“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

Session descriptions are being added each week. Please check back for updates. A full agenda can be found here.

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Law & Order: Legal Update & Trends

Adam S. Fayne, Partner, Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr
Alyssa B. Samuel, In-House Attorney, MJardin Management
Henry Wykowski, Attorney, Wykowski Law

The legal environment in the cannabis industry is an ever-changing landscape with surprises at every turn. In this session, you’ll hear from a panel of three expert attorneys from California, Colorado and Illinois who will highlight legal trends that could affect your company now and down the road.

You’ll get insights on:
•How the federal government and its agencies are approaching the industry from a legal perspective
•Regulatory and legal compliance issues and strategies
•Recent trends cannabis business owners must know to stay above water and succeed
•Corporate planning to best position your company for an investment or sale

November 17 – 9:30-10:20

Tutorial: Advanced Strategies for Dealing with 280E

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 session, you’ll get an in-depth look at strategies you can use to lower your tax bills and boost your profit margins.

You’ll get insights on:
•In-depth look in to 280E and how it affects various business types in the cannabis sector
•Actionable strategies you can use to lower your tax bill, including how to segregate operations to maximize deductions
•Why entity type matters, and the best business structure for minimizing your tax burden
•Tax tips including important do’s and don’ts

November 17 – 10:30-11:20

Deep Dive: Regulations and Compliance Tips & Tactics

Emily Leongini, Associate, Arent Fox
Bob Morgan, Special Counsel, Much Shelist, P.C.

Regardless of the state you’re operating in, regulators will be a permanent fixture in any plant-touching cannabis company. Understanding what regulators are looking for and working with the regulatory frameworks in your given state can be perplexing and complex. In this session, the former coordinator of the Illinois medical cannabis program and an attorney will come together to present in-depth tactics to understand and adapt to changing regulations and remain compliant.

You’ll get insights on:
•The mindset of a cannabis regulator and proactively planning for regulator involvement
•Common pitfalls cannabis businesses encounter with state regulators and how to overcome them
•The most important steps to take to get and remain compliant without constantly exhausting all your resources
•What the future could hold in relation to FDA involvement

November 17 – 11:30-12:20

What’s New in Washington DC: Federal Policy Update

Michael J. Correia, Director of Government Relations, National Cannabis Industry Association
Michael Liszewski, Principal, The Enact Group
Dina Titus, Member of Congress, U.S. House of Representatives

Marijuana is gaining traction in the nation’s capital, and several important bills tied to the cannabis industry – from banking to taxes to legalization – are in front of lawmakers. Others will be introduced over the next year. In this session, several federal lawmakers will offer an inside look at where key measures stand, provide an idea of what’s coming down the pipeline and discuss the overall climate in Washington DC.

You’ll get insights on:
•The likelihood that the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment will pass again in December – and what could happen if it doesn’t
•The level of support for other key bills that would protect and bolster the cannabis industry
•How the Trump administration might approach marijuana, including the possibility of a rewrite of the Cole memo
•When the U.S. might reschedule and/or legalize marijuana

November 17 – 11:30-12:20


Scaling Your Extraction Business: Costs, Processes & Technology

Ron Gershoni, CEO & Co-founder, Jetty Extracts
Andy Joseph, President, Apeks Supercritical

Expanding an extraction operation isn’t as easy as it sounds, and cannabis companies often fail when it comes to planning and execution. In this session, a large extraction systems manufacturer and an extraction company that has successfully scaled its business will share actionable growth strategies and discuss the benefits of moving up to full production over time.

You’ll get insights on:
•Developing an expansion plan that minimizes risks and maximizes success
•Key variables and how they interact on every scale
•How to use calculations and modeling to scale properly
•How flexibility in large operations can keep costs down

November 17 – 9:30-10:20

Advanced Extraction: Technologies, Techniques & Innovation

Ryan Abernathy, President & CEO, X-Tracted Laboratories
AC Braddock, CEO, Eden Labs
Kelsey Hine-Ramsberger, Cannabis Market Champion, Buchi
Jim Makoso, Vice President & Co-founder, Lucid Labs

In the cannabis industry, technology innovation and process development go hand in hand – especially when it comes to extraction. In this session, you’ll hear four extraction experts share their advanced insight on specific technology, equipment and processes that have helped them take their businesses to the next level.

