California is the world’s biggest, most influential cannabis market, and the adult-use industry is just gathering momentum.
The ink is barely dry on the state’s final regulations, and the next 12 to 18 months could pick the winners and losers for a generation.
If you want to be part of that action, or understand what’s coming to your market—the go-to event is Friday’s International Cannabis Business Conference-San Francisco.
Last-minute tickets aren’t cheap to this long-running global industry conference. But you got to spend money to make money, and it’s a necessary business expense to go and meet potential new clients, potential partners, as well as learn from longtime luminaries.
The ICBC-SF, sponsored in part y Leafly, takes place at the Hilton Union Square, Thursday and Friday, Feb. 7-8, starting with a VIP reception Thursday night, then a heady whirlwind of key panels all day Friday.
Here’s what you should not miss:
The Main Event – 9:00 a.m.
Lori Ajax is the top cannabis regulator for California, the world’s biggest market. The main event begins bright and early at 9 a.m. when Leafly California editor David Downs interviews California Bureau of Cannabis Control Chief Ajax. Ajax details how businesses can navigate annual licensing this year. And she provides insights into the letter—and the spirit—of the state’s newly released final regulations.
Federal Legalization in 2019 – 9:45 a.m.
Cannabis doesn’t legalize itself. On Capitol Hill, lobbyists and activists do the heavy lifting of drafting bills, and securing votes. Meet the men and women pushing the issues in Washington D.C. this year, including Neal Levine of the Cannabis Trade Federation. 9:45 a.m.
Getting Funded – 10:30 a.m.
Scope out the playing field of Big Capital at the morning Investment and Capital Markets panel. Powerhouse analyst Alan Brochstein of 4/20 Investor is on tap, along with Bhang’s chocolate veteran CEO Scott Van Rixel. Erin Gore, founder and CEO of Garden Society and Dean Arbit, CEO Wagner Dimas, detail their company’s capital raises, and lessons learned.
CBD’s Future – 1:45 p.m.
After the lunch break, the Mainstreaming of CBD panel dives into new CBD formulations like hemp pre-rolls, and nano-emulsions. The panel includes IP attorney David Branfman.
Understanding Distribution — 3:00 p.m.
Every consumer product lives and dies by distribution. With distribution rules finalized in California, listen to the pros, Chris Coulombe, CEO of Pacific Expeditors Distribution, Michael Steinmetz, CEO and Founder of Flow Kana, and reps from major distributors RISE and Mammoth. Moderated by Lauren Fraser, executive director of the Cannabis Distribution Association.
Three More Highlights
Get plated up with Silicon Valley insights from David Hua, co-founder of Meadow, a graduate of Y Combinator, and the Tech & Cannabis panel.
Don’t miss Debby Goldsberry keep it 100. She is probably the only High Times Freedom Fighter of the Year who now runs a licensed dispensary, Magnolia Wellness in Oakland; Goldsberry is part of the Industry Disruptors panel.
Catch Jamie Pearson, COO of Bhang at talking Strategic Partnerships. Pearson’s in the orbit of DJ Muggs, so try to get her to tell you some Cypress Hill stories; and staff up with Shanita Penny, president of the Minority Cannabis Business Association.