In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we would like to highlight some of Cannabis’ Most Notable AAPI leaders
We know there are so many more but here are a few to learn about:
Keiko Beattie has created quite the resumé for herself throughout the cannabis industry. She has worked for three years as the director of education and outreach of Coral Cove’s Wellness Report. She is a board member of the Cannabis Chamber of Commerce and is on the Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo advisory board. She has been with Green Wave Relations for 15 years, first as a cannabis consultant and now as their CEO and president. Previously, Keiko was the executive producer for Hemp Radio, a station dedicated to education on the hemp lifestyle, community awareness, and legislative updates. Similarly, she was the COO of the US Weed Channel, a broadcasting TV network created to bring positive awareness of cannabis and hemp in America. Keiko received her Bachelor of Business Admin from UCLA.
Dr. June Chin
Dr. Junella Chin has specialized in integrative medicine for over 15 years. Her training includes Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University, Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine in California, Medical Acupuncture at Harvard University, and research at Columbia University, Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Women’s Health. Dr. Chin is an advocate for a better understanding of the science and medicine of cannabis. Her work has been featured in Forbes, LA Times, CNN, and Good Morning America. The book she co-authored, Cannabis and CBD for Health and Wellness, was published in June 2019.
Tauhid Chapell found himself in the world of medical marijuana through his experience with Ulcerative Colitis. He is passionate about expanding cannabis education to current and potential patients who may benefit from its therapeutic and medical effects. He founded the Color of Cannabis Conference to educate communities of color and local media professionals on the history of cannabis, its connection to the War on Drugs and mass incarceration, its medical aspects, and how to get into the industry At his day job, Tauhid works to transform how journalists and media companies cover police violence, public safety, the carceral systems and helping the Black communities control their own narrative and use their power to speak their truths at Free Press. He is an executive board member of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists. He earned his Bachelor of Communication and Film at Virginia Tech.
Elliot Choi has two years of cannabis and hemp/CBD work experience as a member of the Cannabis Council of Vincente Sederberg, LLP. Vincente Sederberg is a cannabis law firm that has been at the cutting edge of marijuana and hemp law and policy since the inception of the regulated cannabis industry. They don’t only work with clients to navigate cannabis laws, but they help shape those policies as well. He is currently the assistant general counsel of TerrAscend. He has also worked as an associate for two different firms, working with clients on mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures. Elliot earned his economics degree from Princeton and his Juris Doctor from the University of Pennsylvania.
Pam Chotiswatdi, MPH
As cannabis regulations came to fruition in 2016, Pam dove into cannabis research while completing a master’s degree in public health. Looking for solutions to provide needed cannabis education at the public level, she found a position in the cannabis space as an Executive Administrator in the industry and Director of Education at the Long Beach Collective Association. In this capacity, Pam collaborates with community leaders to provide cannabis education for the public at large while helping to shape fair business policy, safe access, and public safety. Pam is co-founder of Peer Education Community Center, a budding non-profit focused on community peer-led education, peer support, and resource navigation. Bringing skills from a decade as an Editor/English tutor, seven years as a Medical Assistant, and non-profit work with the senior community, Pam’s expertise in cannabis education is found specifically in cannabis history, medical access, responsible consumption, and breaking stigma with science-based information.
Dr. Uma Dhanabalan
Dr. Uma Dhanabalan has been a medical cannabis expert at the Massachusetts Medical Society for nine months. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Physiology from Rutgers. Her Master of Public Health is from Harvard University. And finally, she received her MD from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. For six years, Dr. Dhanabalan has been the CEO of Uplifting Health & Wellness, which she also founded. She also founded Global Health & Hygiene Solutions, LLC 18 years ago. She is still the organization’s CEO to this day
Richard Eng earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington and his MPA in Local Government and Nonprofit Manage from the University of Arizona. He also has a certificate in social sector leadership and philanthropy from UC Berkeley. Richard is currently the sales enablement and operations specialist at Backbone. He’s the social impact coordinator at Cookies. And he is a founding partner of the 2-year-old company The Allyance, an organization that helps coordinate private-public partnerships to support social equity initiatives in the cannabis industry. Richard is the Cannabis Social Equity Technical Assistance Consultant for Make Green Go, LLC, and the Project Manager of CannaEquity. Additionally, he volunteers as the lead of OpenOakland’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion division.
