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Agenda

Welcome Offsite Sponsored by Smithers
The Pathway to Acceptance – Celebrating the Successful Progress of the Cannabis Industry
Meet with contacts and industry experts before the event begins, and come ready to network and learn on day one! Gather with attendees at the CannaReg Summit 2023 Welcome Reception, included in your CannaReg ticket. This fun and enjoyalble welcome reception will make it easy to introduce yourself and begin important discussions about this rapidly-changing industry.

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Registration & Opening Remarks
Registration Opens & Continental Breakfast
Welcome & Opening Remarks
Session I: Industry Overview and Future Market Outlook
< Session Description >
Moderator: Amy Larson, Senior Vice President, Marketing & Communications, TILT Holdings

This session will cover the cannabis industry as a whole, what the future looks like for cannabis use, opportunities for additional applications of cannabis, health and wellness, consumer insights and more.
Navigating an Industry in Flux: Opportunities, Challenges and Keys to Success
The cannabis industry has experienced an unprecedented decade of rapid growth, leading to tens of thousands of business opportunities, hundreds of thousands of jobs and $35 billion in annual retail sales. But new headwinds have arisen over the past year, creating unexpected challenges, new uncertainties and big shifts in what it takes to be successful as the industry matures. In this session, MJBiz CEO and Founding Editor Chris Walsh will help you make sense of where the industry is at and where it’s going. He’ll highlight the latest sales data and projections, detail recent trends, provide an overview of the challenges and opportunities going forward, and offer insights on what it will take to thrive in the years ahead. 
Chris Walsh | Former CEO, MJBiz
State of the Industry
Merida

Abstract to come!
Lessons in Consumer Branding & Education: What Cannabis Operators Can Learn from the Wine Industry
Wine education has evolved over hundreds of years and has helped wine brands create greater consumer engagement and loyalty. Cannabis shares a similar level of product depth and connoisseurship yet the industry lacks the tools and resources needed to help consumers develop their knowledge and navigate the product landscape. In this session we will explore ways that cannabis operators can learn from the methods used by the wine industry to cultivate greater consumer appreciation and awareness. We will focus on ways that operators can use wine marketing and education techniques to more effectively communicate the nuances of cannabis strains, effects, product attributes, producers, cultivation methods, and production regions.
Jocelyn Sheltraw | Co-Founder and CEO, Budist
Session II: Big Opportunities – The Science of Testing and Harmonizing Testing Standards Across the States
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Moderator: Sarah Ahrens, Founder & CEO, True Labs for Cannabis

This session will cover the cannabis industry as a whole, what the future looks like for cannabis use, opportunities for additional applications of cannabis, health and wellness, consumer insights and more.
A Solution to the Need for A Harmonized National Lab Accreditation Standard for Cannabis and Hemp Testing
The need for a nationally harmonized laboratory accreditation system for cannabis testing is clear. The Cannabis Working Group (CWG) of the American Council of Independent Laboratories (ACIL), is one of the few national organizations working with Federal lawmakers addressing the needs of independent laboratories. Chaired and Vice Chaired by Zach Eisenberg of Anresco and Josh Swider of Infinite Chemical Analysis labs respectively, this working group of ACIL has issued a recommended guidance: The Guide to Harmonizing Cannabis Laboratory Quality and Testing Practices. This presentation by Sarah Otis of Anresco, will summarize this important work.
This recommended guidance is a science-based approach to legislative and regulatory processes by describing basic quality assurance requirements for the laboratories testing cannabis plant materials and their derivatives across the nation. The document was developed with the aid of industry experts, various industry stakeholders including laboratories, accreditation bodies, and input from state regulatory bodies.  The document is meant to be a living resource to support the growing marijuana and hemp industries and encourage a level playing field with regard to quality management systems, technical quality control, and method requirements for testing laboratories. It is a collection of science-based best practices, which are common to other testing industries, as they apply to marijuana and hemp testing laboratories.

 
Sarah Otis | Director of QA and Special Projects , Anresco Laboratories
Networking Break
PANEL | The Future of Cannabis Lab Testing: The Imperative for Federal Harmonization
Panelists include:
  • Andrew Kline, Senior Counsel, Perkins Coie LLP
  • Alena Rodriguez, Chair of the Laboratory Subcommittee of ASTM International's Committee D37 on Cannabis, ASTM D37
  • Elizabeth Berry, COO, PSI Labs
As the federal government pays increasing attention to the cannabis industry, testing and laboratory accountability will become more important than ever. In 2022, a team of lab scientists, policy experts, and cannabis attorneys from over 20 states released a white paper to inform policy makers about the future of lab testing with the goal of bringing uniformity to testing at a national scale. The panel will explore the recommendations being made to policy makers to ensure that interstate commerce will be possible in the face of varying testing regimes across the country, and how businesses can prepare now for future federal intervention.
Lunch Break
Session III: Regulatory Roundup - The Path to Regulatory Acceptance
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Moderator: Howard Lee, CEO, SoRSE Technology

This session will discuss the path to regulatory acceptance, CBD path to adoption in the nutraceutical and health space, legal program for cannabis in Canada, and more.
Cannabis Testing Challenges from a Regulator and Industry Perspective
This talk will focus on key topics like standardized methods, setting specifications, data integrity training, research testing needs and state labs, method validation and creating true placebos, complex dosage forms and special testing requirements, lab inspection process.
Debby Miran | Director, Cannabis Advisory Group and President and Founder of Miran Consulting
Federal Regulators Can Move the Cannabis Industry Forward
Many within our industry do not realize the power held within our own hands as we assist regulators on the path to legitimize cannabinoids and bring them into mainstream channels to market.  With the demise of SAFE+, and the continued partisan divide, regulation is likely the only way to move the cannabis industry forward to rid itself of tax penalties and byzantine prohibitions.  As importantly, federal legalization will greatly reduce the stigma and allow for a safer and healthier industry.   
 
A lesson to be learned from the Farm Bill, is to understand what the industry can do to be prepared for the “inevitable” rescheduling and the commercial channels rescheduling opens NOW. That is, what else will be necessary to do or consider for marijuana to be available in products for consumption if marijuana is rescheduled below a Schedule 2.  
 
Some examples of issues to address.  Will FDA deem marijuana safe, what are the necessary toxicology studies to permit use in supplements and foods? Will rescheduling below a Schedule 2 end the 280 (e) tax penalty and what can be done to ensure it?  How will dosing be determined, what will be a dose (or serving size), will the drug exclusion rule need to be waived for CBD since it already has status as a drug. Is there a path and what are necessary steps for bio synthetics such as Delta 8 from CBD?  Where and in what forms should FDA approved product be sold? Will it require a prescription?  Who will educate doctors? Beyond CBD and THC, the same challenges arise for minor cannabinoids and other constituents of the cannabis plant: what are safe dosing amounts, manufacturing requirements, and so on.
 
Let’s work together to answer these questions and end prohibition through regulation.
Sheri Orlowitz | Founder & Board Chair, Council for Federal Cannabis Regulation
Fireside Chat Style: Open forum
Moderator:
  • Jimmy Farrell, Committee D37 on Cannabis Standards, ASTM
 Panelists:
  • Amanda Reiman PhD, Chief Knowledge Office, New Frontier Data
  • Debby Miran, Director, Cannabis Advisory Group and President and Founder, Miran Consulting
  • Lezli Engelking, President & Founder, FOCUS (Foundation of Cannabis Unified Standards)
  • Brooke Butler, VP of Partnerships, Simplifya
  • Sheri Orlowitz, Founder & Board Chair, Council for Federal Cannabis Regulation
Description to come
Session IV: Breakout Discussion Groups
Networking Break with Breakout Discussions

Topics will include:

Why do we keep pushing in this industry? What are the accomplishments, despite the challenges?

  • We have come so far in the cannabis industry – from acceptance and understanding to bringing products to market and beyond. But why do we keep doing what we are doing? What made each of us choose to be in this industry and take the hard road to dropping the stigma and creating a friendly, fun and understanding industry? What education is truly needed for regulations, or people in general, to break the stigma? How do we expand/activate without the stigma?
    Outside of educating regulators, how do we better educate our friends, colleagues and everyday interactions with people who might not understand the cannabis industry? Without sounding like we all want to stand on a soapbox, there has to be a way for the cannabis industry to educate others and bringing a better understanding of cannabis use. Where do we start
  • Moderated by: Laurie Parfitt, Principal, LKP Impact Consulting

What human capital challenges keep you up at night? What are your current and planned strategies to improve your recruiting and retention issues

  • Attracting and retaining great talent is a challenge for any business today, and cannabis is no exception. There are so many unique challenges to finding and retaining the right people to move your business forward. An equally difficult challenge is setting them up for long term success at your company. What are some of the best practices that have worked for you? What was a change in your hiring approach or employee relations policy that created a noticeable improvement in your ability to attract and retain great talent
  • Moderated by: Andrew Freeman, Recruitment Manager, Hunter + Esquir

Proactive vs. Reactive – What reframing do we need to do, as an industry, to educate and advocate with regulators to create standards?

  • As an industry, we shouldn’t be waiting for the regulators to come to us to make standards and requirements. Without the proper education and involvement, the standards will make our jobs harder to move the industry forward. What do we need to do to help create our own framework for the industry?
  • Moderated by: Diana Eberlein, VP of Sales and Marketing, SoRSE Technology and President, Cannabis Beverage Association
Where do we go from here?
  • How do we take the regulatory framework we know is needed for our industry and who are the right people to help us advocate for the standards that make sense? Who, what and where do we need to go for involvement?
Panel | Open Q&A
Panelists:
  • Laurie Parfitt, Principal, LKP Impact Consulting
    Diana Eberlein, VP of Sales and Marketing, SoRSE Technology and President, Cannabis Beverage Association
    Andrew Freeman, Recruitment Manager, Hunter + Esquir
This panel will have the moderators from each discussion group come up to help conduct an open forum of what was discussed at each topic
Session V: The Future of Oil Use
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Moderator: Laurie Parfitt, Principal, LKP Impact Consulting

This session will address trends in food & beverage, testing standards and consumer insights, health and wellness applications, trends in cannabis use, applications and more.
Delta-8: Test Tube THC - Hemp’s Dirty Secret
A lack of regulation, oversight, and enforcement of hemp products by the FDA has led to the proliferation of Delta-8 THC, THC-O, THCP, and other synthetic cannabinoids available for sale online and in stores to the public in all 50 states. Find out exactly what these THC analogues are, how they’re made, and why they are subverting the cannabis industry and posing a danger to public health and safety. Hemp companies claim these new drugs are “hemp-derived” but these lab-bred cannabinoids share more in common with illicit substances like K2 and Spice than their cousins found on the cannabis plant. These synthetic compounds can cause severe intoxication, some up to 30x more potent than THC, and are easy for children to purchase online with nothing more than a credit card.
Takeaway 1: What Delta-8-THC is, why it is different from Delta-9-THC found in marijuana, and an overview of the family of related synthetic cannabinoids.
Takeaway 2: An overview of the lab manufacturing process of Delta-8 and other synthetic cannabinoids, and an understanding of the argument for their legality.
Takeaway 3: Knowledge of the dangers these cannabinoids pose to public health and safety, and why they are undermining legal marijuana markets and evading taxes
Mike Hennesy | VP of innovation, Wana Brands
Session VI: Economic Sustainability
The KPIs and Economics of Sustainable Cannabis Cultivation
Cannabis cultivation has rapidly evolved from stealth basement grows to high-tech commercial plant factories and everything in-between.  As the industry matures, cultivators are being forced to focus on the efficiency of their operations as competition mounts and prices compress.  Utilizing the correct Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to assess your operation and highlight opportunities to reduce costs and improve your processes are a necessary business undertaking.
 
While cutting costs are essential to compete in this competitive marketplace, that doesn’t mean that sustainability and COGs are inversely related.  From equipment selection to facility design, sustainable practices can and should be a part of every cultivator’s decision corridor.  Opportunities such as efficient lighting, water reclamation, wastewater treatments that prevent eutrophication can be sensible for both your bottom line and for the environment.
 
Agrify’s latest webinar explains how and what KPIs can be used to unearth cost savings, highlighting areas where process changes can lead to wallets full of green and a greener planet.  We will discuss design optimizations that promote sustainability and review equipment options that can reduce costs and minimize environmental impact.
 
David Kessler | Chief Science Officer, Agrify
Designing a Facility with Longevity in Mind
Building a cannabis cultivation facility is anything but straightforward. Compliance by state can change on a yearly – or even monthly – basis. Operators must be prepared for a change in SOPs integrations and materials, among other aspects of the facility, in order to avoid being temporarily or permanently shut down. On the other hand, when planning and implementing a facility, every decision should check back to the overall vision. How does an operator balance the two to ultimately build a facility that lasts while keeping up with competition?
 
In this session, Sam Andras, Executive Vice President of Professional Services at urban-gro, will share best practices in facility design and planning to lend a competitive edge in the industry and ensure longevity of operations. He will dive into the necessary considerations for operational success and maximum yields, emphasizing the need to clearly ascertain what you are trying to accomplish with the facility.
 
Sam Andras | Executive Vice President of Business Development, urban-gro
Closing Remarks & Welcome Reception
Registration & Breakfast
Session VII: Packaging Challenges and Labeling
To be Determined
Panel | Enhancing the Consumer Experience Through Product and Packaging
Moderator:
  • Lisa Weser, Founder, Trailblaze.co
Panelists:
  • Elizabeth Corbett, Vice President of Sales, AE Global
  • Allison Disney, Business Strategy, Receptor Brands
  • Jill Ellsworth, CEO, Willow Industries
  • Amy Larson, Senior Vice President, Marketing & Communications, TILT Holdings
Who are your consumers and how do you appeal to them? Do they care about packaging design and labeling? Do they want to see that transparency of ingredients and how to use the product? What should we know about the multiple consumer profiles within cannabis and how do we target those consumers?
Networking Break
Session VIII: Infusions and applications for cannabis
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Moderator: Howard Lee, CEO, SoRSE Technology
Mitigating Potency Loss in Cannabis Infused Beverages
THC and CBD are prone to losing potency when infused into beverages, leading to unknown cannabinoid concentrations and thus unpredictable effects for the end user -- in other words, a brands’ worst nightmare. In this session, Harold will discuss the drivers behind scalping through packaging and oxidation reactions in the manufacturing process for cannabis-infused beverages. He will reference Vertosa’s studies on how antioxidants and the materials used to fabricate can liners affect cannabinoid potency over time, outlining the materials and additives most effective at mitigating cannabinoid potency loss holistically for longer shelf-life. Harold will end the session by explaining why consistent, stable products are vital in ensuring consumer safety and building a responsible cannabis industry.
Harold Han | CSO, Vertosa
Micro/nano emulsion assay, containment, predictive stability measurements and related techniques
As the edible category continues its strong sector growth, cannabinoids are presented in “ingredient” formats for compounding into a wide range of water-based platforms such as beverages, confections, foods and beyond. Driven by regulatory and consumer needs, oil in water emulsions are the preferred cannabinoid delivery system.
Many performance and measurement challenges exist for these relatively low dose delivery systems. Unlike flower and concentrates emulsions enrobe cannabinoids in protective shells which are then added to a range of beverage and confection matrices. This can greatly complicate assay determinations; often requiring sample work ups and separation techniques specific to chemistry of the form factor. This often drives significant laboratory to laboratory variation. Additionally, edibles must also demonstrate homogeneity and physical stability over shelf-life time frames; requiring predictive stability techniques.
Against a backdrop of real-world data, will review the some of the preferred analytical approaches/methods used for cannabinoid emulsions, beverages, and confections. We will discuss validation techniques which provide solutions to the assay and consistency challenges of cannabinoid measurement in edible platforms.
Daniel Sondheim | Director of Medical Platforms, Senior Research Scientist, SoRSE Technology
Lunch Break
Panel | Brand Perspective with Beverage Infusion
Moderator:
  • Howard Lee, CEO, SoRSE Technology
Panelists:
  • Harold Han, CSO, Vertos
  • Mike Hennesy, VP of innovation, Wana Brands
  • Diana Eberlein, VP of Sales and Marketing, SoRSE Technology and President, Cannabis Beverage Association
  • Christa McNally, Senior Brand Manager, Niagara Bottling
What does it take to build a successful cannabis Brand Infused Beverage (or confection) and how this differs from traditional CBG products”. Panelist will discuss the relative importance of differentiators such as flavor & taste profiles, packaging, experience onset and duration, occasions, promotion, distribution, placement and other market positioning factors.
Session IX: To Be Determined
Sustainability in Testing Methods: Building a Better Method for Business and the Environment
Testing technology has largely remained unchanged for over 100 years since the petri dish was invented in the late 1800s. Now emerging technologies are poised to disrupt the status quo by bringing to the industry tests that are not just faster and more accurate, but also more sustainable through the elimination of plastic waste. Hear more about these testing methods that save money, time and labor while increasing throughput. In addition, these tests provide cultivators with faster reaction times when pathogens do strike, which can help save plant yields. The result is a better sustainable testing model that is good for business and the environment.
Milan Patel | PathogenDx, Co-Founder & CEO
Session X: Personalized Wellness
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Moderator: Laurie Parfitt, Principal, LKP Impact Consulting

This session will go over the trend of personalized wellness with the use of cannabis and CBD to improve pain management, ailments, anxiety, etc. Presenters will also go over the pros and cons from a regulatory view and progression of prescribing dosage and combinations.
Beyond CBD – Innovative, Personalized Wellness Products with Novel Cannabinoids
The current market is buzzing with new cannabinoid products that contain CBN, CBC, CBT, CBDA, CBGA, CBDV and even THC and its variants!
Sleep, anxiety, weight loss, mindfulness, focus, creativity, anti-inflammation, pain relief, immunity and lifestyle choices are qualities that are attributed to different naturally occurring cannabinoids. 
This increasing market awareness and consumer demand has resulted in a rapidly growing need to source cannabinoids as standardized, pure ingredients.  Product Manufacturers are racing to formulate products with them.
Form factors and modalities are fast-evolving to make personalized wellness a reality – both “as needed” and daily regimes, whether in the form of gummies or vapes or soft gels or drink sticks.  Time of onset and offset, duration, controlled release and other factors are being dialed in by formulators to make distinctive and effective products.
The promise of cannabinoids as alcohol and tobacco alternatives and to help sufferers of addiction, PTSD and mental health afflictions is in the headlines almost daily.
Regulatory bodies are trying to sort out how to address the fact that everyone from PTSD sufferers to soccer moms to cancer communities to mental health practitioners – all want these cannabinoids now for their health and wellness, medicinal, and lifestyle attributes to improve the quality of people’s lives. 
Andrea Holmes | Director of Cannabis Studies, Professor of Chemistry, Doane University
Fireside Chat Panel | Cannabinoid Mixers - Creating Custom Formulas
Panelists:
  • Len May, CEO, EndoCanna Health, Inc
Session XI: Looking ahead to the future
Closing Keynote: Where do we go from here? Looking ahead to the future of cannabis
Closing Remarks and Conference Concludes