Peter Hendricks, Ph.D.
Professor, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Peter Hendricks, Ph.D.Professor, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Peter Hendricks, PhD, is Professor and Director of Research in the Department of Health Behavior, School of Public Health, at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). A clinical psychologist by training, Dr. Hendricks earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and received his PhD from the University of South Florida studying tobacco dependence and interventions for smoking cessation. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship on drug abuse treatment and services research at the University of California, San Francisco before joining UAB in 2010.
Dr. Hendricks’ research centers on the development of novel and potentially more effective treatments for substance use disorders and comorbid conditions, with specific areas of focus on tobacco, cocaine, cannabis, opiate, and polysubstance dependence in vulnerable populations, including individuals in the criminal justice system. He has been an active researcher in the psychedelic field since 2014, publishing population studies suggesting psychedelics may be effective in preventing and treating substance use, criminal recidivism, and psychological distress, among other outcomes, as well as a number of systemic reviews and theoretical pieces. He is currently Principal Investigator of a pilot trial of psilocybin-facilitated psychotherapy in the treatment cocaine dependence, psilocybin-facilitated psychotherapy in the treatment of fibromyalgia, and low doses or “microdoses” of psilocybin in the treatment of demoralization. Dr. Hendricks is also site PI of a NIDA-funded study of psilocybin for smoking cessation.
Psychedelic substances, which primarily act as serotonin 2A receptor agonists, are rapidly moving into the mainstream as clinical research programs and legalization/decriminalization measures accelerate in the United States, United Kingdom, and Europe. Psychedelic substances undergoing research in preclinical and clinical studies include psilocybin, ayahuasca, DMT, 5-MeO-DMT, LSD, and mescaline/peyote. Patients and clinicians are increasingly optimistic about the potential efficacy of psychedelic drugs as an alternative or supplement to traditionally manufactured pharmaceuticals to treat depression, anxiety, addiction, demoralization, and other mental health conditions. Preliminary clinical studies indicate that, when administered responsibly, psychedelic agents may be safe and effective therapeutics with intriguing effects on the CNS, brain function, and inflammation.
President, FIU Psychedelic Club
Christina Cabrera-ElizondoPresident, FIU Psychedelic Club
Christina Cabrera-Elizondo is a senior pre-medical student at the Florida International University Honors College. She is currently pursuing a double major in Psychology and Natural and Applied Sciences. In the pursuit of further academic studies, Christina is studying to receive undergraduate certificates in Heath Humanities and Women’s and Gender Studies. Alongside founding the FIU Psychedelic Club, she is proud to serve as the organization’s president since its founding in 2020. Outside of academics, she currently holds a position as a student research assistant at FIU’s Clinical Research Lab for Tobacco Smoking. After graduation, Christina aims to apply to medical school and has career interests in psychiatry, pediatrics and women’s health.
Albert Garcia-Romeu, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins Medicine
Albert Garcia-Romeu, Ph.D.Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins Medicine
Albert Garcia-Romeu, Ph.D. is a member of the Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences faculty at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a Guest Researcher at the National Institute on Drug Abuse Intramural Neuroimaging Research Branch, where he studies the effects of psychedelic drugs in humans, with a focus on psilocybin as an aid in the treatment of addiction. He received his doctorate in 2012 from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, where he researched self-transcendence and meditation, and their role in mental health. His current research interests include clinical applications of psychedelics, mindfulness, and altered states of consciousness, and their underlying neurobiological and psychological mechanisms. As a faculty member of the Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit (BPRU) he is involved in examining the effects of diverse drugs, and applying qualitative and mixed methods to understanding drug effects, risks, abuse liability, and therapeutic potential.
William Leonard Pickard
Former Harvard Kennedy School Drug Policy Fellow, Convicted in the largest LSD manufacturing case in history
William Leonard PickardFormer Harvard Kennedy School Drug Policy Fellow, Convicted in the largest LSD manufacturing case in history
William Leonard Pickard is one of two people convicted in the largest lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) manufacturing case in history. In 2000, while moving their LSD laboratory across Kansas, Pickard and Clyde Apperson were pulled over while driving a Ryder rental truck and a follow car. The laboratory had been stored near a renovated Atlas-E missile silo near Wamego, Kansas. Gordon Todd Skinner, one of the men intimately involved in the case but not charged due to his cooperation, owned the property where the laboratory equipment was stored.
On July 27, 2020, Pickard was granted compassionate release from federal prison 20 years into his sentence.
Prior to his arrest, Pickard was deputy director of the Drug Policy Research Program at the University of California, Los Angeles.
In 2015 Pickard published The Rose of Paracelsus: On Secrets & Sacraments, a 656-page autobiography that blends fiction and nonfiction. The book centers around six chemists in an international drug organization. One of the Six tells Pickard, the book's narrator, that the making of psychedelics is not just following a recipe or formula but requires "the requisite spirit ... the purest intent, a flawless diamond morality". He says it's the same spirit described in Thomas De Quincey and Jorge Luis Borges's short stories about Paracelsus, the 16th-century physician and alchemist of Basel who resurrected a rose from its ashes: "there could be no creation for lack of faith and the trust of gold".
Writing while incarcerated, Pickard wrote the entire book with pencil and paper. In an interview with Seth Ferranti, Pickard recounted: "The Rose was handwritten in two years, without notes and based on recollection, but seemed too trivial to honor the reader. I destroyed the work in minutes, then began again. It took another three years to compose, then a year to edit the 656 pages."
Dr. Jerry Brown
Anthropologist, Ethnomycologist, and Award-Winning Educator
Dr. Jerry BrownAnthropologist, Ethnomycologist, and Award-Winning Educator
Jerry B. Brown, Ph.D., is an anthropologist, ethnomycologist, and award-winning educator. He is Founding Professor of Anthropology in the department of Global & Sociocultural Studies at Florida International University (FIU) in Miami, where he teaches an interdisciplinary course on “Psychedelics and Culture.”
