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Our Team

Peter Pilarski

Peter Pilarski

Communications Advisor

Peter is a proven expert in communications, government and media relations, and stakeholder management. A free market enthusiast, he has spent his entire working life promoting the principles of open competition, less government intervention and more personal freedoms as the best way to unleash human innovation and potential.

With a passion for business and a knack for making connections, Peter has worked with hundreds of business leaders across Canada though his work with the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce, Retail Council of Canada and Merit Contractors Association. He has also worked in the Alberta Legislature and Government of Alberta where he gained a comprehensive understanding about how decisions are made in Government. Additionally, he has an entrepreneurial background that started with work in his family business at a young age and continues through the public relations firm he runs with his wife in Calgary.

He has a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Alberta and an Executive MBA with a Finance specialization from the University of Calgary. As the Chamber President, Peter looks forward to facilitating dialogue between leaders in this emerging industry and government to find solutions that benefit all stakeholders and Canadians society as a whole.

Jonathan Denis

Jonathan Denis

Legal Counsel, Advisor, Lobbyist

A former Two-Term MLA, former Minister of Justice, Attorney General, Solicitor General, Minister of Housing and Alberta Government House Leader, Jonathan Denis is a respected legal expert former legislator, and lobbyist. His interest in the legal Cannabis space is ensuring a proper balance between the rights of legitimate Cannabis business owners, and public safety.

Christopher Souster

Christopher Souster

Legal Counsel, Advisor, Lobbyist

Chris is a leading Alberta lawyer, whose experience has included Municipal and Provincial law: Business Licensing and reviews, AGLC licensing, development permits, zoning, building permit, fire safety issues, and government relations, panel member for the symposium on marijuana grow operations, and Legal advisor in relation to commercial grows, dispensary licenses, corporate structure, liability, etc.

Jacqui Rade

Jacqui Rade

Vice President

Jacqui is an emerging leader in the Canadian Cannabis Industry, with a personal passion for the impact of the cannabis space on issues that women care about. She is an advocate for the legal Cannabis Industry in Canada, as she has seen the many medical benefits it provides to individuals and families.

Her mission is to helping facilitate the successful and safe implementation of legal cannabis as an industry, with the focus of ensuring it is responsibly legalized to protect kids and our society’s most vulnerable. Jacqui’s work extends beyond the industry and into the community. She has diligently worked with recovering addicts, and with the Mental Health Association recruiting, training and managing employees and volunteers, while also liaising with relevant organizations.

She understands the balance that must be struck to ensure responsible use, and is bringing her community work experience to the and blending it with her own personal passion for the health benefits of responsible cannabis use.

Kevin Acebo

Kevin Acebo

Municipal & Regulatory Advisor

Kevin M. Acebo has more than 30 years of experience working in the areas of public policy, public affairs and politics. Having served as a key advisor to elected officials, political campaigns, and fortune 500 companies, Kevin has helped shape California’s political landscape, public policy and bring new technologies to the forefront.

Today, Kevin is the president and owner of Acebo and Associates, which focuses on strategic public policy counsel and representation for a number of corporate and public clients on matters before local, state and federal governments. Acebo and Associates also maintains an active business development client listing in the fields of legal cannabis, renewable energy, “green” product markets and 3D technology.

Prior to founding Acebo and Associates, Kevin served as Deputy Mayor for Legislative and Intergovernmental Relations for the City of Los Angeles. From 2000 to 2004, Kevin was the Statewide Political Director for the California Democratic Party, where he developed the Party’s strategic year-round political agenda. In 2004, Kevin left the position with the Democratic Party to become the principal in KMA Strategies, a political communications and public policy strategy firm.

In 1994, Kevin took on the role of Assistant Chief of Staff for Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky where he remained until 2000. Before joining Supervisor Yaroslavsky’s office, Kevin served as a political consultant from 1989 to 1994 for local, statewide, and federal candidates and initiatives as well as corporate interests. In 1981, Kevin became a Principal Legislative Consultant for Assembly Speaker Willie L. Brown, Jr. In this role, Kevin developed legislation and communication initiatives for members of the Assembly Democratic Caucus.

In addition to his many responsibilities working in local and state government, Kevin served twice — 2001 and 2011 — as Chair and a General Member of the Los Angeles County Boundary Review Committee, a public member body charged with developing redistricting recommendations for each of the offices of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. He also served as a consultant to the 1990 reapportionment of the state’s congressional and legislative districts.

