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Our expert panelists include:
Ms. Andrea Cabral, CEO and Chief Engagement Officer Ascend Wellness; prior to her current appointment, Ms. Cabral was the Executive Secretary of Public Safety in Massachusetts where she oversaw 14 public agencies. She was also, the twice-elected Sheriff of Suffolk County and the first female sheriff in Massachusetts’ history; her career in public service lasted over 27 years. Ms. Cabral now heads Ascend Cannabis, a startup that plans to open a retail shop in Boston and a growing facility in Athol; she also provides weekly commentary and analysis on WGBH Boston Public Radio. She is a graduate of Boston College and Suffolk University Law School.
Mr. Keith W. Cooper, CEO Revolutionary Clinics; Keith Cooper is a successful entrepreneur with more than 30 years running VC-backed technology companies. He is currently CEO of Revolutionary Clinics (RC), a leading medicinal cannabis company in MA. RC has an active cultivation and processing facility in Fitchburg, retail locations in Cambridge and Somerville and a home delivery business.Prior to RC, Keith was CEO of Constant Therapy (CT), a company revolutionizing the treatment of neurological disorders using science-based digital therapy on mobile devices. CT was acquired by a Private Equity firm in 2017.Prior to CT, Keith was CEO of Connotate (web Big Data aggregation), President of Carbonite (#9 on the Inc. 500 list, Best Places to Work in Boston, Most Innovative Companies in New England, NASDAQ:CARB), CEO of webHancer (acquired by Microsoft), CEO of FaxNet (acquired by Critical Path) and GM of Trans National Communications (#12 on the Inc. 500 list). A graduate of Harvard Business School (1988) and Harvard College (1983, President of the Harvard Rugby Club), Keith lives in Wayland, MA, is married and has two young adult sons.
Ms. Jennifer L. Flanagan, Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commissioner and former state Senator will who will offer an overview of how the state regulates the businesses, educates the public and prevents crime increase in the affected areas. She will also present how her past experience chairing the Substance Use and Recovery, and the Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities Joint Committees, help her in with her current role.
Mr. Thatcher W. Kezer III, Chief Operating Officer, City of Framingham; Mr. Kezer brings more than 25 years of experience in the public sector (at the state, regional and local levels), creating innovative solutions for municipal government (including his eight years of service as Mayor of the City of Amesbury). He has also served as an Associate at the UMass Boston Collins Center, Director of Purchasing and Contract Administration for the City of Beverly, Project Director for the Metropolitan Mayors Coalition, Director of the Massachusetts Clean Water Council and Legislative Analyst for the Massachusetts Municipal Association. He will offer information on why the City of Framingham decided to move ahead with the cannabis business, and how he balances the economic benefit to the city, with and the health and safety of its residents.