San Francisco (March 28)

Following a successful business conference in the neighboring city of Los Angeles, The Cannabis Society (TCS), in partnership with Zuber Lawler, brought its Business Conference to San Francisco on Thursday, March 28, 2019.

TCS is dedicated to fostering the cannabis community through events, such as our business conferences. The purpose of this event was to create a unique deal making session and to hear from industry experts, entrepreneurs, investors and service providers on what is to come in this emerging industry.

The conference kicked off with opening remarks by TCS, which was then shortly followed by an informative keynote given by Peter Holzworth, Director of Cannabis Client Services at Zuber Lawler.

Peter Holzworth, Director of Cannabis Client Services at Zuber Lawler.

Peter Holzworth, Director of Cannabis Client Services at Zuber Lawler.

Zuber Lawler is a 40-plus attorney law firm representing clients throughout the world, from offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Silicon Valley, including more than 15 Fortune 500 clients, as well as funds and government entities.

Moderated by cannabis journalist, Kaisha McMillan, the first panel of the conference discussed market trends within the cannabis industry. McMillan was joined by a strong panel of speakers including: Tiffany Chin (Co-founder & President of Leafs By Snoop), Cheriene Griffith (Vice President of Production at CannaCraft), Gian-Paolo Veronese (Business Development and Policy lead for Big Rock Partners) and Jeff Wickum (Founder & CEO of Cannaly). Some of the topics discussed included the most exciting market trends in cannabis, the role of celebrities and influencers in cannabis marketing and the legal and regulatory hurdles faced when starting a cannabis brand.

McMillan is a freelance writer and journalist specializing in the cannabis industry. She has written content for multiple brands in the industry while also discovering her passion for journalism. McMillan is building her own brand as a cannabis culture writer and is especially interested in telling the stories of women and people of color in the industry, particularly those in her hometown of Oakland.

Chin is the co-founder and President of Leafs By Snoop (LBS), the premier cannabis brand by Snoop Dogg. As the first celebrity branded line of cannabis, LBS is currently distributed in over 150 Colorado retailers, and sold nationwide in Canada.

Hailing from Northern California, Griffith, a US Navy Veteran, has taken an unusual career path to get to cannabis. She is currently the Vice President of Production at CannaCraft in Santa Rosa, Ca. CannaCraft is one of the state’s leading cannabis product manufacturers, if not the world, producing a variety of brands such as ABX (Absolute Extracts), Care By Design, Satori, and now HiFi Hops beverages.

Veronese is a hospitality, finance and policy leader, and the Business Development and Policy lead for Big Rock Partners. He has decades of experience in California Cannabis policy advocacy work, which began with the unanimous passage by the San Francisco Board of Supervisor of Prop O in 1991.

Wickum is the Founder & CEO of Cannaly, California’s leading B2B marketplace and sales platform for licensed cannabis brands and retailers. Cannaly works with over 200 dispensaries throughout the state who order millions dollars of inventory through their site.

Market Trends Panel [Right to Left: Kaisha McMillan, Jeff Wickum, Gian-Paolo Veronese, Tiffany Chin, Cheriene Griffith]

Market Trends Panel [Right to Left: Kaisha McMillan, Jeff Wickum, Gian-Paolo Veronese, Tiffany Chin, Cheriene Griffith]



The second panel of the day, moderated by keynote speaker Holzworth of Zuber Lawler, focused on the intriguing and exciting topic of investing in the business of cannabis. Holzworth was joined on the panel by cannabis investment experts Steven J. Schuman (Managing Director of Halley Venture Partners, L.P.), T.J. Leverte (Founder and Managing Partner at Marin Financing LLC), Veronese, Viken Douzdjian (General Partner & Co-Founder for Argonautic Ventures SPC) and Andrew Roche (VP of Finance at Poseidon).

Halley Venture Partners, L.P. is venture investment firm Schuman founded in 2017 that focuses on building the best cannabis-related technology companies. Schuman has 15 years of public and private equity investment experience, and spent an additional 5 years in agriculture-related manufacturing.

Marin Financing offers clients customized lending solutions fulfilling short-term cash flow needs while providing flexibility for growth. Marin Financing looks to build long-term relationships with our clients, helping grow their businesses by providing working capital and other short-term financing solutions. In addition to providing flexible capital solutions, Marin Financing can also be an extension of our clients' management team, assisting in strategic financial matters. Prior to Marin Financing, Leverte worked at Saxa Capital which provided bridge loans to the real estate industry.

Douzdjian is COO of Trellis, a compliance software company, and investor at Argonautic Ventures, an early-stage investment fund. At Trellis, Douzdjian implements processes and builds a team to scale a compliance software company in the rapidly growing cannabis industry. Trellis’ clients include operators in California, Canada and other global cannabis markets.

Roche is the VP of Finance at Poseidon Asset Management. In this role, he has worked on the diligencing of over 50 companies, overseeing 20+ investments and reviewed hundreds of businesses across all verticals of the cannabis industry. Roche is skilled in financial modeling and venture capital financings as well as passionate about the underlying science, a skillset he leverages in understanding the cannabis industry from an empirical perspective.

The panel participants fielded questions from the attendees and discussed investment concepts and challenges including the pros and cons of additional capital entering the cannabis space, the benefits of going public versus remaining private or being acquired and advice for entrepreneurs looking to select a valuation on their company.

The third and final panel presented at the business conference event was moderated once again by McMillan. It discussed the overall global market with the opinions and insights from speakers such as Roche, Holzworth, Douzdjian and Schuman.

The four members of the panel examined the challenges and benefits of the global cannabis industry by discussing certain related topics, for instance advice for entrepreneurs who are looking to build a brand appealing to the global cannabis market, the significance of cannabis tourism to the global industry and global low-cost production and its potential implications.



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 community@thecannabissociety.org.