Dr. Brown is coauthor of The Psychedelic Gospels: The Secret History of Hallucinogens in Christianity, 2016; “Entheogens in Christian Art: Wasson, Allegro and the Psychedelic Gospels,” Journal of Psychedelic Studies, 2019; “Mystical Experience and Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy: Insights from Guided Imagery Therapy with Cancer Patients," Psychedelics Today, 2020; “Mystical Experience with Cancer Patients,” Global Journal of Medical Research, 2021; and “Sacred Plants and the Gnostic Church,” Journal of Ancient History, 2014.
He is author of “Book Review of The Immortality Key,” Journal of Psychedelic Studies, 2021; and of “Ayahuasca, Depression and Me,” Chacruna Institute, 2019. His mission is to research, write and teach about psychedelics.
Dr. Michelle Weiner
Cannabis & Psychedelic Physician
Dr. Michelle WeinerCannabis & Psychedelic Physician
Dr. Michelle Weiner is double board-certified in Interventional Pain Medicine and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. She completed her residency and fellowship training at the University of Miami. She is the Chair of Florida’s Medical Cannabis Advisory Committee.
Dr. Weiner’s unique approach of personalized and preventative medicine focuses on empowering her patients to cultivate health using lifestyle and plant medicine. Her research focuses on using cannabis as a substitute for opioids in chronic pain patients and cannabis’s effect on seniors with chronic pain. She is conducting a pharmacokinetic study at the University of Miami investigating how to optimize the bioavailability of cannabinoids using water-soluble nanoemulsions.
She is faculty and a preceptor at Nova Southeastern University in which she educates the medical students through shadowing opportunities in her office. Dr. Weiner is the Vice President of Mr. Psychedelic Law, a not-for-profit with the mission of responsible legal reform of psilocybin mushrooms in Florida.
She uses cannabis and ketamine-assisted psychotherapy as a catalyst to identify the root cause of one’s suffering optimizing their quality of life.
Dr. Denise Vidot
Dr. Denise VidotCannabis Epidemiologist
Unlike Colorado and California, the State of Florida is a not as progressive when it comes to legalizing cannabis. Dr. Denise Vidot is ahead of the game when it comes to making a difference within the cannabis community. She is a public health professor at The University of Miami, Founder and President of CanaVee, and the eldest of 7 children, so being a leader is nothing new for her. Read more below on how she has scientifically proven the benefits of the flower.
Based on your studies, what have you found to be some core benefits of cannabis?
“I’m an epidemiologist that studies the mental and physical health impact of cannabis use on multiple diseases. I’m sure you have heard the hypothesis that cannabis makes you a lazy person with the “munchies”; the research my team is conducting is actually disproving that. For example, our studies comparing cannabis consumers and non-consumers (controlling for age, sex, and income) have shown that cannabis consumers have lower waist circumference, glucose, triglyceride, and cholesterol levels. I’ve also studied metabolic syndrome which is a cluster of different risk factors that put people at risk for cardiovascular disease. I’m seeing that those who use cannabis are having a lower prevalence of getting these diseases.”
Where do you think the stigma comes from?
“It really is about the delivery of a topic through media. If they say something is bad, the population runs with it until proven otherwise. The person who tells the story is who makes the rules. Even in science, information can be extracted; we learn what is taught. Think about this in the context of the endocannabinoid system. Despite being our body’s master regulator, it is not formally taught in medicine, nursing, nor public health. Any extra knowledge gained is totally up to the individual, which can contribute to stigma of cannabis is a drug, not a medicine. Education is important, but comprehension and implementation of the knowledge gained is key to reducing stigma.”
What is CanaVee and how is it helping those within your community?
“It’s a nonprofit organization that I birthed and gave life to. I created a space for evidence-based research to help patients outside of my role at The University of Miami. I may say certain things in my role as a scientist at the University, but outside of the academic setting I can share and help the communityinterpret and have access to literature that can change their circumstances. ”
Why is it important to you as a Latina woman to educate others on the benefits of cannabis?
“As a Puerto Rican with roots in Seychelles, it is important for me to help remind our community of source and nature because it is part of my DNA, but also because I have lived through personal experiences that demand I take action. I can think of 3 examples immediately, all that occurred in high school and still impact my passion for educating about cannabis:
First, in high school my boyfriend, Obel St. Vil, was murdered; since he sold cannabis, he was labeled a drug dealer. People dismissed the fact that a 17-year-old black male was murdered by a 25-year-old white male. We have to get rid of this stigma.
Second, in highschool, my father was diagnosed with cancer and scleroderma. Cannabis has helped him so much, but he was always nervous about buying and consuming which impacted his mental health. With the knowledge we have about the benefits of cannabis in cancer patients; nobody should feel that way. We have to get rid of this stigma.
Finally, here in South Florida we have a large population of older Hispanic women who have been raised on the idea that “devils’ lettuce” is going to get you deported or make you crazy in the head! I want my people to stop being brainwashed and to know that its ok cannabis can be good for us.”
And how is that going?
“I must admit that in the beginning it was really hard. I started advocating when Florida was only medicinal for special cases, so I was working against the stigma a lot in the beginning. During the pandemic, cannabis was seen as essential, and it really did help with our fight. In fact, we are seeing more people than ever interested in the plant and it’s hard to keep up with the inquiries.”
