Cannabis Industrial Advisory Committee

The Cannabis Industrial Advisory Committee (CBC-IAC) is instrumental in ensuring Excelsior’s Cannabis Control Program curriculum is current and relevant to the needs of this ever-changing market. The committee is made up of leading industry experts from across the country and provides thought leadership in all facets of cannabis business operations as well as opportunities for Excelsior students to connect with the industry beyond the classroom through internships, course projects, networking events, and more.

Tessa Adams

Tessa Adams

Chief Marketing Officer of MXY Holdings

Tessa Adams is the chief marketing officer of MXY Holdings, known mostly for its concentrate products called Moxie. She entered the cannabis industry more than a year ago and has been integral in developing the Moxie brand. Adams has more than 10 years of consumer-packaged goods beverage experience in both wine and spirits and non-alcohol.
Solonje Burnett

Solonje Burnett

Founder, Humble Bloom

Solonje Burnett is a community leader, humanist, cannavist, and co-founder at the website Humble Bloom, where it is her mission to support the underrepresented in the cannabis industry. She believes that stereotypes, structural inequities, and biased business practices can be shattered through culture curation, and by providing strategic branding and hiring, advocacy, and inclusive purpose-driven community experiences. She sits on the Cannabis Control Industrial Advisory Committee at Excelsior College, is an advisor and member of the Virtue Project’s Business Equity Council, and is an advisory board member at CRUDE.

Burnett was recognized among “15 Women to Watch in the CBD Industry” in Marie Claire and in Culture Magazine’s “Five Cannabis Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2019.” She has spoken at PopSugar Playground, NECANN, and the Yale Business of Legal Cannabis Conference. Burnett has been featured in publications and podcasts, including Thrive, The Fold, Black Enterprise, Refinery29, Vogue, VICE, WGSN, Cheddar, Skunk, Women & Weed, Miss Grass, Maria and Jane, Supermaker, and more. She produces events and festivals for conscious companies, hosts nightlife parties, and programs music at membership clubs. She is a brand positioning and equity consultant and political activist speaking out on equality and human justice. She facilitates weekly healing and wellness experiences at Frequency and hosted the show “Radical Self Care: Cannabis, Wellness & Activism” on Afropunk. She is also a member of Demo Crew and the Resistance Revival Chorus, born out of the Women’s March.

Paul Coble

Paul Coble

Founder & CEO, Thalo

Paul Coble is an intellectual property attorney and cannabis software executive with a deep background in science and technology. Coble has helped clients navigate and mitigate risk relating to intellectual property and heavily regulated markets such as alcohol, personal data, pharmaceuticals, and cannabis. He launched Thalo Technologies to develop software to help cannabis and hemp manufacturers better capture and interpret their lab data to make more profitable decisions.
Robert Hunt

Robert Hunt

Founder & Managing Member, Linnaea Holdings

Robert Hunt is a founding partner of Linnaea Holdings, a private equity firm that provides investments and operational expertise to California cannabis firms. Previously, he was the founder and manager of Shingle Hill, a boutique consultancy and market intelligence firm for the cannabis industry. He specializes in assisting his clients with legislation and policy issues, due diligence, and structuring complicated financial instruments. He was also a founding partner and the lead industry executive of Tuatara Capital, the world’s largest private equity firm dedicated to cannabis-based businesses. In this role, Hunt was responsible for leading Tuatara’s deal generation efforts, operational due diligence, and the execution of new investments. Hunt was also the owner and CEO of Rocky Mountain Hydroponics in Colorado and Evergreen Garden Centers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine.
Tahir Johnson

Tahir Johnson

Membership Manager & DEI Manager, National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA)

Tahir Johnson serves as membership and diversity, equity and inclusion manager for the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA). He is responsible for driving membership and expanding the organization’s presence nationally while establishing and executing on its DEI and social equity initiatives.

Prior to joining NCIA, Johnson spent most of his career in wealth management and had clients that included corporate executives, entertainers, business owners, and other high-net-worth individuals. He began his career with Morgan Stanley where he served on the Diversity Council.
Passionate about cannabis, he left his career as a financial advisor and began working as a patient counselor and social media director at a local dispensary. He has worked in several ancillary businesses and has experience being part of a team in cultivation and processing licenses. As such, he has a unique insight into the needs and challenges of business owners in the industry.

Johnson was born in Trenton, New Jersey, and has resided in the Washington, D.C., area since attending Howard University, where he majored in marketing.

Kris Krane

President, 4Front Ventures

Kris Krane’s bio will be posted soon
Amber Littlejohn

Amber Littlejohn, Esq.

