Positions

Gerald Major (President)
Max Monahan-Ellisson (VP & Director of Strategy & Communications)
Deepak Anand (Director)
Trina Fraser (Director)
Vijay Sappani (Director & Interim Treasurer)
Peter Thurley (Director)


Bio’s

Deepak Anand  (Director)

Deepak is recognized as a thought leader in the global cannabis space. In addition to his board position at CFAMM, he currently serves as the co-founder & CEO of Materia Ventures, a European-focused supply and distribution company for medical cannabis and CBD products.

He previously served as vice president of business development and government relations at Cannabis Compliance, a Canadian cannabis consulting firm; vice president of Zenabis, a Health Canada-licensed producer; and as a board member for various pharmaceutical associations across Canada, the United States and Europe. 





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



Omar Khan

A seasoned political and public policy professional, Omar brings focused experience in strategy development for effective public affairs and crisis communications. He has more than 15 years of experience working on issues of public policy, stakeholder management, and communications bringing a deep understanding of the inner workings of government and politics having spent more than a decade working at senior levels of the Ontario government, as well as federal and provincial election campaigns.

With a diverse policy background across healthcare, economics, regulatory affairs, and labour relations, Omar has a proven track record developing complex policy proposals, building stakeholder coalitions and leading communications plans.

Most recently, Omar served as Chief of Staff to the Ontario Minister of Health and Long-Term Care where he was responsible for, among other things, providing insights and counsel on emerging issues, strategic decisions and policy development to the Minister, Premier’s Office and other Cabinet members. He has also worked as Chief of Staff at the Office of the Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Employment, and at the Office of the Minister of Government Services. He has been Senior Policy and Stakeholder Relations Advisor with the Offices of the Attorney General of Ontario, the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities and the Minister of Labour.

Omar holds a bachelors degree in political science from the University of Western Ontario, serves on the board of directors for War Child Canada and is an active member of Civic Actions Escalator advisory board.


Gerald Major  (President)

Gerald Major is a medical cannabis patient, staunch chronic illness advocate and arthritis warrior. 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’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. “I’ve had a very difficult journey and dedicate myself to improving the lives of others by advocating, educating and supporting. No one should have to go through the struggles of chronic illness alone.”

Gerald joined CFAMM in 2016 as he noticed the barriers to medical cannabis access for patients, with cost being a major factor. He eliminated sleeping pills and significantly reduced his opioid prescriptions by way of medical cannabis but many cannot afford their full dose.“Canada is experiencing an opioid crisis that is destroying families and killing Canadians. I worry about those people who can’t afford to make the safer choice and everyone who has trouble accessing this important treatment. I will not stop advocating until Canadians access the treatment and support they need. We can do better together.”  

Gerald is also 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. 


Vijay Sappani (Director)

Vijay Sappani is the CEO of Ela Capital Inc, a boutique investment and advisory services firm focused on cannabis, medical devices and healthcare sector. Vijay is the founder and former Chief Strategy Officer of TerrAscend, a publicly traded Canadian Cannabis company. He is also board member of Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana (CFAMM) and has been a speaker and panelists in many conferences.

Vijay has over 15 years of multinational experience in pharmaceuticals, medical devices, government and security. He has held senior positions with Natco Pharma, Mylan and Biovail. He also 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. Vijay holds a Bachelor of Pharmacy from and a post-graduate in marketing management.



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

En Français »