ABOUT THE ARIZONA DISPENSARIES ASSOCIATION

Organization

OUR

MISSION

Our Mission is to promote and advocate for a safe, patient focused cannabis industry in Arizona.

We develop and promote best practices and effectively represent the industry with a constant legislative and regulatory presence. Our practice is to recruit and retain responsible industry members who believe in protecting patients and providing high quality cannabis in Arizona. We have a democratically elected 7 member board which is comprised of individuals who serve 2 year terms with rotating elections every year.

OUR

ORGANIZATION

Arizona Dispensaries Association

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Steve White

Steve White, President & Board Member

HARVEST

Steve graduated early from Arizona State’s Honors College summa cum laude with two minors, while also winning an athletic national championship. After his undergraduate work, Steve attended and graduated from Washington and Lee’s School of Law in 1999.  At Washington and Lee, he competed on the school’s National Moot Court team and served as a law journal editor.  In private practice, he practiced business, business litigation and regulatory law for two national law firms. In 2005, he founded his own boutique law firm and achieved an AV rating, the highest possible rating for skill and ethics. There, Steve represented clients ranging from very large to start-ups across a variety of industries.

Steve founded Harvest in 2011. After opening Harvest’s first dispensary in 2013, Steve worked there for several months fulfilling orders, performing reception duties, and consulting with patients. He quickly learned that he had the ability to help shape a company that gave people control over an aspect of their life where they previously had very little – their health and wellness. This led Steve to instill a culture of education and empowerment at Harvest to provide patients much needed products, resources, and support.  For example, Harvest facilities host a new patient orientation and monthly support group meetings for epilepsy, chronic pain, cancer, and PTSD. Under Steve’s direction, Harvest has also engaged in many community activities and events, including donating more than $500,000 to local charitable organizations, veterans, seniors, and patients in need. Steve founded and now serves on the board of directors for Harvesting Hope, a non-profit organization that supports young children suffering from seizure disorders. To date, Harvesting Hope has provided a wide range of services for over 100 families.

As Harvest’s CEO, Steve is responsible for license acquisition, start-up, operations, and organizational direction and strategy. He has also been instrumental in navigating state- and county-level regulatory audits, including, to date, more than one hundred state inspections across multiple states, four Americans for Safe Access Patient Focused Certifications, and more than fifty certified financial audits. He sits on Americans for Safe Access’s Advisory Board for its End Pain, Not Lives campaign.  He is also a board member of the Arizona Dispensary Association. In addition, he has done hundreds of interviews, speaking engagements, and provided expert testimony on a multitude of marijuana-related topics.

Ryan Hurley

Ryan Hurley, Vice President & Board Member

COPPERSTATE FARMS

Ryan Hurley is General Counsel at Copperstate Farms, the largest medical cannabis grower in the Southwest.  Prior to joining Copperstate, Ryan was a partner at Rose Law Group, Rich, Hurley in Scottsdale, AZ where he led the firm’s Marijuana Practice Group.  He has a background in land use and zoning law, environmental and water issues, renewable energy and a wide variety of regulatory compliance and administrative law issues.

Ryan and the Marijuana Practice Group assisted clients with all aspects of AZ’s Medical Marijuana law primarily focusing on the business of MMJ and helping clients apply for and secure dispensary licenses from the AZ Department of Health Services.  Mr. Hurley has been working on AZ’s MMJ law even before it was passed, and he had significant input on the ultimate Rules that AZDHS developed.  He is a frequent presenter at marijuana seminars and conferences throughout the country and is a tireless advocate for marijuana reform in myriad interviews and appearances on TV, print and radio.

Mr. Hurley was the attorney for the Arizona Campaign to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol a committee to legalize marijuana for adult-use in Arizona in 2016 and is one of the founding members of the National Cannabis Industry Association. In addition Ryan has a strong interest in industrial hemp and has been working behind the scenes with Arizona farmers to bring industrial hemp as an alternative crop to AZ’s large cotton industry.   Ryan has been committed to the entire cannabis space from day one and continues to be a thought leader for this emerging industry.

Chelsea Johnson

Chelsea Johnson, Treasurer & Board Member

HUXTON

An Arizona native, Chelsea left the desert and attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas where she earned her bachelor’s of art degree in political science. Upon graduating, she entered the world of politics where she worked with a political consulting firm managing numerous political campaigns and lobbying on various issues. After spending time in the Dallas market, Chelsea moved back to her hometown of Scottsdale, Arizona where she started her career in the cannabis industry.

Chelsea has been actively involved in the cannabis industry since 2013 where she started as head of Marketing and Business Development for Monarch Wellness Centers. While she was at Monarch she co-founded HUXTON, the first branded flower company in Arizona, and became Head of Brand for ADAKAI Holdings. There she manages every facet of the creative side of the business, and manages HUXTON’s out of state expansion.

