Chronic Risk Podcast

Tune in to the NCRMA Chronic Risk Podcast for expertise, updates, and resources from leaders in the cannabis industry.

ChronicRisk Episode 20: Enviro-Sciences Inc with Irv Cohen

On this episode of ChronicRisk, we discuss how to mitigate environmental hazards that can compromise the safety of your cannabis product. To highlight the importance of these realities and discuss how to find necessary solutions, NCRMA’s Chief Risk Management Officer Alex Hearding is joined by Irv Cohen, President and CEO Enviro-Science Inc. ESI’s team of experts develop compliant environmental solutions in the pre-application or application phase, providing site evaluations and consulting to help cannabis businesses achieve their goals safely, efficiently and cost effectively.

ChronicRisk Episode 19: Paybotic with VP of Partner Relationships Mahlon James

It’s no secret that local and federal regulations make banking, cash handling and payment processing very challenging for the cannabis industry. As a result, cannabis businesses are expected to function with significant financial and operational gaps, leaving them susceptible to high levels of risk such as fraud, theft, and compliance.Determined to find a customizable and dependable solution for our members, we found Paybotic: a team of experts committed to ensuring the best possible point-of-sale experience that simultaneously maximizes operations in the most cost-effective ways possible.Paybotic’s VP of Development, Mahlon James, joins Tamala McBath on this episode of ChronicRisk to shed light on how Paybotic differentiates itself from other payment processing platforms on the market.

ChronicRisk Episode 18: TRICHOME With Dr. Brenda Wells

On this episode of Chronic Risk, we are joined by an extra-special host, Dr. Brenda Wells, Director of Risk Education Strategies LLC, Robert F. Bird Distinguished Professor & Director of the RMI Program at East Carolina University, and proud Service Partner of the NCRMA. Dr. Wells meets with NCRMA Chairman, Rocco Petrilli, who is leading the charge in delivering effective risk management and insurance options for the cannabis industry through the recent launch of TRICHOME. Together, they discuss the creation of TRICHOME and how it’s products & insurance offerings differ from the other cannabis insurance offerings currently in the marketplace.


ChronicRisk Episode 17: Simplifya with VP of Partnerships Brooke Butler

Staying on top of the ever-changing rules and regulations while running a business in cannabis is no small feat. That is why the NCRMA is thrilled to welcome Simplifya, the leading provider of regulatory and operational compliance software for the cannabis industry, to our network of Service Partners. Together, the NCRMA and Simplifya recognize the value compliance and risk mitigation will increasingly play in the burgeoning cannabis industry. On this episode of ChronicRisk we are joined by Brooke Butler, Simplifya’s VP of Partnerships, who dives into what the software is and how cannabis businesses can benefit from it. She explains at what point in business development new cannabis businesses should bring in the platform and what businesses are risking by not investing in it. The number one way to mitigate and manage risk is through compliance and being ready for the next regulatory challenge. Whether you’re a new or mature cannabis business, our goal is to provide you with the tools and savings needed to identify, manage and eliminate the risks inherent in this highly regulated industry. 


ChronicRisk Episode 16: Preparing for Compliance with Jenny Germano 

On this episode of ChronicRisk, we are joined by NCRMA Service Partner and Academy Course Contributor, Jenny Germano of ICS Consulting Services. She joins us to discuss her new course, Preparing for Compliance in the Cannabis Industry, shedding light on the importance of adhering to compliance standards and how to set up a comprehensive compliance program.