“What I’m most excited about now is that after being one of few medical professionals who openly support this movement, other clinicians are opening up to the possibilities of cannabis as a treatment or therapy. For a while, I was only helping those who came to me for my studies but now I’m educating more physicians. It’s almost irresponsible to only focus on the patients when they are saying things like their providers aren’t listening. I enjoy doing rounds at different hospitals and letting them know why cannabis is an alternative. I’m also focused on mentoring the next generation, my lab at the university is 90% student driven and 90% are from culture backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in their profession. These are future nurses, doctors, cultivators, and even lawyers learning about the medicinal components of Cannabis and that’s a good network of future changemakers.”
How has cannabis helped you personally?
“I’m a lupus patient and an athlete so I apply ointments to my muscles when I have a lot of pain. It’s the reason why I can still be a scientist and athlete. Being a lupus patient, I have learned that I need to be plant based in all aspects of my healing journey so I can get back to the way nature intended my body to be. Cannabis has opened my eyes to plants in general, but I’ve began to study other terpenes and plants also.”
What can we expect from you and CanaVee in the future?
“Regarding CanaVee, we will have more engagement within the community. Right now we are here for whoever finds us… but we will be more active in the world at the end of the year. Regarding the science, my team and I just launched the Herbal Heart Study. It represents the future of cannabis science since it’s the first long-term study on cannabinoids within 18–35-year-olds and the heart that is funded by the National Institute of Health. In this study, we are examining the relationship between cannabis and cardiovascular disease risk based on how cannabis is consumed (blunt, joint, or cart/vape). The most exciting part is that we are building a family cannabis consumers that will contribute to science through our team’s studies hopefully over their lifetime that way there can be no more questioning of data because we are now funded! There’s so much to look forward to.”
How can people support you?
“If people would like to be a part of transformative studies, we are looking for 400 participants in South Florida for our herbal heart study (www.herbalheartstudy.com). If not in South Florida, we would LOVE if you follow us on social media (@dr.vidot, @vidotcannabislab, @herbalheartstudy), but mainly continuing to pass our messages with evidence is the best way to help.”
Julia Mirer MD
Director of Strategy at Nushama
Julia Mirer MDDirector of Strategy at Nushama
Dr. Julia Mirer MD is a consultant in the emerging field of psychedelic medicine, serving as a bridge between eastern and western practices, committed to merging the two in order to help create a new paradigm for integrative health and wellness. She was on the road to a career in Pediatrics, but seeing the pitfalls of the current healthcare system, decided to shift gears to explore transformative medicine where she has found her calling in advocacy and education.
Zappy ZapolinPsychedelic Concierge
You may be familiar with Zappy as the director behind the acclaimed documentary, The Reality of Truth, which follows actress Michelle Rodriguez and friends on a deeply personal journey of discovery. Featuring interviews with top leaders including Deepak Chopra, Ram Dass, Marianne Williamson, and Joel Osteen, the film explores the relationship between spirituality, religion, meditation, and plant medicine, and continues to inspire millions of people.
Today, Zappy is often called on as a “psychedelic concierge” to help celebrities, thought leaders, and business icons have a conscious transformation. Known as a visionary and futurist, Zappy has been spotting trends for decades such as internet domain names, legal CBD and cannabis, and now the burgeoning psychedelic economy.
As the youngest Vice President in the history of one of Wall Street’s most successful investment banks, Zappy is a frequent commentator on the emerging psychedelic industry and investment opportunities.
MS, LPC, PhD student at The Ohio State University College of Social Work
Rafael LancelottaMS, LPC, PhD student at The Ohio State University College of Social Work
Rafael Lancelotta, MS, LPC is a PhD student at The Ohio State University College of Social Work studying the importance of human relationship in therapeutic interventions. They have worked as a somatic-focused, trauma-informed therapist who has supported clients use of cannabis and ketamine to enhance the therapeutic process. They are passionate about increasing accessibility and responsible clinical applications of psychedelics/entheogens for under-represented populations. They received their Masters degree in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Wyoming. Rafael aims to use their clinical skills combined with doctoral level research training to design, carry out, and integrate clinical research as part of diverse teams to create changes in the mental healthcare system that can serve to improve mental health outcomes for people from all walks of life.
Bestselling Author & Psychedelic Entrepreneur
Kaia RomanBestselling Author & Psychedelic Entrepreneur
Kaia is the bestselling author of The Joy Plan, a practical guide to the neuroscience of joy, which was featured on the TODAY Show as the inspiration for the hosts’ week-long “complaint cleanse.”
Shari B. Kaplan, LCSW
Founder CANNECTD Wellness
Shari B. Kaplan, LCSWFounder CANNECTD Wellness
Scheril Murray Powell, ESQ
Scheril Murray Powell, ESQCannabis Attorney
Scheril Murray Powell, Esq. is currently the President of cannabis consulting firm Green Sustainable Strong, LLC and Managing Partner at Scheril Murray Powell, P.A. She is also General Counsel for Minorities for Medical Marijuana and General Counsel for Patience with Patients. She is In House Counsel for the EOP Foundations Medical Cannabinoid Research and Policy Institute. She is a graduate of Florida International University College of Law. She is a member of the Florida Bar, Dade County Bar Association, Broward County Bar Association, Palm Beach County Bar Association, and National Bar Association, and was selected by her peers to speak at the FIU Law Commencement Ceremony.
As a Cannapreneur, Scheril is the President of Canna Headhunters, a staffing agency in the Cannabis Industry that connects Cannabis talent to opportunities. She has been selected to present at a number of Cannabis Conferences including the South East Cannabis Conference, Canex Jamaica Conference, South East Cannabis Conference, Cannaday, Detroit’s Canna Con, Boston’s Canna Con, Florida Medical Marijuana Conference, The Marijuana Expo, The University of Technology Medical Cannabis Integrated Symposium, and Canna-Ed Conference hosted by the Florida Cannabis Coalition. She is on the Advisory Board for CannaGather Florida and has been asked to speak at Jamaica’s Pharmacological Board Mandatory Meetings and Jamaica Bureau of Standards meetings based on her international reputation as a Cannabis Expert.
