Cannabis Sustainability Symposium | Agenda
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Tuesday, October 17

8:00 – 9:00 AM


4th Floor

Check in for the Symposium

9:00 AM


Silverton Room – 2nd Floor

Bob McDonald, Executive Director, Denver's Department of Environmental Health

Bob McDonald is the Executive Director of the Department of Environmental Health (DEH), Denver’s local public health department, and in this role, serves as the public health administrator.

A long time veteran of the City & County of Denver, Mr. McDonald was appointed director of Denver’s charter-established public health department in 2016 after serving as Interim Executive Director since July of 2015, in addition to serving as Interim Executive Director in 2011.

He brings more than 27 years of public health experience in leadership roles at the City & County of Denver, including serving as Deputy Director of DEH, Director of the Public Health Inspections, and Interim Director of Animal Protection.

Among his many achievements, Mr. McDonald has played a key role in setting the city’s public health priorities and polices, and in leading efforts to identify efficiencies and restructure the department to align with the city’s goals. This includes identifying new revenue streams, his involvement in the department’s strategic planning and public health accreditation, and spearheading revisions to many of the public health codes that are within the purview of the department.

Mr. McDonald currently serves on numerous citywide, regional, and state committees in support of the Mayor’s goals and many public health priorities to include the Executive Development Committee, the Marijuana Advisory Council, the Smart City Steering Committee, the Children’s Cabinet, the Colorado Alliance of Local Public Health Officials, and many others.

Mr. McDonald has completed his bachelor’s coursework in Environmental Resource Management from Colorado State University and has completed master’s level coursework in Local Government Management.

DEH is a charter department overseen by the Board of Environmental Health. DEH includes five divisions—Animal Protection and Shelter, Environmental Quality, Community Health, Public Health Inspections and the Office the Medical Examiner.

9:15 – 10:30 AM

General Session: Sustainability Verified: utilizing standards and certifications to validate your company’s performance

Silverton Room – 2nd Floor


Derek Smith, Resource Innovation Institute

Derek Smith is Executive Director of Resource Innovation Institute. He has been a leader in triple bottom line ventures in the public, private and nonprofit sectors for 15 years. Most recently, he founded and led Clean Energy Works, a nationally-recognized nonprofit organization that facilitates residential energy efficiency upgrades throughout Oregon and Washington. He has directed energy programs for the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability and also created an award-winning sustainability program for a national retailer who was part of bringing to market certification standards such as Forest Stewardship Council and Marine Stewardship Council.

Ben Gelt, Cannabis Certification Council

Ben is an entrepreneur and consultant, focused on public affairs and business development. A respected political strategist and policy expert, Ben co-founded the Organic Cannabis Association in 2015. Ben has been at the forefront of cannabis policy in Colorado since 2011, when he worked with the University of Colorado Toxicology Lab to advocate for higher standards of testing in the cannabis industry. He currently serves on the City of Denver Industry Stakeholder Group, The State of Colorado Pesticide Stakeholder Committee and is a principal with Par, LLC. In addition to his efforts in cannabis, Ben works in real estate, public affairs and general business development. Ben lives in Denver, CO.

Jacob Policzer, The Cannabis Conservancy

Jacob is the President and Co-founder of The Cannabis Conservancy, which has developed the first sustainability certification for the Cannabis industry and whose mission is to empower the industry to achieve environmental, economic, and social sustainability. Prior to TCC, Jacob has been working professionally in the fields of environmental management, agriculture, and sustainability. Previous work has included farm management, agricultural pollution research, and alternative energy adoption. In 2009, Jacob founded his first company, Urban Environmental Innovations, to focus on sustainability implementation for small businesses, mainly restaurants and breweries.

Jacob obtained a M.Sc. in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management through the Erasmus Mundus MESPOM consortium consisting of Central European University, Lund University, the University of Manchester and Aegean University. He earned his B.S. in environmental studies from Emory University and his permaculture, eco-village, and natural building design certificate from the Center of Creative Ecology in Israel.

Jacob is currently a committee member of the Denver Department of Environmental Health’s Cannabis Sustainability Work Group, NCIA’s Cultivation Committee, and ASTM D37 Standards Development Committee. Throughout his career, Jacob has strived to find innovative and pragmatic solutions to the world’s complex environmental problems and is now applying his knowledge and experience to address the environmental issues pertaining to the cannabis industry.

Doug Fisher, National Association of Cannabis Businesses

Doug is a Washington, DC based attorney with experience representing corporations and individuals in an array of settings spanning white collar criminal, regulatory, and complex commercial matters. He has deep experience with anti-money laundering laws, the Controlled Substances Act, cannabis regulation, securities laws, and corporate compliance programs. Doug is the Chief Legal Officer of the National Association of Cannabis Businesses, where he is focused on establishing compliance standards for the cannabis industry.

Moderator: Ricardo Baca, Grasslands

Ricardo Baca is a veteran journalist and thought leader in the legal cannabis space.

