Medical Cannabis in the Buckeye State Speakers

BioOhio is proud to present an amazing line up of speakers, moderators, and panelists for Medical Cannabis in the Buckeye State. Below you will find brief biographies and links to their respective organizations.

9:00 – Introduction & Opening Remarks

John F. Lewis, Jr., President & CEO, BioOhio

John F. Lewis, Jr., is a 4th generation Ohioan, his family tracing Ohio roots to the mid 1800s. He is a licensed attorney with experience in international business, venture capital investments and economic development. John is an outspoken advocate for industry led, market facing academic/industry collaborations. During the last 16+ years with BioOhio, John has helped raise nearly $1 billion for Ohio bioscience entities. He was a founding partner of the First Fifty Fund and Ohio TechAngel Fund both based in Columbus. John has more than 18 years international experience, lived in Jamaica, Korea and China, the latter two with Perkin Elmer, while traveling to more than 42 others. John is a graduate of Miami (Ohio) University and Capital University Law School.

9:10 – An Education on the History of Cannabis and its Medicinal Uses

Don E. Wirtshafter, Attorney, Founder, The Cannabis Museum

Don E. Wirtshafter became a cannabis activist after he was first turned on to the herb in 1968. As an attorney and visionary entrepreneur, DonE has a 40-year career working internationally advising and creating cannabis policy and developments. He is known as a pioneer in both the industrial hemp and medical cannabis industries. For decades, DonE has remained a devoted collector of cannabis history including its mainstream use in American pharmacies before 1937. A native of Shaker Heights, Ohio, DonE is a 1973 graduate of Ohio University (BGS) and holds a law degree from Case Western Reserve University (1985). He lives outside Athens, Ohio. DonE’s current project is the establishment of The Cannabis Museum and Guesthouse. The museum fulfills its educational mission through the preparation and sale of high resolution photography and custom designed educational exhibits for dispensaries and museums.

9:40 – Fireside Chat with Thomas Rosenberger

Moderated by Robert J. Kovey, Managing Partner, The Credo Company; Director of Government Relations, Signet

Bobby Kovey is an experienced business development and government relations consultant, having worked extensively in both the public and private sector. Prior to founding The Credo Company, Kovey worked within various state offices, primarily in the legislature. After his time in the government, Kovey managed and worked on several campaigns. In 2010, Kovey helped found The Credo Company – a boutique business consulting and government relations firm based in Columbus, Ohio. Additionally, Kovey serves as a consultant on business development projects and government relations for SIGNET, an entrepreneurial private equity firm headquartered in Akron. Born in Binghamton, N.Y. and raised in Pennsylvania and Northeast Ohio, Kovey is a graduate of The Ohio State University’s Max M. Fisher College of Business. There he earned a B.S.B.A. degree in Finance.

Thomas Rosenberger, Executive Director, National Cannabis Industry Association of Ohio

Thomas Rosenberger is the Executive Director of the National Cannabis Industry Association of Ohio, the largest trade association representing the industry in Ohio, and the state affiliate of the National Cannabis Industry Association. Prior to serving as Executive Director of NCIAO, Rosenberger served as the Deputy Political Director for the Ohioans for Medical Marijuana campaign, which was considered a key driver of the legislatures efforts to enact House Bill 523. He has also served as a public affairs and public relations consultant for various major trade associations and Fortune 500 companies. Rosenberger is a graduate of the Fisher College of Business, with a B.S.B.A. in Marketing and Economics.

10:10 – Fireside Chat with Tim Johnson

Moderated by Jonathan Cachat, Ph.D., Director of Laboratory Sciences Program, Medical Cannabis Testing Lab, Hocking College; President & CEO, CCV Research

Over the last 4 years, Dr. Cachat raised and managed a $3.5M investment for the development of SunGrown Indoor cultivation system. Together, it represents a game-changer that provides multiple strategic advantages over competition. A result of his data-driven approach and business sensibility, Dr. Cachat is the exclusive distribution partner of DSS systems for the indoor agricultural/cultivation market worldwide. Dr. Cachat has a doctorate degree in Neuroscience, focusing on Psychopharmacology. He has published over 50 peer-reviewed scientific articles and 2 books on the use of adult zebrafish in behavioral pharmacology research. Dr. Cachat is also specialized in Data Science, working at the University of California, San Diego and the University of California, Davis on big-data neuroscientific data integration platforms.