Scheril is the regular Cannabis Law expert on Cannabis Law Radio every Saturday morning on Cannabis Life Radio. She presented at the National Association of Black Journalists and National Association of Hispanic Journalists Joint Conference in August 2016 on the topic of: “Exposing the Truth: Getting Access to Audio and Video Evidence in Police Involved Shootings”. Scheril is the Treasurer of the FIU College of Law Alumni Board. While at FIU Law, she was the Charter President of the Palm Beach ABA Student Organization and a member and coach of the Board of Advocates Negotiation Team. In 2013, Scheril won the FIU Law Intramurals Negotiation Competition, also she and her partner won the ABA Southern Region Negotiation Competition.
In 2014, she and her partner came in 2nd place in the Nelson Mandela International Negotiation Competition and she was awarded the distinction of Best Overall Negotiator for her efforts. Scheril served on the Black Law Student Association’s National Board for two years and is passionate about eradicating sex trafficking and other social justice issues such as police brutality. She has interned at the State Attorney’s office in the 15th Judicial Circuit of Palm Beach County and for two judges of the 17th Judicial Circuit of Broward County. In the summer of 2014, she served as an Anti-Defamation League Summer Associate. She believes that practicing the law and advocacy for the disadvantaged go hand in hand.
She is an activist and has dedicated her time and resources to promoting awareness, access to educational resources, and support for survivors of domestic violence and trafficking. She has a Facebook page called “Police Chronicles” which documents national police interactions with the community. She sits on the board of two non-profit organizations: Project Ship Foundation which guides the youth through the various “ships” of adolescence including “Leadership”, “Citizenship”, “relationship”, “entrepreneurship”, and “sportsmanship”; and Project 360 Degrees, an advocacy organization for survivors of sex trafficking. She mentors Pre-Law and Law School students of diverse backgrounds and has been a speaker at the Black and Hispanic Prelaw Conference, the Diversity Prelaw Conference, and the HBCU Prelaw Summit and Expo.
Law is a second career for Scheril. She spent over a decade in the wireless industry working for T-Mobile, USA; T-Mobile, UK; RIM BlackBerry; and MetroPCS as a Customer Retention Strategist and Marketing Interface Manager rolling out training, technical change, cultural change, and process improvement projects Nationwide.
Scheril received her undergraduate Business Management degree from Florida Atlantic University with a minor in Marketing where she pledged Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and served as the Student Government Senate Speaker for seven campuses. Scheril credits her hard working and strict Jamaican parents James and Judith Hall for her work ethic, tenacity, persistence, and commitment to excellence. She was taught at a young age that we all have a responsibility to each other and must be the example that tears down stereotypes while opening the door for others to follow in your footsteps.
She stays motivated by remembering that her son Judah is watching how she lives her values and “walks the talk” in her daily activities. Scheril believes that every test is for a testimony that will glorify God. If He can do all that he has done for me…imagine his plans for you.
Joseph Lichter, PhD
Psychedelic Professor, FIU
Joseph Lichter, PhDPsychedelic Professor, FIU
Dr. Joseph Lichter is a teaching professor in the Chemistry & Biochemistry department and the Director of the Office of Pre-Health Advising. Dr. Lichter grew up in South Florida before leaving the area to pursue degrees from Florida State University (B.S. Biochemistry) and Emory University (Ph.D. Chemistry) before joining FIU. He teaches chemistry courses including the course, “The Psychedelic Renaissance”, which investigates the history, chemistry, neurobiology, risk and potential of psychedelics. There has been a great paradigm shift internationally in the last 2 to 3 decades and Lichter offers a course to critically investigate this movement, evaluating the research and aiming to create a course to ask the questions of whether the movement has true value or not. He coordinates his teaching with guests from Hopkins, Ohio State, and a variety of other experts in the field. Outside of his teaching, Lichter is an avid ultra runner and endurance coach.
Dr. Lola Ohonba, PharmD
President/Founder WCI HEALTH LLC
Dr. Lola Ohonba, PharmDPresident/Founder WCI HEALTH LLC
Dr. Ohonba is the founder and CEO of WCI HEALTH LLC, an alternative health and wellness company. She’s a public speaker, clinical pharmacist, Adjunct professor of cannabis science, best-selling author of “A Pharmacist’s Guide to Cannabis: Perspectives of a non-conformist clinician; and the host of the podcast “Let’s Talk Plant Medicine: Cannabis, Psychedelics and Pharmaceutics.” Available on all podcast platforms.
Dr. O graduated with honors from Texas Southern University with a major in biology and minor in chemistry (Cum Laude). She later attended Union University College of Pharmacy, Jackson, TN, where she obtained her Doctor of Pharmacy degree. She worked for several years as a staff pharmacist for a major retail pharmacy chain; and later transitioned to one of the top Fortune 5 companies in the country as a clinical pharmacist in charge of prior authorization, appeals and grievances for Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial clients.
Dr. O is a speaker specialized in medicinal herbs including cannabis and psychedelics. Some of her appearance includes Global Cannabis Intelligence (GCI) Conference; American Cannabis Nurse Association Conference; Sensi Magazine Events; MACE MEDIA V365 Conference; CBD Health & Wellness; Mid-West 2021, The Original CBD EXPO TOUR; Women in Plant Medicine Summit; Cannabis Public Policy Conference by 20/20 Growth Summit and has been featured in many publications.
Dr. O is an advocate for social justice. As a black woman living with physical disability, she is passionate about the issues affecting the “forgotten” in our communities, with emphasis on the BIPOC, LGBTQ+, Veterans and the disabled communities! She works with various organizations to give back not just to her community, but also women, men and children all over the World.