You’ll get insights on:
•The newest innovations and technology each expert is currently working with
•The importance of refinement technology
•Key factors to consider when differentiating between and selecting equipment for your facility
•The future of technology as it relates to extraction

November 17 – 10:30-11:20

Extraction Deep Dive: Supercritical Carbon Dioxide & Product Pipelines

Mark June-Wells, Ph.D., Principal, Sativum Consulting Group

Supercritical carbon dioxide is regarded as a dynamic, effective and safe solvent for use in the extraction of cannabinoids and terpenes. In this session, you’ll get an in-depth look at the dynamic nature of this extraction process in an understandable manner from a laboratory director who will share his techniques, tips and tricks.

You’ll get insights on:
•Carbon dioxide chemical properties
•Increasing extraction efficiency and completeness as well as tips for product formulation
•Cannabinoid separation and product pipelines
•Post processing

November 17 – 11:30-12:20

Canada & International

Canada Rec Update: Regulations, Timeline & Considerations

Matt Maurer, Chair, Cannabis Law Group, Minden Gross

Canada is set to become the first G7 nation to legalize recreational marijuana – a move that will usher in immense business opportunities for companies across North America. In this session, an expert will walk you through Canada’s Cannabis Act, provide updates on the regulatory climate and discuss market opportunities.

You’ll get insights on:
•The status of legalization and Canada’s adult-use regulations
•The anticipated timing for the launch of Canada’s rec industry
•The role provinces will play in retail, distribution and consumption
•Ideas and considerations for entering the market

November 16 – 9:30-10:20

Deep Dive: Market Data and Projections for Canada’s Marijuana Industry

Miles Light, Ph.D., Founding Partner, Marijuana Policy Group

Health Canada collaborated exclusively with the Marijuana Policy Group (MPG) to launch the 2017 Canadian Cannabis Study, which aims to better understand overall demand and market characteristics in preparation for adult-use legalization. In this session, MPG will explain the results of the study and lead a discussion about Canada’s recreational cannabis rollout and the resulting marketplace.

You’ll get insights on:
•Canadian cannabis consumer demographics and use patterns
•The size of Canada’s cannabis market, including a breakdown by region
•The regulated industry vs. black market dynamics
•The best opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors

November 16 – 10:30-11:20

Canada and the U.S.: Cross-Border Partnerships, Investments & Opportunities

Louis Barré, President, Cannab Intel
Wendy Hulton, Senior Attorney, Dickinson Wright
Jennifer Sanders, Founder & Director, Risk Management & Strategy, CNS Equity Partners

With recreational marijuana legalization on the horizon in Canada and the U.S. cannabis industry growing gangbusters, companies in both countries are increasingly looking to team up with their peers on the other side of the border. These partnerships can be immensely beneficial, but pitfalls abound. In this session, several experts will detail the key factors and challenges you’ll face as you consider expanding your business across the border.

You’ll get insights on:
•Legal, regulatory and compliance factors
•Enterprise risk management across multiple jurisdictions
•Key considerations including banking, taxes, financing and data privacy
•Multinational strategies for branding and expansion

November 16 – 11:30-12:20

A Look Ahead: The Future of Medical Marijuana in Canada

Bruce Linton, CEO, Canopy Growth

As Canada prepares to legalize recreational marijuana next year, the long-term future of the country’s medical cannabis industry is unclear. Will the industry continue to grow … or stagnate once recreational takes root, as we’ve seen in some U.S. states? How will the market for MMJ change, and what factors will impact businesses who focus on the medical side of the industry? In this session, the top executive of one of Canada’s leading licensed producers will share his thoughts on what’s in store for Canada’s medical cannabis industry in the years to come.

You’ll get insights on:
•Opportunities and challenges in Canada’s MMJ market after rec launches
•The outlook for medical cannabis sales in the long term, as well as thoughts on potential product evolution
•Business differences between the medical and rec markets in Canada
•Whether the medical and recreational marijuana industries will remain separate or eventually merge in the future

November 17 – 9:30-10:20

Investing Overseas: Insights, Opportunities & Considerations

Vahan Ajamian, Equity Research Analyst, Beacon Securities
Inbar Maymon Pomeranchik, Ph.D., Founder, BioDiligence
Paul Rosen, Director, iAnthus Capital Holdings

With a growing number of countries legalizing cannabis and relaxing marijuana laws in general, many investors are eyeing international markets. So which countries offer the best opportunities? Attend this session for an overview of the hottest overseas markets for cannabis investors, such as Germany and Israel. A panel of experts – including an Israel-based biotech investment consultant, an investor in the international space and a research analyst – will provide tips on how to identify which countries are worthy of investor interest and what you need to consider before your dollars cross borders.