ChronicRisk Episode 15: DreamLeaf Partners with Andrew Hatch and Bryan Turbett

We’re proud to introduce you to the NCRMA’s newest Service Partner, DreamLeaf Partners! DreamLeaf specializes in the development of compliance and cultivation solutions for the cannabis and hemp industries. Joining us on ChronicRisk are their principal consultants, Bryan Turbett and Andrew Hatch, who have more than 30 years of combined experience and are passionate about helping clients achieve their most strategic business objectives. Whether you are a small farm that needs help sourcing location-appropriate genetics or a vertically-integrated firm concerned with compliance across the supply chain, you’ll find value in this conversation. Use this opportunity to learn about Andrew and Bryan’s expertise as they’re also developing courses for our NCRM Academy Product Safety track, including a Cannabis Contaminant course and a course on Product Recall. Check out the podcast today and stay tuned for updates on their courses, coming soon.

ChronicRisk Episode 14: Cannabis Occupational Safety and Health with Alex Hearding

On this episode of ChronicRisk, NCRMA Chief Risk Management Officer Alex Hearding joins us to provide insight on occupational safety in the cannabis industry. He has developed four new Cannabis Occupational Safety and Health courses for the NCRM Academy. For More information on all specific courses go to

ChronicRisk Episode 13: DK4 Decontamination Services with Dan And Brandon Kent

Now more than ever it’s clear that contamination is an issue that isn’t just going to go away. As testing regulations tighten over the cannabis industry, the need for high-level, effective, and safe decontamination options has become paramount. On this episode of ChronicRisk, we’re highlighting the expertise of the NCRMA’s newest service partner, DK4 Decontamination Services LLC. DK4 is the premier provider of hospital-grade surface and complete room decontamination for the transportation, healthcare, hospitality, pharmaceutical, and other commercial industries. In mid-December, DK4 launched its cannabis initiative with the goal of providing the cannabis industry with access to SteraMist™ decontamination and sanitization options. DK4’s founding members Dan Kent and Brandon Kent join NCRMA Chief Risk Management Officer Alex Hearding to discuss their plans to devote a majority of their efforts to combat the primary contributor to product loss in the cannabis industry.

ChronicRisk Episode 12: Sunshine Design with Sonny Antonio (Part 2)

Sunshine Design with Sonny Antonio (Part 2). Tune in to Part 2 of NCRMA’s Industry Spotlight with Sonny Antonio from Sunshine Design. In this compelling second installment, he and NCRMA Chief Risk Management Officer Alex Hearding discuss the common and costly mistakes that new businesses make by overlooking proper utility design in the beginning stages of planning. When you don’t think about proper utility design, power may become a limiting factor in the growth of your business and can result in tens if not thousands of dollars’ worth of loss. Don’t miss this discussion around the importance of having a firm understanding of what power your facility has, how to identify what power it needs and how to most effectively get it.

Chronic Risk Episode 11: Sunshine Design with Sonny Antonio (Part 1) 

On this two-part episode of Chronic Risk, we’re highlighting the expertise of Sonny Antonio, founder and CEO of Sunshine Design. Sonny specializes in full service utility design for commercial and residential building projects and has streamlined the process of applicant design from start to finish. He joins NCRMA Chief Risk Management Officer Alex Hearding to discuss the importance of assessing and understanding the utility needs that your cannabis business requires. Throughout the invaluable discussion, he touches upon what you need to know ahead of time when looking at potential properties and what you might run into along the way. Tune in to Part 1 of the discussion to learn more on how to ensure that your money is being spent wisely on utilities, how to work with your power company to get what you need and so much more. 

Chronic Risk Episode 10: The Effective Combination of Captive Insurance and Risk Management 

The Effective Combination of Captive Insurance and Risk Management for the Cannabis Industry with Ian Stewart. Today we are joined by someone who can provide us insight into the legalization of cannabis and risk management. Our guest is Ian Stewart, a partner with the Wilson Elser law firm. Ian has defended complex litigation in state and federal courts for more than 20 years with a focus on product liability, complex general casualty, cannabis law, transportation and marine claims, data privacy and security, and intellectual property litigation. Ian is co-chair of the firm’s Cannabis Law practice.


