Schedule of Events

The Cannabis 2017 Cultivation Conference program agenda is currently being finalized. Check back often as session titles and speakers are confirmed and updated here!

Times, sessions and speakers are subject to change.

9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Exhibitor Move-In
12:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Registration Opens
3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Emerging Cultivation Landscape: A Look at New States’ Regulations, Challenges and Opportunities

Four new states legalized adult-use marijuana during the November 2016 elections and four states passed medical marijuana legislation. More than half the states in the country now have legalized medical marijuana in some form, and eight states have legalized adult use. The cultivation landscape continues to shift and many new opportunities exist for developing or expanding your cultivation business. In this session, experts will explore the emerging cultivation market, and state regulations and their impact on businesses, including stipulations for the number of retail and cultivation licenses, canopy sizes and types, product and marketing restrictions, zoning regulations, tax structure, medical program details and the resulting market potential, investment and ownership/residency requirements, municipal considerations, medical market implications in newly legal adult-use markets and more.

Moderator/Speaker: Nic Easely, Founder & CEO, Comprehensive Cannabis Consulting
Speaker: Matthew Abel, Executive Director, Michigan NORML
Speaker: Ben Gelt, Board Director, Organic Cannabis Association
Speaker: Joshua Kappel, Partner, Vicente Sederberg LLC
Speaker: Nicole Howell Neubert, Partner, Clark Neubert LLP
4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Creating a Winning Application
Applying for a cultivation license is the first and most crucial step in establishing or expanding your cultivation business. Even in more open markets, where licenses are not severely limited in number, competition is increasing by leaps and bounds. Plus, applications can be extremely intimidating, time consuming and confusing, not to mention expensive (and usually with non-refundable application fees). In this session, learn from experts with proven track records of success how to build a winning cannabis business application by understanding: common application mistakes, best practices to increase your chances of success, time/preparation and capital needs, the importance of building the right team and political connections, and local licensing particularities, among a host of other essential topics to help you in your efforts to win a cultivation license.
Moderator/Speaker: Susy Wilson, Owner, W.O.W. Weed
Speaker: Diane Czarkowski, Founding Partner, Canna Advisors
Speaker: Jay Czarkowski, Founding Partner, Canna Advisors
Speaker: Liana Held, CEO/Founder, Liana Limited
6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Welcome Reception in the Exhibit Hall
8:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Registration Open
8:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Exhibit Hall Open
8:30 a.m.– 9:30 a.m.
Continental Breakfast in Exhibit Hall
9:30 a.m.– 9:35 a.m.
Welcome/Opening Remarks
Speaker: Jim Gilbride, Publisher, Cannabis Business Times
Speaker: Noelle Skodzinski, Editor, Cannabis Business Times
9:35 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Keynote Session: 20 Years in the Making: A Unique Perspective on the Past, Present and Future of the Cannabis Industry

In this special keynote event, Étienne Fontán will share his unique perspective on the industry he has been involved in for more than 20 years in various capacities – as a cultivator, dispensary owner and director, advocate and activist, and more. Fontán has watched the industry take shape from a point where no one expected to see serious reform in their lifetime to becoming the fastest-growing industry in the country … and from an unregulated world to the highly regulated world that continues to develop around us.

Still, many challenges and risks still exist, and Fontán recently experienced a legal battle with the federal government that threatened to shut down Berkeley Patients Group – the oldest medical dispensary in the nation. He also has been instrumental in changes in how dispensaries work with cultivators, and will offer guidance for growers on developing successful partnerships with dispensaries.

This insightful and informative keynote will be a must-see by all attendees to Cannabis 2017.

Speaker: Étienne, Fontán, VP and Co-Owner, Berkeley Patients Group
10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Networking Break in Exhibit Hall
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Keynote Panel: The State of the Cannabis Market

In this featured session, industry experts will share insights into overcoming regulatory hurdles, including banking and a federally illegal status, changes in the regulatory landscape and how those continue to shape commercial cultivation businesses, the impact of shifting consumer and regulatory demands on the medical and recreational marijuana markets, and what cannabis cultivators can and should learn from commercial agriculture.

