Programming for the March 31st event is in development. If you have a topic idea or are interested in speaking at the upcoming NY Cannabis Insider event, please reach out to Lindsay Marlenga (email@example.com)
Head of Payments
Lou Beierle is Head of Payments at LeafLink, delivering the best-in-class, platform-native payments and liquidity experience to the cannabis industry at scale. Lou is a certified public accountant with over 15 years of client service experience in the financial services sector.
Prior to LeafLink, Lou spent 12 years in the Banking & Capital Markets practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers in New York providing assurance and advisory services to banks and financial institutions, including Goldman Sachs, Barclays and HSBC. In his role at PwC, Lou managed large, global teams to deliver exceptional client service to the firm’s bank and broker-dealer clients.
Little Beach Harvest
Chenae Bullock, an enrolled Shinnecock Indian Nation Tribal Member and descendant of the Montauk Tribe in Long Island New York. Chenae is a community leader, water protector, cultural preservationist, Indigenous perspective historian, and humanitarian. She is a recent published author of a book titled “50 Plant Medicines: Indigenous Oral History & Perspective” She wrote the book to help share her own medicine to help readers in their journey to learn more about the plant medicines that have been used for thousands of years. Chenae is currently the Managing Director for Little Beach Harvest, which is the Cannabis business wholly owned by Shinnecock Nation. She is the founder and owner of Moskehtu Consulting, LLC which is an Indigenous owned and operated Cultural & Heritage Preservation firm.
FingerLakes Cannabis Co.
Mark is the Co-Founder of FingerLakes Cannabis Co in Victor, NY. Mark also does consulting for hopeful dispensary owners. Mark served in the US Army from 1980 to 1983 as a Satellite and Microwave Communications Systems Engineer. Upon Mark’s discharge he began his 38 year career in Information Technology as a technologist, sales and consulting executive.
In 2015 Mark and his wife Julie opened a very successful Rochester, NY Budget Blinds window treatments franchise serving the Rochester< NY area. Budget Blinds of Rochester was awarded the 2020 Best Window Treatments company by the Democrat and Chronicle newspaper.
In 2021 Mark retired and with his partner Tim Hay began their journey to open the FingerLakes Cannabis Co. In the historic train depot in Victor, NY. Mark and Tim immediately began a campaign with their local community and politicians to share their vision for their dispensary and the benefits it will bring to Victor and the finger Lakes region. In October 2021the Victor village board voted unanimously to allow their dispensary to operate in Victor and was one of the first and few municipalities to do so in the Rochester area.
Mark enjoys community volunteering as a youth coach including for the Rochester inner city youth lacrosse program, RocE6. Mark also enjoys all outdoor activities , especially the amazing sites sounds and activities the Finger Lakes region has to offer. Mark is married to his wife of 25 years Julie and has two sons Sam who played and coached lacrosse for the Maryland Terrapins, and Cole who recently graduated from Towsen University.
The People’s Group
Christine De La Rosa was recently named one of the 22 Cannabis Leaders Who Will Shape the Industry in 2022, in 2021 she was on the list for 10 Women to watch out for: Industry luminaries and rising stars, and in 2020 one of 35 Most Influential Women in Cannabis in 2020. As a thought leader and one of the most sought-after advisors in the cannabis industry, she sits on the advisory boards of Tetragram, Regennabis, and Cannabis Doing Good.
She was recently appointed to the Board of the National Cannabis Industry Association and is the chair of their Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. She is the lead author of Gender Parity in the C-Suite and co-author of Pathways to Equity Ownership in the Cannabis Industry as part of National Cannabis Industry Association’s and The Arcview Group’s co-sponsored Gender Equity Cannabis White Papers. She has advised both local, state, and federal governments across the US on social equity in cannabis, as well as written position papers for New York, California, and Arizona with recommendations on their legalization and implementation of cannabis regulation. Additionally, she serves as part of the New York Cannabis Industry Association Special Advisor Group - Social and Economic Equity and Social Justice.
In 2015, she found cannabis as an alternative medicine to treat her lupus and was inspired by her experience to open The People’s Dispensary in 2016 along with her co-founders. With their mission to help those who most need access to cannabis, they continue to grow their multi-state supply chain footprint and build a fiercely sought after national social equity model and enterprise now known as The People’s Ecosystem and its subsidiaries. She is currently the CEO and National Co-Founder of The People's Ecosystem, Managing Partner of The People’s Group and Founder of CBxShield.
Co-Founder and CEO
Charles Johnson Esq, is the co-founder and CEO of Leafspotz Inc., the first African American B2B cannabis transportation and logistics software company in New York. Leafspotz’s transportation software platform will help simplify the distribution needs between New York cannabis businesses with an end-to-end supply chain solution for transporting their cannabis products within the state. Charles believes that addressing the supply chain aspect in New York is not only a fundamental part of the adult use market, but are also the building blocks of ensuring our emerging market thrives for years to come.
Charles is a licensed attorney for almost 10 years with an employment law and statutory background. Mainly involving collective bargaining negotiations, administrative trials, arbitrations, and labor relations. Charles served as special counsel for BrownGreer PLC while working on the $20 billion settlement fund for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster. Prior to passing the bar, Charles was a former law clerk for Equal Employment Opportunity Commission headquarters in DC under the Obama administration.
He is a proud member of the New Jersey Cannabusiness Association and a member of the New York City Cannabis Industrial Association where he serves on the Incubator & Entrepreneur Committee. Community wise, he serves on Manhattan’s Community Board 10 chairing the Public Safety Committee. Charles is also a proud member of the NAACP NYS executive committee and 2019 graduate of the NAACP NextGen national leadership program. Charles holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Fort Valley State University where he graduated magna cum laude and a JD from Western Michigan University. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. and a recipient of the Network Journal's 40 under 40 achievement award.
