2024 Judges


Matthew (Sensei) Chiu

Matthew (Sensei) Chiu VP of supplier relations at Humble Cannabis Solutions. EC judge 6yrs running. Been turning mountains to mole hills for 20+ yrs by knowing a guy who knows a guy. The cannabis plant has been the one constant in my life since I was 12 and hasn’t let me down yet! https://instagram.com/THCelebrity

Eric Brandstad

Eric Brandstad is a greenhouse expert and industry consultant. He managed a successful greenhouse company for 11 years and is well known for catapulting light deprivation technology to an industry standard. Eric is a recognized authority on greenhouse cultivation and greenhouse efficiency, he has served as a consultant to greenhouse operators around the country for more than 10 years. A popular public speaker, Mr. Brandstad has empowered thousands of people through his radio and television interviews and public appearances. https://www.instagram.com/light_dep_greenhouse

Guy Rocourt

Guy Rocourt boasts a remarkable 23-year tenure in the cannabis industry. His journey commenced in the traditional 215 market of California back in 2000. He made a significant pivot in Colorado, where he established a vape company initially known as “Neos” (now rebranded as “Voda Extracts”). Subsequently, Guy went on to found Papa and Barkley, P&B Kitchen, along with the Papa Select suite of products in 2015. His vision centered around advocating for clean, solventless cannabis formulations in California.

More recently, Guy has ventured into consulting, with a mission to empower more brands in the industry. His goal is to steer away from the race to the bottom and reemphasize the importance of preserving the integrity of the plant within plant medicine.” https://papaandbarkley.com

Chang Weisberg

Chang Weisberg is the founder of the Cypress Hill Smoke Out, Rock The Bells, and the High Hopes Music Festivals. He has promoted the legalization of marijuana through his events for over 25 years. He is a 3 X Emerald Cup Flower Judge who is proud of his Southern California roots and extensive cannabis network. I have a 12 passenger sprinter van known as the Black Buffalo and it’s the unofficial courier of the So Cal Emerald Cup team! https://highhopeslife.com

Jessica Hwang

Jessica is one of the founders and owners of a multi-award winning concentrate company, Frosty Hash. She is a grower and hash maker that has dedicated her life to cannabis since 2007. She loves to work in living soil and is hard wired with meticulousness and high attention to detail. She is obsessed with creating high quality craft flowers and concentrates, and strives to uphold the highest integrity for the plant and community. Jessica is on the pursuit of environmental sustainability and hopes to see more regenerative practices in our cannabis industry. This will be her 6th year of judging flower for The Emerald Cup. https://www.instagram.com/frostynuglady

Nicole Powell

Mendocino county born and raised. Happy to be Sourcing for the team over at West Coast Cure. Filling premium flower bags with so much 🔥🔥 from the triangle. Working with the best farms and people. I’m grateful to be in this industry and say that I actually LOVE it. Matcha + herb for life. https://www.instagram.com/nikkiinthehills

Swami & Nikki

Chaitanya/Lastreto Nikki and Swami are co-founders of Swami Select brand cannabis located in the heart of the Emerald Triangle in California. They have both been in the business of selling and growing since 1969. After many years living in San Francisco, India and beyond, they moved to Mendocino County in 1998. “Our ranch is both a sanctuary and a cannabis farm,” they explain. “We have temples and statues to all traditions and employ sacred mantras and holy waters on our plants.” Their special flowers are grown using regenerative techniques. Nikki and Swami have been judges in The Emerald Cup since it began in 2004 and are both on the founding council of the Ganjier program. Their passion is to share knowledge about this precious plant and her many benefits. https://www.instagram.com/swamiselect

Mathieu StGermain

Mathieu StGermain has been working with the cannabis plant for over 32 years. He recognized the healing properties of cannabis early in his life, and works to spread the knowledge of the many benefits of the cannabis plant. Mat has spent his time in the industry helping multitudes to improve their growing methodologies, and leadership strategies. Mathieu’s current focus in the cannabis industry is establishing a genetics company, PBP, with his partners, focusing on providing coveted flavors and characteristics for those who love smoking flower and solventless hash. StGermain appears as co-host of Whats Good 420, a flower and hash review show that features guests from all walks of entertainment along with the cream of the crop of the cannabis connoisseur world, cultivation education, and comedy. https://instagram.com/teampleasant

Alec Dixon

Alec Dixon is a US Navy veteran and Co-Founder / Director of Client Relations of SC Labs. Alec’s work with SC Labs includes educational outreach & support, developing & implementing the Emerald Cup Cannabis classification system, data / trend analysis, and working with clients through root cause analysis and environmental assessments to overcome and transcend compliance testing fails as well essential oil optimization and preservation strategies. Alec’s past 2 decades of experience and service to the Cannabis plant; from cultivation, to hydroponic retail sales/ consulting, to being inundated within the Science of Cannabis and patient focused treatments has led him to become a leading expert in the field. https://www.instagram.com/cbdizzle

Josh Priebe

Been a emerald cup judge last 3 years and looking forward to the opportunity to judge all the best flower in California! https://www.instagram.com/preebz

Reese Benton

Reese Benton would be the first African American women to hold 2 cannabis retail licenses and make history for being sole owner of a Retail dispensary, Posh Green Cannabis BTQ. Reese’s cannabis knowledge of the industry has been from traditional market to legal market. Reese also makes her mission to give back through SB34 & other partnerships. Reeseb is a Cannaqueen. https://www.instagram.com/queenreeseb

Joe Sullivan

Joseph Sullivan is a highly seasoned professional with an extensive 25-year career in the Northern California Cannabis industry.  Joe’s journey in the cannabis industry began 25 years ago, and over the years, he has become a well-respected figure in the field. His significant contributions to the industry were most notable during his time as the Head Buyer & Director of Procurement for Mercy Wellness of Cotati and Santa Rosa. During his tenure at Mercy Wellness, Joe focused on integrating the recreational farming community and expanding the genetic diversity of Mercy’s flower lineup. His strategic approach helped establish Mercy Wellness as a legacy operator in Northern California, placing them at the forefront of the perpetual pheno-hunt. https://instagram.com/joesullivan_84

Michelle Underwood

Growing high end cannabis for nearly 2 decades, experience in every environment from green house to stacked indoor gardens, judge in many competitions including 2 years as a flower judge for world renowned emerald cup, passion for what I do translates into every flower I have ever grown http://www.instagram.com/missradreefer

Jason Beck

Jason Beck is the Longest Continuous Retail Operator of Cannabis in the United States. Starting in Medical Cannabis’s Infancy, Jason played a crucial role in incubating the industry with legislators creating policy that protects patients, caregivers and consumers on a local, state and Federal level. You can find him weekdays at 9am PST as the Host of High At 9 News on YouTube. Which is now America’s #1 Daily Cannabis News Show!! Please Subscribe and Enjoy!! https://www.instagram.com/jasonbeck420

Mario Guzman

Mario Guzman has been working with this plant for over 25 years. Mario started his life in cannabis living in San Francisco during the late 90’s medical movement. Most know for his contribution of the Gelato that has become one of the worlds most desired genetics and Terpene profile. Mario now is focused on sharing his collection of genetics with growers and breeders around the world and continuing to contribute to making this world a better place through cannabis. https://www.instagram.com/sherbinskis

Jon Cappetta

I have been selling weed to fund my smoking habit since I was a poor kid, and today I’m leading one of the most well-known brands in cannabis, trying to restore it’s good name. I have ran the media dept for 5 years now, and consulted for the brand for an additional 2. The plant has brought me around the world and everything I do aims to be in service to it. http://instagram.com/joncappetta

Brian Malin

Brian Malin has been in the cannabis industry for over 35years. He started as a grower but evolved to much more. He started Vital Garden Supply in 2006. Vital is a premier nutrient company that offers high quality organic soil, fertilizer,compost tea ingredients and amendments. Brian has been involved with many large scale growers. He is 1 of the founders of Pacific Reserve in Salinas. Brian is passionate about helping growers choose organic cultivation techniques. Organic inputs helps the quality of cannabis as a whole as well a makes a safer work environment. Organic Cannabis is also safer to consume! Brian has shown his dedication to organic cultivation by providing 21 certified organic products through his company Vital Garden Supply. Vital is the one of only 100% certified organic nutrient brands and has 18 years experience to back it up!

