Women in Cannabis

July 28, 2018 | 3:40 pm | Room 102 | Business / Legal

Join this panel of distinguished women entrepreneurs while they discuss what it means to be a woman in the cannabis industry.


Aja Nicole Atwood; Motivator / Entrepreneur / Engineer / Advocate

Aja is an entrepreneur, team-leader, and cannabis advocate with over 15 years of experience in the engineering industry. She is a mechanical engineer by education and graduated cum laude from Northeastern University. She cut her teeth professionally as an engineering consultant and specialist, working in natural catastrophe risk engineering, and by 2011 started her first entrepreneurial businesses. Through these experiences, Aja honed her technical skills, fostered the engineering talent of her team, and learned valuable lessons along the way. Aja’s business ethos is rooted in the belief that success comes from creating innovative technologies that can be shared with communities that need them the most

Tara Hopper

Tara J. Hopper,General Counsel, Garden Remedies –

Hopper brings to GRI, 15 years of government and human services experience, and will enhance the
company’s presence on Beacon Hill and help keep the company informed on all of the complex statutes
and regulations in the Cannabis and Marijuana industry. Hopper is licensed to practice law in
Massachusetts and Florida, as well as a Licensed Certified Social Worker (LCSW) who focuses on the
benefits of Cannabis for Mental Health and Substance Abuse. Hopper comes to GRI with significant legal
experience in the cannabis industry and enjoys implementing the various regulatory components that
are manifesting legalization of marijuana in Massachusetts.
Hopper previously worked as General Counsel for the Association of Developmental Disabilities
Providers, Inc. (ADDP) in Massachusetts, and at Florida’s Protection & Advocacy (P&A) system, where
she was the director of public policy and a mental health advocate who advocated for adequate funding
for necessary supports and services within the Florida legislature. She later became Chief of Staff to a
Florida State Senator who chaired the Committee on Children and Families, as well as serving on the
Select Committee for Medicaid Reform, Judiciary and Ways & Means.
After earning her Juris Doctorate (JD) in South Florida, Hopper received her Master of Laws (LL.M.) in
health law and public policy from Seton Hall University School of Law. Within the LL.M. program,
Hopper focused strongly on Food and Drug Administration (FDA) law regarding food, pharmaceutical
drugs and medical devices. She also put a strong emphasis on the Health Insurance Portability and
Accountability Act (HIPAA) and how a company must obtain compliance with HIPAA.
Hopper’s knowledge and experience in Cannabis law, FDA law, HIPAA, mental health advocacy and
government and regulatory compliance will be utilized to continue all of the great mechanisms that are
in place at GRI.

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Heidi Arsenault

Heidi A. Arsenault is the founder and CEO of GrassHopperHub, a leading b2b business platform connecting buyers and sellers in the legal cannabis industry. A former technology executive with Microsoft and Real Networks, Arsenault was an early investor and entrepreneur in the legal cannabis industry. She is a well-known thought leader and industry speaker on the legal cannabis market, providing insights on how to integrate technology within this burgeoning, non-traditional industry. Arsenault frequently speaks on leveraging technology to further accelerate revenue and better manage growth, and best practices to optimize the supply chain.


Shoshanna N. Silverberg

Shoshanna is a connector of people and a mover of information. She finds strategic points of entry into the cannabis industry for professionals, companies and 501(c) organizations seeking to leverage their expertise from outside the space and assists companies already in the space to expand their network and develop their brands from a thought leadership perspective. Shoshanna also works with investors who are seeking socially impactful opportunities, universities seeking to introduce cannabis-driven subject matter into their curricula and media companies interested in sourcing stories about innovation in Cannabis and the industry’s constantly evolving culture. She holds a Juris Doctor from Elon University School of Law and a Master of Arts in Holistic Thinking from the Graduate Institute in Bethany, Connecticut. You can learn more at https://www.snsmjconsulting.com/.

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Francesca DeMauro-Palminteri – Communications Director – Sea Hunter Therapeutics

Francesca is a seasoned marketing expert who brings over 15 years of experience in marketing and communications expertise to Sea Hunter Therapeutics. Prior to cannabis, Francesca worked in the luxury fashion and beauty industries overseeing marketing and business development for an iconic Estee Lauder brand. As a dynamic marketing strategist, Francesca drove brand awareness and loyalty through robust consumer engagement strategies combined with synergistic partnerships with like-minded brands, media and influencers, to ultimately surpass revenue goals year on year. Francesca currently manages communications for all Sea Hunter Therapeutics brands, strategic relations, education and socially responsible marketing initiatives in the cannabis industry.