The Medical Cannabis World Forum will bring together a unique set of speakers who are shaping the global cannabis industry. From policy makers to business leaders, the forum will provide key insights from the people who are at the forefront of this industry.
Dr Joseph MuscatPrime Minister of Malta
Dr Joseph Muscat
Prime Minister of Malta
Dr Joseph Muscat took office as Prime Minister of Malta on 11 March 2013.
Dr Joseph Muscat was born in Pietà on 22 January 1974. He received his formal education at the Government Primary School in St. Paul’s Bay, Stella Maris and St. Aloysius’ College. He graduated with Honours from the University of Malta in Public Policy and later as Master of European Studies. In 2007 he attained a Doctorate of Philosophy in Management Research from the University of Bristol (UK).
After graduating, Dr. Muscat worked as a journalist, market intelligence manager and investment adviser. In 2004 he successfully contested the first European Parliamentary elections ever held in Malta. In 2008 he was elected as the Leader of the Labour Party and was subsequently elected Prime Minister on the 11th March 2013. Dr. Muscat won his second term as Prime Minister in June 2017.
Dr Muscat is married to Michelle, née Tanti, and they have twin daughters, Etoile Ella and Soleil Sophie.
Dr Chris FearneDeputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health
Dr Chris Fearne
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health
Hon. Christopher Fearne was born in Attard, Malta on 12 March 1963. In April 2016 he was appointed Minister for Health after holding the position of Parliamentary Secretary for Health since April 2014. In June 2017 he was re-appointed Minister for Health following the general elections and in July 2017 he was elected Deputy Prime Minister following the Malta Labour Party’s extraordinary general council. Prior to this, Hon. Fearne worked as a Consultant Paediatric Surgeon and Clinical Chairman at Mater Dei Hospital. He is a Member of Parliament for the ruling Labour Party and was the Chairman of the Foreign and European Affairs Committee at the Maltese House of Representatives.
Hon. Fearne has worked as a doctor and surgeon for over 30 years. He received his formal education at St. Aloysius College and at the University of Malta graduating in Medicine and Surgery in 1987, becoming a Fellow of The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. He worked and studied in a number of children’s hospitals in England, including the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. He also lectures students of medicine at the University of Malta.
Hon. Fearne is married to Astrid. They have 3 children, Dawn, Julian and Rafael.
Dr Chris CardonaMinister for Economy, Investment and Small Businesses
Dr Chris Cardona
Minister for Economy, Investment and Small Businesses
The Hon. Dr. Christian Cardona was born in 1972 and graduated as Notary Public and Doctor of Laws from the University of Malta. Prior to his appointment as Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Businesses, Dr. Christian Cardona was a Senior Partner at CV Advocates.
He furthered his studies in International Maritime Law at the United Nations International Maritime Organisation where he obtained a first Class Masters degree in Shipping Law. Dr. Cardona is the author of the thesis entitled ‘United Nations Commission on International Trade Law – A Maltese Perspective’.
Dr. Christian Cardona was first elected to Parliament in 1996 and was re-elected in the 1998, 2003, 2008 and 2013 general elections. During the 2008 – 2013 legislature he served as the Labour Party main Spokesperson for the Industry, Self Employed and Foreign Investment. In previous legislatures he even served as the Labour Party Spokesperson for Competition, Communication and IT.
Dr. Cardona also served as a member in the Malta EU Parliamentary Committee during the negotiation process of Malta’s application to join the European Union as a full member.
In 2016, he was elected as Deputy Leader for Party Affairs for the Labour Party.
Dr Deo DebattistaParliamentary Secretary responsible for Malta Medicines Authority
Dr Deo Debattista
Parliamentary Secretary responsible for Malta Medicines Authority
Dr Deo Debattista was born on the 24th July 1963. A long-standing family medical doctor by profession, Dr Debattista was first elected in Parliament in 2013 from the first electoral district. He served as a member in the Council of Europe and Parliamentary Committee Chairman of Valletta 2018. In August 2013, Dr. Debattista was appointed Chairperson of the Occupational Health and Safety Authority in Malta. In June 2017, after being re-elected Prime Minister Joseph Muscat appointed him Parliamentary Secretary responsible for Valletta 2018 and Consumer Affairs. In this capacity, Dr Debattista is responsible for Valletta 2018 and its legacy, the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority (MCCAA), Malta Medicines Authority, Malta Laboratories Network, National Accreditation Board, Data Protection and the Directorate of Public Cleansing.
Dr.Debattista is married to Monica and they have two children, Andre and Emma.
Dr Miriam DalliMember of the European Parliament
Dr Miriam Dalli
Member of the European Parliament
Dr Miriam Dalli is a Member of the European Parliament since 2014. Currently she is the Socialist and Democrats coordinator for the committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Security. Over the past four years, Miriam Dalli worked extensively on the public health sector. She was recognised as the MEP of the Year for Public Health in 2017.
Dr Dalli is also a member of the Industry Research and Energy Committee where she is actively involved in the Union’s industrial policy and related measures and the application of new technologies.
As a Member of the European Parliament, Miriam Dalli has actively advocated for further investment in emerging sectors, urging the European Commission to especially allow for more funds towards research and development.
A lawyer by profession, MEP Miriam Dalli holds an MBA, and MA in European Studies and a BA (Hons) Communications from the University of Malta.
Tjalling ErkelensBedrocan CEO
Tjalling Erkelens (1956) is the founder of Bedrocan and currently holds the position of CEO / chairman of the board. Back in 1984 he started Bedrocan in the Netherlands together with his brother in law Freerk Bruining, focussing on indoor production of vegetables and herbs. Tjalling is strongly committed to maintaining these family business roots especially now Bedrocan continues to grow.
