2020 Toronto – Sessions and Schedule
We’re still finalizing the Friday and Saturday schedule of featured speakers, so please check back shortly.
BUSINESS CONFERENCE: THURSDAY, APRIL 23, 2020
INDUSTRY AWARDS GALA: THURSDAY, APRIL 23, 2020
INDUSTRY EXPO: FRIDAY, APRIL 24, 2020
INDUSTRY + PUBLIC EXPO: SATURDAY, APRIL 25, 2020
HALL 5, THE INTERNATIONAL CENTRE, TORONTO
VIP Business Conference and Expo Package Delegates Only
The much-anticipated Phase Two of legalization has seen edibles, topicals and concentrates finally hit the market, serving a consumer segment that long ago gave up inhaling. But as with the initial launch of legal cannabis, there is an existing illicit market. And an already complex regulatory system has just become harder to navigate. What unforeseen roadblocks await the introduction of smoke-free product? And how ready are producers to develop product and react to demand? This session will see industry potentates examine the rules, and chart a course through them that could allow the legal market to serve consumers effectively, gain their loyalty and attract repeat business.
Diane Scott, Chair & CEO of the JMCC Group of Companies, will answer questions about key global medical cannabis developments, the challenges of operating a business in a developing country, and how she sees a company like JMCC benefitting Canada’s cannabis ecosystem.
Group Chair & CEO, JMCC
Olivia Newton-John / "Amazon John" Easterling's Keynote Wellness Fireside Chat(Featured Keynote Conversation) One of the top-selling singers and best-known actresses of the last half-century, Olivia Newton-John is also a passionate advocate for wellness and cancer research and helped create the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Center. Her husband, John Easterling – a.k.a. "Amazon John" – founded Amazon Herb Company in 1990, and is a plant medicine specialist. He is a proponent of the “entourage effect,” meaning it’s the combination of cannabinoids, terpenes and other naturally occurring plant compounds that produces the best therapeutic results. “Amazon John” has cultivated and formulated strains specifically for Newton-John, who credits his cannabis with getting her off morphine, and allowing her to maintain a busy schedule promoting environmental and wellness causes. Hear their botanical adventures in the Amazon Rainforest and cannabis gardens on their journey to wellness . We are thrilled to host “Amazon John" and Newton-John for this mutual Fireside Chat.
Interviewer: Tony Chapman
Join Tony Chapman in an interview with Cam Battley (pictured), the former chief corporate officer of Aurora Cannabis Inc. about riding out market ups and downs, how automation and robotics can feed efficient economies of scale that could defeat the black market, and Canada’s continuing competitive advantage as a mass producer and supplier of medicinal marijuana, effectively operating without global competition. With all the layoffs in 2020, people are wondering what really happened. Are we going to find out? This is sure to be an engaging and entertaining discussion.
After 10+ years of playing elite and professional soccer I had a wake up call - painkillers and over the counter meds are passed out like candy and we don't take good enough care of our athletes. It's been clear for far too long the status quo for pain relief in the U.S. is messed up. Athletes put their bodies through the grinder day in and day out, all with the aspiration to be their best. Mendi was formed out of a desire to build a brighter future for sports, by taking care of athletes.
The cannabis industry got off the ground without much of a plan, beyond “if you legalize it, they will come.” But now that it’s on the market in a bona fide CPG environment, it’s time for the business to mature beyond putting out an “Open for Business” sign and quality products. Smart marketers will turn to the latest data to meet demand and avoid pitfalls at every stage, from supply management to retail. A vigorous new data industry is popping up, gathering first-time consumer insights that can maximize your business. A little knowledge can be a lucrative thing, and this session of experts will point you to it.
With legitimacy comes great responsibility. And the legal cannabis market has built its business by taking the (ahem) high road –providing a safe, quality product within a strict regulatory framework. Which may be why CannTrust’s revealed use of unlicensed growing rooms has become such a scandal, shaking the public’s faith in the process. LPs who play by the rules have a right to be angry at being tarred by others’ mistakes. This session will offer ways to reframe the conversation, and reassure consumers that the industry is self-correcting, with a commitment to “clean cannabis” that you won’t find on the black market.
After generations dedicated to ending pot prohibition, it is confounding to see the illegal industry continue to gobble up market share. From pricing hurdles, to retail bottlenecks, to the unquantifiable dedication of some consumers to familiar sources who’ve supplied them for decades, this panel will examine what needs to be addressed to bring the cannabis black market fully into the legal light of day.
The legal cannabis era began with Canada in the global driver’s seat, with others watching our pioneering progress with keen interest. Now, with foreign trade and distribution accords, and increasing jurisdictions following us down the legalization path, we can exchange ideas and learn from international entrepreneurial efforts. In this session, a panel of international producers and industry leaders will talk about the coming year and the opportunities that will arise in a world where prohibition continues to crumble.
Tech titan Michele Romanow is an engineer and a serial entrepreneur who started three companies before her 28th birthday. A Dragon on CBC’s hit show Dragons’ Den, Michele is the co-founder of e-commerce platforms Buytopia.ca, Snap By Groupon, and -- ,pst recently – Clearbanc, an online financial service for freelancers, independent contractors, and entrepreneurs.
