The 2020 O’Cannabiz Advisory Committee
WITH THE GUIDANCE OF OUR ADVISORY BOARD, O’CANNABIZ CONFERENCE & EXPO IS BETTER ABLE TO PROVIDE TOPICAL AND RELEVANT SESSIONS FOR EVERY SECTOR OF OUR EVER-GROWING INDUSTRY. THE O’CANNABIZ TEAM WOULD LIKE TO THANK OUR ADVISORY BOARD FOR TAKING THE TIME TO HELP THE PROGRAMMING BETTER REFLECT THE CURRENT NEEDS OF THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY.
Alison McMahon – Founder & CEO, Cannabis At Work
Alison McMahon is the Founder & CEO of Cannabis At Work. Founded in 2015, Cannabis At Work is the leading source in Canada for cannabis jobs, recruitment services, online industry training, and HR consulting services. Alison’s work has been featured in The Washington Post, The Globe & Mail, Huffington Post, Financial Post, CBC, Business News Network (BNN), Leafly and by many other media outlets.
Cannabis At Work has significant experience working in the regulated cannabis sector with Licensed Producers and Applicants, ancillary businesses and the retail sector. Cannabis At Work was the first to receive a government contract for retail staffing services from the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation.
In addition to recruitment services, Cannabis At Work also provided education to employers on cannabis legalization and advised on drug policy changes.
Alison was a term instructor for 5 years at the MacEwan School of Business in Edmonton, and she is a former board member with the Human Resources Institute of Alberta. She is a Mentor for the Leaf Forward cannabis incubator, and previously served on the Board of Directors for Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana (CFAMM). Alison is a Certified Professional in Human Resources (CPHR) and holds a Bachelor of Human Resources & Labour Relations (B.HRLR).
Av Singh – Co-Founder, Flemming & Singh Cannabis Inc.
Av Singh is one of Canada’s leading consultants on organic cannabis production which is based on a union of traditional knowledge from the subculture with science from the academy. Av highlights the importance of the plant:soil:microbe interface as integral in creating better medicine from cannabis.
Dr. Singh has authored over 220 peer-reviewed papers, chapters, and extension articles and has been an invited speaker to over 550 workshops, conferences, symposia as well as guest-lecturing at over 30 universities in Canada, the US, the UK, and India. Av has had the privilege of visiting over 2000 farms across five continents which has shaped his extension of holistic, system-based design solutions.
Currently, Av and his colleague Randy Flemming serve as Cultivation Advisors within the cannabis industry www.fs-cannabis.com. Av is also the Commercial Science Specialist at Greenstar Plant Products Inc. www.gaiagreen.com , the Chief Science Officer with Green Gorilla www.ilovegreengorilla.com; the Chief Agricultural Scientist at BetraLif, the Chief Soil Scientist at CaliCann (Colombia) and formerly served as the Chief Agronomist with the American Cannabis Company, helping to develop Just Add Water Super Soils (JAWS).
Av has recently been appointed to the Cannabis Quality Assurance (CQA) Standards Committee and is a member of the International Cannabinoid Research Society. Av serves on several Scientific Advisory Boards – ArticPharm; MedFlora; Plan C BioPharm; Seven Farms Down; Orion Cannabis Corporation; Bloom Genix; SolarGram; Infernotions; Cannabis Farms; www.cannabisfarms.ca ; and Organic Grow Solutions www.organicgrowsolutions.com. Av is a frequent speaker and advisory board member at MJBizCon, LIFT, O’Cannabiz, and the Grow Up Conferences.
Lastly, Av is also serving as the Vice-President of the Canadian Organic Growers and is proud to be a member of Slow Food Canada, Food Secure Canada and the National Farmers’ Union. Av is also a faculty member at Earth University (www.navdanya.org) in India where he delivers courses on agroecology and organic farming.
Barry Davidson – Director, Strategic Engagement, 3|Sixty Secure.
Barry Davidson is the Director of Strategic Engagement with 3|Sixty Secure. He is a global security and risk specialist that is considered an expert in crime prevention through environmental design as well as having extensive experience in the areas of interviewing, operational risk and business strategy. He has been working within the cannabis industry for the past 2 years, working on regulatory, business and operational risk issues facing industry clients across Canada and several other countries. Barry has provided direct input on more than 140 retail locations across Canada and the US as well as numerous cultivation, processing and ancillary businesses operating within the emerging global cannabis industry. His commitment to ethics, relationships and success for the clients he serves is the driving force behind everything he does.
Buck Young – Co-Founder and Executive Director, CannTx
Buck Young is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of CannTx Life Sciences Inc., one of Canada’s most innovative cannabis cultivators, adopting and developing technology to produce premium quality craft cannabis flower. Buck was one of the early pioneers in the industry having first assisted with legal challenges to the former cannabis framework, then founding CannTx in 2012. He has a Health Sciences, Economics, and Law education, and stays up to date on emerging trends and technology. He also has a sincere passion for cannabis and a deep respect for its traditions and cultural significance.
