“The sessions were excellent, they provided a wealth of knowledge. The presenters had absolute mastery of the subjects and interacted in an exceptional way with the public.”
— Zory M., Puerto Rico

 

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Keynotes

Exclusive Industry Projections & Benchmark Data

Chris Walsh, Editorial Director, Marijuana Business Daily

The general press is full of conflicting numbers and inflated cannabis industry forecasts. What’s the reality? What are the true benchmarks that you can put in your business plan and share with investors? MJBizDaily Editorial Director Chris Walsh has been tracking the marijuana industry’s financials since 2011. Now, he’s going to share Marijuana Business Daily’s retail sales estimates and newest benchmark stats — based on real-life financials gathered from hundreds of MJ companies gathered for the 2017 Marijuana Business Factbook — exclusively with you. He’ll also analyze the data, based on his years of experience and deep legislative knowledge, to explain what’s coming down the pipeline.

Wednesday, May 17 – 9:10-9:50

Uncertainty, Regulations and Stigma: Lessons Learned From the Natural Health Products Industry

Loren Israelsen, President & Co-founder, United Natural Products Alliance

The cannabis industry is entering a new era of uncertainty as executives wonder whether Trump administration will crack down on marijuana companies. The industry also is bracing for the possibility of federal regulations and oversight in the future, which could upend the entire sector. At the same time, marijuana companies are still battling the age-old stigma surrounding cannabis. In this presentation, Loren Israelsen will offer first-hand insight into how a similar industry - natural health products industry – has navigated similarly rough waters in the past. Loren will talk about how to fight misconceptions from state and local governments, lobby for industry standards and regulations, and deal with years of uncertainty while attempting to create legitimacy. The long journey of this industry parallels much of what the cannabis industry faces today, including the challenges of creating good manufacturing practices, adapting to changes at the federal level and working through the everchanging regulatory landscape. You’ll learn what this industry did well and what it would’ve done differently – as well as gain a sense of what the marijuana industry can expect for the future.

Wednesday, May 17 – 9:50 -10:30

Insider Look: A Former DOJ Official’s View of Cannabis Banking

John Vardaman, Former Assistant Deputy Chief (Money Laundering Section) , U.S. Department of Justice

As an assistant deputy chief in the money laundering section of the U.S. Department of Justice during the Obama administration, John Vardaman co-authored a key memo released in 2014 that outlined how financial institutions can bank marijuana-related businesses. In this presentation, John will explain why the government released the guidance, what officials hoped to achieve, and what impact he believes the memo has had on the cannabis industry and marijuana banking issues. He’ll also offer insight on the concerns financial institutions and regulators have with the cannabis industry and provide tips on how businesses can land bank accounts, stay in good standing and minimize compliance issues.

Wednesday, May 17 – 10:30-11:15

Cultivation

Organic Cultivation Tutorial: Teaming with Microbes

Jeff Lowenfels, Author & Columnist

As the cannabis industry matures, patients and consumers are increasingly demanding organically grown marijuana. In this educational tutorial, you’ll learn how utilizing the soil food web results in healthy plants with maximum trichomes. Discover how to treat your soil so it can be reused, gain an understanding of which composts are best for cannabis and hear about other advanced methods to grow your cannabis organically.

Friday, May 19 – 9:30-10:20

Cultivation Deep Dive: Post-Harvest Strategies & Techniques

Ashley Walgren, Post-Harvest Manager, Giving Tree Wellness Center

Refining cultivation techniques, specifically the post-harvest process, takes time and usually involves trial and error. Attend this session to hear what strategies a post-harvest manager in Arizona has discovered work best for her operation. You’ll learn what post-harvest management entails and get strategies for refining your processes when it comes to trimming, drying, curing and storage. You’ll also learn about why post-harvest management is important and get tips for quality control and compliance.

