2022 Speakers

Tony Bowles

Cannabis adviser, long time patient advocate, and member of Americans for Safe Access

Tony has been involved in the cannabis industry for 20+ years, a long-time patient advocate and organizer with Americans for Safe Access (ASA). He’s currently Chair of the Bay Area Safe Access chapter, and is involved in legislative efforts at a local, state, and federal level to expand and strengthen safe access.

Dr. Stephen Dahmer

Chief Medical Officer, Vireo Health

Dr. Stephen M. Dahmer has served since 2015 as Chief Medical Officer of Goodness Growth Holdings/Vireo Health, a physician-founded, patient-focused company dedicated to providing best-in-class cannabis-based medicinal products. Dr. Dahmer is a board-certified practicing family physician, Assistant Clinical Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, chair of the USCC Medical & Research Subcommittee, actively engaged in two large clinical trials specific to cannabis and chronic pain and has written and lectured extensively about plant-based medicines.

Dr. Claude Cyr, M.D.

Faculty Lecturer, Department of Family Medicine, McGill University

Dr. Cyr has been practicing family medicine in Quebec since 1996. He is a Faculty Lecturer in the Department of Family Medicine at McGill University and participated as an Associate Researcher for the Quebec Cannabis Registry, the world’s first research database on the use of cannabis for medical purposes. He is a recognized cannabis educator and government advisor on cannabis legalization. He is the author of the recently published textbook “Cannabis and Cannabinoid Based Medicines in Cancer Care: A Comprehensive Guide to Medical Management” and presently works as a member of the Supportive and Palliative Care Division at the McGill University Health Center.

Don Duncan

Board of Directors/Cannabis Consultant, Americans for Safe Access

Don Duncan is a pioneer in the medical and adult-use cannabis marketplace with more than twenty-two years of experience in cannabis retail management and operations, state and local licensing, legislative advocacy, compliance, government and community relations, and business consulting. Mr. Duncan was an early champion of local regulations and licensing for cannabis business, and later worked with a coalition of advocates to promote and adopt the first state licensing bill in 2015. Mr. Duncan is a founder and member of the Board of Directors of Americans for Safe Access(ASA). As part of Mr. Duncan’s work as the California Director of Americans for Safe Access, he helped to protect and expand rights for medical cannabis patients in the fields of employment, housing, parental rights, and equal access to health care. He led the campaign to pass the Medical Cannabis Organ Transplant Act, which is credited with saving the lives of patients in need of organ transplants.

Pamela Epstein

Chief Legal and Regulatory Officer, Eden Enterprises, Inc

Prior to her current position as the General Counsel and Chief Licensing & Regulatory Officer with one of the State’s pioneering vertically integrated cannabis and hemp operators Eden Enterprises, Inc., Pamela was the Founder of Green Wise Companies – Green Wise Legal & Green Wise Consulting, California’s premiere full-service cannabis consulting company and law firm, providing a range of legal, consulting, business development and application permitting services to every facet of the cannabis industry.Pamela’s diverse background, inclusive of legal, land use, and environmental work, placed her in a unique position to lead and advise her clients and the cannabis community in general.
Pamela has become known as a fearless advocate for local cannabis businesses along the supply chain guiding them through the ever-changing legal and regulatory landscape. Recognized as an expert in her field, Pamela serves as a featured speaker, providing energetic and compelling commentary focused on topics such as land use and zoning, regulatory compliance and environmental issues. Pamela’s mission is to advance industry and foster stability and growth.
Pamela is a trusted resource for local governments looking to effectively regulate cannabis within their jurisdictions and has served as the Special City Attorney for the City of Hollister regarding their Commercial Cannabis Ordinance. Along with providing her clients with exceptional service she is proud to serve as current President of the California Cannabis Industry Association’s (“CCIA”) Board of Directors and a Co-Chair of the Retail and Distribution Committee, a member of the In-house Counsel Subcommittee of the International Cannabis Bar Association (“INCBA”), a Board-member of the California Hemp Council (“CHC”) and Member of American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp (“ATACH”) Chairing the Committee on Standards.

Dr. Chad Johnson, PhD

Co-Director, University of Maryland, Baltimore, Dept. of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Dr. Johnson received his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, focusing on medicinal chemistry and pharmacology. He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Co-Director of the Master of Science in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics (MCST) program at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. He is involved in all basic science courses within the program. His research focuses on designing novel, fast-acting antidepressants and opioid analgesics with reduced reinforcement.

Rylie Maedler

Founder, Rylie's Smile Foundation/CEO, Rylie's Sunshine

An activist, law-changer, farmer, processor, and pediatric medicinal cannabis patient. Her story, beginning in 2013 at the age of 7 yrs, is one of perseverance. At a young age Rylie became the voice for countless pediatric patients, advocating for every child to have access to plant medicine for their debilitating ailments

Dr. Dedi Meiri

Laboratory of Cancer Biology and Cannabinoid Research, Israel Institute of Technology

Dr. Meri heads the Laboratory of Cancer Biology and Cannabinoid Research at the Faculty of Biology, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, where he is also a member of the Technion Integrated Cancer Center (TICC). Dr. Meiri holds an M.Sc. in biochemistry and a Ph.D. in plant biotechnology from Tel Aviv University. He conducted his post-doctoral fellowship at the Ontario Cancer institute. Presently, Dr. Meiri’s lab investigates the vast therapeutic potential of cannabinoids and other bioactive components in various species of cannabis, as well as endogenous cannabinoids from the human body. The lab’s current research interest is how these naturally occurring metabolites affect various types of cancer, inflammatory diseases and disorders of the nervous system such as epilepsy, Alzheimer’s and others. He is operating the "Cannabis Database Project" and his lab is currently involved in several clinical trials covering diverse aspects of cannabis treatment such as anticancer treatment, colon disease, pain prevention and epilepsy.