Deni Leonard

Deni Leonard

First Nations Advisor

Deni is a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Indian Reservation of Oregon, and in addition to serving as a First Nations advisor for the Canadian Cannabis Chamber, he sits as the Chairman of the Multi-Ethnic Economic Coalition, International Operations Director of the World Indigenous Economic Council, and Chairman of the World Indigenous Economic Summit.

His work around community and sovereignty has included serving on several boards, including: the Board of Directors, National Indian Business Association, Board of Advisors, National Business For Social Responsibility Organization, Board of Directors, Native Hawaiian Advisory Council, Editorial Board/Contributor, Pacific Economic Review Magazine, Board of Trustees, Asia Chamber of Commerce, International Director, Tribal NAFTA Trade Summit, Calgary, Canada, Finance Advisor, National Indian Gaming Association, Economic Committee, Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, Economic and Financial Advisor, American Indian International Trade and Development Council, Seattle, Washington, Consultant, Hui Nao Ouao; Native Hawaiian Sovereignty Education Advocacy Group, Member, Access to Capital California Task Force; Office of U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Board of Directors, International Diplomacy Council, Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Chairman; International Sovereignty Conference, Puerto Rico, Chairman; International Economic Sovereignty Conference, San Francisco, California, Board of Directors, National Business League; Oldest African American Chamber of Commerce, Chairman, North American Tribal Port Development Summit, Chairman, First National Tribal Computer Technology Conference held in the United States, and as Keynote Speaker, Northwest Affiliated Tribes Annual Economic Conference, Reno, Nevada.

Deni is a proponent of Multiculturalism and has worked diligently in the areas of international relations in Canada, the US and around the world, including: International Keynote Speaker, World Indigenous Economic Summit, Toronto, Canada, Indigenous representative, World Tourism/Investment Summit, Beijing, China, Development Director, World Tourism/International Trade University, offering a Master’s Degree, Chairman of the Multi-Cultural Economic Coalition, which represents Asian, Hispanic, African and Am. Indians, with participation from around the world, Guatemala, US, Canada, Africa, China, Philippines, International Tribal Port development for west coast of hemisphere to attract international trade/exports, International Director of the World Indigenous Economic Summit scheduled for 2013, International Operations Director of the World Indigenous Economic Council created in Busan, Korea, Developing Trade between China and First Nations for oil development , Developing an International Financial Institution to create capital for trade and project development in Costa Rica, Coordinated Ecuador President meeting to develop economic planning for Indigenous people of that country, Mutual Trade Conference between First Nations of Canada and Tribes in the United States Re: Jay Treaty Rights for International Trade, Renewable energy development in the area of wind/solar with corporations in Japan with plans for manufacturing on Tribal Lands in the United States, Developing Tourism media programs for Indigenous populations, Received awards for development work from the World Trade University in both Toronto, Canada and Busan, South Korea, Chaired the World Indigenous Sovereignty Conference in Puerto Rico to discuss development of an Indigenous Common Economic Market, Delegate to the Hemispheric Indigenous Sovereignty Conference in Quito, Ecuador, Keynote Speaker at the National Aborigine Economic Conference in Darwin, Australia, Coordinated meetings at the United Nations, Deputy Secretary General, in New York to discuss Human Rights, Treaty rights and analysis of official membership of Tribal Nation, Coordinated meetings with US Ambassador to the United Nations regarding Tribal Treaty Rights

Deni has served in many government capacities over his career, including Consultant, White House, Consumer Education, Tribal Tax Exempt Municipal Finance, Tribal Economic Planning, National Consumer Administration, Access to Capital Committee; Executive Director, State of Oregon Department of Human Rights; Consultant; Office of Maori Affairs, Wellington, New Zealand; Consultant; Office of Aboriginal Affairs, Melbourne, Australia; Consultant; Government of Palau; Yap, Guam, Truk, Hawaii, Samoa, Saipan and Pohnpei; National Chairman, Securities and Exchange Commission Tribal Task Force to investigate non-governmental status of SEC Tribal Bond Issues; Consultant, U.S. Departments of Interior; Education; Housing and Urban Development; Defense; Commerce; Consumer Administration; and Treasury.