She is the host of Cannabis-Psychedelic club every Saturdays 12P; and African Cannadelic club every Sundays 12P EST on clubhouse.
Michael C. Minardi, ESQ
Chairman, Regulate Florida
Michael C. Minardi, ESQChairman, Regulate Florida
Compassionate, Driven, and Committed to You.
Born and raised in the small town of Londonderry, New Hampshire, Michael C. Minardi discovered his passions in life: politics and the law. When Michael was just 11 years old, he witnessed the death of his father due to a fatal heart attack. He was raised by his passionate and fiery Italian mother, who worked hard to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads. In 2003 he lost his mother to lung cancer.
The difficulties he went through made him who he is today. Michael is, and has always been, passionate about his desire to represent the people in the legislature to help create a better life for everyone. He has been an attorney for over 20 years defending those who are unable to defend themselves and fighting for what he thinks is right. He is ready to listen to his constituents’ problems and to do those things that are necessary to make the State of Florida better for us all.
“I am lucky to be living my dream as an attorney, fighting for legalization, and now running for office with a chance to represent the people. I want to help create laws that enhance our society, not through hand-outs but by providing a hand up to those struggling, so everyone has the tools and ability to do the same and live their dreams.”
Florida Marijuana Mentor
Mandy HarlanFlorida Marijuana Mentor
I’m Mandy Harlan, and 9 years ago I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. Shortly after my diagnosis, I was lucky enough to have a friend introduce me to cannabis as an alternative to alcohol, which I could no longer consume. As time went on, I realized cannabis was not only a great way to take my mind off the stresses of the week, but it was also an immense help managing my symptoms.
Gone are days where I do not eat because I have no appetite. I no longer get nauseated, painful cramps or sickness. I feel like a “normal” person again. For anyone living with Crohn’s disease, or any disease that effects your everyday life, this is HUGE. It feels like a massive weight has been lifted off my shoulders, and I’m certain it is the result of cannabis. As of my last colonoscopy in 2018, I am in complete remission. I’m proud to say this is 100% without the use of prescription medicines that have terrible, even deadly, side effects that my doctors pushed for years.
I want to share my experience, and guide others through the medical cannabis process, because I’ve experienced the power of the plant and know it can help so many. My mother no longer takes multiple Tylenol PM every night to help with pain and insomnia. Instead, she uses tinctures to sleep and has never been more rested. My friend just weened off her anxiety medication because she can now vape from a CBD pen. I know cannabis isn’t a miracle drug, but it’s as close as I think we are going to get in this lifetime.
When I got my medical card, I learned that dispensaries in Florida operate differently than other states. In Florida, dispensaries must control the products they sell from seed to store. Meaning, all products in each dispensary will be unique to them. Unlike dispensaries in California & Colorado, you will not find multiple brands under one roof. Any patient looking for the most effective strain and delivery method for their particular condition must visit all 14 dispensaries to know what is truly out there. That is a lot of leg work, and responsibility on the patient, to ensure they are getting the right medication for treating their illness. Marijuana is very individualized, and it is important to find the right match that works best for you, to achieve the highest results consistently.
Mary Jane Oatman
Founder, ICANNC & Publisher, THC Magazine
Mary Jane OatmanFounder, ICANNC & Publisher, THC Magazine
Mary Jane Oatman is an enrolled member of the Nez Perce Tribe and descendant of the Delaware Tribe and proud mother of three beautiful people. She is the founder of the Indigenous CANNabis Coalition (ICANNC) and publisher of THC Magazine and enjoys being able to grow her passion both in her communities as well as across the nation as a traveling culture and events photographer. Mary Jane has found her true vibe capturing special moments with plants and people.
Mary Jane has been dedicated to reclaiming Indigenous cultures and restoring pre colonial economies in hemp and cannabis. She has worked for her tribe and other communities to advocate to state and federal agencies to protect tribal sovereignty and to ensure more effective government to government relationships are steered by building bridges between diverse stakeholders. In 2009, Oatman was the youngest member appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the National Advisory Council on Indian Education, while also serving as the first Director of Indian Education for the state of Idaho.
Mary Jane is on the founding board for the JUSTUS Foundation and currently serves as the president of the Idaho ACLU and on the board of directors for the Association of Cannabis Health Equity and Medicine (ACHEM). She has also served on the Minority Cannabis Business Association board. She is a certified fitness instructor and loves fishing, gathering and chopping wood for the sweat lodge when she is not searching for stories that heal.
Founder, Nexx Holdings
Brianna BowesFounder, Nexx Holdings
Brianna Bowes is a cannabis industry leader and founder of Nexx Holdings, a network of expanding cannabis service lines, products and entities such as clinics, gourmet edibles, and restaurants. She has a vision for the U.S. cannabis industry that protects it from turning into Big Pharma. Instead her goal is for the cannabis industry to focus on research, conscious development and helping people learn how to use cannabis for health benefits, whether medical, recreational, or aesthetic. Seen as a trailblazer for young minority women, Brianna places emphasis on education and establishing industry standards for the benefit of the consumer and industry alike.
She is on track to revolutionize the cannabis industry in major U.S. cities with full-fledged health care clinics, Cannabis infused food & beverage offerings and fine dining, consumption lounges, ketamine treatments and more. Beyond holding the coveted position of the Florida Executive Director of the Women's Cannabis Chamber of Commerce, her vision and strategy includes establishing partnerships with well-known brands and organizations to facilitate her mainstream efforts of cannabis products in the U.S.