The cannabis plant came into the company back in 1992 for the first time. Since 2003 Bedrocan provides standardised cannabis of pharmaceutical quality to the Dutch government. It’s the oldest legal company in the world providing several, chemically different cannabis varieties to be used by patients on doctor’s prescription and as a raw material for the pharmaceutical industry (API).
During these past 26 years, Tjalling has developed and standardised unique methods of producing cannabis to pharmaceutical standards to a level achieved by no other company until today. His strong commitment to product quality resulted in the Dutch Bedrocan production facilities being approved for GMP/API (Good Manufacturing Practice/Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients) by the Dutch Health Authorities in 2017.
“It is my strong belief that there should be a clear distinction between medicinal and recreational use of cannabis and that patient needs for safe and consistent cannabis is a priority”, Tjalling says when talking about the company’s mission and vision. He is convinced that this can be achieved by going through the formal drug approval process. “Only fully standardised medicinal cannabis is the foundation on which such approval can be achieved.”
Antonio CostanzoCEO, EMMAC
Antonio joined EMMAC following holding the position of Head of International Development at Aphria Inc.
Before entering the cannabis industry, Antonio was Head of Public Policy and Government Relations at Uber. Prior to his position at Uber, Mr. Costanzo spent 10 years in the online gaming industry, at bwin, as Director of International Development and Regulatory Affairs.
Before joining bwin he was Head of Editorial Development Italy for the Eurosport Group and worked on the conception and creation of Sportitalia, the first free-to-air terrestrial all-sport television network in Italy
He studied journalism in Paris.
Joseph CuschieriCEO, Malta Financial Services Authority
CEO, Malta Financial Services Authority
Mr Cuschieri, Chief Executive Officer of the MFSA, is responsible for the overall management and performance of the Authority, strategy development/implementation including reforms in the financial services sector.
A Certified Public Accountant by profession and a fellow member of the Malta Institute of Accountants, Mr Cuschieri is specialised in management accounting, corporate finance, economic regulation and general/business management. He also holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Henley Management College, UK and an Advanced Diploma in Management Accounting from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), UK.
Throughout his professional career spanning 25 years, he held various finance-related roles, senior executive positions and directorships within the private and public sector amongst which Head of Corporate Affairs and then Chief Commercial Officer at Vodafone Malta, Chief Operating Officer at the Malta Communications Authority, senior consultant with EY and prior to joining the MFSA he held the position of Chairman and CEO at the Malta Gaming Authority since November 2013.
During his time at Vodafone, Mr Cuschieri was involved in key regulatory projects both in Egypt and Turkey. Furthermore, he spent a period of eighteen months enrolled on the Vodafone Group’s global leadership development programme. He has vast experience in economic regulation particularly in the electronic communications and technology sectors where he was involved in major reforms in the telecommunications sector during his time at the Malta Communications Authority. Mr Cuschieri is also a member of the Blockchain task force where he was involved in the development of a new regulatory framework for virtual currencies and distributed ledger technology. At the helm of the Malta Gaming Authority, Mr Cuschieri focused on reforming the governance of the gaming sector including a major legislative overhaul which led to the tabling of a new Gaming Bill in Parliament.
Navdeep DhaliwalCEO, The Supreme Cannabis Company Inc.
CEO, The Supreme Cannabis Company Inc.
Mr. Navdeep Dhaliwal is an entrepreneur, financier and investor focused on ventures and initiatives that create positive change for humanity globally. He has a vast amount of knowledge and experience in cannabis, renewable energy and technology.
Mr. Dhaliwal is President and a Director of The Supreme Cannabis Company, Inc., one of the largest and fastest growing Canadian Licensed Producers of medical cannabis. Mr. Dhaliwal believes the legalization of cannabis will have a positive impact socially as medicine and as a recreational product. Mr. Dhaliwal is also a Director of BlissCo Cannabis Corp., a publicly traded early stage Licensed Producer, and Medigrow Lesotho, a Licensed Producer in the Kingdom of Lesotho.
Prior to Supreme, Mr. Dhaliwal was the Principal of NLX Capital Corp., a Canadian merchant bank and venture investor and Vice President of corporate development for Novalux Energy Corporation, a renewable energy developer founded by senior executives from TD Securities and Honeywell. Novalux built solar projects and developed early stage clean technology companies. Mr. Dhaliwal began his career with KPMG LLP where he specialized in Financial Institutions and Real Estate. After KPMG, he was a Senior Associate with Trivandrum Capital, a hedge fund founded by an Alumnus of Ziff Brothers Investments and focused on India public markets and private opportunities in the alternative energy, clean technology and internet sectors.
Mr. Dhaliwal holds a B. Comm. degree and is a Chartered Accountant.
Tristan GervaisHead of European Medical Cannabis Investment Banking, Canaccord Genuity Limited
Head of European Medical Cannabis Investment Banking, Canaccord Genuity Limited
Formerly JP Morgan, UBS and Deutsche Bank for 15 years investment banking and private capital.
British French Dual National
BA in Spanish, Portuguese & Latin American Studies.
Luana Mifsud BuhagiarDirector, Malta Medicines Authority
Luana Mifsud Buhagiar
Director, Malta Medicines Authority
Luana Mifsud Buhagiar studied Pharmacy at the University of Malta where she graduated with first class honours as Bachelor of Pharmacy followed by a postgraduate Master of Pharmacy Degree with distinction. Her disseminated research work focuses on pain relief, pharmaceutical sciences and precision medicine. A pharmacist by profession, Luana has embarked on a career in community pharmacy practice, followed by endeavours in the regulatory sciences field. She developed the Research, Scientific Affairs and Innovation Unit at the Malta Medicines Authority and currently holds the position of Director, Advanced Scientific Initiatives with responsibilities including the regulation of medicinal cannabis. Luana Mifsud Buhagiar represents Malta in a number of international fora and is active within the European medicines regulatory network in the areas of innovation and training. She is presently reading for a PhD at the University of Malta by research on analytical, clinical and regulatory implications of pharmacogenetics.