Deni has been a life long advocate of education. Himself a graduate of Harvard and the University of Oregon, and the San Bernardino Valley College, he has also served in several other educational capacities, helping to foster the sharing of knowledge and understanding His work includes Director, Warm Springs Curriculum and Development Department and served on the Tribal Law and Order Committee; Director, United Indian of All Tribes Educational Development Program, Director; NW Educational Laboratory Native Curriculum Program; Instructor, University of Guam; University of California Berkley; San Francisco State University; University of Washington; Lecturer: Kaio University, Tokyo, Japan; University of Brisbane, Brisbane, Australia; University of California at Davis; University of Alaska, Anchorage, Alaska, University of Pennsylvania; Heritage College, Yakama Indian Nation; University of Guam; San Francisco State University; University of Washington; Vice President, Prometheus College, Tacoma, Washington; DQU, University of California, Davis; Consultant, National Institute of Education; Washington, D.C.; Consultant; Far West Educational Research Laboratory; U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C.; Cal Poly University, Pomona, California; Eastern Washington State University, Spokane; Development Director, World Tourism University, Palm Springs, California; Keynote Speaker, University of Pennsylvania Museum Opening Ceremonies; Consultant Hawaii Department of Education: Language Programs

Deni has won several awards for his work, including Human Rights Award, National Education Association, largest education organization in the United States, Local Hero Award, KQED Public Television, San Francisco, California, Lifetime Achievement Award, Native American New Millennium, Hollywood, California, Global Indigenous Entrepreneur Award, United Nations/World Trade University, Toronto, Canada, Indian Business Owner of the Year Award, National Center for Indian Economic Development,
International Entrepreneur Award at the World Tourism & Finance Summit, Busan, South Korea

Dr. Rob Streisfeld

Dr. Rob Streisfeld

Medical Advisor

Dr. Rob Streisfeld is a passionate consumer advocate and educator with over 15 years of Natural Health & Natural Products Industry experience. A
Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine and Certified Natural Food Chef, “Doc Rob” as widely known, provides an informed and innovative perspective tosupport education, product development, branding, marketing, PR, and other business development needs.

Over the past decade, Doc Rob has helped to identify and expand key health categories such as probiotics, enzymes, whey protein, fermented foods, whole food supplements, and more. His focus on traditional and cultural aspects of food and medicine offers unique insight on a wide variety of topics.

His recent passion is rooted in cannabis, cannabinoids, and the benefits they offer. He is a sought out expert, lecturing and educating onCannabis, both marijuana and hemp, the endocannabinoid system, CBD (Cannabidiol) and other aspects of this amazing plant. Audiences include health practitioners, interested consumers/patients, cannabis industry professionals, and potential investors. He collaborates and advises in product/business development as co-founding partner at BeyondBrands (www.BeyondBrands.org), has a podcast called “Concierge for Better Living” on CannabisRadio.com and is currently the Medical Director of multiple dispensaries in Arizona.

Lindsay Blackett

Lindsay Blackett

Government Relations & Policy Advisor

Lindsay Blackett is an extraordinary entrepreneur and executive in the marketing and advertising industry with over three decades of diverse professional experience in various industries. Throughout his career, he has routinely demonstrated the passion, vision, dedication and diligence necessary to be successful in the business world.

Drawing upon his extensive experience and expertise in the field as well as his outstanding business acumen. In addition to serving as an advisor to the Canadian Cannabis Chamber, Lindsay is currently V.P. business Development, Ncite Neuromedia focusing on new markets for education gamification. Lindsay is former CEO of Chiniki First Nation for two years in which he oversaw administration of 32 programs including, housing, economic development and education.

Mr. Blackett spent over four years as a Member of The Legislative Assembly of Alberta for Calgary North West. He also recently spent almost four years as Minister of Culture and Community Spirit for the Government of Alberta. Additionally, Mr. Blackett Chaired the Standing Committee on Legislative Offices. Lindsay was also a Member of the Operations Committee and Cabinet Policy Committee on Public Health and Safety.

With a vast array of knowledge and experience Lindsay has spent the last 18 months working, in a consulting capacity with various companies and organizations in the cannabis industry in the areas of finance, technology and public policy. Mr. Blackett has been focusing on transformational change that allows business to prepare for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the North American cannabis industry.

Tyler Henson

Tyler Henson

Policy & Logistics Advisor

Tyler is a rarity in the legal cannabis industry, who has successfully pushed and reformed Colorados cannabis laws to be business friendly. Tyler is a lobbyist by trade who specializes in Liquor, Gaming, Tobacco, and Cannabis industries.

