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.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Ryan Hermansky, President
Ryan Hermansky is an Owner and Operator of Greenhouse of Flagstaff. Ryan has been involved in every aspect of the operation of Greenhouse since inception in June 2013. Currently Ryan oversees the retail and wholesale operations of Greenhouse, including developing in house brands such as Pure Edibles and Everest Concentrates.
Ryan has had experience starting multiple companies from medical marijuana, medical device sales as well as mobile app technology. Ryan attended Arizona State University and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from the WP Carey School of Business and later returned for a MBA, also from the WP Carey School of Business.
Lilach Mazor Power, Vice President
GIVING TREE DISPENSARY
Lilach Mazor Power has been happily married for 15 years and is the proud mother of two wonderful boys. Before moving to Arizona to be with her family, Power received her Bachelor’s degree in Business and Marketing from New England College in Tel Aviv. When she did return to Arizona with her degree in hand, she set off to start her company. During that process, she created a team that was self-sufficient, motivated to work hard, and one that developed processes that made sense in the cannabis industry.
Today, Lilach is the Founder and Managing Director of the Giving Tree Dispensary, an Arizona-licensed vertically integrated cannabis company. Not exclusively a retail location, the Giving Tree Dispensary has 15,000 square feet of cultivation and extraction which fuels both retail and wholesale sales. Since opening in 2013, The Giving Tree has had continued success and growth with plans to begin operations in both Puerto Rico and Israel within the year.
Lilach places a strong emphasis on corporate citizenship. Her goal is to make a difference within her company, the industry, and the world. In the past seven years, she and her team have raised over $96,000 for various charities while providing countless volunteer hours in an effort to give back. Her project - Kindred cannabis, a cannabis lifestyle and product brand which aims to bring people together through cannabis while evolving the image of the cannabis user.
In addition to being a business owner, Lilach also works as a consultant for other investor groups, starting their cannabis businesses in other states and abroad. She’s a sought-after public speaker, regularly delivering speeches across the globe.
Pam Donner, Treasurer
Pamela Donner is COO of High Point Jewelry, and is an experienced C-level corporate executive, with an impressive history of growing companies, navigating successful business turnarounds, launching new products, and implementing structural organization changes to reduce costs and maximize profits.
She is currently COO of multiple companies in the legal cannabis and CBD industries, including Gel Cap Concepts, LLC – a manufacturer of cannabinoid-infused products; the Uncle Herbs, Naked Vape, and Desert Azee brands; and High Point Jewelry – the world’s first luxury cannabis-inspired jewelry company. She is also a partner in a CBD retail store and is COO of a popular dispensary.
Donner was named the 12th Most Powerful Woman in the Cannabis Industry by Cannabis Business Executive Magazine, and was listed as one of America’s Finest Entrepreneurs by Business Management News.
Pam resides in Scottsdale, Arizona with her husband, Glenn Murray.
Steve Cottrell, Board Member
Steve started working in the cannabis industry in early 2010 when the Arizona Medical Marijuana initiative was introduced. He created AZ Med Testing, the first of its kind in Arizona. The companies focus was on safe pesticide free and mold free medicine for every patient. No stranger to the laboratory environment, Steve began working for his family in one of their FDA registered laboratories after graduating from high school and attending Fort Lewis College in Durango Colorado where he studied Business Marketing and Administration. Steve brings a comprehensive understanding of laboratory protocols, sample preservation and integrity along with more than 15 years of relevant laboratory experience.
Following the death of his 11 year old son from childhood leukemia, he began researching the cannabis plant and it’s effects on cancer patients. The creation of AZ Med Testing has given Steve the opportunity to combine his family laboratory experience with what he believes is a higher purpose, the ability to help those affected with treatable diseases and in need of help. Steve was also involved in several committees that has helped advise legislators on the creation of medical marijuana testing legislation for the state of Nevada. Steve helped structure and develop the extraction standards for the Foundation of Cannabis Unified Standards (FOCUS). In addition Steve has been chosen to represent the Arizona Marijuana industry to assist the Arizona Department Of Health Service on the testing committee. Helping develop mandated safety standards for cannabis across the state.
Steve sold AZ Med Testing to his partner in late 2014 when he was given an opportunity to enter the cannabis field in a different capacity. Steve and his partners created OPV Distributions and promotions a company that extracts and purifies cannabis to the highest level of cleanliness and is then packaged and distributed to state licensed medical marijuana dispensaries around the state of Arizona. In 2015 Steve became a board member of Catalina Hills Botanical Care a state licensed marijuana dispensary. This opened a whole new opportunity within the industry that positioned Steve to move into dispensary management. Currently Steve is the president of Curaleaf Arizona and is in charge of 9 state authorized dispensaries.
Rami Sweis, Board Member
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.
Lauren Niehaus, Board Member
Trulieve (fka Harvest)
Lauren Niehaus is a Director of Government Relations for Trulieve Cannabis Corp. where she focuses her efforts collaborating with government officials at all levels to ensure the company’s operational goals are carried out throughout the country. Niehaus is responsible for lobbying local, and state government agencies, and providing internal strategic guidance related to the implementation of policies and procedures in alignment with the passage of new administrative rules and legislation.
Prior to joining the Harvest team, Niehaus spent a decade with the Conference of Western Attorneys General, most recently serving as the Deputy Director of the organization. In her role as Deputy Director, Niehaus served in a Chief of Staff capacity with duties including managing priority projects, leading strategic and policy initiatives, streamlining workflows and operational procedures and creating cross-functional partnerships.
Niehaus completed her undergraduate work in communications and Spanish language at Arizona State University, holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Colorado, Denver and completed her Juris Doctor degree from Concord Law School at Purdue University Global in 2017.
Brad Kotansky, Board Member
Copper State Farms
Brad has more than 20 years of executive level experience leading teams in diverse industries (Cannabis/Software/Real Estate/Wall Street) across the USA and Canada.
Prior to his role as CFO at Copperstate farms, Brad was the CFO of 4 Front Ventures, a publicly traded Cannabis company. Prior to 4Front, Brad was a co-founder and CEO of Onist technologies, a software startup based out of Toronto, Canada that was focused on household finances.
Brad has extensive finance experience having worked on Wall Street for over 15 years as both an investment banker structuring credit and high yield loans and as a hedge fund portfolio manager for one of the top hedge fund firms in the country.
For the past 12 years, Brad has been a strategic advisor and investor for many seed stage companies in the sports analytics, music licensing and healthcare industries . Brad’s key focus is to guide and advise the executive teams on how to scale and build sustainable/growing businesses while trying to implement solutions to de-risk the idea/opportunity with minimal capital required.
Samuel Richard, Executive Director
Sam is known for his strategic thinking and development of complex government affairs, communications, and media plans. He approaches every problem with an open mind, patience, and empathy.
Sam has a degree in nonprofit leadership and management from Arizona State University's College of Public Service and Community Solutions, is a Fellow of the Flinn-Brown Civic Leadership Academy, and holds certificates from both Valley Leadership and the Center for Progressive Leadership.
Sam was recently recognized by the Arizona Capitol Times in its inaugural Breakouts Award highlighting "the sharpest political minds in the state," and has previously been recognized in the Phoenix New Times' Best of Phoenix as Best Lobbyist and by the Phoenix Business Journal as a member of the 2013 class of Forty under 40.
Sam and his wife, Kim, live in Central Phoenix with their two children, Harlow and Holden.
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.