Holly Bell, 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.
Dr. Eric Rohrig, Chief – Bureau of Methods Development and Biological Control, Division of Plant Industry Florida Department of Agricultural & Consumer Services
Eric Rohrig is Chief of the Methods Development and Biological Control Bureau of the Division of Plant Industry, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. He completed his Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Entomology at the University of Florida. He has over 15 years’ experience investigating and implementing techniques and methods for the detection, control and eradication of invasive plants and invertebrates. Dr. Rohrig is the general oversight manager of the Division’s Industrial Hemp Pilot Program and Non-Native Species Planting Permit Program.
Allen Witters, Founder, CEO, and Managing Director of Gravitas Infinitum and Gravitas Kannavis
Allen Witters is the Founder, CEO, and Managing Director of Gravitas Infinitum and Gravitas Kannavis. He has led private and public companies for 30 years, including several as Chairman/CEO, from startup to multibillion-dollar businesses, representing diverse industries with operations and distribution in domestic and international markets. He has managed operations and staffs in 88 countries that serviced 135 countries around the globe, including Japan, China, South America, Europe, Middle East. Mr. Witters has led multiple corporate development transactions, financings and purchase agreements ranging in value up to $9.6 billion and managed several post-acquisition business transitions and integration initiatives.
Roger Brown, CEO/President, ACS Laboratory
Mr. Brown co-founded ACS in 2008. ACS Laboratory is the largest cannabis and CBD/Hemp testing laboratory in the southeastern USA. Utilizing our vast experience in high complexity laboratory tests we developed proprietary testing methods for cannabis, hemp and all derivatives. Mr. Brown is a serial entrepreneur and a board member of the Hemp Industries Association of Florida. Prior to founding ACS, Mr. Brown was President of CMB Additives, an animal feed additive manufacturer. In 1996, he founded MD To You, a premiere mobile physicians group targeting the elderly population throughout Florida. Prior to that he owned or was involved in several medical businesses and taught surgical procedures domestically and internationally using specialty instrumentation such as laparoscopy and surgical staples. Mr. Brown received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida.
ACS Laboratory developed high complexity laboratory proprietary tests for potency, pesticides, terpenes, microbials, pathogens, mycotoxins, heavy metals, plant regulators, flavonoids and micronutrients. The Company’s 17,500 square foot state of the art laboratory is located in Sun City Center, Florida. ACS received 14 Emerald Badges, more than any laboratory in the eastern USA. Acslabcannabis.com
Douglas Warren, COO, Sunshine Hemp
Mr. Douglas Warren has been involved with agricultural operations since a young age starting out working on his parents and grandparents organic vegetable and livestock farms, and as time went by, he followed his passion and started an organic fertilizer business that lead him to be involved in the hemp and marijuana space. His career path included starting and operating an outpatient physical therapy clinic for over 13 years while also working as an independent insurance adjuster. Over the years he perfected his skills at project management while working as a large loss and complex liability independent insurance adjuster for most all of the large carriers across the country while managing 30 to 40 files on average with one million dollar and up losses. As part of the demands of managing commercial insurance losses he dealt with engineers, contractors, attorneys, code officials and material manufacturers to determine extends of the losses, repairability, reasonable repair cost, local building codes and coverage provided under the insureds policy while maintaining detailed status reports that includes payment recommendations supported by detailed investigation and supporting documentation. Even though his career has required extensive travel over the last 20 years Douglas never lost his interest in agriculture born through his Midwest upbringing and deep family ties to the land. All of these activities were born out of an internal self-motivated drive for success and eye for detail of the end goal and as such he perfected many aspects of project management and agricultural production that ranged from sourcing materials economically for large scale operations and a broad knowledge of farming techniques in multiple climates. He has owned and operated his own business for over 20 years before he applied his extensive know-how to the Cannabis sativa plant. First in the realm of Industrial Hemp where beginning in 2015 he was the Assistant to the Director of Agricultural Operations for GenCanna Global in Kentucky. There he successfully aided in the effort to cultivate over 600 acres of Industrial Hemp amounting to over 2 million pounds of dry biomass while running special projects for future expansion. In 2017 he was the project manager over a 12-acre outdoor grow in southern California in the Medical Marijuana space that included preparing raw land, setting up all infrastructure and working with a native American tribe to write and implement regulations on tribal ground. This success led him to apply his skills in the Recreational Marijuana space leading a team that successful set up and executed the first outdoor Cannabis sativa crop in Nevada and is currently the operations consultant over this operation to date. Furthermore, in his role in Kentucky, California and Nevada with Industrial Hemp and Marijuana he applied his well-rounded skills in project management to lead a team of over 100 persons to create and refine a farming model that can be duplicated with proven success. As of 2019 Douglas joined Sunshine Hemp as the COO and will be overseeing the initial setup and ongoing operation of a feminized seed prorogation project in south west Florida.
Paula Savchenko, Esq., Associate Attorney, Mofffa, Sutton & Donnini, P.A.
Paula Savchenko is an associate attorney at the Law Offices of Moffa, Sutton, & Donnini, P.A, based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Ms. Savchenko practices primarily in the areas of Taxation and Administrative Law, as she counsels and represents businesses and individuals in their dealings with government agencies. More specifically, most of her work involves state and local tax and regulatory matters. She also speaks and writes regularly on the business aspects of taxation, marijuana and hemp. In addition to serving on the board of Cannabis Law Accounting and Business, she also serves on the board of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Tax Council as well as the Florida Bar, Administrative Law Section, South Florida Chapter.
Tara Tedrow, Chair, Cannabis and Controlled Substances Group, Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, P.A.
Tara L. Tedrow is a shareholder in the firm’s Real Estate Transactions, Development, Land Use, Zoning & Environmental practices. Tara’s practice focuses on land use and development, as she assists clients statewide on entitling projects for commercial, residential, industrial, office, and mixed uses. Tara works with local governments and other regulatory authorities in order to address the needs of her clients related to environmental permitting and compliance, zoning, comprehensive plans, concurrency, site plan approval, variance and waiver requests, due diligence, and property rights. Additionally, Tara is the Chair of the Cannabis and Controlled Substances Group, where Tara assists clients in complex regulated industries such as alcoholic beverage and medical marijuana licensing. On the alcoholic beverage side, Tara offers additional value to clients throughout Florida in the hospitality, restaurant and entertainment industries through her experience with alcoholic beverage licensure and Florida’s alcoholic beverage laws. On the cannabis side, Tara works with physicians, lenders, real estate developers, landlords, ancillary service providers, licensed Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers and license applicants, helping them to navigate the ever changing regulatory landscape of medical marijuana. Tara is a regular presenter and speaker at industry seminars and conferences. Tara is also an adjunct professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where she was the first to teach a course in 2018 on Medical Marijuana Law and Policy and has taught again in 2019. Tara also serves on many boards, including as the Chair of the Florida Hemp Advisory Committee, incoming Vice-Chair of the American Bar Association’s Cannabis Law and Policy General Committee, a member of the Orange County School Impact Fee Study Advisory Committee, Vice-Chair of the Winter Park Economic Development Advisory Board, Chair of the CrummerLeadership Business Advisory Board at Rollins College in Winter Park, a member of the Governor’s Transition Advisory Committee on Government Operations, and chair of the Ninth Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission.