Founder and Managing Partner, Thurin Law Group, PLLC and Third Coast Cannabis Consulting LLC
Roma Thurin, founder and managing partner of Thurin Law Group, PLLC. and Third Coast Cannabis Consulting LLC is a licensed attorney in the states of Michigan and New York. For over 25 years, Thurin has practiced transactional law with an emphasis on corporate law and business development.
Thurin’s experience in Michigan’s cannabis industry includes a 100 percent success rate of obtaining Michigan Medical Marihuana Facilities License approvals for her clients, assisting with investment transactions and capitalization funding, and assisting cannabis companies on business operations, management, and regulatory compliance.
Co-founder and CEO, Common Citizen and Michigan Pure Med
Michael Elias is the co-founder and CEO of Common Citizen and Michigan Pure Med, the largest vertically integrated license holder in Michigan. Elias has spent over 21 years re-engineering health care operations, leading organizational improvement and cultural transformation, and sustaining change. Most recently, Elias was the CEO and founder of Elias Group Corp, an international consulting practice specializing in health care transformations world-wide. He has taken over underperforming health systems and strategically transformed their clinical and non-clinical business practices.
Elias was also major catalyst of transformational change at North York General Hospital in Toronto, Canada as the Chief Transformation Officer. He developed, deployed and sustained NYGH’s award-winning improvement system utilizing Lean and Six Sigma principles. Elias earned his Bachelor of Science from Michigan State University, and attended Wayne State School of Medicine master’s program in community medicine.
Director at Large, Public Lighting Authority
Ric Preuss, a Detroit business agent for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 58 (IBEW), is a licensed electrician with 21 years of electrical construction and maintenance experience. Preuss has extensive experience in designing and installing electrical systems safely for large infrastructure projects and, in his current role, is involved in every large construction project in the city of Detroit.
As the Detroit business agent for IBEW Local 58, Preuss works on contract negotiations, dispute resolution, and building strong collaborative relationships with customers and developers. He spends countless hours solving workforce problems and plays a significant role in the rebuilding of the workforce pipeline into skilled trades.
Founder and Compliance Officer, Bloom City Club/Peregrine Manufacturing, General Counsel
Allison Ireton is a Michigan licensed attorney with Huron Valley Law Associates in Ann Arbor. She practices in the business aspects of Michigan’s medical marijuana law. She previously worked at Kerr Russell in Detroit in the highly regulated area of federal and state health care law, which is a natural fit for this highly regulated industry.
Prior to becoming a lawyer in 2006, Ireton was a human resource professional at Perdue Farms in Maryland and a technical writer for Paycheck Inc. In these roles, Ms. Ireton worked with officials from federal wage and hour and the equal employment opportunity commission. She also dealt extensively with rules and regulations regarding federal and state payroll tax liabilities.
Assistant General Counsel, Meritor, Inc.
Since 2011, Mahler has served as an Assistant General Counsel for Meritor, Inc., a global Tier 1 supplier of axles, brakes, drivetrains, and aftermarket specialty products to the commercial vehicle market. In that role, he is responsible for overseeing and labor and employment issues worldwide, including litigation and compliance advice and counsel.
Mahler works closely with the Human Resources team and local regional counsel, both internal and external, to shape, monitor and enforce Meritor policies and interests while advancing Meritor’s culture of performance and people. Mahler also oversees compliance with data privacy and protection laws worldwide, various commercial litigation matters and serves as the legal department’s point person to two of Meritor’s three major business units. Prior to joining Meritor, Mahler practiced at two AM La law firms in the Detroit area.
Reporter, Detroit Free Press
Kathleen Gray has reported for the Detroit Free Press since 2000, covering local, state and national politics, campaigns, and public policy. In 2015, she began covering the marijuana industry as the state enacted laws to regulate and tax the medical marijuana industry. That grew into a bigger story when voters approved legalizing marijuana for adult recreational use in November 2018. Gray is a graduate of Michigan State University.
Anqunette “Q” Sarfoh spent 20 years as a TV journalist and news anchor in Indiana, Las Vegas, Boston, and Detroit. After eight years as the morning anchor for Fox 2 Detroit, Sarfoh retired because of Multiple Sclerosis. Through changes in diet and using cannabis, Sarfoh went from taking nine medications a day to taking none and is an advocate for teaching others how to lessen their dependency on pharmaceuticals.
Sarfoh a co-founder of BotaniQ, a cannabis provisioning center in the Corktown neighborhood of Detroit and is developing a line of cannabis infused food products to address the needs of nonsmokers. Sarfoh is also studying nutrition at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and often speaks to community and support groups about the safe and appropriate use of cannabis.
Operations and Purchase Manager, Medicine Man
Ken Bryant serves as the operations and purchase manager at Medicine Man of Ann Arbor. It was his time at the University of Michigan where he was first introduced to the cannabis organization, NORML, that sparked his interest in the future of a legal cannabis industry. Mary J Media Group was founded by Bryant to help promote other cannabis companies with professional media while thinking outside the box to overcome the barriers of distributing such media in a highly regulated market.
Through both his videography and public relations work, Bryant broke the story of former Detroit Red Wing Darren McCarty’s escape from a life-threatening addiction to alcohol and drugs by way of medicinal marijuana.
Douglas Mains specializes in government relations and regulatory law with an emphasis on providing strategic advice to clients regarding public policy, legislation, and regulatory issues. After serving as a senior policy advisor and deputy legal counsel to two speakers of the Michigan House of Representatives, Mains has extensive contacts throughout the capitol and is particularly adept at helping clients positively interact with state agencies, elected officials, and executive and legislative staff.
Mains also has experience as a litigation attorney, representing a wide array of clients in state and federal courts, as well as in administrative proceedings. Mains has been appointed a special assistant attorney general on multiple occasions, representing state agencies, legislators, and executive staff in several high-profile lawsuits.
Founder and Managing Partner, Cannabis Attorneys of Michigan
A graduate of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and Wayne State Law, Denise Pollicella’s 22 years of private practice have focused on business transactions, mergers and acquisitions, and regulatory licensing. She founded Cannabis Attorneys of Michigan in 2009 to advance marihuana law in Michigan.
Pollicella was involved in the crafting of the legislation that is now the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act, and has been a strong advocate for patients, caregivers and emerging canna-businesses for nearly a decade. In addition to regularly writing, speaking and educating on Michigan’s rapidly developing marihuana laws, she continues to be at the forefront of developing cannabis policy and regulation at both the state and municipal levels.