Before joining the Canadian Cannabis Chamber in Canada, Tyler was The President of Colorado Cannabis Chamber of Commerce (C4), the organization that the Canadian Cannabis Chamber is modeled after. Tyler took the fledging organization and turned it into the largest pro-business chamber of commerce for the licensed and regulated cannabis industry in Colorado.

Tyler was instrumental in creating proficiencies and testing standards for the edibles market, in a time when pesticide contamination was at its peak. Tyler also removed barriers in the obtainment of capital by drafting and successfully passing legislation that lifted the prohibition of accessing capital from outside the state of Colorado. Tyler worked across the state to ensure business friendly rules and regulations followed the industry at every step.

Tyler’s work with the industry and government paved the way for a successful partnership between business and elected officials. Tyler’s mantra of “Business first, Cannabis second” created a new level of commitment within the cannabis industry for achieving success in the industry, big or small.

Tyler holds a Masters in Healthcare Policy from the University of Denver, a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science from Metropolitan University of Denver. He currently resides in Colorado with his wife and young son.

Geoffrey Selzer

Geoffrey Selzer

Medical Cannabis Products & Dispensaries Advisor

Geoff is a partner and CEO of New American Blends, a medicinal products company located in Los Angeles focused on the intersection of the art and science of Cannabis.   Our mission at NAB is to provide finest cannabis based oil blends possible.  Our products are designed to enhance or create a specific effect. NAB is dedicated to uncovering the beauty of this plant and delivering products that support body mind and spirit. As an entrepreneur with a media and technology focus, Geoff built his career through two decades of hands-on corporate finance, management, creative and production experience.  Geoff was Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Luminous Publishing™, a company dedicated to creating a new genre of media-rich products originally designed for Tablet computers. The company developed and designed innovative kid’s products as well as completing design work for the world’s largest education publisher of a core curriculum modular platform.  Prior to Luminous as CEO & Chairman of the Board of Emergent Game Technologies Geoff took this startup from pre-revenue to build the number two games middleware business in the world.  Prior to joining Emergent in 2004, Geoff provided consulting services to video game and media companies focusing on the development and exploitation of cross-media intellectual property, fund raising and production.  Geoff served as Vice President Creative Development and Production for Disney Interactive, where he built, managed, and created the vision for a profitable $100M+ annual revenue business and a group of more than 100 professionals responsible for the design, development and production of the interactive software titles at Disney Interactive.  Prior to Disney Geoff was Acting Publisher: for New American Magazines, New York City where he Headed a $60M restructuring of a magazine group that included negotiating and executing the sale of American Health magazine to The Readers Digest Association, Inc and re-positioning and financing Mother Earth News and Psychology Today.  Prior to his work in media Geoff enjoyed a successful career investment banking with an emphasis on mergers and acquisitions. Geoff is an avid painter and photographer (www.geoffreyselzer.com) and has interests in sustainability, technology.

Jay Griffin

Jay Griffin

Dispensary & Products Advisor

Jay has shown that along with a resourceful mind, he has great leadership around the office. Since entering the cannabis industry in 2011, he excelled at every position with DANK dispensary in Denver Colorado, quickly rising through the ranks as grow support, bud-tender, floor manager, general manager and in 2015, to Owner. Jay has been a big part of the growth and success of DANK, now serving as the Director of Operations responsible for marketing and branding, human resources and facility compliance. With that experience, he provides advise to the regulated cannabis industry for consulting clients through Denver Consulting Group and Medicine Man Technologies. Jay brings to the table more than 20 years’ experience in project management, technical writing, land planning, sustainable design and graphic design. Jay is deadline driven and success oriented making him a great asset in the consulting group. You may see Jay networking DANK, DCG, MMT and all his endeavors at a variety professional and social events throughout the country. Jay is the current owner of the Cannabis-based Denver Consulting Group, and the owner and operator of Dank, Colorado’s first recreational cannabis dispensary. He is also certified through iComply, the Responsible Cannabis Certification Program.

Rick Hanson

Rick Hanson

Public Safety Advisor

Rick Hanson had a 40 year career in policing in both the RCMP and the Calgary Police Service. Rick was the Chief of Police in Calgary from 2007 until retiring in 2015. During that time he served as Vice President of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and was president of the Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police. Rick has served on as a board member on a number of not for profit Boards and stays active on the fund development committee of the Calgary Police Foundation. Rick is currently the Senior Vice President, Regulatory & Public Affairs for Merrco Payments Inc.

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