GMMHF » Speakers

Come listen to local activists as well as global cannabis experts


Meet The Speakers

Industry leaders here to educate and enlighten us!

Paul Stanford

Paul Stanford
Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp

Paul Stanford has been a cannabis activist for over 40 years, when he went to the White House Smoke-in a week after his 18th birthday, in 1978. Stanford was Washington State NORML director 1982-84. He moved to Oregon in 1984, and helped the Oregon Marijuana Initiative qualify for the vote in 1985, to become Ballot Measure 5 in 1986, which was defeated. This was the earliest Oregon initiative petition to ever qualify for a vote, over a year before the election, and it was the second time in United States history that a state voted to legalize marijuana. Stanford worked with Jack Herer on the first and subsequent editions of his seminal hemp manifesto, The Emperor Wears No Clothes. After studying in China, Stanford began importing hemp paper and fabric from China 1988-97. In 1996, Stanford began producing and hosting a weekly cable TV show in Portland called Cannabis Common Sense. Stanford founded THCF, The Hemp & Cannabis Foundation, in 1999 and began working with doctors to help medical marijuana patients obtain their state authorizations. THCF Medical Clinics has helped over 270,000 people become legal, licensed medical marijuana patients, first in Oregon, then opening offices in Washington State, Hawaii, Colorado, Montana, Michigan and Arizona. Stanford used the profits from his medical clinics to fund another state vote to legalize marijuana, qualifying Ballot Measure 80 for Oregon's 2012 election. Stanford is a speaker at many international cannabis events in Spain, Chile, Uruguay, Argentina, Japan, Mexico and Colombia, and in America too, such as the Seattle Hempfest, the New York City Cannabis Parade and the oldest cannabis event in the USA, the Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Fest in Madison, Wisconsin, where he gave his first speech in 1988. Stanford was attacked by an Israeli/Canadian corporation, Adira Energy, partially owned by George Soros, and is currently fighting a hostile corporate takeover in court to regain control of his medical clinic business. Stanford is still producing weekly episodes of his TV show, Cannabis Common Sense, and holding clinics to help patients qualify in Oregon with several doctors who quit working for the corporate raiders. For more information, call 503-235-4606.

Farmer Bill

Farmer Bill
Hemp Nebraska

Farmer Bill Hawkins is an organic farmer, herbalist and wildcrafter. He has been a longtime environmental activist involved in a variety of local sustainable community and agriculture issues. He lives in a tipi on a farm in Nebraska. As part of HEMPNEBRASKA and the Cannabis movement in Nebraska, he has been out spoken for the need to end the 75 years of prohibition and persecution!

Rachel Cartwright

Rachel Cartwright
CBD Therapeutics of Wisconsin

Rachel is the founder of CBD Therapeutics of Wisconsin. She will be giving an informational lesson on the health benefits of CBD. You can check out her booth while at the festival.

Brian Seamonson

Brian Seamonson
Wisconsin Activist

Brian is a husband, business owner, father of 4 and is on the Board of Directors of Madison NORML. He's also a passionate advocate across the State of Wisconsin for cannabis legalization. Brian's life has been devastated more than once by the heroin/opioid epidemic and the over prescribing of dangerous and addicting pharmaceuticals in our state. Brian has been a huge voice for the people of Wisconsin and has put on more then 2500 miles across the state this Summer. Brian has traveled to multiple county board meetings, sharing his story, and fighting to push county board supervisors to pass the referendums. Brian also worked closely with Dane County Board Supervisor Yogesh Chawla and wrote the language we will see on the ballot in November ballot. "Should Wisconsin legalize, tax and regulate marijuana in the same manner as alcohol for adults 21 years of age and older" Brian will be sharing a personal story how he lost his two year old son to a fentanyl overdose due to improper disposal of the fentanyl patch. Brian suffered from severe PTSD, depression and anxiety after loosing his son in 2011. Brian was put on 9 different pharmaceuticals, 31 pills a day for and lived his life for over 5 years in an opioid induced, pharmaceutical haze. Brian will share how he dropped all his pharmaceutical in exchange for cannabis. Brian has been free of pharmaceuticals since July 4th, 2017. He attributes cannabis to saving and giving him his life back. Brian is tired of Wisconsinites being forced to take dangerous, addicting and potentially deadly pharmaceuticals. He will continue to fight for the people of Wisconsin until we have safe, legal, access to cannabis.

Tammy Byron

Farmer Bill
Daughter of the late Jacki Rickert

Tammy Byron will be honoring the legacy and memory of her mother Jacki Rickert, long term chronic pain patient and cannabis activist. Jacki passed away on December 26th 2017 after a fight with cancer she was never going to win, even if she had been strong and healthy. She had a lung cancer that was fast growing, fast spreading and rather quick to take her life. She passed away 10 short days after finding out she had cancer. Not even long enough to come terms with it. She had Ehlers-Danlos syndrome as well as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. She suffered in chronic pain 24 hours a day for too many years to count. However, that never slowed her down in her journey to legalize cannabis as the medicine so desperately needed by so many, and it never deterred her from trying to help so many others who came to her for her help or advice, whether a good friend or even a total stranger. She tried to help everyone and anyone she could. And that was one of the main reasons for the birth of IMMLY. When she was younger and still able bodied, she was a track star. She was a gymnast as well as a horse trainer. She was a Paramedic as well as a volunteer for the Red Cross. She was a writer and an artist. She was a daughter. A mother. A grandmother. A wonderful friend and an all around amazing lady. She is very much loved, and very much missed.

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Wisconsin NORML Family


MadisonMadison NORML... Based out of downtown Madison, have 2 meetings per month on the second and fourth Mondays of each month at the Wil Mar Center 953 Jenifer St, Madison.

South EastSouthEast Wisconsin NORML...Are based out of Union Grove Wisconsin. They meet monthly at the Executive Directors residence.

NorthernNorthen Wisconsin NORML... meets monthly throughout Wisconsin. For meeting times and details: Check the Meetings/Events page, of their web site, to see when the next meeting or event is!

WisconsinWisconsin NORML... We are leading the fight for commonsense regulation of the most useful plant ever known to mankind — cannabis.

“we are here because we have shared values, we know that together we can change this country...countries and states are legalizing marijuana and that is going to happen here as well(Wisconsin).”

Melissa Sargent, -@ Harvest Fest 2013