This industry is full of unknowns. Your skillset will only get you so far.
We’ve already been through every step of launching and growing a canna-business.
Smokin’ Dispensaries is your single hub for all of your canna-business needs from inception to sale.
Rick is a dynamic leader in business development, funding and construction in the cannabis and hemp sectors nationwide. He brings over 35 years of experience in the design and manufacturing of displays and store fixtures for retail clients.
Smokin’ Dispensaries started as a millwork company and has organically grown into a consultancy serving clients in all stages of Canna-Business.
Rick serves on the board of Real Brands and several charities, including the Bradley Children’s Psychiatric Hospital. In his spare time, Rick enjoys spending time with family, golfing and a fine glass of Stoli Elite.
Mr. Rodriguez serves as a director and has approximately 20 years in construction management, real estate finance and project management. Mr.Rodriguez began his career in branding and marketing and subsequently received the opportunity to work with various projects for real estate developers and eventually began to develop on his own. Over the coming years German worked for Walker Ridge Construction, managing all the firms’ construction activities in Puerto Rico. Mr. Rodriguez has a bachelor’s in Fine Arts & Media from Rutgers University and various advanced certifications from Columbia University and University of Illinois Urbana- Champaign in Construction Management and Finance.
Thom is a C Suite executive with more than 45 years management experience, with expertise in cross platforms, creative, technical and business development, marketing and strategic planning. He has significant international business development experience in major brand licensing and marketing with an excellent understanding of current trends and developments in the fields of new media technologies and cannabis extraction technologies.
He's currently the CEO of Real Brands Inc. Which is a first-class processor of cannabinoid biomass into high-quality refined full spectrum oil and Isolate as a wholesale ingredient supplier, and a first-class developer and owner of CBD centric consumer branded product lines in topicals, cosmetics and beverages.
At the age of 24, Benjamin faced the devastating news; his father was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given just 3 months to live. Despite all initial expectations his father lived for an additional 4 years, mostly symptom-free, due to excellent medical care and the tireless efforts of Benjamin refining his organic cultivation which helped his father endure his treatments. It was through this experience of witnessing the power of cannabis firsthand that fueled Benjamin’s entrepreneurial drive and commitment to educating society on the benefits of organic and regenerative cannabis cultivation. Up until that tragic event, Ben was the top student in his nursing school program, but those plans were scrapped and he fully committed to building Acadia Farms. Its mission: To produce eco-friendly cannabis-based products that have a net-positive impact on society and nature, while simultaneously providing industry-leading education and guidance in cultivation and facility design to minimize environmental and ecological impacts. Over the past 5 years, Benjamin's passion to learn, experience, and teaching have brought him to facilities, farms, and classrooms across the US, Europe, and the Caribbean. He is as eager to learn as he is to teach and looks forward to every opportunity to do so.
Peter has extensive experience in marketing, business development, and crisis communications in the cannabis, technology, healthcare, finance and other fields.
Peter earned his B.A. in Political Science, Cum Laude, from The George Washington University, studying for a year at The London School of Economics. He received his M.A. in International Business & Politics from NYU’s Stern School of Management where his master’s thesis was conducted via the Princeton University School of International Affairs.
After two years at The Epilepsy Institute, Peter honed his skills at Edelman PR, FleishmanHillard, and Grey Advertising in Manhattan. His clients have included top firms such as Berkshire Hathaway, Insperity, Polaris, Merck, Pfizer, and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Peter has placed clients in top outlets such as the NYTs, Fast Company, Newsweek, the WSJ, the AP, and The Doctors on CBS.
Peter’s broader marketing experience includes helping launch legal cannabis in Las Vegas, providing communications for the FDIC, handling crisis issues for Barry-Wehmiller and developing a seminar with Stanford.
Peter has lectured at NYU, the University of Arizona’s Eller School of Management, and Brown Mackie College. He lives with his family in the South of France.
Anand Shahi, CFA
As an investor and participant in the growth of the cannabis industry, Anand Shahi has leveraged his decades of prior financial services and investment experience to help companies and funds thrive.
Anand founded Bar Capital in 2016 to raise the standards of investment banking for high-growth emerging industries such as cannabis. He also founded SparkNett, a digital platform for content, sharing of transactions and B2B introductions with industry leaders, as well as the Elevate event series that brings together an exclusive invite-only community.
Mr. Shahi has almost 20 years of experience in both public and private investments, as Senior Analyst at Atlas Capital Partners, a hedge fund, where he supervised a research team focused on small and microcap companies.
Mr. Shahi was also VP and Quantitative Risk Analyst at Morgan Stanley, where he developed and managed complex stress scenarios to detect and mitigate market risks for the firm. He previously served as a Financial Advisor at Merrill Lynch where he advised Ultra High-Net-Worth individuals.
Mr. Shahi has almost 20 years of personal experience investing in private companies primarily in the United States and India. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst, holds a B.A. in Computer Science as well as Economics, and has a series 7 and 63 license.