You’ll get insights on:
•Differences in some international MJ programs and the investment climate
•Challenges and liabilities encountered when you invest in an asset and management team in another country – as well as strategies to mitigate the risk
•Due diligence tips and tricks
•Legal challenges when investing in a foreign jurisdiction

November 17 – 10:30-11:20

Movin’ on Up: Global Expansion & Hottest International Markets

Michael Gorenstein, President, CEO & Chairman, Cronos Group
Jennifer Hanser, Vice President, Global Business Affairs, Tilray
Saul Kaye, CEO & Founder, iCAN: Israel Cannabis
Alfredo Pascual, International Consultant

As cannabis opportunities pop up in countries across the world, interest in global expansion is heating up – particularly in countries such as Israel, Germany, Uruguay, Canada and Australia. But each country is moving forward with legalization and regulations differently, and pitfalls abound. In this session, you’ll hear from a panel of four international cannabis experts who will present an overview of the several key overseas markets and help you identify which opportunities are best for your company.

You’ll get insights on:
•How to research international markets and understand different regulatory frameworks
•How global opportunities can materialize in a variety of ways - from product exportation and partnership deals to licensed production and clinical research
•Interpreting international trends to ensure your strategy is cohesive and comprehensive and meets the goals of your organization
•International markets that are best suited for global partners

November 17 – 11:30-12:20

Investing & Funding

Tutorial: Understanding & Developing Cannabis Valuations

Sumit Mehta, Partner, Mazakali

There are plenty of opportunities for investors in the cannabis industry, but trying to determine how much a company is worth – and therefore structure your deal – can be difficult. Attend this session for an in-depth tutorial on what to look at when determining the value of a company in the cannabis space and how to evaluate potential investments.

You’ll get insights on:
•Key financial and operation metrics to focus on when valuing a cannabis company
•The differences and similarities in valuations in the marijuana industry vs. mainstream sectors
•Common mistakes companies and investors make in the valuation process
•How valuations differ across the marijuana industry’s main niches

November 16 – 9:30-10:20

Fundraising Secrets from a Silicon Valley Entrepreneur

Ben Curren, CEO, Green Bits

As the cannabis industry grows in scope and becomes a bigger part of the American economy, savvy mainstream investors are increasingly eyeing marijuana opportunities. In this session, a cannabis executive who has co-founded several companies in Silicon Valley and landed more than $14 million in financing since 2008 will provide fundraising trips and strategies.

You’ll get insights on:
•How long fundraising should take based on business size
•Fundraising strategies and challenges in the cannabis industry
•How to build a network of investors before you need it
•Tactics to raise money when competing for financing against established companies that have already landed large sums

November 16 – 10:30-11:20

The Current Landscape: Investing Trends

Justin Braune, Consultant & CEO, Made by Science
Chris Leavy, Co-chairman & Partner, MedMen
Steve Schuman, Managing Director, Halley Venture Partners
Lisa Thomas, Managing Director & Associate Director of Research, Cowen

The investment climate is heating up as the cannabis industry grows and new states prepare to launch medical and recreational markets. Investors who have already pumped money into the industry are increasing their stakes, while those who have been waiting on the sidelines are preparing to jump in. These developments, coupled with the changing dynamics of the industry and new opportunities, are altering the investment landscape. Attend this session for an overview of current investing trends, advice on how to move forward and a look at what’s on the horizon for investors as the green rush enters its next phase.

You’ll get insights on:
•Developing an investment thesis and identifying the right partners based on the current investing landscape
•Interest rates and equity portions investors are currently commanding
•Which industry niches you should be focusing on, as well as hottest opportunities in general
•When and how big mainstream industries – including alcohol, tobacco and Big Pharma – may get involved, what that means from an investing perspective and the outlook on consolidation

November 16 – 11:30-12:20


Industry Insights: Data, Trends & Forecasts

Chris Walsh, Vice President, Editorial & Strategic Development, Marijuana Business Daily

Chris Walsh was one of the first journalists to cover the business of cannabis, serving as the founding editor of Marijuana Business Daily when it launched in 2011 and guiding the company’s news, market research and conference content ever since. He has overseen the Marijuana Business Factbook since its inception five years ago, giving him unique insight into the industry and the trends that are playing out. In his keynote, Chris will examine the current state of the cannabis industry and take a look at what’s coming down the pipeline.

