Calling All Speakers
The MCIA 2019 Spring Business Conference Committee is looking for speakers with innovative ideas or a compelling insight that will help guide the future cannabis business entrepreneurs in Missouri’s new medical marijuana industry.
Contact MCIA for the opportunity to become a speaker at MCIA’s 2019 Spring Cannabis Business Conference in St. Louis. You’ll gain wide exposure to an attentive and motivated audience of cannabis business movers and shakers as Missouri creates a legal medical cannabis market. Speakers may cover a broad range of topics for a B2B audience in both the marijuana and hemp industries.
Thanks to Our 2018 Speakers!
Dr. Sue Sisley, (Keynote) President of Scottsdale Research Institute.
She works as Medical Director for medical cannabis license holders in 11 different US states/territories from Hawaii to Puerto Rico to New York enabling her to collect data on patient’s response to state-level, lab-tested cannabis.
Sue serves as Site Principal Investigator for the only FDA-approved randomized controlled trial in the world examining safety/efficacy of whole plant marijuana in combat veterans with treatment-resistant post traumatic stress disorder PTSD. Dr. Sisley is on faculty at Colorado State University, recruited for core planning team to organize the CSU “Cannabis Center of Excellence” in Pueblo, Colorado. Dr. Sisley has been a Member of Nevada ILAC Medical Cannabis Commission for the past 2 years outlining regulations for laboratory testing including limits on pesticides, residual solvents and other guidelines that are currently being used as a model for other states medical cannabis laws.
Barry Grissom, (Keynote) Former US Attorney for the District of Kansas
Barry Grissom is a well-known U.S. Attorney for the District of Kansas and legal industry veteran. Grissom brings a deep bench of experience in government and private practice to Polsinelli’s national White Collar Defense and Government Investigations and Compliance – Civil and Criminal Practice.
Grissom was appointed U.S. Attorney for the District of Kansas by President Barack Obama in 2010.
As U.S. Attorney, Grissom was selected by Attorney General Eric Holder to serve as one of 15 members on the Attorney’s General Advisory Committee (AGAC), which advises the Attorney General on matters of administration and policy. As a member of the AGAC, Grissom contributed to efforts to reform the federal criminal justice system through his Smart on Crime initiative. He also served on several sub-committees, including Financial Fraud, Health Care Fraud Prevention & Enforcement Team, Terrorism & National Security (Cyber), Native American Issues and Civil Rights.
Grissom earned a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Kansas before obtaining his law degree from Oklahoma City University School of Law, where he was a member of the Law Review and Moot Court Board.
Dan Viets, J.D., Chairman of the Board, Missouri Cannabis Industry Association.
Dan Viets is an attorney in private practice in Columbia, MO, concentrating on the defense of marijuana cases. He has served for many years as the Missouri State Coordinator for NORML, National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. He is a former president of the Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, former chair of the board of the Mid-Missouri ACLU, former president of the University of Missouri student body and was the first chair of the City of Columbia Human Rights Commission.
Dan was the recipient of the 1993 Martin Luther King Association “Keeping the Dream Alive” award and the 1995 Mid-Missouri “Civil Libertarian of the Year”. Dan was named High Times Freedom Fighter of the Month in March, 2005 for his work helping to pass both a marijuana decriminalization initiative and a medical marijuana initiative in the November, 2004 election in Columbia. He received the 2005 Atticus Finch Outstanding Criminal Defense Lawyer award from the Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. In January, 2006 he received the Trailblazer award from the Mid-Missouri NAACP. He received the “Audiencey Award” from Conan O’Brien on the Tonight Show for looking most like the college professor who could always get you weed.
Dan hosts a weekly radio program called “Sex, Drugs and Civil Liberties”, on a community station affiliated with National Public Radio. He is Chair of the Board of Show-Me Cannabis Regulation.
John Payne, Campaign Manager of New Approach Missouri
John Payne is the political director of New Approach Missouri. Before the campaign, John worked as the executive director of Show-Me Cannabis.
He has also worked as a research analyst for the Show-Me Institute and a high school studies teacher.
His writing has been published in Reason, The American Conservative, The Week, and newspapers across Missouri.
Jack Cardetti, the New Approach Missouri campaign Consultant/Spokesperson.
