BOARD & STAFF

JESSICA MCELFRESH

President

Ms. Jessica McElfresh has focused on cannabis law and policy since 2010, and has worked with a variety of medical marijuana entities in California, including guiding several licensed dispensaries through local permitting in the City of San Diego, Cathedral City, Desert Hot Springs, the County of San Diego, and other jurisdictions.  Jessica also works as a criminal defense attorney, focusing on narcotics cases. 

Outside of her law practice, she has worked with groups including Americans for Safe Access, the NORML Women's Alliance, and most recently, as an advisory board member for A New PATH. 

Cynara Velazquez 

Vice President 

Cynara Velazquez is the Vice President of the Association of Cannabis Professionals. She was also president of the Adult Use Committee for Proposition 64, the local campaign committee supporting Proposition 64 in San Diego County.  She was the author of Measure U in La Mesa and Measure V in Lemon Grove to allow medical marijuana access, and managed these campaigns, overseeing the signature gathering and general campaign efforts. She has been involved in medical marijuana politics in San Diego County since 2010. 

James Schmachtenbereger

Chairman

From a young age, James developed a passion and fixation toward finding solutions to end suffering to all sentient beings. This discovery led him to extensively study alternative psychology methods, as well as participate and lead various social, political, and environmental activism campaigns. James' early work in these campaigns began with my fundraising efforts for Greenpeace and Human Rights Campaign. Later, he was heavily involved in both drug law reform and environmental advocacy issues while holding leadership roles at Patient Care Association of California and Citizens for Patients Rights. 

James is also the Co-Founder of Mankind Collective, as well as President of Neurohacker Collective founded in 2015 to inspire individuals to take empowered responsibility for themselves. 

Greg Magdoff

Board Member

Greg Magdoff is a cannabis industry expert who has had his hands in the dirt from the very beginning, allowing him to truly understand the cannabis industry from seed to sale. Greg has an extensive background in business marketing and a vast experience with chemical science; specifically chromatography. Greg, who graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Marketing; worked for over a decade in one of the largest sales and marketing brokers in the United States representing major clients such as GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson and Johnson, Del Monte Foods, Delta/Moen, Quaker and Gatorade.

 

Greg opened the first PharmLabs LLC in 2011 and has continued to launch additional ISO 17025 accredited cannabis chemical and biological analytical testing laboratories in Hawaii and California over the past few years.

Dion Markgraaff 

Board Member

Dion Markgraaff has been in the cannabis movement since 1991. In 1993, Mr. Markgraaff  opened Europe’s first hemp store Cannabis in Amsterdam. At the same time that year he hosted the modern world’s first Global Hemp Business Convention and Fashion Show, while starting the first real “High Times Cannabis Cup” in Amsterdam. In addition, he founded The Cannabis College in Amsterdam, published news, help produce documentaries, and more.

 

In 1997, Mr. Markgraaff organized the first medical cannabis group (club/dispensary) in San Diego, CA. In 2002, he founded, San Diego Americans for Safe Access. From 2007-2010, he founded, co-owned and served as editor of NUG Magazine, a monthly free publication out of San Diego.

 

He now works as a consultant in business development for General Hemp and is the President of HempMeds Mexico.

Marcee Levin

Board Member

Marcee Levin has been working full-time in the Medical Cannabis industry since 2010. Marcee is currently Area/Branch Manager for Collective Supply in San Diego, which sells ancillary products for Cannabis Caregivers. Mrs. Levin's management, sales and training skills were developed during her 25+ years working as an Account Manager for Fortune 500 Companies such as Pepsi, Sara Lee and Starbucks. In addition, Marcee is a founding member of the Association for Cannabis Professionals. 

 

For the last 7 plus years, beginning with co-hosting membership meetings for the Patients Care Association.  Marcee has been an activist on behalf of the Cannabis Community. Recently, Marcee co-founded CannaCouple California, a medical Cannabis distributor based in San Diego.

Sapphire Blackwood 

Director of Public Affairs

Sapphire Blackwood received her BA in advertising from San Diego State University in 2009. She worked wireless sales and management after graduating and ventured in events, promotions and marketing. Ms. Blackwood graduated from the University of San Diego School of Law in 2015. While still in school, she worked as the LGBTQ field organizer for the Scott Peters for Congress Re-Election Campaign. On the eve of graduating law school, she secured a job as a cannabis consultant. She worked on a number of projects including Gridiron Cannabis Coalition, a non-profit founded by former NFL players. She currently works as the Director of Policy for Grassroots Resources, a political consulting firm.

 

During her free time, she actively serves on committees for the San Diego County Democrats for Equality, winner of San Diego County Democrats Club of the Year 2016; Human Rights Campaign San Diego, the local chapter of the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights non-profit; and Think Dignity, a local non-profit focused on providing basic dignity to San Diego’s homeless population.

Dallin Young 

Political Director 

Originally from Sacramento, Dallin Young moved to San Diego to attend San Diego State University where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. Young began his career in politics as a consultant during the 2012 election cycle and has since worked on over 30 campaigns throughout the state including some of the largest, most expensive, and closely watched races in the San Diego County area. In 2015, he was hired on as Chief of Staff for Grassroots Resources, one of the top political campaign firms in San Diego County. 

Young maintains very close ties to the political arena by being elected to the San Diego County Democratic Central Committee and by providing the data, voter targeting, and technological support to the California Democratic Party and 14 other county parties throughout California. Because of this, Young has become a staple in San Diego County politics.

 

In addition to his work in both politics and the cannabis industry, Young is a passionate advocate in the disability community as well as a 4-year high school wrestling coach.

Contributions or gifts to the Association of Cannabis Professionals PAC are not tax deductible.
Paid for by the Association of Cannabis Professionals PAC #1402861