You’ll get insights on:
•Highlights – and lowlights – for the marijuana industry this year
•Current and future business trends
•The latest retail sales estimates for 2017 and other data that sheds light on the state of the industry
•What to watch in 2018

November 15 – 9:00-9:45

Big Thinking: Innovation & Success Strategies from Amazon, Apple and Tesla

George Blankenship, Former Executive, Tesla Motors, Apple Computer and Gap

George Blankenship is widely considered a leader in business innovation, having played a key role in developing Apple’s immensely successful retail strategy. He also worked on enhancing the customer experience to increase loyalty and develop trust as an executive at other major corporations, including Tesla, Amazon and Gap. During his keynote, George will give fresh, in-depth insight and innovative tools for rethinking your company’s role in the competitive cannabis environment.

You’ll get insights on:
•How to understand your customers and then use that information to strengthen your business
•Building a brand based on the unique value your company provides
•Employing innovative strategies to attract and retain customers
•How major companies including Amazon, Tesla and Gap have attempted to understand their customer base

November 15 – 9:45-10:45

Opportunity & Irrational Exuberance: What the Cannabis Industry Can Learn From the Dot-Com Boom and Bust

Jeanne Sullivan, Co-founder, Chief Inspiration Officer, StarVest Partners, Sullivan Adventures

Dubbed by Forbes in 2014 as one of the women venture capitalists “changing the world,” Jeanne Sullivan has been funding companies for nearly 30 years – including during the dot-com boom and bust. She’s considered a pioneer in the New York angel investment community and co-founded a technology-focused VC firm in 1998 before eventually turning her attention to cannabis. In her keynote, Jeanne will highlight some of the lessons cannabis companies can learn from the high-tech industry’s rapid rise and subsequent meltdown.

You’ll get insights on:
•The similarities and differences of the tech boom in the 1990s and the cannabis boom of today
•What set apart the tech companies that survived vs. those that didn’t – and what lessons cannabis companies can learn from these examples
•The big failures and big successes in each industry
•What types of big mainstream companies might enter the cannabis world in the future

November 15 – 10:45-11:15

From Nixon to Trump: Marijuana and the Presidency

Kenneth T. Walsh, Chief White House Correspondent, U.S. News & World Report

Kenneth T. Walsh is one of the longest-serving White House correspondents in history, having covered every U.S. president since Ronald Reagan. He’s also written eight books exploring various aspects of the presidency and the men who have held the position. In his keynote, Walsh will dive into how modern-day presidents have approached marijuana – from Richard Nixon’s war on drugs to Barack Obama’s relatively lenient policies. He’ll also offer insight into how the Trump administration ultimately might address the cannabis industry, based on what we’ve seen in the past and how the president himself leads.

You’ll get insights on:
•How some officials in the Trump administration want to make opposition to marijuana legalization part of a new culture war
•How Attorney General Jeff Sessions reached his hard-line position on marijuana
•How President Richard Nixon politicized marijuana as a wedge issue
•The history of marijuana in U.S. business, culture and politics

November 15 – 11:15-12:00


Applying Big Ag Techniques to Cannabis Cultivation

Daniel Gustafik, President, Hybrid Tech

Cannabis growers can learn a lot from commercial agriculture, which has spurred countless innovations in cultivation methods, design and technology over the years. This session will give you new insights into cultivation by exploring real-world data from case studies on the largest organic basil farmer in the U.S. and a Dutch/U.S. grower using some of the most energy efficient methods out there.

You’ll get insights on:
•Cultivation methods used by two commercial agriculture companies
•How Big Ag processes and technology are already influencing the cannabis sector and will continue to drastically alter MJ operations and future design
•Tactics for implementing Big Ag innovations and standard practices into your current or future cannabis grow
•Common misconceptions and pitfalls in planning a cultivation facility

November 16 – 9:30-10:20

Staying Small & Competing in the Age of Big Grows

Amy Andrle, Co-owner, L'Eagle Services
Siobhan D. Darwish, Owner, Blessed Coast Farms
Matthew Sampson, Founder & CEO, North Coast Growers
Brooke Sinclair, CEO, Bloomfield

Many marijuana growers are aiming to become as big as possible, hoping to benefit from economies of scale and dominate their markets. But some cultivators want to stay small and authentic to their initial vision. In this session, you’ll hear from a panel of smaller cultivators who will share their strategies for competing against larger, well-funded competitors.

