professionals, senior care organizations and family caregivers. She gained her business experience at start-ups and Fortune 500 companies from Stanford Healthcare, GreatCall’s launch of the Jitterbug cell phone (now owned by BestBuy), Microsoft, Intuit, and The Walt Disney Company’s “Disney Interactive” software division where she provided her deep consumer insights into winning customer experiences.
Josh Wurzer | SC Labs
Josh is a cofounder and serves as the President of SC Labs where he is responsible for managing technical operations, research and development, regulatory compliance, and intellectual property. Founded in 2010, with facilities in California and Oregon, SC Labs is one of the longest running cannabis testing laboratories in the nation. Josh also serves as co-chair of the CCIA's Quality Control Committee. He has a background in analytical and synthetic chemistry and spent his early career in the pharmaceutical and electronic materials industries and has managed cannabis testing laboratories since 2009.
As a long time patient and cannabis activist, he is committed to the continual development of quality and safety standards for cannabis and cannabis products. Besides his role on the CCIA QC Committee, he serves on the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) Cannabis Expert Panel, is a founding member of the AOAC CASP advisory group on cannabis, and is a founding member of the American Council of Independent Laboratories (ACIL) cannabis committee, as well as other cannabis and hemp trade associations and committees.
Josh has served as a flower judge for the Emerald Cup and regularly presents his research with regard to cannabis chemistry at conferences and trade shows. Josh received his Bachelor's degree in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin Green Bay.