Program: Speakers

Leading authorities and change-makers will address the transition to a sustainable culture through the advancement of cannabis/hemp, eco-activism, natural cures and alternative healing. 

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Aaron Smith is co-founder and executive director for the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA), the only national trade association for cannabis business professionals. Working on issues ranging from banking access to tax policy reform, NCIA advances and defends the unique interests of the medical cannabis industry in Washington, DC. Prior to launching NCIA, Aaron distinguished himself as a passionate and effective marijuana policy reform advocate in California. He now resides in Tempe, Arizona.


Amanda Reiman, MSW, Ph.D. is the Director of Research For Berkeley Patients Group, a community-based medical cannabis dispensary, a lecturer in the School of Social Welfare at the University of California, Berkeley, and an Affiliate Scientist at the Alcohol Research Group in Emeryville, California.  

Dr. Reiman has a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Illinois, Chicago, a PhD in Social Welfare from the University of California, Berkeley and completed a postdoctoral fellowship with the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Reiman’s dissertation, "Cannabis Care: Medical Cannabis Facilities Health Service Providers", was the first in depth study of medical cannabis patients through dispensaries. She has published numerous articles on medical cannabis dispensaries, patients, and the use of cannabis as a substitute for alcohol.




At Berkeley, Dr. Reiman teaches Substance Abuse Treatment and Drug and Alcohol Policy. Dr. Reiman served as the Chairwoman of the first Medical Cannabis Commission for the City of Berkeley and has consulted with other cities in the Bay Area regarding medical cannabis policy and dispensing. Dr. Reiman regularly presents her research on cannabis use at National and International conferences including the International Cannabinoid Research Symposium, the International Conference on Safe Medicine, the American Public Health Conference, the National NORML Conference, and the Harm Reduction Conference. Dr. Reiman is a member of the Multidisciplinary Scientific Advisory Board (MSAB) for Americans for Safe Access, a consortium of health professionals, researchers, and academics. The MSAB includes individuals from the fields of Internal Medicine, Psychiatry, Addictions, Osteopathy, Sociology, Public Health, Public Policy, and Law from across the world.



Amy Poinsett, Chief Executive Officer of MJ Freeway Software Solutions, has trained and led technology development teams in software, application design and research analysis across various business sectors within financial services, luxury tourism and medical technology; resulting in high revenue returns and stable corporate growth.  An alumnus of the University of Denver, she also co-founded and managed Wonder Dog Corporation - a premier technical support and consulting company  - and is a co-founder and the CEO of MJ Freeway Software Solutions. 



Andrew DeAngelo, Co-Founder and Co-General Manager of Harborside Health Center, has pursued two main passions in his professional life: theatre and medical cannabis. He began with the cannabis plant as a teenager and this passion has culminated in his work as General Manager and Co-Founder of Harborside Health Center, the largest medical cannabis retail distributor in the world located in Oakland, Calif. Harborside Health Center has been featured in numerous media outlets, including the New York Times, Fortune Magazine, The Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal. Harborside is currently being featured in a reality television program which will air on the Discovery Channel in late 2011 or early 2012. 

Andrew also has an M.F.A in acting from the American Conservatory Theatre of San Francisco and a B.F.A in Theatre Arts from Chapman University. Andrew appeared as an actor at the 1997 Sundance International Film Festival in the Independent feature film MARY JANE’S NOT A VIRGIN ANYMORE by Sarah Jacobsen. 


Andrew also starred in the one-man film THE BIG DAY OFF by David Jansen which won a Golden Spire Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival in 1998. He has also appeared on television in critically acclaimed shows like HOMOCIDE: LIFE ON THE STREET, and SUPERIOR COURT. 

Most recently, Andrew co-produced the short film HORSEPOWER by Joel Moffett which won the best short film award at both the Washington D.C Film Festival and the Berlin International Film Festival in 2008. The Discovery Program represents the perfect intersection for the two passions Andrew has pursued his entire life. 


Angel McClary Raich is a long-time resident of Oakland, CA.  Ms. Raich is a well-known medical cannabis patient, media spokesperson and issue advocate with 14 years of experience in the medical cannabis industry.  Ms. Raich has been a pioneer on the front lines working hard to change medical cannabis laws throughout the United States.  Ms. Raich specializes and  consults in various areas of the medical cannabis industry, including but not limited to: state, federal, and local laws and policies, including unlawful search and seizure, HUD and housing issues, employment issues, state and federal raids, all aspects of dispensary operation, safety, and patient care, as well as public relations, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Ms. Raich was on the team that drafted California Senate Bill 420 with Attorney General Bill Lockyer and California Senator John Vasconcellos and has participated in writing medical cannabis policies and legislation at the state, federal, and local levels. 