Felice is the Compliance Manager and Head of Marketing at MJ Holdings Inc (OTC Pink: MJNE), a Nevada-based highly-diversified, publicly-traded, cannabis holding company. Hadhinah, born and raised in Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysian Borneo, received her Bachelors of Science in Software Engineering and Masters of Science in Internetworking Technology from the Technical University of Malaysia, Melaka. Hadhinah emigrated to the USA in 2014 to pursue her dream of traveling to all 50 states. Upon completing her dream, Hadhinah published a book in her native language detailing her adventures in all 50 states. Hadhinah is the Compliance Manager and Head of Marketing at MJ Holdings Inc., a highly diversified, publicly-traded, cannabis holding company providing cultivation management; licensing support; production management, and more.
Five years ago, Dan Fung became the CEO of American Made Vape, Inc. At the same time, he also became the CEO of Dank Vape Tech. Fung has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.
Vanessa Gabriel, co-founder, and CEO of Drop Delivery. She’s a 28-year old serial entrepreneur who had already created three startups in college before jumping into cannabis. She co-founded Greenlight Technologies which sold to Leafbuyer in 2018 before co-founding Drop Delivery with her sister Jade Gabriel. Drop Delivery is the cannabis industry’s only all-in-one tech solution for retailers that want to deliver cannabis.
Hayden is the Head of Marketing at Extractioneering, an Oregon-based high-end small-batch concentrates company that invented High Terpene Full Spectrum Extracts (HTFSE). Razia is a Burmese woman whose family escaped Myanmar in the 1960s. Born in Arizona herself, Razia has lived all over North America and holds dual citizenship with the USA and Canada. She originally got into the Cannabis industry in 2014 developing custom luxury packaging and helped to push Cannabis into a new realm. She created the company Zuki Fusion, a packaging and web-design company catering to the Cannabis industry in 2015, and subsequently created packaging for a dozen separate High Times Cup-winning brands. In 2017 she became fully devoted to the development of Extractioneering. There she has been a driving influence with her customer-oriented marketing and sales initiatives.
John Heredia is an adjunct professor at the Cannabis Law Clinic at Golden Gate University’s law school. For three years, he has been a partner and chief business officer of Mirage Medicinal. He’s also the CEO of Cannabureau. John has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of San Francisco. He also earned his Juris Doctor at New York Law School. Additionally, John is a member of the International Cannabis Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association.
Judy is the VP of Investor Relations and Competitive Intelligence at Canopy Growth Corporation (NASDAQ: CGC). Canopy Growth Corporation is a world-leading diversified cannabis company. The organization operates a collection of diverse brands and curated strain variety, supported millions of square feet of indoor greenhouse production capacity. She was also the Managing Director at Goldman Sachs for 21 years. She has a Bachelor of Science in Communication from Cornell. Judy also earned her MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business.
Huang is the founder and CEO of Cloudious9, a leading cannabis consumption hardware manufacturer out of the Bay Area. Richard was born in Taiwan and came to the United States when he was 10. After working for years professionally as a Certified Public Accountant, he craved the challenges of entrepreneurship and started his first business a little over 10 years ago. Over the last decade, Richard built an international e-commerce business across Asia and the USA bringing various products (non-cannabis) to market. He saw an opportunity several years ago due to the limited innovation on the hardware side that was occurring to transfer his skill sets and experience to the cannabis industry. Since the founding of Cloudious, the company has released three different types of vaporizers, included the first water filtrated vape for flower and concentrates, and one automatic grinder.
Susan Hwang is a South Korean cannabis business entrepreneur who emigrated to the United States at the age of 12 She cultivates diversity and inclusivity in the cannabis space and presents at events in Arizona, California, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico. She was recognized in 2019 for her entrepreneurship as a Top 40 Under 40. Susan is the CEO of BEST Dispensary, the only luxury dispensary in Arizona offering an elevated shopping experience with the highest quality cannabis products. She’s also the CEO of the Jamestown Center, a group of medical cannabis licenses and facilities in Arizona. Jamestown Center includes multiple medical cannabis dispensaries, cultivation sites, and infusion kitchens in Arizona. For two years, she has been the CEO of Highley Holdings, which oversees the real estate development of retail establishments for the legal cannabis industry. Susan has been with Women Grow as their Market Leader in Phoenix and Los Angeles for two years and a volunteer for GIVE, Girls who Inspire, Volunteer, and Empower. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and a Master of Science in Microbiology from Arizona State University.