Founding Partner, Director of Sales
Emily Leander is Founding Partner and Director of Sales for GreenWrap Insurance, a nationally licensed insurance agency for all property and casualty insurance. Emily has succeeded in Insurance and Finance for 20 years, specializing in science/medical, agriculture, and construction risks. She has assisted many clients in the cannabis vertical, from seed-to-sale, and ancillary businesses, to obtain insurance in the cannabis marketplace. Her goal is to balance out cost and value for each Insured. The cannabis community was founded on sharing a common goal. Emily believes bringing that same community together under GreenWrap Insurance offers a new opportunity for better coverage and pricing opportunities by forming strong carrier relationships.
Matt Leonardo is a lobbyist and attorney practicing in New York. We represent a broad range of cannabis clients from microlicensees to retail to labs to Indigenous Nations. As a government affairs professional and cannabis regulatory attorney I have a unique perspective on the policy goals and practical requirements of the NYS office of cannabis management. In my previous role at the Department of Health I worked with many of the key OCM personnel and have maintained those relationships through our health care practice.
Indigenous Cannabis Coalition (ICANNC)
Mary Jane Oatman is an enrolled member of the Nez Perce Tribe and descendant of the Delaware Tribe and proud mother of three beautiful people. She is the founder of the Indigenous CANNabis Coalition (ICANNC) and publisher of THC Magazine, host of THC SmokeSignals Podcast.The mission of ICANNC is to provide education and outreach to tribal communities and to support the preservation and protection of Indigenous plant medicines, homelands, and stories.
Mary Jane has been dedicated to reclaiming Indigenous cultures and restoring pre colonial economies in hemp and cannabis. She has worked for her tribe and other communities to advocate to state and federal agencies to protect tribal sovereignty and to ensure more effective government to government relationships are steered by building bridges between diverse stakeholders. In 2009, Oatman was the youngest member appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the National Advisory Council on Indian Education, while also serving as the first Director of Indian Education for the state of Idaho.
Mary Jane is on the founding board for the JUSTUS Foundation and currently serves as the president of the Idaho ACLU and on the board of directors for the Association of Cannabis Health Equity and Medicine (ACHEM). She has also served on the Minority Cannabis Business Association board. She is a certified fitness instructor and loves fishing, gathering and chopping wood for the sweat lodge when she is not searching for stories that heal.
Lauren Rudick is a Partner in the boutique business law firm, Hiller, PC, in Manhattan, New York. A “recovering litigator,” Lauren practiced commercial litigation for ten years, during which time she successfully represented clients in a wide variety of business, intellectual property, and Internet/media disputes, while contributing to the Firm’s land use and zoning practice. With a trained and sensitive eye for keeping clients out of litigation and a penchant for deal-making, Lauren has refocused her career on start-up law, regulatory compliance, M&A, and commercial and secured transactions. Lauren has also developed a niche in running due diligence, salvaging deals that have turned south, mitigating against legal exposure, and identifying and remedying abuse or misuse of corporate power and form.
Lauren is the co-founder of Hiller, PC’s cannabis law practice, having come to the cannabis industry through her mother’s end of life care. What started as a passion project in patient rights during a brief residency in California, Lauren has become one of the Nation’s preeminent attorneys providing legal services to cannabis industry players in the “Green Rush.” Lauren provides clients with the most up-to-date information necessary to operate and invest in successful cannabis and ancillary businesses. With a unique, interdisciplinary, and holistic approach to cannabis business licensing, Lauren has run successful applications in competitive medical cannabis states and adult-use markets alike. Lauren is also a member of the legal team that brought an action against former Attorney General Sessions and the federal government seeking, among other things, a declaration that the mis-classification of cannabis as a Schedule I drug is unconstitutional, on, among other things, due process, equal protection, free speech, and commerce clause grounds.
Ellie Siegel is an attorney and business consultant living in New Jersey who provides services to the emerging cannabis industry throughout the world, with a sharp focus on NJ, NY, and the greater Mid-Atlantic Region. She founded Longview Strategic, LLC to offer strategic advice, project management, technical writing, and resource acquisition services to entities engaging in the turbulent cannabis space. From license application to scaling and exit, Longview Strategic can assist with the unique challenges that businesses and operators in the cannabis industry experience. Ellie completed her JD and MBA at Rutgers University, her BFA at New York University, and Post-Graduate Certificates in Medical Product Development as well as Regulatory Affairs and Compliance for Pharmaceuticals at the University of California, Irvine.
Green Check Verified
SVP, National Relationship Manager
Peter Su is SVP, National Relationship Manager at Green Check Verified. Peter has 20+ years of banking experience with leadership roles at HSBC, Signature Bank, Dime and East West Bank. He has grown a de novo cannabis banking program from the ground up, as well as joined a developed cannabis banking program with an eye to go national. He is currently on the Banking and Financial Services committee of the NCIA, and chairs the B&FS committee for the NYCCIA.
Panel #1: Your Community Opted-Out – What Can You Do to Change It?
Mark Byassee, Ellie Siegel
Panel #2: Understanding Native American Cannabis Operations
Matt Leonardo, Mary Jane Oatman, Chanae Bullock
Panel #3: Banking Options for Your Cannabis Business
Peter Su, Emily Leander, Louis Beierle
Panel #4: Identifying and Securing Capital for Your Cannabis Business
Lauren Riddick, Charles Johnson, Christine De La Rosa
Topic Highlight: Review of the NYS Incubator Program