In 2002, Ms. Raich sued the federal government (Raich v. Ashcroft & Raich v. Gonzales, Case # 03-1454 (The Raich Case): Raich v. Gonzales US Supreme Court case 2004-2005) for the right to possess, use, and cultivate medical cannabis under federal law and won an historic injunction against the federal government protecting herself and millions of patients and caregivers from arrest and asset forfeiture.  The case changed the federal legal landscape and made medical cannabis a household name.  Ms. Raich was not only the lead plaintiff, she was on the legal team assisting in writing legal briefs and research, coordinated the media consultants, interviews, messaging, helped write press releases and spin, organized fundraising, coordinated with the drug policy movement, and worked with politicians, as well as other states.  In 2005, the United States Supreme Court overturned this ruling in a 6-3 decision, while asking Congress to change the drug control laws.  (www.angeljustice.org).  The Raich v. Gonzales case still to this day continues to set presents in the United States justice system.  The Raich case was used in the confirmation hearings of two US Supreme Court Justices, Samuel Alito and John Roberts.  The Raich case is currently the leading case at the heart of the legal challenge regarding the Obama Health Care Policy both in Congress and in two multi-states federal cases, which are making their way through the US federal courts.  




A quick-witted, internationally known expert on the history, medical, social, economic, and ecological aspects of Cannabis hemp, Chris Conrad is author of four groundbreaking books, and has served as an expert witness on industrial hemp, hempseed, marijuana, marijuana cultivation, medical marijuana, and personal consumption of marijuana in the Superior Courts throughout the State of California. He advocates full restoration of industrial hemp, medical marijuana with a doctor's supervision, and setting a legal age of consent for marijuana use by responsible adults in a regulated market.

His landmark treatise, "Cannabis Yields and Dosage" has provided the scientific basis for devising policies on medical use, and was presented at the Fifth International Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics in 2008. "Hemp, Lifeline to the Future", his first book, helped launch the modern hemp industry and cannabis reform movement, reintroducing hemp as a sustainable natural resource.


It reintroduces hemp as a sustainable natural resource.Hemp for Health discusses medical marijuana and the nutritional and environmental uses of the cannabis plant. Shattered Lives, Portraits From America's Drug War, co-authored with his wife, Mikki Norris, and their colleague, Virginia Resner, explores the human cost of America's prison-based drug policy. The trio also wrote their newest book, Human Rights and the US Drug War as an analys of drug war policy within the context of international human rights law.

Chris Conrad is founder and director of the Business Alliance for Commerce in Hemp (BACH), director of the Family Council on Drug Awareness (FCDA), and a member of the Hemp Industries Association (HIA). He designed and curated the international Hash-Marihuana-Hemp Museum located in Amsterdam, Holland, where he researched cannabis culture and cultivation. He is the art director for the Human Rights and the Drug Warexhibit. He is also on the boards of Human Rights and the Drug War and the Drug Peace Campaign. Chris Conrad has been qualified as an expert witness on industrial hemp, hempseed, marijuana, marijuana cultivation, medical marijuana, and personal consumption of marijuana in the Superior Courts throughout the State of California. He has presented expert testimony in court and at government hearings, and regularly consults with legislators. He founded the American Hemp Council in 1989, was a chief proponent of the 1992 and 1994 California Hemp Initiatives.



Clint Werner has degrees in journalism and library science and has worked in the field of preventive health for over 25 years. His writing has appeared in Cannabis Therapeutics in HIV/AIDS, the Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics, Macrobiotics Today, Canine Chronicle and other publications.



Dale Gieringer, Ph.D., has been the state coordinator of California NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) since 1987. He is also Vice-Chairman of the national NORML board of directors, director of the California Drug Policy Forum (DPFCA) and treasurer of the Oakland Civil Liberties Alliance (OCLA).  

Dr. Gieringer has published research on medical marijuana usage, marijuana smoke harm reduction, potency testing, marijuana and driving safety, and drug urinalysis. He has testified before the legislature and in court on issues concerning personal use of marijuana. He was one of the original co-authors of California's medical marijuana initiative, Prop. 215, and the proponent of Oakland’s Measure Z cannabis initiative in 2004.


Books: Marijuana Medical Handbook <http://www.canorml.org/orderform.html#handbook>  (co-authors: Ed Rosenthal and Dr. Greg Carter) Quick Publications,  Second edition 2008. Editor: California NORML Reports, 1987- present.



Dan Rush is the National Director for the Medical Cannabis and Hemp Division of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW).  A native of Oakland California, Mr. Rush is a medical cannabis industry pioneer and authority. Dan is the spokesperson for the 2012 California Medical Marijuana Regulation, Control and Taxation Act (CMMRCTA) and the board secretary of the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform (CCPR).

The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) is North America’s Neighborhood Union with 1.3 million members standing together to improve the lives and livelihoods of workers, families, and communities. UFCW is the 3rd largest union for private industry in the United States and is America's youngest union, with the greatest percentage of members under the age of 35 of any other union. 


“UFCW is the union of retail, food processing and agricultural workers, and the medical cannabis industry is a retail, food processing and agricultural industry”, says Mr. Rush. “We are successfully organizing workers in 17 states that have passed Medical Cannabis laws. Our union is bringing dignity, legitimacy, stability, standards and strength to both workers and employers. We advocate for a regulated industry that creates good jobs and significant tax revenue for our communities.”

