About Us

Since being founded in San Diego in 2010 by our Past-President Craig Beresh, the California Cannabis Coalition has led the charge towards successful political reform on the Local and State level. The CCC is a coalition of patients, patients’ caregivers, and medical professionals dedicated to safeguarding America’s right to access cannabis legally and grow hemp which will save the planet. Through the decade CCC has successfully champion Referendums to overturn over a dozen Local Bans, passage of seven local Citizen’s Initiative Petitionsinstitution of Local Ordinances in , San Diego, San Bernardino Riverside County, Santa Monica and Lake Elsinore, a host of State Legislative victories including the defeat of the Delivery Ban this year AB1530, and the first and only Cannabis Organization to win a challenge against a City in the Supreme Court regarding not only Cannabis but, Taxes, Special Elections and Ballot Measures (California Cannabis Coalition v. the City of Upland 2017). 

For ten years CCC has championed equitable as well as consumer and patient focused policy and education campaigns to further the advancement of De-scheduling Cannabis Nationwide and most of all defeating the stigma around it and our communities. US Commerce and Trade Research Institute, has recognized the California Cannabis Coalition as a 2015 California Excellence Award recipient.

Meet The Team

Ryan Bacchas – President & Chairman

Before being named President of his mentor’s prestigious organization and movement, Ryan Bacchas proved early to be the leader and “X” factor behind key pivotal change of the Cannabis World. As the successor of Craig Beresh the “Global Cannabis Activist,” Pioneer of California’s the Compassionate Care Act of 1996 (Proposition 215) and Founder of the California Cannabis Coalition, Ryan Bacchas, Chairman & President, has dedicated half a decade to furthering those goals, initiatives and successes on behalf of the Coalition and Industry interest.
Starting an early career at 19 years old in 2014 as Manager and Lead Lobbyist for Californians for Responsible Government (501 c) and Corporate Secretary to his Coalition, Ryan Bacchas demonstrated a natural aptitude to leadership, political organization, and policy. From his legislative direction and expertise used in 2015 for AB 266 (Bonta), AB 243 (Wood) and SB 643 (McGuire) to his work managing local campaigns such as Measure U (Upland), Measure T (Yuba Co.) and Measure XX (Calaveras Co.), Mr. Bacchas has become considered among the new “Forward Thinkers.”

In 2016, as Manager for Direct Democracy Unlimited, Mr. Bacchas set absolute precedence resurging the country’s leading Petition Agency, two months into the petition season when the firm was two and a half months behind on producing signatures for clients. Under his lead Mr. Bacchas helped coordinate, direct and manage signature collection, validation, batching and procurement to clients of qualifying voter signatures for all 15 Statewide General Ballot Initiatives in 2016 (7,965,736 signatures in total). In doing so he also put the firm nearly a month and a half ahead of the June Deadline. Among the successful Ballot Measures carried by the company during Mr. Bacchas’ leadership were Proposition 50 (Legislator), Proposition 51 (Education), Proposition 52 (Healthcare), Proposition 53 (Elections), Proposition 54 (Accountability), Proposition 55 (Taxes), Proposition 56 (Tobacco), Proposition 57 (Trials), Proposition 58 (Education), Proposition 59 (Campaign Finance), Proposition 60 (Healthcare), Proposition 62 (Death Penalty), Proposition 63 (Firearms), Proposition 65 (Environment) and Proposition 64 (Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act).

That Summer just days after Statewide Season, Ryan led his Coalition as the Voter Outreach Coordinator and Assistant Campaign Manager to a pivotal record-breaking victory in the City San Bernardino Measure O campaign, organizing the collection of 10,000 signatures in 30 days at a 75% validity rate. That same Fall he would again lead a victorious and historic campaign to repeal the endorsed measure by Ex – Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Ordinance 1910 in the City of Upland, defeating it two weeks before the 30 deadline to perform local referendums. As Chief Executive Officer in 2017, Mr. Bacchas would go on to lead the Coalition to a globally historic victory in the famed 5-2 Supreme Court Decision, California Cannabis Coalition vs. the City of Upland, while also structuring and coordinating the advancement of local framework and Ordinances. Through his work with municipalities such as Lake Elsinore, Moreno Valley, Santa Monica, West Hollywood and Riverside County, has been appointed Vice-President of Government Relations for California Minority Alliance: Inland Empire Chapter (501c4) and serviced many stakeholders locally and statewide.