Jack Cardetti has served for a decade as a spokesman and communications advisor for public officials and political campaigns. He has worked on some of the most successful campaigns in Missouri in recent years including Senator Claire McCaskill and Governor Jay Nixon. Jack also served as Governor Nixon’s Communications Director for two years.
Michael Correia, Director of Government Affairs, National Cannabis Industry Association
Michael Correia is director of government relations for the National Cannabis Industry Association. His focus is raising awareness and building support for the cannabis industry’s issues on Capitol Hill. In addition, Michael works with other national organizations to increase the cannabis industry profile nationally. Prior to joining NCIA, Michael spent many years working on Capitol Hill, including working for Rep. George Radanovich (R-CA), who retired in 2010, and the House Committee on Resources, serving three different Chairmen. Previously, he was director of federal affairs for the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and senior project manager for the Committee for Responsible Federal Budget. In both positions, he advocated for policies in Congress. A campaign veteran, he has worked and volunteered on numerous political campaigns at the local, state, and federal levels over the past two decades. Michael is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego. A native of San Diego, he resides in Washington, D.C.
Mike Arnold, HonuXpress
Mike Arnold, Founder, President & CEO, can consult on a variety of issues ranging from the small medical marijuana non-profit set-up all the way up to managing 40,000 flowering plants, scaled-up all at once. Mike is an experienced attorney, cannabis entrepreneur & large-scale farm operator. In 2017, Mike founded One Gro, which earned over $1.5M in revenue in its first 10 months of operations. He has utilized his unique brand of strategic thinking, his traditional Midwest farming skills & his legal knowledge to position this new enterprise as “big ag” meets “big pharma” by quickly becoming one of the largest farm conglomerates in Oregon while also building a strong executive team with deep roots in traditional businesses & agronomy. Mike is experience in jury trials & complex criminal & civil litigation involving multiple parties & witnesses, voluminous discovery, expert witnesses, & high stakes.
Paul E. Callicoat, M.D., Board Certified Interventional Cardiologist, Co-Owner of Hops 21, LLC
Paul E. Callicoat, M.D. is a retired Board Certified Interventional Cardiologist from Joplin, MO. Dr. Callicoat is a fellow emeritus of the American College of Cardiology. Paul is also Co-owner of Hops 21, LLC
Paul attended University of North Carolina Wilmington, Wilmington, NC. He received a Bachelor of Science (Biology) 1979 cum laude and Bachelor of Arts 1980 (Chemistry) cum laude. He attended Medical School at University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Greenville, NC 1981-1985. He received his Internal Medicine training at St. Luke’s Hospital, Kansas City, MO 1985-1988 and furthered his training in Cardiology at St. Louis University Hospital, St. Louis, MO 1988-1991.
Dr. Callicoat practiced Cardiology in Joplin, MO from 1991 through 2000 and in Grove, OK from 2000-2014. Dr Callicoat was one of the first physicians in the United States to partner with a hospital group to own and operate his own Cardiac Catheterization Lab. Dr. Callicoat sold his Catheterization Lab and his Cardiology practice in 2014 and retired.
Dr. Callicoat became interested in the Medical Cannabis Industry shortly after retirement at the urging of his son Jonathon. Dr. Callicoat is now a well known advocate for the potential uses of Medical Cannabis in today’s medical climate.
John R. Downs, Director of Business Development, The Arcview Group
John R. Downs is Director of Business Development for The Arcview Group, the first investor network focused exclusively on the cannabis industry, and leading provider of cannabis market research. There he focuses on corporate strategy, developing Arcview’s financial services and asset management businesses, and outreach and consulting to entrepreneurs and investors.
During his nearly 20 years in finance and entrepreneurship, he has experienced the telecom, dotcom, housing, and commodity bubbles, giving him a unique perspective on markets and investing.
Prior to joining the cannabis industry in 2015, John was a Registered Investment Advisor for boutique wealth management firm, Euro Pacific Capital, where he advised on over $130M for high net worth clients and participated in dozens of corporate finance transactions for small-cap high-growth companies. In 2006, he founded and operated a multi-state wholesale mortgage lender, funding over $300M in loans in 18 months of operation. A passion for non-market correlated assets led to his structuring an independent film fund focused on senior secured debt (tax credits), which resulted in his consulting on the acquisition and restructuring of a leading entertainment market research firm in 2014.