Brian has been a leader in educating growers and has helped solidify Northern California as the epicenter for organic high grade cannabis! http://instagram.com/organicbrian

Erin Hamilton

I started growing for personal use in Texas in the late 90’s and moved to Humboldt in 2000 to live in a cooler climate that was friendlier to my way of life. I worked for multiple people helping do everything from pruning to trimming to watering and had my own garden after a while. Living on the coast meant that I focused on indoor cultivation during the 215 days where I became cofounder of Royal Key Organics. We are a boutique living soil indoor garden focused on unique genetics for flower and hash. When it went legal we started Suprize Suprize so we could do collaborations with other growers and offer another tier from our living soil garden. https://suprizesuprize.com

Shiloh Massive

Shiloh Massive began his love affair with cannabis while he was still in high school and has been in the industry ever since. He has witnessed the changes and evolution of medical and recreational cannabis over a period of decades. While a part of the many legendary projects he founded Massive Creations in 2017. Shiloh’s back catalogue is a glittering collection of cup-winning strains that he bred in Amsterdam, Spain, Hawaii and California. Shiloh has a very well-deserved reputation for breeding strains with astonishing terpene profiles with an emphasis on integrating old school genetics.

Mark Lewis

By 1994, Mark had discovered “kind bud” at Indiana University (one of two institution with a DEA license to cultivate cannabis) and has bred cannabis ever since. He toured Amsterdam in 96’ and Jamaica in 98’ to solidify his knowledge. A chemical engineer in 2000, a PhD biochemist in 2007, and founder of Napro Research in 2011 has made him a thought leader by developing methodologies, PhytoFacts, and the first classification system for cannabis. https://www.instagram.com/naproresearch


Maya Elisabeth

Maya Elisabeth is the CEO and founder of OM, an award-winning Cannabis company specializing in edibles, tinctures, and topicals. One of the first female-owned and operated Cannabis companies in the country, OM has won more than 40 awards of excellence since its inception including 24 Emerald Cups and 11 Hightimes Cups. OM’s awards span across multiple categories from edibles to topicals, tinctures, body, and bath care, and even concentrates. After serving medical patients under the collective model of Prop 215 for over a decade, OM was awarded the first adult-use manufacturing license from the state and thus once again, Maya made history as a woman in cannabis.

In 2017 Maya co-founded Whoopi and Maya with Oscar winner and host of The View, Whoopi Goldberg. In addition to being one of the first mainstream celebrity co-branded cannabis lines, multiracial women lead company was as groundbreaking as their signature line of products tailored to support women and their monthly cycle. Maya developed all the product formulations and was the company’s CEO . In 2019 Maya launched OM Wellness and began offering Hemp CBD / THC free versions of her products to customers directly, health stores, specialty retailers, spas, and beyond, available for shipping worldwide.

Maya has a deep spiritual connection with the plant and believes cannabis is a birthright, in all forms for wellbeing, pleasure, enjoyment, and as a preventative. Maya’s philosophy of commitment to servitude through Cannabis is most evident in her high-quality, multi-herb products, which she works hard to keep as some of the most accessible in the state. Maya’s work in cannabis has taken her around the world as a respected thought leader, educator, and judge. Maya’s been listed as one of The Top 100 Most Influential People in Cannabis by High Times and Green Entrepreneur and continues to pave the way for the Cannabis movement.” https://www.instagram.com/getomliving

Jimi Devine

Jimi Devine has been involved in cannabis reform since 2005 and has worked in the Berkeley cannabis industry since 2009 when he moved to California from Lynn, Massachusetts. Currently serving as Cannabis Columnist and Critic for L.A. Weekly, you can also find his writings on cannabis products and policy in the San Francisco Chronicle, The Village Voice, The Boston Globe, The Hill, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Cannabis Now, Marijuana.com, High Times, Irvine Weekly, Weedmaps News, 7×7 Magazine, The East Bay Express, Leafly, Civilized, Thrillist and Ed Rosenthal’s book This Bud’s for You. Jimi is one of the main journalists in the world covering the top shelf flower market. Jimi has a BA in Journalism and Media Studies from Franklin Pierce University. https://www.instagram.com/thejimidevine

Boris Shcharansky

Boris has been an active member of the Emerald Cup Community since 2017, when he first entered his wellness formulations from Papa & Barkley. In 2018, Boris placed 3rd in the Solventless Water Hash category with Papa’s Select, and the next two years Boris swept the category, achieving 1st-3rd place with his team. Since then, Boris has served as a judge at the Emerald Cup for the Solventless category. His cannabis career spans back to 2011, when he first started in advocacy and worked to change the laws in Iowa for medical cannabis and hemp. He was the Executive Director of Iowa NORML and the founder of the Iowa Hemp Association. In 2016, Boris joined Guy Rocourt and Adam Grossman to co-found Papa & Barkley, the most successful cannabis wellness brand in California. Since 2021, he has served as Chief Product Officer at West Coast Cure, and in 2023 became the Senior Cannabis Advisor to Weedmaps. Boris is cannaseur of all things solventless, and loves the category. https://www.instagram.com/boristhehashguy

Dorian Schraner

Dorian is the founder of Beezle Brands, recently celebrating 11 years branded in the space. With humble beginnings in NorCal, Beezle has now expanded into Maryland with planned operations in 2024 in Missouri and New York. Throughout the years, Dorian has become a respected leader in the space of cannabis extraction and has experienced many different aspects of the industry and all iterations of extracts. https://www.instagram.com/beezlebrands

The Dank Duchess

The Dank Duchess, a globally recognized Hashish Consultant, Cannabis Cultivator, and Public Speaker, advocates for cannabis and psychedelic wellness through diverse media. With 20 years of cultivation and 9 years in hashmaking, she educates on high-quality cannabis and Hashish benefits through print, film, and social media. Her contributions include Weed World UK, Cannabis Now, Skunk Magazine, and Ed Rosenthal’s books. Featured on VICELAND’s Bong Appetit, she travels globally, teaching hashmaking and enhancing hash quality. A frequent conference speaker and ACHEM Board Member, she also judges competitions such as The Emerald Cup and Full Moon Sesh. Believing cannabis is vital for societal coexistence, she integrates it into her life with the motto: “Cannabis flower fuels my power, and My Niche is Hashish.” https://instagram.com/thedankduchess

Chelsea Kossower

As the VP of Global Expansion, Chelsea Kossower has played a pivotal role in Puffco’s growth and strategic partnerships since joining as the first employee in 2013. Instrumental in guiding the company’s strategic growth, scaling teams, and consistently trying to normalize cannabis, she has consistently upheld Puffco’s foundational values. Last year Chelsea and her team have journeyed to over 15 countries, accelerating hash culture and expanding Puffco’s and hash’s global footprint. Their efforts have not only broadened market reach but also deepened cultural engagements, making significant strides in promoting hash culture worldwide. https://www.instagram.com/chelsea_puffco

Nikka T

Nicholas Joseph Tanem aka Nikka T is a cannabis visionary, educator, public speaker, DJ, judge, processor and activist.

From extraction, to cultivation, and dispensaries, Nikka T has owned and operated multiple fully licensed and compliant businesses under the legal systems in Colorado since day one of medical legalization. Including Essential Extracts, the very first tax paying hash company in the US. Nikka T is the proud winner of 15+ Cannabis Cups with his Essential team and another 100+ won by clients using his Essential Bag Design and “Solventless” techniques. Between his passion for cannabis and music, timed perfectly with the onset of legalization in the US, Nikka T continues to expand his brand, techniques & music all over the globe nationally and internationally.

Josh Schmidt

Josh has been involved in the cannabis space In California since 1999. Over the years he has helped established the first Dispensary in Van Nuys, one in West Hollywood, perfected outdoor cultivation with the states medical program, and eventually co founding Pistil Point in 2014. Josh is a partner in Colcana Colombia and Cookies Thailand Josh Is also VP. of Biz Development for Natura in Sac. He Co-Founded Sluggers Hit and Dee Thai. https://www.instagram.com/khunjosh80

Terryn Buxton

With over 18 years in the legal cannabis industry, Terryn Buxton had worn many hats. Terryn founded Oakland Extracts 10 years ago and has managed all day to day operations and sales. Terryn has been a sales consultant for various other brands, assisting in product development and sales strategy. Terryn spent time on the California Growers Association and the Oakland Cannabis Regulatory Commission, focusing on policy to make our industry more inclusive. Terryn loves the trees! https://instagram.com/oakland.extracts

William Sump

William J. Sump, M.S., is the Chief Executive Officer of Bloom Network, Inc. which has a campus headquartered in Santa Cruz with cultivation licenses, distribution licenses, and manufacturing licenses. Bloom provides a variety of services that include genetics, processing, production, fulfillment, sales, and supply chain sourcing for both wholesale and retail products. Furthermore, Boom creates coveted intellectual property; and offers end-to-end consulting services. All of Bloom’s production and processing utilizes 100% renewable energy sources and they were recently awarded their California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) certification for production and distribution. William works with the Bloom Network to manage relationships with top brands and other cannabis companies. William is actively involved in several Chamber of Commerces and coalitions for cannabis policy. https://www.instagram.com/bloomnetworkdistro

Brett Byrd

I was a grower for 15 years and a hash maker for 6 years. Won 10 emerald cup awards. https://www.instagram.com/byrd_extracts_co

Alice Reis

Proud Latina in California, Alice Reis is a Brazilian psychologist, harm reduction practitioner, and hash maker. She is the founder of Girls in Green and co-owner and operator of Wooksauce Winery. Over the last 10 years, she has dedicated her time to exploring the realms of hashmaking, hash culture, and cultivation, sharing her journeys through the internet. Alice has traveled the world, smoking hash from various regions, and developing her palate through contemporary and traditional hash. Currently living in California, Alice produces educational content about cannabis for her platform and also for Weedmaps. She has also received awards with Wooksauce Winery, including first place in The Emerald Cup 2022, second place in The Ego Clash BCN 2020, second place in The Ego Clash BCN 2023, and second place in King of Z Hill 2023.