Previously Dan was the Special Operations Director for UFCW Local 5 (UFCW5, a 35,000 member BI-State Local Union in California and Arizona). In 2010 he established UFCW5’s Cannabis Division and organized the very first union members in the medical cannabis industry.

Since 1996 Dan Rush has been the Executive Secretary Treasurer of Instituto Laboral de la Raza, a San Francisco based workers resource center for unorganized, mono-lingual, immigrant working families in California (see www.ilaboral.org). Dan oversees and coordinates the Instituto’s annual National Labor-Community Awards in San Francisco, which is the largest event of its kind in the United States. Dan has dedicated his career to assisting mono-lingual Latin immigrant working families, and has done so since his days (in the early 1980’s) with the Teamsters, where he worked as a Dues Collector in the fields and packing sheds of the Salinas, Imperial and Yuma Valleys. 

Dan Rush is an Elected 16th AD Central Committee Delegate of the California Democratic Party. He is the former Political Director of UFCW120, and the retired Sergeant at Arms of the Central Labor Council of Alameda County.




David M. Long served for nearly nine years as a special agent with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, Division of Labor Racketeering, working union corruption and related organized crime cases in Florida. Later, he transferred to Los An- geles where he began investigating identity theft cases tied to the Mexican Mafia. In Los Angeles, he also sat on a joint task force investigating Asian organized crime and human trafficking.

As an idealistic University of Pennsylvania Law student and young intern in the United States Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia during the 1980s, David witnessed first-hand how the lives of young men and women were drastically changed as they were sentenced to decades in prison as a result of their involvement in drugs. David also remembers hearing the misgivings of a particular assistant U.S. attorney regarding the impact of the “War on Drugs.” Years later, as a federal agent, David began to see the unmistakable link of how the drug trade fueled, funded, and helped to facilitate crimes he investigated. It became clear to David that many of the weapons and much of the money funding these crimes could be traced to the illegal drug trade.



Later, as a professor of criminal justice and legal studies, David became convinced that the “War on Drugs” is an unsound policy and is, in fact, doing great harm to our society in many ways. As a professor, David began to notice and conduct research into how our na- tion’s drug policies lead to prison overcrowding and a disconnect in our social priorities. His research is what led him to LEAP. “It has become clear to me that while we fill our prisons with low-level drug offenders, the illegal drug trade, drug abuse and addiction con- tinue in the face of the “War on Drugs.” Until drugs are legalized and addiction and abuse are treated first and foremost as public health issues, the nation will face continuing prob- lems resulting from overcrowded criminal dockets, overcrowded prisons, deaths as a result of drug overdosing, street violence, the spread of diseases, ruined lives, and lost potential.”

David holds a B.A., magna cum laude, from Howard University. He also was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He earned his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He is a member of the State Bar of Georgia (inactive). Upon law school graduation, David served as law clerk to U.S. District Judge, Clifford Scott Green (deceased), of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. David currently teaches a variety of criminal justice and legal studies courses at Brandman University, part of the Chapman University system, where he is the program director for both the criminal justice and legal studies programs.

David lives in the San Francisco Bay area and has two college-age children. 



Debby Goldsberry has 25 years experience as an anti-prohibition activist, and is dedicated to ending the 100-year "Marijuana Wars." She is High Times Freedom Fighter of the Year for 2011-12 and a columnist in High Times Medical Marijuana Magazine. Ms. Goldsberry co-founded the Berkeley Patients Group (BPG) medical cannabis collective, which she directed for 11 years, Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the Medical Cannabis Safety Council (MCSC), and Cannabis Action Network (CAN). She is a former board member of Marijuana Policy Project, and was given NORML’s Paula Sabine Award for Woman in Leadership. Currently, Ms. Goldsberry is Ambassador at Steep Hill Lab, the industries most experienced medical cannabis testing lab, and is a business development specialist at Liana Limited Canna-Business Solutions.





Deborah Peterson Small is the Executive Director of Break the Chains, an advocacy organization committed to addressing the disproportionate impact of punitive drug policies on poor communities of color. Break the Chains was founded in the belief that community activism and advocacy is an essential component of progressive policy reform. Break the Chains works to engage families and community leaders in promoting alternatives to the failed “war on drugs” by adopting public health approaches to substance abuse and drug-related crimes. Break the Chains is an advocate and voice for those affected most by drug policies but too often unheard in policy debates and decisions. Break the Chains has recently launched a new venture, SHAKE Media and will begin broadcasting a daily radio program focused on the need to end drug prohibtion. Look for us online on BlogTalkRadio.  