In January 2015, he became the first employee and Managing Director of Marijuana International Company (MJIC), where he co-developed the company’s corporate strategy and business plan, raised capital for operations and investments, and participated in MJIC’s investment committee. In May 2016 John co-founded a bay area contract manufacturer of cannabis infused products and has developed and launched several cannabis-infused product brands to market.
John was voted a “Top 3” mentor by the first cohort of cannabis business accelerator, Gateway, has sat on the California Cannabis Industry Association (CCIA) Legislative and Manufacturing sub-committees, and was a founding board member of the Minority Cannabis Business Association (MCBA). He graduated from UC Davis with degrees in History and Political Science, where he was an all-conference student-athlete. He lives in the Hancock Park area of Los Angeles, where he enjoys hot yoga, reading, sailing, and advocating for free markets and free minds.
Shane Hutto, President & COO Horticultural Solutions
A disciplined and creative scientist with BS and MS degrees in horticulture from Oklahoma State University, Hutto presents an exceptional track record of entrepreneurial success in the cannabis industry. Through his company, Horticultural Solutions, LLC, he and his assembled team consult regarding design and construction of growing spaces, i.e. greenhouses, extraction facili-ties and cultivation and system efficiencies in 20 states and four foreign coun-tries with responsibility over approximately 1.5 million square feet of medical and recreational cannabis cultivation. Hutto has two patents pending for horticultural systems optimization created especially for research and pharmaceutical grade greenhouses.
Hutto and his team work throughout North America assisting individuals and corporation with the preparation of their applications for legal marijuana production, processing, and distribu-tion, i.e. dispensaries as well as hemp field production. In addition to supplying the infor-mation and equipment needs for the application, Hutto also provides access to professional tal-ent within the industry providing new companies with employees who have “real” knowledge of the growing techniques of the cannabis crop, growing systems, inventory management and compliance.
Pedro J. Sotomayor, Chief Business Officer of PPi Consulting Group and CEO of ElectraLeaf
Mr. Sotomayor is a successful entrepreneur and real estate investor with an extensive background in emerging markets, team building, sales, branding, finance and supply chain management.
Upon transferring his business background and applicable skills to the Cannabis industry in 2015, Pedro has project managed over 50 marijuana license applications and led raises totaling more than $25M to assist companies in entering emerging medical marijuana markets.
Currently, as Chief Business Officer of PPi Consulting Group, Pedro leads a team that has consulted marijuana clients in 17 legal states along with Puerto Rico and Canada.
As CEO of ElectraLeaf, Pedro is carving a path toward mainstream consumer acceptance of cannabis through thoughtful branding, articulate messages and product excellence.
He is a visionary with a record of creating and implementing innovative methodologies to grow revenue and margins, secure assets, engage customers, and ensure safe and secure product management.
Paula Givens, Cannabis Industry Attorney and Consultant of PPi Consulting
Medical Marijuana Compliance Attorney for PPi Consulting Group where she has leveraged her years in the cannabis industry to counsel medical cannabis start-ups on issues of regulatory compliance, licensing, and human resources.
Wrote the Number 7 Scoring Cultivation/Extraction Application in Ohio (Terradiol)! Wrote the Number 6 Scoring Application for a Vertical in New York (NYCanna)! Wrote an authorized Dispensary Application in Illinois for The Green Solution.
Obtained competitively issued licenses in Niles and soon in the City of Lansing and City of Hazel Park. Have hired a Technical Writer most recently employed by Canna Advisors and a former Honigman attorney to ensure all of all of our Michigan Provisioning Center applications are authorized.
Our Provisioning Center applications all contain: Patient Education Plan, Drug and Alcohol Abuse Plan, Patient Record Keeping Plan, Sanitation Plan, Waste Plan, Recall Plan, Inventory Plan, Detailed Security and Diversion Prevention Plan, Contaminant Testing Plan, Recall and Adverse Reaction Plan, and related Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and forms and logs. Have written a detailed Provisioning Center Operations Manual to aid in the transition to MMFLA Regulation!
John Hunt, Cannabis Industry Professional
John Hunt has been involved with the Colorado cannabis regulated market since 2008 as a patient and caregiver. After setting up the first licensed cannabis testing facility, Steep Hill Labs, in Denver, he set out to expand his portfolio into the dispensary, cultivation, and extraction market. He works in numerous states with different brands for business development, logistics, and branding.
