Daniel Kruse, Germany
Daniel has more than 25 years of experience in industrial hemp. He is the founder of Hempro International GmbH, a vertically integrated, Düsseldorf-based producer and wholesaler of hemp food products and raw materials, textiles, accessories, and cosmetics. HempConsult GmbH, his independent consulting firm, advises entrepreneurs, start-ups, investors, and other industry stakeholders worldwide. Kruse is also a principal and takes active roles in HANF FARM, a farming and food company; cannabinoids producer MH medical hemp; and Hemp Factory, a solar-powered food factory. He has been president of the European Industrial Hemp Association since 2019, and has served on the EIHA board of directors since 2013.
Steve Allin, Ireland
Steve pioneered the International Hemp Building Association, which he serves as director. An author, teacher and consultant on ecological building, he has been building with hemp and promoting hemp’s use in construction all over the world for the last 20 years. He is currently involved in projects to rebuild with hemp in the post-earthquake areas of Haiti and Nepal while maintaining a busy workshop and speaking schedule. Steve lives in Rusheens, Kenmare, County Kerry, Ireland.
Hana Gabrielova, Czech Republic
Hana, founder and CEO at Czech-based Hempoint, is one of Europe’s pioneering and most innovative hemp entrepreneurs and a widely recognized expert on agricultural issues related to hemp and food. Her company advises farmers on hemp cultivation, and is an organic hemp food producer. She has worked on the environmental aspects of hemp and its potential in green transition and the bio-economy.
Alex Arkentis, UK
Alex is the CEO and Co-Founder of CanXchange, the European commodities exchange for physical hemp and CBD products. A serial technology entrepreneur and investor, Alex has been involved in successful startups in the UK and Europe. He and two co-founders started CanXchange in 2019 to advance industry standardization by creating the market and trading infrastructure needed to position cannabis as a thriving global commodity.
Boaz Wachtel, Israel
Boaz is Executive Chairman and CEO at Israel-based Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies Ltd. (Roots), the developer of root zone heating and cooling technology. He is also Chairman of publicly traded nutraceuticals maker CresoPharma of Australia. Boaz previously was co-founder and managing director of MMJ Phytotech, Australia’s first publicly traded medical cannabis company. A long-time cannabis activist, Boaz was a co-founder of the International Medical Cannabis Patient Coalition (IMCPC)
Tony Budden, South Africa
Tony is a founding partner at Hemporium, South Africa’s premier hemp company. Hemporium has pioneered the use of industrial cannabis products since 1996, built Africa’s first hemp house, and was instrumental in launching hemp-lime construction material in South Africa. He also is involved in hemp research trials in both South Africa and Malawi.
Richard Rose, USA
Richard helped pioneered the soyfoods (TofuRella, Inc. 500 in 1993), fresh/frozen prepared hemp foods (Hempeh Burger, with the only FDA-legal health claim on the label), and shelled hempseed (HempNut Inc, the first hempseed brand in North America) segments in 1980, 1994, and 1996. He is the author of two books on hemp foods, was first-mover by years in what is now 93% of Canadian hemp exports, and has been on CBS-TV/USA talking about hemp foods to millions. Richard developed Nobacco artisanal CBD hemp flowers for smoking (the first open-source hemp brand), Hemp Nut 2020 (to disrupt 15% of soya in 2020 with thousands of state-of-the-art appropriate-scale innovative seed shelling lines), and the US Farm Freedom Act of 2017 (the Industrial Hemp Act for today, not 1996). Richard writes and produces “The Richard Rose Report.”
Robert Clayton, USA
Robert Clayton is CEO and CTO at Fi Bear, Inc. a fiber-centric supply chain developer based in Tarpon Springs, Florida. A retired mechanical engineer, Clayton built the first hempcrete house in Florida in 2014, and spent the next five years lecturing and campaigning in Tallahassee and Washington for the right to farm hemp in Florida and across the USA. He played a key role in the eventual passage of the Florida Hemp Farming Act in 2019 and lobbied in Washington for the 2018 Farm Bill legalizing hemp farming in America. Fi Bear is developing a process to use Florida’s unique fiber strains for Florida’s year-round growing season. Clayton’s work is aimed at lowering the processing costs for Florida’s smaller farms targeting consumer products that can grow the fiber market incrementally. Early work shows how hemp can remediate soils from defunct citrus groves. He was a member of the Florida Hemp Advisory Board during the rollout, and he speaks at Florida Gulf Coast University’s hemp business classes. Clayton has worked as a consulting engineer for the offshore oil industry and at General Electric. He has published computer software and holds three patents, one of which for biomass processing.