Chronic Risk Episode 9: Scalable Living Soil 

Scalable Living Soil with Cassandra Maffey of Force Of Nature LTD. Recently named one of the Top 50 Women in Cannabis by HighTimes Magazine, Cassandra Maffey has over 20 years of cultivation leadership experience within regulated cannabis markets across the United States and Europe. She pioneered the Scalable Living Soil Cultivation system, which produces award-winning cannabis in commercial-scale gardens worldwide.

Chronic Risk Episode 8: Branch Benefits Consultants 

Branch Benefits Consultants with Rachel Rizzi, VP Sales and Marketing and Rena Trodick, Cannabis Insurance Sales Executive. Like many independent insurance agencies, the story of Branch Benefits Consultants begins with a seed planted generations before its current stature. In the wake of his father’s passing, Aubrey Branch discovered first-hand the impact that proper life insurance, or lack thereof, can have on a family when it is needed most, particularly in the African American community. He spent the next decade dedicated to helping as many families as possible to ensure their protection through the placement of life insurance.

Chronic Risk Episode 7: Brand Development in Cannabis

Brand development in cannabis Meghan Lynch, CEO of Six-Point Creative. Six-Point Creative is a brand development agency with a special focus on working with second-stage companies. Their Solve for why the program is designed to help companies navigate the very specific demands of the “second stage” in their business’s life cycle — and achieve a next-stage vision. Six-Point’s process starts with deep listening and strategy, includes methods of employee education and engagement to increase buy-in and success, and then follows with a proven creative process that builds authentic brand identities informed by our clients’ values, personality, and aspirations.

Chronic Risk Episode 6: Standardization of Cannabinoid Medicine

Standardization of Cannabinoid Medicine with Brad Hunt, President of ADVENT Academy. Along with cannabis legalization have come anxious and eager patients looking to healthcare experts for answers to all their cannabis-related questions. Any healthcare practitioner knows how uncomfortable it is to not have scientifically-backed and medically focused answers for patients. The overarching issue is that patient access to cannabis medicine has preceded the education of healthcare professionals in the field. The solution is to train healthcare professionals in cannabis and cannabinoid medicine so that patients continue to have access to knowledgeable and trustworthy providers. The AC Clinics, putting patients first in legal medical cannabis markets means providing them with experts who can support them. Medical cannabis laws vary from country to country worldwide, and from state to state in the US.

Chronic Risk Episode 5: Risk Management in Cannabis

Risk Management in Cannabis with Brenda Powell Wells. Brenda holds both a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Ph.D. in Risk Management and Insurance from the University of Georgia. She also holds the Charter Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) and Accredited Advisor of Insurance (AAI) designations. Brenda completed her Ph.D. in 1992 and spent 17 years teaching risk management and insurance in Texas. In 2009 she moved to East Carolina University (ECU) to build new risk management and insurance program. She presently serves as the director of that program and is the Robert F. Bird Distinguished Professor of Risk and Insurance. During her career, she has taught Principles of Insurance, Risk Management, Commercial Liability Insurance, Commercial Property Insurance, Insurance Company operations, Employee Benefits and Retirement Planning, and Senior Topics in Finance. She has also supervised countless internships and independent study projects.

Chronic Risk Episode 4: The Next Generation Of Cannabis-Related Businesses with Troy Dayton

The next generation of cannabis-related businesses with Troy Dayton of The Arcview Group. At The Arcview Group, they believe that business is the most powerful platform for political change and that the development of a responsible, profitable, and politically-engaged legal cannabis industry will be the single biggest factor in hastening the day when not a single adult in the world is punished for this plant. With deep industry experience, The Arcview Group has ushered in the next generation of cannabis-related businesses with The Arcview Investor Network, Arcview Market Research, Canopy, Cannasure Insurance Services, and other ground-breaking ventures. Cannabis is the next great industry.