You’ll get insights on:
•How to find your specialization and create longevity and a top-notch brand reputation
•Techniques to identify and build your customer base
•Creating transparency with your customers, resulting in a community feel and long-lasting loyalty
Strategies for reputation management

November 16 – 10:30-11:20

Maximizing Production in Your Cultivation Facility

Sam Thoman, Chief of Business Development, Strawberry Fields

Want to take your grow to the next level and boost profit margins? Attend this session to hear from a cultivation expert about advanced techniques and strategies you can implement to increase efficiency and production and turn your facility into a well-oiled machine.

You’ll get insights on:
•Methods to maximize production space
•Technologies and techniques to maximize yields and prevent crop loss
•New harvesting methods that increase production
•Advanced cultivation methods that create efficiency in cultivation

November 16 – 11:30-12:20

Cultivation Tutorial: Understanding Nutrients

Wendy Taheri, Ph.D., Founder & Chief Science Officer, MycoCann

Managing nutrients is critical to success, regardless of how you grow cannabis. The best farmers and cultivators in the world all have one thing in common: They can look at a plant and tell you how nutrient levels – and therefore the health of the plant – are faring based on visual clues. In this session, a former USDA scientist will walk you through the process of recognizing the various negative symptoms that can occur in your crop and how to create an internal formula for prevention.

You’ll get insights on:
•The concept of ORA (Observe, Recognize and Amend) and how to incorporate it into your daily routine
•Identifying nutrient deficiencies and nutrient toxicity caused by overdose
•How to save crops from failure, particularly under hydroponic systems where an unrecognized imbalance can have a dramatic impact on harvest
•Balancing fertilizers and getting the relative ratios right

November 17 – 9:30-10:20

Cultivation Deep Dive: Economic Impact of Light Intensity on Yield and Secondary Metabolites

Josh Gerovac, Horticultural Scientist, Fluence Bioengineering
Allison Hope Justice, Vice President, Cultivation, OutCo Labs

It’s well known that cannabis needs an abundance of light, but little is known about the effect of light intensity, light quality and daily light integral (DLI) on flowering marijuana. In this session, a horticultural scientist and a cultivation expert will discuss the results of a repeated trial they administered to measure the effect of various light intensities on yield and quality.

You’ll get insights on:
•Important lighting terms all cannabis producers need to know to run an efficient cultivation facility
•The effect of light intensity on yield and chemotypic expression
•The effect on cannabinoid and terpene production
•Recommendations to determine the optimal light intensity for the best return

November 17 – 10:30-11:20

Cultivation Data Download: Stats, Trends & Analysis

Brendon Hershey, Director of Cultivation, PharmaCann
Eli McVey, B2B Analyst, Marijuana Business Daily
Laura Day Rivero, Operations Manager, Yerba Buena
Jonathan Rubin, CEO, Cannabis Benchmarks
Priscilla Vilchis, CEO, Premium Produce

Attend this session for an inside look at key cultivation data. Eli McVey, B2B Analyst for Marijuana Business Daily will lead a panel of cultivation executives from various markets in a discussion on what trends they are seeing and how this has helped to shape their business plans.

You’ll get insight on:
•The range of costs required to start and operate various types of grow operations
•Tips to increase yield and maximize revenue
•How cultivators are adapting to falling wholesale marijuana prices
•Strategies to implement new lighting technologies into your grow facility

November 17 – 11:30-12:20

Infused Products

Separate Yourself from the Pack: Standing Out in a Crowded Infused Market

Kyle Marshall, CEO, Morsel Brands

As more infused product businesses come online, the competition in some markets is heating up quickly. As a result, distinguishing a product from the competition is coming increasingly difficult. In this session, you’ll learn how one company has cracked California’s competitive infused products market to get its products in 150 retail stores throughout the state.

You’ll get insights on:
•Methods to create a unique identity that will help your products stand out in a competitive market
•Developing and maintaining successful retail and dispensary partnerships
•Marketing and social media tips
•Strategies to design your product around compliance

November 16 – 9:30-10:20

Different Strokes: 3 Perspectives on Ensuring Consistency in Infused Products

Nadeem Al-Hasan, Co-founder, Baked Bros
Julie Berliner, Founder & CEO, Sweet Grass Kitchen
Mindy Segal, Chef & Consultant, Mindy’s Edibles by Cresco Labs
Christine Smith, Founder & CEO, Grön Chocolate

One of the biggest issues facing the infused products side of the cannabis industry is the lack of consistency, particularly when it comes to potency. Patients and consumers often complain that the concentration of THC in a product, for example, is much higher or lower than the label indicates. How can you ensure your product has the dose it claims every single time – and that THC or CBD is spread evenly throughout a product? In this session, you’ll hear how three companies seek to ensure consistency in their infused products.