Timo & Eliza Espinoza

Eliza & Timo Espinoza are the founders and owners to Seventh Wave LLC, a family-owned and led distribution, manufacturing and delivery cannabis company in California. Having obtained licensure in 2020, Eliza & Timo have successfully procured, manufactured and brought to retail 10 cannabis brands in California—all legacy owned. Their expertise in navigating the tumultuous cannabis industry in California has led them to lecture at various conferences, events and notable schools such as Stanford University, City College of San Francisco and the leading global Latin-news station, Univison. With over 35+ combined year’s of experience, Eliza and Timo have dedicated their company to assuring that legacy remains at the heart of the ever-changing cannabis culture. https://www.instagram.com/7thwaveca

Demetrius Daniels

Demetrius Daniels is a legacy cultivator (Vegannabis 2010-2018) and former dispensary Product Manager (SPARC 2013-2018). Since 2019, Demetrius, and his partners at Demetrius Consulting Group, have supported the CA Cannabis Market in Business Development, Policy, Brand Development, Partnership Contracts, Compliance, Design, Marketing, and Phogtaphy/Videography. https://www.instagram.com/demetriusconsultinggroup

KC Santana

KC Santana, founder of Chiefah Entertainment Podcast out of Southern California! A Cali rooted, mom of two toddlers, a fitness enthusiast & wellness educator in the Cannabis Community. Chiefah Ent. began with the Ladies Cannabis Club where she has produced several Cannabis cultivating workshops, panel discussions & social networking events. Today, Kc Santana is a Digital Community Manager for a legacy Cannabis Brand, producer and host of her own podcast on YouTube & is a board member of the Cannabis Chamber of Commerce non-profit organization. She was recognized with Best Cannabis Activist of the year early 2022 & has continuously served as a PreRoll judge for the Annual Emerald Cup. KC’s main mission is to provide education through her platforms, empower women to use their voice to share their organic experiences with cannabis and to elevate our community through open conversations about the industry services and overall the legacy of our Cannabis culture. https://www.instagram.com/k_chiefah

Keith Stephenson

My career started at the Oakland Cannabis Buyer’s Coop. I worked phone banks for Prop 215 and then went on to found Purple Heart in Oakland, the first licensed Black cannabis business in America. As an advocate for more Black and Brown operators in the legal cannabis space, I then became the thought leader for the concept of “Social Equity In Cannabis” taking this issue to two City of Oakland Council members in 2008. Later, I was appointed to the City Of Oakland Measure Z Cannabis Commission, which regulated medical and recreational cannabis sales in Oakland. I served as a consultant to the California State Employees who would later manage the Bureau Of Cannabis Control. From there I was appointed to the Cannabis Advisory Commission, being 1 of 22 Commissioners. https://www.instagram.com/purpleheart_keith

Eli Melrod

Eli Melrod has been an entrepreneur in the cannabis industry since 2015. His interest in the benefits of cannabis began in 2006, when his father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and leveraged cannabis to manage his health.

Eli co-founded Solful, a cannabis retail brand with a focus on educating the community, offering personalized customer experiences and sourcing only the best sun-grown cannabis. Solful has enjoyed numerous Sonoma County accolades, including best cannabis dispensary in 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022. In 2022, Eli was honored as a 40 Under 40 in the North Bay Business Journal and 23 to Watch in 2023. https://www.instagram.com/solfulca

Raeven Duckett-Robinson

Raeven Duckett-Robinson is a cannabis equity activist and business leader within the industry. Raeven co-founded Community Gardens. Community Gardens holds licenses for delivery, distribution, and event organization. Community Gardens was the first equity team to receive a license from the State of California for adult-use sales of cannabis, based on their participation in the revolutionary city of Oakland Cannabis Equity program.

Raeven is also a strong proponent of equity within the cannabis industry. She served on the board of Supernova Women, an organization founded to foster community empowerment through holistic education, advocacy training, and networking. In addition, Supernova Women fosters a safe space for hard conversations and will amplify the messages of our constituents at the local, state, and national levels.” https://www.instagram.com/raeven_elyse

Aaron Justis

Aaron Justis is the owner of Buds & Roses, a renowned Los Angeles cannabis dispensary. Since 2010, Aaron and the Buds & Roses team have been the proud recipients of 28 High Times Cannabis Cup Awards. Most of these awards were in recognition of their in-house, veganically-grown cannabis. Aaron received his first Cannabis Cup Award back in 1998, however, when his J-Wear Hemp Clothing Company won for Best New Hemp Product in Amsterdam.

Aaron has a personal passion for using cannabis flower. He also has a long history in advocating for the cannabis plant and its users. As an industry “trailblazer” (winner of the High Times Trailblazer award in 2015) he’s been committed to being a positive voice for the advancement of cannabis policy worldwide. https://www.instagram.com/aaronkjustis

Ashley Ray

Ashley Ray is the host of TV, I Say, a podcast dedicated to all things TV. She’s a stand-up comic with a cannabis focus who judged in the 2023 Emerald Cup. She’s been featured in Bust magazine for her insights and pro-cannabis opinions. Her biggest honor in weed was smoking with Seth Rogen. https://www.instagram.com/theashleyray

David Downs

David Downs Leafly Senior Editor David Downs received a Literary Excellence Award from Oaksterdam University in 2022. On the cannabis beat since 2009, he’s published three books, including the best-selling cannabis crop science book ‘Marijuana Harvest.’ Downs’ work has appeared in San Francisco Chronicle, New York Times, Scientific American, Wired, Rolling Stone, The Onion A/V Club, Columbia Journalism Review, High Times, Billboard, and many more. Downs was the Americans for Safe Access Journalist of the Year 2020 for his vape safety reporting, which is cited by the New England Journal of Medicine, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Downs has guest lectured at Loyola Marymount University Law School’s Journalism Law School, as well as UC Berkeley Extension. He’s contributed to Continuing Education of the Bar’s Marijuana Law Hub, sponsored by University of California and the State Bar of California. https://www.instagram.com/daviddowns

Elise McRoberts

Elise McRoberts has been trailblazing in the cannabis space for a decade. The founder of Hashinista- a hybrid strategy firm, production company + lifestyle brand, Elise judged her first Cannabis Cup for High Times Magazine in 2o12 and has continued to judge various categories & competitions while building an impressive resume of clients and projects. A veteran executive with C-suite experience on all sides of the licensed supply chain from cultivation & manufacturing to distribution & retail, Elise’s diverse expertise and creative leadership has been integral to the launch, growth and success of many top tier California brands.

Some of Elise’s notable work includes leading Doc Green’s’ transition and revival from a dormant topicals company to an award winning, stylish solventless brand sold & recognized throughout the state; conceptualizing and executive producing highly acclaimed events such as The NorCal CannaCuisine Gala, High Society, The Last Hurrah Prop 215 Benefit, the Frenchy Dreams of Hashish documentary SF premiere and more, many of which were fundraisers giving back to a nonprofit organization; launching HVY Grand for Mammoth Brands’ Heavy Hitters with a groundbreaking influencer campaign; and most recently Elise has diversified again by adding payments to her wheelhouse with PayRio.

A leading industry expert and dynamic presenter, Elise has given keynotes and contributed to various panel discussions at events such as SXSW, BizBash, CannaDelic; as well as been featured in numerous articles, podcasts and media outlets (FORBES, GreenState, SKUNK, Cannabis Now, NY Times, SF Chronicle, Cannabis & Tech Today). Most recently named on MJ Venture’s 40 Under 40 list for 2023, Elise is excited to continue growing the Hashinista portfolio- whether supporting operators navigating the complexities of California or helping more founders and new brands break into cannabis around the world.

