Christine De La Rosa
National Co-Founder & CEO/CTO
The People’s Dispensary

Christine De La Rosa, CEO of The People’s Dispensary, is a transplanted Texan living and thriving in Oakland, CA. She is a social entrepreneur who has spent most of her adult life building businesses that creatively engage and employ the local communities that surround them.  Two restaurants, two event production companies, an art gallery, a retail shop and a salon were part of her trajectory that led to co-owning a successful cannabis businesses in both California and Oregon.  She is a well-respected advocate and activist for the chronically ill, people of color, women, formerly incarcerated and the LGBTQ community.

Christine is passionate about the industry that saved her life. After 15 years as a database architect and at the very moment when she was at the top of her tech career she almost died from complications of undiagnosed Lupus.  Bedridden, she spent five years unable to work or perform rudimentary functions due to her illness and the synthetic medications perscribed by her doctors.  In 2015, she found cannabis as an alternative to treat her lupus. No longer bound to 11 pills a day or monthly infusions, she was inspired by her experience to open Benefit Health Collective in 2016, along with her three co-founders.  Together they have grown a profitable multi-state dispensary and a national social equity model and enterprise now known as The People’s Dispensary. Christine believes that the cannabis industry has a mandate to serve not only its customers and patients but also the communities that have been most affected by the war on drugs.

Click here for previous speaking engagements and to inquire about having Christine speak at your event or conference.

Chaney Turner
National Co-Founder & Policy/Culture
The People’s Dispensary

Chaney Turner, an Oakland native, is an entrepreneur, capacity and community builder.  As the founder & CEO of Social Life Productions, Chaney has created and curated Oakland based events for the LGBT and larger community for over 12 years. In 2016, their efforts garnered them the honor of receiving the East Bay Express “Best Event Producer” award. In 2016, they founded Town Biz Oakland; a retail store that specializes in statement apparel and functions as a safe space for community events and fundraisers.  In 2017 they received the Oakland Indie Award, “Ripple Effect” for their intention to preserve Oakland culture and create a platform for Oakland artisans. They later received the Townie Award for “Small Business of The Year” for their civic engagement.

In 2017, Chaney co-founded The People’s Dispensary, a dispensary that targets multiple, marginalized communities such as; POC, Queer, disabled, formerly incarcerated & poor people. The mission of the People’s Dispensary is to embody, embrace and encourage integrity in cannabis. Chaney leads community change with intention and embodies Oakland’s history, culture, and activism. They continue to be recognized for their ability to bring together diverse communities, curate events, fundraise, and advance equity through advocacy.

Michael Schlieker
National Co-Founder & Compliance
The People’s Dispensary

Michael previously worked in Audit & Risk in the financial industry and more recently worked in Clinical Operations in the pharmaceutical industry. He is also been a co-owner of a restaurant, a retail shop, a salon, and a dispensary in Oakland, and of the Queen of Hearts art gallery and dispensary in San Francisco. After years of working in the pharmaceutical industry and seeing first hand the harm that synthetic pharmaceuticals can inflict, he supports actively seeking natural alternatives to Western medicine as a viable treatment option. Michael’s attention to detail with regards to regulation and compliance will be invaluable as The People’s Dispensary deals with a patchwork of local, state, and federal laws and regulations. Michael advocates for cannabis as an effective treatment for the symptoms of cancer, AIDS, Parkinson’s, lupus, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, pain and PTSD. Additionally, he also advocates for further research, education, and study of cannabis to improve scientific knowledge of the plant and to dispel false misconceptions about it. He strongly believes that individuals should be able to choose cannabis as an alternative method for improving their health. Michael is committed to helping shape and lead the cannabis industry by opening a dispensary that is dedicated to bringing cannabis to the marketplace in a thoughtful and rational way.

Charleen Caabay
National Co-Founder & Field Operations
The People’s Dispensary

Charleen, aka “Chef Charleen,” a bay area local, culinary creative, and entrepreneur. In 2013, she opened her first restaurant called Kainbigan serving Filipino comfort food. Charleen is the first Filipino-American woman chef to win Food Network’s show Chopped, in 2016. She is also the co owner of Craft & Spoon restaurant, and Town Biz retail shop, both in Oakland, along with Queen of Hearts gallery and dispensary in San Francisco. Complementing Charleen’s culinary talents is her passion for cannabis. She has been advocating and developing her edible line called Damo, which means “grass” in Tagalog, a tribute to her Filipino culture and love for cannabis. Since its introduction, Damo has become popular with a loyal customer base, which has aided many people medicinally. Charleen is an active builder of community and business relationships that have contributed to the success of the Benefit Health Collective, and The People’s Dispensary.


Our regional co-founders support TPD’s growth by providing local market insights, connectivity to political and community leaders and allow our teams to tailor our services and product mix specifically for the needs of that respective community.

San Francisco Co-Founders

Melorra & Melonie Green

Los Angeles Co-Founder

Mike de la Rocha

Fresno Co-Founders

Cesar Casamayor & Gidai Maaza


Investor Relations
Sara Batterby

Chief Strategy Officer
Christina Hollenback

Strategic Partnerships
Yvonne Espinosa

Director of Procurement
Aima Paule