Dragonfly de la Luz is a world-traveling ganja critic and self-styled chronnoisseur. She travels to exotic countries with relaxed weed laws and writes about the myriad pot scenes and counter-cultures she finds, sharing her encounters in popular cannabis magazines. Her articles have appeared in Cannabis Culture, KUSH, West Coast Cannabis, SKUNK, the Journal of Education on Medical Marijuana, and the Journal for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), and she is the global ganja correspondent for TV's Cannabis Planet news show. 

Dragonfly studied English Literature and Women's Studies before pursuing her graduate degree in Feminism and Social Justice. Presently, she is compiling the global strain reviews from her monthly column, "Getting High With Dragonfly," into her first book. Recently named one of SKUNK magazine's most influential women in weed, Dragonfly is a champion of growers' rights, and uses her writing to mobilize the masses to fight for cannabis legalization for all. Dragonfly supports California's Repeal Cannabis Prohibition Act of 2012.


"Mucha Chala in Argentina" -- an article Dragonfly wrote for cannabis culture about argentina's decriminalization movement and burgeoning ganja culture. 

"Sirius Stardog A" -- a  strain review Dragonfly wrote for her "Getting High with Dragonfly" column.

"Dr. Walker's Daze" -- a strain review Dragonfly wrote for her "Getting High with Dragonfly" column. 

"How CBD is Revolutionizing Medical Marijuana" -- an article Dragonfly wrote about for Kush Magazine.

"Why the Feds are Freaking Out: How Prop. 19's Mega Grows Created a Federal Backlash Against Medical Marijuana" -- an article Dragonfly wrote for Kush Magazine.   

"Dragonfly, the Weedly World Traveler" -- an article Dragonfly wrote for her "Getting High with Dragonfly" column, published in the Sacramento Bee.

"Stoners Against Prop. 19" -- a blog Dragonfly launched to oppose california's ill thought-out Prop. 19 initiative of 2010.

"Dragonfly de la Luz: Writer" -- Dragonfly's facebook writer page.



Ed Rosenthal, a.k.a. "the Guru of Ganja", is recognized worldwide as an authority on marijuana. In his thirty-plus years as a cannabis expert, he has written or edited more than a dozen books about marijuana cultivation and social policy, that cumulatively have sold over one million copies. Rosenthal is a member of the International Cannabinoid Research Society and the Garden Writers Association of America, and has served as an expert witness on marijuana cultivation in federal and state trials.

Rosenthal has also been active in promoting and developing policies of civil regulation for medical marijuana. Since the passage of California's pioneering Prop 215 in 1996, which authorizes medicinal use of marijuana, he has worked with the state's growers, dispensaries, and local governments to standardize and implement the delivery of pharmaceutical grade cannabis to patients.


On February 12, 2002, Ed was arrested by federal agents for applying his knowledge and helping patients to use medical marijuana. He has since been convicted of three counts of cultivation and conspiracy. In a stunning setback for the federal government, he was sentenced on June 4th, 2003 to one-day in prison and a $1,000 fine. He'd faced a statutory maximum of 100 years imprisonment and possible fines up to $4.5 million.

Having observed government policies in Europe and Canada that now recognize the beneficial applications of cannabis, Rosenthal is an out spoken advocate for similar advances within the United States. For many, Rosenthal's situation focuses attention on the fact that the laws have become more harmful to society than what they were intended to regulate. The question is clear - will those providing medical marijuana to patients in California, in compliance with state law, continue to be prosecuted by the federal government? In recent polls up to 70% of the public show support for the use of medical marijuana.



Frank H. Lucido MD has been practicing Family and General Medicine in Berkeley, California since 1979. He graduated from University of Michigan Medical School in 1974, and completed his Family Practice Residency through the University of California at Davis in 1977. Since the passage of the California Compassionate Use Act of 1996, he has been performing Medical Cannabis evaluations, and has written and lectured on the subject.

In 2004, he co-authored the widely read article "Implementation of the Compassionate Use Act in a Family Medical Practice, Seven Years' Clinical Experience" with Mariavittoria Mangini, PhD, FNP, published in O'Shaughnessy's, the Journal of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians. This article is designed to be a blueprint for physicians in making safe and appropriate recommendations.


In 2004, he founded MedicalBoardWatch.com to keep watch on the Medical Board of California actions against physicians who make medical cannabis recommendations. He is also the founder of Lucido Medical-Legal Consulting, to give expert medical testimony for legitimate patients who use cannabis medicinally, and for responsible physicians who recommend it appropriately. He lectures on medical cannabis and practice standards, and is particularly interested in speaking to physician groups to increase the number of responsible physicians willing to make appropriate recommendations for this safe and effective medicine.

Founding member of the American Academy of Cannabinoid Medicine.

Founder, Medical Board Watch.

Founder, Association of Independent Medical-Legal Consultants (www.AIMLegal.org).

Member, Society of Cannabis Clinicians.

