Our Team

The WM Policy staff—with decades of legislative, regulatory and public policy experience, and an impressive record of achievement in local, state and national political campaigns; far reaching and impactful policy development; effective and creative public awareness efforts; and powerful, change-making coalition building—works with lawmakers, advocates, industry groups and other allies to forge safe, fair and accessible cannabis policy across the country and around the world.

Brian Allison

Government Relations Director, Western Region

Brian leads Weedmaps’ Western Region team, which oversees the company’s political, campaign and regulatory policy engagement in 12 states. After nearly a decade advocating for the rights of state and local government workers represented by AFSCME, the nation’s largest public employee union, Brian brought his considerable campaign, policy and political fundraising experience to Weedmaps’ fight to create a more diverse and equitable cannabis marketplace in 2020. Brian is an avid guitarist with a mild addiction to high intensity workouts.

Bridget Hennessey

Vice President, Government Relations

Bridget offers 15 years concentrated experience working on government relations, communications, strategy development, campaign management, and public relations at all levels of government. She is a political junkie and soccer mom.

Candy Angel

Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility

As the first woman to join Weedmaps in 2010, Candy has been an integral force in understanding the importance of corporate social responsibility. Candy has created new divisions and programs including T.E.A.L which stands for “together for equity, access, and legalization,” has restructured and built departments, and has leveraged her relationships and networking prowess to capitalize on sponsorship opportunities that are minority and female-focused. Today, Candy manages relationships with multiple organizations across the country, develops Weedmaps social justice and social equity initiatives, and is working to incorporate more programs and partnerships to diversify the internal staff and the industry as a whole.

Carl Fillichio

Vice President

Cedric Haynes

Associate Vice President, Government Relations

Cedric brings a wealth of political, policy and procedural experience to Weedmaps as Associate Vice President of Government Relations. Prior, Cedric has led Weedmaps’ Emerging Markets team, overseeing legislative, regulatory, coalition building and advocacy efforts in newly-forming marketplaces and the federal government. He also collaborated with the public policy team on research, strategy and relationship building as Director of Public Policy and Partnerships. Cedric’s prior experience includes leading the Transportation Security Subcommittee in the US House of Representatives, as well as representing some of America’s largest corporations and prominent startups to state and local governments, largely focusing on technology and transportation. When Cedric is not gushing about his hometown (Jackson, Mississippi)… nevermind, he is always gushing over Jackson, Mississippi.

Christy Umfress

Associate Project Manager

Christy has been with Weedmaps for over 5 years and provides strategic, logistical and administrative support for the Government Relations department. Managing the day to day operations and special projects for the team, she strives to ensure goals and deadlines are seamlessly met. Prior to Weedmaps, Christy worked for Mercedes Benz under Research and Development as an Operations Specialist. Her perfect weekend includes visiting Disneyland and listening to Dolly Parton.

Lizzie Kirshenbaum

Associate Director of East Coast

Lizzie represents Weedmaps’ East Coast Government Relations presence. She works with government officials and industry partners to bring legalization and cannabis reform to the East Coast. Prior to joining Weedmaps, Lizzie worked on the Public Policy team at Airbnb working on community mobilization, campaign operations and eventually global policy development.

Summer Fox

Manager of Policy

Summer heads the public policy tracking, research, and analysis efforts at Weedmaps and helps develop the company’s position on all things related to cannabis policy. She also manages the content on wmpolicy.com and the WM Policy social media accounts. Summer joined Weedmaps in 2019 while completing a master’s degree in public policy from the University of California, Irvine. She loves national parks, scuba diving, and theme parties.

Thanh To

Grassroots/Advocacy Campaign Associate

Thanh is the Grassroots/Advocacy Campaign Associate and focuses on spreading awareness of the many benefits of cannabis legalization and regulation – whether it be advocating for its medicinal use for patients, the social justice impacts it has on communities and individuals affected by its prohibition, or the untapped revenue potential it can generate for all levels of government. He joined the Weedmaps team in 2018 immediately after completing his Master’s in Public Policy and has been passionate about shifting the narrative about cannabis through government relations ever since. Thanh also holds a license from the Federal Aviation Administration to dispatch aircrafts; however, he ultimately chose to help people (instead of planes) get higher.

