Experience. Expertise. Passion.
The list of speakers for the National Cannabis Conference 2018 is being finalized. Check back for updates as we introduce the experts in all things cannabis.
If you would like to share your experience and expertise with our attendees, Contact Us about becoming a speaker.
Mayor Lisa Helps
Lisa Helps became the 52nd Mayor of Victoria when she was elected on November 15, 2014, and was sworn into office on December 4, 2014. Prior to being elected as Mayor, she served as a Victoria City Councillor for one term, from 2011 to 2014.
Mayor Helps believes that it is her job as Mayor of Victoria to employ business sensibilities and community values to lead an organization that serves all of its citizens. With a transparent and common sense approach to decision-making, Mayor Helps has championed both citizen-led and local-business-led initiatives in a variety of areas. She is leading a transformation at City Hall in order to foster a more innovative, proactive and responsive culture to meet and exceed the needs of residents and the business community.
In a new and rapidly expanding industry, James Whitehead brings a new perspective and vision to the cannabis industry. His background is in people, and promotion. This unique skill set, and ability to understand the needs and wants of people, paired with his passion of cannabis led to the vision of Medijuana. Medijuana came from humble beginnings, opening a single location in Victoria, B.C. It soon evolved, not only into multiple locations, but into a wider variety of products and tools that were developed for the industry.
The Ethos of his creation “empowering informed decisions about cannabis consumption to bring the best product and experience to all” is a testament to his goals inside of the cannabis industry. With his now years experience running a successful dispensary, on top of developing new products, he has faced many challenges in spreading the word to the public in an informed and positive way. Despite the challenges, James has found new and exciting ways to reach his target demographics in the most meaningful ways. He has set himself apart as a media and retail franchising leader in this industry: Utilizing public media, online presence, and a strong local presence has led to many wins, and has given others in the industry inspiration and strategy to navigate the changing landscape of the cannabis industry.
As a former partner with a major inter-provincial law firm, Kim has been involved in many large and small business and financing transactions including large real estate development projects. In the course of these dealings Kim has worked closely with other lawyers, accountants and professional advisors across Canada on a range of projects in providing a range of legal services including contract drafting, tax and securities. Kim acts as director and is founding shareholder of several private companies and acts as director of one public company. Kim was called to the Saskatchewan Bar in 1982 and to the B.C. Bar in 1984. Kim resides in Oak Bay with his family, enjoys running, exercising at PISE and is an active member of St. Patrick’s Parish.
Ed’s first degree was in Tropical Environmental Science with a major in Plant Biology. He has since earned a Masters of International Business and an MBA. Along with Frank Dunlop, a leading expert in LED technologies, and another partner he founded Dunlop Technologies Inc (DTI), based in Ladysmith, BC. DTI has developed two LED horticultural grow light products to date. The first is a specialized fixture using proprietary implementation of specific LEDs and superior components targeting what is considered optimum photosynthesis light spectrum. The result is unmatched durability, and energy efficiency in light output for energy use. The second is an energy efficient broad spectrum LED light matching traditional HPS output and intensity.
Chris Bjorkland is a serial entrepreneur with 15 years of product marketing experience working for top brands building global multi-million dollar sales & marketing programs. He has over 7 years advertising agency experience across North America, Europe and Australia helping companies across many industries such as retail and media develop profitable product marketing campaigns. Today he is the founder and CEO of Paracanna Inc with head office in Victoria BC.
Linda Smith is the President of Smithcom and has worked in public relations in Canada for the last 30 years consulting to many of Canada’s best-known companies. In 2010, she founded Smithcom, a leading reputation management firm, to provide personalized services to clients with business issues and opportunities. Her early career was with Broadcast News/Canadian Press in Toronto covering provincial and national affairs. Linda then moved to Hill and Knowlton in its early years in Canada where she worked for 11 years, creating and managing both the Canadian Health Care and Consumer Practices. Linda then founded the Canadian operations of Fleishman-Hillard and for 17 years grew the highest-ranked global public relations firm from a start-up to more than 200 consultants. Linda also sat on the Global Executive Committee of the U.S.-based firm. Linda has extensive expertise in corporate affairs, issues management and crisis communications. She has worked for Maple Leaf Foods as an external consultant for 25 years and was a key communications advisor and spokesperson during the listeriosis crisis, which claimed 23 lives. Linda has counseled numerous other clients on crisis situations in a range of industries, including pharmaceutical, food and beverage, natural resources and agriculture. Smithcom’s cannabis experience includes communications support for producers, new stock exchange listings and a cannabis ETF.
Steve Bokor CFA is a licensed portfolio manager and investment advisor at PI Financial Corp, one of Western Canada’s largest independent financial dealers. Steve has over 30 years of experience dealing with individual, corporate and institutional clients. Through his career he has spent time as a licensed trader and analyst which has helped him build a foundation upon which he uses his expertise to analyze a broad range of industry sectors. Steve will be able to provide a frank overview of the potential rewards and pitfalls of investing in the marijuana space.