Jenny Big Crow
Oglala Lakota Tribal Member, Business Development Consultant
Jenny Big CrowOglala Lakota Tribal Member, Business Development Consultant
Jenny Big Crow was born and raised on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation which is one of the poorest places in America. It is also home to the proud Oglala Lakota which she is a member of. Her story is one of brokenness as she is a survivor of emotional, spiritual, and sexual abuse. However, she has not allowed her past to stop her from the future that she is created for.
She is an Army veteran who has a college degree in accounting and holds a certification in Practical Theology. She also owns her own consulting company.
She is involved in social justices for indigenous right. She along with her tribal members passed the first ever Oglala Lakota Cannabis Laws on a Sovereign Nation in October of 2020 that would benefit small businesses.
She loves leading and teaching people how to have healthy and healing relationships within the communities.
She is passionate about bringing awareness to the historical trauma Native Americans endured throughout their history and advocates for change.
Jenny is available to speak at events by contacting her at 954-281-9840
Transformational Life and Psychedelic Integration Coach
Jenelle BecerraTransformational Life and Psychedelic Integration Coach
Jenelle Becerra is a psychedelic integration coach who teaches people how to mindfully use psychedelic medicine and transformational coaching to achieve optimal well-being and peak performance. She earned her bachelor's degree in Health Science from Florida International University and is a certified life and wellness coach.
People interested in psychedelic medicine and mental health hire Jenelle because she uses a human-centered approach to redesign ingrained habits and beliefs, which extends the transformational benefits of the psychedelic experience into their daily lives for lasting positive change.
Jenell has participated in and guided psychedelic journeys for the last twenty years. In recent years, she has reaped the transformational benefits of using psychedelics and integration coaching. Last October, she participated in a two-day Ayahuasca retreat and shed 25 years of unprocessed grief and resentment; and has improved her quality of life and relationships since integrating the insights gained after the experience.
Jenelle is most passionate about empowering others to transform their lives through intentional life and wellness design. She loves the grounding nature of adventure travel and hiking. And she can whip up some of the best conversations and cafecito in Miami.
Licensed Speech Language Pathologist, Certified Mental Health Practitioner/ M.A., CCC-SLP, CMHP
Yasmine EgoziLicensed Speech Language Pathologist, Certified Mental Health Practitioner/ M.A., CCC-SLP, CMHP
“Yasmine” Jeannette Egozi M.A., CCC-SLP, CMHP developed the line of Planta Rx®️ products because of her passion for healing. Being of Hispanic descent and exposed to special needs populations her entire life, her personal story is one of strength and triumph, which is an inspiration for health and healing through cannabis and wellness. She brings her twenty (20+) years of experience, dynamic style and cutting-edge approach as a Licensed Speech Language Pathologist, Certified Mental Health Professional, (W)holistic Wellness Guide, a Soul Focused Healing practitioner and an Internationally Certified Stress Management Consultant. Furthermore, she is well versed in the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of how humans heal.
The Grateful Veteran
Jeffrey DeMondThe Grateful Veteran
Jeffrey DeMond is a retired U.S Navy Senior Chief 100% disabled veteran, with over 20 years active duty service. Injured late in his career, after multiple deployments, he required several reconstructive surgeries to repair his ankles and shoulders. His medical conditions were treated with a cocktail of Opioids, Benzodiazepines and countless anti-depressants. After several (7-9) years of being over prescribed harmful opioids both on active duty and retirement, Jeff found a better way of life. He was introduced to Cannabis and its use as medicine. By using cannabis as medicine he has been able to stop the majority of his pharmaceutical prescriptions. He has been addiction free since 2010 and continues to use cannabis to control his pain, PTSD, and depression. Since finding a better way to manage his conditions, he has been advocating for the use of medical marijuana and educating to break down the stigma that surrounds it. A passionate patient rights activist, Jeff and his wife Tara recently founded The Grateful Veteran – a non-profit designed to aid service members financially with their doctor visits and state fees.
Veteran and Registered Nurse
Nurse DebVeteran and Registered Nurse
Nurse Deb is a USAF Veteran and Registered Nurse with over 25 years of experience as a medical professional. Over the years, both as a medical professional, and as a curious citizen, she has amassed a vast wealth of evidence-based knowledge on the benefits offered by entheogenic plant medicines. She is committed to providing evidenced-based research with a desire to change the legal landscape surrounding these misunderstood and stigmatized plant medicines. Entheogenic plant medicines are tools, much like western medicine. She strives to dispel the lie we were told and pivot future conversations.
As a nurse, Deb is very passionate about providing positive patient outcomes and is an active member of several associations. Deb is striving to advocate for her patients by attending state and federal legislative events to better assist in breaking the stigma to allow patients the choice of entheogenic plants as medicine.
Always seeking improvement and additional knowledge, Deb graduated Magna Cum Laude with her BSN in 2020 and is currently in the process of obtaining her master's degree with a focus in Healthcare Regulation from Florida State University School of Law.
Registered Dietitian, Owner of The Root Cause Method
Jillian AcostaRegistered Dietitian, Owner of The Root Cause Method
Jillian Acosta is a registered dietitian and owner of the functional nutrition private practice, The Root Cause Method. In her practice she works with clients to uproot life-long behavioral patterns and deeply buried traumas that result in physiological imbalances. Through her expertise in functional nutrition, she provides personalized dietary guidance to support the body, but Jillian takes her clients beyond the physiology to address the underlying psychological and emotional reasons that drove each client to their current state of health. Her work results in measurable and lasting changes, that dramatically improve her clients’ relationships to food, their bodies, and themselves. Uncovering and uprooting what shapes our relationship with food is, in her experience, what’s missing in the reversal and prevention of obesity and associated chronic illnesses, and what’s standing in the way of true embodiment, fulfillment and connection.