Friday, May 19 – 10:30-11:20

Cultivation Deep Dive: Profitability of Greenhouses vs. Indoor Grows – Exclusive Study Results

James Eaves, Professor, Laval University

Which growing method is better: greenhouse or indoor cultivation? It’s one of the biggest debates in cannabis circles. Every grower has an opinion on which cultivation method produces higher-quality cannabis and which is more cost efficient. In this session, a university professor and agricultural economist will share never-before-presented results of a detailed simulation he conducted that compares the profitability of a vertical farm to that of a greenhouse in four locations across North America. He will offer several revealing insights drawn from one of the first studies of its kind. The results might surprise you.

Friday, May 19 – 11:30-12:20 PM

Advanced Cultivation Tips & Techniques: Insights From Lead Cultivators

Alecia Weisman, Lead Grower & Resident Scientist, Legion of Bloom

More speakers for this session will be announced shortly.

Looking to take your grow to the next level, refine your techniques and learn about the latest and greatest cultivation technologies? In this session, you’ll get a rare chance to hear from some of the top growers in the cannabis industry on everything from trimming methods and nutrients insight to improving yields and lowering energy use. Come prepared to ask your burning questions about advanced cultivation methods, as there will be plenty of time for audience Q&A.

Thursday, May 18 – 9:30-10:20 PM

Going Big: How to Scale a Grow and Boost Operational Efficiency

Corey Barnette, Founder & CEO, District Growers

The days of small mom-and-pop grows are quickly coming to an end, with steep licensing fees, heavy competition and other factors increasingly knocking out the little guy. Many existing cultivators are quickly realizing that they must expand – not only to meet demand, but also to effectively compete with the increasing number of massive grows dominating the cannabis landscape. In this session, you’ll learn how to determine when it’s time to scale up versus when to stay put. You’ll also get insight into the key operational and financial considerations that come into play when expanding a grow, as well as discover strategies you can employ to boost efficiencies.

Thursday, May 18 – 10:30-11:20 PM

Developing, Maintaining & Maximizing Small Grow Rooms

Rick Fisher, EVP, Operations & Distribution, Canndescent

Deciding on a cultivation facility can be overwhelming given all the opinions and options out there. In this session, hear from a cultivation expert who believes smaller grow rooms are better than larger ones. Learn why splitting up your cultivation site into smaller “micro” grows can produce more consistent and higher-quality cannabis, increase yields and heighten productivity, mitigate risk and even allow for a larger variety of strain production. You’ll gain in-depth insight in to developing this type of grow and maximizing the space you have, leaving with tools you can implement in your own grow.

Thursday, May 18 – 11:30-12:20 PM

Infused Products

Preparing for the Inevitable: Adapting to Regulatory Changes on Infused Products

Greg Jones, General Manager, Bronnor Corporation
Amy Margolis, Shareholder, Greenspoon Marder
Tim Moxey, Founder, BotanicaSeattle

Navigating the shifting regulatory landscape for infused products can cause huge headaches, especially when companies are forced to change their production processes or shell out money for new equipment to meet new rules. In this session, you’ll hear from several infused products executives who have been through regulatory changes at the state level as well as a lawyer who has helped companies work through these hurdles. You’ll learn how to prepare for and anticipate such changes, get an idea of how they might affect your business and gain insight into regulatory trends on infused products.

Thursday, May 18 – 9:30-10:20 PM

Extraction Processes, Procedures & Technology

Jim Makoso, Vice President & Co-founder, Lucid Labs

Attend this in-depth session to learn advanced methods and specific processes that are popular in refinement processing. Hear an extraction expert discuss specific advanced filtering techniques including single-solvent dewaxing and cryo winterization, as well as distillation, chromatography and chemical isolations. He will also evaluate the different methodologies and discuss the conflicting schools of thought, as well as share insight on the future direction of extraction.