Email: info@DrLucido.com


James Anthony is an attorney licensed in California and Hawaii and also holds a California Real Estate Broker license. James has six years of successful experience in medical cannabis permitting, lobbying, regulation, and litigation throughout California, including LA, Riverside County, Kern County, Contra Costa County, Stanislaus County, Sacramento, Santa Clara County, Stockton, Richmond, San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland. In 2008 he directed the campaign for Berkeley’s Measure JJ, the first medical cannabis zoning ordinance passed by initiative. He also authored the 2009 Oakland business tax on cannabis-related businesses, the first such tax in the nation. In 2007, James succeeded in obtaining Mayor Ron Dellums support for Congressional DEA oversight hearings—making him the first mayor to show such support, later joined by many others.

Currently he sits on the City of Oakland Measure Z Oversight Committee. James has sat on the Boards of Directors of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Green Aid, and the Pacific Zen Institute. James is a frequent speaker and writer on medical cannabis regulatory issues, campaign strategy, and public relations. Originally from Hawaii, he has lived on 3 continents. Previously he was a zoning prosecutor for the City of Oakland. James can be reached at James@MCDLawyer.com


Jason Berry aka “DJ BIG KUSH JAY” – Founder & CEO of Klub Kush Media, Producer of The Black Kush Expo. Born and raised in upstate NY, Jason is no stranger to adversity. Coming from food stamps and lower income housing to traveling the world and working with raps elite, hard work and determination have been core principles in his life that helped to make him the man he is now. These same values are what led to the catalyst of Klub Kush!  After working many years as an executive within the music industry at companies such as Eminem’s Shady Records and Russell Simmons Music Group, he moved to California to establish roots for his growing family and to start making waves within the new and exciting cannabis community. “For years I had put together countless marketing and promotional campaigns where I partnered corporate sponsors with artists and record labels to subsidize tour and album production costs.  Now with Klub Kush, I get to do the same for my own company and be a trendsetter within a quickly growing industry.” 


Klub Kush Media, a music, marketing and events company with a foundation and experience focusing on the core of urban culture and the cannabis community. We know and understand the unique characteristics of the trend setting hip hop, music, sports, film and fashion markets. Combining street marketing tactics with traditional marketing, we create organic solutions for you to become fully immersed within the urban culture of the marijuana community. Our mission is to provide the best in creative and aggressive marketing strategies with results that exceed expectation.  The Black Kush Expo will be no exception!!  

This spring the city of Los Angeles will play host to the first annual Black Kush Expo! Open to the public, an all day FREE event geared to promote medical cannabis health and legal awareness through education and entertainment to the urban community.  Blacks all over this country are being persecuted for cannabis use and possession 7 and sometimes 13x more that whites.  It’s time we addressed the specific needs of the urban community as it pertains to the cannabis industry.  


JoAnna LaForce, R.Ph., CGP is a Clinical Consultant Pharmacist. She graduated in 1975 and is Board Certified in Geriatric Pharmacy. She worked for Kindred Pharmacy Services in Santa Barbara, CA 1994 to 2006, where her duties included review of drug regimens of patients in convalescent hospitals and assisted living centers, interdisciplinary meetings and reviews with physicians, nurses, and other health professionals, and education to nursing staff and nurses’ aids, social service personnel, and physicians. She has provided pain management consulting for Hospice patients for the past twenty years. She also provides clinical consulting services to prospective medical cannabis centers in California, Colorado, Rhode Island, Arizona, and medical cannabis states throughout the country.

JoAnna has studied plant medicines and integrative approaches to health for the past thirty years. Her passion for natural healing was born out of her love of plants, herbs, and horticulture. She founded Santa Barbara Heirloom Nursery, which grew over 150 varieties of heirloom vegetables and medicinal plants. The Nursery most notably grew and supplied Whole Foods Markets nationally with beautiful heirloom tomatoes. 

JoAnna is currently Clinical Director of The Farmacy® West Hollywood, The Farmacy® Venice, and The Farmacy® Westwood. The Farmacies are organic medicine centers that provide natural healing products and herbs, including medical cannabis. They are staffed by Licensed Acupuncturists, Herbalists, Massage Therapists, and Licensed Nutritionists. Her Farmacies are the leaders in providing an integrative approach to wellness and have established standards and guidelines for the regulation of all aspects of the medical cannabis movement. Her focus is on providing quality and consistent alternative dosage forms for the elderly compromised population. 


JoAnna has served on the Medical Cannabis working groups for the City of Los Angeles, West Hollywood, and Santa Barbara. She is a member of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, Americans for Safe Access Advisory Board, Greater Los Angeles Caregivers Association, Santa Barbara Caregivers Alliance, Marijuana Policy Project, Drug Policy Alliance, and several community and neighborhood organizations. She is also a member of the International Cannabis Research Society and the National Cannabis Industry Association.

JoAnna lives in Santa Barbara, CA with her family and friends.