Profs Serracino InglottChairperson, Malta Medicines Authority
Profs Serracino Inglott
Chairperson, Malta Medicines Authority
Anthony Serracino Inglott is a Professor at the Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, University of Malta. Professor Serracino Inglott studied Pharmacy at the University of Malta and is a registered pharmacist. He continued his postgraduate studies at the University of Cincinnati where he obtained a Doctorate degree in Pharmacy and completed a residency at the University of Cincinnati Medical Centre. Serracino Inglott published over one hundred scientific papers and delivered a number of presentations at international conferences related to the pharmaceutical and regulatory sciences. He held the posts of Director, Institute of Healthcare and Head, Department of Pharmacy, University of Malta. Serracino Inglott was one of the founder members of the Richmond Foundation and the Hospice Movement, and started a number of initiatives related to the care of the elderly such as the establishment of Zammit Clapp, now Karen Grech Hospital, Meals on Wheels and Telecare, as well as laboratory initiatives such as the Malta Standards Laboratory and the Malta National Laboratory. Serracino Inglott’s consultancy experience includes being a court expert in toxicology and forensic sciences, advisory roles to Ministries and government entities, as well as Qualified Person for the pharmaceutical industry. He is Chairman of the Malta Laboratories Network and member within the Ethics Committee, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery and the board of governors of the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority. Since 2013, Professor Anthony Serracino Inglott is the Chairperson of the Malta Medicines Authority.
Mario GaleaCEO, Malta Enterprise
CEO, Malta Enterprise
Presently holds the post of CEO at Malta Enterprise. With a career of over 30 years at Malta Enterprise and its predecessor Malta Development Corporation, Mario Galea has occupied various posts including those of Head of Project Evaluation and Chief Officer – Investment Promotion. Malta Enterprise is the government agency responsible for attracting foreign direct investment and supporting local investment. Previously Mario held the post of CEO at Malta Industrial Parks – the entity responsible for government industrial property.
Mario Galea also holds the post of director on Projects Malta – the government agency responsible for public private partnerships and the post of Governor on Education Malta.
A graduate in Management from the University of Malta at first and second degree level ( MBA ) with a post graduate Master in Enterprise development. Previous work experiences include Sports Management, Management of Analytical Laboratories and the implementation of a number of EU Programmes.
Profs Lilian M. AzzopardiHead, Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, University of Malta
Profs Lilian M. Azzopardi
Head, Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, University of Malta
Lilian Azzopardi is a professor of pharmacy at the University of Malta, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery. She is currently the Head of Department of Pharmacy at the University of Malta. She has an extensive academic experience locally and at an international level and she has spearheaded innovative introductions in pharmacy education that are directed to meet the needs of the Health Services and the Pharmaceutical Industry in Malta. Professor Azzopardi was responsible for the introduction at the University of Malta of a course leading to a degree in Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Technology, which was precisely planned to meet the needs of the industry whilst retaining a high academic standing and for the development of the international post-graduate Doctorate in Pharmacy offered in collaboration with the University of Illinois at Chicago, USA.
Professor Azzopardi is well acknowledged in the international field for her ability to ingrain in the education process ways how to combine the basic sciences with the practice areas to meet the needs of stakeholders. Her ability to do this is enhanced by her experience in practice in hospital and community pharmacy as well as in the pharmaceutical industry.
Professor Azzopardi has been recognised through research awards by the International Pharmacuetical Federation (FIP) and the European Society of Clinical Pharmacy (ESCP). She served as Director of the ESCP and is at present the President of the European Association of Faculties of Pharmacy. She was bestowed the Fellowship by the International Pharmaceutical Federation.
She has published over 100 papers and scientific communications and a number of internationally-renowned textbooks. She is established in the area of quality systems through her research work on Validation Processes.
Andrea PaineNational Director of Government Relations, Aurora Cannabis
National Director of Government Relations, Aurora Cannabis
Andrea Paine is National Director of Government Relations at Aurora Cannabis. She is the lead director for federal and provincial government relations, community relations with municipalities and local non-profit associations, and is leading collaborative GR efforts in Europe. Before joining Aurora, in May 2017, Andrea was a Citizenship Judge in Montreal, where she was a member of the Citizenship Commission at Refugees, Immigration and Citizenship Canada. Andrea also has a long professional career in politics and government. She worked for over twenty-five years with cabinet Ministers in Quebec provincial departments of Food and Fisheries, Transport and Education, and Federal Ministers of Human Resources and Social Development, Heritage, Health, as well as with the Government House Leader where she was responsible for all legislation going through Canadian Parliament, Parliament committee hearings, negotiating with the opposition parties and stakeholder groups. During her time at Health Canada, Andrea was responsible for the drafting and successful passage, through the House of Commons and the Senate, of the Canadian Consumer Protection Act, and was part of the team that brought forward the first medical cannabis regulations in Canada. She also ran as a Federal candidate in Montreal’s West Island during the 2004, 2006 and 2008 Federal elections.
Joel SherlockCo-Founder, Vitalis Chairman
Co-Founder, Vitalis Chairman
A serial entrepreneur and business leader, Joel is a born connector who has been building great teams and delivering the expertise to execute. Joel has been at the helm of 9 successful start-ups and corporate exits, including one of BC’s top private real estate brokerages, a national first action sports e-commerce company, a successful corporate consulting firm and a few private equity funds.
