About Cannabis Dispensary
Who We Are and What We Do
Cannabis Dispensary is the industry’s first true B2B publication dedicated entirely to the retail and ancillary business segments of the legal cannabis market. Launched as a print publication and website in November 2017, Cannabis Dispensary is quickly becoming cannabis retailers’ go-to source for business and legislation news. In addition to industry news, Cannabis Dispensary provides dispensary owners/operators with actionable intelligence that they can use to make their businesses stand out in an increasingly competitive market. The magazine hosts an annual conference with its sister publication, Cannabis Business Times. In 2018, Cannabis Dispensary earned a national gold award for Best New Publication Design from the American Society of Business Publication Editors.
Christopher Foster, President and CEO
Chris Foster rejoined GIE Media as President & COO in May, 2005, after spending nine years away holding senior positions with InsightExpress LLC, the largest online market research company globally, as VP of Technology and Product Development, and Attachmate Corporation running the Global Network Technology Practice. Prior to that, Chris has worked at GIE Media in various roles from Controller to General Manager, having started with GIE Media directly out of college. He holds degrees in International Business Administration and International Marketing from Heidelberg, Germany.
Jim Gilbride, Group Publisher
Jim Gilbride has had a lasting impact on many brands in GIE Media’s portfolio, and he applies the company’s high standards for innovative B2B media with every project and team he oversees. As the current Group Publisher of the Media Group, Jim directs 7 magazine titles and 3 cutting-edge industry events—including Cannabis Conference, which will return to Las Vegas for its fourth iteration in April 2020.
Jim was hired by GIE Media in 2004 as Account Manager for the Lawn & Landscape Media Group. In 2005, he transitioned to West Coast Account Manager for the PCT Media Group, where he was a key factor in driving sales growth until 2009. In June 2009, shortly after the GIE acquisition of Branch Smith Publishing, Jim was promoted to National Sales Manager of the portfolio—which includes the brands Greenhouse Management, Nursery Management and Garden Center. Jim became a key factor in the success and rapid growth of the ornamental market brands, and he was promoted to Associate Publisher in 2010; two years later, he helped launch the Produce Grower brand. Jim was promoted to Group Publisher of the Ornamental Media Group in 2012, and currently oversees all operations for those titles and related brands. The continued growth of the media group includes the acquisition and launch of the Cannabis Business Times in 2015, which in 2018 won Magazine of the Year from the American Society of Business Publication Editors. Jim also has overseen the launch of the Cannabis Conference & Cannabis Dispensary in 2017 and In 2019, he oversaw the launch of Hemp Grower.
Noelle Skodzinski, Editorial Director
Noelle Skodzinski has more than two decades’ experience in the publishing industry. She co-founded Cannabis Business Times with previous owner Tim Hermes in 2014. She has been named among the Top 50 Most Influential Women in Cannabis. In 2012, she founded mediaShepherd–a website providing actionable intelligence for media professionals–where she served as president and editorial director. Prior to that, she was the editorial director of the Publishing Group at North American Publishing Co. In that role, she oversaw Publishing Executive and Book Business magazines, along with all related digital products, including daily enewsletters, and served as director of the annual Publishing Business Conference, the Publishing Business Virtual Conference and all webinars. Skodzinski was previously editor of The Crafts Report magazine, managing editor for Inside Direct Mail, senior writer for Target Marketing, interim managing editor for The Jewish Exponent, among other posts. In 2018, Skodzinski was named one of the top women in media by Folio.
Michelle Simakis, Editor-at-Large
Simakis has been with GIE Media since 2012 and was promoted to editor of Garden Center magazine in 2015. Under her direction, that magazine has become the leading trade publication serving independent garden centers. Most recently she launched an engaging, must-read newsletter for the market and, with the help of an advisory board that includes some of the most influential leaders in the industry, she organized an educational conference for key decision-makers. That experience and knowledge will guide her leadership at Cannabis Business Times and Cannabis Dispensary.
Cassie Neiden, Editor
Cassie Neiden rejoined GIE Media as Conference Programming Director for its Cannabis Group in February 2020. She has since also taken on the role as Editor of Cannabis Dispensary magazine, overseeing the brand’s continued digital growth. From 2014 to 2019, she held several editorial roles at GIE Media with titles such as Cannabis Business Times, Cannabis Dispensary, Garden Center, Greenhouse Management, and more. Previously, Neiden served as Director of Marketing & Communications for Firelands Scientific, an Ohio-based vertically integrated medical cannabis company. Within the state’s nascent and tightly regulated market, Neiden led the company’s community outreach efforts and helped to launch its infused products line—including tinctures, edibles and solventless concentrates.
Neiden is also an experienced freelance writer, with bylines in Martha Stewart Weddings, Agence France-Presse (AFP) and Cleveland Magazine. She is an alumna of Kent State University’s School of Journalism & Mass Communication with a bachelor’s degree in magazine journalism.