In this insightful and useful talk, Michele recounts her journey from a Queen’s University undergrad to becoming ranked in WXN’s “100 Most Powerful in Canada” and listed as a Forbes’ “Millennial on a Mission”, sharing along the way the lessons she’s learned as one of Canada’s most successful entrepreneurs, including the necessity of embracing change, encouraging disruption, and incentivizing innovation at every stage of the game.
Bruce Linton is already a de facto cannabis industry hall of famer for founding the giant Canopy Growth Corp. But the company’s erstwhile Chairman, CEO and Founder is looking to write the next chapter in marijuana’s global revolution. Bruce will do a sit-down interview with Tony Chapman that will analyze what the industry is doing wrong (courting big-money backers with get-rich-quick attitudes) and what they could be doing right (giving employees a bigger stake in the pioneering enterprise they’re helping build). And he might even let slip some details of his next-big-thing.
There were many things cannabis investors and entrepreneurs never saw coming. But arguably none were as big as the CBD craze. A perfect storm of legality, availability, mistrust of traditional medicines, and the perception of “naturalness” has made CBD the choice of folks who’ve never toked, but want pain relief and symptom management in products from shelf to shelf. The result is a bud that generates more profit than THC and whose demand outstrips supply. We look at the impact of the CBD craze on indoor cultivation and the possible outcomes of its boom-or-bust future.
In the fast-evolving and highly-regulated cannabis industry, your point of sale needs to perform beyond the functions of a typical cash register. A customer transaction is the culmination of all your hard work and investments in marketing, branding, production and merchandising! Please join xx from Cova Software to explore the most critical considerations for the heart of your retail operations:
1. Design - your brand, customer flow, inventory flow, and interfaces
2. Reliability & Support - onsite vs. cloud
3. Integrations/partner ecosystem
4. Sales & Inventory
6. Reporting & Analytics
7. Loss Prevention
Brought to you by:
Dr. Carrillo will discuss the various levels of scientific evidence for Cannabinoid Based Medicine, from proven or substantial to limited or no evidence. She will also discuss guidelines used by physicians for prescribing cannabis.
Dr. Sandra Carrillo
Medical Doctor, Clinical Professor, Medical Cannabis, Faculty of Medicine, University of Panama
This presentation will look at cannabis trends that have occurred, and trends that we should expect for the remainder of 2020 and onwards.
Equity Research Analyst, Research FRC
Brought to you by:
Learn the basics of THC infusions, the importance of dosing and the ease of creating a spectacular dish utilizing infused fats with Chef Shaun O’Neale.
Season 7 Winner of Master Chef and Author of “My Modern American Table”, MasterChef
Best practices on how new and existing retailers can succeed in Canada retail market
● Why compliance matters and how to remain on the right side of the law
● How to create a memorable experience at every touchpoint
● Operational best practices
● Proven marketing tactics that increase foot traffic and brand awareness
● How to build and prepare your staff for the sales floor
Brought to you by:
Dr. Edris Madadian
Killam Postdoctoral Research Scholar, Dalhousie University
A new wave of Canadian consumers are entering the market, and they want to make an educated decision about the cannabis products they buy. These new consumers have a variety of needs, are actively seeking information, and they expect retailers to be ready and knowledgeable. For those reasons, providing a technology that allows consumers the ability to shop at will is key. Let’s take a look at how the Hunny Pot has benefited from giving their customers more ways than one to shop.
The Hunny Pot will share:
How mobilizing budtenders with the right tools can shape the shopping experience, engage with consumers, and increase productivity.
How arming budtenders with better tools can improve the selling process and sales transaction experience.
Brought to you by:
You’ll learn what AGCO requires, how to streamline provincial reporting, and how to implement automated compliance features. A demonstration of effective workflow and procedures will show you the power of proper inventory management and operational reports to improve your bottom line.
Brought to you by:
An examination of the barriers and opportunities for North American companies looking to establish themselves in the European Cannabinoid Supplement Industry. What the market looks like and future projections focusing on Key trends and consumer behaviour.
An overview of the regulations governing the cultivation, extraction and production of Cannabinoids. Looking at the impact of the Novel Food Regulations on producers, manufacturers and retailers. Labelling requirements, product testing and the retail requirements across multiple jurisdictions.
The challenges posed for investments and banking in light of Money Laundering Legislation and the impact for companies engaged in activities that are ‘lawful’ in one jurisdiction but prohibited in others. The assessment of risks, proposed legislative changes and opportunities in specific European countries.
President, CEO & Founder, jCanna Inc.
What keeps a supplement manufacturer or branded OTC executive up at night? A potential product recall from a contaminated or off-spec natural ingredient. It's not only possible, but more likely with natural products like cannabis and hemp because the input material is ever changing.
How can one assure a consistent and high purity supply? Extraction methods such as supercritical CO2 combined with purification methods such as SFC chromatography (SFC) can assure the manufacturer or co-packer that the products have removed contaminants like pesticides, fungicides and other naturally occurring products that might not be needed like THC in a CBD or CBN ocused product.