Chronic Risk Episode 3: The Insurance Solution For The Cannabis Industry with David Kennedy

The Insurance solution for the cannabis industry with David M. Kennedy, Esq. from Purple Risk Insurance Services. Purple Risk’s mission is to provide superior insurance and risk management solutions to current and prospective clients in the legal cannabis industry by coupling tailored seed to sale insurance coverage and risk mitigation services while maintaining enduring relationships with our insurance industry markets. David M. Kennedy, Esq., is an insurance broker and attorney with over fifteen years of experience working with clients in risk management, coverage analysis, litigation, product development, and claims consulting. Passionate about innovation, insurance, and the plant, he launched Purple Risk to bring custom risk solutions to the cannabis industry. Their team of advisors is comprised of a diverse group of innovators with a broad depth of knowledge and experience in risk management, insurance, and legal and compliance counseling to highly-regulated industries including the cannabis industry. The name of the company is inspired by carefully cultivated cannabis with a deep purple hue that is affectionately called “purps”. Renowned for high quality, potent yields known to help a myriad of health conditions from anxiety to insomnia to pain relief, the purple cannabis family includes Indica dominant varieties such as Purple Urkle, GDP, and Purple Kush. Purple Risk is dedicated to cultivating best-in-class cannabis insurance coverage and risk management services for our clients’ unique business needs to help relieve the anxiety of, and exposure to, risks associated with the rapidly growing cannabis industry.

Chronic Risk Episode 2: Transform The Expertise And Understanding of The Cannabis Industry with Jessica Velazquez

Transform the expertise and understanding of the cannabis industry with Jessica Velazquez, President of Indiva Advisors. Indiva’s mission is to transform the expertise and understanding of the evolving cannabis industry into innovative, value-added solutions for their clients, their business partners, and their community. Indiva assisted business owners and c-suite executives in achieving their goals by providing guidance on tax and general business matters. They’ve worked with closely held businesses, as well as publicly-traded multinationals across a variety of industries, including gaming, retail, and manufacturing. Jessica Velazquez is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensed in Illinois & Nevada and Managing Partner of Indiva Advisors LLP. Jessica assists business owners to navigate through unique accounting, tax, and financial industry challenges. She guides c-suite executives to achieve their goals by providing guidance on tax and general business matters. She brings with her a wide array of experience, working with closely-held businesses as well as publicly-traded multinationals, across a variety of industries such as gaming, retail, and manufacturing. Jessica hails from traditional business, having worked for public accounting firms PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ernst & Young, as well as In 2013, Jessica started her own practice with an emphasis on income tax planning and strategic business consulting for closely held companies. After identifying a gap for qualified professionals in the cannabis industry, she sought advice from state and federal oversight boards and realized that her past experiences gave her the ability to understand the needs of both large and small, and decided to take the leap. Jessica is Indiva Advisors’ main authority in 280E and general tax matters for individuals, partnerships, and corporations. She is responsible for representing clients in federal audit and collection cases and has a wealth of experience with state and local tax matters. She enjoys problem-solving and working with clients to achieve their tax and business goals.


Chronic Risk Episode 1: Risk Protection with Alex Hearding

The National Cannabis Risk Management Association (NCRMA) has appointed Alex Hearding, a scientist and cannabis industry veteran, as its first Chief Risk Management Officer. Hearding’s role will include the introduction of a cannabis risk protection model and the development of a suite of educational offerings exclusively for NCRMA members. The first phase of this comprehensive syllabus will include training and certifications in the areas of cannabis occupational health and safety, becoming an internal risk manager, cannabis business failure modes and effects analysis and disaster planning. NCRMA provides a rapidly growing membership with pioneering and innovative risk management and insurance solutions through its expansive list of high-value service partners and offerings. Founded in 2018, the not-for-profit has established itself as the leader in providing cost-effective and comprehensive non-traditional risk management solutions to the non-traditional cannabis market.


"There is no more neutrality in the world. You either need to be part of the solution or you will be part of the problem." - Eldridge Cleaver