SPEAKERS

Ariel Clark, ESQ
Clark Neubert, LLP

Ariel Clark is a progressive pioneer and business lawyer leading the new generation of the cannabis industry. Simultaneously shrewd, inspiring, and engaging, Ariel advises cannabis business owners and entrepreneurs nationwide, and enjoys an excellent reputation as a fierce advocate who applies the conservative approach necessary to protect and advance her clients’ interests. 

Since 2008, Ariel has specialized in the cannabis industry and successfully guided her clients through the complex and ever-changing rules, laws, and regulations governing the medical and adult-use marijuana industry. Her clients value her extensive industry experience, contagious spirit, and no nonsense approach, buoyed by the confidence that they are getting the best advice available. 

Ariel and her firm are active in the political efforts to legalize adult-use marijuana and adopt medical marijuana regulations in California while advocating for national drug policy reform.

Khurshid Khoja, ESQ
Greenbridge Corporate Counsel

Khurshid Khoja is the Principal and founder of Greenbridge Corporate Counsel, a business law firm representing clientele across sectors in the legal cannabis industry: non-profit advocacy organizations, medical marijuana collectives, consulting firms, publishing companies, consumer electronics manufacturers, infused products producers, agricultural equipment manufacturers, software companies, trade associations, and others.

​Khurshid brings a wealth of experience from representing and consulting with companies in the legal cannabis industry.  In addition to pioneering the Cannabis & Hemp Industry practice at Greenbridge, Khurshid was a Founding Board Member of both the California Cannabis Industry Association (CCIA) and the Illinois Cannabis Industry Association (ILCIA).  He continues to serve on the CCIA Board and as its pro bono General Counsel, and was recently elected to the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) Board.

Aaron Smith
National Cannabis Industry Association

​Aaron Smith is co-founder and executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association. Prior to launching NCIA, Aaron distinguished himself as a public advocate for marijuana policy reform — first under the auspices of a California-based medical cannabis advocacy group, Safe Access Now, and more recently as the California state policy director for the Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project. Aaron has successfully built coalitions with elected officials on both sides of the aisle in order to advance marijuana law reform legislation in the state capitol and among the voting public. Aaron’s opinion pieces have appeared in major newspapers, including the San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times, and he has been a frequent commentator on national television news networks. Originally from California, Aaron is currently based in Denver.

Nate Bradley
California cannabis industry association

Mr. Bradley is the Executive Director and co-founder of the California Cannabis Industry Association (CCIA). He is responsible for public policy advocacy and political strategy at the state and local levels. Mr. Bradley is highly skilled in creating campaign messaging, demographic targeting, and public policy development. 

Mr. Bradley has served as a spokesman and advisor to the Yes on Prop 19 Campaign and was a public policy advisor to CSPARC (Committe for Safe Patient Access to Regulated Cannabis) in Sacramento. 

Mr. Bradley also brings with him 10 years of education and experience in law enforcement and defense investigation.

Mario Ceretto, CPA
New era cpas, LLP

Mario is the founder of New Era CPAs, LLP, and has been helping clients in the cannabis industry across with litigation support, compliance, 280E strategy, and tax preparation for over six years. Mario has served as an expert witness in a medical marijuana defense case (People v. Jovan Jackson(2013)) and was appointed by the Court as the CPA for the first medical marijuana business to file Bankruptcy in federal court.  Mario has spoken at numerous cannabis and accounting events. Mario’s professional experience is representative of his entrepreneurial character; one not afraid to deviate from the stereotypical norms. After leading audit engagements for large public traded companies at PwC in Portland, Oregon, Mario founded an accounting practice in San Diego and has helped hundreds of clients in accounting, consulting and tax engagements. Mario graduated from the University of California Santa Cruz with dual degrees in Business and Psychology. Mario holds a CPA certificate from the State of Oregon and State of California.

Simone Cimiluca-radzins, CPA
new era cpas, LLP,
​420 Business Club

Simone’s expertise is in business strategy, finance, financial reporting, canna-accounting, 280E tax strategy, and risk management. Simone has  helped take companies public, performed due-diligences, and has helped companies improve their business operations.  Simone has spoken at Women and Grow and has given talks at the University of Oregon. With a background in Big 4 public accounting and international consulting for Fortune 500 companies, Simone has lived and worked in Spain and France and has assisted clients throughout Latin America, Western and Northern Europe, and the Asia Pacific region. Simone graduated with dual degrees in Spanish and Accounting from the University of Oregon. Simone holds an active CPA certificate from the State of Oregon.

Dave Branfman, ESQ
Branfman law group, P.C.

Dave Branfman has been practicing law in San Diego County for over thirty years. Mr. Branfman’s practice focuses on intellectual property and entertainment law, including trademarks, domain names, copyrights, trade secrets, licensing, motion pictures & TV, and music. He has developed a leading specialty in the intersection between intellectual property law and the growing medical and recreational marijuana industries and speaks and writes regularly on this subject. His articles on this subject have been published in CULTURE B2B magazine and has presented programs on this subject for NORML Legal Committee, the CannaGrow Expo, the State Bar of California Intellectual Property Law Section and the Ganjier Spring Kickoff. 

Mr. Branfman received his law degree from the University of San Diego in 1978. He is a member of the State Bar of California’s Intellectual Property Section and its Executive Committee which helps to guide and govern the Section. He is an instructor on intellectual property law at the University of California, San Diego’s Executive Perspective for Scientists and Engineers program. 

James Slatic
Med-West

An entrepreneur for over thirty years, James’ passions lay in sales and general management of start-up and high-growth niche companies. Mr. Slatic is driven by brand growth, company success, and fun. 

Not one to shy away from adversity, James is extremely passionate about the need of our government officials to change the failed drug policies in this country. 

James takes part in the movement for drug reform by serving on the Boards of and donating to the Marijuana Policy Project, California Cannabis Industry Association, Nevada Cannabis Industry Association, and is a founding member of the National Cannabis Industry Association.