Newest Team Members: Meet Sumer and Michael

Caroline Morris
November 27, 2018

Team Member Spotlight

Sumer Thomas and Michael Werner are two of our newest team members, and they have already made a positive impact at Canna Advisors. Both have tremendous skills and a great list of professional accomplishments, but their vibrant personalities and interesting perspectives are what make them such wonderful additions to our growing team of cannabis consultants!

Sumer Thomas, Project Manager / Technical Writer

sumer life photos

What is your role at Canna Advisors?
I write and research about all kinds of weed stuff. Eventually I’ll be managing projects concerning, you guessed it, weed stuff.

What inspired you to work in the cannabis industry?
My love for cannabis and the wonders it can work for people, as well as the Wild West atmosphere of this industry.

What job(s) were you doing before joining Canna Advisors?
I worked as a tax consultant, family law attorney, and then on the business development team for an independent meditation magazine called Elephant Journal. My first job was at Smoothie King and my oddest job was recording the soundtrack for a Chinese-English textbook for children.

What’s the best thing about working at Canna Advisors?
The people… and the Nerf guns, and Ed’s alligator costume.

Describe a really big accomplishment:
Graduating law school was pretty momentous, but surviving life in China for over a year was an even bigger challenge and accomplishment.

Where are you from? If not from Colorado, what brought you here?
Columbia, IL, near St. Louis, Missouri. My 2006 Nissan — his name is Ned, we’re very close — brought me here.

What cities have you lived in?
Columbia, IL – Springfield, IL – Qingdao, China – Rotterdam, Netherlands – Gainesville, FL – Miami, FL – Denver, CO – Boulder, CO

Tell us a little about your family.
I found out in my twenties that my parents had been smoking cannabis my entire life and living productive lives as contributing members of society (a business owner and an accountant, if you’re wondering). I’d never really internalized our culture’s stigma towards cannabis—I try not to be the judgey type—but the realization that the people I loved, respected, and looked up to most were lighting up a one-hitter at the end of the day changed my perspective on the plant. A recent birthday present from my parents was a container of “dental floss” that actually hides a dugout and one-hitter. My parents get me.

What are you watching right now?
Catching up on this show Shameless, maybe you’ve heard of it. I’m on season 2.
Praying for new Rick & Morty every day.

Interesting/little-known/unique fact(s) about you?
I can juggle. I’m a certified yoga instructor (though not currently teaching).

Favorites
Favorite quote:

“Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.” – Walt Whitman

“All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.” – T.E. Lawrence

“We are told to remember the idea, not the man, because a man can fail. He can be caught, he can be killed and forgotten, but 400 years later, an idea can still change the world.” – Evey Hammond, V for Vendetta

“To give anything less than the best is to sacrifice the gift.” – Steve Prefontaine

Favorite author(s):
Shel Silverstein
J.K. Rowling
Jed McKenna

Favorite smell(s): Cannabis with all the fruity terps; lavender; that smell of dirt and outdoor musk when you’ve been playing outside all day.
Favorite sound: Rap air horn; kazoo; Victoria singing trap music in her classically trained voice down the hall.
Favorite place: Anywhere with a view.
Favorite way to consume cannabis: With my friends on a mountain top.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
Teleportation

What else should we know about you?
Almost every edition of Arcview’s giant The State of Legal Marijuana Markets textbooks are on my desk right now. I’m proud of my nerdiness.sumer regulation cartoon

Michael Werner, Business Development Manager

michael life photos

What is your role at Canna Advisors?
I help field and generate interest in our services; educating, identifying fit, and assessing scope between Canna and its clients. I support Bob Wagener and our executives in connecting entrepreneurs with our experts in the pursuit of accomplishing their business goals.

What inspired you to work in the cannabis industry?
It incorporates so many of my career interests and aspirations. New business development, emerging economies and technologies, agriculture, socio-political justice, health care reform, sustainability (to name a few). I truly believe this plant and its applications make the world a better place.