Thursday, May 18 – 10:30-11:20 PM

Battling the Big Boys: Entering a Mature Infused Products Market

Lauren Gockley, Head Chocolatier, Coda Signature
Mark Grindeland, CEO & Co-founder, Coda Signature

What’s the secret recipe for successfully entering a hyper-competitive infused products market with deeply entrenched, big-time players? In this session, you’ll hear from a company that recently entered Colorado’s mature infused products market and was able to get in nearly half of the state’s rec shops within nine months. Learn how your infused products company can rise to the top in a crowded market by focusing on culture, capabilities and customer insights. You’ll also discover how data-driven decisions and creating a strategy that incorporates the company’s vision, mission and core values can help you carve a niche in a mature market.

Thursday, May 18 – 11:30-12:20 PM

Retail

Tapping Key Market Segments: Seniors & Newbies

Kimberly Cargile, CEO, A Therapeutic Alternative
Robert Platshorn, Founder, The Silver Tour

Seniors are one of the fastest-growing demographics in the medical marijuana industry, while new users are coming into the cannabis fold at a rapid clip. These cannabis users have their own unique needs and concerns, meaning you need to employ different strategies to gain (and keep) them as customers. In this session, you’ll learn about strategies for effectively tapping the senior and newbie markets by choosing the right media and messaging. You’ll also get tips on how to create a positive first-time experience for both types of cannabis consumers and turn them into loyal, repeat customers.

Thursday, May 18 – 9:30-10:20 PM

Product & Strain Selection: Finding the Right Balance For Your Dispensary or Rec Shop

Nichole West, Vice President, Sweet Leaf Marijuana Centers

Balancing the selection of products and strains you carry in your dispensary or rec shop can be tricky. Some retailers try to stock their shelves with everything available on the market, which can backfire in a big way. Picking which products and strains to carry involves analyzing consumer demands specific to your location and taking into account the demographics of the market. You also have to look into the future and attempt to predict changes in demand and customer preferences. In this session you’ll hear from the vice president of a chain of rec stores/dispensaries in Colorado and Oregon, who will talk about how her company handles the selection process. She’ll discuss methods of tapping employees as a resource to select products to carry in stores and walk you through how her company developed a system to ensure it is offering the products cannabis consumers want.

Thursday, May 18 – 10:30-11:20 PM

Taking Your Dispensary to the Next Level: Boosting Profits, Patient Counts & Competitiveness

Chanda Macias, Owner & MMJ Consultant, National Holistic Healing Center

Curious how to carve out a niche for your dispensary? Learn how an executive in Washington DC who was the last to open a dispensary in the city became the market leader just 18 months after opening her doors. She will explain how to get new patients through marketing initiatives and talk about retention incentives and referral programs that can help boost your patient counts and profits. You’ll also hear how to stay competitive once you’ve reached the top through value creation, community education, strain request systems and other methods.

Thursday, May 18 – 11:30-12:20 PM

Start-ups

Deep Dive: Creating a Winning License Application

Robert Carp, Principal, Carp Law Offices

Applying for a cannabis business license is often an overwhelming experience, given the immense amount of paperwork, due diligence, research and patience required. Attend this session to learn in-depth strategies from a consultant who has helped many businesses in markets across the country win licenses. You’ll gain insight into how to structure your application, learn how states score applicants and discover how to make your company appear professional to regulators. You’ll even get to see samples of winning applications and learn what made them stand out. No matter what type of license you are seeking, you’ll leave this session with tips and resources on how to create a top-notch application.

Friday, May 19 – 11:30-12:20 PM

Starting a Cannabis Grow: Costs & Key Considerations

David Niccum, Founder & Consultant, Pure Cannabis Consulting

Getting your cultivation facility up and running is no easy task. There are many moving parts, and it’s easy to get derailed. In this session, learn the basics of starting a licensed cannabis cultivation operation from an expert who has helped launch several grow facilities. You’ll discover how much it costs – and how long it takes - to get a cultivation facility up and running, get an idea of the regulations you’ll face and learn about different types of growing methods used in the industry. This session is ideal for those who are getting ready to apply for a license.

