CEO, Healthy Hemp Outlet
Adam Wick spent 20 years in computer IT distribution and upon finding hemp products for his own personal use in 2016 when the industry was just getting started, he had a hard time locating high quality reputable CBD products for his own use. After speaking with several local (Florida) CBD manufacturers he realized there was a need for distribution in the industry and he started a local distributor helping pet stores onboard CBD (DNA Distributor). From that experience he saw that consumers were getting interested In CBD for their own use and in June 2017 he launched an e-commerce website offering only CBD products from reputable vendors (www.hhoutlet.com).
After seeing an initial success that continued to grow month over month, he opened his first retail store in October 2018 in West St. Petersburg, Florida - Healthy Hemp Outlet. Then, after several months of strategic marketing and some gorilla marketing techniques, the local store grew fast and he opened a second store six months later in April 2018 in Downtown St. Petersburg, FL.
Today he owns and operates both a CBD online business, and a CBD retail business, and a specific piece of both businesses currently offer Delta 8 THC products. "I enjoy managing all of these Cannabis Businesses and I enjoy the intricacies and challenges associated with Hemp SEO, CBD Digital Marketing and CBD Local Marketing" says Wick, who spends every day in the retail store interacting with clients, educating them on hemp and hearing their success stories. He just wishes someone would have told him more before he started his CBD business.
His favorite part of the industry is teaching shoppers that are looking at CBD for their first time and have lots of questions (or misconceptions).
By using quick short stories that are easy to relate to, his clients easily understand Cannabis Hemp CBD and how it works. It’s a trick he learned in the computer industry, break down the technical conversation for People that don’t speak technical language, this way they can understand what it is you are trying to sell. You'll hear him talk about Lettuce offering 2 types - iceberg or romaine, just like Cannabis offers 2 types - Hemp or Marijuana.
In 2019 his business did $203,000 and he owes no money, has no partners, and is looking forward to growing 3X by 2022. He survived 2020 during the pandemic that brought quaranties and forced closures. His online business helped carry some of the revenue requirements during the dip in 2020 - retail dropped more than 500% (vs. 2021). He would like to grow his online and retail business via a large VC investment, or by joining a new Executive Cannabis Company's team to bring scale operations to a franchise CBD store (in Florida first he hopes), then across the nation. Adam is interested in Venture Capital Partners looking to invest in a Cannabis Business and in need of Enterprise Level Executives to grow a funded operation.
Founder, Hemp&fork and Chairman of the Board, Minorities For Medical Marijuana, Inc.
Erik Range is a cannabis entrepreneur, consultant, advocate and industry influencer. Before entering the cannabis space he worked for an environmental engineering firm in Orlando, FL where he coordinated workforce development programs. Prior to that, Erik spent nearly 10 years in higher education working at the University of Central Florida and the University of Miami, before that. After seeing the cannabis industry get underway in California and Colorado, Erik decided to turn his attention to the industry in 2015 with the formation of ART420 LLC a fine art company which provides cannabis inspired art to cannabis businesses. He has displayed the art across the country from Florida to California in venues such as a the Florida State Capitol Building and Miami Art Basel. He also serves as the Board Chair for the non profit organization Minorities For Medical Marijuana which is the Cannabis Business Awards' 2018 Industry Organization of the Year. The organization is a leading voice on public policy, patient advocacy, business development and social justice issues in the cannabis industry. In his role as Board Chair, Mr. Range's efforts and assistance led to the successful inclusion of “diversity language” in the bill to implement Florida’s Medical Marijuana Program, and passage minority inclusion and participation language in other states like Georgia, New Jersey, and Oklahoma. Erik was named to Florida Industrial Hemp Advisory Board by Commissioner Nicole Fried who heads the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. This group will provide advice and guidance to the department during the rule making process and the implementation of the State’s approved plan. Through his boutique consulting firm, RGW Enterprises LLC., Range provides a variety of advisory services to individuals, businesses and government entities entering/ expanding in the cannabis/ medical marijuana/ hemp industry. He has written licensing applications, developed business models and plans, created and implement marketing/ advertising strategies, designed digital/print marketing collateral, and provided business development and lead generation services to his clients.
