Richard C. Cowan
Chairman of the Board of Directors & Co-Founder
Cowan was born in Fort Worth, Texas in 1940 where he graduated from a local high school in 1958. In 1962 he graduated with a B.A. in Economics, from Yale University, where he had served as president of the Yale Young Republicans and as Chairman of the Party of the Right in the Yale Political Union. He was also a founding member of Young Americans for Freedom, the Conservative student group launched in 1960 by William F. Buckley, Jr. Buckley’s friendship became a lifelong influence on Cowan’s life.
After graduating, Cowan held various management positions in his family’s companies working in manufacturing and natural resources. Later, Cowan worked as an independent investor. In 1972, after volunteering with the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), Cowan wrote a cover article for Buckley’s National Review. In it he called for Conservatives to support the legalization of marijuana, one of the first positions against prohibition in a major opinion journal. Buckley agreed with Cowan, and became a regular critic of marijuana prohibition.
In 1986, Cowan wrote another National Review cover article, “How the Narcs Created Crack”, in which he introduced the concept of the Iron Law of Prohibition. Cowan argued that prohibition is actually counterproductive because the economics of contraband creates incentives for selling stronger drugs. It was the basis of a book on the subject by economist Mark Thornton.
From August 1992 to August 1995 Cowan served as executive director of NORML. In 1994, following a dispute with the NORML Board of Directors, Cowan resigned, but then agreed to stay on after marijuana research pioneer and author, Harvard Medical School Professor Dr. Lester Grinspoon, MD, organized a new board of notable academics. This new NORML Board included Professors John P. Morgan MD and Lynn Zimmer Ph.D (the authors of “Marijuana Myths”, “Marijuana Facts”), Craig Reinarman, Ph.D, an expert on Dutch drugs policies, Nobel Laureate Kary Mullis Ph.D, Ann Druyan, co-producer of Cosmos (with her husband, Carl Sagan), Cato Institutes’s David Boaz and others.
Cowan resigned from NORML in 1995 and NORML’s Board of Directors appointed NORML founder Keith Stroup to replace Cowan as executive director.
Cowan spent most of 1996 in Amsterdam studying Dutch marijuana policies.
Clifford J. Perry
Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Board Member and Co-Founder
Mr. Perry, co-founder, chief executive officer, chief financial officer, and director, has an extensive entrepreneurial background having owned a number of Master Franchise operations with major franchisors, such as The Crab House and Cinnabon. He also took a real estate seminar company from $0 in revenue to over $3 million in gross revenues and local offices in 23 states within one year. In 2009, for that year only, he was Executive Vice President of Business Development for the first U.S. public company in the Marijuana Industry, Medical Marijuana, Inc. (OTC: MJNA). He created the first revenue source for Medical Marijuana, Inc., utilizing his expertise in educational training seminars, branding, licensing and event planning to develop and produce the “National Medical Marijuana Educational Expo.”
Mr. Perry has been consulting to companies in the Cannabis and Hemp Industry since 2009. Mr. Perry has, over his business career, been either a consultant or a principle, involved in Franchising, Licensing, Network Marketing, Trademark, Copyright & Patents, Print, Indoor/Outdoor/Digital Advertising, Telephony, Hotel, Resort, Restaurant, Hospitality, Nightclub, Event Production, Concert Promotion, Video & Film Production, Business Aviation, Luxury and High Performance Auto Restoration, Oil & Gas, Mining, Shipping, Counter Trade, Traditional, Alternative & Complimentary Healthcare, Non-Profit Fundraising.
Raymond P. Medeiros
Vice President of Business Development and Investor Relations, Board of Directors Member, Corporate Secretary
Mr. Medeiros works closely with the CEO to manage the initiatives of Freedom Leaf Inc and is responsible to negotiate with potential acquisitions and those looking to join our incubator and/or accelerator operations. He also works with outside accountants and attorneys to be sure the Company is in compliance with SEC regulations. He is responsible for Investor and Public Relations activities.
Mr. Medeiros is an entrepreneur and marketing executive who has focused successfully on investing in turnarounds of financially troubled companies as well as founding new companies. He has a Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in Marketing from Kent State University.
Mr. Medeiros has managed many facets of operating a successful business including: operations, finance, human relations, and sales and marketing in retail, import, manufacturing, hospitality, financial services and computer technology.
Ray was involved with a high technology consumer manufacturer, Runco International (www.runco.com), as senior executive for nearly 8 years. Medeiros reported to and worked with CEO to develop company strategy, managed IT, advised marketing vice president, and oversaw finance and legal operations. In 2007, along with the CEO, he supervised the Investment Banking Company to negotiate with the public company that purchased Runco.
Medeiros founded a pioneer Internet Company, NewGate Internet, in 1992. It was one of the first companies to market on the Internet and effectively helped companies, such as the Gap and LEGO to use the Internet to brand themselves. NewGate was recognized as an industry leader in paid search for online retailers. In 2006, it was sold to iCrossing (www.icrossing.com), owned by Hearst Corporation, a public company.