Josh Wurzer is an authority in the field of Medical Cannabis analysis and has been involved in the Medical Cannabis movement for over 16 years. Josh is the Laboratory Director and cofounder of SC Labs and has tested over twenty thousand unique Cannabis samples throughout his career. He has knowledge and experience in many facets of the Cannabis industry. Through his work and activism, Josh has worked at many levels to bring safe medicine to patients.  Before entering the Cannabis industry, Josh spent several years working in pharmaceutical and electronics research and development as an Organic Chemist for Kimia Corp and as a Research Chemist for Samsung Cheil Electronic Materials Research Center. Josh holds a degree in Chemistry and Environmental Science from the University of Wisconsin Green Bay.


Kyle Kushman is a 22 year veteran of organic cannabis cultivation. He spent five years as a staff journalist for High Times Magazine, and continues to contribute as a freelancer. Kyle started Karma Consulting in 2006, consulting service for personal Prop. 215 medicinal cannabis gardens. 

In 2009, he began teaching advanced horticulture classes at Oaksterdam University in Oakland California. Later that year is when Kyle discovered Veganics, which Kyle describes as "simply the purest, cleanest medicine possible". He now teaches Earth-friendly "Cannaculture" classes at both Oaksterdam University and Peace In Medicine in Sebastopol. In January 2011, for its 420th issue, High Times featured an expanded article about Kushman and Veganics.



Early in his career, 1972-1974, Dr. Bedard became involved in the “War on Drugs!” as a psychiatrist and a Lt Cdr in the U. S. Navy at the Naval Drug Rehabilitation Center in NAS Jacksonville, Florida. This was excellent training for his career as an emergency physician. In 1981 Dr. Bedard became the first Board Certified Emergency Physician to practice in Marin County. He served as Medical Director of the Emergency Department at Marin General Hospital from 1979 to 1986.

Throughout his career Dr. Bedard has been involved in medical politics. He was on the Board of Directors of the California chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians (CALACEP) from 1983-1991. He served as President in 1986-1987. He was on the Board of Directors of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) from 1990-1998. Dr. Bedard was President of ACEP during 1996-1997. 

Dr. Bedard has served one term on the California Medical Association’s (CMA) Board of Trustees. He has been either a delegate or alternate Delegate representing the Specialty Societies or Marin County for more than 20 years. In 2009, he authored a resolution asking the CMA to endorse the legalization of marijuana. As author of this resolution, Dr. Bedard was contacted by the Yes on 19 coalition. He served as chair of the Health Professional Coalition for Yes on 19 during 2010. In 2011 Dr. Bedard served on the CMA’s Marijuana Legalization Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). On October 14 the CMA Board of Trustees unanimously endorsed the TASC’s policy recommendations to support the legalization, regulation and taxation of both adult recreational use and medicinal marijuana.

Since 2011 Dr. Bedard has served as Chair of the Public Education Programs Fund established by the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform (CCPR). Dr. Bedard is an advocate who speaks and writes on the legalization of marijuana. Currently Dr. Bedard is a public official, having been re-elected to the Marin Healthcare District Board in November 2010.



Martin A. Lee, an award-winning investigative journalist, is the director of Project CBD and the author several books including, Acid Dreams and Smoke Signals, a forthcoming social history of cannabis (Scribner, August 2012). Lee is the associate editor of O’Shaughnessy’s, the journal of cannabis in clinical practice, and  the co-founder of the New York-based media research group FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting). His articles have appeared in numerous publications including the Washington Post, Rolling Stone, Los Angeles Times, Harpers, The Nation, Christian Science Monitor, Le Monde Diplomatique and Mother Jones.




Michael Backes is the head of research and development for Abatin.  He also consults on the scientific, regulatory and product development aspects of medical cannabis throughout the United States.  Previously, Backes founded Cornerstone Research Collective in Los Angeles.  He is currently writing a book for medical cannabis for patients and providers to be published by Black Dog and Leventhal in 2013.  His work is featured in the new book by Mark Haskell Smith, "Heart of Dankness: Underground Botanists, Outlaw Farmers, and the Race for the Cannabis Cup".  Backes also works in the film and technology worlds.  He founded the American Film Institute Digital Media Studies program and spent over a decade working as technical consultant and screenwriter with the late Michael Crichton.  He has consulted on emerging technologies to Apple, Microsoft and the Department of Defense.  He has lectured on these technologies at Tokyo University, Oxford, Yale and Stanford.


Mikki Norris is Managing Editor and Publisher (with her husband, Chris Conrad) of the quarterly, ‘cannabis newspaper of record’, the West Coast Leaf (westcoastleaf.com). She is director of the Cannabis Consumers Campaign (cannabisconsumers.org), which advocates for equal rights, ‘coming out of the closet’, and responsible adult-use practices. Norris is coordinator of the Human Rights and the Drug War exhibit project (hr95.org) and co-author of the powerful book, Shattered Lives: Portraits from America’s Drug War, which shows the photos and tells the stories of people victimized by US drug policies. Norris and Conrad were grassroots coordinators of the Prop. 215 petition drive. 