As 2018 came with Proposition 64 going into effect, Ryan worked with leading policy experts, regulators and elected officials in the State’s Capitol to deliver 8 Cannabis bills to the Desk of Governor Brown in his final year of governance for the State of California. Out of the 8 Cannabis Bills carried by his cadre, 6 of the most critical bills of the legalization era were signed including SB 311 (Pan), SB 1294 (Bradford), SB 1409 (Wilk), AB 1793 (Bonta), AB 2899 (Rubio) and AB 2020 (Quirk).

Credited as the “Gold Standard of Government Relations and Legislative Affairs,” “Signal Caller,” and now President for the California Cannabis Coalition, Ryan Bacchas looks to put California back on top as the Global Market Leader in Cannabis.

Joseph Chicas – Vice Chairman & Interim Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Chicas is the Executive Director of Cannabis Advising Partners (CAP) and CEO Of the Green Well Company, Inc. His 10 years of leadership experience within the public and private sector is rooted in a commitment toward solving society’s most vexing issues. Mr. Chicas served on the transition team for Congresswoman Karen Bass as she transitioned from the California State Senate to the U.S. House Of Representatives. He also created Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Office of Veterans Affairs, where he spearheaded a campaign to hire 10,000 Veterans and was key in solidifying a partnership between the Mayor and First Lady Michelle Obama on her campaign to end veteran homelessness. After a successful tenure with Mayor Garcetti, Joseph joined the University of Southern California (USC) as an Adjunct Professor where he has taught policy advocacy and social change for the past three years. While teaching at USC, Joseph began leveraging his policy and government experience to create  seamless pathways toward licensing for cannabis leaders throughout California. Joseph is a native Angeleno and obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from UCLA and his Master’s Degree from USC.

Kevin Kim – Vice President of Business Development

Since 1996, Kevin Kim has been utilizing his out of the box thinking to solve problems. Mr. Kim has been able to create programs through entrepreneurship and utilizing un-restricted funds to develop programs for
at-risk youth and young adults. In addition to creating self-sufficient programs such as the LACOE After School Program and Contract, the LA Bridges Program and the Magic Johnson Mid-Summer Magic
, Mr. Kim has been key in making vital impacts in the community as well as businesses. He even created a transitional and entrepreneurship housing program in San Diego with 26 houses in which, he created opportunities for individuals to go back to work based on their immediate skill set and eventually probation and having one of the most successful after-school programs via SB1095 (industry and cannabis sector is achievable.

From working with the LACOE/ LA County Juvenile entertainment, production, media, and overall professionalism to ensure the most elite standards of the considered to be the MTV of the cannabis world and brings his powerhouse resources and background of, also partnered with Cannabis Talk 101, a syndicated radio show, and produces The Roll Up Show which is patients and consumers which allow cannabis companies to market and promote their product to educate and empower cannabis. Learning from his uncle former State Senator Palancho, Mr. Kim’s resources and contacts have enabled him to host and organize successful cannabis events consult and educate the people and businesses in the cannabis industry become professional leaders. As founder and the President of California Minority Alliance: Inland Empire Chapter (501c4), continues to strength to further and expand the movement.

His programs, to managing Usher, Mariah Carey, Bone Thugs and Harmony, Bobby Avila and other Grammy winning artist in the music industry, Mr. Kim has used his expertise and passion as a serial business persona and influencer to continuously innovate and create successful products, companies, and people.

Craig Beresh – Founder & Past – President|Board Member