Members of the Cannabis Training Institute Advisory Board are appointed by invitation only. The Advisory Board provides expert advice and peer review of all CTI course content. Represented talents include academics specializing in accreditation, cannabis subject matter experts, and cannabis entrepreneurs with business expertise. The board is tasked with creating a balanced mix of creditable courses that address the global needs of students.

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Joseph Friedman, R.Ph. MBA: The Director of Marketing and Business Development at Mark Drugs LLC, a specialty compounding pharmacy in Illinois, is a founding member and principal at Professional Dispensaries of Illinois (PDI), Medical LLC.

Joseph was among the 57 applicants awarded a permit to operate a medical dispensary in Illinois by Governor Bruce Rauner on February 2, 2015. With a pharmacy degree from the University of Illinois College of Pharmacy and an MBA from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management, Joseph was Director of Pharmacy at Topco Associates LLC and Senior Director of Pharmacy Marketing at the Nash Company in Minneapolis. He has become a content expert in the scientific, legal, social, political and financial challenges facing U.S. entrants to the growing medical marijuana industry. He has contributed to several published articles in the Chicago Tribune, Pharmacy Practice News, Crain’s Chicago Business, TheStreet.com, The Daily Herald and the UIC College of Pharmacy newsletter. In addition, he frequently leads presentations on pharmacists’ role in the legalization, distribution and therapy management of medical marijuana.

Joseph advocates tirelessly for pharmacists’ involvement in the U.S. medical cannabis industry. He is also a board of director candidate at the National Association of Cannabis Based Medicine (NACBM), a new pharmacy trade organization devoted to the education, credentialing and science of cannabis for pharmacy professionals.

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Mark Libke: The licensed investment advisor, banker and entrepreneur for the last 20 years owns and runs three businesses ranging from an insurance brokerage agency to a technology firm in the oil & gas industry. He has established a record of building successful companies from the ground up, simultaneously identifying opportunities to enter emerging markets.

In 2014, Mark became active in the medical cannabis industry in Illinois, serving as lead investor in a group that received a cultivation license in District 28. Since then he has established relationships with the Illinois Cannabis Entrepreneurs and leading business owners throughout the country. Funding various businesses in the industry, Mark is a major shareholder and Board Member in Cannabis Training Institute as well as Sacred, a company that infuses THC in topical products for distribution in approved states. As an active member in these companies, he has gained real-world experience forming businesses, raising capital and applying for licenses in the most promising yet strictly regulated industry this country has seen since prohibition.

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Silvia Orizaba: The adviser to the Cannabis Company’s board of directors is an advocate for medical cannabis use throughout the United States and a proven leader in the medicinal cannabis industry. Silvia is a member of the National Cannabis Industry Association, the Marijuana Policy Project, Americans for Safe Access (ASA) and NORML, and was a key player in the passage of the Illinois Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act. She is also the founder of the Cannabis Advisors Institute (CAI), a company that provides consulting to entrepreneurs in business analysis, branding, security and training in the medical cannabis industry, as well as educational resources on the guidelines and opportunities for the distribution and use of medicinal cannabis.

Silvia has been a supporter of health and wellness for most of her adult life. The certified nutritionist and physical therapist assistant studied kinesiology and has run businesses since age 14, building a chain of personal training and weight loss facilities. Since 2010, she has developed expertise in the medical cannabis industry, becoming an educator and advocate for the passage of medicinal cannabis laws at the state and federal level. She has established educational companies in the cannabis industry, from the original idea to actual brand product, advising clients on how to invest money in the cannabis industry, and helping CAI clients obtain licenses for dispensaries, cultivation and production. In addition, she advises clients on special use, education and community outreach.

In addition to her knowledge of the industry, Orizaba has excellent relationship-building skills. Silvia also created a coalition of medicinal cannabis industry representatives across the United States, and she continues to build relationships to promote, educate and advocate for the safe use of cannabis as medicine.

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Ivette Petkovich: The practicing and licensed member of the Florida Bar Association, as well as several federal bars, was born and raised in Miami, Florida and obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a major in Political Science from the University of Miami School of Business. She received her Juris Doctorate degree from St. Thomas University’s School of Law.

Upon graduating from law school, Ivette accepted a position with the Miami Dade State Attorney’s Office, one of the largest in the country, and prosecuted hundreds of defendants charged with criminal offenses ranging from DUI to drug trafficking and cultivation to first degree murder. Toward the end of her tenure, she focused on white collar crimes as a special prosecutor in the insurance fraud unit. In 2010 Ivette opened her own firm, specializing in defending clients charged with criminal offenses, from Medicare and insurance fraud to drug trafficking and cultivation, in both state and federal courts. She also represents clients in family law, business, administrative and consumer defense law.

In light of Florida’s Amendment 2, intended to permit the use of medical marijuana for qualifying patients, Ivette has developed a core niche in this field and possesses expert understanding of the evolving nature of medicinal marijuana law and culture. The amendment failed passage by only 2% of the necessary votes but is projected to return to the ballot in 2016.

Ivette is a frequent speaker as a medicinal marijuana attorney for the California-based Cannabis Career Institute’s seminars and workshops held in Florida. She is also an attorney member of the Florida-based Cannabis Consulting, Inc., and a managing partner of CCI Espanol LLC, a Spanish language version of the Cannabis Career Institute’s seminars and workshops held in Florida. She serves as general counsel to Sacred, Inc., which produces and distributes infused cannabis products, and to Cannamoms, a nonprofit organization to promote the need for advancement in the treatment of pediatric diseases and disorders.

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Michelle Sexton, B.S., N.D.: The Executive Medical Research Director at the Center for the Study of Cannabis and Social Policy in Seattle is a naturopathic doctor in private practice in San Diego with specialties in women’s health and cannabinoid medicine. Michelle completed an individual postdoctoral fellowship for the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the University of Washington. She studied the pharmacology of the endogenous cannabinoid signaling system (ECS) and completed a clinical study measuring immunomodulatory effects of cannabis in patients with multiple sclerosis. As a certified herbalist since 1990, Michelle practiced midwifery in Texas prior to earning her medical degree from Bastyr University in Seattle. She is a current board member of the ASA Foundation.

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Jeff Tice MAcc., CGMA, CPA: The business leader with more than 20 years of experience at the executive level is the founder of Salubrious Wellness Clinic in Tempe, Arizona. Jeff has provided leadership for three dispensaries and grow facilities and has been an advocate and leader in the cannabis industry.

Jeff’s expertise includes management and leadership in education, operations, strategic planning, board governance and development, accrediting standards and compliance, state and federal regulatory affairs, joint venture development, merger and acquisition search, purchase integration, marketing, accounting and finance, as well as information systems design and implementation.

Jeff has led corporate leadership teams in developing and executing strategic plans, improving the performance of sales and maximizing program operations, cost efficiencies and improvements. He has presented to board members, senior executive teams, the Department of Education, Wall Street analysts, legal teams, classrooms (as a faculty member and administrator) and large organizational groups.

He has served on several boards of directors and advisory boards, and provides expert advice for corporate governance. Jeff earned a Master’s of Accountancy at Brigham Young University and is a certified public accountant (CPA).