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Marijuana SUMMIT

Wednesday, april 20, 2016

Confirmed Panelists


Sam Kamin, J.D.

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Sam Kamin

Sam Kamin has emerged as an expert voice on marijuana law reform in Colorado and throughout the country. He sat on Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper's Amendment 64 Implementation Task Force and worked with the ACLU and California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom to formulate a set of best practices for marijuana regulation in that state. In addition, he has written more than a dozen scholarly articles on the subject of marijuana law reform and is the co-author of the series "Altered State: Inside Colorado's Marijuana Economy" for Slate Magazine, chronicling the impact of Colorado's marijuana regulations on lawmakers, businesses and citizens. In the spring of 2015 he taught the nation's first law school course on representing marijuana clients and was named the Vicente Sederberg Professor of Marijuana Law and Policy.






Katherine Belendiuk, Ph.D.

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Kat Belendiuk

Kat Belendiuk, Ph.D., is a scientist at Genentech in California and a clinical and developmental psychologist specializing in course and outcomes of marijuana use. She was a Research Scientist on a Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment project at the Denver VA examining the effects of marijuana use on PTSD symptoms over time. She was also research faculty at the Substance, Anxiety, and Intervention Laboratory, where she heads the Division of Epidemiology. Dr. Belendiuk's expertise is in marijuana use in vulnerable populations, including adolescents and individuals with co-occurring medical and psychiatric conditions.







Frank George, Ph.D.

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Frank George

Frank George, Ph.D. is a "serial entrepreneur," award winning producer and international expert on the science of addictions. He spent twenty years in biotech as a successful founder using "guerilla financing," venture capital and "everything in between." He has over one hundred publications, holds numerous patents and has spoken to audiences world wide. Dr. George produced and hosted a series of shows on addiction that won several prestigious awards and have been seen by thousands in high schools, colleges, counseling centers and libraries across the United States. Dr. George was Chief of Behavioral & Biochemical Genetics at NIH and a university faculty member. He has been Principal Investigator and Investigator on more than a dozen NIH and other grants, served on several NIH and international review committees and served as reviewing editor for nearly twenty scientific journals. He was among the first to define genetics as a critical factor in addictions, define a genetic relationship among addictions and advocate for pharmacotherapy in conjunction with other treatment modalities. Originally in direct opposition with historical and political policies of the "war on drugs," his work helped evolve new policies focusing on treatment rather than incarceration.


Sharon Alvarez, Ph.D.

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Sharon Alvarez

Sharon Alvarez, Ph.D., is the Walter Koch Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship at the Daniels College of Business, University of Denver. She previously served as an associate professor of entrepreneurship and management and the academic director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at the Max M. Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University. Professor Alvarez is the past chair of the Entrepreneurship Division of the Academy of Management and has been program chair for the Strategic Management Society meetings as well as representative at large for the SMS Entrepreneurship Interest Group. She was a Max Planck Scholar at the Max Planck Institute for Entrepreneurship and Economic Systems Research, a visiting professor at Sun-Yet-Sen University in China, and is currently a visiting professor at University of Alberta. Her current research includes entrepreneurship theory of opportunities, firm and market emergence. Professor Alvarez is an associate editor for Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal and she has published in Academy of Management Review, Organization Science, Strategic Management Journal, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, Academy of Management Executive, Journal of Business Venturing, Journal of Management, and Human Resource Management Journal. Her paper, "Discovery and Creation: Alternative Theories of Entrepreneurial Action," won the Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal Best Paper Award and is the most cited paper in the journal. Her paper, "How Entrepreneurs Organize under Conditions of Uncertainty," won the Journal of Management Best Paper Award and is the 27th most cited article in the last 50 years.


Ron Throupe, Ph.D.

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Ron Throupe

Ron Throupe is an associate professor at the Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management, Daniels College of Business. He also has 25 years of experience in various roles in the real estate and construction industries. While employed at major universities, Ron is a consultant on valuation methods and is the managing partner of American Valuation Partners (AVP). When working with the media, Throupe can address issues from a real estate, developer and appraiser perspective. He can discuss the implications of market economics on real estate stability and its impact on consumer and commercial real estate as well as appraiser best practices and market analysis of development projects.




Paul Seaborn, Ph.D.

