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We are proud that each of our dynamic team members brings distinctive passion, experience, and personal dedication to the table. We measure our leadership competencies and effectiveness by the degree of individualized support we provide to you and by our commitment to seeing you hit the mark every time! Whether we’re supporting your license application, advising on your business strategy, or building your SOP’s, you will experience unparalleled support and clear communication from our team.

John Payne — Founding Partner

In 2018, John Payne served as campaign manager for New Approach Missouri, which successfully legalized medical cannabis across the state by passing Amendment 2. He is also an experienced cannabis policy consultant with 10 years spent advising Missouri regulatory agencies and legislative bodies on effective policy making concerning the legalization, regulatory framing, and taxation of Missouri’s Medical Marijuana Program. Being a longstanding advocate for cannabis policy reform, John is a co-author Amendment 2, a board member of the Missouri Medical Cannabis Trade Association, and led the formation of a state medical cannabis operator cooperative—MIMCA . In addition to directing cannabis business development, he also leads drug-war reform, having coordinated witnesses for hearings on the hemp oil bill, industrial hemp, and collaborated on successful expungement efforts for marijuana offenders. As Missouri’s medical cannabis market develops, John leads A2C’s government affairs, public relations, and business development operations and remains engaged with policy reform at the state and national levels.

Ryan Quinones — Partner, Project Manager

Ryan is an experienced communications expert and cannabis consultant whose project management role includes developing and implementing versatile document management systems for teams applying for and winning medical cannabis licenses. As project manager for A2C, Ryan collaborates with clients to develop source materials, schedules and leads remote team meetings, conducts organizational assessments, and defines responsibilities, timelines, and priorities. Ryan’s work as a volunteer coordinator for three political campaigns in Missouri further illustrates his capabilities to effectively maintain communication and operation frameworks. His campaign efforts include time spent on the campaign for Amendment 2, during which time he deployed communications to volunteers and donors, interfaced with regional media publications, and performed analyses on strategic messaging models. 

Jonathan Brace — Partner, Chief Compliance Officer

Jonathan is an experienced food, beverage, extraction, and nutraceutical manufacturing professional with nearly 10 years of professional work experience as a food scientist, chemist, and process engineer. Jonathan develops medical marijuana SOPs, designs training programs, and leads compliance audits, ensuring that A2C clients develop and implement compliant practices across all areas of the business and operation. Jonathan is a key asset to A2C clients and is a leading expert in defining Missouri regulations, having authored the Good Manufacturing Practices distributed by MOCannTrade. Including time spent working for an international food colorant and ingredient manufacturer, his professional and technical roles have included Food & Color Scientist,QA/QC Interim Manager, Regulatory Consultant, and Safety Officer Trainer. Jonathan draws upon his extensive background in extraction and food and beverage manufacturing to train industry staff and management teams and create standard operating procedures for dispensaries and infused product manufacturing facilities.

Chris LeGrand — Partner, Strategic Communications Director

Chris LeGrand is a lifelong advocate for cannabis policy reform and has spent 10 years volunteering as a petition circulator for cannabis legalization in Missouri. He joined A2C in 2019 as a technical writer and account manager, leading client check-ins and application writing efforts for several winning medical marijuana facility licenses. Utilizing his extensive education and communications expertise, Chris currently trains on content writing and SEO strategy and administers the MIMCA cooperative for A2C, while assisting with public relations and marketing, branding, and consulting for a variety of cannabis businesses. As an educator for nearly twenty years, Chris taught American history, government, English composition, and public speaking at both secondary and post-secondary levels. Chris collaborated with colleagues to write successful government grants, won several prominent district awards, and developed a reputable National Honors Society program through which he produced a popular community induction ceremony and facilitated multiple fund-raising events for local charities.

Chris Miller — General Counsel

Chris is a Missouri Bar licensed attorney and serves as the General Counsel for A2C and serves on the Board of Directors and as General Counsel for MIMCA. Chris graduated with a concentration in health law from St. Louis University School of Law and has multiple years of experience in the legal realm of the cannabis industry. He was the application architect and technical writer for a winning cultivation group in Missouri and was responsible for three successfully licensed cultivation facilities. Since that time, as the General Counsel & Chief Compliance for three medical marijuana companies, he has been involved in the oversight of operating agreements, best practices/standard operating procedures, adherence to DHSS regulations, and outfitting of greenhouses. He also holds a Masters in Athletic Training, which included 2400+ clinical hours over two years with board certification post-graduation in this health care field.

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