Rebecca Saltzman

President, BART Board of Directors/Former ASA Chief of Staff

Rebecca has two decades of non-profit and campaign organizing, management, and fundraising experience. Along with Scarlett Swerdlow, she co-founded the UC Berkeley chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy and served on the national board of SSDP. She began her career at Americans for Safe Access, volunteering with ASA when it first started and spending five years working for the organization as Field Coordinator and then Chief of Staff. While there she helped grow ASA into a truly national organization, doubling the number of local chapters nationwide, organizing national and statewide campaigns, and managing offices in California and DC. Rebecca currently is the Development Director for Bike East Bay, which promotes healthy, sustainable communities by making bicycling safe, fun and accessible. She is also an elected member of the BART Board of Directors and currently serves as Board President.

Paul Scott

Medical Cannabis Activist, Founder, Los Angeles Black Gay Pride Association

Paul Scott, president of LA Black Pride, was a nurse for many years who worked in the AIDS wards in the 1980s. In those first days of the epidemic, the medical staff didn’t want to touch AIDS patients who were kept in isolation. He was so traumatized by his experience that he left nursing and returned to college.

He was introduced to the San Francisco Cannabis Buyers Club when he began working in the Bay area. As a black man, he knew that he might get arrested for frequenting the dispensary, but he overcame that fear, bought his cannabis and quickly left each time.

When the Club was closed down, he and all the other customers had to find a new dispensary. He found his way to the Oakland Cannabis Buyers’ Cooperative which was started in 1995. The owner, Jeff Jones, another cannabis pioneer, asked Scott to become the Chairman of the Board. There was the fear that this Club would also be closed and its members arrested. However, Oakland city council member Nate Miley was able to stop the federal government from closing it down. Scott believed it was due to the fact that the Club served an underprivileged black population represented by a black city council.

The Oakland Club was shut down by the federal government, leaving Scott with nowhere to buy medical cannabis now that he was diagnosed with HIV. He moved south to Inglewood in southwestern LA county. It had the same racial demographics and politics as Oakland and was run by a black city council. He was sure he could be successful there by establishing a club similar to the one in Oakland. He was right. Not only was he not shut down, but he ran the Inglewood Club for over 12 years with no license or permit.

Dr. Leah Sera, PharmD, MA, BCPS

University of Maryland School of Pharmacy

Dr. Sera is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science and Program Director for the Master of Science in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics (MCST) program at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. Dr. Sera received her PharmD from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in 2010. She is a board-certified pharmacotherapy specialist and completed a Master of Arts in Instructional Systems Development at the University of Maryland Baltimore County in 2017. Dr. Sera teaches in several courses in the MCST program and mentors students in their capstone projects. Additionally, she maintains an active clinical practice in the Transitional Care Center at the University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center in Glen Burnie, MD. Dr. Sera has been invited to speak on pain management, palliative medicine, and cannabis therapeutics at professional conferences and at medical centers around the country.

Stormy Simon

Co-Founder + CEO, Mother Ruggers, Cannabis Activist

Stormy Simon is an e-commerce pioneer, entrepreneur, corporate renegade, public speaker, and cannabis activist.
A celebrated business leader, Stormy recently launched Mother Ruggers, a brand-new venture in the textile industry, debuting a line of rugs and home furnishings with partner Ayse Yildrim, a fine art design and textile expert from Turkey.
Prior to launching her textile business, Simon Stormy spent 15 years of her career at the e-commerce retailer Overstock.com, beginning her tenure as a temp and eventually rising to President of the nearly $2B company in 2013.

Ellen Lenox Smith

Co-Director for Cannabis Advocacy for the US Pain Foundation

Mrs. Ellen Lenox Smith has emerged as a leading voice for patients living with pain in Rhode Island and across the country as co-director for cannabis advocacy for the US Pain Foundation. Featured in local and national press accounts, Mrs. Smith brings a reasoned and compassionate perspective to the need for safe patient access to medicine. She spoke for ASA Unity Conference on this topic of patient access to proper and affordable treatment and medication, been featured in NY Times, Washington Post, NPRI local and national, the front page of the Providence Journal twice, TV interviews and Podcasts. She enjoyed a long and distinguished career in education teaching Middle School Social Studies, before needing to resign due to health issues brought on living with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.

Dustin Sulak, D.O.

Integr8 Health and Healer

Dustin Sulak, D.O. is a traditional osteopathic physician and expert in integrative medicine. His clinical practice in Maine focuses on treating refractory conditions in adults and children. Dr. Sulak is an internationally-renowned expert in medical cannabis, the author of the first foundational text on its clinical use, Handbook of Cannabis for Clinicians: Principles and Practice, and a co-founder of Healer.com, a medical cannabis education resource. He is a passionate educator and leader in the field of medical cannabis, and serves on the board of directors of The Society of Cannabis Clinicians.

Caren Woodson

Director, Compliance & Licensing, Kiva Confections

Ms. 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 serves as a Board Member for the California Cannabis Manufacturing Association, and is the California Cannabis Industry Association's Board Secretary.


  • Geoffrey Marshall
    published this page in 2022 Agenda 2022-11-07 12:19:53 -0500
  • Geoffrey Marshall
    published this page in 2022 Agenda 2022-11-03 17:53:19 -0400

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