You’ll get insights on:
•Creating internal processes to meet strict testing standards – even if your state doesn’t have them
•Understanding ingredients, choosing the right quality of active ingredient for your product and ensuring homogenization
•Strategies to create internal standardization, including testing at multiple phases and multiple times
•Creating and evaluating metrics to improve your methods and processes

November 16 – 10:30-11:20

Microdosing for the Medical Market: Why, Who and How

Jordan Tishler, MD, President, Chief Medical Officer, InhaleMD

Medical marijuana companies are increasingly realizing the value of microdosing, which offers patients more control over their medicine and can help them decrease unwanted side effects. It can also help infused products companies and dispensaries attract new customers and increase patient loyalty – which in turn can help boost the bottom line. In this session, a physician who also consults for infused product makers will provide an in-depth look at microdosing and offer insight on how businesses can capitalize on this trend.

You’ll get insights on:
•Why microdosing is crucial to have in your product line
•The ideal target market and the best types of products to microdose
•Best practices in this area from science and food manufacturing
•The science behind microdosing and how it affects the body

November 16 – 11:30-12:20


Packaging Considerations: Choosing the Right Materials & Machinery

Jim Chrzan, VP Brand Development, Packaging World Magazine
Keren Sookne, Director of Editorial Content, Healthcare Packaging Magazine

Developing an eye-catching design is an important part of the packaging equation for infused products companies. But fully understanding packaging regulations, incorporating best practices and ensuring you have the right materials and machinery are crucial as well. Attend this session for a full checklist of considerations you need to take into account when it comes to packaging in both the recreational and medical marijuana industries.

You’ll get insights on:
•The most recent FDA regulations on packaging outside of this industry, including serialization requirements
•What to include in machinery and materials checklists to evaluate operational and packaging needs
•Special considerations for edibles, including packaging that helps increase shelf life as well as child-proof packaging
•The do’s and don’ts of creating a package design strategy

November 16 – 9:30-10:20

Retail Tutorial: Boosting Dispensary Revenues Through Patient & Physician Education

Chanda Macias, Ph.D., Owner & General Manager, National Holistic Healing Center

Education is an important – yet often-overlooked – element of building a successful medical cannabis dispensary. Hear first-hand how the owner of one dispensary gained new patients, encouraged broader deeper purchases, and increased loyalty and revenues through an intense focus on educating physicians and patients.

You’ll get insights on:
•How to attract and retain patients through education
•The impact of patient education on average customers spend
•Increasing patient referrals through physician education
•The overall impact educating doctors can have on your bottom line

November 16 – 10:30-11:20

Retail Data Download: Stats, Trends & Analysis

Bryan Hill, Founder & Director, Botanica Premium Cannabis
Pete Kadens, CEO, Green Thumb Industries
Eli McVey, B2B Analyst, Marijuana Business Daily
Chris Mitchem, CEO, Diem Cannabis

Attend this session for an inside look at key retail data. Eli McVey, data analyst for Marijuana Business Daily, will lead a panel of retail and dispensary executives from various markets in a discussion on what trends they are seeing and how this has helped to shape their business plans.

You’ll get insight on:
•The range of costs required to operate a dispensary or retail store
•How fluctuating market conditions affect retailers’ profitability
•Tips to increase foot traffic and boost in-store spending
•Strategies to compete in an increasingly sophisticated retail environment

November 16 – 11:30-12:20

Operating Dispensaries in Multiple States: Market Differences, Challenges & Lessons Learned

Nicholas Vita, CEO, Columbia Care

Many cannabis retailers that have built a successful business in one state are now looking to enter new markets and develop a national brand. But doing so can be extremely tricky, as each state has a different regulatory climate, a different customer base and different overall operating conditions. In this session, you’ll hear from the CEO and co-founder of Columbia Care, which owns dispensaries and cultivation facilities in seven states, Washington DC and Puerto Rico. He’ll share in-depth insight on running dispensaries in multiple states.

You’ll get insights on:
•Logistical, operational and business differences, including initial costs, management and staffing, community relations, and identifying and working with local vendors
•Getting and staying compliant
•Understanding differing patient wants and needs, how to market to them and determining product pricing
•Real estate, zoning and varying facility design and build-out based on the market

November 17 – 9:30-10:20

Retail Tutorial: Training Your Staff for Success

Nichole West, Director of Business Development, COWA Science

Many dispensaries and recreational cannabis stores focus mostly on their products but not their people, overlooking the value of ensuring their employees are trained and knowledgeable about products, laws, regulations and providing strong customer service. In this session, you’ll get a detailed look at how a $60 million multi-state chain of cannabis stores developed and implemented a rigorous employee training program – and how this approach can be vital to your success.