Joel’s time is now focused on Kelowna, BC-based Vitalis Extraction Technologies, an industry leader in manufacturing industrial supercritical CO2 extraction equipment, where he is Chairman and Co-Founder, as well as on Spectrum Asset Leasing and Doventi Capital. Doventi Capital in Vancouver is the private equity fund he co-founded to support professionals in the growing legal cannabis market. Spectrum Leasing in Toronto is an asset-backed lender designed to support entrepreneurs and manufacturers in the world’s fastest-growing market.
Born in Winnipeg Manitoba, Joel’s early years were on the farm, that all seems a far cry from studying finance at UBC and Harvard Business School and offices in Vancouver, Kelowna and Toronto. Joel still loves to balance all this travel with a few days on the farm, with no phone or internet.
Ben WardCEO, Wayland Group
CEO, Wayland Group
Ben leads all facets of the company’s operations, including its strategic direction and execution, finance and industry relations.
He brings extensive domestic and global experience in business development, infrastructure development and capital markets to his leadership
of Maricann. Ben holds a BA (Honors) and an MBA from Bradford University School of Management (England), the latter with a dual concentration in Operations and Finance.
Jeannette VanderMarelCo-CEO 48North Cannabis Corp.
Co-CEO 48North Cannabis Corp.
Jeannette has a deep knowledge of both the production and retail sides of the cannabis industry, and a proven track record of delivering results. She previously co-founded and served as President of Good & Green and was a co-founder of The Green Organic Dutchman (TSX:TGOD), both Licensed Producers by Health Canada and now joins 48North as co-CEO.
With a critical focus of producing a high-quality, consistent, organic and homogenous product, Jeannette strives to elevate 48North in the cannabis industry, disrupting the market with next-generation cannabis products. Jeannette has been extensively engaged in Canadian agriculture and has worked with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs to develop a cannabis-focused Good Agricultural and Collections Practice Program focused on plant identification, pest control products, purchasing, production, post-harvest processing, personnel training, preventative maintenance and recordkeeping.
Christopher DayVice President of External Relations, Marijuana Business Daily
Vice President of External Relations, Marijuana Business Daily
Chris Day is the Vice President of External Relations and handles global partnership development for MJBizDaily and the MJBizCon family of events. Prior to Marijuana Business Daily, His 20+ year career designing Fortune 100 advertising campaigns, experiential events, as well as Public Relations and Public Affairs programs within marketing agencies spanned a wide variety of complex high growth industries. Having started his career just before the dot.com boom of the mid to late 90’s, he now uses the experience that comes with decades of brand building, global strategic partnership development and surviving numerous boom and bust cycles to more effectively build a sustainable and responsible cannabis industry.
Chris develops partnership programs and scenarios which serve the needs, aspirations, and opportunities of professionals creating the legal cannabis markets around the world and believes in giving back to the communities within which we work and live. He has happily served on boards championing small business development, multi-cultural communication and diversity, and environmental sustainability. The New Mexico native is a graduate of Colorado State University and in between busy business trips now enjoys living in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains near Denver, Colorado with his wife, Coco, and their two daughters.
Deepak AnandFounder, Materia
Mr. Anand steps into the position with a wealth of knowledge and experience in the cannabis industry. He is a public speaker and engaged with Canadian and International media on all subjects related to the Cannabis industry.
He is a recognized thought leader in the Canadian cannabis space and brings 15 years of leadership experience in the health, charitable/non-profit, and private sectors in Canada.
Within the global cannabis sector, Mr. Anand has worked with senior government officials, politicians, policy makers, health professional organizations, clinical practitioners, educators, investors, patients as well as producers. He has also served on the boards of various pharmaceutical associations across Canada, the United States and Europe.
Prior to joining Cannabis Compliance Inc., Mr. Anand acted as the Executive Director for the Canadian National Medical Marijuana Association (CNMMA). The CNMMA was the first and only industry association that factored in all facets of the nascent Cannabis industry in Canada.
Mr. Anand was also an Adjunct Professor at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU). At KPU, Mr. Anand wrote, and taught Canada’s first and only Cannabis course titled ‘Cannabis Professional Series’ taught via an online module.
Most recently, Mr. Anand was the Vice President for Zenabis (International Herbs Medical Marijuana Ltd)., a Health Canada licensed producer under the ACMPR with facilities in British Columbia and New Brunswick, Canada.
Mr. Anand holds a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) and Management from Vancouver Island University.
Barinder S. BhullarVice President, The Supreme Cannabis Company, Inc.
Barinder S. Bhullar
Vice President, The Supreme Cannabis Company, Inc.
Barinder Bhullar is the Vice President, Government Relations and International Affairs, at The Supreme Cannabis Company, Inc. Mr. Bhullar leads domestic and international government relations and guides Supreme Cannabis’ global market strategy for medical cannabis.
Mr. Bhullar brings more than a decade of experience as a trusted public affairs strategic advisor. He has served in a variety of senior roles within government, including as the Director of Policy in the office of the Premier of British Columbia, where he worked to ensure that specific policy developments aligned with the broader objectives of government. In this role, he led a team responsible for strategic planning and cross-government coordination.
As Senior Director of International Missions for the B.C. government, Mr. Bhullar identified and led the execution of targeted international trade missions and events, ensuring those missions delivered trade and investment outcomes for the province. Mr. Bhullar has also served as Chief of Staff to the B.C. Minister of Health.
Marion ZammitMalta Enterprise
Marion Zammit works in the Investment Promotion Department within Malta Enterprise, Malta’s economic development corporation. Her career has included various positions in the advanced manufacturing sector, including quality, production processing, as well as logistics and supply chain. Marion has worked and gained experience in the Pharmaceutical Sector, both in manufacturing as well as sales and marketing. At Malta Enterprise, Marion has been tasked with supporting various sectors including Pharma, Medical Cannabis, and other projects of national interest.
