Live Notes

The Speakers

Kaisha Dyan-McMillan / @ahsiak

Kaisha-Dyan McMillan is a freelance writer and journalist specializing in the  cannabis industry. After spending more than a decade in retail  merchandising and product development, Kaisha transitioned years of  product marketing expertise into a copywriting business in 2016, choosing  cannabis as her niche. In the 4+ years since making that fateful decision,  she has written content for multiple brands in the industry while also  discovering her passion for journalism. She is working to build her own  brand as a cannabis culture writer and is especially interested in telling the  stories of women and people of color in the industry, particularly those in  her hometown of Oakland, CA. In addition to writing for multiple brands in  the space, her work has appeared in cannabis publications including DOPE  Magazine, MJ Lifestyle, and Marijuana Moment, as well as traditional outlets including the East Bay Express, Oakland Magazine, and The Bold Italic.

Lori Shepherd / @25secondPR

Lori Shepherd is a former journalist who early on discovered a love for technology, publishing, corporate marketing communications and public relations. In 2014, she founded 25SecondsPR and quickly became a standout full-service Black-owned PR and communications firm located in Oakland representing large to bootstrapped start-ups. A few of the local and national organizations and businesses her agency has represented are: Project Equity, Farms to Grow, OCCUR, Points of Light, Association for Women in Science, Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance. Concurrent to her professional career based in Silicon Valley and San Francisco, has been Lori’s prioritizing community-based social and racial justice and economic equity issues. Whether as a volunteer or as a professional representing Oakland-based community organizations and nonprofits, Lori has and continues to be committed to helping support community outreach efforts. In 2020, 25SecondsPR added cannabis PR and communications to its portfolio of industries it manages. Through 25SecondsPR, Lori acquired emerging cannabis industry leaders, Seun Adedeji of Elev8 Cannabis, and Let's Sesh among her list of clients.

Reese Hooper / @itsreesenicole @herbnhippie

Reese Hooper is a cannabis enthusiast, marketer, creative, and devotee to herb healing and natural wellness with cannabis. Inspired by her love for cannabis and the growth of the industry, she transitioned from tech into cannabis, leveraging her supply chain management, marketing and business development skills. Reese currently manages DTC Marketing at The Parent Company, and is the founder of HERBn Hippie, a cannabis digital media agency, aimed to Elevate, Empower, and Inspire future BIPOC creators and innovators of the herb space

Sarah Ratliff / @puerto_rico_writer

Sarah Ratliff is a corporate America escapee turned eco-organic farmer, writer, activist and published book author. Her bylines include Mother Earth News, Blavity, High Times, Dope, Civilized, Merry Jane, Rx Leaf and Cannabis Tech. Sarah is the co-author of Being Biracial: Where Our Secret Worlds Collide—an anthology of essays written by people who are more than one race or the parents of mixed race kids. She and her husband own an organic farm in the interior of Puerto Rico.

La Kia Gooch / @illz_OG @get_royally_baked

La Kia Gooch aka Illuzionz O’Grandeur is a Muscular Dystrophy patient who advocates for MMJ. iLLz is also the President of Delaware NORML Women's Alliance where she leads the charge for better MMJ practices in the state. A natural creative, Illuzionz has successfully launched 2 podcasts: Medical Militia Radio and Twice Baked. She is also working with the Oregon legislature to pass a law for domestic trade in the US, which would create a prominent MMJ market for Delaware patients. Most importantly, she is a mother, fiancé, sister, and daughter from Wilmington, DE focused on changing the way patients who need education gain access.