Ann Allworth, Ph.D., Founder & CEO, Cannabis Education Solutions, is an award winning educator and experienced cell biologist with a research background on the cellular aspects of embryonic development and cancer. After 19 years in medical academia, including nine years as an Assistant Professor at the Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C., Dr. Alllworth did a 180 and entered the natural product industry where she used her science and medicine background to design, develop and deliver robust educational programs about the immense value phytonutrient rich foods and herbs have to optimal health and well-being. After embarking in the independent study of the endocannabinoid system, endocannabinoids, phytocannabinoids, terpenes and the complex interactions amongst these components, Dr. Allworth founded Cannabis Education Solutions to educate on the extraordinary benefits of cannabis to human health. Dr. Allworth is a Scientific Advisory Committee Member of the National Cannabis Industry Association and Editorial Board Member of the American Journal of Endocannabinoid Medicine—the world’s first peer-reviewed, printed medical journal focusing exclusively on Endocannabinoid science and medicine. With over 35 years creating and delivering presentations, lectures and training programs, she is a powerful, inspirational speaker and a strong advocate for human health.
Kevin Ford, CEO, Uplift Maryland, is a native of Prince George's County, Maryland. After graduating with a B.A. in Business Administration from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, Kevin returned home to Maryland and earned his real estate license in Maryland and D.C. before working with FDL Commercial Real Estate. Simultaneously, Kevin worked for the Prince George’s County Government with the Revenue Authority and Office of Central Services. After parting with the Prince George’s County government, Kevin began working at Mary & Mary Medical Cannabis Dispensary. As a medical patient himself, he saw a void in the market for a clear source of information. After consulting industry leaders, Kevin started Uplift Maryland as a one-stop shop for navigating the state's medical cannabis program. After its founding, Uplift Maryland was one of five companies awarded a grant by the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC) to develop and implement a business development and training program for minorities and women who wanted to apply for grower and processor licenses in 2019. Uplift was also awarded a contract from the MMCC to develop curriculum for Maryland’s Dispensary Agent Training Program. Kevin resides in Prince George’s County, Maryland with his wife, Imani, and son, Kevin III.
Cherissa Jackson, Author, Founder, Host, RN, and Veteran, served 23 years of active duty military service including ten as a U.S. Air Force Nurse. She served three combat deployments including Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Following her honorable service, Jackson became an ambassador and advocate for persons with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Inducted into the SHEROES United Organization Hall of Fame, Cherissa collaborated with the Vatican, the Nation of Congo, and the city of Amatrice, Italy to help advance a global discussion on eliminating stigmas associated with PTSD. She is the author of “At Peace Not in Pieces,” a bestselling memoir that outlines her principles of coping with her own PTSD challenges as a combat veteran and nurse. Her non-profit, Project Give Hope, saves the lives of women from cervical cancer. Cherissa joined AMVETS in February 2019 as Chief Medical Executive and leads the organization’s HEAL Program, which strives to confront the risk factors leading to crisis and veteran suicide. Her talk show, Who’s at the Table, provides a place for women Veterans to discuss their triumphs and share their stories with the world. Cherissa is the mother of twin daughters and holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from the Medical University of South Carolina.
Keisha J. Reed, CEO, The Maryland Cannabis Community Partnership, is a digital media strategist located in Baltimore, MD. She is the founder of K. Reed Digital, a digital consulting agency specializing in website & digital media strategy. Additionally, Keisha is the co-founder of Madame Green Grow, an organization for women of color in cannabis and the CEO of the Maryland Cannabis Community Partnership, a membership organization that connects the cannabis community in Maryland through access and education.
Paulette Smith, MSW, LCSW-C, Owner, Paulette Simone and Associates, LLC, is a therapeutic professional with over a decade of experience in adolescent and family wellness. Paulette brings together a combination of holistic practice and trauma-informed care to the field of health and wellness. During her career she has built a reputation for centering client needs with precision problem solving. Additionally, both her work as a Patient Advisor at a Maryland Medical Cannabis Dispensary and creative arts as owner and operator of How I See It Productions, reflect her capacity for capturing and cultivating peaceful environments promoting wellness and a strong family environment. Ms. Smith is sought after for guidance on and support in holistic practices, including but not limited to presenting at conferences and meetings exploring health, wellness and entrepreneurship—particularly among minority groups.