Dr Charmaine GauciMD, MSc, PhD, FRSPH, FFPH
Dr Charmaine Gauci
MD, MSc, PhD, FRSPH, FFPH
Dr Charmaine Gauci is the Superintendent of Public Health within the Ministry for Health in Malta with wide responsibility of public health to safeguard and enhance the health status of the people. Previous to this postions, she had occupied the position of Director of the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Directorate for nine years.
She graduated as a medical doctor in 1991. Over the years she has developed skills in the wide aspect of the public health specialty. She pursued her studies with masters in public health and consequently followed the European Programme in Epidemiological Training. She has also specialized in fitness and nutrition. She attained her PhD Degree in epidemiology in 2006. Dr Gauci is also a Prince practitioner in project management. She is a fellow of the UK Royal Society for Public Health and a fellow of the UK Faculty of Public Health.
Dr Gauci is a senior lecturer at the University of Malta and delivers lectures in the field of public health with special interest in Public Health, Epidemiology, Communicable Diseases, Health Promotion and Policy development. She is active in the field of public health having served as secretary, vice president and also served as president with the Malta Association of Public Health Medicine for four years.
Dr Gauci acts as a focal point for a number of bodies within the European Commission including HLG, ECDC and Health Security and for the World Health Organisation and is project leader for a number of EU projects.
Her aim is to protect and improve people’s health and wellbeing.
Prof Victor GrechConsultant Paediatrician Mater Dei Hospital & Malta Medical School
Prof Victor Grech
Consultant Paediatrician Mater Dei Hospital & Malta Medical School
Prof. Victor Grech is a consultant paediatrician with a special interest in paediatric cardiology. He runs paediatric cardiology services at Mater Dei Hospital and has a PhD in this field. He also has another PhD in English Language (in science fiction) and has just submitted a dissertation for a third doctorate in epidemiology, pertaining to the field of sex ratios at birth (and what influences this ratio). Prof. Grech is the editor of the journals Images in Paediatric Cardiology, the Malta Medical Journal and the Malta Medical School Gazette, and co-chairs the interdisciplinary group HUMS, the Humanities, Medicine and Sciences Programme at the University of Malta. He also lectures at the Malta Medical School and is the most published doctor in Malta.
Prof. Grech is also the creator and coordinator for the international Write a Scientific Paper (WASP) course which runs at the Malta Life Sciences Park – and has also been held at the Royal College of Paediatrics in London and at the University of Mañana in Bahrain (www.ithams.com/wasp). His interests include karate, Krav Maga, photography and painting (www.maltaimpressions.com). Since he is the Chairman of the NGO Beating Hearts Malta (a parent support group for congenital heart disease), his paintings are often used for fund-raising to purchase cardiac equipment for Mater Dei Hospital.
Alfredo PascualInternational Analyst, Marijuana Business Daily
International Analyst, Marijuana Business Daily
Alfredo Pascual is a Germany-based International Analyst for Marijuana Business Daily, specialising in international cannabis markets and regulations. With an academic background in business and public policy, he founded Transnational Cannabis, a consultancy firm that focused on cannabis regulatory frameworks in Europe and Latin America. Previously, Alfredo worked in business development for ICC Labs with a primary focus on developing expansion opportunities internationally.
George GregoryHead of Tax Advisory, RSM Malta
Head of Tax Advisory, RSM Malta
George’s career spans several years assisting a wide range of clients in their business needs. George heads the tax advisory and corporate unit at RSM Malta leading a team of lawyers, accountants and tax specialists in the provision of innovative and dynamic fiscal solutions to international companies and high net worth individuals.
George is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, holds a Diploma in Fund Administration and is also a member of the Institute of Financial Services Practitioners while being a member of RSM Centre of Excellence on Taxation.
Hari GuilianiCEO, Grow Biotech PLC
CEO, Grow Biotech PLC
Hari is a former corporate finance lawyer and strategy and operations consultant with experience across a wide range of sectors. Hari has a broad range of experience from founding and working with multiple start-ups to crisis management for a FTSE 250 company. Hari led Grow Biotech’s work to facilitate the first bulk import of medicinal cannabis to the UK.
Dr Christelle GedeonChief Legal Officer, Aphria Inc
Dr Christelle Gedeon
Chief Legal Officer, Aphria Inc
Christelle Gedeon currently is the Chief Legal Officer of Aphria Inc., a Canadian licensed producer of cannabis that is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Prior to joining Aphria, Christelle was a partner of the Canadian law firm Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, with a practice that focused on the life sciences industry, and specifically on products regulated under the Food and Drugs Act, including drugs, devices, food, cosmetics and cannabis. Christelle is a regulatory affairs specialist, and has substantial experience in preparing regulatory submissions for medical devices, pharmaceutical products, cosmetics, foods and cannabis products. In particular, Christelle has expertise in relation to Health Canada’s regulatory regime respecting cannabis and has substantial experience in applying for licenses under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations and under the Narcotic Control Regulations.
Vivian BercoviciFormer Ambassador of Canada for Israel
Former Ambassador of Canada for Israel
Vivian Bercovici is in the early stage of planning her next venture: a cannabis-related startup that is expected to launch in autumn, 2018. She was MD Europe and Israel for Nuuvera Inc., a Canadian-based medical cannabis company that was acquired by Aphria Inc. in March, 2018.
Immediately prior to joining Nuuvera in April, 2017, Vivian served as Ambassador of Canada to Israel, having been appointed by former Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
From 1990 to her appointment as Ambassador in January, 2014, Vivian practiced law in Toronto, focusing on financial services regulation, libel and slander and First Nations land claims. Her roster of clients were international and included Fortune 50 companies.
Vivian has also served numerous community organizations and boards, including the Canadian Journalism Foundation and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. She writes a regular column on Israel and the Middle East in the National Post (Canadian daily newspaper) and monthly in The Jerusalem Post, as well as other publications. Vivian speaks frequently in Israel and North America on issues relating to the Middle East.
She resides in Tel Aviv and speaks Hebrew fluently. Vivian is an avid cyclist, swimmer, yoga enthusiast, loves great food, good wine and Canadian summers.
John B. AirdCo-Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Olli Brands, Inc
John B. Aird
Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Olli Brands, Inc
Mr. Aird is a career entrepreneur and has been working in the Canadian medical cannabis industry since its infancy and has played an instrumental role in creating significant shareholder value for his clients. Since 2014, Mr. Aird has successfully assisted numerous applicants to become Licensed Producers under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations. From 2016-2018, Mr. Aird acted as a management consultant for Aphria Inc. (TSX: APH), overseeing Corporate & Regulatory Affairs, along with certain Business Development activities. During this period, Aphria experienced tremendous growth and became an industry leader in medical cannabis. In 2017, Mr. Aird acted as the Managing Director for Nuuvera Canada (NUU.V) and played an integral role developing their domestic and international strategy. NUU IPO’ed in January 2018 and was acquired by Aphria in March 2018. Mr. Aird is a former Director of the Canadian Cannabis Association (CCA), and ARA – Avanti Rx Analytics, one of the only Canadian GMP-certified cannabis laboratory. Mr. Aird is the co-founder of Olli Brands Inc., a cannabis infused tea and edibles company operating in Canada. Prior to working in medical cannabis, Mr. Aird developed and sold a 50 MW solar project to Samsung. Mr. Aird started his career as a senior advisor in the Office of the Premier of Ontario, after receiving his B.A. degree in Political Science from the University of Toronto, Trinity College in 2003.
Hendrik KnoppManaging Director, Aphria Germany
Managing Director, Aphria Germany
Hendrik Knopp is the Managing Director of Aphria Germany. Prior to joining Aphria, Mr. Knopp practiced as a lawyer for 19 years with WZR Legal in Hamburg, Germany, served from 2006 to 2011 as Director Poker Marketing and Marketing Development at Bwin.Party PLC and from 2012-2017 as Managing Partner for various IT startups. Besides his law degree Mr. Knopp received an degree of Master of Law and Economics from the Erasmus University Rotterdam in 2002.
Rhys CohenPolitical Economist
Rhys is a political economist, cannabis industry expert and educator. He is responsible for the management of multiple internal projects and acts as a key interface between the Lambert Initiative and government, regulators, industry and consumers. Rhys has appeared in several major news outlets including the Huffington Post; the Sydney Morning Herald; and The Age. His industry analysis has been cited by Deloitte Access Economics; the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources in Agriculture Victoria; and the Office of Drug Control. He has also spoken on the political, regulatory and economic features of medicinal cannabis at events in every State and Territory in Australia.
Fred RoederManaging Director, Consumer Choice Center
Managing Director, Consumer Choice Center
Fred Roeder is Managing Director of the Consumer Choice Center and a Health Economist from Germany and has worked in healthcare reform and market access in North America, Europe, and several former Soviet Republics. One of his passions is to analyze how disruptive industries and technologies allow consumers more choice at a lower cost. Together with his Canadian and American colleagues, he advocates for smart and accessible regulation of medical and recreational Cannabis across the globe. Among many op-eds and media appearances, he has been published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Wirtschaftswoche, Die Welt, the BBC, SunTV, ABC Portland News, Montreal Gazette, Handelsblatt, Huffington Post Germany, CityAM. L’Agefi, and The Guardian.
Rikke JakobsenCEO, Cannabis Danmark
CEO, Cannabis Danmark
Cannabis Danmark is a non-profit organization that collect and provides information about medical cannabis to all who have something to do with this topic in Denmark – politicians, ministries, physicians, patients, growers and business in the industry.
Our goal is to get the highest quality cannabis til the lowest prices and facilitate research in high standard.
I’ve worked with this topic since 2013 starting with providing cannabis to my father who had prostate cancer.
In 2014, after my father’s death, I helped form the Medical Cannabis Association Denmark, where I later became chairman. The association is today merged into Cannabis Denmark.
With a background from politics and a Bachelor in nutrition and health, I’ve lobbied to get the 4-year pilot program in Denmark regarding medical cannabis and helped introduce Denmark’s agriculture and food organization to the issue in 2015. That’s one of the reasons we have a prescribing program and cultivating danish cannabis today.
Dr Jan WitteMedical Director, Aphria Germany
Dr Jan Witte
Medical Director, Aphria Germany
Jan Witte has a medical degree from Charité Medical School Berlin and has worked as a consultant physician in Hematology and Oncology in one of Berlin largest hospitals. He was leading the clinical research department of Vivantes Klinikum Neukölln. His main focus in oncology has been immunotherapies. He has extensive experience in the clinical use of Cannabis and Cannabinoids in oncology and pain patients. Since 2018 he is the medical director of Aphria Germany.
FARZAD JAHANSHAHICEO, Medican
Farzad has a Master degree in Pharmacy from University of Copenhagen and a MBA in leadership and business.
Farzad is an innovative leader with 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Farzad held various positions at Novo Nordisk, Hoffmann-La Roche, Orion Pharma, Abacus Medicine within a broad range of therapeutic areas, including diabetes, cardiovascular, obesity, neuroscience and genitourinary.
Farzad has a proven track record of developing and implementing marketing strategies, product launches, business development and leadership.
Qualifications and Expertise: Product launches, portfolio and pipeline management, lifecycle management, new product planning, pricing, market shaping, promotional campaign, competitive intelligence, Target Product Profiling, KOL management, contract negotiation.
