We’re pleased to introduce you to our contributors

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November 19, 2015

Within the pages of this issue, you will find insights, tips, words of wisdom and even personal tales from some of the brightest minds in the industry and some of the best journalists around. We're pleased to introduce you to our contributors.

Leif B. Abel resides in Kasilof, Alaska, with his wife, two children and extended family. The Abels operate a family farm and construction company on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. He is co-founder of Greatland Ganja, LLC, a family-owned cannabis company that will be applying for a recreational license, under Ballot Measure 2. Abel is a licensed medical grower and a second-generation cannabis cultivator. He serves as executive director of the Coalition for Responsible Cannabis Legislation, is a founding board member of the Alaska Marijuana Industry Association and serves as Chair of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Marijuana Task Force.

Hezekiah D. Allen was raised off the grid in Humboldt County. He studied politics and government, including studying abroad in Jordan, India and China. He has more than a decade of experience as a successful commercial cannabis grower, has worked in watershed restoration, and with local government and natural resource agencies. In 2014, he focused on cannabis policy full time. He works as the executive director of the California Growers Association, a leading voice for California’s cannabis farms and businesses.

Kerrie and Kurt Badertscher are co-owners of Otoké Horticulture, LLC, and authors of “Cannabis for Capitalists.” They have worked with large-scale cannabis producers for more than 5 years. Kerrie has been involved with plants her entire lifetime and was certified as a Professional Horticulturist by the 100-year-old American Society for Horticulture Sciences. Kurt brings his 34 years of corporate experience and operations management skills to bear on the business challenges of cannabis cultivation.

Alison McConnell is an upstate New York-based writer and frequent Cannabis Business Times contributor. In her 11-year career as a journalist, McConnell has covered topics ranging from food to financial markets. Her work has appeared in newspapers and magazines, as well as on the radio and online.

Dan McQuade is a writer for Philadelphia magazine. His work has also appeared in New York magazine, The Guardian, Vanity Fair, Playboy and other publications.

Kenneth Morrow is an author and writer who has been covering cannabis-related subjects for more than 20 years. He is the owner of Trichome Technologies, a cannabis research and development company. Morrow also is an award-winning grower and breeder. Has made contributions to many of today's extraction methodologies, and he holds multiple patents in the field. He currently specializes in product formulation and consults on all cannabis-related subjects.

Jennifer DeFalco and Olivia Mannix. Jennifer DeFalco (left) is the co-founder and executive creative director at Cannabrand, a full service marketing agency dedicated to the cannabis industry. She plays an integral role in shaping cannabis brands, from spearheading the art direction and strategy behind rebrands, to launching fully integrated advertising campaigns. Olivia Mannix is the co-founder and CMO of Cannabrand. She was recently nominated as a top 50 Public Relations Innovators for PRWeek in 2015. Mannix has been an essential part of rebranding the cannabis industry and aiding Cannabrand's clients with branding and communication to further mainstream cannabis acceptance.

Nic Easley is the founder and CEO of Comprehensive Cannabis Consulting (3C). A decorated veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Easley established a 35-acre organic farm in Colorado after completing his military service. Through formal studies—including degrees in biology and environmental studies—and real-world experience cultivating medical and adult-use cannabis, hemp and other crops, he has developed science- and systems-based cultivation strategies that are fully organic, cost-effective, and result in high yields of top-quality cannabis and industrial hemp. Over the past eight years, Easley has consulted with more than 60 clients in Colorado. He formed 3C to bring organic, sustainable cultivation solutions to the world.

Kathleen Hokanson is an energy-industry veteran who believes that “saving energy saves life.” President and co-founder of koan energy consultants since 2013. She previously worked throughout North America as business development manager of LED Lighting for Philips Electronics N.A. Hokanson also worked as vice president of business development for Coleman Hines, an energy management consultant firm servicing Fortune 100 companies throughout United States and Canadian markets, and as Target’s National Energy Manager, overseeing procurement and demand side reduction strategies of the asset portfolio.

Adam Koh is the chief cultivation officer for Comprehensive Cannabis Consulting (3C). Previously, he served as cultivation manager of a Denver-area medical cannabis facility that was awarded the High Times Cannabis Cup for Best Medical Hybrid in Denver in 2014. Koh has experience cultivating more than 100 different strains, including numerous high-CBD varieties, and in his previous position oversaw the care of roughly 3,000 plants at any one time. In his past life, he served as an adjunct professor while pursuing a Ph.D., during which time he gained valuable teaching experience that he now employs to educate cultivators seeking to grow high-quality organic cannabis.

Steven Nelson covers legal affairs and drug policy for U.S. News & World Report. He lives in Washington, D.C., where a green thumb would be useful.

Emily Paxhia is a founding partner and director of relations for Poseidon Asset Management, a cannabis-focused hedge fund. She spends her time analyzing cannabis companies and building relationships with entrepreneurs and investors. She has 10-plus years of experience working as a brand consultant and researcher, including consulting on the re-branding of the Independent Film Channel to increase viewership and revenue, and to develop Emmy-nominated programming. Her clients have included McKinsey, Time Warner, Viacom, HBO, Participant Media, Comcast and American Express.

Jim Sturdivant is a writer, journalist and marketer. He has written for and edited newspapers, trade magazines and research papers, and is currently a content marketer for a web design firm.

Wil Wicke is the marketing and sales director for koan energy consultants. He creates strategic energy plans optimizing energy products and services for legalized marijuana cultivators who own, manage and lease existing and new buildings. Prior to koan, Wicke spent 16 years as a marketing consultant for Wells Fargo. He holds a B.A. with a double major in international relations and political science from Cornell College. Wicke resides in West Hollywood, Calif.