Powerful Women to Book for Cannabis & Drug Policy Reform Events

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In the era of basic dime-a-dozen get-rich-quick-off-marijuana-conferences that seem to be taking place at any given moment, I recommend those of us with skills to offer cut our losses and start our own goddamn conferences with more interesting lineups. 

Over the past few years, I had the great honor of meeting talented people around the country committed to doing excellent work in the new field of legal cannabis. Below, readers will find a partial list of inspiring women who would make particularly compelling speakers about their craft as well as the national moment in which we find ourselves. To be continued…

Takiya Anthony-Price

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Takiya Anthony-Price
Photo: LinkedIn

Takiya is a dynamic, high-energy specialist advising management on the formulation and administration of plans and policies for an organization. She also has extensive experience working across diverse industries and disciplines who is able to keep focused and productive.

She’s also an independent Sales Consultant for Healthy Headie Lifestyle, providing educational curated in home demonstrations of ancillary cannabis products, tools and equipment. Takiya was a panelist for Supernova Women* who spoke on personal accounts of cannabis usage and the importance of activism and education to reform cannabis prohibition. In addition, she is Boston Women Grow Co-Event Chair.

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Sonia Espinosa
Photo: LinkedIn

Sonia Espinosa
Co-Founder of  Cannabis Cultural Association and a recent graduate of  Harvard University (Social Anthropology), she has conducted ethnographic research that examines the results of systems and laws in relation to people’s lives. In the past she’s worked at RevLabs, an accelerator instrumental to bringing 21st Century Entrepreneurship to Milwaukee, WI, one of the most segregated cities in the nation. She is the co-founder of EatMe, an infused-edible experience.

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TaShonda Vincent-Lee
Photo: Facebook


TaShonda Vincent-Lee

Has a diverse portfolio and can speak on Information Technology, Education, Behavioral & Mental Health, Criminal Justice, Community Programming, and Customer Service.

 

 

Sunshine Lencho
Lencho’s practice currently focuses on the medical cannabis industry where she provides medical cannabis businesses guidance on corporate formation and advice on navigating the ever-changing local and state regulatory requirements for their businesses. In addition, Ms. Lencho provides intellectual property services such as trademark counseling, clearance, and prosecution, copyright registration, intellectual property enforcement, and strategy. 

Ms. Lencho also has experience with state licensing application processes and requirements. Ms. Lencho is co-founder of Supernova, an organization for women of color in the cannabis industry, a member of the board of directors of the California Growers Association, and a member of Oakland’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission.

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Sunshine Lencho 
Photo: LinkedIn

Ms. Lencho’s practice includes on intellectual property litigation, domestic and international trademark prosecution, copyright and trademark enforcement, Internet issues, and domain name arbitration. She has experience litigating as both a plaintiff and a defendant in trademark infringement actions, before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, and has represented clients in proceedings before the World Intellectual Property Organization.

While at Stanford Law, she concentrated her studies intellectual property and business related courses such as venture capital, internet business law, and finance. She also took classes in the Graduate School of Business. Her interest in the medical cannabis industry began in a constitutional law class focused on the legal issues surrounding America’s wine industry. At the time she wrote her research paper, only sixteen states had passed medical statutes and Colorado had not yet legalized adult use.

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Nina Parks testifying in Oakland on amendments to medical cannabis ordinances.

Ms. Lencho earned her B.A., with honors, from Stanford University. She is a proud graduate of The Peddie School in New Jersey. Her service to her alma mater includes serving as a founding member of the Peddie Leadership Council.

Nina Parks
Parks is the CEO of Mirage Medicinal, a California state-certified medicinal cannabis cooperative that delivers anywhere within San Francisco city limits. She is also an artist, poet, community organizer and activist. Parks is also one of the co-founders of Supernova Women, and she can speak to improving the environments of communities of color and encouraging the criminal justice system to make amends for the failed war on drugs and its impact on families.

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Amber E. Senter
Photo: LinkedIn

Amber E. Senter
Senter is the Chief Operations Officer at Magnolia Oakland, Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Eureka Management Services and Co-Founder at Supernova Women. Ms. Senter has 17 years of marketing and print production experience and has appeared in Black Enterprise Magazine as well as VICE.

Kassandra Frederique
Kassandra Frederique is New York State Director at the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA).

Frederique previously ran the day-to-day operations of the statewide campaign to end New York’s racially biased marijuana arrests, which cut the number of NYC marijuana arrests in half. Frederique also represented DPA as a member of Communities United for Police Reform, which focused on addressing Stop & Frisk and broader police reform/accountability measures bridging the gap between the War on Drugs and policing.

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Kassandra Frederique
Photo:Drug Policy Alliance (DPA)

In addition to working for policy solutions to reduce the harms associated with drug use, Frederique works with communities throughout the state to address and resolve the collateral consequences of the War on Drugs – state violence. As a co-author of Blueprint for a Public Health and Safety Approach to Drug Policy and as technical advisor to Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick’s The Ithaca Plan, Frederique cultivates and mobilizes powerful coalitions in communities devastated by drug misuse and drug criminalization to develop municipal strategies to foster healthier and safer communities.

Frederique’s professional focus includes building a reparative justice framework that positions Black and Latinx leaders to create solutions that not only end and repair the harms of the drug war but also create accountability structures between policymakers and people who use drugs. She is currently working on an emerging body of work that discusses Black recreation and drug use.

A native New Yorker, Frederique holds a M.S. in Social Work from Columbia University and earned a B.S. in Industrial Labor Relations at Cornell University.

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Rachel Knox, MD, M.B.A.
Photo: LinkedIn

Dr. Rachel Knox
Rachel is the Co-Founder The Canna MDs, Medical Chair of the Minority Cannabis Business Association. She is a also Physician at Empower Clinics and cared for patients in Washington State, Oregon, and California. She provides consultative services for Empower Clinics (formerly known as THCF) in the areas of Medical Cannabis, Natural and Integrative Medicine, bridging the gap between conventional Western Medicine and what is considered “Lifestyle Medicine.” She evaluates patients for the medical use of cannabis, and provide applicable direction in the areas of cannabis, other natural remedies, nutrition, physical activity, toxin avoidance and removal, stress and relationship management and more. She believes the role of a doctor is to not only to treat and prevent disease, but to equip patients with lifelong methods to actualize their healthiest selves.


*Supernova Women is an organization formed by and for Women of Color in 2015 with the goal of utilizing diverse talents to empower people to become self sufficient shareholders in the evolving cannabis economy. Supernova is founded with the mission to foster community empowerment through holistic education, advocacy training and skills acquisition.

Feature image: CC0 License via Pexels