Faculty

As legal director, Julianne oversees the state licensing and regulatory agency responsible for more than 200,000 credential holders in more than 200 industries, including health care, pharmaceutical distribution, liquor production and sale, food supply, weights and measures, legal gaming, real estate, financial services, and construction. Prior to joining DCP in 2015, Julianne worked in private practice, with a focus on commercial real estate, corporate acquisitions and financing.

Julianne Avallone, CT Department of Consumer Protection

Axel Bernabe is Asst. Counsel for Health to Governor Cuomo. In this role, he oversees all legal and policy deliberations in the health portfolio and provides strategic counsel to the operations, press, and budget teams in the State Department of Health. Axel oversees the state’s medical, hemp, and adult-use cannabis initiatives and is responsible for driving the proposed Cannabis Act, which includes the new Office of Cannabis Management.  

Axel Bernabe, NY Assistant Counsel for Health

Debra Borchardt is the Co-founder and CEO of the financial news website Green Market Report. She is an award-winning journalist with a Masters Degree in Business Journalism from New York University. Debra worked alongside Jim Cramer for eight years before embarking on a solo career as a freelance journalist focused only on cannabis financial reporting. Prior to becoming a financial journalist, Debra worked on Wall Street and was a Vice President at Bear Stearns, where she worked for 15 years.

Debra Borchardt, Co-Founder and CEO, Green Market Report

Jennifer Cabrera is co-chair of the Vicente Sederberg’s Litigation & Arbitration practice group.  With over a dozen years of experience in dispute resolution, she has represented clients in state and federal court matters and also assists clients with regulatory and commercial matters relating to cannabis and hemp, with a focus on New York and New Jersey markets. She has worked with cannabis companies since 2014 and is actively involved in legalization and social justice efforts in New Jersey.

Jennifer Cabrera, Co-Chair of Litigation & Arbitration Practice Group, Vicente Sederberg

An accomplished executive, Edmund’s career includes leadership roles with the country's largest multinational environmental companies along with a wealth of experience in matters of public policy, diversity and economic development. So when the New Jersey CannaBusiness Association formed as the state’s first and largest cannabis trade organization, Edmund was named as a policy advisor to help advance a responsible and sustainable New Jersey cannabis industry.

Edmund M. DeVeaux, Executive Vice President/Member, New Jersey CannaBusiness Association

Approaching his 30th year with TEEL Construction, one would be hard pressed to find a partner that brings more experience to the competitive nature of commercial construction and the development of ‘notion to reality’ projects. He is a single stop partner, with the ability to provide everything from fixed contract pricing to design build team, new ground up, or renovation of new or existing assets, whether occupied or not. With Joe and TEEL Construction all goals are achievable.

Joe Ellingsworth, Vice President, TEEL Construction 

Ms. Gillespie’s vision for Economic Project Solutions, Inc. began 22 years ago. Since

its humble beginnings, she has grown the company into a multi-million-dollar Project

Management firm for a range of clients consisting of Fortune 500 clients, hospitality, health care, private developers, academic, life sciences, and investors. Ms. Gillespie monitors the efforts of the Economic Project Solutions, Inc. project team to ensure project performance is

consistent with the expectations of our clients.

Kimberley Gillespie, CEO & President, Economic Project Solutions

Chante Harris is champion of scaling innovative companies through successful go-to-market strategies and public-private partnerships. She has successfully driven long-term expansion for startups and established companies by leading them through the complex processes of winning procurement opportunities, securing pilot projects, and launching community impact initiatives. Chante worked to advance cannabis policy for New York and is passionate about representations in cannabis and sustainability. 

Chante Harris is champion of scaling innovative companies through successful go-to-market strategies and public-private partnerships. She has successfully driven long-term expansion for startups and established companies by leading them through the complex processes of winning procurement opportunities, securing pilot projects, and launching community impact initiatives. Chante worked to advance cannabis policy for New York and is passionate about representations in cannabis and sustainability. 