Kristin is an executive director for the Asian Cannabis Roundtable and the founder of The Maze, the only comprehensive, weekly cannabis community event listing calendar that allows users to stay informed about advocacy, industry, and community events. She founded Mannada, a company specializing in planning and producing small- to mid-size professional conferences, networking events, and community education programs. Kristin also volunteers in her free time. She is a Policy Committee member of the Minority Cannabis Business Association. She sits on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee of the National Cannabis Industry Association. And she is a member of the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Cannabis. She has a Bachelor of Arts in America History from the State University of New York at Albany and a JD from the University of Richmond.
Michelle Jun, Head of Sales
A seasoned expert in business management and customer relations, Michelle Jun brings a wealth of sales experience from a variety of industries to her position as the Head of Sales at Green Mill Supercritical. In her role, Jun drives sales and propels Green Mill’s line of exclusive CO₂ extraction machines worldwide. Jun’s diverse background includes success in the real estate, auto and spa industries where she thrived in challenging environments and honed her exceptional people skills. Jun came to Green Mill Supercritical from West Virginia real estate company Falcon Consulting & Management, where she provided operational and marketing expertise. Jun’s previous experience includes sales consulting at Freedom Automotive Group in West Virginia and business management at Massage Envy in Pittsburgh, a leading national spa with more than 1,200 locations. As the Head of Sales at Green Mill Supercritical, Jun fosters lasting relationships with new and prospective clients and manages the company’s long-term sales goals. Jun is a powerful advocate for CO₂ extraction, as well as a hands-on expert using Green Mill’s machinery. Michelle is no stranger to male-dominated industries, as one of the first women to provide IT and field radio support to a Special Operations Command in the U.S. Navy, Jun gained invaluable experience that makes her resilient and adaptable, laying the foundation for her career success. Jun’s favorite part of working with Green Mill Supercritical is that she gets to use her gift of gab and decisiveness in a rapidly changing environment.
Nhi co-founded and stepped into the CEO position of Sativa Remedy three years ago. Sativa Remedy is a premier hemp dispensary. They retail hemp CBD products from across the USA, while also heavily vetting and researching these products. They offer an easy and safe shopping experience to purchase hemp CBD. For a short time, Nhi served as the patient care coordinator and a medical assistant at Lakeside Medical care center. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Health and Human Services and Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry at the University of Buffalo.
Khurshid Khoja is Principal of cannabis business law firm, Greenbridge Corporate Counsel, where he has taken part in legislative and initiative drafting, stakeholder meetings, executive agency outreach and rule making proceedings in connection with California’s cannabis laws and regulations. Khou currently serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Cannabis Industry Association and Co-chair of the NCIA Policy Council, and on the Board of the Minority Cannabis Business Association, where he serves as the Co-chair of the Policy Committee and co-author of its Model Municipal Social Equity Ordinance.
Among other honors, Khurshid was profiled in The National Law Journal’s first ever Cannabis Law Trailblazers’ list, was featured in The Hemp Connoisseur magazine’s “100 People You Should Know” issue, and was elected a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. His work in California has been profiled in multiple editions of the Arcview Market Research report, and his earliest days in California’s pre-regulated industry as the General Counsel of MendoGrown (later the Emerald Growers Association) are chronicled in Doug Fine’s book Too High To Fail.
