How to Pull Off a Successful Cannabis Event

Seeking the Perfect Speaker

The intersection of science and cannabis is an important topic to Josh Crossney. The Founder and CEO of the Cannabis Science Conference, Crossney has a scientific background, formerly specializing in staffing and recruiting for analytical science laboratories. However, he also saw great potential for expanding to the cannabis industry. As Crossney said himself, “I realized early on that there was a lack of information, and a platform really, where the world’s leading researchers and experts on science and testing and medical cultivation could come and share their important data and research.” This led to the launch of the Cannabis Science Conference, the largest cannabis science expo in the world. In this exclusive interview, Crossney discusses how he selects event speakers and expresses his excitement for the expo’s next show.

Cannabis & Tech Today: What do you think is the most important thing to keep in mind when looking for a speaker for one of your events?

Josh Crossney: That’s something that makes us kind of different than most events, and it can confuse the public a little bit because we do not follow a pay-to-play model. It’s based on our speaker abstract admission process, where the speakers go in and submit their abstract and their talk titles. Then, we actually have the scientific advisory committee of the year review and very carefully hand select the content for the show. It is highly advanced and technical and not commercial in any way, so that’s a little different.

C&T Today: Your events have featured celebrities such as Ricki Lake and Montel Williams. Do you have one person in mind that would be your “dream speaker”?

JC: Jennifer Aniston would be such an awesome person to have. She’s never become a full-fledged advocate, but there are interviews where she had talked about cannabis and how she thinks it’s safe and that she thinks it should be available to people.

Sometimes the hardcore scientists are like, “Why do you have Ricki Lake? Why do you have Fran Drescher? Why do you have Montel?” And I think with celebrity influencers you can’t discount their importance at all, because I think that this whole industry is about changing minds and reaching more and more people every day. And when the celebrities really get involved and they put their name, their personal brand, behind this, it amplifies all of our voices. Obviously, we’re not working with just any celebrity just because they’re a celebrity. They have to have subsequent ties to the industry.

C&T Today: What can we look forward to for the Portland event this upcoming September?

JC: We’re going to continue to craft very meticulously and try to provide the best analytical, medical, and cultivation science content as possible. It’s been a great journey and I just think that we’re really excited about the [April] Baltimore show, but Portland is our flagship show that we’ve been grooming a little bit longer and we’re really excited.

Portland is a second home to me at this point, and I just love being out there. The vibe, the people, we’re always excited to get back to Portland and offer our content and extend our pre-conference workshops and also offer really great networking and team building experiences and events. We’re just excited for the future and to continue to grow and take the seed back to the community and build the show.

To learn more about Cannabis Science Conference events, go to their official website at

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