Moderator: Jesce Horton, Owner, Panacea Valley Gardens
Speaker: Brooke Gehring, CEO, FGS Inc.
Speaker: Debby Goldsberry, Executive Director, Magnolia Wellness
Speaker: James R. Ott, Founder, CEO and General Manager, Precision Cultivation
Speaker: Tom Schultz, President, Connecticut Pharmaceutical Solutions
12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Networking Lunch in Exhibit Hall
1:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
Ways to Increase Yield
Yield is the holy grail of the cannabis industry. So whether you're a boutique grower or run a large-scale cultivation operation, learning new ways to maximize yield without sacrificing quality is always a priority. Especially with caps on crop sizes, license limitations and expanding markets to serve, maximizing yield is, for many, the only way to expand. Take home practical insights from experienced cultivators on ways to get more from your plants ... to get more from your business.
Moderator: Brian MacIver, Associate Editor, Cannabis Business Times
Speaker: Jeremy Raab, Director of Production, Precision Cultivation Company
Speaker: Mark June-Wells, Ph.D., Director, Supercritical Fluid Extraction and Essential Oil Production, Connecticut Pharmaceutical Solutions
1:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
Securing Capital: How I Raised $$$

Securing capital in a federally illegal industry is one of the biggest challenges cultivators face. Hear from the founders of one of the leading investment management companies in the industry about your chances for securing funding through more traditional investment options, the challenges investors see in funding cultivation businesses, and what other options exist for securing funding, as well as tips for increasing your chances of securing much-needed capital. Plus, hear from cultivators who have successfully secured capital, including California-based Canndescent, which secured $6.5 million in seed round funding -- the largest seed found funding on record for a Southern California cannabis cultivator.

Moderator/Speaker: Morgan Paxhia, Managing Director, Poseidon Asset Management
Speaker: Adrian Z. Sedlin, CEO, Canndescent
Speaker: Jesce Horton, Owner, Panacea Valley Gardens
Speaker: Colin Kelley, CFO & COO, LeafLine Labs
2:30 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
Facility Automation

In an interview with Cannabis Business Times, Scott Reach said, "If you're not on the technology side of cannabis, you're just going to be on the farming side, and there's not a lot of money on the farming side." In this ground-breaking session, hear the reasoning behind Reach’s philosophy on cultivation and how he built one of the most advanced cultivation facilities in existence (a $10-million-plus indoor hydroponic facility), what technologies he implemented and their benefits on efficiencies (including decreased labor), decreasing costs, environmental and quality control, yield, pest prevention ... and more, as well as his plans for his forthcoming large-scale natural light greenhouse.

Speaker: Scott Reach, founder and COO of RD Industries and Rare Dankess
2:30 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
CBD: Past, Present and Future
CBD can be a controversial topic - where it comes from, its legality, its effect, product quality/marketing/distribution, etc. This session will provide insights from leading industry experts who will provide as much CBD information as they can cram into one hour - from its history from chemotype classifications to its interpreted legal status to foreign and domestic sources. The panelists will discuss the progressive development of inputs from flowers to 'hash-oil' (aka oleoresins and concretes) to distillates and isolates, and how those inputs have been applied to consumer product sets historically and where they are headed in the near future.
Moderator: Debby Goldsberry, Executive Director, Magnolia Wellness
Speaker: David Bonvillain, founder & CEO, Elite Enterprises
Speaker: Alaina Austin, Founder/Owner, Green Fire Genetics
3:15 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
Networking Break in Exhibit Hall
3:45 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Extracts: What You Need to Know and Why They Matter
In this in-depth session, for both novice and experienced processors, experts in extraction will explain the different extraction processes and the advantages of each process, as well as explore the differences between refinement and super refinement. The session also will provide a big-picture view of extraction’s role in the legal cannabis market today and in the future, and what will happen as states, such as California, continue to move forward in highly regulated frameworks.
Moderator: JD Harriman, Partner, Arent Fox, Los Angeles Office
Speaker: Kenneth Morrow, Owner, Trichome Technologies
Speaker: Addison Demoura, Co-founder, Steep Hill Labs
Speaker: Paul Daley, P.H.D, Chief Technical Officer, Essential Medicinals
3:45 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Clean Cannabis Production in a Highly Regulated Environment

As CEO of Colorado Harvest Company, Tim Cullen has been driving the growth of this vertically integrated cannabis enterprise for eight years. In terms of cultivation, these essential core beliefs are the foundation for his thriving business: Always grow cannabis with integrity; and keeping cannabis clean keeps it safe and keeps it legal.

In this session, you will learn about compliance and science, including: Who are the regulators at the city, state and federal levels. You’ll also learn about: Knowing your rights, anticipating pitfalls and changing rules; communicating with regulators; and product tracking.