He is the world’s first (and “most prestigious” according to Vice) marijuana editor; founder of The Cannabist; primary subject of Rolling Papers, a documentary released theatrically in February 2016; one of Brookings Institution’s 12 Key People to Watch in Marijuana Policy; one of Fortune magazine’s 7 Most Powerful People in America’s Marijuana Industry; one of Time magazine’s 140 best Twitter feeds; one of Sensi magazine’s 24 Cannabis Pioneers Who Matter.

Ricardo is a leading cannabis legalization expert profiled by The New York Times, Poynter, The View, The Colbert Report, Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me — and a trusted source on all things marijuana (regulations, policy, implementation, normalization) by This Week With George Stephanopoulos, Buzzfeed, All Things Considered, The Guardian, Esquire, Fast Company, Al Jazeera, BBC, Mashable, International Business Times and CBC.

10:45 AM – 12:00 PM

Maximizing facility performance with innovative HVAC and irrigation systems

Silverton Room – 2nd Floor


Brandy Keen, Surna

Brandy Keen has been designing and consulting for environmental systems in indoor agricultural facilities for over ten years. In 2007, Ms. Keen co-founded Hydro Innovations where she served as its Director of Operations. At Hydro Innovations, she developed a sophisticated knowledge of the controlled environment agriculture industry and established herself as an expert in the garden and indoor climate. Currently, Ms. Keen is the Co-Founder and Senior Technical Advisor for Surna, Inc., which acquired Hydro Innovations in 2012. Surna develops innovative technologies and products that monitor, control and address the energy and resource intensive nature of indoor cannabis cultivation. Surna also provides consulting and reporting services for climate control, odor control mitigation and biosecurity. Prior to Hydro Innovations, Ms. Keen’s career includes highly technical sales, entrepreneurship, and leadership in the semiconductor and construction industries.

A trusted resource for environmental design and management, Ms. Keen has had varying levels of involvement (from consulting to full scale design) with over 700 unique grow facility designs ranging from small cultivation operations to facilities in excess of 100,000 square feet.

Ms. Keen has been interviewed by Bloomberg News, cited in numerous industry related publications and recently responded to Reddit followers via an AMA session. Her background in environmental management in cannabis cultivation is unparalleled. Her unique experience lends an understanding of all perspectives in the cultivation facility, including the cultivator, the business owner, the investor, the regulating body, and the community. In her role at Surna, she is required to guide licensed PE’s in mechanical design of facilities, teach solutions to consumers who know little about the systems they are purchasing, design systems that meet local regulations and reduce energy consumption, and improve on standard and outdated practices. Ms. Keen’s expertise recently brought her to participate in the Cannabis Sustainability Work Group through the City of Denver, as it looks to provide best practices for sustainability (including energy efficiency) in the cannabis industry. Her coverage of a worldwide market has exposed her to every conceivable cultivation practice, giving her a wealth of experience shared by few.

Keith Coursin, Desert Aire

Keith Coursin is the president of Desert Aire LLC., a Milwaukee-based manufacturer of commercial and industrial dehumidification and indoor climate control systems. In addition to his duties at Desert Aire, Coursin served in 2009 as chairman of the board of directors of the Air Conditioning, Heating, & Refrigeration Institute (AHRI). He has also served on numerous AHRI committees. Coursin participated in key indoor pool industry efforts including development of the CDC’s Model Aquatic Health Code as well as ANSI/ACCA standards detailed in HVAC Design for Swimming Pools & Spas (Manual SPS) and is an American Society of Heating, Refrigeration & Air conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) member.

Lucas Targos, urban-gro

With career experience spanning organic farming across the United States and as a Director of Cultivation for a leading organic Cannabis cultivator, Lucas Targos brings a pragmatic approach to the cultivation of commercial Cannabis.

Based out of the company’s headquarters in Lafayette, Colorado, Lucas is urban-gro’s Senior Cultivation Technologist. Lucas has over seven years of crop and cultivation management experience where he worked to implement strategic and compliant integrated pest management systems as well as develop innovative automation techniques.

Lucas’ diverse background in Cannabis and horticulture makes him an asset to the highly regulated cultivation solutions industry. His experience has provided the framework to develop successful solutions for cultivation challenges, as well as the ability to integrate more established and regulated industries’ policies into the ever-changing Cannabis landscape.

Lucas has a degree in Environmental Studies with a focus on sustainable agriculture from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado.

Moderator: Michael Thomas, Denver Water
On-Site Energy Generation: cutting-edge solutions for efficiency and resiliency

Crystal Room – 3rd Floor


Tim Hade, Scale Microgrid Solutions

Tim Hade is a co-founder and the Chief Operating Officer at Scale Microgrid Solutions, where he focuses on developing sustainable on-site power generation technology to serve North America’s growing indoor agriculture industry. Prior to joining Scale, Tim served as the Business Development Manager for ENER-G Rudox, where he oversaw development of the company’s turnkey microgrid  projects, and built the company’s performance contracting division. In 2015, Tim’s white paper “Sustainable Load Balancing: Integrating Distributed Natural Gas, Solar PV, and Energy Storage Assets” was named the 2015 Renewable Energy World Paper of the Year. Prior to joining the clean tech industry, Tim served on Active Duty as an officer in the United States Air Force. He holds a B.S. from the United States Air Force Academy, an MBA from Stanford University, and is a certified LEED AP.