In 2006, Norris acted as a political consultant to the various lowest law enforcement priority initiatives and ordinances that were passed in San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, and West Hollywood. She was on the steering committee for the Prop. 19 initiative. She was the 2006 recipient of NORML’s Pauline Sabin Award in honor and recognition of the importance of women’s leadership in endingmarijuana prohibition. 




Stand Up Comedian NGAIO BEALUM has always been funny.  Starting as a street performer at San Francisco’s Pier 39, Ngaio quickly moved indoors, and became a San Francisco Favorite. A finalist in the San Francisco International Stand Up Comedy Competition, his great storytelling ability combined with hit razor sharp wit and engaging stage presence never fail to leave any audience howling with laughter. He has appeared on ABC, MTV, BET, Comedy Central (most recently on The Sarah Silverman Program), and many other television shows(Byron Allen’s Comics Unleashed, Merv Grifin’s Crosswords).  


For over 15 years, San Francisco attorney Patrick Goggin has advocated for the re-legalization of US hemp farming. He served as local counsel in the early 2000s when the hemp industry soundly defeated the DEA's attempts to ban hemp foods. For the third time, he is helping shepherd Senator Leno's sponsored hemp bill through the California legislature this year confident that the Governor will sign it. In 2005, Mr. Goggin became actively involved in medical cannabis legal issues when San Francisco was in the process of adopting regulations governing medical cannabis dispensaries. Over the subsequent five years, Mr. Goggin played a pivotal role in helping refine the regulations and assisting a few dispensaries obtain permits. In May 2010, he was appointed to the attorney seat for San Francisco's newly established Medical Cannabis Advisory Task Force. 


Paul Armentano is the Deputy Director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). He also serves of the faculty of Oaksterdam University in Oakland, where he lectures on the science surrounding the safety and efficacy of medical cannabis. His writing and research regarding marijuana and marijuana policy have appeared in approximately 1,000 publications, including CNN.com, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Christian Science Monitor, as well as in some two dozen textbooks and anthologies. Mr. Armentano is a 2008 recipient of the ‘Project Censored Real News Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism.’ He is the author of the book Emerging Clinical Applications for Cannabis (NORML Foundation, 2007, updated 2011) and the co-author of Marijuana is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink? (2009, Chelsea Green), which has been licensed and translated internationally. He lives with his family in Vallejo.


Entrepreneur with expertise in hemp & cannabis. Business and nonprofit management. Proficient in Mandarin Chinese/ Putonghua/ Beijinghua. Arranged financing and bank letters of credit for import/export of cargo container shipments of hemp products to and from Asia, Europe and North America. Expert court witness on marijuana and medicinal cannabis. Produced and hosted over 600 episodes of live TV programs. Produced and announced radio shows and advertising. Sales of tangibles and intangibles. Licensed securities issuer-salesperson. Author of articles published in magazines and books. Award winning cannabis cultivator. Associate producer and actor of a comedy adventure film, The Green Goddess. Will only plan and work on win-win scenarios. Continually striving for self actualization.



A founder of Organic India, Ethnopharmacologist, an Ayurveda Clinician for 20 years, an Author, Teacher, Scholar, and Yogi, PRASHANTI DE JAGER'S courses have empowered gatherings from Mayo Clinic Doctors to Prague Yoga Teacher Trainings. In 1990 Prashanti went to India for a few months to study Ayurveda, Yoga and the Vedic Sciences. He instantly found such incredible teachers that he stayed 7 years the first time, and has lived in India about 10 years. While there he co-founded 'Organic India', now one of the largest organic herb companies in the world and winner of the 'Most Socially Responsible Company' award in the Natural Products industry. He has authored several books on Vedic and Ayurvedic topics, taught hundreds of classes around the world, and is on the board of 'Light on Ayurveda Journal', and the 'American Herbal Pharmacopoeia'.


Ralph Metzner Ph.D. who has a B.A. in philosophy and psychology from Oxford University and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Harvard University, has been involved in the study of transformations of consciousness ever since, as a graduate student, he worked with Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert (later Ram Dass) on the Harvard Psilocybin Projects. He co-wrote The Psychedelic Experience, and was editor of The Psychedelic Review. 



During the 1970s, Ralph spent 10 years in the intensive study and practice of Agni Yoga, a meditative system of working with light-fire life-energies. He wrote Maps of Consciousness, one of the earliest attempts at a comparative cartography of consciousness; and Know Your Type, a comparative survey of personality typologies, ancient and modern. He was the Academic Dean for ten years, during the 1980s, at the California Institute of Integral Studies, where he taught courses there on "Altered States of Consciousness" and "Developing Ecological Consciousness." He is now Professor Emeritus. He maintains a part-time psychotherapy practice, and conducts numerous workshops on consciousness transformation, both nationally and internationally. His books includeThe Well of Remembrance, The Unfolding Self, Green Psychology,and two edited collections on the science and the phenomenology ofAyahuasca and Teonanácatl. 