Currently he is working with a group to become licensed in Conway, AR, and has been a cannabis advocate for the Missouri movement for the past four years. He has a background in accounting, business management, and cultivation. He is also a partner in Hunt’s Harvest Nutes which manufactures and distributes nutrients for cultivation of all plants nationwide. John is from St. Louis, MO and has spent the last 10 years in Colorado.
Diane Czarkowski, Founding Partner at Canna Advisors
Diane Czarkowski is one of the industry’s original cannabis entrepreneurs and Founding Partner at Canna Advisors. She has played an influential role in the cannabis market since its early stages, helping develop it into one of fastest growing industries in the United States.
Diane has received multiple recognitions for her professional accomplishments and was a featured cannabis entrepreneur in the 2017 biographical collection, Breaking the Grass Ceiling: Women, Weed, & Business. In 2016 and 2017, she was named one of the 75 Most Important Women in Cannabis by Cannabis Business Executive and has received Arcview’s Outstanding Member award. This year, Diane was honored to be named one of the Top 10 Cannabis Entrepreneurs by Herb Magazine.
About Canna Advisors: Led by founders Diane and Jay Czarkowski and named the #1 consulting firm in the industry by Cannabis Business Executive, Canna Advisors has been a trusted partner to cannabis business clients in 29 states, plus Puerto Rico, Guam, and Canada. The Canna Advisors team delivers 100+ years of combined industry experience and is celebrating five years of building the industry as entrepreneurs, investors, and advocates, and was recently honored with the Industry Award of Excellence by the National Cannabis Industry Association. For more information, visit ThinkCanna.com.
Dr. Curtis Livesay, Ph.D., CCA, Certified Crop Adviser and Licensed Commercial Pesticide Consultant
Dr. Livesay and has worked with diverse growers and crops in over 20 states, spanning from potatoes and cannabis in Washington State to corn and soybeans across the Midwest and from sugar beets in Minnesota to rice in Arkansas and cotton in Texas.
Since 2015 he has consulted for numerous state and national champions of the contests run by the National Corn Growers Association, National Soybean Association, National Wheat Growers Association, and the National Sorghum Producers. Dr. Livesay has numerous clients with documented corn yields of 300+ bushels per acre (the national average for corn yield is approximately 170 bushels per acre).
Having earned his Ph.D. in Research Methods and Interpersonal Communication from the University of Iowa in 2012, Dr. Livesay conducts independent research trials testing various products and practices with growers throughout the U.S. He has consulted for two different organizations specializing in agricultural production in impoverished regions in Nigeria, focusing on the sustainable production of banana, bamboo, and soybeans.
Dr. Livesay has served as the keynote speaker for non-profit organizations such as the Pacific Northwest Direct Seeding Association (PNDSA), and the Alabama Soybean Association, and for for- profit companies such as Legend Seeds, DuPont Pioneer, Biovante, and the Conklin Company. He currently serves as an ex officio board member of the PNDSA.
Dr. Livesay provides free agronomy education for growers and crop consultants through his agronomy blog, “The Agronomist’s Journal” and through his podcast, “Ag Talk with the Ag Doc.” He has appeared in other prominent agricultural media including the Farm Journal, and various agriculturally focused radio stations and has also been a guest on Tim Hammerich’s “The Future of Agriculture.”
John Bolsenga, Consultant & Cannabis Agriculturist with Elevated Hemp.
A native of the Kansas City area, John worked in the medical field as an Engineer for Toshiba specializing in CT (imaging) equipment. Working around hospitals gave him a good sense of the medicines we are given, the choices the doctors have for us and the money that moves around the industry. A family trip to Colorado in 2014 inspired John & his wife to MOVE to Colorado for the benefits of legal cannabis. John was able to transfer with Toshiba but was longing for a way out of the corporate world and back to his love of farming. John was raised on farms in Missouri and knew the machinery needed. The idea came up to grow large amounts of medical marijuana with a high plant count and outdoor license. Research began, but soon John found people were also using a lot of Hemp products and CBD was becoming the new buzzword. So, the main research shifted from medical marijuana to Hemp CBD and “Elevated Hemp” was born in Fairplay Colorado.
John and his wife both worked for THC Magazine in sales and have made some tremendous networking contacts in the cannabis industry. He continues to grow both medical marijuana and Hemp full-time, year-round. He also contracts with farms by the hour, retainer, etc. John can assist with leasing land to grow, filing paperwork, setting up websites, connecting to retail locations, locate processing plants, etc.
