Boston (August 7)

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After a successful conference in Chicago, The Cannabis Society (TCS) presented its investor conference in Boston, Massachusetts at the offices of Foley Hoag LLP - a unique deal making session where attendees had a chance to hear from industry experts, entrepreneurs, investors and service providers on what is to come in this emerging industry.

The conference launched with opening remarks by The Cannabis Society CEO, Bill Hennessey, which was then shortly followed by an informative keynote given by Foley Hoag partner Jesse Harlan Alderman.

Leveraging his regulatory expertise, Jesse Alderman co-founded the Foley Hoag Boston Cannabis practice, and assists clients in securing competitive municipal and state permits. He counsels these clients on complex issues of state regulatory compliance, and advises investors in cannabis industry acquisitions and transactions. Jesse Alderman also concentrates his practice on environmental, real estate and infrastructure development, with a focus on state and municipal regulatory matters, permitting and related litigation. 

Immediately following Jesse’s keynote was the fireside chat discussing Investing in Cannabis. Moderated by Erica Rice (Partner at Foley Hoag), the discussion included Matthew Nordgren (CEO & Founder of Arcadian Fund) and Colin Lake (CEO at Cannapreneur Partner) as the speakers.

Among the matters discussed were topics such as major cannabis trends in 2020, distribution models and branding tactics across the US, and what the east emerging recreational markets like Massachusetts can learn from the West Coast or Colorado.

Matthew Nordgren is a CEO and Founder of ARCADIAN Fund and ARCADIAN Capital Management, a venture fund/private equity strategy focused on the ancillary service providing companies in and around the cannabis and hemp industries. He was recently named one of the “Top 100 Most Influential People in the Cannabis Industry” by High Times Magazine. Additionally, he is the founder of Nordco Consulting LLC, a private consulting firm dedicated to the business development of middle-market companies with a forward-thinking vision. To date, Mr. Nordgren has personally been involved with over $7 billion in transactions and maintains a portfolio of approximately 32 companies.

Colin Lake, as a national speaker, has spent extensive time helping business owners solve for their three most critical factors: finding better balance, creating efficiency in their life and business, and reaching for goals they never thought possible. Spending over 21 years in the field, he has a keen eye for what works in real life and what it takes to succeed for the long term. After extensive work and success in the financial services industry, he launched Developing the Next Leaders, a 501(c)(3) that, “Helps our military, inactive or retired, make a successful entrance into the financial services industry. 

Following the discussion on cannabis investment, Sam Kanter (owner of Sam Kanter Events and Dinner at Mary’s) served as the moderator for the second panel of the Direct to Consumer. Joining Sam on the panel was Angela Brown (co-Founder and President of T. Bear, Inc.), Tripp Murray (CFO at Revolution Enterprises), Mike Brais (President & COO at Deep Roots), and Eric Rogers (Co-Founder of Tinc Inc.).

Prominent topics of conversation between the speakers included how brands and retailers can diversify themselves to attract a wider variety of consumers without being too general, the effective strategies to advertise the business and grab the interest of consumers from other competitors, and how to build the story of the brand.

Sam Kanter, owner of Sam Kanter Events (SKE) and Dinner at Mary's (DAM). Dinner at Mary's focuses on elevated cannabis dining experiences and event planning, while SKE partners with restaurant venues in the Boston area to outsource event programs. As a Zagat 30 under 30 winner, with almost 10 years of event experience, she pushes the event envelope creating unique experiences for guests with a focus on hospitality and high quality food and beverage. Kanter uses cannabis as an enhancement, providing a fun, but controlled and educational environment to bring cannabis to the people - of all comfort levels.

Angela Brown is a co-Founder and President of T. Bear, Inc. T. Bear Inc. is a quality focused cannabis product manufacturing company in Massachusetts. T. Bear is projecting to be one of, if not the first stand alone product manufacturers in the State. T. Bear will begin production early fall 2019 producing high quality vaporizer products and all-natural and organic edibles under their Coast Cannabis line.

Tripp Murray is currently the Chief Financial Officer at ICC Holdings, LLC dba Revolution Enterprises, based in Illinois. Revolution is a multi-state operator with vertical licenses in Illinois and Florida and a dispensary in Maryland.

Mr. Murray’s professional career in investment banking spans over 20 years working for New York based firms including: Credit Agricole Securities (USA), as a Director in their Equity Capital Markets group, Ladenburg Thalmann, Inc. and Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. Mr. Murray has worked in numerous industries including Healthcare, Consumer Products and Real-estate Investment Trusts (REITs). Mr. Murray’s transactions include multi-million dollar restructurings, follow-on offerings, IPOs and Mergers & Acquisitions.

Mike Brais is the president and chief operating officer at Deep Roots, Inc. Mike has been a Cannabis enthusiast for more than 15 years. His previous career was in the human services field, spending 10 years working with adults and children with developmental, intellectual, physical and behavioral disabilities. He found himself at a crossroads when the opportunity to enter the cannabis industry came into fruition in 2016. As Deep Roots became a reality, both his parents and in laws took an active role in the company. Mike's father, George, a Harvard MBA, stepped into the role of CFO, and his in laws stepped into administrative roles that complement their work experience. The whole Deep Roots family looks forward to bringing Craft Cannabis products to market in Massachusetts.

The final panel at our Investor Conference in Boston raised the topic of Canna Business Tech. Moderated by Brian Wall (Founder & CEO of Adaptive HR), he was joined on the panel by Jaret Christopher (CEO of Sprout), John Dinovella (Operations Manager at Diem Cannabis), and Peter Dunbar (VP of Marketing at Be Green Supply). 

The questions analyzed included some of the supply chain gaps to address in the industry, lessons to learn from the West Coast to streamline customer acquisition in Massachusetts, and the inspiration for the discussion participants before developing their platform and stepping into the cannabis industry.

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Brian Wall is a proven entrepreneur with hands-on professional experiences in the world of service, technology, and finance. Brian’s experience includes senior finance positions at Clough Capital Partners, Eze Castle Integration, and BL Trading. Brian has Bachelor of Science degrees in accounting and computer science from Quinnipiac University, as well as a Master in Business Administration from Boston University.

Bridging marketing with an engineering and product development background, Peter Dunbar, serves as VP Marketing at BeGreen Supply. Identifying opportunities for teams and their products to deliver better consumer experiences while capturing internal efficiencies is a passion. BeGreen Supply is challenging the distributor model and as a direct manufacturer, looks deep into many facets of your organization to ensure your hardware supply chain positively impacts your customers, your filling team, and your bottom line.

If you’re interested in being a speaker, sponsor, or attendee at The Cannabis Society’s upcoming conferences, please reach out to General Manager, Jessica Domingo at jessica@thecannabissociety.org.

The Cannabis Society