INTERNATIONAL CANNABIS BUSINESS CONFERENCE
29-30 JUNE 2023
Alex Rogers, Executive Producer of the International Cannabis Business Conference, welcomes conference attendees and provides an overview of the conference schedule, including the panels and speakers that will be providing presentations and interviews. Ngaio Bealum will be the Master of Ceremonies.
The momentum for cannabis reform in Europe is greater now than at any other time since the start of cannabis prohibition, and that is a direct result of the decades of hard work performed by cannabis activists. With Germany and many other countries in the region moving closer toward the implementation of adult-use legalization, it is more important than ever to support cannabis activism efforts across Europe to help ensure that policies are sensible and that legalization succeeds.
Mr. Burkhard Blienert is a member of Germany's Social Democratic Party and currently serves as Germany's Commissioner on Narcotic Drugs at the Federal Ministry of Health. Mr. Blienert will discuss the latest developments in Germany's national effort to legalize cannabis for adult use. The keynote presentation will analyze the unique challenges that the country is facing as it continues to work towards crafting and implementing the most robust and complex cannabis policy and industry infrastructure on the planet. There will be a question and answer session with the Commissioner at the conclusion of Mr. Blienert's keynote speech.
Peter Homberg will discuss the milestones in the liberalization process, such as the analogous application of the "Ordinance on medical products that are radioactive or treated with ionizing radiation" (Verordnung über radioaktive oder mit ionisierenden Strahlen behandelte Arzneimittel – "AMRADV") to irradiated cannabis flowers, the decision of the ECJ of 2020 not to classify CBD as a narcotic, and the first rebate contracts between producers of medical cannabis and health insurers. In addition, I will go into which practically relevant areas are still legally unregulated.
MANAGING DIRECTOR BRANCHENVERBAND CANNABISWIRTSCHAFT E.V. (BVCW)
MEMBER OF THE GERMAN BUNDESTAG, SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF GERMANY (SPD)
MEMBER OF THE GERMAN BUNDESTAG, FREE DEMOCRATIC PARTY
MEMBER OF THE BUNDESTAG FOR BÜNDNIS'90/DIE GRÜNEN
The German Cannabis Business Association (Branchenverband Cannabiswirtschaft e.V. - BvCW) is again hosting the political panel discussion to the drug policy rapporteurs of the parties from the German Bundestag. The panel discussion will include three thematic blocks. The first block will focus on the future of medical cannabis in Germany. The second block will discuss the handling of commercial hemp products with an emphasis on legal security for CBD. Lastly, the third block will be geared toward discussing the necessary framework conditions for the controlled distribution of cannabis as a stimulant for adults.
*Note: This panel will be discussed in German
JFOUNDER, KFN+ LAW OFFICE
CEO AND FOUNDER, LIO PHARMACEUTICALS GMBH
CEO, WEECO HOLDING GMBH
DIRECTOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS & CORPORATE SPOKESPERSON, SANITY GROUP
CO-FOUNDER AND MANAGING DIRECTOR, CANSATIVA GROUP
The legalization of cannabis for adult use in Germany will be the most comprehensive and significant drug policy reform project that has taken place in Europe to date. It's an effort that is proving to be difficult for German politicians to initiate quickly due to various factors inside and outside of the nation's borders. That, in turn, makes it difficult for national and international cannabis companies to prepare for the new market since they do not know when legalization will actually happen and what market regulations will actually look like. This panel will discuss strategies and what to potentially expect from Germany's regulators and reform legislators regarding the future structure of Germany's emerging cannabis market.
*Note: This panel will be discussed in German
HEAD OF ANALYSIS, HANWAY ASSOCIATES
MANAGING DIRECTOR, STORZ & BICKEL
PROJECT MANAGER AND FOUNDER, RESEARCH NATURE INSTITUTE
CEO AND ONE OF THE FOUNDERS, FOUR 20 PHARMA
Adult-use cannabis legalization is on the horizon in Germany and other European countries and it's receiving a significant amount of attention. However, recreational legalization is not the only important type of cannabis reform that the European cannabis industry is waiting for. Five years after the implementation of medical cannabis in Germany, experts and healthcare professionals expect some fundamental reforms to Germany's "Cannabis As Medicine" law in addition to recreational reforms. There is a myriad of issues that patients and physicians must overcome, including and especially all of the restrictive regulations regarding reimbursement. Additionally, most patients still struggle to find doctors offering cannabis therapy. Panelists will discuss what needs to be done in order to improve safe access in Germany and at the continental level.
FOUNDER & MANAGING PARTNER, ZUBER LAWLER
CO-FOUNDER S&F ABOGADOS
LAWYER & PARTNER, SKW SCHWARZ
CEO, HERBLIZ BERLIN AND NEW GARDEN PHARMA
CO-FOUNDER, MANAGING DIRECTOR AND CEO OF CANSATIVA GROUP
European markets have increased significantly over the last 5 years. International Expansion has become a priority again, and cannabis companies across the globe are looking to enter European Markets. Heterogeneous markets, different maturity and diverse regulatory frameworks are only a few of the aspects that need to be considered when planning market entry into Europe. Considering that internationalization requires big amounts of investment as well as perseverance, not many companies moved forward and into Europe. Local as well as international ventures are looking to get a footprint in Europe, even more with recreational reform in near sight in Germany. What do companies have to consider when entering European markets? What role does strategic local partnership and local presence play when building a European Footprint? Which considerations should be made when looking at a solid business case including local adaptation for culture, processes and regulatory requirements?