Dianna Houenou is the incoming Chair of the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission. She currently serves as Sr Policy Advisor and Associate Counsel to Gov. Phil Murphy.  Prior to joining the Governor’s Office, Dianna was Policy Counsel with the ACLU-NJ. Her engagement with like-minded advocates demanding that racial and social justice remain at the forefront of NJ’s legalization efforts is precisely what makes Dianna well situated to guide the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission work.

Dianna Houenou, Incoming Chair, New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission

Chante Harris is champion of scaling innovative companies through successful go-to-market strategies and public-private partnerships. She has successfully driven long-term expansion for startups and established companies by leading them through the complex processes of winning procurement opportunities, securing pilot projects, and launching community impact initiatives. Chante worked to advance cannabis policy for New York and is passionate about representations in cannabis and sustainability. 

Chante Harris, Go-to-Market Strategist

Kristin Jordan is the Dir. of Real Estate at Acreage Holdings where she leads the company’s nationwide site expansion of cultivation, processing and dispensary facilities. Her passion for advancing cannabis reform has extended to a variety of endeavors, including founding of Mannada, the producers of the Cannabis Summit Series. Kristin also serves as a committee member of the NYS Bar Association Committee on Cannabis, the Minority Cannabis Business Association, and the National Cannabis Industry Association.

Kristin Jordan, Director of Real Estate, Acreage Holdings

Steve represents and counsels clients in a broad range of commercial real estate transactions, including financings/commercial lending, acquisitions, dispositions, sale-leaseback transactions, commercial leases, rights-of-way and easement agreements, and portfolio acquisitions and dispositions around the nation ranging from $50M – $900M. He also advises builders, developers, and landlords seeking government approvals to pursue project entitlements and in defending alleged regulatory violations.

Steve Katkov, Attorney, Cozen O'Connor

Nhi Kha co-founded Sativa Remedy, an online and retail storefront hemp dispensary in Western New York, in an effort to connect the community with the healing powers of hemp and cannabis. With a background in chemistry and medical cannabis, Nhi focuses on consumer awareness and education. She serves as the Deputy Dir. of WNY NORML with the goal of ensuring state cannabis legislation prioritizes social justice and equity, decriminalization, and increasing access to cannabis plant medicine for all.

Nhi Kha, Co-Founder, Sativa Remedy

Michael A. Ochs, Esq. is a seasoned real estate and construction attorney licensed in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Mr. Ochs has previously served as general counsel to a national private equity real estate firm and general counsel to a regional construction management company. Mr. Ochs currently maintains a private law practice focusing on transactional real estate and construction and a consulting firm advising nationwide developers.

Michael Ochs, Real Estate & Construction Attorney

Donna J. Pugh focuses on obtaining land use and zoning entitlements on behalf of her retail, office, residential, health care and corporate clients. With her approach of bridging the gap between client, civic and municipal needs, Donna has an exceptionally high success rate of securing approvals for land development projects. A consensus builder, Donna works to unite institutional property owners, elected officials and community groups to achieve approvals that benefit all involved stakeholders.

Donna Pugh, Partner & Real Estate Business Lawyer, Foley & Lardner LLP

Mr. Rutherford has supported Cresco Lab’s growth from one state to twelve, successfully leading the real estate team to negotiate transactions for prime cultivation, manufacturing & dispensary locations - generating over $43M in annual revenue. He also oversees the Social Equity & Educational Development (SEED) Initiative focusing on social justice, workforce development and a community incubator program, all aimed at improving opportunities for communities most harmed by the War on Drugs.

Barrington Rutherford, Senior Vice President of Real Estate and Community Integration, Cresco Labs

Faye Wilson is a real estate professional who is passionate about helping buyers and sellers use real estate as a wealth-building tool by connecting them with their ideal properties for occupancy or investment.  She lives in Stamford, CT with her husband and two daughters.  Faye is licensed in Connecticut, New York and Florida and was recently honored with the Keller Williams Gold Award for sales performance in 2020. 

Faye Wilson, Real Estate Professional, Keller Williams