Jillian earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics and Nutrition where she graduated Magna Cum Laude from Florida International University. She has received extensive training from the Institute for Functional Medicine through the University of Western States. She lives in Delray with her dog, Daisy.
Candidate for FL Commissioner of Agriculture
Ryan MoralesCandidate for FL Commissioner of Agriculture
Ryan Morales (Democratic Party) is running for election for Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services. He declared candidacy for the Democratic primary scheduled on August 23, 2022.
Ryan Morales was born in New York City, New York. He earned an undergraduate degree in May 1997 after studying at the University of William Paterson from 1994 to 1997 and the Institute of Audio Research from 1995 to 1997. His professional experience includes working as a marketing consultant and web developer. Morales has served as a member of the Lake County Democratic Club and as a member of the South Lake Democratic Club. He previously served as vice president of the Lake County Democratic Hispanic Caucus 2019.
Dr. Deana Goldin
PhD, DNP, APRN | Board Certified Family & Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Dr. Deana GoldinPhD, DNP, APRN | Board Certified Family & Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Deana Goldin, PhD, DNP, APRN
Board Certified Family & Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Integrative Psychiatry Practitioner, Integrative Psychiatry Institute Fellow, Boulder, CO
Dr. Deana Goldin is a nationally certified Family and Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner with over 25 years of experience. She has a PhD in Nursing Education (Nova Southeastern University), a Doctor of Nursing Practice and Family Nurse Practitioner degree (University of Miami), a Post-Master’s degree in Psychiatric Mental Health from Johns Hopkins University and is a fellow of the Integrative Psychiatry Institute, Boulder, Colorado. Dr. Goldin is a Clinical Associate Professor and the Family Nurse Practitioner Program Leader at the Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Florida International University.
Dr. Goldin has a broad background in healthcare with specific training in family practice and integrative mental health across the lifespan and works with diverse populations. Dr. Goldin become a leader in raising awareness and educating clinicians on the critical need to identify, manage, and appropriately treat mental health disorders in primary care settings. Dr. Goldin has published numerous articles focusing on uncommon and subtle psychiatric conditions that could easily be overlooked in primary care settings. Dr. Goldin's book, Fast Facts in Psychopharmacology for Nurse Practitioners, will be published this Fall 2022 by Springer Publishing. Dr. Goldin blogs for Psychology Today, is a Clinical Director for both Strong Minds and Medfast, Special Olympics, international organizations created to provide physical examinations and to promote mental health for athletes prior to participating in Special Olympics sports programming. Dr. Goldin is a member of the #SameHere Psych Alliance, a globally recognized organization that brings together athletes, celebrities, and expert practitioners to focus on mental health education and prevention/intervention programs.
Founder and President, Balanced Veterans Network
Ron MillwardFounder and President, Balanced Veterans Network
Ron Millward is the Founder and President of Balanced Veterans Network. He is a people-first passionate creative dedicated to creating a safe space for the education, advocacy, and empowerment of alternative therapies for veterans and their families. Ron grew up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and enlisted in the United States Air Force at 17 years old. He served for seven years as a combat vehicle operator and an aerospace flight medic. During that time, Ron moved over 33 times and deployed to Iraq, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea. After struggling with combat-related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the loss of a few friends to suicide, he decided to separate in hopes of finding a new direction in life by helping people. From 2014-2019 Ron tried to find purpose by working as a Creative Pastor for various churches around the United States. After struggling to find mental freedom, he found Cannabis and other sacred plant medicines and entheogens to be powerful tools for his healing, among other modalities. In early 2018 he had the idea of “Balanced Veterans,” formed with a board of other combat, service-connected veterans. As a community, they channel their collective passion for helping people into the veteran community that desperately needs direction. Balanced Veterans Network continues to partner with other organizations to reach veterans and their families and provide education and tools to find a new path toward mental freedom.
Jeffrey D. Kamlet, MD, CACAM
World's Leading Ibogaine Expert
Jeffrey D. Kamlet, MD, CACAMWorld's Leading Ibogaine Expert
Jeffrey Kamlet, M.D, FASAM, BABAM is recognized as the world expert on cardiac safety in ibogaine treatment. He is a fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, and has twice served as President of the Florida Society of Addiction Medicine. Currently, Dr. Kamlet serves as GITA’s Chief Medical Advisor, as well as Editor in Chief on GITA’s Clinical Guidelines for Ibogaine-Assisted Detoxification.
In 1995, Dr. Kamlet was involved in early clinical trials, conducted under the direction of Deborah Mash, Ph.D., to assess ibogaine’s utility in the rapid-detoxification from opiate dependence and the reduction of post-acute withdrawal symptoms. Over the past 20 years he has witnessed over 1800 ibogaine treatments without a single adverse event, and continues to believes it to be one of the most important discoveries in the history of addiction medicine.
Dr. Kamlet holds a degree in Medicine and Surgery from the State University of New York. He received further training in neurology and psychiatry, and then a Cardiology Fellowship at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach Florida.
He has worked as an Associate Director and Medical Director for several emergency departments in Southern Florida, and sat on the board of the Florida American Heart Association, where he helped to update ACLS protocols. He has served as a principal investigator on over 20 major pharmaceutical trials, and has achieved accolades in the fields of hormonal replacement therapy, anti-aging medicine and neutriceuticals.
He has also held additional board certifications and fellowships in other specializations, including bariatric medicine, forensic medicine, forensic examination, and forensic psychology.
David A. McInnis
David A. McInnisFounder, Newsworthy.Ai
David McInnis has spent his professional career spanning over 22 years building online marketing platforms to help business improve their online visibility. David founded PRWeb in 1997 and operated the service for the next nine years until he sold the company to Vocus (now part of Cision). During his time at PRWeb he met and collaborated with Mark Willaman on a number of projects. Recently he has been part of the technical team working on the development of Mark's advocacy platform, Advos.io. Connect and learn more about David's PRWeb story below or here . Connect with him on LinkedIn.
