The Company’s Chief Executive and Chief Technologies Officers have been involved with medical cannabis since it was permissible in California in 1999, turning their focus to Colorado during the infancy stage of legalizing medical cannabis in 2009. With the benefit of more than 30 years’ combined experience, United Cannabis has accumulated an extensive knowledgebase across the spectrum of the cannabis industry, including engineered facilities, security, regulatory compliance, genetics, cultivation, good manufacturing practices (GMP), proprietary extraction methods, branding, retail operations (SOP), marketing and wholesale distribution.
Once cannabis was approved for medical use in Colorado, the team began working closely with patients who were finding relief from a variety of chronic conditions and disease, in order to optimize their results. The results were extremely encouraging, as indicated by patient testimonials. With success, the patient base grew, providing more data, and in turn, evidence for the effectiveness of particular therapies. These cannabinoid sequencing protocols serve as the basis for United Cannabis’ Prana Bio Nutrient Medicinals and A.C.T. Now Programs.
Accredited with observational data from more than 15,000 patients to date, the Company’s success with Prana Bio Nutrients and A.C.T. Now Program garnered significant attention within the medical community, including Brent Reynolds Ph.D, (listed below) who went on to join the United Cannabis Medical Advisory Board
United Cannabis remains dedicated to advancing the use of cannabinoids as a medicine across the globe.
Earnest Blackmon (Board Chairman and Chief Executive Officer)
Earnest Blackmon has 20 years cannabis horticultural experience, 10 years in the commercial cannabis industry, and 20 years experience as a business operator. Mr. Blackmon has developed a proprietary grow method based on an organic standard to aid in stable chemical synthesis to limit side reactions that diminish yield. Mr. Blackmon’s skill with operations, project management, quality control and cultivation ensure that every United Cannabis cultivation project with our strategic partners produces consistent high-grade organic cannabis to meet the demands of our products. Prior to United Cannabis, Mr. Blackmon has been credited with over 25 cannabis awards with his cultivation techniques.
Tony Verzura (Chief Technologies Officer & Board Member)
Tony Verzura is the creator of the A.C.T. Now Program, Prana Medicinals, Blue River Terpenes, Advesa, and the lead inventor on the patents granted to United Cannabis. Mr. Verzura has over 35 million in cannabis sale experience and has been credited with over 50 cannabis awards to date. He oversees good manufacturing practices, quality assurance, product development, department training, brand identity, innovation, technologies, and brand identity. Mr. Verzura also works hand in hand with strategic partners to help coordinate on-boarding patient programs, standard operating procedures and promotes the companies core mission worldwide. Tony Verzura has had special guest appearances on CNBC Money Talk and Viceland’s Bong Appetite. He has attended countless cannabis business conferences and events throughout the United States, Jamaica, Canada, Amsterdam, and Spain. His publications include The Washington Post, High Times, VICE, Culture Magazine, DOPE Magazine, Skunk Magazine, Sensi Seeds, and Frank 151.
Chad Ruby (Chief Operations Officer & Board Member)
Chad Ruby has 15 years experience in the real estate, finance, human resources, portfolio management, project management, and corporate strategy. He has 4 years experience in the cannabis licensing and design-build facilities. Mr. Ruby manages the day-to-day business operations and finance department at United Cannabis.
John Walsh (Chief Financial Officer)
John Walks has 40 years experience in accounting and financial sectors and retired his audit practice of international accounting firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“Deloitte”). Mr. Walsh overseas United Cannabis accounting, financials, cash management, and public compliance reporting.
William Hart J.D. (Securities Counsel)
William Hart received his Juris Doctor from Strum College of Law at Denver University. He is the managing partner at Hart & Hart, LLC. He has over 35 years experience as a practicing attorney specializing in regulatory compliance, investment banking, and corporate governance.
Jesús M. Vázquez, J.D. (Vice President & General Counsel)
Jesús Vázquez has 22 years of experience working on complex business litigation matters with an emphasis in intellectual property, including patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret litigation and related licensing. Before attending law school at the University of Denver College of Law, Mr. Vázquez obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from Penn State, and spent 7 years as a Guidance and Navigation engineer on the Titan IV Launch Vehicle program at Martin Marietta Aerospace Corporation (now Lockheed Martin). Mr. Vázquez has represented numerous Fortune 500 companies in intellectual property matters in the United States. He is fully bilingual (English/Spanish) and has represented clients in matters pending in Puerto Rico, Mexico, Honduras, Peru, Spain and Cuba.
