Meet our Fearless Leader
Jana Weltzin was born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska. Ms. Weltzin focuses her legal practice on land use and zoning law, medical marijuana law in Arizona and recreational marijuana business law and regulation compliance in Alaska. Ms. Weltzin provides representation for her cannabis clientele relating to business structure, permitting/licensing, land use applications and hearings, conditional use permits, investment connections and presentation, regulation compliance, real estate commercial leasing and purchases, operations, and general activism for the cannabis industry.
Ms. Weltzin played an invaluable role during the 2015 legislative session through her work with the Coalition for Responsible Cannabis Legislation, initiative sponsors, and future Alaskan cannabis businesses advocating for and analyzing proposed cannabis related legislation to ensure sustainable success for the industry.
Ms. Weltzin is a regular contributor to Marijuana Venture Magazine’s legal section and other various publications.
Ashley Simpson, Esq. Of Counsel
Attorney Ashley Simpson began working in the cannabis industry after the Texas Compassionate Use Act was passed by the Texas Legislature in 2015. Ashley’s long-standing interest in the cannabis industry and her desire to service cannabis business clients was solidified after she began assisting with a marijuana law business course at Texas A&M University School of Law.
Ashley’s current practice focuses on regulatory issues and navigating legislative and regulatory frameworks, such as FDA regulation and state hemp legislation. She regularly assists clients in navigating these regulations and works to develop strategies to help clients expand their footprint across multiple states. As part of her practice, Ashley often conducts comprehensive reviews of clients’ hemp-derived product labeling (e.g., websites, labels, social media content, blogs, etc.) for FDA compliance, and assists clients in drafting marketing and label content compliant with both federal and state regulations.
Prior to pursuing a career in the cannabis industry, Ashley worked as an attorney in the oil and gas industry. Experience navigating through complex issues related to oil and gas estate ownership has placed her in a unique position to advise clients on the emerging and rapidly changing regulations governing the cannabis industry, specifically the hemp industry.
Attorney Simpson received her J. D. from Texas A&M University School of Law f/k/a Texas Wesleyan University School of Law. She is currently admitted to the State Bar of Texas.
Brenda Mills Paralegal & Notary Public
Contract Paralegal Consultation work for the JDW team is performed by Brenda’s Business Services. Owner Brenda Mills has recently received her diploma, with Honors, in Legal Assistant/Paralegal studies. Brenda has a lifetime of customer service experience, having been born and raised in a family owned and operated carnival business that still continues to thrive to this day. Brenda has raised two amazing sons who live and go to school in Anchorage. She also has experience in food and transport permitting. Her experience in the Hospitality Industry was an amazing steppingstone into the workforce outside of her family’s business, she started as a night housekeeper and received 7 promotions in a year and a half, making her assistant to the General Manager. Brenda’s diverse experience in multi-tasking, managing, permitting events, vendors, and working with local government makes her an invaluable asset to the JDW team.
Mercedes Curran Legal Assistant
Mercedes Curran is a lifelong resident of Anchorage, Alaska. After graduating from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education, Mercedes returned to Anchorage. Since 2013, Mercedes has gotten deeply involved in the local soccer and performing arts scenes, from coaching youth teams at Alaska Rush Soccer Club and Anchorage Youth Soccer Club and refereeing every level of soccer in the state to performing with the Anchorage Concert Chorus and Chorale, Theatre Artists United, and other musical performance groups and bands. Her previous positions at Charter College and Anchorage Downtown Partnership, Ltd. gave her opportunities to directly help her fellow Alaskans, whether to advance students’ educational and professional goals or make downtown Anchorage a safer, cleaner, and more vibrant community hub. Mercedes is excited to continue her passion for positive change in her hometown at JDW Counsel!
Ms. Curran is a commissioned Notary Public.
Alex Halcom Law Clerk
Prior to joining our team, Alex Halcom worked with the Ninth Circuit Courts Law Library as an Archives Intern. She preserved, digitized and catalogued historical artifacts from the Territory of Alaska dating back to the late 19th century. Her research focused on election records and accessibility prior to Alaskan statehood in 1959. In a separate project, she compiled artifacts on Ninth Circuit Alaskan judges, cataloguing their accomplishments and impact on their communities. Ms. Halcom is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies from the University of Alaska, Anchorage.
Ms. Halcom is a commissioned Notary Public.