On Wednesday, January 9th, 2019, The Cannabis Society hosted highly attended two back-to-back cannabis conferences at Borden Ladner Gervais’ Vancouver office. At 1pm CannMart presented a Craft and Micro-Grower Cultivator Conference, during which they shared tools and advice for cultivators looking to get licenses in the space. The event featured expert speakers & networking opportunities within the cannabis industry, specifically as it pertained to licensing for micro cultivators and growers.

At the Cannabis Society Craft and Micro-Grower Cultivator Conference, cannabis industry experts & craft-growers interested in transitioning to micro-cultivator or micro-processor licenses got the chance to learn exactly how companies like CannMart support craft cultivators and brands to get licensed in Canada. They also have an opportunity to build strategic relationships and network within the cannabis industry.


Namaste Technologies, on behalf of CannMart and Cannabis Compliance Inc. (CCI) sponsored this exciting Cannabis event, which was open to all Craft cultivators in the greater Vancouver area looking to transition to a Micro-Cultivator/Micro-Processor license. Sean Dollinger, Co-Founder, C.E.O. and President for Namaste Technologies, spoke about how his company operates Canada’s first ‘sales-only’ license. Brennan Kerr, Business Development and Michael Elkin, Director of Strategic Sales for CCI also spoke about the ways their company works closely on consulting craft and micro-grower cultivators on the licensing process from start to finish.

GeoLyn Mantei, Marketing Director at Moda Partners, also spoke to those assembled about the different ways she has gone about creating marketing campaigns for cannabis clients. Mrs. Mantei shared advice with new companies looking to advertise in the cannabis space about ways to stand out and advertise their products legally without getting dinged by social media regulations.


Highlights of the conference and interesting topics of discussion included:

  • Licensing & legalization in Canada.

  • Branding & marketing strategies for micro-growers.

  • Experts discussion panel.

  • Sales & distribution.

The schedule was as follows:

12:45 - 1:05 pm Registration
1:10 - 1:15 pm Intro by Cannabis Society 
1:15 - 2:15 Namaste Presentation including Q & A 
2:15 - 2:45 pm Moda Partners - Branding & Marketing Q & A 
2:45 - 3:30 pm Coffee Break & Networking 
3:30 - 4:00 pm Cannabis Compliance Inc. (CCI) Presentation
4:00 - 4:30 pm Panel Discussion with Micro Growers 
4:30 - 5:00 pm One on One Meetings / Breakouts Sessions

After the Cannabis Society Craft and Micro-Grower Cultivator Conference concluded The Cannabis Society immediately leapt into the launch of our 5pm Business Conference at BLG. The schedule was as follows:

5:00 - 5:15: Registration
5:15 - 5:20: Opening remarks by The Cannabis Society
5:20 - 6:30: Keynotes
6:30 - 7:30: Panels
7:30 - Close: Networking


Cannabis legalization in Canada has created a once in a lifetime opportunity to witness the birth of a new and federally regulated marketplace. An incredible roster of speakers joined panels and facilitated an exclusive insider's discussion among world's next group of influencers and cannapreneurs. The following professionals are some of the experienced speakers those in attendance got to hear from:

Melissa Rice is a cannabis staffing professional with over five years of experience placing top talent with clients across Canada. She has a Bachelor of Science degree with an Advanced Major in Psychology from Saint Francis Xavier University and is an Associate Member of the Chartered Human Resources Professionals (CHRP). Since joining Brunel’s Life Sciences team, she has expanded Brunel’s strong track record in pharmaceutical staffing into the cannabis market. Melissa divides her time between Calgary and Toronto and has grown a robust network of cannabis professionals from East to West. While working at Brunel Life Sciences, she has partnered with cannabis clients for C-Suite level candidates, Human Resource Managers, Directors of Cultivation, Extraction Specialists, and Formulations Chemists, to name a few. Melissa is always eager to meet both clients and candidates to discuss partnership opportunities.