Robin EmersonMedical Cannabis campaigner and father to Jorja Emerson
Medical Cannabis campaigner and father to Jorja Emerson
Robin has been at the forefront of Medical Cannabis reform within the United Kingdom, having successfully obtained the first child prescription for his daughter, Jorja Emerson, once it was made legal on the 1st November 2018.
Robin fought tirelessly to negotiate the assault course that was set in front of him in order to pave the path forwards in the UK and to help in understanding the legal and health procedures in obtaining this complex medication.
Supplied by Aphria, this formula has been instrumental in Jorja’s life and it’s quality.
Robin continues to be a leading figure and spokesperson in Medical Cannabis reform within the United Kingdom for patients rights. He works closely with key stakeholders and the Uk Government on advocating Medical Cannabis use and paving new paths on how best to help the thousands of people who desperately need access to this pioneering medication.
Nick DavisCEO, Memery Crystal
CEO, Memery Crystal
Nick Davis is the Chief Executive of Memery Crystal and a senior partner in the firm’s corporate team.
Memery Crystal are the leading UK law firm on advising the emerging cannabis sector on business set-up, capital markets, mergers and acquisitions, private fundraising, licencing and commercial contracts. Currently advising 21 companies in the sector, Nick also led the Memery Crystal team on the recent NEX listing of medicinal cannabis investment vehicle, Ananda Developments. Nick firmly believes we are in a new era for the cannabis sector, with a strong pipeline of companies looking to list in London, as legislation and attitudes change. Nick has a personal interest in alternative medicinal treatments as a Trustee of the charity ‘Olivia’s Vision’, the UK’s leading Uveitis charity raising awareness of the condition from which his daughter, Olivia, suffers.
Nick specialises in corporate finance with expertise in flotations, equity capital markets and mergers & acquisitions. He advises on public company listings on both the Main Market and AIM and has extensive experience acting for other issuers, NOMAD/brokers and sponsors. Nick is the only lawyer who sits on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM advisory group and regularly speaks at seminars and conferences around the world in relation to the London capital markets.
Timo BongartzGeneral Manager, Fluence Bioengineering
General Manager, Fluence Bioengineering
Timo Bongartz is general manager for Fluence by OSRAM for the EMEA region, supporting growers across Europe, the Middle East and Africa to achieve their cultivation goals. Bongartz also advises OSRAM’s Smart Farming business segment, which he led prior to his role at Fluence, in developing next-generation sensor and software solutions for greenhouses, vertical farms and across the food supply chain. He has consulted and partnered with numerous startups in the technology industries in his previous roles at Langenscheidt GmbH & Co KG and PMMG Group GmbH by offering strategic and operational direction to streamline and identify opportunities in each industry. Bongartz has a MBA from Hochschule Muenchen and has earned a number of horticulture certificates from Wageningen University and HAS Hogeschool. He is also a mentor at Startupbootcamp Foodtech
Dr Andrew AgiusMedical Director, MD MSc PGC
Dr Andrew Agius
Medical Director, MD MSc PGC
Dr Andrew Agius graduated as a doctor in 2001 and has been working as a family doctor since then. Dr Agius specialized in family medicine in 2009 and has recently completed his post-graduate training in pain management. Dr Agius is the leading Maltese doctor advocating for a better understanding of the medicinal properties of cannabis and has been conducting research on the use of cannabinoids in chronic pain. In 2015 together with a team of professionals he established The Pain Clinic, an Integrative Medical Centre for the holistic management of persistent pain, where patients can be managed by a team of professionals and are offered all the relevant therapeutic options to help improve their quality of life. Dr Agius is also the founder of Kannatalim, an educational initiative on the use of cannabis as medicine and workshops for patients and carers.
Alison McMahonFounder & CEO, Cannabis At Work
Founder & CEO, Cannabis At Work
Alison McMahon is the Founder & CEO of Cannabis At Work. Founded in 2015, Cannabis At Work assists clients in Canada and internationally with sourcing the right people to work in their cannabis business. Alison is the host of the Blown Away podcast, an experienced public speaker, entrepreneur, former university instructor, and HR professional.
Elisabetta FaenzaCo-Founder and CEO, LeafCann Group
Co-Founder and CEO, LeafCann Group
Member of Australian Institute of Company Directors (MAICD), Deputy Chair Montegu Services
Masters International Relations, Dip & Adv. Certificate Clinical Hypnotherapy, Diploma Marketing University of Illinois at Chicago
Elisabetta’s journey was prompted by a childhood diagnosis of a rare, deadly genetic condition, which led her on a quest to understand how our bodies, medicines, nutrition and the environment interact to switch damaging genes on and off. Before co-founding LeafCann Group, a licenced Medicinal Cannabis company based in Australia and the UK, Elisabetta’s work as a clinical hypnotherapist, corporate speaker and mentor assisted thousands of individuals to change unwanted behaviours, recover from trauma and achieve personal and career goals. In LeafCann, Elisabetta has brought together a talented team of experts from biomedicine, clinical research, quality assurance, education and training, controlled medicinal cannabis cultivation, extraction, policy, project management, facility design, regulatory affairs and IP management. Elisabetta manages a global team on three continents, all working to produce the highest quality Medicinal Cannabis products under GMP.