Thursday, May 18 – 1:00-1:50 PM

Starting an Infused Products Company: Costs & Key Considerations

Avis Bulbulyan, CEO, SIVA Enterprises

Taking your infused products company from idea to reality can seem daunting at first. There are many details to take in to consideration. Gain insight into what you must know from an expert who has helped several infused products manufactures launch. You’ll discover how much it costs – and how long it takes – to get an infused products company up and running, get an idea of what to consider during product development and learn about regulatory challenges you’ll face. This session is ideal for those who are getting ready to apply for a license.

Thursday, May 18 – 2:00-2:50 PM

Starting a Dispensary or Rec Shop: Costs & Key Considerations

Stephanie Hopper, Founder, Root Strategies

Getting your dispensary or rec shop off the ground and ensuring you will be competitive can be extraordinarily difficult. Gain insight into what you must know from an expert who has helped launch numerous cannabis retail operations. You’ll discover how much it costs – and how long it takes – to get a dispensary/rec shop up and running, learn what some of the best cannabis retailers have in common and get an understanding of some of the key challenges you’ll face. This session is ideal for those who are getting ready to apply for a license.

Thursday, May 18 – 3:00-3:50 PM

Business Expansion

Multi-State Growth: Managing Risk & Vetting Partners

David Barakett, CEO, ShowGrow
Tanya Hoke, Managing Director, Galen Diligence
Jeremy Unruh, Director of External Affairs & General Counsel, PharmaCann

New medical and recreational markets are poised to open up across the country – creating immense opportunities for existing businesses to expand. But entering new states carries some significant risks. In this session, you’ll hear from two cannabis companies that have successfully expanded into other states as well as from a due diligence and risk management expert. They will cover internal and external factors to consider, discuss key considerations in navigating regulatory issues, provide an overview of how to analyze a new market and share advice for dealing with potential investors and partners.

Friday, May 19 – 9:30-10:20 PM

The Next Frontier: Rec Opportunities in Canada

Michael Gorenstein, CEO & Chairman, Cronos Group
Jennifer Hanser, Vice President, Business Development, Tilray
Andrea Hill, Attorney, SkyLaw Professional Corporation

Canada is widely regarded as the gold standard in the regulation of medical marijuana at the federal level, and the country hopes to do the same on the recreational cannabis front as it pursues adult-use legalization. In this session, you’ll gain insight into the recreational marijuana business opportunities that will emerge down the road. Learn what it will take to tap this upcoming market and expand across the border. You’ll also get an update on the legalization process and what types of regulations recreational marijuana businesses will face.

Friday, May 19 – 10:30-11:20 PM

New Market Update: Eastern MMJ & Rec States

Michael Bronstein, President, Bronstein & Weaver
Becky DeKeuster, Founder & CEO, Calyx Concepts
Tom Haren, Attorney, Seeley, Savidge, Ebert & Gourash Co., LPA
Kris Krane, President, 4Front Ventures

The western half of the United States has long been the marijuana industry’s hub, with California, Colorado and Washington state leading the way. But the eastern part of the country is about to come into its own, as a host of new medical and recreational states are gearing up to launch. In this session you’ll hear from experts entrenched in the emerging markets in Florida, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Ohio. They’ll look at various aspects of these programs, including application licenses and fees, restrictions and requirements, unique regulatory issues, and the timeline for each state. You’ll leave with a clearer understanding of what business opportunities look like in these new markets.

Friday, May 19 – 11:30-12:20 PM

Investing

Assessing the Investment Climate: New Challenges & Hottest Opportunities

Sumit Mehta, Founding Partner, Mazakali

Attend this session to get an idea of what’s on the horizon for investors in the cannabis industry. A financial industry veteran will discuss some of the biggest investor challenges these days, including the impact of a commodity price decline as well as the geo-political climate. The speaker will also discuss what they see as the most promising investment areas of the cannabis industry, including bio-science, ag-tech and international markets. Established investors in the industry and individuals considering placing money in cannabis companies for the first time will both benefit from this session.