David Hyde – CEO, HYDE Advisory & Investments Inc
David Hyde is a global cannabis industry consultant providing expert guidance to cannabis companies and government bodies on matters relating to business/licensing strategy, regulatory/policy approaches, cannabis facility design/operations/security, corporate due diligence and risk governance. David’s cannabis sector work spans sixteen countries and includes engagements with multi-national cannabis companies, foreign governments, cannabis start-ups, R&D/testing companies, local/regional governments and investors.
Since early 2013, David has consulted with over 550 legal cannabis businesses including large-scale and small-batch cultivators, outdoor farms and cannabis nurseries, processors and extractors, packagers and distributors, research and testing labs, and cannabis retail outlets. On the public sector side, David has worked with local and regional governments, as well as federal licensing bodies, on regulatory policy, licensing and compliance strategy, enforcement tools, inspector training and guidance documents for industry.
David’s input has increasingly been in demand within foreign jurisdictions, bringing the many lessons learned from Canada and the U.S into other countries in Latin America, Europe, Africa, the Caribbean, Oceania and Asia. David holds a Master of Sciences Degree (M.Sc.) from the University of Leicester, UK where he studied regulatory theory, compliance strategy and security risk management.
Gill Polard – Creator, The Her(B) Life
Gill Polard is a cannabis and safe access advocate and the creator of the leading cannabis lifestyle website, podcast and print publication The Her(B) Life which celebrates the feminine cannabis experience through industry interviews, education and media. She manages the social media strategies for Pasha Brands and each of its subsidiary companies and she teaches the Marketing under the Cannabis Act course at Mount Royal University.
In 2018 she was nominated for a Canadian Cannabis Award in the “Influencer” category and was awarded the first ever “Cannabis Leader of the Year” trophy from Notable Life. That same year, Her(B) Life received a nomination for “Best News Source” from O’Cannabiz.
Jeannette VanderMarel – CEO, Beleave Inc.
Jeannette is the past Co-CEO of 48 North Cannabis, Co-Founder and President of Good & Green and Co-Founder of The Green Organic Dutchman. Previous experience includes being a certified CNCCP(C) through the Canadian Nurses Association, Registered Nurse, keynote speaker, frequent TV and print media appearances, board member of Canadian TXS:V listed company, and being a cannabis industry veteran.
Jessica Moran – Director of Marketing and Communications, Strainprint
Jess is a seasoned Marketing & Communications expert with over 17 years of industry experience. Jess holds a B.A. Degree from Laurier University, in addition to a Post-Graduate Corporate Communications Diploma from Sheridan College.
Jess’ passion for Communications combined with her years of experience and work ethic make her an unstoppable force within the industry. She is a Top 40 Under 40 PR in Canada recipient and has a passion for networking and mentoring other canna-communicators. Her dedication and enthusiasm for the industry is contagious, as the head of marketing and communications for the leading source of medical cannabis data & Analytics she tirelessly works towards the day when medical cannabis is brought to the forefront as a viable therapeutic option, and not a last resort!
Katy Perry – Owner, Grow Op Hydroponics
Katy has spent most of her adult life advocating for patient rights and cannabis legalization. She has been cultivating cannabis with her personal production license for 8 years and believes that the safest way to ensure that you have a clean, affordable product is to grow your own. She has created a team of professionals at Grow Op Hydroponics that help navigate cannabis consumers through the sometimes confusing world of cannabis cultivation.
Peter Crooks – Chief Product Innovation Officer, DoseCann
Mr. Crooks, a neuropharmacologist by education, brings more than 20 years of senior leadership experience in product design and brand development across food & beverage, natural health products, medical devices and pharmaceuticals. Recognized in 2017 as one of Atlantic Canada’s Top 50 CEOs, Mr. Crooks has successfully led a multi-disciplinary team of chefs, food scientists, marketing professionals and product developers to become Canada’s leading food product development center. In his career he has overseen the development of over 2,100 products from food to pharma. He also has led the conceptualization, design and build of three Maritime-based innovation and applied research centers and has advised several Federal departments on the future of food and innovation. Peter, in his role as the Chief Product Innovation Officer for Dosecann Cannabis Solutions, now applies his experience in the design and development of a large portfolio of cannabis derivative products.
Samantha Roman – Founder, Credible Cannabis
Samantha Roman, BScN, MBA joined the cannabis sector as Founder of a production facility in 2013. She is one of the first women to achieve liquidity for investors via acquisition to the global leader. Professional service firms, producers and international clients value her business acumen, insight and 20 years’ experience building value and innovating within regulated industries. As Principal of Credible Cannabis Samantha applies systems thinking and draws from a career that includes clinical practice, global finance, pharmaceuticals, medical distribution, agriculture and government agencies to allow her clients to anticipate industry developments.
