Chicago (August 5)

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On August 5th, The Cannabis Society (TCS) brought the Investor Conference to Chicago, IL. Bill Hennessey, CEO of The Cannabis Society opened the conference, followed by opening remarks from Joshua Masur, Partner at Zuber Lawler. 

Joshua's legal practice focuses on intellectual property litigation (primarily patent and copyright) and general business litigation for technology and cannabis companies. In particular, his practice emphasizes issues surrounding computers, software, networks, cannabis, and mass and interpersonal communications in both new and traditional media.

Josh frequently writes and speaks for professional and academic audiences on intellectual property, legal ethics, defamation, and privacy, especially as those topics relate to cannabis, the Internet, and computers.

The first panel of the conference discussed Investing in Cannabis and was moderated by Joshua Masur, Partner at Zuber Lawler. Joshua was joined by speakers Matthew Nordgren (CEO & Founder of Arcadian Fund), Jeff Howard (Managing Partner at Salveo Capital), and David Friedman (Founder of Panther Capital).

The quad explored topics on the current and upcoming 2020’s trends in the cannabis industry, which business models attract the most attention from the investors, indicators in the project pitch decks that are likely to result in a return on investment, and strategies the potential investors apply to choose the companies to invest in.

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.

Jeffrey Howard is a Managing Partner in the Salveo Capital fund. Prior he spent 21 years on Wall Street in roles of increasing responsibility. Mr. Howard's last role on Wall Street was with the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) where he was a Managing Director - Global Head of Prime Services. In that role he managed 90+ people across North America, EMEA & Asia Pacific, was responsible for the growth strategy of $150 million business and managed a $50 million front-to-back budget. In addition, Mr. Howard was appointed a member of the RBS Senior leadership Team within the Markets & International Banking division. This was a small group of the most senior executives within the bank responsible for driving strategy within their capital markets division.

David Friedman is the Founder of Panther Capital and CFO Worldwide. Friedman is also the acting CEO and publisher of Panther Media, which publishes Marijuana Investor News. He has been directly investing in non-public companies for more than 25 years. Friedman is a serial entrepreneur who easily blends conservative risk management with free-spirited risk-seeking. An accounting professional and Chief Financial Officer, his experience cuts across multiple industries and ranges from start-ups to running a billion-dollar family office. In addition to direct investing, Friedman also has considerable experience as an angel investor, as well as being a principle in both venture capital and private equity firms.

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Following the investment panel, there was a discussion about the Impact Of Rec Legalization moderated by Coco Meers, CEO & Co-Founder of Equilibria. Coco was joined by speakers Michael Schatz (Managing Partner at Cannabis Views) and Steve Goldner (Chairman, CEO, and Founder of Pure Green, LLC). 

The topics discussed by the trio included the issues that new licensed recreational companies face while competing with the black market and how they ensure their prices are competitive, the state and local governments involvement in quality assurance and compliance, how Illinois mitigates the risk of supply chain and demand issues, as well as federal legalization impact on current and soon-to-open Illinois cannabis operations.

Coco Meers is a serial tech entrepreneur and active angel investor. As CEO and Co-Founder of Equilibria - a premium female-focused CBD membership - she proudly offers personalized dosage support led by veteran cannabis educators and unparalleled quality from their exclusive bioscience partner - all to advance the mission of balance for women. Coco sold her first tech company, a beauty-booking app called PrettyQuick, to Groupon in 2015 and led Innovation teams within their Health, Beauty, and Wellness division post-acquisition. Alongside her operator roles, she is Principal of Rebelle Collective, a seed-stage investment vehicle focused on digitally enabled consumer models.

Michael Schatz has an in-depth financial market and investment knowledge. As managing member of Cannabis Views, an independent cannabis consulting practice, he has cross-functional expertise in business and the cannabis market. Vertically integrated business acumen with a strong understanding of medical, recreational and CBD sectors. As a member of the executive team of Amercanex, he was responsible for strategic relationships, sales, investments, and new market places, working with regulators and market participants (cultivators, dispensary, extraction, and edibles) to facilitate transactions on the fully electronic exchange.

Steve Goldner is Chairman, CEO, and Founder of Pure Green, LLC, a Michigan-based medical cannabis company. Pure Green won the first Michigan medical cannabis license, and Goldner recently was granted a patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office in Cannabis Technology for the company's proprietary Freeze Dry and Supercritical CO2 Extraction Process. He’s advised many of the largest pharmaceutical and consumer products companies on regulatory strategy amid shifting market conditions worldwide. Goldner’s inventive streak goes way back to developing the liquid formulation of methadone used worldwide to treat heroin addicts. He’s served as FDA advisor to the National Institute of Health [NIH]; to the United Nations to institute sensible drug policy regulations; is Ambassador to the USA from the European Cannabis Medicine Society.

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