Director of Cannabis, Florida Department of Agricultural & Consumer Services
After a career in banking and financial services, Holly Bell consulted on cannabis business issues in numerous states. Ms. Bell worked to build the infrastructure to support the creation of Tennessee's cannabis industry, following passage of that state's industrial hemp legislation. A native of Indiana with family roots in northeast Florida, Ms. Bell earned a bachelor's degree in agricultural economics from Purdue University.
In her role as Director of Cannabis, Ms. Bell oversees the development of rules, works directly with scientific experts, and ensures Commissioner Fried's vision for cannabis in Florida continues moving forward. Ms.Bell works closely with the Department's Division of Plant Industry, Food Safety, and AES on developing Florida's hemp industry, including the production, processing, inspecting, and manufacturing of industrial hemp. She also works with the Florida Department of Health as it relates to medical marijuana edibles and consumer issues. Ms. Bell also works closely with the Commissioner's industrial hemp and medical marijuana advisory committees as well as the Hemp Advisory Council.
Industrial Hemp Program Coordinator, Assistant Professor, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Dr. Zachary Brym represents the Department of Agronomy at the University of Florida's Tropical Research and Education Center (TREC) in Homestead. He holds a Ph.D in ecology from Utah State University with specialization in crop physiology and computational biology.
His research and extension program explores how production systems can remain profitable while conserving natural resources and protecting the environment. His projects focus on the role of biodiversity and scale in agroecosystems, the distribution and management of invasive plant and pest species, and the impacts of management practices on crop production and environmental conservation. His work recommends data-supported adaptive management practices across commodities to address local and regional challenges to crop production.
CEO, Native Hemp Solutions / Hemp4Water
Steve Edmonds, Educator and Consultant – Steve has been talking to the public since 1992 about the possibilities of industrial hemp. He has also been active in the bio fuels and bio energy arenas as well as local and state politics. Steve is a longtime advocate in the cannabis and hemp space. Steve also teaches American Government for Valencia College.
Publisher/ Owner, Cannabis News Florida and South Florida Hospital News & Healthcare Report
Charles Felix is the owner and publisher of Cannabis News Florida and South Florida Hospital News & Healthcare Report. Founded in 2004, South Florida Hospital News, a 48-page monthly newspaper quickly established itself as the premiere chronicle of the healthcare industry in South Florida. It now represents the only monthly healthcare newspaper available in South Florida. When medical cannabis became legal in the state of Florida, Cannabis News Florida was incorporated into the original newspaper and now focuses on local, state and national news from leading authorities about medical and business developments in the medical cannabis, CBD and hemp industries.
A certified public accountant as well as certified in financial forensics, Mr. Felix earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, with a concentration in public accounting, from Bernard Baruch College in New York City. Mr. Felix’s early career focused on commercial real estate management, specializing in multi-family construction and management in the Southeast.
Mr. Felix then moved into sports management and franchise development, leading a growing and changing multiple-entity enterprise whose key business interests included three professional ice hockey clubs and three arenafootball2 teams with combined annual revenues of more than $8.2 million. During his tenure, Mr. Felix led the effort to bring the minor-league Atlanta Knights into the International Hockey League and, later, guided the franchise’s move to Quebec City. He also helped create the Xtreme Football League, which later became arenafootball2.
Active within both his profession and community, Mr. Felix has participated in numerous organizations and activities, and is presently Treasurer of the South Florida Hospital and Healthcare Association, twice Past President of the South Florida Healthcare Executive Forum (now known as ACHE of South Florida), a division of the American College of Healthcare Executives, and is the Past President of the Rotary Club of Fort Lauderdale and currently a board member. Founder of the Florida Medical Cannabis Physicians Group.