The hemp community has seen a surge of growth since the signing of the U.S. Farm Bill in December of 2018. Currently hemp leaders... Ten Hemp Leaders to Meet at #CannaBizSummit

The hemp community has seen a surge of growth since the signing of the U.S. Farm Bill in December of 2018. Currently hemp leaders and entrepreneurs are laying the groundwork for the future of hemp. They’re building industry supply chains, educating newcomers to the hemp industry, or leveraging their relationships to secure reasonable access to banking, crop insurance and social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn. Make sure you don’t miss meeting these prominent industry leaders creating the future of hemp at this year’s 6th Annual Cannabis Business Summit & Expo.

1. Steven Turetsky
Managing Director, SHI Farms
Speaker: NCIA’s Hemp Business Conference “Hemp Cultivation, Lessons Learned from 3 Years of Farming in Two Different Climates.”

Steven manages Shi Farms, a 300-acre operation in Pueblo, Colorado, that offers extraction and wholesale CBD ingredients to marijuana and hemp manufacturing companies. Presently, the company is creating a line of retail products that will be available online and through Colorado dispensaries. Steven has consulted on international hemp projects in Central Asia and Israel. Prior to Shi Farms, he worked at Dixie Brands for four years, eventually assuming the role of national operations manager and serving as the liaison between corporate executives and franchises.

2. Ian Terry
CEO, Cannaissance Creative
Speaker: NCIA’s Hemp Biz Conference “The Future of Cannabidiol Product Manufacturing: Trends and Technology to Watch”

Ian Terry is the CEO of Cannaissance Creative, a cannabis data and IP company that provides operational support and consulting services across sectors with a mission of penetrating untapped markets and disrupting existing ones. He is also the co-founder of Crafts Unbranded, a product formulation and manufacturing firm rooted in innovation that provides wholesale support to retail cannabis businesses. Prior to his leap into the startup community, Terry was the laboratory manager at Elixinol. As head of production, Terry was instrumental in pushing its parent company, Elixinol Global, through consolidation in the lead up to an IPO on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2018. The bulk of Elixinol Global’s value and market growth is in the Colorado-based Elixinol brand, which Terry cultivated.

3. Christie Lunsford
CEO, The Hemp Biz Conference
Speaker and Moderator: NCIA’s Hemp Biz Conference, a full-day hemp industry workshop

Christie Lunsford is the creator of The Hemp Biz Conference, an endeavor focused on the development of a sustainable hemp industry through education. In 2012, Christie was part of the team to formulate and launch the first wholesale channel of CBD (Cannabidiol) nutraceutical products derived from industrial hemp in the U.S. Christie utilized her knowledge of cannabis therapeutics to educate naturopathic doctors and consumers laying the foundation for the hemp-derived CBD industry internationally.  She was awarded the 2015 Cannabis Woman of the Year award at the Cannabis Business Awards and is the hemp historian at Hemp Connoisseur Magazine and writes about the hemp industry for Entrepreneur Magazine.

4. Andrew Kline
Director of Public Policy, National Cannabis Industry Association
Speaker: NCIA’s Hemp Biz Conference Panel: Future of Hemp
Speaker: A Look Into the Future: A FDA Regulatory Framework for Hemp CBD

Andrew Kline is NCIA’s Director of Public Policy. In this new role for NCIA, Andrew leads NCIA’s substantive public policy efforts, striving to prepare and protect the state-legal cannabis industry. He will also lead NCIA’s Policy Council, a group of NCIA members focused on influencing federal and state public policy. 

Kline most recently served as President of the National Association of Cannabis Businesses (NACB), the first self-regulatory organization for the high-growth cannabis industry.  At the NACB, Andrew led the creation of national standards for the state-legal cannabis industry, oversaw its standards governance board, and led day to day operations and strategic planning. 

Kline has a deep and celebrated background in public policy, law enforcement, and coalition creation/management. He is renowned for his ability to create solutions to complex domestic and global public policy issues that appeal to both private and public constituencies.  

Prior to joining the NACB, Kline was Special Counsel for the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Enforcement Bureau where he was responsible for high profile investigations and public policy negotiations affecting the telecommunications, internet, cable and satellite industries. He also served as Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor for Intellectual Property Enforcement in the Executive Office of the President [Obama] where he led public-private partnership and public policy efforts to address online trademark theft, copyright infringement, consumer safety, national security, and the protection of domestic business interests globally.  

Kline previously worked an Executive in Residence at American University’s School of Public Affairs where he taught graduate-level courses in public policy and law.  He also served as senior policy advisor to then-Senator Biden and Vice President Biden, and spent fourteen years as a federal prosecutor.

Mr. Kline is admitted to the California, Colorado and District of Columbia Bars, and holds a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.  

