Jude Thilman, President
Jude Thilman is a cannabis patient, policy advocate, medical cannabis educator, and founder/owner of Dragonfly Wellness Center (dragonflywellness.org), a ten-year-old dispensary on the Mendocino Coast. As a medicinal cannabis educator and patient counselor, her passion is to help patients, industry professionals, and healthcare providers make informed decisions about choosing and using cannabis medicines. She hosted a biweekly internet television program, Cannabis News & Views™, and programs remain archived at mendocinotv.com. Jude has founded and directed 501(c)3 non-profit organizations and large-scale national projects since 1986. She brings 35 years of experience in producing educational media, for which she has received national awards. Jude strongly believes in health care as a human right and is devoted to bringing sound science and information to the search for truly beneficial, natural, and holistic healing methods. She sees a return to traditional herbal medicine as sounding the death knell for a “pharmaceuticals dominant” approach to resolving “dis-ease.” Jude envisions a path for our cannabis community that is proudly rooted in progressive values that further the rights and dignity of all life on this planet.
Steven Amato, Board Member
Steven Amato is the owner and operator of Dolce Canapa Farms (a licensed greenhouse and full-term cannabis cultivation site) and Rancho Feliz; a vineyard, event space, short-stay rental, long-term rental, sheep, and black Angus beef ranch in Hopland, Ca.
He attended Monmouth University, where he earned a degree in Political Science with a minor in Public Policy and graduated Cum Laude. He was Vice-President of the Political Science club, which earned Best Organization Awards each year he was there and set the wheels in motion for it to become a national pollster for the Presidential elections.
While in college, he began a career in developing low-income housing, in which he eventually became the owner of the company. He then went on to own a company in the Medical Device industry and worked in real estate through mortgage origination. He is a good athlete, scholar, and entrepreneur and considers himself a renaissance man. His true love is in agriculture and specifically cannabis cultivation. He has a passion for cooking just about every night and loves being able to enjoy using his farm-raised meats, vegetables, wine, and of course, cannabis.
Steven has been a part of the cannabis advocacy movement in Mendocino County since 2014, and he is proud and thankful to be on the current Board of the MCA to continue those efforts. He hopes his diverse and unique background will be a beneficial addition to the MCA and Mendocino County as it moves forward in developing legislation and policy.
Monique Ramirez, Board Member
Monique grew up in the Sierra foothills in Northern California, and after a few years in Santa Cruz, she moved to Mendocino County in 2008, where she began her journey in cannabis. She met her partner, and they began cultivating together. In 2017 they transitioned their garden into a commercial cannabis business and formed Sunbright Gardens. They cultivate a sungrown sun+earth certified specialty cottage outdoor garden. They live off-grid on their 45-acre homestead while raising their two children.
She has been a founding board member of the Mendocino Cannabis Alliance. She was elected to serve as Vice President in the summer of 2019 and continues to serve as the Chair of the Direct to Consumer committee. She also provides administrative support to the organization. She enjoys gardening, sewing, silversmith work, embroidery, and throwing dance parties for her friends, and she loves all things vintage! She cares deeply about ensuring a successful future for legacy farmers in Mendocino County and is happy to be in service for MCA.
Chiah Rodriques, Board Member
Chiah Rodriques was born and raised in Mendocino County and is a second-generation cannabis farmer, daughter of the industry, and community organizer. Chiah and her husband, James Beatty, are legacy cultivators who own River Txai Farms, where they breed unique strains of cannabis for their brand, Arcanna Flowers, planting in their 25th gardening season on their homestead.
Her dedication to small farmers has become the focus of her mission in all the projects she is involved in. In 2015, Chiah co-founded Mendocino Generations, a farm Alliance of over 50 Heritage farmers from all corners of Mendocino County. Its mission was to help give voice, guidance, and a support system to craft farmers.
Chiah is a staunch supporter of the Mendocino Cannabis Alliance, where she sits on the Board of Directors, is the Chair of the Fundraising Committee, and is Co-chair of the Events Sub-Committee. Through this work, she helps support Mendocino cannabis operators by raising money for Mendocino Cannabis Alliance and creating a stronger community for its members.
Chiah is one of six women in the cannabis industry featured in the documentary film Lady Buds, produced by Chris J. Russo. The film follows her life intimately through the trials and tribulations of the journey into the legalization of cannabis. It highlights her family’s farm and the farm alliance, showing the raw intensity of becoming a legally operating cannabis farm.
Chiah co-hosts the podcast Moms Do Weed (@moms_do_weed), where she and her podcast partner aim to elevate women’s voices in cannabis and normalize cannabis and mothering. She enjoys herbalism, traveling, her boutique, and being a jeweler maker.
Lawrence Rosen, Board Member
Lawrence Rosen is both an attorney and a computer specialist. Larry’s law firm specializes in intellectual property, licensing, and business transactions for technology companies.
Larry is listed in the International Who’s Who of Internet, e-Commerce & Data Protection Lawyers. He often publishes and speaks worldwide on open-source licensing and patent issues. His book “Open Source Licensing: Software Freedom and Intellectual Property Law” was published by Prentice Hall in 2004.
Larry’s OSL and AFL software licenses are among the dozen most popular open-source licenses in the world.
Among his clients, former clients, and friends are large and small technology companies, non-profit foundations, government agencies, and developers of some of the most innovative software available today.
Larry previously managed computing activities and taught computer programming and database design at Stanford University, later going into industry, where he coordinated the design, development, manufacturing, and marketing of data communications products for ROLM (later IBM and Siemens).