Steve MooreStrategic Counsel, Centre for Medicinal Cannabis
Strategic Counsel, Centre for Medicinal Cannabis
Steve is the Strategic Counsel for the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis and has 25 years experience of working in social change and political campaigns
He directed the campaign with Charlotte and Billy Caldwell to reform policy relating to the access of medicinal cannabis in the UK
Steve was formerly Chief Executive of David Cameron’s Big Society Network and has curated change programmes for Channel 4 Television, the Royal Society of Arts and PWC
Blair GibbsPolicy Lead, Centre for Medicinal Cannabis
Policy Lead, Centre for Medicinal Cannabis
Blair is a political consultant and former senior advisor in the UK government. He saw up close how current drug laws and prohibition impacts society and undermines the justice and healthcare systems
As policy advisor in the London Mayor’s Office, and subsequently in the Ministry of Justice, Blair has expertise in Whitehall policy-making and the UK’s regulatory regime for drugs
Based in Vancouver, he is the Policy Lead for the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis and sits on the board of the Stanford University Network for Addiction Policy
Jarett LalondePolicy Advisor, Regulated Industries - ShopifyPlus
Policy Advisor, Regulated Industries - ShopifyPlus
Jarett Lalonde is the Senior Advisor to the Regulated Industries Team at Shopify. He has over 15 years of experience in both the public and private sectors with a strong background in public policy development, regulatory affairs, strategic communications, and advocacy.
As the Senior Advisor for Regulated Industries at Shopify, a global leader in retail solutions, Jarett is responsible for policy and regulatory analysis, research, and global expansion into new markets and verticals. Shopify’s current portfolio of cannabis merchants include provincial Crown Corporations, federally regulated licensed producers, and private-sector retailers.
Prior to joining Shopify, Jarett was a Director at Canada’s largest privately owned public affairs firm where he advised private sector clients in the energy, infrastructure, and cannabis sectors. He has also served as a senior advisor to ministers in the governments of Canada and British Columbia.
Dr. Stephen GlazerM.D., FRCPC, FCCP, Internal Medicine, Chief Medical Officer - CannaWay Clinic Inc.
Dr. Stephen Glazer
M.D., FRCPC, FCCP, Internal Medicine, Chief Medical Officer - CannaWay Clinic Inc.
Dr. Glazer is the Chief Medical Officer at CannaWay Clinic. He is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Critical Care Medicine and Obesity Medicine as well as a specialist in Sleep Disorders. He is a member of the Ontario Bariatric Network and serves as Vice President of the Canadian Association of Bariatric Physicians and Surgeons.
Zubin JasavalaChief Executive Officer, Director - Mera Cannabis Corp
Chief Executive Officer, Director - Mera Cannabis Corp
Zubin is a passionate, entrepreneurial leader with more than 10 years of experience in finance and business management. He is the guiding force behind Mera’s long-term strategy and has been integral in establishing both strategic international partnerships across complementary industries while simultaneously building a strong professional team domestically.
Jessica GroteProject Consultant - J&K Consulting
Project Consultant - J&K Consulting
Since 2016, Jessica Grote is working for J & K Consulting, a company that advises the pharmaceutical industry for more than 20 years. With her background in biological sciences, together with the company’s long time experience with regard to pharmaceutical regulations, it was the best starting point for joining the medicinal cannabis consulting part of the company and taking over the leadership in this field. Together with other companies J&K Consulting founded the first German-Canadian Cannabis Network for improving research and technologies this year.
Crystal CarsonEntrepreneur & Media Personality
Entrepreneur & Media Personality
Crystal Carson is a recognized entrepreneur and connector. Operating at the intersection of creativity and commerce she leverages her ability to build bridges amongst diverse industries. Her invaluable expertise seamlessly matches interests with opportunity. There is a fine sense of harmony, and contagious energy in everything that she does whether facilitating change, leading the team, building a brand, or connecting the right people.
Jochen SchumacherTechnical Sales – HARTER
Technical Sales – HARTER
Jochen Schumacher has worked for HARTER since 2001. He was responsible for design and project management with a focus on advancing the drying technology for use in the pharmaceutical and food industry. At the end of 2013, he changed to Technical Sales to apply his extensive knowledge in this field. Being a competent consultant for food and pharmaceutical dryers Schumacher saw the medical cannabis issue come up and urged to develop an elaborate drying technique especially for cannabis buds. He is also co-founder of the German Canadian cannabis network MYHEMP (Medical Phytocannabinoid-rich Hemp).
Robert P. Picardinterim Vice-President Technical Services and QA, Aphria Inc.
Robert P. Picard
interim Vice-President Technical Services and QA, Aphria Inc.
Mr. Picard is an executive in management and consulting with over 35 years of experience in a variety positions in the pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device industries. His strengths have been leadership in delivering projects areas such as complex Project Management and new Facility Construction Management, Commissioning and Qualification, QA, Value Engineering, solution implementation, cost reductions, quality harmonization, change management, risk management, and continuous improvement. Having worked in highly regulated industries, Mr. Picard thoroughly understands the ins and outs of how to manage multi-variate projects and tasks that are under substantial constraints. This strength is especially useful in converting existing non-GMP spaces to Cannabis GMP for the EU markets.
Gregor ZornCo-Founder, European Cannabinoid Therapy Association
Co-Founder, European Cannabinoid Therapy Association
Gregor Zorn is the co-founder of the European Cannabinoid Therapy Association (ECTA) and one of the teachers at the first European Medicinal Cannabis post-graduate educational course, at Padua University Medical School in Italy. He is a teacher at the Masterclass Medicinal Cannabis, a member of the International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines (IACM) and a founding member, author and scientific advisor to Zbudimo.se
He is a biologist, researcher and consultant, on a mission to educate people about the therapeutic applications of medical cannabis. He is an international speaker specialized in teaching people about all aspects of cannabinoids and their role in health and disease.
After getting his Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the Biotechnical University of Ljubljana, he specialized in nutrition and got interested in holistic approaches to health. This led him to the discovery of cannabis and its therapeutic potential completely took over his research. He is a medical cannabis educator on a mission, to teach people about the endocannabinoid system, its importance in our health and the potential therapeutic role phytocannabinoids can have. He is also a cannabinoid therapy consultant, helping patients with the implementation of personalized holistic cannabinoid therapies for specific aliments.
More speakers to be announced
If you’re interested in speaking at the conference, please contact us below.