Mike Ashley, MWBattery

Based in Chicago, Mike Ashley is a PhD Candidate in Chemical and Biological Engineering at Northwestern University, with plans to graduate in early 2018. He is a consultant to distributed energy resource management company Smarter Grid Solutions and a co-founder of MWBattery. There, Mike focuses on the implementation of distributed energy resources (primarily solar + battery storage) for commercial and industrial clients. Mike is a renewable energy enthusiast and is committed to the widespread adoption of affordable, reliable, and clean energy.

Jim Kelly, Cultivated Power

Jim Kelly is senior level executive with extensive international and domestic operational, finance and corporate development experience. His current company, Cultivated Power, provides ultra-efficient on-site power, HVAC, humidity control and water treatment equipment to the horticultural market. This distributed power (CHP) approach provides significant energy savings and sustainability opportunities.

Prior to Cultivated Power, Jim was the CFO of SkyFuel, a solar thermal technology company which provided very high temperature heat for power generation and Combined Heat and Power applications. He was the SVP finance and Administration and COO of ADA Carbon Solutions, a clean energy company which provided pollution control chemicals to power utilities. Jim was one of the founders of Carbon Solutions while working with ADA Environmental Solutions, an emission controls technology company to the power market.

Jim developed his early energy background working with Cooper Industries. Cooper had extensive energy related organizations ranging from power generation (and CHP) equipment, electrical power transmission and distribution equipment as well as multiple oil and gas operations. Jim held senior financial and operational positions for Cooper both in the US and Europe.

Moderator: Jacob Policzer, The Cannabis Conservancy

Jacob is the President and Co-founder of The Cannabis Conservancy, which has developed the first sustainability certification for the Cannabis industry and whose mission is to empower the industry to achieve environmental, economic, and social sustainability. Prior to TCC, Jacob has been working professionally in the fields of environmental management, agriculture, and sustainability. Previous work has included farm management, agricultural pollution research, and alternative energy adoption. In 2009, Jacob founded his first company, Urban Environmental Innovations, to focus on sustainability implementation for small businesses, mainly restaurants and breweries.

Jacob obtained a M.Sc. in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management through the Erasmus Mundus MESPOM consortium consisting of Central European University, Lund University, the University of Manchester and Aegean University. He earned his B.S. in environmental studies from Emory University and his permaculture, eco-village, and natural building design certificate from the Center of Creative Ecology in Israel.

Jacob is currently a committee member of the Denver Department of Environmental Health’s Cannabis Sustainability Work Group, NCIA’s Cultivation Committee, and ASTM D37 Standards Development Committee. Throughout his career, Jacob has strived to find innovative and pragmatic solutions to the world’s complex environmental problems and is now applying his knowledge and experience to address the environmental issues pertaining to the cannabis industry.

12:00 – 1:00 PM


Cripple Creek Ballroom – 2nd Floor

1:00 PM – 2:15 PM


Silverton Room – 2nd Floor

David Bronner, Cosmic Engagement Officer of Dr. Bronner’s

David Bronner is Available for Interview. Click here for Talking Points and Background.

David Bronner is Cosmic Engagement Officer (CEO) of Dr. Bronner’s, the top-selling brand of natural soaps in North America and producer of other organic body care and food products. He is a grandson of company founder, Emanuel Bronner, and a fifth-generation soap maker. Under David and his brother Michael’s leadership, the brand has grown from $4 million in 1998 to just under $100 million in annual revenue in 2015.

David and Michael established Dr. Bronner’s as a sustainable leader in the natural products industry by becoming one of the first body care brands to formulate with hemp seed oil in 2000 and certify its soaps, lotions, balms and other personal care products under the USDA National Organic Program in 2003.  Both actions resulted in high-profile litigation with government agencies, DEA and USDA respectively, that Dr. Bronner’s ultimately won, cementing Dr. Bronner’s issue-oriented activism in the natural products marketplace.

Today, Dr. Bronner’s coordinates or partners with certified Fair Trade projects for all major ingredients, including olive oil from Palestine and Israel, coconut oil from Sri Lanka, peppermint oil from India, and sustainable palm oil from Ghana. David pioneered the use of 100% post-consumer recycled (PCR) bottles for packaging the liquid soaps, as well as a hemp and recycled paper blend to package the brand’s bar soaps.

As the main facilitator of the Hemp Industries Association’s (HIA’s) successful multi-year litigation against the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), from 2001-2004, David played a crucial role in defending sales of hemp foods and body care products in the U.S. from prohibition. David has also been arrested for acts of civil disobedience, including for symbolically planting hemp seeds on the lawn of the DEA, and for locking himself in a steel cage in front of the White House to protest federal policies preventing farmers from growing industrial hemp in the U.S. He is an active supporter of both the HIA and Vote Hemp.

