It’s that time again! Cannabis & Tech Today’s Summer Emerge 2021 Virtual Cannabis Conference & Expo kicked off on June 22 with amazing panelists, networking, dancing, giveaways, and more.
The day began with an update on the SAFE Banking Act by Congressman Ed Perlmutter of the Colorado 7th District, U.S. House of Representatives. His work with the SAFE Banking Act has and will continue to impact a great many people.
“The purpose of this is so that the public is safer, so that marijuana businesses and those that provide services to marijuana businesses are safer, and that they don’t face armed robberies and the potential for murders in their various establishments.,” said Perlmutter.
The SAFE Banking Act passed the House to the Senate by a bipartisan vote of 321 to 101. As dispensaries have to deal with masses of cash, instead of depositing into a bank, the cash has become a hazard. Perlmutter even remarked that in Colorado a young man was murdered over a cash dispute in a dispensary, there have been dozens of armed robberies, burglaries, and assaults due to the fluctuation of cash in the area.
The core purpose of the proposed Act is to deal with the collision between federal and state banking laws around marijuana. This Act is necessary for the growth and safety of the cannabis industry.
The Virtual Platform
This conference is held on a platform called Hyperfair. Participants register through the Emerge website and then are transported to a virtual conference hall where you can design your avatar and walk (or warp) around the provided area. This time, the setting is in a virtual submarine, surrounded by whales and fish — a truly unique experience.
The floor plan has three auditoriums and three pavilions, each with their own schedule and things to do throughout the day. When participants move past the opening of the conference, they have access to any booth they see, and there are multiple floors to explore. Each avatar can exchange information with anyone they wish.
Day One Panel Highlights
The three themes of the Summer Emerge Conference are concentrates, advocacy, and compliance. With dozens of speakers and so many sessions, there was never a dull moment. For those who couldn’t be in two places at once, the sessions are available for replay for 90 days after the conference concludes.
Concentrates and Extracts
During the panel on concentrates and extraction, many people spoke about evolving terpene science and new nano technology being used within the cannabis industry.
Speaker Nadav Eyal is the founder and CEO of Eybna. For Eyal, the primary focus for cannabis brand should be creating a cohesive terpene profile that your consumers will remember, something that hits the palette just right. According to Eyal, cannabis companies are in a great spot to grow right now. “Cannabis is in the same position as alcohol back in the day, now cannabis can build brands,” said Eyal.
In a separate panel, moderated by Bruce Eckfeldt, founder and CEO of Eckfeldt & Assoc. And the host of the podcast Thinking Outside the Bud, it was time to talk about the future of cannabis emulsion and nano tech.
The panelists were: Dr. Christopher Shade, founder and CEO of Quicksilver Scientific; Dr. Monica Vialpando, founder and CEO of Via Innovations; and Nick Tennant, founder & CTO of Precision Extraction Solutions. Each had a unique perspective on how the cannabis industry is evolving. Nano technology integration with the cannabis industry seems to be one of the new frontiers for adding cannabis into different products.
Nano technology refers to isolating different compounds within cannabis and getting them so small they can’t be seen with a typical microscope. By doing this, as Dr. Vialpando explained, the body is better able to absorb the cannabinoids and the particles are more water soluble. Nano emulsion into a cannabis product ensures the consumer gets a consistent and predictable experience. All three panels agree that the transition to nano may be difficult to some companies but the ultimate outcome will be beneficial to both the brand and consumers.
Cannabis Advocacy Update
There was a heavy focus on cannabis advocacy during day one. Infact, one of the panelists of was a returning guest, Roz McCarthy of Minorities for Medical Marijuana. As we return to this topic, it is critical to remember that reform doesn’t happen in a day and must be constantly improved upon.
The panel McCarthy participated in was moderated by Jillian Reddish, Co-Founder of the Global Cannabis Network Collective. The other panelists were Fleta Solomon, Managing Director at Little Green Pharma and Mariela Canabal, Founder/Co-Owner of Rosebud Cannabis. During this panel they spoke of just how crucial medical cannabis can be.
One of the topics covered was that there is no way to get medical cannabis outside of one’s home state without a registered medical card in the state in which one is visiting. So how are people with conditions traveling comfortably? A possible reaction could be to simply go to a recreational dispensary instead. But Mariela feels that, “just because you’re vacationing, it doesn’t disqualify you from your condition and to have access to this program.”
McCarthy agreed to that statement and added, “We cannot allow adult use programs to cannibalize the medical program.”
A separate panel advocating for military veterans in cannabis business was moderated by Charles Warner, editor-in-chief of Cannabis & Tech Today. tThe panel covered the necessary implementation of cannabis in veteran health practices. The panel consisted of Aaron Newsom, co-founder of Santa Cruz Veterans Alliance and Socrates Rosenfeld, co-founder and CEO of Jane Technologies.
There are many veterans that could benefit from cannabis but have yet to be able to access any through Veteran Affairs (VA) where the majority of veterans receive their healthcare. These panelists have taken it upon themselves to continue serving their community by helping veterans heal outside of the pharmaceutical market.
According to Rosenfeld, “The most important thing is the community. We’re not going to wait for the VA to come and institute this program … but in the interim we have to shine light on groups like Santa Cruz Veterans Alliance … because that’s where the real change is being made at the local community level.”
Cannabis Business Compliance
As many are already aware, cannabis has always had an interesting path when it came to business compliance and banking. Until the SAFE Banking Act was passed, the issues within cannabis were even harder to navigate.
Panelists Kim Carter, VP, Special Projects of Partner Colorado Credit Union and Thomas Gavin, CEO of CannaTrac were featured on the Cannabis Banking & Payment Compliance panel, moderated by Daniel Greene of Beckage Law. Here they discussed the difficulties that people within the cannabis industry face, echoing some of Congressman Ed Perlmutter’s observations and feelings.
Thomas Gavin, CEO of CannaTrac Technology, says, “It’s still tough and will continue to be tough in terms of regulatory scrutiny until we deschedule the plant. However, since I’ve come to the industry, I’ve watched things expand dramatically. We went from having a few hundred banks when I came in as a consultant to over 800 banks banking the industry. So, you have over 800 banks openly saying ‘Listen, we’re banking with the industry,’ that’s awesome and is a huge step for our industry.”
The final panel of the day was a conversation with Charles Warner, editor-in-chief of Cannabis & Tech Today, and Chris Day, founder of Global Cannabis Network Collective, covering the future of cannabis and it’s transition from propaganda into business.
Chris Day explained, “There is a re-emergence taking place and that re-emergence needs to be seen from a business perspective through a global lens… The long term economic opportunity of the cannabis industry demands it.”
Now for Day Two
There are still so many people to hear from and so much more to learn about. Day two features Andrew DeAngelo, the Investment Pitch Contest, and tons of valuable information about how to connect, expand, and improve one’s visibility in the industry.
If you’d like to participate, there is still time to sign up and grab your ticket at https://emergecanna.com/get-tickets/.