Boston (May 1)
After a very successful conference in Chicago, The Cannabis Society (TCS) presented its investor conference for the first time in Boston, Massachusetts at the offices of Foley Hoag LLP.
The conference began with opening remarks given by The Cannabis Society CEO, Bill Hennessey. Immediately following TCS was the first panel for the afternoon discussing investing in cannabis & emerging opportunities. Moderated by Foley Hoag partner Jesse Harlan Alderman, the panel included Colin Lake (CEO of Cannapreneur Partners) and James Winokur (SVP and General Manager Product Group MariMed, Inc).
Among the many questions answered and matters discussed were topics such as criteria to consider when assessing an investment, the benefits and issues when investing in Canada versus the U.S., and whether approvals from regulators are needed to invest in a cannabis company.
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. 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.
As a national speaker, Colin Lake 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. He was previously Head of Sales for RS Investments from 2008 to 2016, prior to that Lake was with The Hartford Insurance and Financial Services Group for 13+ years. 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 long term.
James Winokur is a seasoned entrepreneurial leader with extensive experience in managing global teams in the areas of sales, marketing and operations. Currently, Winokur is SVP & GM, Product Group for MariMed, Inc. (OTCQB: MRMD) a multi-state cannabis cultivator, dispensary operator and cannabis product manufacturer. Prior to MariMed, Winokur co-founded CannaKorp, inventors of the world's first single-use pod vaporization system, the Wisp, for herbal botanicals and cannabis.
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 event on marketing, product innovation, and building a cannabis brand. Joining Sam on the panel was Kate Phillips (Founder of Silk; Cannabis Education & Consulting), Holly Alberti (Director of Sales & Marketing for Mayflower Medicinals and part of the iAnthus team) and Nial DeMana (CEO and Founder of Manna Molecular Science).
Among the topics discussed and questions presented from attendees were cannabis transportation restrictions, the direction of product innovation, how to make an impact with a brand considering restrictions and regulations, the most factors to consider when branding a cannabis business, exciting tech innovations within the industry, and consumer trends in accessory product purchasing.
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.
Kate Phillips is a cannabis industry veteran. Her mission is to make industry specific, scientific cannabis education accessible to all. Her work previous to cannabis was predominantly in the medical field, serving as a wilderness EMT while pursuing degrees in Chemistry and Nursing Sciences. It is upon this scientific foundation that she has worked to develop her cannabis educational programs, ever guided by a data-driven approach to educating others and treating patients.
Holly Alberti began her cannabis career on the East Coast, challenging the stigma and getting involved in the Medical program in 2011. At the time, as an executive board member at her local Chamber of Commerce, she took the opportunity to spark and ignite conversations about the economic impact cannabis would have on the community. She began crafting the vision for Healthy Headie Lifestyle, an ancillary cannabis startup which was one of the 1st companies to go through the Canopy Boulder Incubator in CO.
Nial C. DeMena has founded several successful cannabis enterprises, including Temescal Wellness Massachusetts, which was the first to own and operates two adult use retail licenses in Massachusetts, and Manna Molecular Science where is he currently serving as CEO. Manna Molecular Science is a cannabis biotech company formed in 2015 that focuses on delivery technologies in cannabis: transdermal delivery and sexual performance and pleasure. He has grown into twelve states and internationally in two years.
The final panel for the afternoon highlighted the impact of cannabis legalization, going from policy to compliance. Once more moderated by Jesse Harlan Alderman, he was joined by speakers Michael Scott (Chairman of Cannapreneur Partners), Kamani Jefferson (Cannabis Policy Strategist & Regulatory Consultant), and Charles Smith (Founder Mass Canna Compliance).
Topics and questions analyzed included what is compliance, the biggest obstacles operators face in the regulatory climate, the troubles involved in transitioning sound policies to regulations, and what is hindering the growth of the industry in Massachusetts.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.