Selina Eckersall – Director of Marketing and Communications, Kanata Earth
Selina is the Director of Marketing & Communications at Kanata Earth; an indigenous Canadian cannabis company concentrated on genetics, nursery clones and analytical testing. Educated in marketing along with a Direct Marketing Accreditation (with Distinction) with the Canadian Marketing Association, Selina has spent the past 19 years in marketing and communications, with several years highly concentrated in digital and technology. She has worked for large marketing agencies like Carlson Marketing (now Aimia) and has worked on VIP brands like Ford of Canada, Microsoft, and BMO (Bank of Montreal). In 2014, Selina spent two years in a marketing leadership role at one of Toronto’s hottest social media tech startups, Wattpad; a globally-reaching company that revolutionized and serialized reading for the social web. Selina has helped several startup companies over the last decade and is a true entrepreneur at heart.
For the last 3+ years Selina has been exclusively concentrated on the cannabis industry helping startups and brands in the Canadian cannabis ecosystem. She understands the cannabis licensing system, regulatory environment and will also be launching a micro-cultivation business with her husband in 2020.
Sherry Boodram – CEO & Co-Founder, CannDelta Inc.
Dr. Sherry Boodram is the CEO and Co-Founder of CannDelta Inc., a regulatory and scientific cannabis consulting company based in Toronto. Prior to founding CannDelta Inc., Dr. Boodram spent several years in the federal government, including Health Canada’s Medical Cannabis Program as a Senior Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement Officer where she was responsible for licensing reviews and on-site inspections under the MMPR and ACMPR regimes with input into the current Cannabis Regulations.
As such, she has demonstrated in-depth knowledge and experience in the cannabis industry and has spoken at cannabis conferences in Canada and abroad.
Dr. Boodram holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from York University, a Hon. B.Sc. from the University of Toronto, and a Graduate Certificate with Honours in Pharmaceutical Regulatory Affairs and Quality Operations from Seneca College. She is also a member of the Canadian Association of Professionals in Regulatory Affairs (CAPRA).
Tanner Stewart – CEO, Stewart Farms
An impassioned believer that the processes of our agriculture will dictate the quality of our nutrition and the sustainability of our future, Tanner has long been an advocate for, and entrepreneur in, Canada’s vertical farming and aquaponics industry.=
In 2005 he moved from New Brunswick to Alberta seeking new opportunities; which is exactly what he found. Wasting no time, he founded and established a construction company in 2007 that performed over 110 million dollars in projects in its first eight years. After 13 years he remains the founder and major shareholder in Field-Max Industrial that continues to operate in Alberta today.
His passion for business and his interest in sustainable agricultural practices have led him to become an investor and interim CEO of an indoor vertical aquaponics farm for over 5 years, and the executive producer of an award-winning environmental documentary: The Need To GROW.
His investments in agricultural technology and love for cannabis have culminated in the founding of Stewart Farms, where he is currently the CEO. Stewart Farms is constructing a state-of-the-art, indoor aquaponics facility with 100,000 square feet and 40-foot-high potential for vertical farming to grow organic, sustainable cannabis in St. Stephen, New Brunswick.
Tanner has a deep passion for our health and wellness industry and organic, sustainable and regenerative farming practices. These principals form the foundation of Stewart Farms and they are only just getting started.
Andrew Parshad – President & CEO, Cannabis License Experts
Andrew Parshad is the President and Founder of Cannabis License Experts, a client-first, cannabis licensing and compliance solutions provider. Andrew also manages two other compliance companies, Quality Smart Solutions a consumer packaged goods compliance firm focusing on Canada, USA and Mexico compliance and Quality IMPORT Solutions, a Health Canada licensed importer of Natural Health Products. He began his career in 1995 at McMaster University, co-authoring several scientific publications on the therapeutic benefits of a natural health ingredient, creatine monohydrate, in individuals with myo-degenerative and mitochondrial diseases and has a diverse career in leading QA and regulatory teams as well as business process improvement at various divisions at a financial institution.
Since 2007 Andrew has served the compliance and quality assurance needs of over 600 clients worldwide and 12,000 projects completed in cannabis, natural health products, foods, cosmetics, OTC drugs, medical devices.
With 25 years of diverse experience in regulatory compliance and business development Andrew is regularly requested to advise companies from startups to multi-national in their journey to pursue their growth while minimizing risk.
Andrew holds an Honours Bachelor of Science and a Masters in Business Administration specializing in strategic management.
Scott Davidson – Director, Corporate Development, The Supreme Cannabis Company Inc.
Scott Davidson is the Director, Corporate Development & EU Partnerships at The Supreme Cannabis Company, Inc. and previously served as Supreme Cannabis’ Director, Investor Relations. In his role, Mr. Davidson supports the development of the Company’s international strategy, builds and maintains Supreme Cannabis’ European partnerships, and evaluates international growth opportunities.
Before joining Supreme Cannabis, he served as the Director of Strategic Communications at Bayfield Strategy, a leading financial communications firm, and a variety of political roles within government.