Mark Steinmetz

Mark Steinmetz, Board Member

NATURE'S MEDICINES

For the past seven years, Mark Steinmetz has devoted his full-time efforts to the Department of Health Services Licensed Medical Marijuana Dispensary, Infusion, and Cultivation programs as Licensee/Owner/Operator of Sixth Street Enterprises, Inc. – DBA Nature’s Medicines dispensaries, AMMA Investment Group, LLC, and devoted to the management of cultivation, processing, and dispensing state regulated medical cannabis. Mark also owns a principal stake in Amado Management, LLC, an organic, high-tech, light deprivation greenhouse management company located upon 17 acres in Amado, AZ. Mark and his business partners won two Baltimore, MD area dispensary licenses in 2016, and three more dispensaries in State College, Bloomsburg, and Selinsgrove, PA. Mark also operates a management company with several other dispensary clients in CT, MA, & MI. Mark has pioneered the cannabis industry in Arizona, and has emerged as a leader among his peers, serving as the Arizona Dispensaries Association President (2018), and winning over 24 industry awards from 2016-2019 including Errl Cups for “Best Concentrates and Best Flower in Arizona.” Nature’s Medicines dispensaries also won first place (#1) for “Best Dispensary in Arizona” by Phoenix New Times, Leaf-Life, and Cannabis Now Magazine.

Mark’s legacy of government compliance started 35+ years ago as a senior broadcast manager with the ABC and CBS Radio companies. In 1996 ABC Radio/Disney tapped Mark as their Radio Stations Group President, operating 26 radio AM/FM stations in 13 major markets throughout the United States including, 700 employees, $150 million in revenue, and $72 Million in EBITDA. Mark conceptualized, researched, and assisted in the development and launch of the 24/7 ESPN Radio station product and the Radio Disney brand, as well as several music formats for ABC Radio.

He is most proud of the record $1.4 Million raised for Phoenix Children’s Hospital with a 72 hour “Radio-thon” in 2005 while managing the CBS Radio Group, doubling the previous year’s performance. Mark also served on the board of directors of (MAN) Men’s Anti-Violence Network, ten years as a Board of Director of the Radio Advertising Bureau, was President of the Minnesota Advertising Federation, and served for over ten years on the Foundation Board for The Walter Cronkite School of Mass Communications and Journalism at ASU. Mark and his family also donate time to a variety of fundraisers and community outreach programs such as Habitat for Humanity and Humane Boarders. His Phoenix areas dispensaries have raised thousands of pounds of food and water for homeless shelters and gather thousands of toys for under-privileged and societally challenged youth.

When it comes to the emerging medical marijuana industry, he believes MMJ can eliminate human suffering as a viable treatment option for a variety of serious illnesses and medical conditions. He is proud to play a credible role in pioneering the MMJ Dispensary industry for the benefit of all Registered Patients who truly need this amazing natural herbal medicine.

Moe Asnani

Moe Asnani, Board Member

iLAVA

Mohit “Moe” Asnani is the co-founder of the iLAVA and iLAVAHEMP product line and is a partner in two Arizona dispensaries, The Downtown & D2 Dispensaries. He immigrated to the United States from India in 1995 and graduated from the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona with a Bachelor's degree in Management Information Systems and a minor in Sociology. He discovered the benefits of medical marijuana when his mother was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006. When Arizona legalized medical marijuana in 2010, he decided he made the decision to participate in the industry with the goal of helping patients who were previously faced with the unfortunate choice of breaking state and local laws or watching a loved one suffer.

Eight years ago, he entered the medical marijuana industry by participating in the rule-making process led by the Arizona Department of Health Services in early 2011. Because of his deep experience with inpatient JCAHO/HIPAA compliance and managed care applications at firms like Cerner and HealthTrio, he launched a consulting firm in 2011 for the purposes of licensing, regulatory compliance & management. As he opened some of his first dispensaries, he saw instances of the state medical marijuana tracking website going down which resulted in dispensaries not being able to dispense, causing a care gap in patient access. He volunteered his time to help the Arizona Department of Health Services Director and Information Technology staff by providing feedback on needed features while beta testing new functionality on the website as they updated their systems to ensure continuity.

In Spring 2013, Moe worked with the Nevada State Legislature in helping create the framework of Senate Bill 374 which allowed over 60 dispensaries regulated by Nevada Division of Public & Behavioral Health & became law in October 2013.

Moe worked independently with his lobbyist to pass a law in the 2018 legislative session that enhances corporate governance in Arizona which benefited employees and business owners by limiting circumstances for business dissolution in the arena of commercial civil litigation. He also worked with legislators in the 2019 legislative session to ensure that Arizona's medical marijuana testing bill would meet the needs of Arizona's 200,000+ card-carrying patients without creating bottlenecks in the production, distribution, and dispensary supply chain.