In particular, Cullen will share his extensive insights into: Testing: How Colorado Harvest Company received 80 clean test results from the Colorado Department of Agriculture; Self-testing; Ensuring that regulatory agencies are playing fair; Potency; Pesticides; Federal terminology/labeling; Operating a safe, clean and sustainable work environment; Keeping your employees safe and compliant; and Educating employees.

Speaker: Tim Cullen, CEO, Colorado Harvest Company
4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Reception in the Exhibit Hall
8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Registration Open
8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Exhibit Hall Open
8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Continental Breakfast in Exhibit Hall
9:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.
Expanding Into New Markets

Newly legalized medical and adult use markets present great opportunity, but also present great challenges. From understanding unique state regulations (e.g., residency requirements, canopy sizes) to market potential and financial forecasting, and inherent risks as new markets often struggle to get up and running, all of these issues make planning business decisions and finances based on a set timeline extremely risky. In this session, you’ll learn the essential considerations for expanding into new markets, challenges to anticipate and how to address them, how to evaluate potential markets to ensure your business will have sufficient business to thrive, and much more.

Moderator: Anna Shreeve, Managing Partner, The Bakeréé, Urban Paragon Inc., Targeted Intent Inc.
Speaker: Jeremy Unruh, General Counsel, PharamaCann LLC
9:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.
Commercial Facility Design I: Indoor Grows
The design of an indoor commercial facility is one of the biggest factors in a cultivation business’s success, not to mention overall efficiency and security, regardless of the size of the operation. In this session, learn how to plan your facility for peak productivity by designing with the harvest cycle/maximum yield, pest prevention, environmental controls, automation and your employees’ daily plant nutrition and care routines in mind, as well as determining the proper equipment to effectively outfit each grow room.
Moderator: Brian MacIver, Associate Editor, Cannabis Business Times
Speaker: David Holmes, co-founder, CEO, and Chief Science Officer, Clade9
Speaker: Keith Stephenson, Founder/CEO, Purple Heart Patient Center
Speaker: Amy Andrle, Co-Owner, L’Eagle Services
10:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
OSHA Compliance: Why and How to Prepare Now

With all eyes of the nation upon the burgeoning cannabis industry, the industry inevitably will increasingly attract scrutiny from OSHA, the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Ultimately, this industry is like any other in that it must provide employees with safe and healthful work environments. Business owners and cultivation directors/managers need to address safety before OSHA regulations come crashing down on their businesses -- as has already begun. In this session, you will take away what you need to know about OSHA regulations, why they are important (and potentially costly to your business if not complied with), and the know-how to develop a comprehensive written safety program that will help you avoid OSHA violations/citations (and lower your employer modification rate for your worker's compensation program) and provide a safe workplace for your employees.