Alice Lee is the co-founder of Pheno. Pheno is a compliant, omnichannel advertising solutions for cannabinoid brands, businesses, and revolutions. Pheno highlights what is distinct and amazing throughout the industry via advertising solutions we call phenolutions. She also founded Divvi Up, LLC seven years ago. Alice has a Bachelor of Arts in International Economics and Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Jun S. Lee
Jun S. Lee is an entrepreneur, software engineer, and multifaceted business mogul. In his role as Co-Founder and President of Nabis, one of California’s largest wholesale cannabis distributors, he oversees revenue, operations, and business strategy. He brings the experienced mindset of a product designer to cannabis, creating flawless business and consumer experiences through technology. Drawing from his successes at Facebook and Google, where he furthered his expertise in programming, systems design, and architecture, Jun founded Series A-funded machine-learning SaaS company Allganize before launching Nabis full-time in 2017. Nabis now serves over 90 cannabis brands and nearly 100% of California’s licensed retailers with its distribution, capital, and other business services. Jun received his bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics and computer science from Harvard University and was recognized as a member of the 2021 Forbes 30 Under 30 list for enterprise technologies.
Ryan Lepore has found himself wearing many different hats. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication at the State University of New York at Albany. Ryan spent one and a half years in public service as the district officer director and community liaison for David Buchwald of District 93 of the New York State Assembly. He is currently the director of business development at Presto Doctor, interfacing with cannabis brands, companies, and communities. PrestoDoctor is a rapidly expanding technology company, on a mission to bring an exceptional, VIP, experience to patients seeking a medical cannabis recommendation via telemedicine. He is also the interim executive director at NYC NORML and works on New York State cannabis legislation. Ryan is passionate about ending prohibition and he contributes to Leafly, Kings County Politics, and the NYC Cannabis Parade. He has contributing bylines in publications such as the Marijuana Times, Wikileaf, and Munkey Biz Magazine by Happy Munkey.
Sumit is a cannabis strategist, an internationally recognized speaker, and the author of the MAZAKALI GreenPaper®, an authoritative voice on deep industry trends in its fifth year of publication with over 50,000 subscribers. In addition to his role at MAZAKALI, Sumit serves on several cannabis company boards and is the Vice-Chair of the Banking and Financial Services Committee for the National Cannabis Industry Association.
Sumit is the former Director of Finance for the Arcview Group, and before entering the cannabis industry full-time in 2016 spent 20 years on Wall Street at Merrill Lynch, Raymond James, UBS, and JP Morgan in roles that spanned portfolio management, investment planning, capital introduction, strategic consulting, institutional relationship management and corporate business development. Sumit has earned an MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, and a BA with Honors in Economics with minors in Math and Physics from the University of Texas at Austin. Sumit holds investment banking, brokerage, M&A, and investment advisory securities licenses and resides in San Francisco where he enjoys motorcycles, yoga, cannabis, and the great outdoors.
While earning his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at Binghamton University, Viraj was the founding president of the school’s Green Wolverine chapter. Green Wolverine is the first professional student organization focused on opportunities for success in legal cannabis. He’s a project manager who specializes in the legal cannabis industry. Now, Viraj is the managing director at Empire Standard, LLC – a premier hemp cannabinoid manufacturer which serves as a supply chain solution for brands and operators. He’s the director of business development at the Castetter Cannabis Group. Castetter has quickly become recognized as a leader in policy analysis, regulatory compliance, and advocacy in New York.
Yoko Miyashita has been the CEO of Leafly since 2020. Leafly sets the vision and strategy for the world’s leading cannabis resource and commerce platform. They lead the most passionate people in cannabis as they take on the future of America’s fastest-growing industry. Yoko has served as a board member emeritus and former pro bono counsel for the Committee for Children since 2008. The committee is the leading provider of social and emotional learning materials to children. She earned her Bachelor of Art in Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley. She also received her Juris Doctor from the University of Washington.
Wendy Nguyen worked three jobs in high school: her school cafeteria in the morning, Jamba Juice on the weekends, and as a tutor at night. At 15 years old, she was placed in foster care. Today, her YouTube channel has over 100 million views with her most viral video, “25 Ways to Wear a Scarf,” at 40 million views. Wendy was diagnosed with depression and PTSD at 15 and has been open about her familial sexual abuse history, all of which brought her to CBD. She has said CBD has significantly improved her quality of life. Wendy started a CBD pop-up store called Artemis in New York City in May 2019 and the store is still going strong. She said the purpose of Artemis is to create a safe space for women and men to share their struggles and experiences and get the help they need.