As a professional entertainer, Elise McRoberts’ unique performance art combines flow, rhythmic & sensual dance with a fire or LED hula hoop.
Self taught and hoopdancing for over 14 years (4 years with fire), Elise’s dance displays extreme power & athleticism with captivating femininity and mesmerizing moves. A former fashion model and leading stylist (in Chicago, before Cannabis), Elise’s passion for fashion and attention to aesthetics further enhances the visual of her creative expression, leaving audiences enamored and amazed. The Hashinista has hooped at The Emerald Cup Awards, Puffcon and many more private events. Elise has also spun on stage with OutKast and Thievery Corporation.  https://www.instagram.com/thehashinista

Lindsay MaHarry

Lindsay MaHarry is a writer, creator, and consultant focused on the de stigmatization of cannabis, psychedelics, and all other earth medicine. She uses her platform (@_oystergirl_) to advocate for regenerative farming techniques and the rise of organic, sun-grown, and craft products in a predominately corporate marketplace.  Lindsay has been writing about cannabis since 2015, contributing to publications like High Times, Leafly, Uproxx, Vice, Weedmaps and more.

She’s the creator of Hot Tokes with Oystergirl, a newsletter and YouTube channel, and serves as the creative director for Big Slang, a consulting agency for medicinal-plant-based businesses. She also loves to judge competitions like The Emerald Cup and is honored to be judging for her second year.

Follow her @_oystergirl_ on IG and Tiktok. Subscribe to “Hot Tokes with Oystergirl” on Substack and Youtube for more <3 https://www.instagram.com/_oystergirl_

El Rock

Well known and respected Bay Area cannabis connoisseur/influencer with 30+ years experience in cannabis including, product sourcing, curating and consulting, cultivation, B2B sales-relationship management, marketing & promotion of art, music and cannabis-based products. Elrock was born into the Grateful Dead family and has 25 years experience of his own in the music industry as a HipHop artist-songwriter & a tenured career as a graffiti artist. Host of the Emerald Cup Awards 2023, Host of Hippie Hill SF 2023, Cannifest Host 2023, Cannifest Roast and Toast Host 2023. 3x Emerald Cup Judge
IG: @therealelrock” https://www.instagram.com/therealelrock

Bill Levers

Originally hailing from Florida and Pennsylvania and now conveniently headquartered in Los Angeles and Sacramento, Beard Bros Pharms is a multi-state cannabis brand (MSB), advocacy and consulting firm, and grassroots media magnate whose highly sought-after products, no-nonsense knowledge base, and hard-earned expertise are boosting bottom lines for their business partners worldwide.

The company leverages their deep legacy cannabis experience at the intersection of the ever-evolving legal and regulated cannabis landscape via its co-founders and real brothers Bill and Jeff Levers to help their partners navigate the nuances of both established and emerging cannabis markets.

Beard Bros Pharms’ full spectrum of expertise in cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, operations, packaging, supply chain distribution, consulting, marketing, and media is unrivaled.” https://www.instagram.com/beardbrospharms


Bobby Black

Bobby Black is an icon of marijuana media. Best known for his 21-year tenure as senior editor, columnist, and primary brand representative for High Times, Bobby is now the California Content Director for Leaf Magazine and author/host of the acclaimed cannabis history column/podcast “Cannthropology” (published monthly in Leaf). He is also a co-founder of both the World of Cannabis Museum Project (for which serves as its executive director) and the 420-friendly travel agency Higher Way Travel (with his wife April). In addition, he’s a former editor for both Sensi and Greenleaf magazines, and former host of “Blazin’ With Bobby Black” on Cannabis Radio and “Contact High” on Sirius XM. He has judged dozens of cannabis competitions around the world, including the HT Cannabis Cup, Bio Cup, Leaf Bowl, and Squash-Off, as well as the Emerald Cup for the past three years. https://www.instagram.com/thebobbyblack

April Black

Most of the time you can find April Black working behind the scenes. She was on the hospitality and intake team for the High Times cannabis cups, both in Amsterdam and here in the states from 2008-2015. In 2016 she moved to California and founded Higher Way Travel- a cannabis centric travel and tour agency. Now, she cultivates cannabis experiences for travelers right here in California and beyond. With a preference and love for sun grown legacy farmers, April has been able to share that California Love with people from all over the world. https://www.instagram.com/higherwaytravel

Todd McCormick

Todd McCormick is a former cancer patient who in 1979 at age 9, started using cannabis under his mother’s supervision while undergoing chemotherapy and radiation.

Todd overcame the cancer and went on to become a lifetime advocate of medical cannabis. Starting in 1994, Todd worked with Jack Herer as an editor of The Emperor Wears No Clothes.

In 1997, Todd was one of the first medical cannabis cultivators arrested by the federal government after the passage of 215 and served 5 years in prison for cultivating cannabis.

Todd released his first book, How To Grow Medical Marijuana in 1998. In 2008, he co-produced the documentary; THE UNION: The Business Behind Getting High and the 2014 follow up film: The Culture High.
Todd has been growing and breeding cannabis since 1984 and owns: www.AGSeedCo.com” https://www.instagram.com/toddpmccormick

Kevin Chapman

Kevin Chapman is Director of Events at Puffco, the industry leader in cannabis concentrate consumption hardware & technology. Previously, Kevin worked as Event Director & Vendor Coordinator for Chalice Festival. Joining the cannabis space in 2012, he has played a substantial role in preserving and expanding the culture. https://www.instagram.com/kevin_puffco

Jason Pinsky

Jason Pinsky, recognized as a trailblazer in the cannabis industry, made his mark as the former Chief Cannabis Evangelist at Eaze and the pioneering Cannabis Producer for VICELAND’s “Bong Appétit.” Celebrated as the first credited cannabis producer on IMDB, Pinsky was named King of Mainstream Marijuana in 2016. His journey with cannabis began in 1994, critically judging the High Times Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam. Pinsky’s personal battle with opioid dependency led him to cannabis, a key factor in his advocacy for the New York State’s Compassionate Care Act, which he helped expand in 2016 to include chronic pain. With a background that spans technology, music, and culinary arts, including his role as CTO of MusicVision and founding partner of NYC’s top-rated BBQ, Fette Sau, Pinsky’s career reflects a dynamic fusion of interests, often referred to as The Pinsky Triangle. Residing in Los Angeles, CA, with his two cats, Indi and Tiva, Pinsky continues to be a prominent figure in the cannabis community. https://instagram.com/jasonpinsky

Ishta Muhammad

Born and raised in the Emerald Triangle in Mendocino County, I am true believer and fan of this magic medicine. Cancer survivor and Canna-mom, I have used this plant for years for pain relief, stress relief and just plain fun. I am passionate about everything cannabis 💚🤘🏾 https://www.instagram.com/mendoish

Neil Dellacava

Neil has been a member of the California cannabis community since 2009. In 2015, he founded Gold Seal San Francisco, an indoor cultivation company where he was the VP of Sales and business development. Post his departure in 2020, Neil seamlessly collaborated with prominent names in the cannabis industry, contributing his skills to renowned companies such as Kalya Extracts, Compound Genetics, and HERBL Distribution. In 2022, he added another chapter to his journey by founding Chronic Culture, an platform that serves as a nexus for cannabis events and community engagement. https://www.instagram.com/goldneil415

Dani Walton

Dani Walton is a highly accomplished cannabis expert and entrepreneur based in the Bay Area with a remarkable track record spanning over 20 years in the cannabis industry. Her journey has taken her across the globe, and she spent more than 11 years traveling with the executive team of Harborside, where she passionately advocated for the positive impacts of the cannabis plant.

During her tenure at Harborside, Dani’s exceptional skills shone through as she managed wholesale and distribution for Harborside’s farm. She also played a pivotal role in the development of their in-house brand, Key. Following her departure from Harborside, Dani embarked on new ventures that further demonstrated her entrepreneurial spirit. She co-founded NXTLVL, a women-owned concentrate delivery service that rapidly gained recognition, and Agris Farms, a picturesque 5-acre light dep farm located in Woodland, near Sacramento.

Currently, Dani holds the position of US Sales Manager at Blimburn Seeds and bulk wholesale consultant. Her extensive knowledge encompasses a wide range of subjects within the cannabis industry, including the latest consumer trends, cannabis sales, extraction techniques, cultivation methods, new brands and products, as well as the evolving science of cannabis medicine.