Speaker: Carlos Campos, Owner/CEO, C&H Auxiliary Safety Management, Inc.
Speaker: Luke Tipton, Safety Consultant, Milestone Safety Group
10:00 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.
Commercial Facility Design II: Greenhouses
Greenhouses facility design is critical to a cultivation business’s success, and building out a greenhouse can be daunting to even the most experienced cultivators. In this session, learn how to best design your greenhouse to maximize productivity, yield and efficiency, minimize pest exposure, incorporate essential environmental controls and automation, anticipate costs, as well as implement sustainability features to minimize costs and your environmental impact.
Moderator: Cassie Neiden, Managing Editor, Cannabis Business Times
Speaker: Rich Kwesell, Co-Founder/Co-Owner, Strawberry Fields
Speaker: Steven Walser, Owner, Buddy Boy Farms
10:45 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.
Networking Break in Exhibit Hall
11:15 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
The Commoditization of the Cannabis Market and Why You Need to Prepare for It
In this industry-leading session, you will gain an understanding of the cannabis industry and its ongoing evolution into a commoditized market and what that means for the future of your business and the industry at large, including: an overview of how cannabis is becoming a commodity, what commoditization means for cultivators, what is a benchmark and when/how does it become an index, why benchmarks and indices are important to cultivators, lessons from other agricultural commodity markets (wheat, soybeans) … what happens in these markets and how farmers survive, and what we can learn from them and anticipate seeing in cannabis, how financial instruments, such as futures/derivatives, are used in other agricultural markets, how / when / why these instruments will be used in cannabis markets, and what does this vision of the future of cannabis as a commercial agricultural commodity mean to cultivators today and as they ponder growth and competition into the future
Speaker: Jonathan Rubin, CEO, Cannabis Benchmarks
11:15 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Metrics Every Cannabis Cultivator Needs to Measure, How to Measure Them and Benchmarks You Can Use
In this session for both startup ventures and mature businesses, experts show how metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are the lifelines for cultivation businesses as they strive to compete and bolster profit margins in an increasingly competitive marketplace that continues to see significant pricing pressures. Learn the importance of metrics such as cost per square foot per month, break even gram/ounce/pound price, Capital Expenditures (CapEx) and Operating Expense (OpEx). You’ll also learn how regulatory authorities and “track-and-trace” programs will use KPIs as a critical component to their program development and enforcement approaches to prevent illegal diversion.
Speaker: Todd Hill, Chairman, BUDDHII Cooperative
12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Networking Lunch in Exhibit Hall
1:30 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.
The $500 Pound: Preserving Your Profit Margin
The profit margin is even slimmer than you thought. How will you compete?  There is already talk of $700 regulated wholesale pounds and maybe lower. Supply is growing as the field gets more crowded, and this will continue to fuel the drop in prices while regulation is tightening and raising costs. This can test a company and its bottom line. The first thing to do is ask are you making the most of your facilities, people and plants? Learn from this session the drivers behind tightening profit margins and ways you can deal with them by increasing efficiencies and cutting costs.
Speaker: Kurt Badertscher, co-owner, Otoké Horticulture, LLC
1:30 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.
Expanding Your Cultivation Operation
One of the most common and challenging hurdles faced by cultivators is the prospect of operating a large-scale facility or site. Whether you're looking to expand your medical or recreational cultivation business due to market demand, or to expand from medical into recreational, or even if you're a cultivator with a plan to enter to the legal cannabis market, many considerations must be taken into account and methodical and meticulous planning is essential. Learn from this session practical solutions and essential considerations including: pre-construction planning and design, market analysis, regulations and compliance issues, financial planning, outsource partner selection (e.g., construction companies), staff preparation and management, propagation and other logistical planning, and much more.
Moderator/Speaker: Crystal Oliver, Co-Founder, Washington’s Finest Cannabis
Speaker: Nic Easely, founder and CEO, Comprehensive Cannabis Consulting (3C)
Speaker: Leif Abel, co-founder and Compliance Officer of Greatland Ganja, LLC
2:15 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.
Networking Break
2:45 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Creating an SOP and Developing Advanced Processes for Product Consistency
Developing solid and sensible standard operating procedures (SOPs) is crucial to the success of any cannabis cultivation business. Good SOPs will allow you to address potential problems before they happen and can help you streamline production, prevent mistakes and even maximize yield. Especially for medical marijuana producers, proper SOPs will translate to consistent medication for patients who are often immuno-compromised. For adult-use businesses, consistency means consumer confidence in your brand. As the industry expands and moves toward increasingly stringent standards, SOPs will become all the more integral to cultivation operations. During this session, learn from those who have worked to develop industry-leading SOPs: Tom Shipley, Vice President of Quality Assurance at Canadian cannabis giant Tweed (whose SOPs total over 1,200 pages), and Rino Ferrarese, Manager at Connecticut Pharmaceutical Solutions, which operates with a strict pharmaceutical approach to manufacturing that, per Connecticut regulations, must essentially meet FDA standards.
Moderator: Noelle Skodzinski, Editor, Cannabis Business Times
Speaker: Tom Shipley, Vice President, Quality Assurance, Tweed
Speaker: Rino Ferrarese, Manager, Connecticut Pharmaceutical Solutions
2:45 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Ensuring a Competitive Future: Tools for Constructing a Profitable and More Environmentally Sustainable Facility
Resource Innovation Institute (RII) will provide an overview of tools and tactics to support a resource-efficient grow operation buildout. Tools will include RII's Competitive Facility Checklist, a peer-reviewed guide with input from producers, architects and facility design experts who have experience in Washington, Oregon and Colorado. RII is a non-profit, objective conservation partner to the cannabis industry whose mission is to promote and quantify energy and water conservation.
Speaker: Derek Smith, Founder and Executive Director, Resource Innovation Institute
Speaker: Matthew Gaboury, Co-Founder & Director of Operations, Calyx King Consulting
3:30 p.m.
Event Concludes