The Venice Neighborhood Council to host Cannabis Town Hall on Nov. 13th

Care to learn more about the ins and outs of the Cannabis industry, its effects on our community, and innovation within the industry?

Then join the Venice Neighborhood Council for the Cannabis Town Hall.


What: Cannabis Town Hall
When: Tuesday, Nov. 13th 7p – 9p
Where: Animo High School, 820 Broadway, Venice, 90291
Why: Educate. Regulate. Innovate.
  • What does cannabis business bring to the Venice community?
  • What’s changed under Measure M and Prop 64?
  • What can your role as a stakeholder in the neighborhood be in the process?
  • Where to send complaints or kudos? What constitutes unlawful activity?
  • What is actually available in Venice?
  • Who are the good actors, and how can we integrate them into our community?
  • Social equity – what does this mean for the community?
  • What about cultivation for personal use?

The mission of the VNC Cannabis Committee is to:

  • Support our community’s stakeholders, organizations, and local businesses in the transition out of an unregulated industry and into a new regulatory framework; and,
  • Liaise with local government and public agencies to access resources and share community‐based education and best practices.
  • For more info: or contact Hollie Stenson, Outreach Officer


  1. Aaron Riley, President, CannaSafe

Aaron is the President of CannaSafe, the first ISO accredited cannabis lab in the world. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree & M.B.A. from Jacksonville University, where he earned his way through college on a football scholarship. A seasoned entrepreneur who runs a luxury car dealership in FL, he brought his business acumen to the cannabis industry, taking over as President of CannaSafe in late 2016. Under Aaron’s leadership, CannaSafe recently received California Testing Facility of the Year from Dope magazine. Licensed in California and headquartered in Los Angeles, CannaSafe has become the go-to lab for premier California cannabis brands. CannaSafe has been featured in LA Weekly (Print), The Doctors (TV), and countless other media outlets.

  1. Alexander Freedman, Deputy City Attorney, Cannabis Law Section, Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office

Alex serves as in-house counsel to the Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation and the Los Angeles Cannabis Regulation Commission. He advises the Department and the Commission on all matters concerning the regulation and licensing of commercial cannabis activity in Los Angeles.  

  1. Ann Lawrence, Owner, Rose Collective

Rose Collective

After the historic passage of Senate Bill 420, California citizens rushed to organize collectives to serve the growing medical marijuana industry. Rose Collective, under a different operating name, opened its doors in 2007 as the premier co-op in Los Angeles with a focus on the healing herbal effects. The founder was a registered pharmacist that strongly maintained the spirit of Prop 215, in which cannabis should be regulated as an herbal remedy, not as a controlled substance.  The collective became well known within the Los Angeles community by adding value to alternative medicine with a professional, well-maintained, and ordinance abiding store-front. Unfortunately, in the fall of 2013, the collective closed its doors on Abbot Kinney in order to comply with the city’s new Prop D regulations. A year later a new location that fit the city’s regulations was secured and re-opened as The Rose Collective. The Venice and surrounding communities have embraced our new and improved lay-out and outreach programs. We strive to provide our patients with the latest and greatest in cannabis culture. Many of our products are award winning cup holders with High Times Cannabis Cup and the Emerald Cup. Rose Collective is a Pre-ICO and Prop D Compliant Collective with a great local reputation.  With a presence in the local “Women’s Grow” Chapter, Hitman Coffee events, and as one of Weedmap’s top rated collectives serving the Santa Monica area, we aim to become the best collective in West Los Angeles.

  1. Bruce Margolin, esq., Director LA NORML, Criminal Defense Attorney for 52 years, “The Dean of Cannabis Law”

Los Angeles NORML is a regional chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). Our mission includes working to ensure the consumer maintains a voice in marijuana law reforms and educating our community about marijuana and hemp and their potential medical and industrial uses. Northeast Florida NORML supports NORML’s mission of moving public opinion sufficiently to achieve the repeal of marijuana prohibition so that the responsible use of marijuana by adults is no longer subject to criminal sanction.

As the expert medical marijuana lawyer in Los Angeles, Bruce M. Margolin has successfully defended many individuals charged with cannabis-related criminal offenses. As a leading California criminal defense attorney, he has dedicated his practice to helping individuals fight marijuana charges, which historically, have been serious offenses over the years (even for minor offenses). Mr. Margolin continues to support the legalization of marijuana and is actively involved in the fight for legislative reform regarding marijuana laws.

Bruce M. Margolin prepares and files marijuana business applications for his clients throughout the state of California. His law firm ensures that clients are regularly informed on the evolving California laws, including the Medical Marijuana Safety Act. He takes pride in spearheading progressive legal reform for the medical marijuana industry, as well as appropriately educating clients on the everchanging cannabis laws – especially those regarding both state and local licensing issues.

  1. Cat Packer, Executive Director and General Manager of the Department of Cannabis Regulation

Department of Cannabis Regulation

Prior to joining the City of Los Angeles, Packer served as California Policy Coordinator for the Drug Policy Alliance, where she worked to ensure the successful and equitable implementation of various cannabis policy reforms.

Packer is an alumna of The Ohio State University where she received a Bachelor’s in Political Science, a Master’s in Public Policy & Management and a Juris Doctor.

The Department of Cannabis Regulation (DCR) is responsible for administering the Rules and Regulations adopted by the Council for licensed commercial cannabis businesses within the City of Los Angeles. The DCR administers the business application process in conjunction with the Cannabis Regulation Commission, makes determinations related to non-retail cannabis licensing, administers and coordinates the audit and inspection processes for licensed cannabis-related businesses, and enforcing regulatory compliance of licensed businesses engaged in commercial cannabis activity.

Measure M, passed by over 80% of voters in March 2017, gave City Council the full authority to regulate cannabis-related activity within the City of Los Angeles.  With that authority, the Department of Cannabis Regulation was established by ordinance on July 30, 2017.

  1. Sherri Franklin, Co-founder, Think and Grow Lab

Think and Grow Lab was founded by Dani Shaker and Sherri Franklin to promote economic access through forward thinking enterprise accountability and business development technical assistance, forums on industry standards and sustainable design integration, industry specific job training and the formation of capital funds for investment in compliant and market leading cultivation, manufacturing and product development prototype and established companies.

Think and Grow Lab is housed at the La Kretz Innovation Campus located in the Los Angeles Arts District. La Kretz is a natural home for a company working to innovate. It also offers the right tools, resources, leadership and platform to foster the growth of an emerging industry. It provides an opportunity for Think and Grow Lab’s thought leaders to readily interact with innovative thinkers and to work within a symbiotic environment that fosters creative energy and leadership for the urban agriculture and cannabis enterprises. 

Think and Grow Lab seeks to drive innovation in urban agriculture and the cannabis industry by bringing together government agencies, industry leaders, practitioners and intellectuals through forums, lectures, think tanks and our virtual online community to foster industry leadership and to provide the requisite technical expertise and resources required to help industry entrepreneurs thrive.

Please RSVP to FB invite for head count.

For more info:

Hollie Stenson, VNC’s Outreach Officer at . [email protected]

Thank You to Our Partners