Christopher Mandracchia, ESQ
Founder, CDM Law
Christopher Mandracchia, ESQFounder, CDM Law
Mr. Mandracchia is an experienced trial attorney and founder of CDM LAW. He handles Criminal Defense, Civil Defense, General Counsel Services and Cannabis legal matters. He is a former Prosecutor, experienced Trial Attorney, and Litigator. Mr. Mandracchia is a zealous advocate for his client’s. Mr. Mandracchia strives to communicate, listen, and interact with each client in order to give a unique and custom legal experience tailored to your individual case and needs.
Mr. Mandracchia is a lifetime member of the NORML legal committee, a member of the National Association of Cannabis Businesses, chairs the Montgomery Bar Medical Marijuana and Hemp Law Committee, and provides CLE Courses and teaches others about Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana and Cannabis Laws. He has the experience to represent and assist individuals and business who need assistance with the complex cannabis market. His experience with applications, licensing, compliance, contracts, criminal defense and employment discrimination allows CDM Law to help you with your cannabis legal matters.
Mr. Mandracchia is well versed in the Controlled Substance Drug Device and Cosmetics Act (CSA), the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act (MMA), drug laws and has represented individuals and business with their legal needs at the local and federal level. He prides himself on fighting for your rights.
Attorney Mandracchia was an Assistant District Attorney in Berks County, PA from 2010 to 2015 where he gained valuable knowledge and experience of the criminal justice system.
Mr. Mandracchia prosecuted and managed many cases from inception to trial. He is a graduate of Top Gun at the Northeast Counterdrug Training Center in Ft. Indiantown Gap, PA. He also has valuable knowledge and training in various fields of criminal law and has specialized training dealing with Cannabis, DUI’s, Drugged Driving, Drug Crimes, Gang Crimes, Sex Crimes, and other criminal defense areas. Mr. Mandracchia has is an experienced trial attorney who has gained many successful verdicts for his clients.
Mr. Mandracchia has litigated multiple cases to a successful resolution for his clients. At his previous firm, Mr. Mandracchia handled civil litigation, estate planning for individuals and families, contract drafting and negotiations, and criminal defense. He has experience handling civil cases, for individuals and businesses, for breach of contract, fraud, waste service litigation, defamation, dog bites, Personal Injury, Premise liability, other civil wrongs, and general counsel services.
Mr. Mandracchia is a lifelong resident of Montgomery County and is active in the local bar. He is a graduate of the 2019 and 2020 MBA Leadership Academy. He is an avid cannabis advocate and has a strong belief in defending the rights of the innocent. He is an aspiring #Ganjier and is part of the first ever Ganjier Training Program based in California’s Emerald Triangle. Mr. Mandracchia is admitted to practice law in Pennsylvania and is admitted in the United States District Courts of the Eastern and Middle District. He primarily handles matters in Montgomery County, Berks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Philadelphia County, Bucks County, and in the Federal Court System.
CDM Law, LLC. is a full-service law firm offering legal services for Individuals, businesses, and corporations.
Dir. of Marketing & Creative, FLUENT
Oswaldo GrazianiDir. of Marketing & Creative, FLUENT
Oswaldo has built a successful career in television, digital media, branding, and advertising. Working with Sony Pictures, HBO, and YouTube to name a few, his work has been praised by The New York Times, The Washington Post, and CNN. He’s also been honored with multiple awards in Latin America, Europe, and the United States. These have ranged from celebrations of content creation and digital success in advertising to ongoing contribution to human rights cause, including the Václav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent in 2017, an award given by the Human Rights Foundation in Oslo, Norway for his contributions to promoting democracy and free speech in his native country of Venezuela. Always looking for new challenges, in 2018, Oswaldo saw a fantastic opportunity in the cannabis industry. Now he leads the new wave of cannabis branding and marketing.
Constantino Manuel Torres
FIU, Professor Emeritus
Constantino Manuel TorresFIU, Professor Emeritus
Manny Torres' primary interest is in the art and archaeology of psychoactive plant use in the Central Andes. He conducts research and archaeological work in the Atacama desert of northern Chile. He has received numerous grants for travel and research in the Americas and has published numerous articles on Andean Art and archeology. He directs a collaborative program in San Pedro de Atacama with the University of Chile where he teaches and guides students.
President of Surterra Wellness
Zachary FlemingPresident of Surterra Wellness
Zachary Fleming has over a decade of experience in business strategy, finance, operations regulations, and controlled narcotic inventories. As President of Surterra Wellness, Zachary leads the Company’s strategy, business development, marketing, and operations throughout Florida.
Zachary’s convictions about cannabis motivated him to enter the cannabis industry in 2017, when he joined Surterra as their Director of Retail Operations. Since that time, Zachary has played a critical role in the success of Surterra’s operations, overseeing Surterra’s rapid expansion in Florida.
Prior to joining Surterra, Zachary worked as a Comprehensive Treatment Center Director for Acadia Healthcare, the largest behavioral healthcare provider in the country, and he founded the Trauma Healing Center, a comprehensive practice in located in Jasonville, FL, that utilized cannabis in the medication-assisted opioid disorder treatment of its patients. With 10 years of experience working in highly regulated narcotic treatment hospitals, and with his expertise in the treatment of opioid use disorders, Zachary believes strongly in the positive role cannabis can play in the comprehensive treatment of mental health issues.
A fervent and principled leader, Zachary’s unique perspectives on cannabis are central to maintaining Surterra’s position as one of the most innovative cannabis operations in the industry.
Xavier University: Master’s degree in clinical Mental Health