Paul J. von Hartmann, USA
Paul is the founder of the California Cannabis Ministry, an international cannabis scholar, photojournalist and filmmaker. He is the author of Cannabis vs. Climate Change (2014), and the founder of Project P.E.A.C.E. – Planet Ecology Advancing Conscious Evolution, Energy & Economics.
Joel T. Bedard, USA
An avid student and practitioner of innovative approaches to soil and water quality management, Joel Bedard has been involved in agriculture, natural resources, engineering and entrepreneurship for more than 30 years. He is a Certified Professional Soil Scientist under the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service and a Certified Wetland Scientist, and has testified before the Vermont state legislature and the state’s U.S. Congressional delegation on sustainbility issues. Bedard is an equity partner in Victory Hemp Foods and the New England Cannabis Convention; a co-founder and principal in Ploughshare Development, LLC; the founder of Ashnan Resource Management; and serves as an advisory board member at CNY Hemp Processing Inc., New York.
Caren Kershner, USA
Caren Kershner has been an activist in the Colorado hemp movement since 2012, when the U.S. state legalized all forms of cannabis. An advocate for the plant and its potential to uplift economically depressed agricultural areas, she carried out early research on hemp as a dryland, high-altitude crop, and studied methods for reducing cross-pollination. She has also conducted case studies on medical marijuana patients, developed a basic curriculum for medical professionals treating MMJ patients at home and managed one of Colorado’s first medical marijuana dispensaries. An educator in science and art for 30 years, Kershner is a past recipient of the Grow Hemp Colorado Educator award (2014). She is the founder of Herbal Extraction Resource Specialists, a boutique consultancy.
Wolf Jordan, Belgium
Wolf is one of Europe’s leading experts in eco-construction and the production of high-quality natural building materials. He is the founder of Wolf Jordan & Co., which operates out of Greenbizz, a Brussels-based incubator that backs growth of startups focused on sustainability. Wolf’s company produces binder formulas for hempcrete construction, and natural oils and waxes for wood and stone. An old-world craftsman with more than 36 years experience in natural materials, Wolf is also an educator and innovator who has worked on building projects all over the world.
Sanford Stein, USA
Sandy is a leading authority in the regulated cannabis industry with emphasis on government regulations, legislation and business opportunities. He has legislative experience at every level of government, and has appeared as lead counsel before at the United States Supreme Court. He is the founder of Cannabis Law LLC.
Rafael Dulon, Germany
Rafael, CEO at Hanf Farm GmbH, has been involved in nearly all aspects of the hemp value chain since 1997. Trained in organic agriculture and marketing of high-quality hemp foods, he began with the cultivation of cannabis seeds in Saxony-Anhalt and Brandenburg, Germany as early as 1997, processing hemp seed into top-shelf edible oils. He is also the developer of the Multi-Combine HC 3400 hemp harvester, a major technological step forward that can help hemp farmers realize the full promise of the plant on a massive scale.
Boris Banas, Czech Republic
A hemp activist since 1998, Boris started growing hemp for research under Slovakian government licenses in 1999, and ultimately helped to push the government of Slovakia to adopt EU hemp-related farming rules in 2008. He launched CBDepot in 2014 with a mission to provide legal, high-quality cannabidiol-enriched products for the industrial and consumer markets. He is also co-founder and co-owner of Hemp Seed Oil Europe, ltd, a supplier of bulk and private label hemp seed derivatives. Boris is a graduate of the School of Finance, Matej Bel University, Slovakia.
Heinrich Wieker, Germany
Heinrich, founder and sole owner of Henry’s Hemp Harvester, is an electrical engineer by profession. He has 25 years of experience designing and implementing processing solutions for the automotive, chemical, pharmaceutical and nutrition industries. Henry was initially inspired to build the HHHarvester 700 after observing the laborious and expensive process of harvesting cannabis fields by hand. He eventually quit his job as a programmer of PLC and DCS in 2015 to turn to the planning and construction of sustainable smart-home projects with hempcrete and high-tech solutions. Henry holds a patent for the stripping technology that is at the heart of the HHH 700.