Dani’s authority in the industry is well-established, as evidenced by her role as a judge in esteemed cannabis competitions such as Chalice, High Times, Dab-A-Doo, The Organic Cup, and The Emerald Cup. Her expertise and insights have garnered attention from reputable publications and media outlets, including Forbes, The Guardian, The Independent, and many others.

With her remarkable background and unwavering commitment to advancing the cannabis industry, Dani Walton stands as a true pioneer and influential figure in the field. Her contributions have not only shaped the industry’s landscape but also inspired countless individuals within and beyond the cannabis community. http://www.instagram.com/dabbingforwellness

Dale Sky & Jeff Jones

Dale Sky Jones is the original spokeswoman for the modern cannabis legalization movement while mom of 3 kids with pioneer Jeff Jones. The award-winning documentary, “American Pot Story: Oaksterdam,” is based on the campaign, federal raid and decade-plus fight.

Dale and Oaksterdam published The Budtenders’ Guide and Style Guide, offering cutting-edge workforce development and Responsible Vendor training. Since 2007, Oaksterdam University has taught over 100,000 alums from 110 countries. Oaksterdam offers trusted certification programs for Business, Horticulture, Budtending, Extractions, and Manufacturing, educating the workforce, owners, and regulators. She is the Program Director of Social Equity technical assistance, coaching, and accelerator programs for New Jersey, Connecticut, Los Angeles, and Oakland, California. https://www.instagram.com/oaksterdamuniversity

Jeff Jones has provided expertise in the medical cannabis field to Californians for almost three decades. He Co-founded the Oakland Cannabis Buyers’ Cooperative (OCBC) in 1995. With Jeff’s assistance, the City of Oakland became the first U.S. city to contract with a medical cannabis provider in 1998. Jeff was named the defendant in the OCBC Federal Civil case, one of the longest-running medical cannabis cases in history that traveled all the way through the U.S. Supreme Court in 2001. He transitioned the OCBC into advocacy and education, changing its name to the Patient ID Center, and shared his expertise with hundreds of thousands of medical cannabis patients, professionals, and experts. Jeff shares two young sons and a daughter with Dale Sky Jones.

Lindsey Bartlett

Lindsey Bartlett is a cannabis journalist who has documented and worked within the industry for over a decade. Her work has been published in Weedmaps, Leafly, Merry Jane, The Denver Post, High Times, Vanity Fair, Insider, and Forbes. Bartlett is a cannabis media fellow alumni of the UVM Pace Plant Biology program. https://instagram.com/lindse_y


David Hua

David Hua is the CEO and Co-Founder of Meadow, a software company for cannabis retail. Meadow’s all-in-one software powers retail and delivery dispensaries across California, Michigan, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. Hua also collaborates with California’s cannabis community and regulators to draft and implement regulations. He has previously sat on the boards of the California Cannabis Industry Association and the Cannabis Distribution Association. He is a 3 x Emerald Cup Judge for the cartridges category. https://instagram.com/meadow.sf

Etienne Fontan

Patient advocate and combat veteran with over 30+ years of growing and selling cannabis. I’ve worked alongside Ed Rosenthal, Todd McCormick, Rob Connell Clarke, and Mojave Richmond, among other pioneers in our movement. I own and operate Berkeley Patients Group, the oldest continuously operating medical cannabis dispensary in the country, celebrating 24+ years. I work locally, state, nationally, and Internationally with the Veterans Action Council. https://www.instagram.com/atn420

Joshua Wurzer

Josh is responsible for managing regulatory compliance, research and development, and intellectual property as President and co-founder of SC Labs. He serves on mulitple cannabis and chemistry working groups including serving on the U.S. Pharmacopeia’s (USP) Cannabis Expert Panel, as the co-chair of the CCIA’s QC Committee, am a founding member of he AOAC CASP adivisory panel, am the President of the AOAC Pacific Southwest Executive Committee. https://www.instagram.com/sclabs_us

Lauren Mendelsohn

Lauren Mendelsohn is a Junior Partner at the Law Offices of Omar Figueroa in Northern California. A millennial and an activist at heart, Lauren currently helps cannabis, hemp, and psychedelics clients (including several Emerald Cup winners and other “OGs”) navigate regulatory regimes and transactional matters, in addition to helping cannabis users and businesses stand up for their rights. Lauren is on the board of directors for California NORML and the Sonoma County Growers Alliance, and previously served as a director for the International Cannabis Bar Association and Students for Sensible Drug Policy. She was selected as a Cartridge Judge for the 2022 and 2023 Emerald Cup Competitions. Lauren is enrolled as a student in this year’s Ganjier Program class and looks forward to earning her Ganjier Certification. http://instagram.com/laur.mendy

Yarrow Kubin

2nd generation cannabis cultivator, drug war veteran with legacy, medical and regulated experience. SF born and Mendo and Sonoma raised. Focused on cannabis real estate. Currently Director of Biz Dev with Zoned Properties. https://www.instagram.com/yarrowkubrin

Robert Young

A lifelong passion of the plant has blessed me in unparalleled ways! Cannabis is my life. From pulling tarp in the hills of Humboldt to retrofitting 1000+ light where-houses in Northern California. Our focus and current mission is to bring quality to scale in a way that few others have even dreamt of! https://www.instagram.com/ghost_of_embervalley

Sam Edwards

Sam Edwards leads The Pasta Farm in native sungrown cannabis cultivation in the Red Hills appellation of Lake County. https://www.instagram.com/heyyostring

Levi Strom

Emerald Cup award-winning manufacturer, best Topicals in 2015 and 2nd place for best tincture in 2016, I’ve been blessed to be an Emerald Cup judge in the Topicals category for the past 2 years. I have a boundless passion for plant-based medicine and value good product manufacturing, starting with the plant and the cultivar. https://www.instagram.com/awakenedlevi

Daniel Montero

Daniel Montero started working as a marijuana professional in 1998, operating from San Jose, California to Humboldt County. Since 2019, GW Smoke Break TV has been committed to producing culturally authentic content for the cannabis industry, empowering legacy operators in The Emerald Triangle and around the globe. https://www.instagram.com/gwsmokebreaktv

Adam Hayes

I have been in the California Cannabis industry for 15 years. I am a co-owner of Sense cannabis. Sense is a premium indoor flower company who specializes in proprietary genetics though pheno hunting. As a part of my job I smoke different flower daily looking for new phenos that we hunt. I have nothing to do with extracts professionally but am a big consumer of hash in my personal time. I think it would be fun to be a judge of a non-flower category as I have a very refined palette when it comes to flavors and terpene profiles in cannabis flower and extract. We won 2nd place last year and will compete again this year. http://www.instagram.com/sensecc

Sister Camilla Valley

Sister Camilla is in charge of the social media and marketing for the mother farm this year. She joined the sisterhood in 2018 in order to learn from founder sister Kate and to expand the sisterhood to other countries specially Spanish speaking such as Mexico and Colombia and others. Since she joined the sisterhood she has been traveling preaching and teaching about cannabis in many events, her focus is to teach home made techniques for cannabis extraction. She has a business degree and a masters degree in economics and since 2018 she’s the CEO of las hermanas Del Valle, the Spanish speaking version of sisters of the valley. https://www.instagram.com/sistercamillavalley


Aaron Scarborough

Aaron Scarborough’s cannabis journey began with cultivation in Humboldt County and has taken him through every step in the supply chain from cultivation to retail. Aaron led ops at NorCal Cannabis Co, standardizing cultivation, distribution and product development. He then restructured operations at New Tropic & The Parent Co. While a cultivator at heart, Aaron’s passion is in developing collaborative and agile teams to navigate market challenges. He currently leads operations for Gotham.NYC

Laniakea Evans

Laniakea Evans has worked in the cannabis space for over 15 years. She is currently the General Manager of 365 Recreational Cannabis in Santa Rosa. Laniakea started her career in the legacy market as a trimmer and has gone on to manage farms, distribution facilities, and dispensaries throughout Northern California. Her passion is education and making cannabis more accessible to her community. She is currently working on creating an education and outreach program to connect Sonoma County’s nearly 180 assisted living and board and care home facilities with free cannabis consultations and educational material for their aging residents. You may also recognize her from her publications in Sensi Magazine, Dope Magazine, and Leaf Magazine or as one of this year’s Emerald Cup Therapeutic Topicals judges. Laniakea has faced some unique challenges in the male dominated cannabis industry but believes that leading with honesty and creating a sense of community, almost a sense of ’Ohana (Hawaiian for family), has been what drives her continued success. When Laniakea isn’t managing 365 Recreational Cannabis she is creating synergies in the industry and helping new entrepreneurs build successful businesses as the CEO of White Widow Consulting. She is a proud mother of three wonderful girls, and she enjoys spending her days off cooking, gardening, and crocheting with them. https://instagram.com/laniakeaevans

Nina Parks

Nina Parks is an expert in cannabis and cannabis social equity policy and in 2018 Hightime’s Magazine named her one of the High-time’s 100 top influential people in Cannabis of 2018.

