Central Coast Cannabis Council > Board of Directors

Austen Connella – Board member

Austen Connella Board Member of Central Coast Cannabis Council grew up in San Luis Obispo County where he graduated from Atascadero High School and attended Cuesta College. He went to San Francisco State University where he studied Entrepreneurship with a focus on the medical cannabis industry. He has been a medical patient since 2000 and has been cultivating cannabis in accordance with State Law ever since.

Austen has started several patient-based groups including his current farm and collective SLOCal Roots Farms. Mr. Connella was the first applicant for a brick and mortar dispensary in the unincorporated area of San Luis Obispo County with the North County Resource Center in 2002. He worked closely with county staff for 2 years to develop a dispensary ordinance and also served on the sub-committee for the city of Morro Bay for the cannabis Draft ordinance in 2011. There, he planned to open the “Bayside Patients Collective.” 

A second generation cannabis farmer, Austen grew up around the cannabis plant and has deep admiration for its medical benefits. He specializes in organic and sustainable farming techniques but also has years of experience in manufacturing and consulting. Austen has an extensive background and 20 years of experience in indoor, greenhouse, and outdoor cultivation. He specializes in sustainable farming practices and has a considerable knowledge of developing a soil web food system. Austen always strives to implement regenerative-agricultural and biodynamic-farming techniques in all his projects.

Board Member Austen Connella

Megan Souza – Board Member

Megan Souza - Communications Director Central Coast Cannabis Council

Megan Souza Board Member of Central Coast Cannabis Council is co-founder and CEO of Megan's Markets which includes Megan's Organic Market (cannabis retail), Megan's CBD Market (hemp retail), Red Truck Management (cannabis cultivation), and Halcyon Management (consulting and project management).

Megan grew up in SLO County in a local entrepreneurial family so founding a business felt like fulfilling her destiny. Along with her partner, Eric Powers, Megan has been cultivating cannabis commercially in SLO County since 2010 and retailing through Prop 215 delivery service, Megan's Organic Market, since 2013. Megan has been operating a hemp retail store, Megan's CBD Market, in Morro Bay since 2018 and has applied for dispensary licenses in Morro Bay and SLO as well as outdoor cultivation licenses in Los Osos and Shandon,

Megan is also a published poet, an amateur philosopher, and a radio show host.

Adam Laurent – Board Member

Adam Laurent Board Member of Central Coast Cannabis Council is co-owner of Pilothouse Management, providing project and operations management solutions for agricultural and cannabis startups.

Some of Adam's recent enterprise efforts include owning Agile Business Advisors, a strategy and innovation consultancy. He co-founded Optimized Athlete, a digital health and performance company. And he is co-founder and co-producer at Shelter Cove Productions, creating and delivering to market the film festival winning documentary, Personal Gold.

He came to the business world as an elite athlete, who’s cycling career produced several world championship medals and the fulfillment of a lifelong dream to represent the United States in the Olympic Games. Opportunities unfolded projects ranging from product and brand consulting, research and development, industrial design and manufacturing, to work on creative teams of global marketing campaigns.

Adam has participated in every level of private enterprise. With the wisdom gained in that span, he seeks to energize his clients with a commitment to optimizing the human experience contained within his projects. Equally, a background in finance has shaped a full array of analytic skills. He can nimbly engage both the business metrics and the human components of commerce. His clear big-picture vision and prolific creativity allow for key insights and significant breakthroughs in the projects he engages. His detail oriented nature assures a comprehensive approach.

The object, as far as Adam is concerned, has always been to improve performance, and to improve the experience of its pursuit.

Shawn Sherman – Board member

Shawn Sherman Board Member of the Central Coast Cannabis Council had entered the cannabis industry as a commercial cultivator for local medical dispensaries. He currently owns and operates Golden Apple Cannabis Co., which is a boutique R&D cannabis business specializing in cultivation, processing, and product manufacturing. Shawn regularly speaks in local media such as radio on the topic of cannabis and local cannabis policy, and regularly gives presentation to organizations such as the Rotary Club, the Chamber of Commerce for various cities, and other local leadership organizations. He is also a founding and board member of the Central Coast Cannabis Council.

Shawn Sherman Board Member
Shawn Sherman Board Member