Marcin Krzyzkowiak, Poland
Marcin is an owner and board member at Poland-based food maker Bona Sp. z o.o. He is also the founder and sole owner of CannArch, a hemp start-up focused on sustainable solutions for the building industry, and Hemptation, a Polish hemp e-commerce platform. He was previously a business analyst at leading European hemp company HemPoland. Marcin, who has been involved in the hemp industry since 2014, earned an MBA from the Warsaw University of Technology where his studies concentrated on hemp and sustainability and sparked the first discussions about cannabis in Polish academic circles. He was a contributor to the landmark environmental book “Cannabis and Sustainable Development” (2018), and is a past TEDx speaker.
Marijn Roersch van der Hoogte, Germany
Marijn’s company, MRHemp, Berlin, is a consultant in the growing and use of hemp, from small-scale to large-scale industrial projects, with expertise spanning agriculture, logistics and trade. Marijn is the developer of the Hempseed Harvester from Swath at Hanffaser. The machine can harvest hemp seed from already cut hempstalks laying in a swath, providing a harvest of good quality fiber with good quality seed. Marijn has experience as a buyer of raw materials for production, and as coordinator of harvesting and other projects. He studied entrepreneurship at the University of Amsterdam and biology at the University of Utrecht.
Rachele Invernizzi, Italy
Rachele is founder and president at Crispiano, Taranto-based SouthHemp, a vertically integrated hemp enterprise that embraces some 250 farms in south Italy; the company’s processing factory turns out a wide range of raw materials that Italian hemp entrepreneurs are turning into food, paper, building materials, filaments for 3D hemp printing and other end-use products. She is also a founder of Federcanapa, the Italian hemp federation, organizer of the Milan-based Salone Internazionale Della Canapa annual exposition.
Sergiy Kovalenkov, Ukraine
Sergiy In 2015, he founded Hempire UA in Ukraine. He has worked on numerous hemp insulation projects around the globe including projects in Ukraine, Switzerland, France, Russia, Poland, Australia, and the USA. Hempire has received a number of awards for innovative technology and creative solutions to challenging hemp building projects. In 2018, Sergiy founded Hempire USA in California to focus on bringing new hemp processing technology and natural, innovative materials to North America. Sergiy is currently Director of University Relations Development at the U.S. Hemp Building Association.
Monika Brümmer, Spain
Monika is an architect specializing in hemp building, ecological and bioclimatic buildings, historic restoration, and rehabilitation of traditional cave dwellings. She is the inventor of Cannabric, pre-fabricated hemp-based building blocks which have been manufactured at her facility in Granada since 1999. A globally recognized consultant in hemp and other eco-construction, she is also a partner on an initiative to improve living conditions in Morocco’s High Central Rif that aims to capitalize on the economic potential of the region’s cannabis straw to retrofit older structures and for new builds made from hempcrete.
Debora Paulino, Portugal/Latvia
Deborah, co-founder of Obelisk Farm, has more than ten years of experience in communication, advertising and social networks. She holds a degree in Communication and Public Relations from the Polytechnic Institute of Guarda, and is currently finishing her Masters in Communication and Media at the Polytechnic Institute of Leiria. Debora is also Executive Director & Editor of the Portuguese edition of HempToday. Born in Lisbon, she currently lives in Latvia.
Nando Knodel, Germany
Nando is Co-Founder & Managing Director of HempConnect GmbH, Circular Carbon Removal Projects powered by industrial hemp and pyrogenic carbon capture & storage. He is a member of ChangemakerXchange, a global community of 900 of the world’s most dedicated social entrepreneurs, innovators, and activists from 100+ countries. During 4 years of experience in the hemp sector, Nando has specialized in agronomy, life-cycle assessment and carbon management of hemp. He holds a Bachelor’s and Master of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Hamburg and spent a year at Kyoto University where he specialized in global social entrepreneurship, business ethics, and inclusive economics.
Middle East & Asia
Muhammed A Qayyum, Pakistan
Muhammed is a natural products specialist and innovator working in herbals and nutraceuticals at Medics Laboratories Pvt. Ltd.,. He has served as an officer in a number of professional groups in the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and traditional medicine sectors. Muhammed served as a consultant to the World Health Organization in 2003 and 2005, advising on Good Manufacturing Practices, policy and regulatory framework for traditional medicines.
Dhiraj & Nivedita Shah, Nepal
The Shahs are founders of Shah Hemp Inno-Ventures, Nepal. The company sources hemp “wildcrop” from locals for a growing range of applications and products in health & beauty and hemp construction along with textiles. Through “hEmpowering Bottom Up,” SHIV works to advance economic and social development among Nepalese women. SHIV also has completed several hemp construction projects for distressed villagers and for public medical facilities.