In 2015 Nina launched a Prop 215 compliant delivery service called Mirage Medicinal and was featured in Weediquette for the work her and her brother did to save their cannabis business and advocate for the participation of more people of color and for the inclusion of the formally incarcerated in the legal cannabis industry. During this time she also co-found an organization for women of color in the cannabis industry called Supernova Women which has grown into a national voice for a more inclusive and just cannabis industry and was pivotal in helping to shape “Cannabis Equity Programs” from the Bay Area CA, to Roxbury Massachusetts.

Today Ms. Parks is the Co- Executive Director of Equity Trade Network an organization dedicated to focused on nurturing an eco-system of equity & legacy individuals.  She is a builder of brands and a trusted voice in the cannabis industry a true keeper of cannabis culture and with a birthday on 4/20 she was made for the position that she holds. Nina was also appointed to San Francisco’s Cannabis Oversight Committee. Where she helped to direct funds to equity applicants.

Most recently she has been organizing Cannabis Events such as the first ever Cannabis Garden at a neighborhood street fair Jardin de Hierba Buena at Carnaval San Francisco and now she has launched Stoners Party a events and tourism platform for the culture.

Nichole West

Nichole is a Business, Agriculture & Efficiency Specialist with over 13 years of experience in the regulated cannabis industry dating back to her first certificate of occupancy issued for her California-based dispensary in 2009 for Medical Marijuana. She has since worked for large marketing companies like WeedMaps.com and Rosebud Magazine as well as some of the largest plant-touching cannabis businesses in the nation. https://www.instagram.com/harvest_honey

Bridget Brandstad

Bridget Brandstad is an Herbalist, Health Coach & online business mentor. She has been in the cannabis industry since 1991 & is co owner of Greenhouse Advisory Group with her husband Eric. https://www.instagram.com/bridgetmbrandstad

Sweetleaf Joe

I am the founder and Director of the Sweetleaf Collective, California’s oldest cannabis brand. We help low income terminally, ill patients and veterans access free medical cannabis. Our net work has accessed over $10 million worth of free medical cannabis in the last 27 years. https://notreallyoninstagram.com

Natasha Chiu

Since 2008 my journey in this industry began as cannabis advocate from tabling events with Oaksterdam University and MAPS.org, providing education and planning events to help fund and aid in helping families access medicinal cannabis, to creating an educational platform CANNA BY DEMAND for cannabis enthusiasts in 2016. In 2019 my study WOMEN IN CANNABIS: THEORIZING A GRASS CEILING was approved by the International Review Board at Sonoma State University. I began research on cannabis exploring how gender norms and gender strategies affect working women, specifically focused on promoting women to higher levels of position in the cannabis industry. In 2018, I began R&D in natural non-toxic skincare and founded Sol Glow Skin formulating skincare products with CBD, which will be launching this year. I hold a BA in Sociology, MA in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, an MA in Clinical Psychology, and recently became a Doctoral Candidate in Clinical Psychology at Alliant International University- California School for Professional Psychology. I will be graduating 2025 with a Doctorates in Clinical Psychology. At my current capacity, I also work in community mental health and provide psychoeducation and therapy to youth and adolescents in San Francisco. Additionally, I also work with adults as a crisis counselor for the state of California. Above all, I am a mother of 4 and married 18 years to Sensei who has contributed so much to my achievement and success. On my off days, I love cooking, dancing, and spending time with my family and friends. https://www.instagram.com/psychiu

Judi Nelson

Judi Nelson, PT, is a licensed physical therapist and cannabis farmer with decades of experience helping people feel good in their bodies. She is passionate about cannabis as a health and wellness tool, and has witnessed its power in healing chronic pain through having lived, farmed, and practiced PT in the Emerald Triangle since the late 1990s. Her farm, Sol Spirit Farm, in Trinity County, has won multiple Emerald Cup awards, and she knows how important this competition is and how winning a coveted Emerald Cup Award can help lift a cannabis business to a higher level. A love of this plant and community led her to wanting to be an Emerald Cup Judge to continue to encourage excellence and innovation in cannabis products so patients and consumers can benefit. https://www.instagram.com/solspiritretreats


Elizabeth Beachner

My love runs deep for the cannabis plant. I began using it as a form of pain relief for endometriosis and scoliosis in my teens after learning about the downsides of NSAIDS. I find that this medicine gives me the relief I need both physically and mentally. In my experience as a cultivator, caregiver and budtender, I have seen firsthand how it can benefit others as well. This encouraged me to formulate some of my own salves and tinctures to gift to loved ones and people in need. Cannabis is a medicine that not only provides pain relief but also brings people together, and I’m so grateful for it. I am also very proud to have won 1st place tincture Emerald Cup 2017 with our seed-to-sublingual drops. What an honor! https://www.instagram.com/mendominnie

Nathan Valensky

I popped my first cannabis seeds in 1998 in Sonoma county. That was the beginning of a long relationship and beautiful relationship with this plant. I’ve been involved with almost all aspects of this industry, but it wasn’t until I was diagnosed with cancer in 2020 that I became more aware and focused on the medicinal value and benefits from this plant. Being a judge on the metals cup team gives me the space to be able to share what I be grown to understand and love about this plant. https://www.instagram.com/nathan_louis_valensky

Julie Chiariello

Julie Chiariello is a medical cannabis user, a 26 year certified herbalist and believes in the use and protection of plant medicines in all their forms. She has worked in the cannabis industry for 17 years and is owner and Editor-in-Chief of Skunk Magazine. SKUNK Magazine is an 18 year old global cannabis publication that has been devoted to teaching organic, sustainable cultivation practices and featuring the highest quality genetics in the world. We have taught millions of people to grow organically at home and are a rich resource of information where all of the best minds and companies in the cannabis industry come together and speak. Our educators are the finest growers, breeders, scientists, craft makers, business owners and activists in the global movement. https://www.instagram.com/skunkmagazine

Monique Pelletier

Nurtured within a multi-generational legacy deeply grounded in the art of cannabis cultivation, my entwined journey with this extraordinary plant initiated during the formative years of my life. Across nearly three decades, I’ve seamlessly traversed the diverse landscapes of both traditional and emerging markets, immersing myself in the intricacies of cultivation, sales, consulting, and spearheading business development for an eclectic array of farms, brands, and distribution entities.

My comprehensive background extends beyond conventional confines, providing a profound understanding of the ever-evolving cannabis terrain. As a certified herbalist, my delight lies in the seamless infusion of cannabis into delectable culinary creations, along with the meticulous formulation of tinctures, teas, and salves. Beyond the domains of commerce, I find solace in the tranquility of the garden, where I cultivate a deep connection with the plants that transcends the mere act of cultivation, enriching my holistic engagement. https://www.instagram.com/mo_tejasri

Mskindness Ramirez

Mskindness B. Ramirez, an Author, Life Coach, and Master Educator, brings a unique calling to her endeavors. With over two decades in public education, she is dedicated to shaping a more informed, modern workforce. In 2015, she founded CLUB KINDNESS, a Cannabis Inclusive Education Platform fostering social change through workforce certification programs and impactful events. Mskindness is the author of  “The Root Family’s Special Garden,” aiming to demystify plant medicine for future generations. Her advocacy extends to the best-selling book “”Courage in Cannabis Vol. 2,”” sharing her journey as a staunch advocate for patients and moms. As Executive Vice President of the Board at THIS IS JANE PROJECT, she supports women and non-binary trauma survivors through plant medicine and healing programs. Currently serving as Adjunct Faculty for LA Southwest College and Research Analyst for the UCLA Labor Center, Mskindness remains committed to promoting equity, inclusion, and social impact. https://www.instagram.com/mskindnessb

Nishea Trinidad

Nishea is a community organizer in Fresno, California. Pre-pandemic Nishea supported a thriving CBD Beauty Shelf in NYC. Once the world shut down in COVID, Nishea began community education series on cannabis, which landed her a position at an opening dispensary as everyone’s favorite wellness budtender. After that, Nishea supported the opening strategies of three more dispensaries and becoming the general manager of a new construction. Nishea is now the executive director of a Fresno nonprofit that educates parenting communities on cannabis and safety of use. Nishea was a tincture judge at The 2023 Emerald Cup and is so excited for the opportunity to judge again! https://www.instagram.com/nishea.trinidad