Additionally, Mr. Medeiros has worked with a number of non-profit organizations for the past 40 years as a volunteer and/or board member. In 2012, he founded a new non-profit called Business Cares to match non-profits with businesses developing creative projects that benefit both organizations: raising funds for the nonprofit and goodwill for the business.
Chris M. Sloan
Chief Operating Officer
Chris Sloan graduated from the University of San Diego with a degree in Business Administration and Communication Studies. From there he started working in the Film & Television Industry. Over the next 10+ years he worked his way up from intern to Production Assistant to being the Locations Manager for several Motion pictures, television series, commercials and music videos. In his capacity as the head of the Locations Department, he was the liaison between the local city government, their support services (police, fire departments, and other public works departments), and as well the general public. Often having to deal with high pressure and difficult situations between a multi-million-dollar budgeted film production and the public it was, at times, a daunting task, leading to him becoming adept at appeasing angry and inconvenienced individuals. Also, having to maintain and help ensure that a film crew of over 100 people, all at one public location, was running smoothly to ensure the completion of filming each day. Through this, Chris became proficient in public relations and gained strong project management skills.
After leaving show business, Chris decided to get into Investment banking. He became Series 7 and 63 licensed. After helping many small companies with their investor relations and to raise capital, he followed an opportunity to start a mortgage brokerage firm. Over the next 7 years he helped grow this business, from a 2 man start up operating out of an apartment in San Diego, to a full-fledged Mortgage and Real Estate company with seven branches and 96 employees. He moved from San Diego to Miami to become the licensed mortgage broker of record for the Florida office. He ran this office successfully for 3 years, until the market collapse.
With his entrepreneurial spirit and after deciding he wanted to just work for himself, he learned web development and Internet marketing. He has built over 100 websites for himself and for various clients. He has learned all the ins and outs of social media; email marketing, media buying, search engine optimization, pay per click advertising and the like.
Chris Sloan now oversees all operations for Freedom Leaf, Inc as the COO and provides valuable advice to the Board of Directors in a number of areas.
Chris H. Thompson
Director of Digital Marketing
Chris is responsible for Freedom Leaf’s online content development, social media marketing, event coordination, promotion generation, nonprofit partner relations, subscription management, shipping solutions, and magazine distribution. Chris also delves into writing, industry networking, digital advertising sales, SEO optimization, graphic design, and visual storyboarding as needed.
Chris is a graduate of Purdue University, where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Biological Engineering. After working for three years as an undergraduate researcher at Bindley Bioscience Center, Chris became involved in cannabis activism by starting the Purdue NORML chapter in 2013. He went on to start three other college NORML chapters in the Midwest, and worked as an intern in the National NORML Denver offices. For his advocacy work as an intern and with college chapters, Chris was awarded NORML’s Student Activism Award in 2016. After accepting a position with Freedom Leaf in Las Vegas, Chris started the Las Vegas NORML chapter and currently serves as the Executive Director. Chris is very passionate about cannabis advocacy and marijuana education.
Joshua M. Halford
Chief Technical Officer
Joshua is responsible for product design and product development, as well as, company brand strategy, web presence, advertising campaign development, and company information technologies. He has an extensive technology background with experience in many other fields including information technology, technical diagnosis and repair, creative marketing, graphic design, video production, print media, and website development.
In addition to technology and design, Joshua has over 5 years of experience in terpene extraction, and has spent recent months delving into CO2, C4H10 and C3H8 extraction. Prior to joining Freedom Leaf inc. Joshua was the Owner and Founder of Round Box Studio, which was responsible for the grassroots branding and development of dozens of companies and consumer products including CBD infused edibles. Joshua has also operated as the Chief Technology Officer of THC Therapeutics inc. a publicly traded cannabis company in Las Vegas, Nevada. Joshua’s varied background and extensive knowledge of the Cannabis Industry has made him an excellent resource for Freedom Leaf Inc. This experience also makes him perfect to consult with on research and development in exploring new product concepts.
Editor-In-Chief Freedom Leaf Magazine
Steve Bloom is the editor-in-chief of Freedom Leaf Magazine and publishes and edits CelebStoner.com, the leading sources for marijuana and celebrity news on the web.
He’s co-author of Reefer Movie Madness: The Ultimate Stoner Film Guide (Abrams Image, 2010) and Pot Culture: The A-Z Guide to Stoner Language and Life (Abrams Image, 2008).
A former editor of High Times, he produced the Stony and Doobie awards shows, and the Hempilatiion benefit albums for NORML during his more than 15 years wit the magazine.
He was the recipient of NORML’s Media & Culture Award in 2004.
He has appeared as a moderator, panelist and speaker at many marijuana-reform events, including the NORML conference, the Drug Policy Alliance conference, Seattle Hempfest, and Cypress Hill’s SmokeOut and Spring Gathering events. He is also the author of Video Invaders (Arco, 1982) and Watch Out for the Little Guys (St. Martins Press, 1989).
Art Director – Freedom Leaf Magazine
Joe is a graduate of Temple University with a Bachelor of Arts in Film, Video and Photographic Arts. Joe was previously Creative Director of Headspace magazine and has held numerous positions specializing in Graphic design, video production, magazine design, illustration, photography