Thursday, May 18 – 1:00-1:50 PM

Great Expectations: Investing in California’s Cannabis Market

Leslie Bocskor, President & CEO, Electrum Partners
Zeta Ceti, CEO, Green Rush Consulting
Emily Paxhia, Managing Director, Poseidon Asset Management

With its move to legalize recreational marijuana and set up a statewide regulatory framework for medical cannabis companies, California is set to become the biggest, most exciting MJ market in the nation. In this session, you’ll get an idea of where the biggest opportunities lie for investors in California, how to navigate the uncertain climate as the state moves forward with regulations, and what to consider as you assess the market.

Thursday, May 18 – 2:00-2:50 PM

How Much is it Worth? Valuation Insights for Marijuana Investors

Chris Leavy, General Partner & Co-chairman, MedMen

There are plenty of opportunities for investors in the cannabis industry, but trying to determine how much a company is worth – and therefore you to structure your deal – can be difficult. In this session, you’ll hear from an industry veteran who has analyzed scores of cannabis retailers, infused products companies and cultivation businesses from an investment perspective. He’ll share insights on what to look at when determining the value of a company in the cannabis space and how to evaluate potential investments.

Thursday, May 18 – 3:00-3:50 PM

Business Finance

Tax Tutorial: Navigating 280E to Boost the Bottom Line

Dean Guske, President, Guske & Company

Taxes are one of the biggest issues facing marijuana retailers today, thanks to the dreaded 280E section of the U.S. tax code. In this workshop, participants will get an in-depth look at strategies they can use to lower their tax bill and, in turn, boost their profit margins. Learn about intellectual property issues, why entity types matter and techniques to segregate operations to maximize your deductions.

Friday, May 19 – 9:30-10:20 PM

How to Get a Loan for Your Cannabis Business

Todd Sherer, Director of Business Development & Co-founder, Kind Growth Capital

Why are some cannabis businesses successful in securing debt financing, while others are not? Landing a loan is doable in the marijuana industry – if you know where to look. In this session, you’ll learn how to secure debt financing, gaining insight from a direct lender who has provided over $25 million in loans to cultivators, dispensaries, infused products manufacturers and ancillary businesses. You’ll also learn how debt financing can help your business grow, what type of debt structures are available, where you can obtain debt financing, and what you can do now to prepare for seeking a loan in the future.

Friday, May 19 – 11:30-12:20 PM

General Business

Marijuana Under a New Administration: The First 100 Days of Trump

Earl Blumenauer, Member of Congress, House of Representatives
Andrew Perraut, Principal, Radiant Strategies
Steph Sherer, Founder & Executive Director, Americans for Safe Access
John Vardaman, Former Assistant Deputy Chief (Money Laundering Section) , U.S. Department of Justice

How will President Trump and his cabinet approach the marijuana industry? It’s the biggest question in the marijuana industry these days. In this session, a panel of lawmakers, lobbyists and former White House officials will look at what – if anything –the Trump administration has done on the cannabis front this year and discuss what the president’s picks for high-profile cabinet positions (like Jeff Sessions as head of the DOJ) might mean for the marijuana industry. Panelists also will discuss what could be in store for the industry down the road under Trump and provide tips for how businesses should plan for the future.

Wednesday, May 17 – 11:15-12:15 PM

Ancillary Tutorial: B2B Sales Strategies in the MJ Industry

Steve Flaks, VP of Sales, BioTrackTHC
Emily Walter, Sales & Marketing Manager, Nanolux Technology

Establishing and honing a B2B sales process in the cannabis sector can be extraordinarily difficult for ancillary companies. The people, personalities, regulations and decision-making processes are different in marijuana than in other industries, and sales strategies that work in mainstream corporate America might backfire. In this session, get tips from two experts who have led their ancillary companies to success by successfully selling products and services to marijuana companies. They’ll discuss the differences in selling in various parts of the country, which specific sales approaches work and which don’t, how to leverage resources, and how to create effective messaging for your specific customer. You’ll leave this session with strategies you can implement immediately.