You get insights on:
•What an effective, successful employee training program incorporates
•How to structure and implement training programs for key positions, including budtenders and managers
•Developing a corporate culture that helps you get the most out of employees
•Incorporating legal, regulatory and compliance issues into your training program

November 17 – 10:30-11:20

Capturing & Connecting with Customers: Strategic Social Media Tutorial

Natalie Cupps DiBlasi, Co-founder & Executive Director-Digital Marketing, Media & Strategy, LACED Agency

Social media is perhaps the most important and effective way for marijuana retailers to advertise given the complicated and restrictive regulations around cannabis marketing and promotions in most states. But it can be difficult to use social media effectively, and scores of MJ businesses have been booted from Facebook, Instagram and other sites. In this session, you’ll hear from an award-winning digital marketing and media expert who will detail specific strategies dispensaries and rec shops can use to create a killer social media strategy. She’ll also present real-world examples from mainstream and cannabis companies of what to do – and what not to do – when it comes to social media.

You’ll get insights on:
•The current social media landscape for marijuana companies and advice on how to avoid getting your account shut down
•Humanizing your brand and cultivating your unique story without violating cannabis laws or regulations
•Assessing the behavior of potential customers and what they will respond to
•Tightening up your technical and tactical skills and planning now for what’s new and trending

November 17 – 11:30-12:20


From License to Launch: Infused Products

Lynn Honderd, CEO, Mary's Medicinals

You’ve won a license to make infused products and/or concentrates … now what? Successfully bringing your business idea from concept to reality involves numerous factors and many moving parts. In this session, you’ll hear from the co-founder of a multi-state provider of pharmaceutical-grade cannabis products about what it takes to get your business fully operational as quickly as possible and the key challenges you’ll face.

You’ll get insights on:
•Startup and operational cost ranges and timelines
•Facility build-out and key operational considerations
•Need-to-know factors to consider during product development
•Regulatory and compliance challenges you may face in various markets

November 16 – 1:00-1:50

From License to Launch: Retail

Aubrey Belisle, Co-founder & Owner, Pure Cannabis Consulting

You’ve won a license to open a dispensary or rec shop … now what? Successfully getting your storefront off the ground involves numerous factors and many moving parts. In this session, you’ll hear from a consultant with a background in dispensary management who has successfully submitted over 100 retail and MMJ business licenses. She’ll walk you through what it takes to open your doors and the key challenges you’ll face.

You’ll get insights on:
•Startup and operational cost ranges and timelines
•Building out a compliant facility, including issues such as odor mitigation, security and technology
•Product selection factors, including pricing, margins and vendor relationships
•Operating procedures and staff recruiting and training

November 16 – 2:00-2:50

From License to Launch: Cultivation

Shon Williams, Director of Business Development, Program Management & Design, Mjardin

You’ve won a license … now what? Getting your cultivation facility up and running is no easy task and involves many moving parts. In this session, you’ll hear from a cultivation expert who will walk you through the basics of bringing your grow to life – as well as the challenges you’ll face.

You’ll get insights on:
•Startup and operational cost ranges and timelines
•Design and build-out considerations, including equipment selection and coordination with contractors, architects and engineers
•Working with state and local authorities and inspection considerations
•Staffing your team and scaling up to a fully operational business

November 16 – 3:00-3:50

Business Expansion

How to Develop a National Company in a State-Regulated Industry

Pete Kadens, CEO, Green Thumb Industries

Creating a national footprint in a federally illegal industry is no easy task. In this session, an executive with a company that has 15 cultivation and retail licenses in five states will discuss how his business navigates the complexities of operating in multiple markets.

You’ll get insights on:
•Steps to take to apply for licenses in new markets
•Tips for keeping on top of regulations in multiple states and ensuring compliance
•Strategies to build and foster local relationships
•How to scale best practices from one state to another and hire in each market

November 16 – 9:30-10:20

Tapping the New $4B California Market

Graciela Castillo-Krings, Deputy Legislative Secretary, Governor Jerry Brown
Morgan Paxhia, Managing Director, Poseidon Asset Management
Amanda Reiman, Vice President of Community Relations, Flow Kana
An-Chi Tsou, Ph.D., Principal, Tsou Consulting

California will unleash an avalanche of business opportunities when the state launches its recreational cannabis industry next year. In this session, a panel of experts will discuss the new law, provide regulatory updates and share insight into how businesses can enter California’s upcoming adult-use industry, which could generate $4 billion in retail sales down the road.

