A panel of experts, including a representative from the Champaign Police Department will provide facts and address questions from the audience.
Eli has been a data-driven researcher throughout his career. He previously worked as an analyst for Nielsen, where he provided analysis to Nielsen’s retail clients for use in pricing, promotion and assortment decisions. He’s also been a consultant for data companies in the cannabis industry. Eli now employs his analytical expertise for Marijuana Business Daily.
Christine Herman is a chemist turned audio journalist. She's a reporter for Illinois Public Media, the NPR member station serving east-central Illinois. In that role, she's also part of the Midwest health reporting collaboration Side Effects Public Media and the NPR/Kaiser Health News partnership. Christine is a mom of three small children and aspiring aerial artist. Bylines include NPR, Kaiser Health News, CNN Health, Chemical & Engineering News and Scientific American’s 60-Second Science podcast.
Bret L. Bender, J.D., Deputy Director Medical Cannabis Unit Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
In 2013, Bret was a legislative attorney in the Illinois House of Representatives where he wrote substantial portions of the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act. Bret left the legislature after the 2015 legislative session to help start up a cultivation center in Chicago and dispensary in Springfield, holding the titles of Agent-in-Charge and General Manager at each location. His responsibilities included establishing and enforcing compliance procedures, providing employee training, personnel, and cultivation center building and equipment maintenance. While still working in the Illinois medical cannabis industry in 2017, Bret and a partner formed B&B Grow Solutions and earned a contract with the State of Ohio to advise the Department of Commerce on writing that state’s medical cannabis cultivation administrative rules. After spending 2018 writing cannabis cultivation and dispensary license applications in several states, Bret returned to Illinois state government in 2019 to begin working in his current role overseeing the state’s regulation of dispensaries.
Jim Dey, is a staff writer for The News-Gazette
Champaign Police Department