5. Claire Kaufmann
Director of Client Services at Brightfield Group
Speaker: NCIA’s Hemp Biz Conference “Understanding the Hemp CBD Consumer” 

Claire Grusin Kaufman, MBA is a nationally known CBD and cannabis business and marketing strategist. She currently works as the Director of Client Services at the Brightfield Group – an industry-leading CBD and Cannabis market research firm. Claire has worked in the CBD and cannabis space for the past seven years. She has worked in house for vertically integrated cannabis companies and formally as the Northwest Regional Director for BDS Analytics. Claire has also recently served on the OLCC Recreational Marijuana Business Council. Her take on the future trends of the cannabis industry, and the questions facing marketers and entrepreneurs are sought by national and international media, cannabis industry leaders, and key players in the traditional marketing world. Claire holds a Master’s in Business Administration from the Graziadio School of Management at Pepperdine University, where she focused on brand marketing and development. 

6. David Wunderlich
Senior Attorney, McAllister Garfield
Speaker: NCIA’s Hemp Biz Conference, “Key Factors to Consider Before Creating your Hemp Business.” 

David Wunderlich is a Senior Attorney and a chair of McAllister Garfield’s hemp and CBD practice group. David’s clients include state-licensed marijuana businesses, hemp farmers and processors, CBD businesses, lenders, and ancillary businesses in the cannabis space. David focuses his practice on business formation, regulatory compliance, real estate, and intellectual property. David earned his J.D. from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in 2007 and B.A. with honors from Tulane University in 2003.

7. Eileen Konieczny RN, BCPA
Author, Healing with CBD: How Cannabidiol Can Transform Your Health
Speaker: NCIA’s Hemp Biz Conference “Consumer Health, Hazards and Efficacy, A Deep Dive Into CBD and Other Constituents” 

Eileen Konieczny is a medical cannabis expert, US Navy Veteran and author of Healing with CBD: How Cannabidiol Can Transform Your Health Without the High (Ulysses Press, Sept. 2018). Eileen has fought for medical cannabis legalization nationally and was a recognized leader in the passing of New York’s medical cannabis bill. Eileen has served on the board of directors for the Children’s Health and Research Foundation and currently serves on the board of directors for the Association of Cannabis Specialists. She is Past President of the American Cannabis Nurses Association, a clinical associate in the Society for Cannabis Clinicians and has been involved in licensed medical cannabis operations in New York and Connecticut.

8. Afzal Hasan
President and General Counsel, Origin House
Speaker: The Globalization of Cannabis, CBD, and Hemp: Opportunities and Challenges for Creating International Brands

Mr. Hasan obtained a Juris Doctor (J.D.) and a Bachelor of Science (B. Sc.), Commerce and Human Biology, from the University of Toronto, Canada. Prior to joining Origin House, Mr. Hasan worked as a securities lawyer at Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, where he developed a broad spectrum of experience providing advice to both public and private companies on transactions in diverse industry sectors.

Mr. Hasan’s experience prior to his career in the private legal practice includes a secondment at the Mergers and Acquisitions Group in the Corporate Finance Branch of the Ontario Securities Commission, working with the United Nations and the wholesale banking division of a major multi-national bank in Thailand and completing independent research in microbial genetics at the University of Toronto.


  • Represented public companies and underwriters in raising over $500 million through prospectus financings and private placements
  • Involved with M&A transactions in the mining, real estate and technology sectors with aggregate deal value in excess of $5 billion
  • Completed seven public listing transactions for private companies through reverse take-over structures
  • Advised incumbent boards and dissident shareholders in a number of proxy fights for public and private companies

9. Vanessa Marquez
Founder and CEO, CBD Care Garden
Speaker: A Look Into the Future: An FDA Framework For Hemp CBD

Vanessa Marquez is the Co-Founder and CEO of CBD Care Garden, a Hemp-based Wellness & Beauty Company. Vanessa recognized the scientific evidence and therapeutic benefits of CBD almost four years ago, along with her Co-Founder Chris Elawar. Her vision became the company’s mission, to bring the benefits of CBD and cannabinoids to the industry of wellness, making CBD products clean, fresh, and sought-after luxurious wellness experience. Today she leads the company in top named spas, massage chains and destination resorts nationwide pioneering the industry education for professional providers and consumers. She is a former Licensed Massage Therapist, with a background at CSU in Bio-Med, and attended the BA program for Business Management and Entrepreneurship at DeVry University.

10. Cindy Sovine
President and CEO, Sovine Consulting
Speaker: “Is Your Jurisdiction Ready for Social Consumption?”

A Colorado native, Cindy has helped international clients such as Xerox and Blue Cross Blue Shield procure government contracts as well as helping start-up companies successfully navigate government hurdles along the way. Cindy began her career in the Office of Legislative Council, the Colorado General Assembly’s non-partisan staff, where she learned the rules and legislative process inside and out. She worked with staff on the health and human services committees and coordinated the state’s ballot initiative process before switching to lobbying in 2003. Cindy’s current lobbying platform includes hemp, medical and retail marijuana, technology, and alternative energy. Former clients include Microsoft, HP, and nearly every industry within the health care delivery system including hospitals, insurance companies, pharmaceuticals, providers and more. 

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MJ Shareholders is the largest dedicated financial network and leading corporate communications firm serving the legal cannabis industry. Our network aims to connect public marijuana companies with these focused cannabis audiences across the US and Canada that are critical for growth: Short and long term cannabis investors Active funding sources Mainstream media Business leaders Cannabis consumers

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