Vince C. Ning
Vince is the CEO & Co-Founder of Nabis, the leading distributor of cannabis products in California, supplying a quarter-billion dollar’s worth of products per year to nearly 100% of the state’s dispensaries. With expertise forged at Microsoft and in his prior company later sold to Amazon, Vince is a world-class technologist and entrepreneur who has turned his focus to accelerating cannabis industry growth operationally and compliantly. Vince’s prowess in technology, finance, and data analysis has made him an invaluable partner to top-tier cannabis brands across the state of California, where he has helped more than 100 brands launch and scale. Nabis, a Y Combinator-backed company, is poised to become the largest national distributor of cannabis products through his leadership. Vince, a 2021 Forbes 30 Under 30 executive, currently holds a position as a Board Director of the Cannabis Distribution Association (CDA) to help shape regulations for the betterment of the cannabis supply chain. He graduated from the University of Virginia with degrees in Computer Science, Economics, and Statistics.
Ophelia Chong is the founder of Stock Pot Images, Asian Americans for Cannabis Education (AACE), and Mogu Garden Supply. Her advocacy is guided by one mission: to offer truthful reflections of the communities that embrace cannabis and psilocybin. Ophelia teaches Marketing and Self-Promotion to photography students at the Art Center College of Design and has been an art director in the MFA writing program at CalArts since 2008. Founded StockPot Images in 2015, the first and only stock photo agency to specialize in cannabis, hemp, and psilocybin. Founded Asian Americans for Cannabis Education in 2015 with Monica Lo and Tiffany Wu. She is an Advisor to DoubleBlind. Coming soon writing and teaching for Personal Plants 1Q 2021 with Amanda Reiman.
Nina Parks specializes in sourcing cannabis from small farmers as well as curating and innovating cultural experiences through cannabis. She is driven to disrupt the status quo and to drive conversations about healing from “America’s Failed War on Drugs.” She has co-founded three companies: Mirage Medicinal, Supernova Women, and The Original Equity Group. Nina is the co-creator of the Equity Sessions curriculum division of the Original Equity Group. The curriculum is a 6-week workshop series for Equity Applicants in San Francisco. Nina studied criminal justice and safety studies at San Jose State University.
Since earlier this year, Chirali Patel has served as managing partner and chief compliance officer for Digital Venture. She is also on the counsel of Carella Byrne. In 2019, Patel founded Blaze Responsibly. Her organization aims to fill the void by sharing content on cannabis from the basics to specifics. They stand for responsible business practices, responsible cannabis consumption, and community outreach in the community. Patel has served as an assistant municipal prosecutor for the city of Hoboken. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Management from Rutgers. She also received her Juris Doctor from Yeshiva University.
Steve Phan is the founder of Come Back Daily. Come Back Daily is New York’s largest and most trusted CBD experiential retail hub. He also is the founder of QuadDeuceNil. QDN is a cannabis lifestyle brand that creates apparel and accessories to represent the culture and movement of cannabis legislation.
Angela Pih is the Chief Marketing Officer at CannaCraft, a large-scale California cannabis manufacturer whose mission is to produce safe and effective cannabis products. As a skilled global marketer with over two decades of experience in cannabis, fashion, beauty and wellness, Angela previously served as the Chief Marketing Officer for Papa & Barkley. Prior to entering the cannabis sector, she held executive marketing roles for premium brands and retailers including Halston, where she served as CMO of Halston + Haute Hippie, and Planet Blue as SVP of Marketing. Additionally, Pih sits on the board of ThinkLA, a nonprofit association promoting Los Angeles as a network of creativity and innovation in media and marketing; is a founding member of the LA Chapter of Chief, a network of female executives; and is an Advisory Board member and Adjunct Professor at Loyola Marymount University.
Dr. Tim Shu
Dr. Tim Shu, founder, and CEO of California-based VETCBD and VETCBD Hemp is a licensed veterinarian, entrepreneur, and pet cannabis expert. Seeing the need to positively impact the lives of pets of all shapes and sizes with effective plant-based therapies, Dr. Shu developed his responsibly grown, meticulously tested line of CBD products curated specifically for animals. Since VETCBD’s founding in 2015, Dr. Shu has grown the company to be the #1 veterinarian-formulated pet cannabis brand in California. In addition to overseeing the company’s research and development, he also manages VETCBD’s direction and strategy.
