Panelists Bios

Panelists Bios – We would like to introduce the How to Succeed in the Cannabis Industry Panelists.

The Women’s Cannabis Chamber of Commerce has curated a panel of entrepreneurs with success in the cannabis industry, for the Northeastern Cannabis Industry Networking Dinner.

Each of the panelists brings their perspective based on experience and knowledge on how to succeed in the cannabis industry. 


Panelist Bios Women's Cannabis Chamber of CommerceMichael James, The James Firm LLC, Corporate Attorney and Cannabis Licensing Attorney, providing a balance of legal, business, operational, and financial strategies that had clear execution and built-in problem-solving contingencies. Licensed in New Jersey and New York.

The James Firm opened its doors with a vision of serving entrepreneurs with great skill and expertise. Since then, they’ve facilitated the success of businesses, large and small, from start-up companies to established enterprises such as The Paper Factory Hotel. The firm focuses on corporate law, real estate, and New York State business licensing; cannabis and alcoholic beverage licensing.

Cannabis law can be convoluted and vague at best. Protecting a business in this area involves complex nuances in intellectual property, corporate law, real estate, and business strategy. A successful case requires creativity and flexibility. The James Firm LLC protects clients against business issues large and small, and guides them through navigating laws.


Super Lawyers Rising Star 2019 Honoree
Intro to Alcoholic Beverage Licensing in New York – Lawline CLE (2018)
Super Lawyers Rising Star 2018 Honoree
Advising The Cannabis Start-Up – Lawline CLE (2017)
Cover of Sports Launch Magazine Thirty Under 30 Issue (2014)
Lawyers of Color Inaugural Hotlist (2013) 


Penn State Law
Juris Doctor
Washington Adventist University
B.S., Finance


  • New York
    •New Jersey
    •U.S. District Southern District of New York

Women's Cannabis Chamber of CommerceApril Rodriguez is the Designated Broker for Florida at Zoned Properties Brokerage, April Rodriguez is the Designated Broker for Florida at Zoned Properties Brokerage, a leading real estate development firm for emerging and highly regulated industries, including regulated cannabis. 

April is a well-established licensed real estate broker with over 20 years of experience navigating and working in the Florida real estate market. She pairs Zoned Properties’ intel and expertise, with her knowledge of the local market, to make it possible for companies in Florida’s medical cannabis marketplace to find compliant and properly zoned properties.

Before her role at Zoned Properties, Rodriguez served as a licensed broker associate in commercial and residential real estate at The Keyes Company where she specialized in the rapidly growing medical cannabis industry and established the company’s first cannabis division in 2019. In this role, she helped four cannabis healthcare providers expand with a combined 67 new locations across Florida, Colorado, and California. She has also advised multiple cannabis-oriented dispensaries secure compliant real estate spaces throughout Florida.

A driven real estate professional, Rodriguez is licensed in the states of Florida, Alabama, NorthCarolina, Vermont. She is also a member of the Florida Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors. A cannabis advocate, April Rodriguez is a founding member and Executive Director of Strategic Partnerships of the National Women’s Cannabis Chamber of Commerce. She is an Advocate and Advisor on Cannabis specific opportunities with or without real estate and a specialist in green parcel verifications for Cultivation, Retail & Testing Locations. 

Women's Cannabis Chamber of CommerceErica Sloan CPA, CFE, MBA, FMVA, CGMA, CCCP, DOPE CFO Certified Advisor. Erica Sloan is a dynamic and detail-focused Cannabis Accounting professional with 15+ years of success as a trusted advisor in her field. She is well-versed in policy creation, complex tax regulations and compliance, budget development, financial management best practices, internal controls, strategic planning, CFO services, and more.

As a long-time advocate for cannabis, hemp, and CBD, she enjoys helping CEO’s address the many unique financial challenges of the industry and offers exceptional value to help businesses reach their goals. She is proactively engaged in analysis of industry trends and existing processes to identify areas in need of improvement, creating targeted recommendations that enhance operational productivity, accuracy, and efficiency. 

Erica’s certifications includes:

Dope CFO Certified Advisor – DOPE CFO

Cannabis Certified Seed Counter – National Association of Cannabis Accountants & Tax Professional

Fundamentals of ESG Certificate – AICPA

Introduction to ESG – Corporate Finance Institute

Certified Commercial Cannabis Professional – ACCCE

Gusto Payroll Certification – Gusto

Financial Modeling and Evaluation Analyst – Corporate Finance Institute

Certified Fraud Examiner – Association of Certified Fraud Examiners

Certified Public Accountant – Virginia Board of Accountancy 

Women's Cannabis Chamber of CommercePatricia Walker, Luna Verde Consulting, Cannabis Operations & Strategy Specialist, Advocate, Purchasing & Business Development Expert, NJ Business Action Center instructor for the inaugural Cannabis Training Academy.

Since 2008, Patricia has gained a wide breadth of experience and knowledge working directly in the cannabis and medical marijuana industry. 

Originally from Southern California she worked as a budtender and cannabis advisor where she excelled in client services and cannabis consultations. She built a reputable background in sales, customer service and establishing a strong repertoire with clients. Patricia managed the operations and business development aspects for several California based cannabis retailers.  She created compliant and impactful business operations, created growth and vertical business opportunities. She successfully helped cannabis entrepreneurs build successful edible, cultivation and delivery services. Patricia’s expertise and reputation for creating successful cannabis companies lead to becoming a managing partner for a dispensary.

Patricia moved to New Jersey in 2017 and immersed herself in the emerging east coast cannabis market. She has had the opportunity to serve as an expert resource for municipal authorities and task forces through the approval and applicant processes. She has also been enlisted to provide experienced guidance and leadership for local cannabis retail applicants, assisting with building operational structures, recruiting and training staff, and developing community partnership and strategic initiatives. 

Panelist Women's Cannabis Chamber of CommercePanel Moderator, Rachel Amin, founder and CEO of Rachel Petterson Amin Consulting, Director of Partnerships, Alliances and Sales Strategy Creation for Start Ups, leverages her 15 years of success in sales development within the tech industry to revolutionize the approach of cannabis and CBD companies in bringing their products and services to market. Whether it’s devising strategic partnership and alliance programs to enhance a company’s market presence and drive sales, or innovating new sales channels to boost revenue streams, Rachel Amin excels in seamlessly integrating the essential frameworks of corporate America with her genuine dedication to empowering the legal cannabis and CBD sectors to thrive.

Steering Committee Member/Enthusiastic Volunteer Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation

Board Member, Chair of Strategic Partnerships (past) and Member of Leader Within Panel Georgia Association for Women Lawyers (GAWL)

Board Member Women in eDiscovery

Tickets $175

License Holders & WCCC MEMBERS $125