What job(s) were you doing before joining Canna Advisors?
I gravitate toward the startup, consulting, and hospitality industries. I’ve analyzed stock portfolios, established coworking spaces, and developed tech products, services, and communities. I’ve been a landscaper, bartender, tour guide, bed’n’breakfast host, and advisor. I had a wild ride with a beer tech startup.

What’s the best thing about working at Canna Advisors?
The people, energy, and culture. Every day I’m impressed or inspired by my coworkers’ experiences and trajectories; there is a pleasant balance of humility and badassery. Also, every so often, someone brings in donuts or breakfast burritos.

Tell us something you do every day, without fail:
Breathe and smile.

Where are you from? If not from Colorado, what brought you here?
Born and partially raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; finished growing up in the north-central New Jersey ‘burbs before college. Colorado: I came for the craft beer, fun, and adventure; stayed for the cannabis, community, and outdoor activity (…not to mention, the mountain landscape and choice weather).

What cities have you lived in?
Milwaukee, WI – Madison, WI – Sydney, Australia – St. Louis, MO – Denver, CO

What do you do in your spare time?
Definitely a documentary and biography junkie. Love crafty food and drink. Biking and hiking. Try to be an urban farmer and multi-intramural sport champion. Overanalyze music. Travel. Spend time with my lady. My favorite things include eating my family and not using commas.

Tell us about your family:
My father and mother live in New Jersey and are a finance executive and Spanish teacher, respectively. They taught me work ethic and compassion, among many other things. My older sister is in marketing, lives in Nashville, and reminds me to stay focused and driven. My younger brother is an accountant, lives in Chicago, and reminds me to always find the laugh. Finally, my partner-in-adventure of over five years, Justine, keeps my spacey self grounded, loves, and takes care of me despite my shortcomings. I aspire to have a massive dog.

Interesting/little-known/unique fact(s) about you?
I have no feeling in my left ring finger due to a football injury. I’ve never taken even a drag of a cigarette. I quoted the entirety of Happy Gilmore on a road trip with a friend when I was ten. I’ve survived swimming with crocodiles before a desert monsoon in the Outback. I backpacked Europe for a month chasing the Euro Cup games. I was classically trained in piano and music theory. I’m a flat-earther (just kidding).

Favorites
Favorite quote(s):
“Be daring, be different, be impractical; be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.” – Cecil Beaton
“The place to improve the world is first in one’s own heart and head and hands, and then work outward from there” – Robert M. Pirsig
“Everything should be made as simple as possible. But not any simpler.” – Albert Einstein
“Find what you love, and let it kill you.” – Charles Bukowski
“The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.” – Albert Camus
“Meet them halfway, with love, peace, and persuasion. And expect them to rise for the occasion.” – Van Morrison
“I do not believe making money in order to consume goods is mankind’s sole purpose on this planet. I believe it has to do with creating and sharing.” – Bill Hicks
“You can’t trust a big butt and a smile.” – Bell Biv DeVoe

Favorite smell(s): Coffee, fresh flowers, tropical fruits, bonfire, bacon, fresh cut grass or wood, popcorn, and leather.
Favorite sound(s): Finger-picked guitar, hum of a fan, roar of a crowd, basketball swish, crash of pads in football, a waterfall, bass in a car. The conference line call-waiting jingle, of course.
Favorite food(s): Most things crunchy, spicy, or slow-cooked.

Will you name a few items on your bucket list?
Join a folk band, skydive in one of those flying squirrel suits, write a book, backpack Asia, hang with Questlove.

What do you order at a bar or coffee shop?
Beer if we’re hanging; whiskey if we’re drinking. At a coffee shop, I generally get black coffee and doctor it myself.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
Teleportation of myself, others, and things. Time travel is appealing conceptually, but seems stressful and confusing in practice. I just want to get myself and loved ones around easily (and when I forget something, snap and have it back with me).

What else should we know about you?
I’m a fan of language, philosophy, debate, trivia, and Wisconsin sports teams (Packers, Brewers, Bucks, Badgers).

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