David is also a key leader in the fight to label GMO foods in the U.S., and dedicates time and resources to many other issues, such as farm animal protection, the fight for a living wage, and responsible integration of cannabis and psychedelic medicine into American and global culture (David is a board member of the Multi-Disciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies).  His activism embodies the company’s mission — which encompasses a commitment to making socially and environmentally responsible products of the highest quality, and to dedicating profits to help make a better world.

David was born in Los Angeles (Glendale), California in 1973 and earned an undergraduate degree in biology from Harvard University. He lives in Encinitas, California with his wife Kris. He is a dedicated vegan and enjoys surfing and dancing late into the night.

2:30 – 3:45 PM

Don’t Be Trashy: Waste Diversion Solutions

Silverton Room – 2nd Floor


Ren Gobris, Cannabis Regulatory Solutions

Reynold (Ren) Gobris has 35 years experience in international manufacturing, supply chain, and regulatory compliance within the security industry.   Ren has a BS in Industrial Safety Management from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, an MBA from Mercer University, and a Six Sigma Green Belt Certification from Villanova University.  

Ren is the Founder and Owner of Cannabis Regulatory Solutions, a Colorado MED and CDPHE Responsible Vendor Program Training provider.  He is also Co-Owner of Kind Redesigned, which is pioneering the use of Acidic Anaerobic (Bokashi) Fermentation for the earth-friendly disposal of cannabis and other green waste.

Ren is an industry advocate who uses innovative technologies and educational opportunities to create paradigm shifts in the way the industrialized world thinks about green wastes.

Ren has a passion for creating sustainable cannabis waste management solutions.   In pursuing his passion, he has met personally with a wide range of governmental bodies and industry practitioners.  In Colorado, some of these include the Governor’s Office of Marijuana Coordination, the MED, CDPHE, and CDA.  Ren has developed an extensive cannabis industry network.  He has met with county and city leaders in Boulder, Denver, and elsewhere on the Front Range.   For the creation of more sustainable cannabis waste management solutions outside of Colorado, Ren has met with other state and international cannabis practitioners.  Among these are various organizations within Canada and Canada’s Cannabis Legalization and Regulation Secretariat.

In recent months, Ren has proposed seven new MED rule changes.  If adopted, three of these would directly impact the guidelines for marijuana waste disposal within the State of Colorado.  And through his work in Canada, Ren is working toward having Bokashi Fermentation written into the laws as a federally approved marijuana waste management solution.

Grant Parsons, Alpine Waste

Grant is the sales manager at Alpine Waste & Recycling.  Grant began his career at Alpine in 2006 as a territory sales representative, becoming a Major Account Executive in 2007, Sales Supervisor in 2009, and finally Sales Manager in 2012.  In the five years that Grant has managed Alpine’s sales effort, the company has experienced growth in excess of 130%. Founded in 1999, Alpine is the largest independent waste and recycling company in Colorado.  Alpine enjoys annual revenues over $50MM, and employs approximately 275 people.  Alpine is the leader in sustainability initiatives in the waste and recycling industry in Colorado, offering the widest breadth of accepted items in its Altogether Recycling program.  Additionally, Alpine is the only waste and recycling company in the Metro area to collect and process organic materials.      

Laurie Johnson, Colorado Association for Recycling

Laurie Johnson is currently the executive director for the Colorado Association for Recycling (CAFR).  CAFR is a statewide organization working to advance the recovery of marketable materials in Colorado.  Prior to this position, Laurie served as the VP, Client Services for Recyclebank, and education and incentive company, working with over 150 cities and counties across the U.S. to advance recycling.  Laurie has also been a small business owner running a retail product distributorship for eight years in Phoenix, Arizona and a regional operations executive for 10 years with the YMCA’s of Los Angeles.  


Laurie holds a bachelor’s degree in Urban Affairs from California State University Northridge and an MBA in Sustainability from Antioch University. Laurie has worked on multiple food waste and composting projects and completed a commercial composter certificate with the US Composting Council.  Laurie’s diverse background coupled with her formal education helps her in assisting private business owners find the relevance of recycling and materials management in their profit and loss statements as well as their product and service delivery value chains.  

Moderator: Amy Tancig-Andrle, L'Eagle Services

Amy Andrle is one half of L’Eagle Services, an all-natural and sustainable recreational dispensary and cultivation facility specializing in clean cannabis based in Denver, Colorado. Along with the efforts of her husband John, Amy has positioned L’Eagle as one of Colorado’s most respected and highly lauded cannabis dispensaries, leading the industry by championing organic cultivation methods, responsible pesticide use, sustainable business practices, and strict industry compliance. Established in 2010, L’Eagle has positioned itself as a premier establishment that prides itself on offering the cleanest product while also investing the time to educate consumers-both novices and connoisseurs-on the intricacies of the cannabis plant and its derivatives. L’Eagle is the first–and currently only–cannabis dispensary to earn recognition as a Certified Green Business from the City and County of Denver Department of Environmental Health.

