Steve Fox, Esq., director of VS Strategies, is one of the leading figures in the movement to create a legal, regulated marijuana market in the United States. Since 2002, he has been deeply involved in marijuana-related lobbying, ballot initiatives, and communications work. He is a co-founder of the National Cannabis Industry Association, which represents approximately 800 state-legal businesses, and serves as a strategic advisor to the organization. While at the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) from 2002-2005 and 2009-2013, Steve lobbied Congress and guided numerous ballot initiative campaigns, including the Amendment 64 campaign in Colorado. He also guided a lobbying team through the Amendment 64 implementation process. In 2005, Steve conceptualized and co-founded Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER) in Colorado for the express purpose of educating the public about the fact that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol. The goal, eventually realized, was to change the mindset of voters in order to make marijuana legal through a ballot initiative. He is the co-author of Marijuana is Safer: So why are we driving people to drink? (Chelsea Green, 2009, 2013), which is based on the strategy that proved successful in Colorado.
Vice President, Public Relations and Communications
Mason Tvert has been working to change public policies and public attitudes surrounding marijuana since 2005. He has been called "The Don Draper of Pot" by Politico Magazine, "marijuana's top evangelist" by The Boston Globe, and Colorado's "top thinker" in politics and government by The Denver Post. Prior to joining VS Strategies, he served as director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, the nation's largest marijuana policy organization, where he managed strategic communications, media relations, and online outreach in support of its efforts to reform federal, state, and local marijuana laws. While at MPP, he co-directed the successful 2012 initiative campaign to regulate marijuana like alcohol in Colorado and worked on several other state and local campaigns, including the successful legalization initiatives in Alaska, Nevada, Maine, and Massachusetts. He also coordinated communications efforts that contributed to the adoption of medical cannabis and decriminalization laws in state legislatures around the country. Previously, Mason co-founded and served as executive director of Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER), a non-profit organization that laid the groundwork for the successful legalization effort in Colorado — including two successful city initiative campaigns in Denver — and facilitated the passage of cannabis-related student referendums on more than a dozen college campuses. He is a co-author of Marijuana is Safer: So why are we driving people to drink? (Chelsea Green, 2009, 2013), and he frequently appears in the media discussing marijuana policy.
Vice President, Government Relations
Jordan Wellington, Esq., vice president of government relations at VS Strategies and an associate at Vicente Sederberg LLC, graduated cum laude from Brooklyn Law School in May of 2009. In 2013, Jordan served as the sole legislative staffer assigned to shepherd the legislation relating to the implementation of Amendment 64 and the legalization of marijuana through the Colorado General Assembly. Jordan was then hired by the Colorado Department of Revenue’s Marijuana Enforcement Division to serve as the sole policy analyst during the development and drafting of the rules governing retail marijuana and the revised rules governing medical marijuana. During his time with the Marijuana Enforcement Division, Jordan drafted rules governing testing, cultivation, product manufacturing, concentrate production, retail distribution, production management, transportation, certification of laboratories, labeling, packaging, and storage. He also organized the Division’s entire stakeholder engagement process and personally chaired several of the working groups. In addition to his expertise in the regulation of the marijuana industry, Jordan has also worked for the New Jersey Legislature and New York Assemblyman Jonathan Bing.
Associate, Local Government Relations
Shawn Hauser, Esq., an associate with VS Strategies specializing in local government relations and an associate at Vicente Sederberg LLC, is a graduate of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, where she chaired the school's chapter of NORML. Prior to joining Vicente Sederberg LLC, Shawn worked at a small law firm specializing in criminal defense and family law. Shawn also serves as the director of the "Local Implementation Project" for the non-profit Sensible Colorado Action, where she works with local governments across the state to pass marijuana laws that foster responsible businesses. Shawn came to Denver from Austin, Texas, where she fostered her love for live music, while studying psychology at the University of Texas at Austin.
Andrew Livingston serves as a policy analyst for VS Strategies and Vicente Sederberg LLC. Andrew first worked alongside the Vicente Sederberg team in 2012 during the historic Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol campaign, which legalized marijuana for adults in Colorado. Andrew started his work in drug policy while at Colgate University and founded a chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy in 2009. During this time, he focused his academic studies on the economics of illegal markets and the harms they create for societies around the world. After graduation Andrew worked at the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation as an Institute for Humane Studies Koch Summer Fellow. In October 2013, Andrew was appointed by the Colorado Department of Revenue to represent Vicente Sederberg on a regulatory panel determining interim production caps for the new retail marijuana industry.
Christian Sederberg, Esq., is a partner and founding member of Vicente Sederberg LLC and serves as a principal at VS Strategies. Christian was an integral part of Colorado’s Amendment 64 campaign, representing the campaign on Governor Hickenlooper’s Amendment 64 Implementation Task Force and leading the campaign’s implementation during the 2013 legislative and regulatory processes. Christian also sat on the executive committee of the Committee for Responsible Regulation, which coordinated the 2013 campaign to establish statewide excise and sales taxes on the sale of adult-use marijuana in Colorado. Based on his dogged but sensible legal and advocacy work in the marijuana field, Christian is a respected voice in political circles and is frequently consulted in Colorado about proposed or potential legislation. He has also traveled internationally to help other nations understand the Colorado system of marijuana regulation.
Brian Vicente, Esq., is a partner and founding member of Vicente Sederberg LLC and serves as a principal at VS Strategies. He served as the co-director of the Amendment 64 campaign and was one of the primary authors of this historic measure, which resulted in Colorado becoming the first state in the nation – and the first geographic area in the world – to make the possession, use, and regulated distribution of marijuana legal for adults. Brian also serves as executive director of Sensible Colorado, the state’s leading non-profit working for medical marijuana patients and providers. In 2010, he was elected the first-ever chair of the National Cannabis Industry Association, the only trade association in the U.S. that works to advance the interests of cannabis-related businesses on the national level. Brian was also the chair of the Committee for Responsible Regulation, which coordinated the campaign to implement statewide excise and sales taxes on the sale of adult-use marijuana in Colorado.
Joshua Kappel, Esq. is a partner at Vicente Sederberg LLC and serves as a principal at VS Strategies. While in law school, Josh received both the Patton Boggs Public Policy Fellowship and the Public Interest Law Clerkship to work for Sensible Colorado. Josh also interned with the National ACLU's Drug Law Reform Project in Santa Cruz and the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar. At Vicente Sederberg, Josh routinely provides advice to patients, caregivers, and businesses about medical marijuana, licensing, regulatory compliance, general business and transactional law, and the intersection of state and federal law. In addition to his work with Vicente Sederberg, Josh is currently the Associate Director of Sensible Colorado, advocating for medical marijuana patient rights. He is also a founding member of the Council for Responsible Cannabis Regulation (CRCR), and the National Cannabis Bar Association (NCBA). Josh has testified at numerous public hearings on issues related to medical marijuana, sat on many panels at various conferences, and routinely writes articles about a myriad of medical marijuana issues.