Eryck Stamper, Founder, Veterans Initiative 22 & Owner, Maryland Hemp Exchange, is a resident of Baltimore, Maryland and graduated from Southern High School. In July 1990, Eryck enlisted in the U.S. Navy during which he completed various deployments in support of Dessert Shield/Storm, Operation Iraqi/Enduring Freedom (OEF/OIF), relief efforts, overseas tours of duty and Department of the Navy agendas. He retired in October 2013 after 23 years of faithful and zealous Naval Service. After completion of his military career, and while suffering from various medical conditions, he sought a more holistic and alternative approach to personal medical care and found cannabis. Discovering the medical and healing benefits of cannabis sparked his desire to engage in a new battle: fighting for safe and affordable access, rights and employment opportunities for Veterans, First Responders and their families of this critical lifesaving medicine through his non-profit Veterans Initiative 22 (VI22). VI22’s small team of volunteers has partnered with over 55 organizations in Maryland and abroad to include the U.S Pain Foundation and the Veterans Administration (PTSD and Suicide Prevention Team) and continues to engage in ongoing efforts. Veterans Initiative 22 continues to leverage multiple partnerships to better support cannabis under our Leaderships Call to Action under the new Executive Order and the Presidents Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy by Suicide – the PREVENTS Initiative. As the Owner of the Maryland Hemp Exchange and through partnership with multiple lobbying, educational, not-for-profit and other cannabis industry groups such as the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) Maryland chapter, Americans for Safe Access, Cannabis Patient Advocacy Association and Anne Arundel Community College, Eryck is reshaping the Maryland landscape as industrial hemp takes shape in Maryland’s agriculture space.
Andrew Strong, Chair, Americans for Safe Access—Maryland & Founder, Advocates for Medical Cannabis Patients, a Marine Corps Veteran and proud father and grandfather, was born in Springfield, Massachusetts in the early sixties to an activist mother and teacher father. Andrew discovered the healing properties of medical cannabis to free himself from alcohol and opiates. He credits the births of his children and grandchildren with propelling his life and career to his desired success. Nationally recognized for his accomplishments in the security industry, Andrew graduated from Hood College and taught high school Social Studies before building a successful Frederick County tag and title company with the support of an amazing and diverse team as well as more than 30,000 loyal customers. Andrew is the Founder of Advocates for Medical Cannabis Patients (a4mcp)—an organization dedicated to educating medical cannabis advocates, patients, caregivers, and medical providers. He is also the current Chair of the Maryland chapter of Americans for Safe Access (ASA). Andrew’s primary areas of cannabis industry foci are: community outreach and education; the Maryland Compassionate Use Fund; cannabis equity; the effects of U.S. immigration policy medical cannabis access; the limitations to gun ownership by medical cannabis patients; and cannabis conviction expungement.
Hope Wiseman, Founder & CEO, Mary & Main, a native of Prince George’s County, Maryland, has always been passionate about serving her community. In 2014, Hope graduated with an economics degree from the illustrious Spelman College. On campus, Hope was known for her exceptional leadership skills in several campus organizations. Of her many undergraduate accomplishments, she cites her time as cofounder of her alma mater’s Habitat for Humanity chapter. After spending a year at SunTrust as an Equity Institutional Sales Analyst, Hope decided to continue striving for excellence by pursuing her dreams of entrepreneurship. With her financial and banking background, Hope founded her company, CHA Holdings LLC., on the foundation of her vision to create opportunity for minorities who have been disproportionately affected by the war on drugs. In Fall 2017, Hope Wiseman became the youngest Black woman dispensary owner in the United States with the opening of Mary & Main dispensary in Prince George’s County, Maryland in September 2018. Hope has been featured in Black Enterprise, Huffington Post, Blavity, and more. In addition to her entrepreneurial pursuits, Hope is a speaker and consultant.
Ashley Wynn-Grimes, MS, RN-BC LSSBB, CEO & Founder, Cannabis Nursing Solutions, is a Registered Nurse of over 12 years. She has worked in various healthcare settings including telemetry nursing, quality improvement and professional development. Ashley is a change agent in the nursing industry through her non-traditional approach to her healthcare career most notably through the creation of Cannabis Nursing Solutions (CNS). As a trusted medical source of cannabis education, consultation and support, CNS provides patients and nursing professionals with the information they need to understand how cannabis interacts with the human body so as to provide optimum medical benefit. Ashley has taken her expertise in healthcare, professional development and process improvement to develop a standardized approach for nursing professionals. CNS’ continuing nursing education activity is approved by the American Holistic Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. Through evidence, standardization and change management, Ashley plans to fundamentally alter the way healthcare providers view medical cannabis. Ashley holds a Bachelors of Science in Nursing and a Masters in Nursing Education. She also has a certification in Professional Development and is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.