Over the past five years, cannabis industry professionals, policy makers, advocates, and entrepreneurs have convened to network, learn, and discover at the NCIA’s Cannabis Business Summit & Expo. As the industry continues to rapidly evolve, getting accurate and relevant information from experts in the field becomes increasingly important for the success of your business.
Fortunately, as the cannabis industry’s largest national trade association, NCIA is able to convene the industry’s leading experts to share their knowledge about issues from cultivation best practices to technology breakthroughs. Don’t miss these 10 noteworthy speakers at this year’s 6th Annual #CannaBizSummit!
1. Shanita Penny
President, Minority Cannabis Business Association
Panel: Cannabis Reform Stops Short: Why We Can’t Let Social Justice Get Lost
Shanita Penny, M.B.A. is an internationally recognized cannabis advocate, management consultant, and entrepreneur with extensive experience helping Fortune 500 companies and startups solve complex issues and improve business performance. In 2015, she founded Budding Solutions to change the perception of cannabis on a global scale. Shanita has supported and coached cannabis advocates, business professionals, entrepreneurs, and policy-makers throughout the country to get results. She works with clients to create and grow compliant, successful cannabis businesses and empower them to positively impact the burgeoning cannabis industry and communities.
2. Alex Cooley
Panel: How to Improve Quality Control in Your Cultivation Operations
Alex Cooley is the co-founder of Solstice, through his diligent efforts they created first ever fully permitted cannabis production facility in Washington State. From inception, Solstice’s goal has been to cultivate the highest quality, most beneficial varieties, including the award winning, CBD-rich Sour Tsunami #3. In addition to this he has helped to author the “collective garden model” of safe, legal access for medical cannabis patients in 2011. As part of Alex/Solstice’s mission to be a positive catalyst in the cannabis industry and offer a new message about cannabis, Alex uses environmentally responsible practices, serves as an adviser to Washington State, and continues to advocate for patients’ rights.
3. Brittny Anderson
Co-Founder and Director of Operations, The Cannabis Conservancy
Panel: Are You Ready for 3rd Party Certification of Cannabis and Hemp?
Brittny, a co-founder and Director of Operations of The Cannabis Conservancy, grew up in Canada’s cannabis capital, Nelson BC. In 2018, she was elected to serve as a Councilor for the City of Nelson. She has had a lifelong interest in the cultivation and legalization of Cannabis. Her interest in corporate environmental practices was reinforced while working in Canada’s oil sands with a small contractor at Suncor, the first company to develop the oil sands, which inspired her to pursue an internship on Vandana Shiva’s seed saving farm in India and an M.Sc. in Environmental Science and Policy. Brittny has led teams in product development, service procurement (multi-million-dollar service contracts), sales, and communications.
4. Amy Larson
Vice President of Marketing & PR, Simplifya
Panel: Social Media + Digital Marketing: The Secret Sauce
Prior to joining Simplifya, Amy served as the VP of Marketing for COHN, and led its dedicated cannabis division, COHNNABIS, which she helped to launch in 2016 and grow into one of the most respected marketing agencies in the industry. During that time, she worked closely with clients across multiple cannabis verticals from infused products and dispensaries to B2B ancillary service companies including Surna, Seed & Smith, Canna Advisors, Papa & Barkley, Next Frontier BioSciences, Verra, General Cannabis and more.
5. Sabrina Fendrick
Director of Government Affairs, Berkeley Patients Group
Panel: Understanding Vertical vs. Horizontal Integration in a Changing Legal Landscape
Sabrina Fendrick is the Director of Government Affairs for Berkeley Patients Group (BPG), the nation’s oldest, continuously operating dispensary in the country. She has over ten years of political, industry and advocacy experience as a cannabis professional and currently works to engage political and industry stakeholders in California regarding cannabis policy on both a state and municipal level. Sabrina works on the development of local ordinances, legislation, and regulations, and in early January 2018, led the notably successful effort to cut Berkeley’s local adult-use cannabis tax rate in half. Before her arrival at BPG in 2015, she spent seven years at the Washington D.C.-based National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).
6. Chanda Macias
Chairwoman & CEO, National Holistic Healing Center
Panel: How to Develop Hemp Products that Appeal to Mainstream Consumers
Chanda Macias, PhD, MBA is the CEO and owner of National Holistic Healing Center (NHHC), the leading medical marijuana dispensary in Washington DC. Dr. Macias has spent 15+ years developing knowledge of medical marijuana impact on patients. Under her leadership, NHHC has earned $6.5M in annual revenues in 3 years with 98% retention, and adding 100+ new patients/month. Dr. Macias contributes growth to the market through education on ailment strain alignment, aligning a medical marijuana strain with a specific condition or ailment.
7. Ben Curren
Founder and CEO, Green Bits
Panel: How to Thrive in a Changing Retail Market
Ben Curren is the CEO and founder of Green Bits, the nation’s leading compliance and retail management platform for the legal cannabis industry. Green Bits helps legal cannabis retailers run compliant, operationally efficient and growing stores. The platform serves approximately 1,000 cannabis retailers across 12 states and processes over $2.5 billion in sales annually through its point-of-sale platform. Before Green Bits, Ben co-founded Outright in 2008, an accounting program for freelancers and consultants. Four years later, he sold Outright to GoDaddy, the giant web-hosting company. Ben believes that you must understand why things are the way they are before you can successfully change them.
8. Ian Stewart
Partner, Wilson Elser
Panel: The Globalization of Cannabis, CBD, and Hemp: Opportunities and Challenges for Creating International Brands
Ian Stewart is a partner and co-chair of Wilson Elser’s national Cannabis Law practice. Leveraging his 20 years of legal experience, Ian helps clients navigate the challenging new risk management, business practices and insurance landscape presented by the rapidly developing area of Cannabis Law. Ian helps traditional and new organizations prepare for regulatory changes and liability trends whether dealing with regulatory compliance, product liability risks, defense of false advertising and unfair competition claims, professional liability risks, brand protection and obstacles to protecting intellectual property, assisting startups with novel risk management methods, or insurance coverage problems created by conflicting state and federal laws.
9. Michael Cooper
Co-Founder, Madison Jay Solutions
Panel: Today’s Key State Regulation Trends & Issues Across the Nation
Michael Cooper is the Co-Founder and Managing Member of MadisonJay Solutions LLC, a leading regulatory advisor to the adult-use cannabis industry that helps businesses understand the latest rules and build effective compliance infrastructure to address risk. Michael draws on his time as General Counsel of MHW, Ltd. and prior regulatory law practice where he designed compliance programs, advised on regulatory risks for mergers and financings, and defended companies before regulators. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and practiced at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP.
10. Andrew Kline
Director of Public Policy, National Cannabis Industry Association
Panel: A Look Into the Future of FDA Regulations on Hemp and CBD
Andrew Kline joined NCIA as Director of Public Policy in early 2019 to lead substantive public policy efforts, striving to prepare and protect the state-legal cannabis industry. Kline also served as Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor for Intellectual Property Enforcement in the Executive Office of the President [Obama] where he led public-private partnership and public policy efforts.
Don’t miss your opportunity to network and learn from the industry’s leading experts at the most influential, award-winning cannabis trade show in the U.S. – NCIA’s #CannaBizSummit. See you in San Jose!