Brian Applegarth

Brian Applegarth is certified Ganjier cannabis sommelier and a certified Cannabis Therapy Consultant. He is a cannabis travel and tourism expert and was the sole advisor on the first ever Cannabis Travel Audience research in the United States. Brian is the creator of the cannabis Effect Pairing method, and the Founder of the Cannabis Travel Association International and The Cannabis Trail, an immersive travel experience trail with Cultural Landmarks that honor the pioneers and places of the cannabis legalization movement. Brian also co-produced the first-ever CA State Fair Cannabis Awards & Exhibit in partnership with SC Labs. Brian’s award-winning work has been recognized by the Clio Awards, Visit California Poppy Awards, US Travel ESTO Awards, and the International Association of Fairs and Expo Awards. https://www.instagram.com/thecannabistrail

Amber Senter

Amber E Senter is founder and CEO of MAKR House, an infused cannabis products company. Amber is also co-founder, Chair of the Board, and Executive Director of Supernova Women. Formed in 2015, the organization is dedicated to empowering people of color to become self-sufficient cannabis industry shareholders. Amber is a US Coast Guard Veteran and has held many leadership roles in the cannabis industry. Amber’s voice is trusted in the growing cannabis industry, as is her unsurpassed knowledge of the end medical and adult-use base. She is a sought after coach and mentor, and a role model for new cannabis business entrepreneurs. http://instagram.com/itsmeambere

Steve Miller

I’m a senior brand and marketing strategist who has launched and helped grow distinctive, award-winning, and top- grossing brands in consumer lifestyle spaces for over 19 years. For the last 9 years I have focused my efforts in the cannabis industry, leading marketing operations for some of the top brands in the space including Kiva, Alien Labs, and Connected. I bring a dynamic energy, humor and an entrepreneurial mindset to one of the most complex industries, and my seasoned track record brings with it an enormous professional network, in-depth industry knowledge, and a love for moving mountains. https://www.linkedin.com/in/sfmiller

Angela Pih

I specialize in high-growth companies primed for national and international expansion. As an omni-channel, data-driven growth marketer, I am strategically minded, digitally savvy and operationally disciplined. I have been in executive level positions for over a decade, working directly with founders, board members and investors.

In the cannabis industry, I have led marketing at StateHouse, one of the largest, fully vertical, publicly-traded companies in California with 14 retail locations and six brands. Was the former Chief Marketing Officer at Papa & Barkley and CannaCraft, both premier cannabis companies that have thrived since transitioning to adult-use markets.

My work has garnered me a 1st Place Emerald Cup for Tinctures, 3 Cannabis CLIOs, won Green Market Report’s Women in Leadership Award for Science & Research and selected by Cannabis Now magazine as a Women of Influence.


Nick Torres

Nick Torres has worked behind the scenes with some of the biggest names in cannabis since 2013. A veteran member of TC Labs and Beezle Extracts, Torres has been instrumental in pushing the envelope in the extraction and edibles space. https://www.instagram.com/hunter_s_terpson

Keiko Beatie

Keiko Beatie has been a Ayurveda, Chinese, and Holistic Medicine practitioner since the 1970s. Her focus on whole-plant cannabis and fungi medicine education to the community is her passion. She speaks at many mainstream, cannabis and psychedelic conferences across the country on subjects of Senior Education, Edibles, Pain Management, Canna Travel Tourism, and Patient Care, just to name a few. Her background, education, and knowledge of the whole plant have assisted many to be able to heal themselves from many serious diseases. She serves on several boards in the cannabis community. Keiko is the Director of Education for Coral Cove Wellness Resort in Jamaica. This is an all-inclusive cannabis and psychedelic wellness resort on the oceanfront of the crystal blue waters of Jamaica. https://www.linkedin.com/in/keikobeatie

Manndie Tingler

Manndie is a cannabis industry business development expert who is the Chief Commercial Officer for Prophet Brands, President of the Women’s Canna Awards, and Co-Founder of the podcast Joint Forces with Luke Scarmazzo. She has Judged for the Emerlad Cup and other product competitions around the world. https://www.instagram.com/ladysilverleaf

Melissa Anaclerio

My current role in the cannabis industry is Senior Operations Manager at Mercy Wellness, helping to oversee operations in manufacturing. Previous to this I specialized in distribution, logistics, and compliance operations. Side hustles include making a decent drink, cracking jokes, and rolling a blunt no matter the stakes. https://www.instagram.com/redhaught_

Jeff Levers

Originally hailing from Florida and Pennsylvania and now conveniently headquartered in Los Angeles and Sacramento, Beard Bros Pharms is a multi-state cannabis brand (MSB), advocacy and consulting firm, and grassroots media magnate whose highly sought-after products, no-nonsense knowledge base, and hard-earned expertise are boosting bottom lines for their business partners worldwide.

The company leverages the deep legacy cannabis experience of real brothers Bill and Jeff Levers with their front-line position in today’s regulated landscape to help their partners navigate the nuances of both established and emerging cannabis markets.

Beard Bros Pharms’ full spectrum of expertise in cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, operations, packaging, supply chain distribution, consulting, marketing, and media is unrivaled.
In addition to 20-years of top shelf cannabis production, Beard Bros has operated in the legal cannabis market since 2011 (in the Prop 215/SB 420 medical market) and produced licensed recreational cannabis since 2018. Today you can find their award-winning high-CBD and high-THC RSO (Rick Simpson Oil) products in popular dispensaries in California and Massachusetts, with more states and markets stocking up soon. In coming months, the brand plans to unveil even more wellness-oriented products including “RSO in a Bottle” (highly potent and effective tinctures), and RSO-based edibles and topicals.

Bill and Jeff of Beard Bros. Pharms have also earned a reputation as outspoken advocates of the cannabis plant, its many benefits, and of the culture at its roots. With the launch of their own culture-based website in 2018 at www.beardbrospharms.com and corresponding weekly newsletter “The Friday Sesh”, the Bros are known and revered for the authenticity that accompanies their reporting on original news content, upcoming cannabis related events, brands to watch, and more.
Allowing other brands and farms to tap into that earned respect places Beard Bros. Pharms at the intersection where legacy meets legality by delivering the highest quality products to patients and consumers and sharing their real-world knowledge, insights, and experience to others through ongoing consultation and education.

Beard Bros. Pharms continues to harvest success not only for themselves, but for the brands and operators that see the mutual benefit that comes with keeping it real. https://www.instagram.com/thebeardedjefe

Ramon Garcia

Mr. Garcia is the Co-Founder and President of the Equity Trade Network and Co-Creator of “Equity Trade Certification” (Federal Certification Mark) and “Equity Sessions,” an educational resource dedicated to providing holistic education and networking for Equity Applicants and communities disproportionately damaged by systemically biased policies. Along with several Grassroots Activists and advocates, Ramon helped to create the language for Oakland’s Historic Equity Program, taking that experience to then assist in a similar fashion in San Francisco, Sacramento, San Jose, and CA State Equity programs, with policies and regulatory language.

As a cannabis entrepreneur, Garcia is also a Co-Founder of Sanctuary Farms LLC and a Partner in Equity Trade Inc. Distribution. Ramon is also a former CGA (California Growers Association) Equity Chair and a member of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee for the Cannabis Distributors Association, The National Cannabis Industry Association, and The Mendocino Cannabis Alliance.

Ramon M. Garcia is a second-generation, and lifelong activist with movements including, LA Raza, and AIM West, and advocate for communities terrorized by colonialism and disproportionate and predatory policies. www.equitytradenetwork.org, https://www.instagram.com/ramongarcia360

Coreen Carroll

Chef Coreen Carroll is a unique, young talent in our world’s cannabis culinary scene, with a local and sustainable cooking style that combines quality ingredients with contemporary techniques and Alpine flavors. She earned national recognition winning the Netflix television series Cooked With Cannabis.