Brian MacIver, Senior Editor
Brian MacIver joined GIE Media, Inc. in July 2016 as an associate editor for Cannabis Business Times. A graduate of the Medill graduate journalism program at Northwestern University in 2015, he has written for U.S. News and World Report, Christian Science Monitor, and UPI, among other national publications. Prior to reporting on the cannabis industry, he covered all levels of sports, from the QJMHL in his hometown of Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada, to the NFL Draft in Chicago.
Patrick Williams, Senior Editor
Patrick Williams is a senior editor for Cannabis Business Times and Cannabis Dispensary. He joined GIE Media in 2017 and worked as the associate editor and senior editor for sister publications Greenhouse Management and Produce Grower. Previously, he was a freelance writer for B2B and consumer media and an editorial intern on GIE Media publication Golf Course Industry. Williams graduated from Kent State University in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.
Eric Sandy, Digital Editor
Eric Sandy joined GIE Media Inc. as digital editor of Cannabis Business Times and Cannabis Dispensary in January 2018. Previously, he worked as managing editor and staff writer of Cleveland Scene, where he covered criminal justice and environmental issues. Elsewhere, he is an established freelance music writer. Sandy is a graduate of Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.
Melissa Schiller, Senior Digital Editor
Melissa Schiller joined the Cannabis Business Times team as an Assistant Editor in June 2017. Previously, she worked as an Audience Development Associate for GIE Media’s Ornamental Group of publications, where she managed the circulation for Cannabis Business Times, Garden Center, Nursery Management, and Greenhouse Management magazines. She has also worked as a contributing writer and editorial assistant for a community newspaper and as a freelance writer for Northeast Ohio Media Group and Modern Tire Dealer. Schiller is a graduate of Hiram College with a bachelor’s degree in creative writing.
Scott Anthony, National Sales Manager
Scott Anthony joined GIE Media in 2013 as the Regional Account Manager for the Ornamental Group, which includes Nursery Management, Greenhouse Management, Produce Grower and Garden Center magazines. In 2014, he was promoted to Account Manager of Nursery Management magazine, where he was responsible for driving sales and growing the market share of the industry-leading brand. In May 2015, Scott was promoted to Account Manager of the newly acquired Cannabis Business Times brand and has been instrumental in CBT's rapid growth, including the launch of CBT's print magazine.
Michael Walsh, Account Manager
As a recent graduate of Ohio State University, Mike joined the cannabis division of GIE Media in May of 2019. He was brought on as an Account Manager for Cannabis Dispensary magazine and Cannabis Conference, where he is responsible for growing the brands and continuing to establish Cannabis Dispensary and the Cannabis Conference as the premier business-to-business publication and trade show on the retail side of the cannabis industry.
Michaela Dodrill, Market Coordinator
Michaela Dodrill assists in organizing logistics and outreach for Cannabis Conferece, an annual event that takes place in Las Vegas.
Jim Blayney, Creative Director
Jim Blayney joined GIE Media in 2005. In his current role as creative director, Blayney oversees the visual design of Cannabis Business Times, Cannabis Dispensary, Waste Today, Recycling Today and Golf Course Industry. Blayney's work helped earn Cannabis Dispensary national recognition for Best New Publication Design from the American Society of Business Publication Editors in 2018.
Justin Armburger, Art Director
Justin Armburger joined GIE Media in October 2013. Along with being Cannabis Dispensary’s art director, he serves in the same role for Lawn & Landscape, another GIE Media publication. Prior to joining GIE Media, Armburger worked as a lead designer at The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa. In 2010, he received his bachelor’s degree in journalism from Kent State University, where he is an adjunct professor. Armburger's work helped earn Cannabis Dispensary national recognition for Best New Publication Design from the American Society of Business Publication Editors in 2018.
Christina Warner, Audience Development Director
Christina Warner was hired by GIE Media in 2004 as Market Coordinator for the Lawn & Landscape Media Group. In 2006, she was asked to become a team member of GIE Media’s Web Group where she managed many aspects of online advertising. Since then, she held many roles within the Web Group, including Web Content Editor and Email Production Manager. She was promoted to Audience Development Director in 2014 and currently oversees all operations in that department.
Ladonne Wilson, Audience Development Associate
Ladonne Wilson develops targeted outreach programs for Cannabis Business Times and Cannabis Dispensary audiences.
Editorial Advisory Board
- Brooke Gehring, Owner, FGS Inc. (LiveGreen Cannabis and Patients Choice of Colorado)
- Debby Goldsberry, Executive Director, Magnolia Wellness
- Colin Kelley, Co-Founder, Haze.Delivery
- Paul Morris, General Manager, Rise Carson City
- Pamela Reach, CEO, Rare Dankness LLC/R.D. Industries LLC
- Anna Shreeve, Managing Partner, The Bakeréé