Prior to working in the cannabis industry, Amy–who holds a graduate degree in nonprofit management–was an executive at a cultural art organization, where she gained an appreciation of cooperative compliance and collaboration. Successful business partnerships were paramount then, and these tenets continue to carry over into her marijuana career.

Today, in addition to being a mother and running day-to-day operations for L’Eagle, Amy actively participates in outreach by contributing her time serving on the City of Denver’s Cannabis Sustainability Work Group, and as a founding board member of the Cannabis Certification Council. She also provides consulting services for legal marijuana companies looking to improve sustainability in their operations.

Sustainable Packaging: Creating brand alignment and reducing downstream waste

Crystal Room – 3rd Floor


Chloe Grossman, Council on Responsible Cannabis Regulation

Chloe Grossman is a Policy Specialist at Vicente Sederberg and is also Deputy Director of VS Strategies, a government affairs sister company of Vicente Sederberg. She also serves as the founding Deputy Director of the Council on Responsible Cannabis Regulation, a cannabis policy and advocacy non-profit organization. Chloe is a member of the Minority Cannabis Business Association’s Policy Committee and is the Research Director for the National Cannabis Industry Association’s federal Policy Council. Since joining VS Strategies and CRCR in 2015, Chloe has advised local, state, and national government officials and developed policy solutions for public and private sector entities. She previously consulted on cannabis business licensing applications and tracked state-level cannabis policy for Denver Relief Consulting after obtaining a master’s
degree in sociology from the University of California at Davis. While in graduate school, Chloe specialized in cannabis policy, race and ethnic relations, and quantitative analysis, served as President of Students for Sensible Drug Policy at UC Davis, and served as cannabis policy intern under Dr. Amanda Reiman at the Drug Policy Alliance in San Francisco. She also interned for the Drug Policy Alliance in Colorado after graduating from the University of Denver in 2011 with a dual degree in sociology and psychology.

Ronjit Basak-Smith, Sana Packaging

Ron Basak-Smith ​is a 2017 MBA graduate from the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado Boulder. Ron’s focus and areas of study are in Entrepreneurship, Finance, and Sustainability.

Before pursuing his MBA, Ron was a manger of a liquor store in Vail Colorado where he help implement a sustainability program reducing both waste and energy use. While Completing his MBA Ron worked at EnergySmart Colorado, helping reduce home energy cost and improving efficiency.

Ron combines his undergraduate degree in Sociology from Ithaca College and the skillset of his MBA to impact the way business is done and be an agent for positive social change. Ron’s passion for the environment comes from many years spent in the outdoors as avid skier and mountain biker.

Barbara Diner, Higher Standards Packaging
Moderator: Andrew Livingston, Vicente Sederberg LLC

Andrew Livingston serves as Director of Economics and Research for Vicente Sederberg LLC. He first worked alongside the Vicente Sederberg team in 2012 during Colorado’s Amendment 64 campaign, which legalized marijuana for adults. Before starting a career in cannabis market and policy analysis, he focused his studies at Colgate University on the economics of illegal drugs and the harms they create for societies around the world. Andrew is often asked to speak at business and legal seminars around the country and internationally on the intersection of market dynamics and cannabis policy. At Vicente Sederberg, Andrew provides analysis on legal and regulatory matters as well as economic market projections for adult-use and medical marijuana laws in Colorado and around the world.

4:00 – 5:15 PM

General Session: Lighting and energy management

Silverton Room – 2nd Floor


Shelly Peterson, urban-gro

Serving as the Vice President of Lighting Technologies for the last four years, Shelly manages the company’s sales force located across the country. Her passion for eco-friendly solutions and creating a sustainable environment ensures that the commercial cultivator is provided with a lighting plan that utilizes the least amount of equipment. Further, her skills learned in the commercial lighting industry have enabled her to work with regional electrical providers to maximize available utility rebates for urban-gro’s customers.

Shelly holds a Bachelor Degree in Finance and currently resides in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Brian Bennett, Thrive Agritech

Brian is the founder and CEO of Thrive Agritech and has held various senior design and management positions in the LED lighting industry ranging from venture-backed start-ups to Fortune Global 500 companies. As Director of Technology for UK based Illumis Lights, Brian oversaw the global design, development and manufacturing of advanced LED lighting fixtures. As Director of Engineering for the LED lighting division of Toyota Tsusho America, he helped design and develop LED lighting products for industrial, commercial and residential applications. He’s also held the roles of Applications Engineer at the LED packaging company Luminus Devices and Product Manager for the LED retrofit bulb division of Philips Lighting.

He’s a graduate of the University of Rochester, holding a BSc in Optical Engineering, and is certified by the National Council of Qualifications for Lighting Professionals.