Carroll has been recognized as America’s Top 10 Cannabis Chef and has received ‘Excellence in Experiences and Services Awards’ by GreenState. She co-authored the best-selling cannabis cookbook EDIBLES: Small Bites for the Modern Cannabis Kitchen (published by Chronicle Books Nov. 2018). https://instagram.com/frauleinchef

Gaurav Mehta

Gaurav better known as G hails from just outside Chicago, but his heart found its home in Humboldt in 2003. With a entrepreneurial spirit he managed the renowned 6 rivers brewery. After that he spent 6 years at Humboldt Wholesale where he excelled in his growing knowledge and forging relationships with growers around the globe. During this time he opened up the award winning hash company “Terp” taking first place awards at ego clash, chalice, high times just to name a few . Fueling his passion for music he opened up El Gee productions bringing in major acts like Sly and Robbie , Protoje and Kabaka Pyramid. Beyond the Humboldt music scene, G became the road manager for Grammy nominated Blvk H3ro. While not on the road G can be found at the very successful Ganjery dispensary as a Board member and store manager. He is also co- founder and owner of Cannabis Culture Club a cannabis event company specializing in tasting dinners . With a impressive track record spanning multiple industries G is multifaceted individual who’s entrepreneurial and passion for Cannabis and the community drives him forward. https://www.instagram.com/elgeeproductions

Christina Wong

Christina Wong is a cannabis food, drink and travel writer, creator, and baked baker in Los Angeles, California. She’s founder & CEO of Fruit + Flower Co. and the host of Fruit + Flower Unfurled, a newsletter and podcast for culinary cannabis enthusiasts. Additionally, she’s co-host of Mogu Magu, an AAPI culture, food, and cannabis collective; and partner of The Clever Root, a food lover’s guide to modern cannabis. Her work has been featured in Thrillist, High Times, Cherry Bombe, CannaCurious, and Kitchen Toke magazines. https://www.instagram.com/fruitandflower

Sway Mac

Leader in the California cannabis industry for over 15 years and the Bay Area’s First Canna Bar and Lounge Experience. A true compassion dealer Rooted in Love, Sway has worked with some of the Industries top terpene cultivators and emerald cup award winning genetics. https://www.instagram.com/swayfromthebay

Kailey Morgan

Kailey Morgan, an integral force in California’s cannabis landscape for over 15 years, made a mark cultivating living soil cannabis at Canna Cruz Gardens alongside industry leaders like DNA Genetics and Dragon Fly Earth Medicine. However, her pivotal role was pioneering California’s groundbreaking solventless-only dispensary at Redwood Coast Collective. Here, she not only honed her expertise in hash production but also witnessed world-class hash makers craft their magic. Her journey continued at Big Pete’s, amplifying their sales to a national scale. Presently, navigating strategic craft cannabis sales at Ember Valley, Kailey’s commitment to innovation shines. Her passion project, Women of Cannabis, stands as a testament to her unwavering dedication to inclusivity, seamlessly merging cultivation, innovation, and community in California’s vibrant cannabis industry. https://www.instagram.com/kailey_danielle_

Alt Cann

Tawnie Scarborough

Jazz Dixon

Cannabis is what brought me to California and now that I’ve married into a cannabiz family I’ve been involved with different aspects over the years including processing, growing, packaging and branding as well as being a judge for the emerald cup for the past 7 years. I love the process of judging alt can. And hope to join the team again this year. https://www.instagram.com/jazz.lei.amora

Chelsea Lucich

Chelsea Lucich, widely recognized as Chelsea Loops embarked on her remarkable journey in the cannabis industry as a trimmer in the early 2000s. Her passion and dedication quickly propelled her career forward, leading her to become a massage therapist for a Cannabis compassion program in Berkeley. This experience enriched her understanding of the therapeutic aspects of cannabis, paving the way for her next role as a budtender. Chelsea’s expertise and innovative approach to dispensary management shone brightly as she helped steer several thought-leading dispensaries to success.

Her most notable contribution was between 2015 and 2020, where she played a pivotal role in the inception and growth of Emerald Pharms in Hopland. Here, her skills in event production and dispensary management were instrumental in shaping the facility into a prominent cannabis destination.

In 2023, Chelsea transitioned to Space Gem, taking on the role of Marketing Manager. Her ability to blend creativity with market insights has been a valuable asset to the company. Despite her evolving roles, Chelsea remains a budtender at heart, embodying the spirit and knowledge that have made her a respected figure in the cannabis community. Her journey reflects a deep commitment to the industry and an unwavering passion for advancing the cannabis world. https://www.instagram.com/chelsealoops

Whitney Beatty

Whitney Beatty is a dynamic former reality television development exec turned cannabis entrepreneur. Her cannabis storage company Apothecarry Brands, Inc. was selected for the first cohort of Canopy San Diego cannabis business accelerator and won the ArcView Groups 2017 Los Angeles pitch prize. She also serves as founder & CEO of Josephine & Billie’s, which highlights the recreational and medicinal needs of women of color. Whitney is a fierce advocate for equity and women of color in the cannabis space, and serves as VP for Supernova Women and the Cannabis Equity Retailers Association. https://www.instagram.com/highmommylife

Chaney Turner

Chaney Turner is an entrepreneur, organizer and equity thought leader. Chaney believes in accessibility, equity, and a dedicated, transparent investment in the economic, social and political lives of those most impacted by the War on Drugs. In 2020, Chaney founded Beyond Equity, an organization whose mission is to insure equity in the still developing cannabis industry. Chaney’s work and leadership embodies the belief that those most impacted by inequities should have the power to implement grounded, sustainable and community-driven solutions. Chaney currently serves as a Chair of the City Oakland Cannabis Regulatory Commission. In 2023, Chaney was elected as a California Assembly Delegate representing District 18. https://www.instagram.com/social_life

Kyle Boyar

Kyle Boyar is a cannabis scientist with a background in neuroscience, microbiology, and analytical chemistry with over a decade of experience in the science of cannabis. He has continuously been on the forefront of the field having been employed by numerous reputable cannabis testing firms including SC Laboratories, Medicinal Genomics, TagLeaf LIMS, and the reference lab for the State of California at UC San Diego. He also previously served as Vice Chair of the American Chemical Society’s Cannabis Chemistry Subdivision (CANN) and as Chair of the ElSohly Award, the first scholarship of its kind for cannabis scientists.

Kyle is currently employed as a National Field Application Scientist with Bio-Rad Laboratories and leads the field efforts for cannabis with the Food Science Division in North America. He also serves as a Board Member for the National Registry of Certified Chemists, an educator with Curious About Cannabis, and as an advisor to TagLeaf LIMS and The Cannigma. https://www.instagram.com/canna_kybo

Luna Stower

Luna Stower, Chief Impact Officer at Ispire Vape Technology in L.A. is a renowned executive and thought-leader in the space. Her expertise in designing and manufacturing high-quality cannabis vaporization hardware has significantly influenced the sector.

With almost two decades industry experience, Luna was recognized as ‘Top 100 Women in Cannabis’ by Green Entrepreneur for her role in developing prominent cannabis brands like Jetty Extracts and Click Spray.

Starting as the first employee at Jetty and Ispire, she played a pivotal role in their growth. A Bay Area native with a Master’s in Education from USF and BA in Social Justice, UCSC.

Internationally acclaimed keynote speaker, panelist and educator on plant medicine, widely-honored for her contributions to drug policy & social equity.

Her work has greatly impacted legacy cannabis brands via social responsibility & brand loyalty initiatives.” https://www.instagram.com/luna_stower

Ophelia Chong

Advocate, extrovert, ally in cannabis for POS and AAPIs https://www.instagram.com/opheliaswims

Aundre Speciale

Aundre Speciale began her cannabis advocacy in 1990 when her neighbor Jack Herer, asked her to join him on the Hemp Bus, touring California promoting hemp for fuel, food, fiber, fun, and medicine. Thus began her lifelong love and dedication to cannabis reform and involvement in countless cannabis activist campaigns and projects.

In 2004 her desire to introduce a dispensary model focused on compassion, patient services, and community responsibility led her to open the first of many dispensaries across the state of California. Her model for dispensing medical cannabis includes opening community centers, food pantry, working closely with community service providers and city government to create enlightened cannabis policy, and funding major cannabis research and reform projects. Aundre currently operates CBCB dispensary which opened in 1996, with her two adult kids, and she believes that love is the best business model. https://www.instagram.com/ganjalovegoddesss

Rachelle Gordon

Rachelle Gordon is a leading cannabis journalist and the editor of San Francisco Chronicle’s GreenState. She has become a critical voice in the emerging industry, traversing the globe for the last seven years and covering the space as it developed. Rachelle has been featured in High Times, CannabisNow, Beard Bros, MG Magazine, Cannabis & Tech Today, and many other industry publications. She is also a partner in the Women in Cannabis Study, a living history of women working in weed. Her favorite cannabis varieties include Lemon Haze, Tangie, and MAC.

Lester Black

Lester Black is the cannabis editor for SFGATE.com, the leading free news website in California. He frequently reviews cannabis products and writes about cannabis culture, policy and law. He was previously the cannabis columnist for The Stranger, Seattle’s iconic alt-weekly, and he has appeared as a cannabis expert on Good Morning America, ABC News’ Start Here podcast, CBC’s nationwide Day 6 program, and Dan Savage’s Lovecast. He has a Cannabis Science and Medicine Professional Certificate from the University of Vermont. https://www.instagram.com/leddder