Executive Director, Minority Cannabis Business Association

Amber Littlejohn is the executive director of the Minority Cannabis Business Association (MCBA). She is a policy and industry veteran with a passion for positive change—whether driving the evolution of policy or a revolution of thought. As an attorney and advocate for emerging and embattled industries, Littlejohn has developed and implemented creative strategies for industry, associations, nonprofits, and stakeholder groups. She previously served as senior policy advisor at MCBA, where she helped develop and implement MCBA’s federal policy program. Prior to her work with MCBA, she thrived as a business owner, advisor, and advocate for the natural products industry on issues critical to small businesses. Through her work, she has developed creative strategies to expand and stabilize emerging markets while engaging and serving underrepresented business interests and communities.
Marion McNabe

Marion McNabe

President, Cannabis Center of Excellence

Marion McNabb is the president of the Cannabis Center of Excellence, INC, a nonprofit organization that conducts citizen-science-focused population studies and programs in the areas of community engagement, medical cannabis, adult-use cannabis, and social justice in the cannabis industry. McNabb is the former CEO and co-founder of the Cannabis Community Care and Research Network (C3RN), a Massachusetts-based cannabis research company from 2018 to 2020 that aimed to improve the evidence-base related to medical cannabis therapies. McNabb has more than 15 years of global public health experience in the areas of digital health, HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health, and family planning, working primarily in Africa and Haiti.
Amanda Ostrowitz

Amanda Ostrowitz

Senior Vice President of Commercial, Fyllo

Amanda Ostrowitz is senior vice president of commercial at Fyllo, a suite of enterprise-grade software and services built for the complexities of highly regulated industries. In her role, Ostrowitz helps drive global growth strategies for the company’s growing customer base and has a deep understanding of the ever-changing regulatory environment surrounding cannabis laws. Ostrowitz is an attorney by trade, a former Federal Reserve Bank examiner, and an entrepreneur who developed CannaRegs, the industry’s most comprehensive database of federal, state, and local cannabis regulations.
Ashley Picillo

Ashley Picillo

Founder, Point 7 Group

Ashley Picillo entered the regulated cannabis market in spring 2014, joining one of the largest vertically integrated cannabis businesses in Colorado as the head of marketing, operations, and sales. She oversaw day-to-day operations, including five dispensaries, a high-volume extraction facility, a 23,000-square-foot cultivation facility, and more than 70 employees. She founded Point Seven Group, headquartered in Colorado, in 2016 to offer management consulting services to new operators Since then, the company has rapidly expanded and has satellite offices in California and Ohio. Picillo is also the author of “Breaking the Grass Ceiling: Women, Weed and Business.”
Amanda Reiman

Amanda Reiman

Vice President Community Development, Flow Kana

Amanda Reiman is the vice president of community development for Flow Cannabis Company, which engages in distribution, manufacturing, and white label production of sun-grown cannabis products. She is also the founder and CEO of Personal Plants, an online platform to support the home cultivation and processing of therapeutic plants and fungi. She is a board member for the California Cannabis Tourism Association, the Mendocino Cannabis Alliance, the Mendocino County Fire Safe Council, and The Initiative, the first incubator/accelerator for women-owned cannabis businesses.”

Kathryn Reiter

Compliance Manager, Natura +Science

Kathryn Reiter’s bio will be posted soon
Dylan Shropshire

Dylan Shropshire

Founder & COO, Big Island Grown

Dylan Shropshire is a fifth-generation farmer raised on the Hamakua Coast of Hawaii’s Big Island where he lives. He is a highly accomplished real estate professional, restaurateur, and investor, and has now permeated the exclusive cannabis industry of Hawaii by founding Big Island Grown, one of the eight winning applications for a vertical medical cannabis dispensary license. Big Island Grown has quickly become one of the largest private employers in East Hawaii and boasts a current position in 2020 as No. 1 in total cannabis sales for the entire state of Hawaii. Shropshire made history by opening the first dispensary on the Big Island, which is one of the only medical cannabis dispensaries in the world located on an active volcano. Big Island Grown operates vertically with a state-of-the-art 35,000-square-foot cultivation, manufacturing, and extraction operation, which is nearly 100 percent renewably powered by privately permitted hydroelectric and photovoltaic power generation.”

Danniel Swatosh

Founder, Humble Bloom

Danniel Swatosh’s bio will be posted soon
Jessica Velazquez

Jessica Velazquez

Managing Partner, Indiva Advisors LLP

Jessica Velazquez is a certified public accountant (CPA) licensed in Illinois and Nevada and managing partner of Indiva Advisors LLP, a full-service CPA firm for cannabis and hemp businesses. She helps business owners navigate through unique accounting, tax, and financial industry challenges. She brings with her a wide array of experience, working with closely held businesses as well as with publicly traded multinationals, across a variety of industries such as gaming, retail, and manufacturing. Velazquez has worked for public accounting firms PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ernst & Young, as well as for Zappos.com and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. In 2014, she began her own practice with an emphasis on income tax planning and strategic business consulting for closely held companies.