Dr. Shu received his bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Texas at Austin and his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Texas A&M University. He practiced as a licensed veterinarian in general, emergency, and critical care medicine for six years before launching VETCBD. Formerly a Policy Council Member of the National Cannabis Industry Association, Dr. Shu has turned his attention to advocating for legalized sales of cannabis-derived CBD for pets in dispensaries—connecting pets with potentially life-saving therapies and expanding access to CBD for animals.
Natasha Singh began as a henna artist with PTSD. That’s when she began her journey with cannabis and is now an advocate. She tried cannabis in 2009 recreationally and found that it had a creative effect on her. While in cosmetology school, Natasha began to develop PTSD caused by witnessing several suicides. Due to the conservative nature of Indian culture, Singh was hesitant to share her cannabis use publicly but ultimately came out about it on social media in late-2017. Today, she runs a henna and lashes business in Seattle and Los Angeles called Henna by Natasha. She is the mother of a young daughter.
Dr. Aixia Sun
Dr. Sun is responsible for method development, optimization, validation, and troubleshooting on Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry, Gas Chromatography, Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry, Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry, and Ultra-High-Performance Liquid Chromatography. She has extensive experience in sample extraction techniques, automation, and throughput. Dr. Sun has 20+ years of experience across the fields of diagnostic, environmental, pharmaceutical R&D, clinical toxicology, and now in cannabis testing. Before ACS, she was a scientist at several domestic and international organizations including Targegen, Lexicon Genetics, Neurocrine Bioscience, and Takeda San Diego. Dr. Sun has a B.S. in Physical and Analytical Chemistry from Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, an M.S. in Chemistry from the University of Missouri, and a doctorate in Health Sciences from A.T. Still University
Koushi Sunder is the CEO and founder of Stemless. Stemless brings cutting-edge technology to retailers, helping them connect to their customers using innovative software, analytical data, and cool gadgets. It was built by industry professionals for other industry professionals. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Economics from the University of Oregon. She also has an MBA from Dartmouth.
Shaleen Title is an Indian-American attorney and drug policy activity She is a distinguished Cannabis Policy Practitioner in Residence at the Drug Enforcement and Policy Center of the Ohio State University College of law. She serves as vice-chair of the Cannabis Regulators of Color Coalition and is a frequent lecturer and consultant on cannabis policy Shaleen has testified in front of governmental bodies around the world about restorative justice in marijuana laws From 2017 to 2020, she was appointed as an inaugural commissioner of the Cannabis Control Commission by the Massachusetts governor, attorney general, and treasurer. She was one of five people in the role and was tasked with regulating legal and medical marijuana in the commonwealth. Shaleen led the creation of the MCBA Model Bill as a founding border member of the Minority Cannabis Business Association. The Bill was the first state-level model bill created to give states guidance to implement a process of reinvestment and reconciliation. She has served as a trustee from Student for Sensible Drug Policy. And, finally, she has a Bachelor of Science and MAS in Accountancy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a JD from the University of Illinois.
Sanjay is an active investor and operator in the cannabis space. He is the founder and managing director of Bengal Capital, which opened 14 years ago. The organization is made up of a team of early cannabis investors and founders who have been immersed in the industry since 2010. They focus on applying their experiences to a concentrated set of cannabis special situation opportunities between Chicago, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Seattle. He is a volunteer on the advisory board of Imerman Angels. He is also on the advisory board of Pratham USA. Sanjay attended the University of Michigan’s School of Literature.
Vinay Tolia is Chief Executive Officer, Executive Director of The Flowr (OTC: FLWPF). He attended the University of Michigan where he obtained a BA in economics and BSE in Industrial and Operations Engineering. Before his role with the Corporation, and over the past five years, Mr. Tolia was the managing member of Bengal Capital Trading LLC, a derivatives trading firm with a focus on listed equity options, and previously held roles with investment banking firms Peter J. Solomon Company and hedge fund Midtown Capital.