Tim Johnson, Founder/President, Cannabis Safety First

Tim Johnson is a United States Air Force Veteran who was assigned to the Security Forces Specialist Field. After leaving the military in 1979, Tim enrolled in college and earned his degree in Applied Science Law Enforcement & Criminal Justice. Soon after retirement, Tim began research studies encompassing safety packaging and facility security aspects in the national growing cannabis industry. Tim is the founder of Cannabis Safety First (CSF). The concept for CSF was created as a result of the ever-growing safety and security concerns centered around the cannabis industry in the United States. Over the past three years, Tim participated in the development, creation and passage of Ohio HB523, Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Control Program.

10:35 – Patient & Physician Perspective

Eva Costa, RN, Founder,  Giving Earth Nutraceuticals

Eva Costa earned her nursing degree with the goal of being a holistic nurse, and helping patients achieve wellness through integrative, complementary, and adjuvant approaches to healing. While in nursing school, she studied the cannabis industry and the medical benefits of CBD. Before studying nursing, Eva worked as a publicist, and focused her work on clients in the medical and homecare industries. Currently, she works as an oncology nurse and is the founder of Giving Earth Nutraceuticals.

11:20 – Ohio Cannabis Legal and Financial Impact & Update

Thomas Haren, Attorney, Frantz Ward LLP

As a member of the firm’s Litigation Practice Group, Tom represents clients during government investigations, prosecutions, and high-stakes civil litigation matters. Tom’s practice is also focused on marijuana law and policy. He has become one of the go-to attorneys for Ohio’s burgeoning medical marijuana industry, working with medical marijuana cultivator, processor, and dispensary applicants. As a former nominee for the State Senate, Tom knows how important it is to build consensus at the local and State level to further clients’ interests in this evolving industry.

Albert G. Lin, Counsel, Baker & Hostetler LLP

Albert Lin is a financial services, banking litigator and regulatory attorney. Albert provides legal compliance, guidance and advice to financial institutions (relating to BSA/AML compliance for banking direct and indirect MRBs) and investment groups (seeking MRB licenses in Ohio). He has strong relationships with regulators at the state and federal level, as well as in the Cannabis industry.

12:10 – Cultivator, Processor & Dispensary Operations

Paul Brentlinger, President, CropKing, Inc.

Paul Brentlinger is President of CropKing Inc., based out of Lodi, OH. He has extensive knowledge of growing high-quality food products and is a controlled environmental agriculture expert who has spoken at the University of Florida, Indoor-Ag Con, and a variety of other conferences. Having been in business for 35 years, CropKing is the leader in commercial hydroponics and growing systems, with many techniques and practices applicable to cannabis cultivation. Under Paul’s leadership, CropKing manufactures hydroponic systems, distributes a variety of products and supports both cannabis and produce growers worldwide.

Caroline Henry, Vice President, Corporate Communications, Grow Ohio Pharmaceuticals

Caroline Henry is Vice President of Corporate Communications for Grow Ohio Pharmaceuticals, a provisionally licensed Level 1 medical marijuana cultivator. In her capacity at Grow Ohio, Henry is responsible for compliance with the Medical Marijuana Control Program, state and federal policy, marketing, branding and communications. Previously Henry served as Vice President, Corporate Communications for quasar energy group, a leading Ohio-based renewable energy firm specializing in the design, construction, ownership, and/or operation of anaerobic digester systems across North America. Henry joined quasar in 2008 and has been integral in building the company’s brand and industry leading reputation. Her expertise spans the fields of marketing, public relations, grant writing and biogas policy.