Tim Sullivan

Director of Grassroots Advocacy

Tim leads Weedmaps’ grassroots campaigns nationwide, working to empower cannabis patients, consumers, and entrepreneurs to speak their truths to power and help shape laws that allow safe access and fair business opportunities. Prior to joining the Weedmaps team in 2018, he managed public affairs campaigns aimed at ending state prohibitions on sports betting and daily fantasy sports. Tim earned a master’s in political management from George Washington University and is a graduate of the University of Delaware.

Alex Spyropoulos

Regional Legislative Associate, East Coast

Alex is a part of Weedmaps’ Government Relations team on the East Coast, where he works to engage with government officials and other key stakeholders to drive forward cannabis legalization and reform to states. Prior to joining Weedmaps, Alex worked for several years at a top lobbying firm in New York City, in addition to experience in government and on political campaigns. Alex is an avid sports fan and enjoys exploring different communities via their culinary scene.

John Cleveland

Regional Legislative Associate, West Coast

John Connor Cleveland is a member of Weedmaps’ government relations team on the West Coast, where he supports the company’s legislative and regulatory priorities across ten states. John brings more than a decade of experience in federal and state government, public affairs and the non-profit sector, including four years as director of policy and external communications for the governor of South Carolina. John is an avid skier, reader, writer and live music enthusiast. He lives in Sonoma County, California, with his fiancee, Allison, and his dog, Leo.

Kamry Parks

Policy Communications Associate

As the Policy Communications Associate Kamry assists in the development, editing, and execution of all external communications for WM Policy including but not limited to articles, op-eds, and fact sheets. Kamry also develops and manages content across all WM Policy social media platforms including Twitter, Medium, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube. Kamry is an alumna of the University of California, Los Angeles, and is currently completing her Master of Public Administration at the University of Southern California.

Keegan Gendron

Policy Research Associate

Keegan focuses on policy research and analysis at Weedmaps, including authoring the whitepapers and helping develop company positions on legislative and regulatory cannabis policy. He brings a strategic and abstract mindset to policy work that he honed during his time in the utility industry working on renewable energy policy. With being in the cannabis industry and his education in environmental economics from Michigan State University, its safe to say that Keegan is all about “green”. In his free time, he enjoys spending time at northern Michigan wineries and photographing nature.

Manelle Martino

Senior Director, Government Relations and Strategy

Manelle brings an entrepreneureal lens to the GR team. Manelle was co-founder and Chief Business Developement officer of Canneya and Canncurrent two compliance focused platforms acquired by Weedmaps in 2021. Prior to that Manelle launched a retail tea company, Capital Teas, which grew to 24 locations nationwide and gained a spot on the Inc. 5000 fastest growing companies. After selling her interest in the company, Manelle volunteered her time to help women get elected to political office and joined a Maryland-based lobbying firm representing clients in cannabis, healthcare, and non-profit sectors. Graduated from Columbia University with a degree in Political Science and Latin American Studies. She is an avid tennis and pickleball player and trained mezzo-soprano who at times will break into song.

Rebeca Herrera

Associate Project Manager

Rebeca provides strategic, logistical and administrative support to the Government Relations team as an Associate Project Manager. Rebeca entered the cannabis space as co-founder of Everday, a CBD brand for Latinx professionals, and currently serves as board member of the International Cannabis Consulting Business Women’s Association (ICBWA). Prior, Rebeca worked for the Government of Mexico in the U.S. both at the Embassy of Mexico in Washington, D.C. and the Consulate General of Mexico in Los Angeles. Rebeca brings a wealth of experience in public diplomacy and the U.S.-Mexico relations. Rebeca is a foodie at heart who loves traveling and cooking.

Tyler Butler

Associate Vice President, Corporate Social Impact

Tyler leads all social impact work within the Weedmaps’ corporate portfolio. As the company’s chief social impact officer, she is responsible for efforts dedicated to corporate responsibility, equity, sustainability and community. Tyler has nearly 20 years’ experience creating and developing global programs that positively impact humanity. Tyler is a graduate of the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship and loves to travel and practice pilates.

Cannabis industry overview

National overview

Economic impact

Overview of licensing types

Public opinion polling on cannabis

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