You’ll get insights on:
•The latest developments tied to regulations and the expected timeline for implementation
•Investment and business opportunities in California’s rec industry
•Transitioning from the medical to adult-use market
•How different cities are approaching recreational cannabis regulations

November 17 – 9:30 -10:20

General Business

Building a Profitable and Sustainable Cannabis Empire

Nic Easley, CEO, 3C Consulting

Whether you're new to the cannabis industry or run a multi-million-dollar marijuana business, you need to take steps to ensure your company can grow and thrive in the long term. In this session, hear from a top consultant with 11 years of industry experience about critical strategies for building and expanding your cannabis business with sustainability and longevity in mind.

You’ll get insights on:
•The three steps you must take to ensure you have a sustainable company aligned with laws that change at light speed
•How to identify major operational pitfalls and key operating procedures when it comes to plant quality and brand development
•Techniques for using actionable data and experience to make the right decisions
•The best time to enter a market and how to avoid big mistakes that other companies make

November 16 – 10:30-11:20

Getting to the Promised Land: Exit Strategies for Your Cannabis Business

Darren H. Weiss, Vice President & General Counsel, Verano Brands

A fair share of marijuana entrepreneurs started their companies by focusing solely on the present, giving little thought to what they would do with their businesses in the long run. As merger and acquisition activity increases and more investment dollars flood into the industry, many of these entrepreneurs are eyeing potential exits. In this session, business owners will learn about exit options as well as steps they can take to prepare to cash in and step back from their current companies.

You’ll get insights on:
•Acquisition preparation and strategy, including shielding your personal assets and preserving and protecting supply and distribution relationships
•Creation, protection and monetization of leverageable intellectual property
•Preserving and protecting supply and distribution relationships
•Risk factors that could impact your exit and its timing

November 16 – 1:00-1:50

In the Know: Cannabis Science, Research & Testing Update

Josh Crossney, President & Founder, jCanna

Cannabis science is progressing rapidly as more research programs come online and testing evolves. Attend this session to hear about recent developments in these areas as well as a look ahead.

You’ll get insights on:
•Major accomplishments and recent advances in cannabis science and medicine
•Key collaborations in the marketplace that are generating impressive results, including clinical trials
•Emerging technologies, including cannabis analyzers, portable brain imagers and mass spectrometers
•International developments in Israel, Colombia, Canada, Australia and Italy

November 16 – 2:00-2:50

The Art of Closing a Deal: Selling to Retailers & Infused Companies

Jenna Butterfield, National Sales Manager, Organa Brands
Mali Sanati, Sales Manager, LeafLink

Selling your product or service to a retailer or infused company in the cannabis industry is becoming more difficult as new businesses and brands pop up and the landscape gets more competitive by the day. One of the hardest parts of the process is sealing the deal. So how can you turn a “maybe” into a “yes” and get a potential client to sign on the dotted line? In this session, you’ll hear from two sales managers – one from a prominent cannabis oil and infused products company and the other from a rapidly growing MJ software company – on the strategies they use to close deals.

You’ll get insights on:
•How closing strategies differ by state/region, niche, the person you’re dealing with and the size of the business you’re selling to
•The basis of sales philosophies that lead to a deal
•Tactics to pitch your brand using your personal touch and strengths to bring the deal home
•Overcoming hurdles and the dreaded “no” as well as advice on how to negotiate

November 16 – 3:00-3:50

Exclusive Research Results: Types of Cannabis Consumers & How to Effectively Target Them

Ana Hory, CEO, Element of Choice, Enlucem

Understanding the wants and needs of different types of cannabis consumers is critical for marijuana retailers, infused companies and cultivators. In this session, you’ll hear the never-before-presented results of a recent study that identifies current cannabis users, as well as potential consumers, how to reach them, what types of products they prefer and what they expect the purchase environment to be. You’ll leave the session with an understanding of various cannabis patients and rec customers, the differences between each consumer group, and how to connect with them.

You’ll get insights on:
•Key consumer segment profiles, including women
•Cannabis usage and attitudes of current and potential consumers
•Using consumer uniqueness and preferences to differentiate your products
•How to explore consumer similarities across states to grow your brand in new markets

November 17 – 10:30-11:20