Bob Gunn, Seinergy

Bob Gunn is a numbers guy focused on reducing the energy impacts of commercially grown cannabis across North America. He is a grow lamp rebate expert who makes energy rebates easy for growers.  His company, Seinergy LLC, finances grow lights for no cost to growers.

Bob founded Seinergy in 2013, combining rebate expertise with finance, and now works almost exclusively with growers. Bob has an MBA from the Bainbridge Graduate Institute (now Presidio), a BA from Colorado College, and is a Certified Energy Manager and lover of Excel.

Ean Seeb, Denver Relief Consulting

Ean Seeb is a 3rd generation Denver native, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He is athe co-founder of Denver Relief Consulting and Denver Relief; a nationally recognized boutique cannabis consulting firm and one of Colorado’s former most successful cannabis operations, respectively. In July of 2016, Denver Relief successfully sold their dispensary store to Terrapin Care Station and their cultivation and processing facilities to Willie Nelson’s cannabis brand, Willie’s Reserve. Denver Relief Consulting has consistently won operator’s licenses with and for their clients in over a dozen states.

Ean specializes in strategic relationship building and brand development. He is a trusted advisor for establishing a professional network, maintaining public relations, and managing business opportunities for direct-to-plant and ancillary cannabis companies. Ean sits on the Marijuana Education Oversight Committee under appointment by Colorado’s Governor Hickenlooper, as well as marijuana industry rule making committees under appointment by Colorado’s Executive Director of The Department of Revenue. He also served multiple terms as Chair and Vice-Chair of the only national trade association for the cannabis industry, the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA), and remains an active board member and Policy Council member today.

Ean has overseen and been involved with several successful exits and mergers from companies including the film “Rolling Papers,” Whaxy, MassRoots, and Denver Relief. He has proven valuable as an advisor or board member for over a dozen cannabis companies by creating opportunities to establish a presence in the industry for young ancillary businesses while helping existing businesses improve their branding, public relations, and partnerships. He is currently on the Board of Directors for MassRoots (OTC: MSRT), Dymapak, Manna Molecular Science, and Lighthouse Strategies. Ean has experience working with cannabis technologies including transdermal applications, dosable cannabis concentrates, automated product infusion, Self-Regulatory Organizations, child resistant packaging and labeling, and more. He has testified on behalf of the industry at the local and state level, and has had numerous high-level meetings with federal legislators on topics such as federal banking and tax code reform for state-legal cannabis operations.

In addition to all his work with cannabis, Ean is also very active in his community. He is the founder of the Denver Relief GREEN TEAM, a community based volunteer organization that has committed thousands of hours to community programs including urban farming, feeding homeless youth, naloxone training, free bicycle and wheelchair repair clinics, and more. Ean is the 2012 recipient of the Ruth and Warren Toltz Young Leadership Award from Jewish Colorado. He has been on the Anti-Defamation League Board of Directors for eight years, and sits on the Board of the Rocky Mountain Jewish Historical Society where he was the recipient of the 2016 Young Voices Leadership Award. Ean is also a graduate of the Wexner Heritage Program, a graduate level Jewish education and leadership program. When not working, Ean can be found skiing, attending concerts or an airplane exploring the corners of the world.

5:30 – 7:00 PM

Happy Hour Reception

4th Floor Atrium

Join attendees and panelists in the Atrium for hors d’oeuvres, further discussion and networking.

Wednesday, October 18

8:00 – 8:45 AM

Coffee Hour

2nd Floor

Meet our sponsors.

8:45 – 9:00 AM

Day 2 Welcome

Silverton Room- 2nd Floor

Ashley Kilroy, Executive Director, Dept. of Excise and Licenses, City and County of Denver

After serving for nearly three years as the Executive Director of Marijuana Policy in Denver, Ashley Kilroy was promoted in October 2016 by Mayor Michael B. Hancock to lead the city’s Department of Excise and Licenses.

Excise and Licenses is the central business-licensing department for the City and County of Denver and includes the Office of Marijuana Policy. The department manages licensing for a broad range of businesses, including liquor stores, bars and restaurants, and marijuana stores and cultivation facilities.

In this position, Kilroy maintains responsibility for the administration and implementation of marijuana policy for Denver. She coordinates the marijuana-related work of various city departments, commissions, boards, officers, agencies and employees, and serves as Denver’s liaison to local, state and federal elected officials, agencies, and other partners on marijuana issues.

Kilroy and her team have developed a collaborative approach to marijuana management, facilitating engagement and coordinating the work of hundreds of city employees who are committed to the city’s successful implementation of a legal marijuana. Her work has helped position Denver at the forefront of cannabis regulation, enforcement and education worldwide, and the city continues to lead and innovate as the industry and its regulations evolve.