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Paul Seaborn

Paul Seaborn is an assistant professor with DU's Daniels College of Business in the department of management. Previously, he worked in strategy consulting for Mercer Management Consulting (now Oliver Wyman) in Toronto, Ontario. He has also worked for IBM Global Services in IT consulting and web development. Seaborn received his PhD in strategic management from the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. He is originally from Corner Brook, Newfoundland, Canada.







Andrew Schnackenberg, Ph.D.

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Andrew Schnackenberg

Andrew Schnackenberg, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of strategic management in the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver. He has studied the evolution of the marijuana industry by focusing on the role of government as industry incubator. Specifically, his research examines the factors leading to successful incubation (legalization and regulation) of stigmatized industries such as marijuana, as well as the factors slowing or even halting incubation leading to the potential failure of industries. His work on the marijuana industry has been presented at various conferences across the United States.





Jack Strauss, Ph.D.

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Jack Strauss

Jack Strauss, Ph.D., joined the Daniels College of Business from Saint Louis University where he was a professor of economics and director of the Simon Center for Regional Forecasting. His research focuses on new forecasting methods and applications, including forecasting housing prices, stock returns and employment growth. Strauss won the award for Best Research for Full Professor at SLU's John Cook School of Business. He was a Fulbright Scholar in the Ukraine and a three-time recipient of the Duke University Sloan Research Scholarship in International Economics.






Heather Kennedy, M.B.A.

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Heather Kennedy

Heather Kennedy, M.B.A, is an associate teaching professor at DU's Daniels College of Business. She has developed curriculum and taught graduate- and MBA-level marketing concepts courses. She also created an online brand management class and taught an online digital marketing course.





Brian Vicente, Esq.

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Brian Vicente

Brian Vicente, Esq., is a partner and founding member of Vicente Sederberg LLC. He served as the co-director of the Amendment 64 campaign and was one of the primary authors of this historic measure, which resulted in Colorado becoming the first state in the nation – and the first geographic area in the world – to make the possession, use, and regulated distribution of marijuana legal for adults. Vicente also serves as executive director of Sensible Colorado, the state's leading non-profit working for medical marijuana patients and providers. He was given the Gideon award for is free speech advocacy during the 2008 Democratic National Convention. In 2010, Vicente was elected the first-ever chair of the National Cannabis Industry Association, the only trade association in the U.S. that works to advance the interests of marijuana-related businesses on the national level. Brian was the chair of the Committee for Responsible Regulation, which coordinated the successful 2013 campaign to implement statewide excise and sales taxes on the sale of adult-use marijuana in Colorado and was awarded the Justice Gerald Le Dain Award for Achievement in the Field of Law that same year. Brian has conducted over 1000 interviews in local, state and national press regarding marijuana policy, and in 2014 The Guardian (UK) dubbed him "the industry's de facto spokesman." Vicente's expertise in marijuana policy is highly sought after, and has led to him serving as a formal advisor to local, state and federal governments—most recently he assisted with Uruguay becoming the first country in the world to fully-regulate the adult marijuana market. Brian serves on the board of directors for a number of state and national non-profit organizations including the SAFER Voter Education Fund and the Harm Reduction Action Center. Vicente graduated from the University of Denver Law School on a full merit scholarship where he clerked for outspoken social critic, Senior Federal Judge John L. Kane.


Shawn Hauser, Esq.

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Shawn Hauser

Shawn Hauser, Esq., is the senior associate at Vicente Sederberg. Shawn has been working in marijuana and law in policy for almost seven years, starting with internships in marijuana law while she was studying at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, where she chaired the school's chapter of NORML. Prior to joining Vicente Sederberg LLC, Shawn worked at a small law firm specializing in marijuana law, criminal defense and family law. Shawn is the director of the Local Implementation Project for the non-profit Sensible Colorado Action, where she works with local governments across the state to pass marijuana laws that foster responsible businesses. Shawn also serves on the board of the National Hemp Association, a Denver-based organization dedicated to the re-birth of industrial hemp in America. Shawn came to Denver in 2008 from Austin, TX, where she fostered her love for live music while studying psychology at the University of Texas at Austin.


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This conference is approved for 6.25 CE. The Graduate School of Professional Psychology is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Graduate School of Professional Psychology maintains responsibility for this program and its content.