We will discuss the methods, data and how it applies to the cannabis, hemp and natural products industry as a whole.
Dr. Lalit Chordia
Founder/CEO, Thar Process, Inc. and Thar Energy LLC
Brought to you by:
Cannabis has been used medicinally for millennia but our comprehension of Cannabis and cannabinoids from a modern perspective is still limited. As the interest in cannabis and cannabinoid research is surging, the knowledge gaps in the research in different areas are being identified. This presentation will provide a summary of some leading areas of research in the cannabinoid filed where the knowledge gaps have been or are being actively addressed.
Dr. Adele Hosseini
Chief Scientific Officer, Bod Australia
- Invest in Return on Experience – employees become your best brand ambassadors
- Cannabis is specialized retail, it is not for everyone and requires specific training & coaching
- Customer service and building a community is critical
- Develop your staff – promote from within, provide growth opportunities, they can become your next executives
Chief Commercial Officer, Westleaf Inc.
With a focus on both the online and bricks and mortar Cannabinoid retail industry in Europe this talk will examine the challenges for white labellers and own product manufacturers.
Discussing seed to shelf production, blockchain and transparency we will examine the legal requirements for manufacture, testing, labelling and marketing. Topics covered include THC content, Health Claims, Terpene and Vitamin Additives and the current regulations across the continent of Europe.
We will examine market trends and buying habits whilst sharing the opportunities in new entrant countries adopting a more progressive attitude to these products and highlight the paths to retail success in the industry.
With cannabis increasingly in the spotlight as athletes fight for the right to access and use their medicine of choice, current and former professional athletes share their stories. Representing a variety of sports leagues, athletes talk about using cannabis for athletic performance, including training, focus and recovery aspects. Moderated by Dr. Rick Lioger-Weyback [assuming he's available], the discussion will offer personal athlete perspectives on cannabis relative to crucial issues such as concussions and brain injuries, mental health, and substance abuse, with medical cannabis as a viable alternative to highly addictive opiates.
Brought to you by:
Opening cannabis retail is not an easy task. You have to face challenges beyond a normal retail store. Learn from other’s mistakes so you can avoid costly mistakes and run a profitable cannabis store.
You will learn:
• Key costs associated with opening a dispensary
• Top challenges when opening a medical dispensary
• What you need to include in your business plan and your license application
• Tips to design a winning dispensary experience
• Top compliance issues and how to avoid them
• Unique taxes and treatment of taxes in Oklahoma
Brought to you by:
Brought to you by:
The hemp revolution is underway. And this session takes you through every aspect of the all-purpose product, starting with Katherine Thomas’s discussion about product consultation and farming, followed by Ashley Orr’s medicinal tutorial on the endocannabinoid system, hemp-derived CBD and the Wimhof method of breathing that ostensibly stimulates the brain’s natural cannabinoids. Andria Simone talks fabric, fashion and sustainability, followed by a fashion show titled The Hempress Wears No Clothes, in which Andria, Ashley and Katharine show off hemp and vintage design. Finally, the whole hemp experience is capped off by a Q&A.
Prohibition may be over, but the celebrations are muted by Health Canada’s promotion restrictions. Meanwhile, LPs and retailers are looking to build brand loyalty and break out of the pack early. They must do it with no glamour, few product claims and nothing that could catch the eye of young people. So, successful early marketers have learned to promote with a wink. Coy billboards ask, “Is Tweed a product?” UP Canada has its “Is This Real?” campaign and website that doesn’t even mention cannabis until you click. And plenty of marketing falls under the banner of “education.” This session will look at imaginative approaches to marketing with limits, and consider the future of celebrity spokes-pitchers and the point-of-purchase value of trained “bud-tenders.”
Although aggressiveness is not a core symptom of Autism, a substantial number of children / teenagers present with severe behavioral issues characterized by severe self and/or generalized aggressive behavior. It presents as a challenge for families, therapists, physicians and the school system. Some patients either do not respond to conventional drug approach or develop important side effects. In our setting Cannabidiol has been shown to be very effective in the management of these cases, with minimal or no side effects.
Dr. Lins will describe his successful experience, presenting some case studies, with the use of CBD for autistic children and teenagers who present with severe behavioral issues, including irritability and aggressiveness, unresponsive to usual psychiatric medications. Possible mechanisms of actions will be discussed.
Let’s face it, all businesses have to deal with some degree of internal theft and fraud. But in a cash-based business like cannabis retail where the product is relatively easy to pocket shop owners have to be especially committed to establishing procedures early on. Here’s an overview of what cannabis retailers can do to detect and prevent internal retail fraud before it becomes a serious and costly problem.
Brought to you by:
Founder & CEO, RNMKR Agency
It’s true that we’ve seen progress socially and politically for legalization, but the struggle to keep cannabis retailers free from legal scrutiny is still an uphill battle. Despite imminent changes in legislation across Canada, existing and new operations alike should be ready to dot their I's and cross their T’s as it pays to get ahead of the cannabis compliance game.
Brought to you by: