Diane Czarkowski, Founding Partner
Before entering into the cannabis industry, Diane’s career included more than a dozen years in the high tech industry as an executive salesperson responsible for multi-million dollar quotas. In 2003, she and her husband Jay started their real estate development company and were very successful developing, building and selling real estate in ski resorts and the front range of Colorado.
When the real estate market began to collapse, she and Jay pivoted into the newly born cannabis industry in Colorado and opened a dispensary and cultivation center in Boulder, CO. Her responsibilities focused on business operations, compliance and patient¬ related operations. Their operation quickly became one of the most reputable businesses in the state, earning one of the first state and local licenses.
Canna Advisors was created in 2013 as a cannabis consulting business to assist start-ups in other states with the complex and competitive state licensing process. Today Canna Advisors is recognized as a leader in the consultancy space, having one of the best track records in the industry, winning licenses in the most regulated markets including Connecticut, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Illinois.
Diane is a founding member of the National Cannabis Industry Association, a founding member of Women Grow, a lifetime member and selection committee member of the ArcView Investment Group, a mentor for Canopy Boulder, and a sustaining member of Americans for Safe Access, and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.
Diane’s Skills & Experience
- Background in high tech and Real-estate development.
- Founder of one of the first medical cannabis dispensaries and cultivation facilities to receive a license in Colorado.
- Earned a reputation as one of the most professional operators in the state.
- Skilled at working closely with government officials as regulations change.
- Designs operating procedures compliant with multiple state and local regulations.
- Founding Member of the National Cannabis Industry Association.
- Founding Benefactor of Women Grow.
- On the Selection Committee for the ArcView Group
- Mentor for Canopy Boulder
- Business Development professional with over 25 years’ total experience and over 12 years of executive level service within public and private companies.
- Served as International Vice President of Sales for an International Licensing organization with over $500 Million in annual revenue.
- Grew startup technology firm from 8 employees to over 85 employees providing multiple services to clients in five countries.
- Extensive experience developing and implementing strategic business relationships with companies ranging from startup phase to Fortune 100 companies.
- Successful experience planning and executing exit strategies.
Marcy Leventhal, VP of Client Services
- 14 year regulated cannabis industry professional with over 10 years in direct operations and over 3 years consulting.
- Served as owner/operator of The Green Door, one of the premier dispensaries in San Francisco, California for over 8 years.
- Extensive experience managing operations in a high volume retail cannabis environment
- Expert knowledge of regulatory schematics in markets across the United States with the ability to develop and implement compliant, transparent policies and procedures for retail cannabis businesses.
- Demonstrated ability to track and forecast trends on a retail level.
- Licensing experience in multiple competitive municipalities across the United States.
Sara Demianycz, Managing Consultant
- Biological Sciences graduate from Colorado State University with a focus on Neurobiology and Behavioral Biology.
- Was selected from hundreds of applicants for a research program on genetic plasticity and gene expression.
- Has published a series of papers detailing the links between behavior and genetics.
- Experienced in the pharmaceutical industry with a focus on quality control, process development, and standard operating procedures.
- Experienced working in a medical dispensary in Lyons, Colorado.
- Graduate of Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.
- Published writer, with five years of experience working for the Star-Ledger, one of the largest newspapers in the United States.
- Served as Sales and Social Media Manager for a cannabis company in Colorado that operated a recreational store in Boulder and a dual-use rec/medical store in Lyons, CO.
- Experienced in every aspect of the cannabis industry, from cultivation to dispensary operations, advertising, customer service, patient care, laws and regulations.
Read Spear, Senior Consultant
- Obtained two degrees in Philosophy, a BA from The Pennsylvania State University and an MA from Duquesne University.
- Prior experience as an owner of a successful internet-based vitamin enterprise.
- Business ownership experience in the industry since 2008 – from hydroponics equipment, to cannabis-specific soil to owning the second-approved cannabis operation in Colorado.
- Author of two books on the subject of cannabis cultivation, including the Amazon #1 Bestseller, Small Spaces, Big Yields.
- Former monthly columnist in Sativa Magazine.
- On the Board of Advisors for the publicly traded cannabis services company, AmeriCann(ACAN).
- Serves as Canna Advisors’ lead financial analyst and consultant since February 2014, developing robust financial models for cultivation, manufacturing and dispensary businesses.
- Experienced entrepreneur, having launched successful businesses in several industries.
- Former CEO of an Internet-based nutraceutical products company that he co-founded, sold and then returned to a second time. Under Marc’s leadership, the company’s revenue more than tripled, while EBITDA went from approximately -40% to +20% of revenue, over a 5-year period.
- Founder of Denver Analytics, a boutique financial consulting firm.
- BA in economics from Johns Hopkins University
- MA in economics from Stanford University, where he completed 5 years of graduate work towards a PhD in economics, before he ultimately decided academia was far too boring.
- Biomedical Engineering graduate with Honors at Arizona State University.
- MBA graduate from the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
- Focus in entrepreneurship and operations management.
- Previous experience finding creative healthcare solutions for lung cancer patients.
- Member of Students for Sensible Drug Policy
- Background in Hospitality Management within the Cannabis Tourism Industry.
- Experience and knowledge with cannabis cultivation and cultivation methods.
- Experience and knowledge with cannabis extractions and extraction processes.
- Official “Cannasseur” training with extensive education of plant properties.
- In depth experience in creating and dosing edibles made from cannabis and cannabis concentrates.