Warren D. Cudney is the President & CEO of Wahupta Ventures. Warren is highly recognized as a top leader in corporate start-ups and is a speaker in the field of health and wellness, most recently specializing in the emerging Hemp and CBD oil and isolate industry throughout North America and the world. Working at all levels of management, and as a top C level strategist in this field, Warren is intimately involved with strategic planning and implementation, as well as acting as a key team player in managing this highly specialized field. He is devoted to industry-leading quality control, ensuring the team vision and corporate goals are consistently met, and creating an environment that ensures excellence in the industry.

Sean Dollinger, a serial entrepreneur with a shrewd ability to take an idea from conception through successful execution, has a diverse background in numerous disciplines including Internet & digital media, product development, retail operations, and international business development. As cannabis became more socially accepted as both a medical treatment and as a safer alternative to other recreational substances, Sean recognized an opportunity to not only grow a business originally around cannabis accessories but believed in the good such a business could do in providing people with an easy way to access the equipment and accessories they'd require to fully utilize cannabis. As time went on, Sean lead Namaste Technologies to the prestigious position of being the number-one eCommerce retailer in the world for vaporizers and other cannabis accessories. Recently, his vision helped guide the company further into the cannabis space to connect patients with healthcare providers and cannabis itself with the ultimate goal of making it accessible to anyone in need.

Adam Greenblatt is the Québec Brand Manager at Canopy Growth Corporation. A self-taught advocate for safe access to medical cannabis and sensible drug policy, Adam, has been immersed in the cannabis movement for over a decade and is a well-known voice in the space. Adam is a co-founder of Santé Cannabis, Québec’s leading cannabinoid clinic and research organization. In 2016 Adam joined Canopy Growth as brand manager for Quebec, he recently moved to Vancouver to head up Business Development for Canopy in British Columbia.

Liam Oster is a lawyer at Watson Goepel LLP, a full-service law firm based in Vancouver, Canada. He has particular experience advising cannabis industry clients, including medical professionals, laboratory and R&D businesses, cultivators, retail operations, cannabis industry investors, and producers and distributors of cannabis products and accessories. He advises on all aspects of cannabis industry regulatory compliance, including temporary compliance measures pending Canada’s proposed derivative products regulations. His corporate and commercial law practice allows him to assist clients with a variety of transactions, including sales and acquisitions, supply, manufacturing, and distribution agreements, joint ventures and strategic partnerships, business incorporations, corporate reorganizations, financings, and cross-border capital investments.

Kirk Tousaw is barrister and cannabis advocate based in Vancouver and Victoria, BC. Kirk is an active proponent of modernizing our cannabis policies by repealing prohibition and implementing a regime of reasonable controls. Kirk began practicing law in 1998 in the United States and has a background in business litigation, criminal defence and social justice advocacy pursuant to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The majority of his current practice consists of defending those charged with cannabis offences and working with people and organizations in the medical cannabis industry. Academically, Kirk holds a Bachelor’s of Art in political philosophy (Michigan State University) a Juris Doctor, cum laude (Wayne State University School of Law) and a Master’s in Law (University of British Columbia Faculty of Law). Kirk has completed two years of doctoral studies at the UBC Faculty of Law and is presently awaiting the opportunity to return to his studies and obtain the degree.

Nick Pateras is Vice President of Strategy at Lift & Co. (TSXV: LIFT), Canada's leading cannabis media and technology platform. Lift & Co.’s mission is to empower better cannabis decisions by bridging the informational gap between buyers and sellers. Prior to joining Lift & Co., Nick spent several years in the pharmaceutical sector with Johnson & Johnson Inc. His background in healthcare led him to make the professional move into cannabis, having long advocated for recognition of its many medical applications. Nick is a regular speaker at cannabis conferences across North America and Europe and teaches the Cannabis Business Fundamentals course at George Brown College. He holds two degrees, in Business and Philosophy, from Queen's University, Canada. 