9:00 – 10:15 AM

Corporate Social Responsibility

Silverton Room – 2nd Floor


Liz Swanson, Best for Colorado
Dr. Elizabeth Bennett, Lewis & Clark College and Colorado State University

Dr. Elizabeth A. Bennett is an Assistant Professor of International Affairs and the Director of the Political Economy Program at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. She researches, writes, teaches, and consults about fair trade, ethical supply chains, and sustainability certifications. Her work focuses on the importance of bottom up social change, inclusive governance structures, and empowering workers. She is passionate about making cannabis America’s first agricultural sector to focus on human rights and the environment. Elizabeth’s recent books include The Handbook of Research on Fair Trade (2015) and The Civic Imagination: Making a Difference in American Political Life (2014). Her academic scholarship is published in the American Journal of Sociology, World Development, Agriculture and Human Values, the Social Enterprise Journal, and Globalizations, as well as several edited volumes. She holds a PhD in Political Science from Brown University (2014) and MA in International Political Economy of Development from The Fletcher School at Tufts University (2008). More information and publications are available at .

Laura Rivero, Yerba Buena

Laura Rivero is the Operations Manager at Yerba Buena in Portland, Oregon, among the first recreationally licensed farms in Oregon. She serves as Vice Chair on the Board of the Cannabis Certification Council, a non-profit dedicated to establishing standards for organically produced cannabis using fair labor practices.

Laura graduated Summa Cum Laude from Northern Arizona University with a degree in Environmental Science focusing on Sustainable Communities. With over 20 years of experience working with cannabis across several states, with 8 years of experience in strict seed-to-sale environments, she has designed and implemented various successful business models from dispensaries to cultivation focused around environmental stewardship, organic growing practices, creating a nurturing and empowering work environment with exemplary labor practices, and contributing to the local community.

Yerba Buena was among the first eight recreational licenses to be awarded in Oregon, and was the first cannabis company to receive the 100 Best Green Companies award by Oregon Business Magazine, placing 9th in the state, just one of many accomplishments that reflect her commitment to sustainability and setting standards for best practices. In addition, Yerba Buena has been voted Best Indoor Grow by the Dope Industry Awards, Best CBD Strain by the Cultivation Classic, Best Cannabis Farm in the Best of Portland by Willamette Week, and continues to receive recognition as a leader in all aspects of stewardship, cultivation, and business practices.

Moderator: Marc Ross, Needle Consultants, LLC

Marc Ross is the Chief Instigator at Needle Consultants, LLC, a Corporate Social Responsibility consultancy that helps businesses move the needle with their employee engagement, community engagement, corporate philanthropy, and sustainability. Marc was the founder and Executive Director of the national environmental advocacy organization, Rock the Earth. Prior to that, Marc was an in-house environmental attorney at Alcoa Inc., serving as the company’s primary water counsel as well as counsel on a variety of national and international environmental compliance, permitting and remediation issues. Marc also held positions at the law firm of Reed Smith (Pittsburgh, PA) and at the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (Southcentral Region). Marc received his B.A. from the Pennsylvania State University, his J.D. from the Dickinson School of Law, and was most recently certified in Corporate Social Responsibility by the Leeds School of Business at University of Colorado Boulder. A frequent speaker and panelist on the intersection of music, sustainability and activism, Mr. Ross has curated and led discussions and panels at the South By Southwest Music Conference, the National Conference for Media Reform, Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, Summer Camp Music Festival, the Echo Project Festival and many more.

10:30 – 11:45 AM

Keep it Clean: Integrated Pest Management and Testing

Silverton Room – 2nd Floor


Seth Wong, TEQ Analytical Labs

With 15 years of experience running analytical labs, Seth serves as President of TEQ Analytical Labs in Aurora, which offers accurate and reliable scientific data to help growers and manufacturers provide safe and reliable marijuana products to the public in accordance with State laws and regulations. Seth has extensive experience in practical application of wet production laboratory management.

Scott Hansen, Agricor Laboratories

Scott has spent his entire career focused on quality from working in quality control laboratories, to developing products by employing quality-by-design principles, to building quality systems for manufacturing from the ground up. As the Director of Quality Assurance at Agricor Laboratories, a state certified and ISO accredited cannabis testing laboratory, Scott continues to drive quality initiatives by working to impart upon the cannabis industry the value of quality he has learned in his two decades in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. Scott also recognizes the value of cannabis to patients seeking relief from conditions where other therapies have failed. This is why he works tirelessly to drive the regulators and the cannabis industry to improve quality standards and treat their processes and products like medicine.

John Scott, Colorado Department of Agriculture

John Scott has been with the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) since January 2000 and is currently the Pesticide Section Chief with the CDA.  His responsibilities include legislative and Rule development for the pesticide registration, pesticide applicator certification and licensure and enforcement programs; as well as policy development, grants, reporting and budgets for the Pesticides Program.

Dan Banks, Next Generation IPM

As Founder of Next Generation IPM, Dan is a horticultural scientist with expertise in cannabis agriculture and integrated pest management. Daniel couples years of industry experience with a robust education in Horticulture and Entomology, and a lifelong passion for Cannabis to apply a unique skillset to Cannabis pest management.