Dr. Martin received his MS and PhD degrees in Botany/Mycology from Ohio University where he enjoyed faculty status following his studies.  He moved to Kraft Foods and worked in Physical Chemistry and Product Development where he and his teams launched a steady stream of new food products.  In the early 90’s Dr Martin moved to California to work with the nations leading ice cream retailer as an R&D Director and established the company’s first research and analytical lab. In 2002 Dr Martin retired, contributing seven US patents and several scientific works to found the MRM Group consulting firm. In 2009, he co-founded CW Analytical Laboratories.


Steve DeAngelo, Executive Director of Harborside Health Center, Lifelong Cannabis Activist and Man in the News. CNN, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, the BBC, Fortune magazine, The Huffington Post, and dozens other media sources have given significant coverage to Stephen DeAngelo's innovative, successful Harborside Health Center in recent months. His creation of a model medical cannabis dispensary has projected him to the forefront of the news media. At the base of this success is his lifelong activism in deconstructing the stigma that has been built around marijuana and hemp. His extensive knowledge in this area has made him a respected authority in the cannabis/hemp industries.


Steve Bhaerman is an internationally known author, humorist, and workshop leader. For the past 25 years, he has written and performed as Swami Beyondananda, the "Cosmic Comic." Swami's comedy has been described both as "comedy disguised as wisdom" and "wisdom disguised as comedy."  Noted author Marianne Williamson has called him “the Mark Twain of our generation".

In his "past life" (before Swami), Steve started an alternative high school in Washington, D.C. and co-authored a book about his experiences, No Particular Place to Go: Making of a Free High School (Simon & Schuster, 1972). In 1980, Steve co-founded Pathways Magazine in Ann Arbor, Michigan, one of the first publications bringing together holistic health, personal growth, spirituality, and politics.


Since 2005, Steve has written a political blog with a spiritual perspective, Notes From the Trail.  His latest book, written with cellular biologist Bruce H. Lipton, PhD is Spontaneous Evolution: Our Positive Future and a Way to Get There From Here (Hay House, 2009). Steve is active in transpartisan politics and the practical application of Spontaneous Evolution. He can be found online at http://www.wakeuplaughing.com/


Ted Talk, aka "The Bee Man", was born in northern California and raised in the southern Oregon Mountains. He is the owner of singing bird family farm .His family is extremely large, and have always lived a life close to the earth. A passion for music from early childhood, and it continues today. Ted has over 25 years experience in growing medicine and food both in soil and hydroponically. It is his dream for his family farm to be able to provide the people in his community and beyond with healthy options to prescription drugs and alcohol. Combining beekeeping, gardening and music he is helping to start the first bee festival in his area. The wonderful properties we have discovered through mixing the medicines from the bee hive and cannabis and many other alternative herbs, a very wonderful healthy choice has came to life .And in combination bringing more attention to the importance of saving the honey bee population on our planet. Involved in education, growers markets and an organic food and medicine csa delivery service, Ted has got everybody buzzing about the bees. Because of his love of music he sponsors conscious artists such as Indubious, and they are an amazing group of individuals, with a beautiful message for positive awareness for all generations.


Troy Dayton, CEO Arcview Group, co-founded Students for Sensible Drug Policy, now active on over 200 college campuses. After meeting a host of other adventurous entrepreneurs selling books door-to-door in college, he teamed up with them to start Renewable Choice Energy and created their residential and fortune 500 sales programs. He helped found the Interfaith Drug Policy Initiative and made national headlines by gathering support from Nevada religious leaders to support a ballot initiative to make marijuana legal. He was the promotional director and a script consultant for the film, BUSTED: The Citizens Guide to Surviving Police Encounters, narrated by former ACLU executive director Ira Glasser and seen by over millions.

From 2007-2010 he was the top fundraiser for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) and was MPP’s lead liaison to the legal cannabis industry. CNN profiled Troy as part of a special on the science of happiness, in which he discussed how his responsible drug use supports his ongoing mental well-being. Most recently, Troy became a founding board member of the National Cannabis Industry Association, created the first white-labeled mobile app for dispensaries, and started the first angel investor network for the industry.


William G. Panzer has been practicing law in the Bay Area for over twenty years, specializing in cannabis defense. He is a co-author of California's Prop 215, "The Compassionate Use Act of 1996" the nation's first law legalizing the use of cannabis by patients pursuant to a physician's recommendation. In his practice he has represented patients, growers, and medical cannabis dispensaries throughout California in state and federal court, at both the trial and appellate level.

He has lectured at numerous NORML legal seminars, conferences and other events on cannabis law and related issues. He is also on the board of Directors for California NORML. A member of the NORML Legal Committee for over twenty years, Bill is a former winner of the NORML "Al Horn Award" and a two time winner of the Sonoma Alliance for Medical Marijuana's "Compassion In Action" Award, as well as a High Times Magazine "Freedom Fighter of the Month".  



Joanna La Force

Patrick Goggin

Troy Dayton

Mikki Norris

Larry Bedard

Ed Rosenthal

The Luminaries

Dogon Lights

Jillian Ann

Señor OZ