More information can be found at ElevatedHemp.com
Heather DeRose, CEO & Antonio DeRose, COO,, Co-Founders of Green House Healthy
Heather DeRose is the co-founder and CEO of Green House Healthy, a company that educates and promotes cannabis as part of a healthy and active lifestyle. She is also a NASM certified personal trainer and athlete. In 2017, she became the first female to complete an entire 420 Games National Tour, an athletic event series focused on de-stigmatizing the lazy stoner stereotype. She placed 3rd in Seattle, 2nd in Portland and 1st in Denver. She is also an official NORML Athlete, representing NORML Athletics, and the Colorado NORML Athletics Chapter.
Heather has placed in several races throughout the past couple years and plans to continue to trail race to raise awareness for epilepsy, healthy lifestyles and the benefits of cannabis. Her company also hosts athletic and educational events. Heather speaks about how cannabis helps her epilepsy, PTSD, anxiety, weight management and as an athlete. She also credits cannabis to helping her quit addictions to cigarettes and alcohol. It is her mission to set a positive example for the many benefits of cannabis and provide education to consumers.
Antonio is the Co-Founder and COO of Green House Healthy, a health and wellness website promoting cannabis as part of a healthy and active lifestyle. He is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, competitive trail runner, freelance writer and speaker. His company hosts educational and athletic events, and teaches cannabis positive fitness and nutrition classes.
Antonio has several years of experience with cannabis, including having worked on an all organic outdoor farm with 6000 plants, from seed to sale. In 2017, he became the first male to complete an entire 420 Games National Tour, a traveling athletic event series focused on de-stigmatizing the lazy stoner stereotype. He is also an official NORML Athlete, representing NORML Athletics, and the Colorado NORML Athletics Chapter.
George Nolen, Production Facilities Management.
George Nolen has dedicated his life to working in the legal cannabis industry. A Missouri native, he relocated to Oregon to gain extensive knowledge about legitimate cannabis businesses.
As a production facility manager in Portland, Oregon, he has had a front row to the inner workings of successful cannabis companies.
George is bringing all the knowledge and contacts he has gained since the 2016 NAM campaign, back with him to Missouri. He will play a role in ensuring patients have access to safe medicine and to foster a successful and professional medical cannabis industry in Missouri.
Jacqueline Patterson,, Medical Cannabis Rights Advocate.
Jacqueline Patterson is a medical cannabis/diversability rights advocate living in a reclusive coastal community in Northern California.
She has championed medical cannabis legislation in Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Tennessee and is a graduate of the Hood Incubator’s Fellowship Program.
Jacqueline has worked for several Bay Area dispensaries in multiple capacities but enjoys delivering cannabis products to senior citizens the most. She will be discussing how to cultivate accessibility in your canna business.
Brad Ketcher, Ketcher Law Firm, LLC, Missouri State & Local Government Practice
Brad Ketcher has deep experience in Missouri government, politics, and law. In the public sector, he served as the top appointed official in the executive branch— Chief of Staff in the Missouri Governor’s Office. In that position, he oversaw the day-to-day operation of state government and served as a liaison to legislators and local government leaders.
On behalf of the Governor’s Office, he helped secure the passage of landmark legislation, including a children’s health insurance program; three broad-based tax cuts; urban education reform; and early childhood legislation. He also supervised the annual development of the state’s multi-billion dollar budget.
Prior to being named Chief of Staff, Ketcher served as the Governor’s Office Legislative Director and Legal Counsel. He also served as Legal Counsel to the Gubernatorial Transition and Trustee of the Missouri State Employees’ Retirement System.
As a private attorney, he has represented dozens of individual, corporate and not-for-profit clients in a wide variety of matters spanning public policy, politics, lobbying, and law. He has represented clients in securing government licenses and contracts at the state and local level. He has represented dozens of office holders and campaigns in navigating compliance with ethics and legal requirements. He has counseled corporate and not for profit clients on legal engagement in the political process and in lobbying all levels of government. He has secured access to thousands of government documents through aggressive enforcement of federal, state, and local freedom of information and sunshine laws.
A graduate of Saint Louis University School of Law, Ketcher has also served as a Special Assistant Circuit Attorney prosecuting felonies.Ketcher has also served as a Special Assistant Circuit Attorney prosecuting felonies.