Betty is the founder and CEO of Bu’kei Agency. Bu’kei is an organization dedicated to developing creative strategies and thought-provoking ideas for cultural and commercial brands within the cannabis space. In August 2020, she delivered a 2,600 percent increase in sales. She is an award-winning marketing leader with 15 plus years of experience in the digital and live entertainment industries. Betty earned her Bachelor of Arts in Film and her Bachelor of Science in Anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles.
David Tran is a co-founder of Bonghurst, which was founded in October 2020. The company is a licensed cannabis producer in Washington State. In September 2019, Tran also co-founded Farechild, all-inclusive event production and marketing platform for the emerging cannabis industry. He has been dedicated to entertaining, educating, and engaging cannabis enthusiasts for 10 years through DOPE Magazine, of which he is the CEO and Chief Brand Officer. David created Conscious Care Cooperative, a dispensary in Seattle, and facilitated the sale of the company to High Times Media for $11.2 million. He co-founded Goldfingers Group, proving consulting services for notable companies such as Freddy’s Fuego and Two Buds. The company acquired Bonghurst, a cannabis producer and processing facility in Washington State. Additionally, David Tran is a board member of AMMA Hemp, Sensi Media, and Intev Technology.
In 2017, Lulu Tsui co-founded and became the chief experience officer of REVEL, an organization dedicated to opening hearts and minds to the business opportunities of legal cannabis. Tsui and REVEL are passionate about inspiring ideation by showcasing the newest and most innovative cannabis technologies and celebrating the entrepreneurs who are defining the next generation practices and standards for the cannabis industry. She previously served as a user experience consultant for DYME Brands, Inc. and led the UX redesign for Chill, a direct consumer cannabis delivery e-commerce platform. Lulu earned her Bachelor of Art in Chinese Language & Literature at the University of Washington She also has a certificate in user interface and interaction design.
Evelyn Wang has been the CEO of Papa & Barkley since earlier this year. Papa & Barkley leads the most innovative marketing team in the largest cannabis market in the world. Formerly, Evelyn worked in the beauty industry as the CMO of Milani Cosmetics. She was also the assistant VP of L’Oreal Paris for two years. Evelyn earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychoanalytic Thought from the University of Toronto. She also received her MBA in Marketing from USC.
Jayson Won has 25 plus years of experience leading award-winning creative teams, delivering powerful creative solutions, and creating meaningful digital experiences. He is Head of Creative of Puffco, an organization founded with one simple mission: To bring the world the best possible portable vaporizer, using the most advanced technology. He is also the executive creative director of Apothio. Apothio is dedicated to pioneering technology that redefines standards for safety and toxicology. They work to objectively demonstrate the efficacy of their hemp-derived cannabinoid formulations. They also collaborate with patients across the country to develop the most unique and customized plant-based formulations on the market.
Daniel Yi began in journalism as a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times. In 2017, he found himself as the director of communications for MedMen, a company that believes that a world where cannabis is legal and regulated is safer, healthier, and happier. After two years and a position switch, Daniel joined the Shryne Group as their Chief Communications and Strategy Officer. He became a partner of Inanna Manufacturing in 2020 and a member of the board of directors of AnamiTech that same year. Now, he’s the Chief Communications Officer for the Temeka Group. The Temeka Group is a design and fabrication/installation house specializing in retail and trade show environments. Daniel earned his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Boston University. He received his master’s degree from the University of Southern California.
James Yi founded Leaf Trade in 2016 after seeing firsthand the inefficiencies in the cannabis supply chain. Since then, he has led company strategy and execution to ensure that Leaf Trade delivers innovation, value, and happiness to its stakeholders. In this nascent industry, James stands apart as someone with both keen industry understanding and proven technology experience, having previously co-founded NextME, a B2B software provider across multiple industries including restaurants and healthcare, and serving as a cannabis industry consultant. He holds a bachelor’s degree in international studies from DePaul University. When he’s not battling inefficiencies in the cannabis supply chain, James enjoys battling dinosaurs and Spiderman with his son, as well as reading, swimming, playing piano, and camping.
Mona Zhang is the state’s cannabis policy reporter for POLITICO Pro. Previously, she was the founder and editor of the cannabis newsletter Word on the Tree. She also spent four years covering the cannabis beat as a freelance journalist for Forbes, The Outline, High Times, and more.