Board of Directors

Positions

James O’Hara (President and CEO)

Gerald Major (Vice-President)

Deepak Anand (Director)

Ranjeev Dhillon (Director)

Trina Fraser (Director)

Alison McMahon (Director)

Janet Noia (Secretary and Treasurer)

Vijay Sappani (Director)

Peter Thurley (Director)

 

Bio’s

Deepak Anand  (Director)

Deepak is Vice President of Business Development and Government Relations with Cannabis Compliance Inc. with a wealth of knowledge and experience in the cannabis industry. He is a public speaker and engaged with Canadian and international media on all subjects related to the cannabis industry.
He is a recognized thought leader in the Canadian cannabis space and brings 15 years of leadership experience in the health, charitable/non-profit and private sectors in Canada.
Within the global cannabis sector, Deepak has worked with senior government officials, politicians, policy makers, health professional organizations, clinical practitioners, educators, investors, patients as well as producers. He has also served on the boards of various pharmaceutical associations across Canada, the United States and Europe.

Ranjeev Dhillon  (Director)

Ranjeev is a partner at Bennett Jones LLP and is Co-Head of the Cannabis group and has a general corporate commercial practice. He advises clients in a broad range of corporate and commercial matters, including debt and equity financings, private equity and venture capital transactions, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, shareholder arrangements, corporate reorganizations, regulatory matters and public markets matters including IPOs and RTOs.  Ranjeev represents “plant touching” and “non-plant touching” private, public, domestic and international clients, with international experience in the US, UK, continental Europe, South America, Africa and Australia.

Trina Fraser (Director)

Trina is co-managing partner at Brazeau Seller Law and is an effective problem solver and trusted advisor to her business clients. While having a broad business law practice, Trina’s area of expertise is cannabis law. As head of BSL’s CannaLaw® group, Trina has emerged as a leading practitioner in cannabis law and is often called upon for comment and opinion.

In addition to acting for licensed producers of medical cannabis in Canada, she advises various other cannabis industry participants such as clinics, software/application providers, investors and capital funds, as well as those seeking entry to the soon-to-be legalized consumer (recreational) cannabis market.

Community involvement is very important to Trina. She sits on the board of directors of The Snowsuit Fund and provides legal services on a pro bono basis to several local not-for-profit organizations, including the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation, and Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana

Gerald Major  (Vice-President)

Gerald Major is a medical cannabis patient, a staunch chronic illness advocate and an arthritis survivor. Gerald started showing symptoms of inflammation in both knees at the age of 14. He was diagnosed at 23 with Ankylosing Spondylitis and Psoriatic Arthritis both inflammatory arthritis that ends in fusion in the back and peripheral joints. Gerald was very active when growing up so Arthritis was the furthest thing from anyone’s mind. “Arthritis affects all ages but somehow remains the invisible illness.” Gerald has had 9 surgeries in the last 8 years to repair  or replace damaged joints. He struggles with many comorbidities related to Spondyloarthritis. “I’ve had a very difficult journey and I feel giving back to others by advocating, educating and supporting will make things much better for everyone.  No one should have to go through the struggles of chronic illness alone, I’ve been there.”

Gerald is the President of the Canadian Spondylitis Association, board member and consumer group chair of the Arthritis Alliance of Canada, Best Medicine Coalition board member and member of Ontario Best Practice Research Initiative patient advisory committee. Gerald is frequently invited to share his story of Spondyloarthritis, Mental Health and Medical Cannabis by the health care community.  Gerald joined CFAMM in 2016 as he noticed the barriers to medical cannabis access for patients.  Gerald has eliminated sleeping pills and significantly reduced his opioid prescriptions by way of medical cannabis. “I worry about those people who can’t afford to make a safer choice and I worry about our current opioid crisis and the people dying daily.” “I will not stop advocating until we have Universal Pharmacare inclusive of Medical Cannabis and no Canadian is left behind.”  “We can do better together.”

Gerald’s Arthritis took him out of work 7 years ago where he was Senior Vice President of Operations for Citibank Hedge Fund Services North America. Gerald has a very supportive wife (Anna) and daughter Tessa.

Alison McMahon (Director)

Alison is the Founder & CEO of Cannabis At Work. Founded in 2015, Cannabis At Work is the leading source in Canada for cannabis jobs, recruitment services, online industry training, and workplace impairment training. Alison’s work has been featured in the Globe & Mail, Huffington Post, Financial Post, CBC, Business News Network (BNN), Leafly and by many other media outlets.

Alison was a term instructor for 5 years at the MacEwan School of Business in Edmonton, and she is a former board member with the Human Resources Institute of Alberta. Alison is a Certified Professional in Human Resources (CPHR) and holds a Bachelor of Human Resources & Labour Relations (B.HRLR).

Cannabis At Work has significant experience working in the regulated cannabis sector with Licensed Producers and Applicants. Alison has also provided education to employers on cannabis legalization and advised on drug policy changes.

Janet Noia (Secretary/Treasurer)

Janet is a CPA – Certified Public Accountant and has worked in various industries holding progressive leadership roles in Finance and Operations predominantly in the financial industry.

Janet brings her extensive experience and depth of financial expertise to CFAMM in fulfilling the role of Secretary/Treasurer.

James O’Hara (President & CEO)

James held senior IT leadership and Relationship Management positions at both the Director and Vice President levels in some of Canada’s largest banks and in senior consulting positions before being affected by Focal Awareness Seizures and subsequently becoming a medical cannabis patient.

Surprised at how relatively little awareness there was of the life-changing benefits of medical cannabis, James joined CFAMM as a full-time volunteer over a year ago to dedicate himself to work and campaign for access, affordability, awareness, and policy development before assuming the role and responsibility of President & CEO early in 2018.

James represents medical cannabis patients’ rights and issues at both federal and provincial levels of government and agencies, while working with various organizations and appearing in the press to educate and advocate for medical cannabis and is a frequent speaker at events.

Vijay Sappani (Director)

Vijay is the CEO of Ela Capital Inc, a boutique cannabis investment and advisory services firm. Vijay is known in the cannabis industry as the founder and former Chief Strategy Officer of TerrAscend, a publicly traded Canadian Cannabis company. He has been a speaker and panelist at many conferences and is a strong an advocate for patient rights.

Vijay has over 15 years of multinational experience in pharmaceuticals, medical devices, government and security.  He has served as Senior Special Assistant to the Ontario Minister of Health and Long Term Care and was a member of the board for the ministry’s Pharmacy Council. Currently he serves on the board of the MacDonald Laurier Institute, CDG Canada rare disease group and has previously served on the boards of over a dozen community and national organizations.

Peter Thurley (Director)

In October 2015, after the removal of a 25lb desmoid tumor and the repair of burst bowels, Peter Thurley turned to cannabis to help with pain relief, nausea control and appetite stimulation. After discovering the extent to which cannabis has led to a reduction in opioid use and a vastly improved quality of life, Peter became an ‘accidental advocate’ for medical patients in Canada.

A writer and communications professional based in Kitchener, Ontario, Peter Thurley brings 10 years of non-profit experience to the CFAMM team. You can find his cannabis bylines in the National Post, the Ottawa Citizen, The Growth Op and on CBC Opinion Online

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