Founder of MITA
Demitri Downing is a former prosecutor and industry registered lobbyist who is part of the original vanguard of Arizona medical marijuana industry leaders. Dedicated to building a vibrant and successful market, Downing has distinguished himself as a vested industry expert and influential trailblazer. With a strong understanding of both policy and operations on a local and international level, Downing was instrumental in drafting Prop 205, Arizona’s 2016 legalization bill and currently serves as an advisor to the 2020 Arizona recreational initiative committee.
Downing entered the industry as business development, regulatory compliance, and Mergers & Acquisitions specialist. He quickly grew this and his operational responsibilities into other roles to meet the growing needs of a developing market and industry. Downing brings over a decade of law enforcement and government relations expertise to his marijuana policy work. He has an in-depth knowledge of the complex nuances shaping the emerging industry. He has also developed one of the most expansive networks of cannabis business professionals and entrepreneurs in the industry.
In May of 2016, seeing the need for strong State level industry associations, Downing founded MITA-AZ, the Arizona Marijuana Industry Trade Association, the state’s first and largest industry trade association. He is also the co-founder of the Southwest Cannabis Conference and Expo, which hosted shows in Phoenix, San Diego, Dallas, and Miami. In addition, he has collaborated with other industry innovators to foster inclusivity and cultural and ethnic diversity in the cannabis space. As part Native American and Mexican, Downing is the founding member of the National Indian Cannabis Coalition (NICC), an organization focused on guiding native communities into emerging cannabis market opportunities and founding member of the Mexican Cannabis Business Alliance. Downing is also the co-founder of AMMA PAC, a patient's first organization in Arizona, and co-founder of digital publication Arizona Cannabis Monthly.
Through his consulting company, PolicyQuake Downing has acted as a consultant for pro-industry legal changes in numerous U.S. states, advised on applications for limited licensing states and as a partner and strategic advisor on multiple ancillary ventures, as well as advising on dispensary and cultivation operations. On an international level, Downing has been very active since 2017, serving as a founding board member for global conference CannaMex at the invitation of former President of Mexico Vicente Fox. He is also working with Cannabisalud, Cannex, Expo Columbia as well as others. Demitri has also attended, spoken at or participated in more than 100 cannabis conferences across the globe.
With a dynamic combination of small business start-up expertise coupled with an education in Epistemology from Boston University and a degree in law from the University of Arizona College of Law, Downing’s cumulative insight and perceptive approach have made him an innovative business leader in the medical marijuana space.
Downing is currently working on many national and international projects to advance the growing marijuana industry. His greatest point of pride is helping hundreds of industry professionals through MITA-AZ, his private consultancy, as well as job fairs he has created, to navigate the complexities of the rapidly changing marijuana landscape and find work! As Prohibition ends and the culture and economics shift, few Americans are better positioned and prepared to advise others on these matters then Downing.
Contact Demitri Downing:
Director of Strategic Partnerships
Danielle Sedgwick has over 17 years of experience in marketing, brand strategy, events production, and sales for B2B and B2C corporations, she currently serves as the Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Marijuana Industry Trade Association of Arizona. Danielle is also the co-founder of the nonprofit organization Leaf for Life Foundation, which helps veteran families dealing with PTSD and mental health.
Sedgwick’s foray into the cannabis space evolved naturally. Certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine in nutrition and functional diagnostics, Sedgwick’s strong background in health and fitness motivated her to enter the cannabis space in early 2015. Sedgwick’s ability to build partnerships and strong business foundations prompted her ascendance into many executive-level positions in the industry.
For three years, Sedgwick was influential in establishing a successful multi-state cannabis conference series. She served as the chief sales executive and events producer of more than eight, large-scale events including The Southwest Cannabis Conference and Expos held in Texas, Arizona, and California; the Southeast Cannabis Conference and Expo in Florida; and the U.S. Cannabis Conferences in Florida and Arizona.
Contact Danielle Sedgwick:
The Arizona Community
Joining Arizona’s Cannabis Industry Trade Association (MITA) means being represented as a community alongside other stakeholders committed to building a strong and sustainable future for legitimate medical and recreational cannabis in Arizona.
In addition to enhanced political representation, MITA membership offers unparalleled networking opportunities; exclusive access to industry information; special training and education opportunities; and local business connections and brand recognition.