Today, he has a laser focus on ensuring that no patient in Arizona is ever incarcerated for exercising their right to alleviate suffering and pain.  Moe also strives to bring attention to the matter that American companies in medical or adult use states that have developed products using cannabis should have a higher priority to protect their intellectual property than foreign companies who are using their country's legalization status to file provisional patents with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, all while American companies are denied that right.

Rami Sweis, Oasis

Rami Sweis, Board Member

OASIS DISPENSARIES

As CEO & Founder of Total Health & Wellness Inc., Rami created Oasis Dispensaries, a boutique medical marijuana dispensary brand with the vision of providing patients with the highest standards of care, quality, and trusted knowledgeable advice. Being the CEO of a startup, Rami was responsible for every aspect of the business. He would direct strategy, manage operations, navigate regulatory requirements, and facilitate his team to exceed their potentials. A true entrepreneur, he shaped and developed several retail businesses in his career.

A dual citizen of the US and Jordan, Rami was born in Chicago, returned to Jordan for his youth and then came back to the US to pursue his education and career. He graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor's degree in Finance and Global Management. While completing his degree, he started Big Bear Tobacco, his first retail business. Shortly after opening his first store, he returned to Chicago to assist his family's struggling grocery retail business. In a short time, he significantly improved the financial position of the company, allowing for a profitable exit and his return to Arizona to continue the growth of his own retail business.

An innovator in every entrepreneurial endeavor, Rami created a niche market in the tobacco business by providing an alternative to highly-processed, chemical-laden cigarettes. His healthier "roll-your-own" approach grew his retail tobacco business to six locations with ten million in annual sales.

That said, Rami is always looking ahead. He founded Total Health & Wellness Inc. in 2012, hoping to pursue a new opportunity in the up-and-coming Medical Marijuana industry. Rami immersed himself in learning every aspect of cannabis and dispensary management, navigating the many legal and regulatory challenges that faced license holders. The journey was long and arduous. Four years later in January of 2016, Rami opened Oasis, his first dispensary, in Chandler. Since then, the Oasis team has grown into a family of over 50 remarkable people, serving the community from two Chandler locations. Oasis Dispensaries helps tens of thousands of patients each year and continues to provide healing and compassionate service to all those who seek it.

Bill Gibbs

Bill Gibbs, Board Member

PURA EARTH

Mr. Gibbs is currently the co-founder of the Cannabis Concentrate brand PuraEarth. He also was the founding member of the Arizona medical marijuana dispensary, Urban Greenhouse. He started his career with PriceWaterhouse Coopers in the Phoenix Management and Consulting arm of the CPA firm.

He served as the President of the University of Phoenix (Apollo Group) and took the organization from a loss of several million dollars a year when he started to a market cap of several billion dollars when he took the company public on the NASDAQ. Mr. Gibbs has an MBA from the University of Illinois, a BA from Arizona State University, and a CPA (retired) from the State of Arizona.

OUR

REPRESENTATION

Arizona Capitol
Tim Sultan

Tim Sultan, Executive Director

Tim Sultan is responsible for the ADA’s daily operations and member services.  Prior to joining the ADA, Tim worked with former Mexican President Vicente Fox to promote a legal cannabis industry in Mexico.  He also led SolarCity's corporate participation in Arizona's 2016 pro-solar ballot initiative.

An Arizona native, Tim Sultan ran for Congress in his home state in 2004, the same year he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.  He is one of Arizona’s 200,000+ cardholding medical marijuana patients.  At the University of Arizona, Tim earned a double-major in History and Spanish.  He also holds Master’s degrees from Thunderbird and Harvard University.

Pele Fischer, ADA Lobbyist

Pele Fischer Esq., Lobbyist

Pele Fischer, Esq. is the principal of Peacock Legal, PLC, a government affairs and legal consulting firm. Through a comprehensive approach to policy development, advocacy, and legal consulting Peacock Legal is focused advancing the business and policy goals of its clients. Peacock Legal is committed to providing its clients with the highest level of quality service. Pele is an expert in Arizona policy and navigating its legislative and regulatory environment. She has a successful track record in advocacy, problem solving, and consensus/coalition building.

Prior to starting Peacock Legal, Pele served as the Vice President of Policy and Political Affairs for the Arizona Medical Association where she directed strategies in legal, political, and regulatory development and advocacy. Before joining the Arizona Medical Association, Pele served as a Senior Policy Advisor and Staff Attorney for the Arizona House of Representatives for multiple committees including: Health, Human Services, and Commerce.