12:30pm | Lunch Session | Cannabis Industry Landscape

Panel Description: The cannabis industry is a booming. While the legal cannabis industry is now becoming a business opportunity for many people, it cannot be forgotten that, for decades, people of color have been disproportionately penalized and incarcerated for drug-related charges for what is now an emerging multibillion dollar industry. What organizations are paving the way to create equitable job opportunities for People of Color to tap into? How can we be smart and intentional consumers as we engage in this rapidly growing industry?



Claudia Mercado Founder of Calibueno LLC, Cannabis Canning / Co-Packing / Distribution.




Lanese Martin Hood Incubator, Co-Founder + Co-Executive Director

Gender pronouns: she/her

Lanese spearheads the organization's political strategy, including base-building, community organizing, and policy advocacy work. Lanese began her professional career consulting small family businesses by systemizing their operations and developing growth strategies for them. While studying for an M.B.A. in Sustainable Enterprise she began to shift her professional focus from consulting to political organizing, focusing on progressive campaigns. Her work as the Field Director for an Oakland based nonprofit led to deep relationships with non-profits & Black & Brown communities not only in Oakland but across California. Alternatively, her work as the Field Director for Nancy Skinner’s successful 2016 CA State Senate race led to strong relationships with elected leaders as well as their staff across the Bay Area. Lanese attained a B.A. in Political Science & Minor in Business from Dominican University of California and later returned for a M.B.A.

In June 2017, Lanese was featured on the cover ofDOPE Magazine and in November 2017, she was named to the 2017 Full Color 50 List.



La Wanda Knox brings 10 years of business consulting, planning and project management experience to the cannabis industry. As a corporate liaison she helped San Francisco Bay Area 7-Eleven franchisees to boost their bottom line. As a change agent for Diageo Wine & Spirits she was able to turn around a local winery taking them from loss to profits in 90 days. As a business consultant, she wrote the proposal to an RFP that won her client a contract worth $6.5 million with the City of Oakland and implemented changes to scale the business. 

A MBA graduate from Mills - Lorry I. Lokey School of Business, La Wanda helps entrepreneurs grow their business through business development. Recently, her consulting firm Make Green Go, was awarded a Prime Contract by the City of Oakland to provide technical assistance to equity applicants. A believer in supporting entrepreneurial empowerment amongst people of color and women, La Wanda hosts monthly incubation mixers for Equity and General applicants to partner.  La Wanda co-authored a how-to book for start-ups in the cannabis industry with her husband Zachary, an Oakland business & tax attorney.


Aanya Gamble Hill, Co-Founder of A+ Collective

 A+ Collective is an intergenerationally Black owned and operated medical cannabis delivery and event service, based out of Oakland Ca. Run by Co-founders Aanya Gamble Hill and Daniel Gardner, (Two alumni of the Hood Incubator, Oakland's first and California's only equity cannabis business accelerator program.  A+ Collective is committed to delivering an array of medical cannabis products aimed at chronic pain relief. We pride ourselves on our discreet consumption products, educating the community, and building a culture of healing through cannabis that focuses on our elders, as well as our younger consumers


Daniel Dellafosse, Attorney at Law
The Law Office of Daniel Dellafosse's primary practice area is business and corporate transactional law—focused on cannabis compliance in California. I will provide legal services to clients engaged in all aspects of the legal cannabis industry. Additionally, I will provide legal services to individuals, start-ups, and small to medium sized businesses that seek entity formation, partnership agreements, articles of incorporation, etc. Finally, additional practice areas include consumer and bankruptcy protection and estate planning.