Cultivating Success at Sussex

Welcome to 'The Team' at Sussex Cultivation, the dedicated and passionate individuals who form the heart and soul of our operations. We're more than a group of professionals; we're a family united by a shared commitment to nurturing top-tier cannabis and a healthier planet.

Our team's collective expertise spans the full breadth of the cannabis industry, from cultivation and extraction to distribution and customer service. Every team member contributes unique knowledge and skills, but we're all driven by the same mission: to deliver the highest quality cannabis products while reducing our carbon footprint.

At Sussex Cultivation, our positive team culture is integral to our success. We foster an environment that encourages innovation, collaboration, and continuous learning. We believe that by investing in our people, we're investing in the future of sustainable cannabis cultivation.


Lori Dowling

Lori has spent more than 30 years as an educator for the Passaic Board of Education in NJ. In addition, she has spent over 7 years partnering to build a business in the healthcare industry that relies on strict adherence to policies, deep understanding of testing and performance measures to inform sound decision making and building relationships with some of the most prominent hospitals in NJ.


Brian Dowling

Brian founded Sussex in 2019. He's led the team which resulted in one of the first cannabis companies to secure adult use cultivation and manufacturing licenses in NJ. He's worked closely with cannabis consultants in connection with strategic planning including the design and development of its cultivation and manufacturing facilities, product lines, and capital budgets. He's  identified, partnered, and hired the Sussex Cultivation team. Brian designed and implemented recruiting strategies for Nurses 24/7 that increased company revenue by 200% before his cannabis venture. A former Division 1 scholarship athlete, Brian is a proud graduate and member of Towson Football Alumni.


Chris Dowling

Chris has spent more than 20 years building businesses in the healthcare and energy industry. Chris founded a leading executive search firm specializing in the local, regional, and national placement of sales and service personnel within the HVAC/Energy industry, and under his leadership, grew the company from a local technical recruitment firm to a national search and recruit firm serving multiple Fortune 500 companies. Chris is the founder and CEO of Nurse Staffing LLC, DBA Nurses 24/7 located in NJ. Nurses 24/7 is one of the top 100 fastest growing staffing firms in the country generating over 100 million in annual revenue. Chris was also a board member at the Wayne Police Athletic League before spending 10+ years coaching football at youth and high school level.


Joe Bellantoni

Joe owns and operates a cannabis farm in Grants Pass, Oregon with 40,000 square feet of canopy space and completed the development and licensing of an additional 280,000 square feet of outdoor canopy space. Joe has already had the opportunity to use his financial expertise in the cannabis industry as the owner of the cannabis farm in Oregon. He also developed standard operating procedures for the farm. Joe has more than 30 years of experience in accounting and finance. Joe was previously at Crystal Springs Spa & Golf Resort and Mountain Creek as CFO and director. Over his career, Joe has raised more than $2.2 billion in debt and equity financing. Joe studied accounting at Pace University, real estate development and finance at Columbia University and earned an MBA at MIT Sloan School of Management.

Vice President

Denise Bellantoni

Denise Bellantoni owns a 114‐acre farm in Grants Pass, Oregon, which includes eight licensed cannabis production farms that are leased. One of the farms is owned by her husband, Joseph Bellantoni. Denise assists her husband with all accounting and tax matters as well as oversees compliance with the Oregon Liquor Control Commission and the reconciliation of inventory through METRC, an industry-standard cannabis tracking system. Denise was a founding shareholder of S&S Worldwide, one of the world’s largest amusement ride manufacturers in the world.

Director Of Security

Steve Olympio

Steve is the owner and founder of a Detective Agency in New Jersey where he specializes in corporate security services, background checks, and surveillance services. A former member of New Jersey Law Enforcement and member of the City of Paterson Board of education, he brings over 30 years of law enforcement, and community engagement to our Sussex Cultivation Team. Spending the bulk of his career working with high‐risk assignments and as a detective in the Narcotics division, he was also President of the Paterson Police Benevolent Association Local #1 for eight years, where he was Chief Negotiator for 500 police officers.

Director of Cultivation

Miles Perryman

Miles has 20+ years of management, operations, sales, & cannabis cultivation experience. Miles experience includes growing indoors, light deprivation, & outdoor techniques. Miles has the rare experience of cultivating with complete organic and no till methods for cannabis production. His experience also includes breeding and specialized seed production, feminized hemp seed production in greenhouses, greenhouse construction, operations and CEA experience for cannabis and general agriculture products. Miles also has tremendous passion and knowledge of hash rosin production, which aligns with our company’s long-term vision.

Head Grower/Operations Manager

James Gansley

James has been in NJ's cannabis industry for over six years. Since 2017, James has been growing quality product and helping cultivation facilities in the NJ cannabis program to optimize efficiency. James was a member of the original grow team for the first indoor cannabis cultivation facility in NJ. James then transferred to being a supervisor for the first licensed cannabis adult use greenhouse in NJ.  James graduated from Green Mountain College with a Bachelor of Science degree. ​

Post Harvest/Compliance

Kathleen Junkerman

Kathleen has over 5 years’ experience in NJ's cannabis industry. Kat worked at the first NJ licensed medical cannabis grow in 2018. She then joined as a member at the largest cannabis multi state operator in North Jersey from the start of their operation. She has experience overseeing the daily operations of standardized post-harvest practices, ultimately overseeing inventory and testing of all cannabis grown and processed through medical and adult use expansion while assuring that all employees remain compliant with required state regulations.

Director of Manufacturing

Seth Brown

Seth Brown has 10 years of experience working in Northern California where he specialized in hydrocarbon extraction and post processing with 5 years also in cultivation. For the last 3 years Seth has been working in NJ as an Extraction Manager for a multi-state operator, and during his time in New Jersey, he was the first to put concentrates on the map in NJ bringing names such as COOKIES, GAGE and KIND TREE to the market. Seth has expertise in ethanol/distillation, CO2 and solventless extraction and all stages of cultivation, post processing, manufacturing and sales. He is compliant oriented, has written all Standard Operating Procedures for Manufacturing, and has a deep passion for putting out the best quality cannabis on the market.

Director of Sales & Marketing

Phil DeMuro

Phil has over 10 years of sales & marketing experience working in both startup environments as well as some of the largest global advertising agencies. In these roles, he’s had the opportunity to partner with some of the world’s largest brands across industries such as tech, fashion, retail, government, health & wellness, sports, gaming, and food & beverage. His experience includes branding, social media, television, out of home, event activations, logo design, website design, radio, and more. Through understanding the New Jersey market and developing a brand that resonates with consumers, Phil plans to help grow Sussex Cultivation into one of the top players in New Jersey Cannabis.