Friday, May 19 – 9:30-10:20 PM

Tutorial: Social Media Strategies for Infused Products & Retail Companies

Kyra Reed, Founder, Markyr
Brittney Uribe, Chief Marketing Executive, GFarmaLabs

Marijuana companies have limited options when it comes to marketing and advertising due to restrictive regulations in most states. As a result, social media is the marketing vehicle of choice for many infused products companies and marijuana retailers. In this tutorial, you’ll learn from two seasoned professionals about how to leverage social media to create brand awareness, increase sales and grow your customer base while staying compliant. The speakers will present step-by-step tips for maximizing engagement and producing effective content with each social media platform. You will leave this session with tools you can immediately use to improve your social media marketing strategy.

Friday, May 19 – 10:30-11:20 PM

Deep Dive: Killer Negotiating Tactics for Cannabis Businesses

Tony Perzow, CEO, You Suck At Negotiating

Negotiating skills come into play in nearly every aspect of your business, from striking partnership deals to inking sales contracts. But doing so effectively is difficult. In this session you’ll hear from a negotiating expert who has worked with executives from companies such as Apple and Samsung. He will teach you how to prepare for negotiations and avoid the biggest mistakes that can cost your cannabusiness a lot of money. You’ll learn in-depth strategies to increase and protect your margin and gain insight into counter-negotiation tactics. You will also discover how to implement these proven tactics to come out on top and leave with newfound confidence in your negotiating skills that you can utilize in all aspects of your business every day.

Friday, May 19 – 10:30-11:20 PM

The Perils of Rescheduling and FDA Regulation

Emily Leongini, Associate, Arent Fox
Andrew Perraut, Principal, Radiant Strategies

Many executives in the cannabis industry were disappointed last year when the federal government decided to leave marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug. But rescheduling the plant wouldn’t necessarily be a panacea for the industry – in fact, it could bring many unwanted changes. In this session, a former FDA employee and a former White House official who supervised regulations relating to food and nutrition, tobacco, biotechnology, veterinary medicine and agriculture will paint a picture of how rescheduling could impact the marijuana industry and what the cannabis business would look like under FDA regulations.

Thursday, May 18 – 10:30-11:20 PM

Intellectual Property Protection for Your Cannabis Strains, Products and Business

Dale Hunt, Partner, Patent Attorney, Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP

Cannabis strains and related products that have commercial value can be protected from unauthorized infringements in a variety of ways, though there are some unique challenges tied to intellectual property in the marijuana industry. Each approach has its advantages and limitations, and in many cases multiple overlapping strategies can be employed. Learn from a top plant patent attorney about the six categories of intellectual property and IP alternatives; what a plant patent covers and how to obtain one; how to read a patent claim, and how trademark rights accrue. You’ll gain insight into working within the current landscape of available trademark protection to protect your strains, products and business.

Thursday, May 18 – 11:30-12:20 PM

The Future of Cannabis Legislation: Q&A With U.S. Congress Members and a Leading Lobbyist

Rob Kampia, Executive Director, Marijuana Policy Project

More speakers for this session will be announced shortly.

Will the federal government finally make meaningful changes to the nation’s marijuana laws, including in the areas of banking and taxes? What bills are coming down the pipeline this year? What will President Trump’s administration do on the marijuana front for the next 3.5 years? Attend this session to get inside insight into marijuana legislation from a panel of U.S. Congress members and a leading marijuana lobbyist/advocate. You’ll walk away with a better understanding of what’s on tap at the federal level and what could happen with marijuana legislation in the months and years to come. You’ll also learn how cannabis businesses can help influence lawmakers and ensure eventual passage of key marijuana bills.

Thursday, May 18 – 9:30-10:20 PM