Danielle Jackson (Miz D)
Danielle Jackson (more commonly known as Miz D) is one of the most recognizable individuals in the Canadian cannabis industry and community. Self-employed as a Cannatherapy Consultant for baby boomers and seniors since 2004, she helps both new and experienced consumers learn to maximize the therapeutic benefits of cannabis. Miz D is involved in a variety of cannacentric businesses and organizations, as well as CEO of her family’s company Dvibz, whose primary focus is luxury cannatourism. A cannabis enthusiast for more than 4 decades, Miz D is an inspiring thought leader and innovator, cannabis culture’s very own ‘Doprah’!
Sapha Habibi is currently working towards a bachelor degree in social work at Vancouver Island University, he operates a sustainable cannabis farming facility, sponsors and mentors recovering addicts, while offering free consultations and cannabis products to those in his local community of Nanaimo, BC. His vision is to use revenue created by Theraveda cannabis products towards housing first projects, a holistic recovery program, and improved treatment options for those suffering from addiction.
Through his own personal journey in recovery from addiction, mental illness and debilitating pain conditions, Sapha Habibi has been integrating cannabis, holistic wellness and indigenous healing practices from around the world into his life for many years. Recognizing an urgent need for organic/ chemical free cannabis products; Sapha began working on cannabis cultivation and developing organic products that could be used safely and effectively to treat his pain and improve his overall health. Sapha began to share his products freely with as many people as possible so that those who could not afford retail cannabis products could use his creations to reduce their pain and suffering.
Amidst Sapha’s spiritual awakening and self-realization through plant medicine, ayurveda, psychedelic therapy, and the application of the spiritual principals of recovery – his deepened understanding of compassion and love fuelled the vision of THERAVEDA and the Ayurveda inspired cannabis products that would “integrate modern cannabis therapeutics with Ayurveda inspired healing modalities”. Sapha also sees great value and potential in treating addiction and mental illness holistically with cannabis medications that are safe, non-addictive, and have fewer negative side effects than current conventional western medications being utilized at this time.
Recognizing the substantial revenue created by cannabis legalization, Sapha Habibi & co-founder Brett Johnson of THERAVEDA see a great need for proceeds of the cannabis industry to be directed towards social programs including housing first projects, addiction recovery, and poverty related issues Canada is faced with; Theraveda will be donating portions of proceeds from all product sales towards social projects and is encouraging other corporations and cannabis companies to use the opportunity presented by legalization to do so as well. Theraveda organic cannabis products strives “to set the industry standard of quality assurance, compassion, love, and holistic wellness while supporting social projects that strengthen our nations communities”.
I was about to apply to Business School at UVIC, when my mother-in law suggested we open a cannabis dispensary together. Being more of a “roads scholar” than a Rhodes scholar type, I jumped at the invitation. I have been an owner and CEO of the Cowichan Valley Access Centre Ltd in Duncan since 2015 and witnessed the very positive growth of the medicinal cannabis industry. I have learned through firsthand experience about the life changing effects of cannabis as medicine: my life is full of grateful people we help on a daily basis with debilitating ailments such as cerebral palsy, severe depression, epilepsy and cancer. I am so happy to watch Canada grow as we reach the final stages of legalization, and I hope to be a contributing part in the future of the Canadian cannabis industry.
Sarah Leamon is a criminal defence lawyer practicing in British Columbia and Alberta. Sarah is highly knowledgeable in both criminal and administrative law. Sarah is an Associate lawyer at Acumen Law Corporation. Although her practice focuses on impaired driving, she accepts a wide range of cases, ranging from assault and shoplifting to driving prohibitions and provincial violation tickets. Sarah has particular knowledge of impaired driving and 90-day Immediate Roadside Prohibition scheme.
Justin has been an innovator in the agriculture and cannabis industry for nearly two decades. His passion and strong understanding of Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Geology and Robotics has allowed him to accelerate in the horticulture field and produce unprecedented cannabis products.
Justin is the founder and inventor of Think Tank Automation Ltd., which specializes in the fabrication of automated nutrient formulation systems for the craft-cannabis industry.
He developed a system that prepares batch nutrient formulas using an algorithm, that he created, which pre-determines how much acid or base to add to a solution in order to achieve desired pH levels within minutes. The batches are then delivered to the desired zone based on soil moisture sensor data. The Think Tank Machine is an asset to any company that wants to produce the highest yields and floral profiles, while saving time and money in utilizing automation technology.
Justin has a vast knowledge of growing and breeding craft-cannabis. Using ethical growing practices (pesticide and carcinogen free), as well as proprietary techniques, he prides himself in creating the world’s best flavor and scent profiles that the plants have to offer.
Tyler Kempf has been a Master Electrician for 17 years and a cannabis grower for 3 years. A year ago he started “Ultimate Grow” with his business partner. He has decided to share his growing tips and tricks through weekly grow videos showcasing his complete plug and play grow tents. His hopes are to educate people to be able to grow their own Cannabis and Vegetables for a fraction of the cost.