As we reflect on the fourth full year that Canna Advisors has been in existence, we are amazed at how much has changed just in the past year. We saw dozens of measures passed legislatively, which shows that states are now taking charge of implementing programs to decriminalize and regulate cannabis. The election in November was like no other, with 8 of 9 ballot initiatives passing. Now, looking to 2017, there are 42 states with some form of cannabis law, and 8 states and Washington D.C with full legalization. The Marijuana Policy Project estimates that more than 47 additional measures could be presented in 2017. All of these changes have brought growth and expansion to Canna Advisors. This year we added some key members to our growing team, we participated in several key conferences and speaking engagements across the country and worked with clients in more than 13 states and internationally!
The Canna Advisors Team
New Team Members!
Bob Wagener, V.P. of Business Development
Bob brings more than 25 years of business development experience at an executive level to Canna Advisors. He oversees client acquisition, contract management, as well as budgeting and forecasting. Wagener also directs the identification and pursuit of new opportunities in the cannabis industry.
Marcy Leventhal, V.P. of Client Services
Marcy is a cannabis entrepreneur who has been at the forefront of the industry since 2003. She oversees Canna Advisors’ client accounts, technical writing, financial modeling and the operational and management needs of client businesses.
Brian Iani, Communications and Projects Manager
Brian has gained insight into every aspect of the industry from cultivation to dispensary operations, advertising restrictions, customer service, patient care, and relevant state laws and regulations. Brian currently works with our clients to develop and write in-depth and unique business plans and complete their state applications. He also helps manage the company’s social media presence on Facebook and Twitter.
Victoria Trusty, Executive Assistant
Victoria manages schedules, events and assists the client services team. Victoria started her career in the cannabis industry in the summer of 2012 by becoming the assistant manager to the first official Bud & Breakfast in Denver.
Awards and Nominations!
ArcView Outstanding Member Award
Diane and Jay received the ArcView Group’s prestigious Outstanding Member Award this year for effectively mentoring companies, investing, judging pitches, donating generously to industry causes, and for being excellent ambassadors for the ArcView community.
Cannabis Business Executive’s: 50 Most Important Women of the Cannabis Industry
Diane was selected by CBE as one of the most important women in the cannabis industry because of her work helping new businesses form and get their starting foothold. Diane is a founding member of the National Cannabis Industry Association and a founding member and benefactor of Women Grow.
Speaking Engagements and Interviews
Canna Advisors participated in several key conferences and speaking engagements across the country. From the NCIA Cannabis Summit in Oakland, The Cannabis World Congress and Expo in Los Angeles, and the Arcview Group’s Investor Forums in Scottsdale, Portland, Oakland, New York, and Las Vegas, to MJ Business Daily’s Crash Course Tours in Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Canna Advisors was also featured on a few webinars, including the Money Show and the Retirement Loft. In publications such as, 5280 Magazine’s 4/20 edition, Business News Daily, and podcasts for Canna Insider, Cannabis Radio, and Cannabis Economy.
The finale event for the year was MJ Business Daily’s 5th Annual Marijuana Business Conference in Las Vegas.
Since 2012, Canna Advisors has lobbied for the NCIA in Washington D.C.
Diane acted as a group leader, taking a team of “first-timers” to meet different staff members of Congress and the Senate. This year’s lobby group was the largest yet, with more than 200 people representing the cannabis industry in attendance.
Canna Advisors donated and volunteered to many industry causes and organizations, including the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), and Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP).
Canna Advisors was committed to the United for Care Fundraiser and helped raise money for the Amendment 2 Campaign. Canna Advisors efforts were rewarded when Founding Partners Jay and Diane Czarkowski were able to celebrate a Florida election victory at United for Care’s Amendment 2 Watch Party.
And last but not least, the very thing we work for every day – our clients. Canna Advisors worked in 13 states, including California, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio. We also helped our first international client obtain a license in Puerto Rico! This year was very different in that many clients began enlisting our services to help assess the viability of a market even before legislation or ballots passed. We created business plans and detailed, three-year financial models, helped clients find key talent for their operations, and designed facilities for several very promising businesses. Many of these clients will continue working with us into 2017 as we further prepare for competitive applications, buildout out facilities and open doors for patients across the country.
Cheers to a wonderful 2016 and a very promising 2017!