Riki Hiroi, Japan
Riki’s Nigata-based consultancy, Each Japan, is an adviser on the import, export and wholesale hemp markets. A long-time leading Japanese cannabis advocate, Hiroi is also a mentor to Japanese cannabis entrepreneurs. He is also a director of HempToday Japan.
Yosuke Koga, Japan
Yosuke is Director at Japanese hemp company Prossimo, which is developing a broad portfolio of hemp-derived products and has retail operations in CBD and hemp footwear. An entrepreneur and researcher, Koga previously worked for Notomi Hospital in an initiative to introduce cannabinoid therapy to Japanese medical society. He is also Editor in Chief of HempToday Japan.
Harumi Kikuchi, Japan
Harumi is Representative Director at the Hokkaido Industrial Hemp Association, which works to deepen the understanding of industrial hemp in Japan and advances hemp cultivation and new hemp-related industries. Established in 2013 has 70 members among individuals, companies and organizations that support public awareness and the development of the hemp industry in Japan. HIHA carries out test growing; research and development; and overseas study tours.
Robert Ziner, Canada
Bobby is Founder & CEO, Canadian Industrial Hemp Corp. (CIHC), Toronto, which is developing an advanced hemp stalk processing and optimization system. Ziner has more than 30 years in the building materials distribution and secondary wood processing industries.
Carl Martel, Canada
Carl Martel is an independent scientist who has been researching industrial cannabis for over a decade. Formally trained as a geo-archaeologist with degrees in interdisciplinary science, Martel’s areas of research include plant carbons for energy storage, green extraction solutions and harvesting and processing innovations. Co-inventor of a Canadian developed grain disinfection system. he continues to explore and develop quality post-harvest management systems. Martel’s passion is developing processing solutions and products that encourage whole plant utilization including value-added products from plant biomass and agricultural waste. He is co-founder of the Advanced Botanical and Biomass Research Institute.
Mike Leago, USA
Mike is the founder and president of International Hemp Exchange (iHEMPx), the first licensed and bonded hemp broker in the United States and has been connecting buyers and sellers across the hemp supply chain since 2016. He is an expert on hemp genetics, farming best practices, supply chain management and consumer goods.
John Patterson, USA
John is a hemp builder and lecturer based in northern Colorado, and the founder of Tiny Hemp Houses. A carpenter and furniture designer by trade, he also has worked on commercial and residential building projects, and has researched sustainable living methods since the 1970s. John has specialized training in residential building, envelope and fenestration installation, and in 1997 designed and built his own off-the-grid home complete with its own solar-based electricity plant.
Pamela Bosch, USA
Pamela is an educator, artist and hemp activist. She is the founder of Highland Hemp House, a pioneering project in the State of Washington that is using hemp- lime and other natural materials for retrofit to create an ideal, healthy living space. She formerly taught at Bellingham Technical College and Northwest Indian College, also of Bellingham. A member of the Washington State Farm Bureau, Pamela works at both the state and federal levels to clear the path for growing, processing and making products from hemp.
Diego Bertone, Argentina
Diego is founder at Hemptech, an adviser on ecological crop management, project design, extraction and production. He is an agronomic engineer who graduated from the National University of Cordoba. Diegostudies and promotes both medical cannabis and industrial hemp in Argentina.
Manuel Baselga, Colombia
Manuel is a public affairs executive and social entrepreneur with 15+ years’ operational experience in over 25 emerging countries, mainly across Latin America and Africa. After co-founding UK-based Lignum Resources, a carbon efficiency project development firm invested in interests from solar power generation to sustainable forestry, Baselga joined Savanna, a cannabis investment fund. Although Savanna’s most visible asset is 613 Partners, a global cannabis services firm, industrial hemp remains a top priority for the company. Based in Colombia, the company is involved in R&D projects in genetics, technology and decarbonization.
Lorenzo Rolim, Brazil
Lorenzo is a consultant to international companies in the development of medicinal cannabis and industrial hemp projects, and is affiliated with Rhizo Sciences, Australia. He started his career in cannabis in California in 2015, later returning to Brazil to work in the first medicinal cannabis company based in the country in partnership with Bedrocan Brazil. After a few years of international consulting, Rolim da Silva dedicated his efforts to develop technologies in fiber processing. He is president and founder of the Latin American Industrial Hemp Association.
Arne Verhoef, South Africa
Owner at Hemp Hub, Arne is a trained biologist, and a horticulturist and developer of CBD health products based on hemp and other healing plants. He also manages The Stokvel Collective, a Community Supported Agriculture project that seeks to spread regenerative agriculture through grassroots action.