Moderator: Meg Collins, Good Chemistry

Meg Collins is Vice President of Public Affairs for Good Chemistry, one of Colorado’s leading cannabis companies. Meg has more than 30 years’ experience in leading lobbying, public affairs, public relations and strategic communications efforts on behalf of energy, environmental and agriculture clients at the federal and state levels. She is known for her ability to navigate complex regulatory and legislative proposals to achieve sound policies and interact politically at all levels of government.

Prior to joining Good Chemistry, Collins was Executive Director of the Cannabis Business Alliance, President of the Colorado Oil & Gas Association (COGA), and Director of Environmental Affairs for the Colorado Livestock Association.

Collins served on the state’s Pollution Prevention Advisory Board (PPAB) from 2002 until 2012, serving as Board Chair from 2004 through 2008. She was a founding member of Colorado’s Women in Energy organization and serves on the Board of the Humane Society of Boulder Valley. In 2015, Collins was a finalist for the Denver Business Journal’s “Outstanding Women in Business” award.

Collins graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder with a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Conservation. She successfully completed CDR Boulder’s training and certification in “Facilitation & Mediation of Public and Environmental Conflicts”.

Let the Sun Shine: Greenhouse design and operations

Crystal Room – 3rd Floor


Paul Golden, Nexus Greenhouse Systems

Paul Golden is an engineer for Nexus Greenhouse Systems focused on the cannabis industry. His knowledge spans energy use in greenhouses, the physics of greenhouse climate control, and intensive agricultural practices used in integrated greenhouse systems today. He has been working within the greenhouse industry since a young age starting with Petities Greenhouses while in high school and as a college undergrad. He has a B.S. in Applied Physics and went on to receive his M.S. in Environmental Engineering from Stanford University in 2009.

During this time, he taught water chemistry and discovered his interest in commercial hydroponic greenhouses. He founded the Center for Sustainable Aquaponics, a research and consulting group. He was a greenhouse and aquaculture farm manager for six years before joining Nexus Greenhouse Systems where he currently designs commercial cannabis and vegetable greenhouses with a focus on production optimization. 

Nick Earls, Wadsworth Control Systems

Nick Earls is the cannabis specialist for Wadsworth Control Systems, Inc. His role includes product design, technical customer support and sales. His comprehensive understanding of meeting crop requirements in a controlled environment began with his studies under Dr. Gene Giacomelli at the University of Arizona. While completing a bachelor’s degree in Controlled Environment Agriculture at the university, Nick managed the hydroponic vegetable production greenhouse.

After graduating, he moved to Colorado to gain experience in the cannabis industry, and, in 2013, he joined Denver Relief, where he worked alongside Nick Hice. While there, he managed the indoor cultivation facility and worked with the consulting department, establishing standard operating procedures for grows. He implemented the SOPs by visiting new grows and reviewing the facility flow and cultivation design prior to crop placement. 

After several years with Denver Relief, an opportunity to serve as head grower for a cannabis greenhouse in Pueblo, Colorado, presented an avenue for more autonomy and a venue to use the skills and knowledge from his cultivation design and indoor grow experience in a greenhouse application.

This time as a commercial grower combined with his academic background made Nick’s knowledge and experience a great fit for supporting growers in the cannabis industry and developing features in the new Seed® climate control at Wadsworth Control Systems.

Mike Sacomano, Forever Flowering Greenhouses
Moderator: Nick Hice, Denver Relief Consulting

Nick Hice is co-founder of Denver Relief Consulting and Cresco Labs, and the former Cultivation Director and co-owner of Denver Relief—Colorado’s oldest vertically integrated Cannabis operation prior to the sale of its licenses to country music legend Willie Nelson and Terrapin Care Station. He is an expert in cannabis cultivation facility design, facility operations management, plant care, and integrated pest management. He specializes in stabilizing a range of controlled growing environments, minimizing and preventing pest or pathogen damage, implementing comprehensive nutrient monitoring systems, and maintaining regulatory compliance. Nick is a member of the Cannabis Sustainability Work Group via Denver Environmental Health, the Technical Advisory Committee via the Resource Innovations Institute, and the Cultivation Committee of the National Cannabis Industry Association. His work with these groups helps establish sustainable standards and industry best practices.

Nick Hice has been involved in cultivation and agriculture for 31 years; 19 of which took place under an array of artificial lightings using soil, soilless, and hydroponic techniques. He boasts a record of consistently yielding high quality cannabis that has won first, second, and third place prizes at The Hemp Connoisseur Championship, the Medical Marijuana Harvest Cup, and the High Times Colorado Cannabis Cup. His operational knowledge and growing expertise have become highly sought after, currently helping to implement cultivation operations across North America; Including grows in cold, dry Alaska and hot, humid Puerto Rico. Paired with his ability to field questions and communicate clearly to clients, Nick is a trustworthy advisor at every stage of cultivation development, from floor planning to first harvest. He balances guidance on cultivation system technology and resource sustainability with hyper-compliance toward local regulations and internal best practices.

Optional afternoon tours (must purchase in advance)