Cooley LP (Patent Attorney Specialist Firm)
Cooley LP has an international patent team of over 100 lawyers, and patent counsel to 1,000 companies worldwide. In the last 5 years, Cooley LP has handled nearly 10,000 patents. The firm has fully integrated patent prosecution, strategic counseling, licensing, and litigation practices.
Brent A. Reynolds, Ph.D. (Chief Medical Advisor)
Brent A. Reynolds, Ph.D., attended the University of Calgary, where he received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. in 1989 and 1994, respectively. While working on his Ph.D. thesis Reynolds co-discovered the existence of stem cells in the adult mammalian brain, a finding that overcame a century old dogma that the mature brain did not have the capacity to repair itself. After graduating, Reynolds co‑founded the first neural stem cell company, NeuroSpheres, Ltd., where he was a director and vice president of research. Here he developed a strong patent portfolio in the neural stem cell field, developing and protecting protocols related to the application of stem cell technology in brain repair. Today, these patents and technology have been licensed to numerous biotechnology companies that are testing the efficacy in over half a dozen clinical trials for diseases such as spinal cord injury, stroke, ALS and pediatric disorders. After a brief hiatus, where Reynolds studied and practiced Traditional Chinese Medicine, he returned to industry working with StemCell Technologies in Vancouver, Canada. In 2004, Reynolds returned to academic science as a professor at the Queensland Brain Institute at the University of Queensland in Australia where he continued refining the application of neural stem cells for repairing the damaged brain. In 2008, Reynolds was recruited to the department of Neurosurgery at the University of Florida and has focused his efforts on studying aggressive pediatric and adult brain cancer and developing novel translational approaches to combat this lethal disease. Working with a multidisciplinary group of scientists, the team is taking the unique approach that cancer can be managed as a chronic disease by applying the principles that have been used in ecology to manage wildlife and pest populations. Based on the lessons learned over the past 80 years by ecologists, the team is focused on using multimodal low toxicity therapeutics to enforce a stable tumor population that exists below a threshold that has any harmful effects. Dr. Reynolds has more than 60 publications, including papers in Science, Cell and Nature, with several manuscripts receiving over 1,000 citations. In addition, he is an inventor on 18 granted US patents. Dr. Reynolds is currently a professor in the department of neurosurgery at UF; adjunct professor at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia; an honorary professor at the Queensland Brain Institute, Australia; and program director for StepAhead, Australia. NIH, NHMRC and numerous foundations have funded his lab.
Barry Bialek MD. (Medical Advisor)
Dr. Barry Bialek is a dual citizen of the USA and Canada. He received his BA Math & General Science, and his teaching certification for Secondary Education in 1974. He received his MD, Doctor of Medicine from George Washington University in 1985, and did his residency in family and community medicine at Wellesley Hospital, University of Toronto. Dr. Bialek did his fellowship in Obstetrics Mt. Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto. He was a lecturer from 93’ – 96’, Division of Emergency Medicine Department of Family & Community Medicine, University of Toronto School of Medicine. He later went on from 1999 – 2007 as the Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine, at the University of Arizona. Dr. Bialek has practiced family medicine and emergency medicine for the Fort Apache Indian Reservation in Arizona as a Lieutenant Commander in the Commissioned Corps Indian Health Services for US Public Health Services. Academic Appointments include Engineering for Developing Communities in Israel, Nepal, and China.From 2005 – 2011, Dr. Balek was the Associate Adjunct Professor, Engineering and Applied Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder. Today, Dr. Bialek holds medical licensure in Colorado, Ontario, and South Dakota. He has practiced in family medicine specializing in Medicinal Cannabis throughout Colorado and is a member of the Medical Cannabis Research Group at CU Boulder. Dr. Bialek will be the medical director for the A.C.T Now Program, Native American Medical Liaison, and the assistant medical director for clinical human observational studies.
Amy Powell, RN (A.C.T. Now Head Nurse)
Amy Powell has 14 years experience as a registered nurse in the State of Florida. She has vast experience in caring for patients in high-adrenaline emergency rooms and cardiac intensive care. Nurse Amy runs the day-to-day A.C.T. Now patient care program, and has developed thousands of cannabinoid programs for patients utilizing Prana Medicinals.
Lorin Cohen (Public Relations and Communications)
Lorin Cohen previously worked as a corporate relations manager for the American Stock Exchange, accounts executive for Lippert/Heilshorn & Associates, and currently runs her own public relations firm. Lorin Cohen received her MBA, Finance from New York University – Learnard N. Stern School of Business, and her B.S., Finance, and Marketing degree from Lehigh University. Ms. Cohen provides public relations consulting services for the company.