David Wood is co-chair of the Borden Ladner Gervais Cannabis Industry Focus Group. He is a partner, lawyer and patent agent, and holds a PhD in structural biochemistry. David practices intellectual property and regulatory law. His regulatory practice is specific to the Canadian cannabis industry and with a few exceptions, his entire practice is focused on the Canadian cannabis industry.David advises federal cannabis licensees, technology companies and other domestic and foreign participants in the Canadian cannabis industry in relation to the their intellectual property rights, and their rights under Cannabis Act and its regulations, including the Cannabis Regulations and the Industrial Hemp Regulations. He advises clients both in the context of transactions and operationally, including during research and development. His understanding of the cannabis industry domestically and internationally has increased value both when advising entities focused entirely on the industry and when advising established entities from other sectors who are entering the industry.

Karan Thakur heads the Capital Markets division at Varshney Capital bringing extensive experience to the table. Throughout his career, Karan has helped take numerous companies public, while developing effective equity financing strategies and go-public structures, with combined financings north of $100 million to date. He has and continues to serve as a board member and senior officer for multiple publicly-traded and privately-held companies. By leveraging his passion for growth stories and expertise in the venture markets, Karan is able to identify distinct opportunities with asymmetrical risk-reward profiles. His approach to venture financing focuses on working with passionate entrepreneurs with a strong, clear vision for their ventures and a deep driving desire to make an impact. Karan's areas of interest include the Cannabis, Technology, Gaming and Resource sectors."

Michael Elkin has had a successful career in security systems design and consulting in the MMPR/ACMPR market. He is now acting Director of Strategic Sales for one of Canada’s most reputable consulting firms Cannabis Compliance Inc. He oversees the strategic sales aspects of all CCI cannabis projects and clients. Since the cannabis regulations were published in 2013, he has worked with over 50 applicant producers and licensed producers, providing full security designs and technical proposals. He has helped design massive systems such as Tweed,7 Acres, Delshen Therapeutics, THC Inc. to name a few. As well as providing security designs for dispensaries across North America. Prior to joining CCI full time, Michael ran the medical marijuana divisions for two of the largest security firms in Canada. Michael is based out of Montreal, Quebec and is bilingual in French and English.

Joel Sherlock is The Chairman and Co-Founder fo Vitalis Extraction Technology. A serial entrepreneur and business leader, Joel is a born connector who has been building great teams and delivering the expertise to execute. Joel has been at the helm of 9 successful start-ups and corporate exits, including one of BC’s top private real estate brokerages, a national first action sports e-commerce company, a successful corporate consulting firm and a few private equity funds. Joel’s time is now focused on Kelowna, BC-based Vitalis Extraction Technologies, an industry leader in manufacturing industrial supercritical CO2 extraction equipment, where he is Chairman and Co-Founder, as well as on Spectrum Asset Leasing and Doventi Capital. Doventi Capital in Vancouver is the private equity fund he co-founded to support professionals in the growing legal cannabis market. Spectrum Leasing in Toronto is an asset-backed lender designed to support entrepreneurs and manufacturers in the world’s fastest-growing market. Born in Winnipeg Manitoba, Joel’s early years were on the farm, that all seems a far cry from studying finance at UBC and Harvard Business School and offices in Vancouver, Kelowna and Toronto. Joel still loves to balance all this travel with a few days on the farm, with no phone or internet.

Crystal Carson is often referred to as a modern day renaissance woman. Having built her brand to be known for working with high profile entrepreneurs, creative agencies, global brands, and media networks. Crystal’s passion for bringing businesses and brands to life through marketing naturally lead her to a career in media. In 2006 she began her career in the traditional media world as an Editor and Contributor to multiple publications. A few years and many tear sheets later, she entered the world of television both behind and in front of the camera. She engages audiences on air with a reputation for high-end creative quality and production value. The opportunity to partner content marketing with sophisticated media distribution campaigns, represents her latest trailblazing endeavor with Financial Buzz. Over the last 20-years, she has been at the forefront of innovation and change, her continuously evolving career has guided her to work with both private and public companies. She has cultivated a global point of view with her circles of international tastemakers, and business leaders.

The Cannabis Society