ATTORNEY AT LAW, MLL MEYERLUSTENBERGER LACHENAL FRORIEP LTD
PARTNER, DELCADE AVOCATS & SOLICITORS
CEO, LITTLE GREEN PHARMA
ECONOMIST; CO-FOUNDER AND BOARD MEMBER OF DEMECAN
There is no global Cannabis standard. Cannabis belongs into a different range of standard systems. There are local standards on a national or state level. Especially for medicinal cannabis, pharmaceutical standards and good practices are governing the processes. Some countries work based on mutual recognition of quality standards, mainly for medicinal cannabis. Even on a global INCB-level, particularly medical cannabis cultivation standards are discussed. Where are we at when it comes to global cannabis standards? What role can technology play in this, and how can technology enable compliance? What standards are the most relevant for cannabusiness? What role do standards play to facilitate the global cannabis trade.
CHAIR AND CEO, JMCC GROUP
OF COUNSEL, BRANFMAN MAYFIELD BUSTARDE REICHENTHAL LLP
EQUITY PARTNER AT HYBRID PHARM, CANNABIS EDUCATION & MEDICAL PARTNERSHIPS AT LOOSH BRANDS
PRESIDENT & CEO, HELLO CANNABIS
Many medical cannabis companies are not sure if they should look forward to, or fear, the legalization of recreational cannabis in Europe. Profit margins for medical cannabis companies may be negatively impacted due to fewer reimbursements and lower levels of regulations for recreational cannabis versus medical cannabis. Research and development in the medical cannabis industry are notoriously expensive. So, what is the right strategy? Sticking to medical cannabis or opening up for the recreational market? Panelists will discuss opportunities and challenges that are awaiting cannabis companies in a dual system of medical and recreational cannabis.
CO-FOUNDER & CEO, CHEEBA AFRICA
PARTNER AT ESTUDIO PODESTÁ
BOARD MEMBER, MEDICINAL CANNABIS INDUSTRY AUSTRALIA & CEO, LEAFCANN GROUP
CEO, CANNABIS MEDICAL INDUSTIAL ESTATE ASSOCIATION OF THAILAND
CEO OF HELIUS THERAPEUTICS, BOARD MEMBER OF THE NEW ZEALAND MEDICINAL CANNABIS COUNCIL
Nothing is as constant as change. This is especially true for global cannabis markets. Next to more established and developed markets like North America or Europe, a global industry is on the rise. Enabling global cannabis markets, including the trading of a diverse range of products, is critical to prevent market saturation and bottlenecks. Even some formerly pro-prohibitionist countries in Asia or the Middle East have open up to deregulating certain cannabis products in their respective countries for medicinal or personal use. Companies looking to make a global footprint need to understand their individual role in this dynamic. Which markets are on the global rise? Which markets are relevant as sales markets for which products or services, and which ones for production? What role does adapting to local programs, cultures and regulatory frameworks play? What can we as entrepreneurs and opinion leaders do to enable a global cannabis industry, especially considering the global drug convention and its restrictive and outdated policies?
Clark Hill attorney and Cannabis Industry Group Co-Chair, Robert Hoban will discuss considerations of country-by-country legal and regulatory treatment, how to pitch to investors, the access to international capital, and the importance of accurately characterizing the global supply chain in the present and future.
This presentation will provide a global, U.S. and EU perspective on cannabis demand and policy. It will also examine how German legalization is impacting both the U.S. and EU markets. Look for keen insights and areas for future growth in these highly complex, yet emerging markets.
When it comes to international trade of cannabis products – the supply chain and logistics implication are CRITICAL for the ability to successfully execute such transactions. Different regulations in different countries, sometimes even contradicting each other – look like a very complex MAZE to walk thru.
Additionally, the QUALITY requirements MUST be met – according to the applicable Pharma standards. As well, the need to adhere to strict SECURITY regulations.
Yoram Eshel – CEO of Cannabilog will walk you through these complexities – based on his vast experience and deep knowledge of the global cannabis arena.
Building a legal cannabis market foundation bears many implications. Track-and-trace technology can be a useful tool to facilitate the challenge of balancing market efficiency and security interests, while data can provide valuable insights into industry trends and best practices. Drawing from his personal experience in the public and private sector, Lewis will elaborate on lessons learned from across the pond and its implications for setting up a successful and stable market.
ENTREPRENEUR, INFLUENCER, JOURNALIST
SENIOR MANAGING DIRECTOR, GOLDEN EAGLE PARTNERS
CEO ALGEA CARE, CO-FOUNDER BLOOMWELL GROUP
CEO & FOUNDER, SOMAÍ PHARMACEUTICALS
Cannabis and its ingredients are getting more and more relevance in pharmaceutical and biotechnology. Companies are not only looking for innovation in individual APIs, but also in novel delivery systems. Pharmaceutical companies are getting ready for the "road to finished medicines" and recently, more and more Pharma-Players have entered the market. What does the future of cannabinoids and other cannabis-derived active ingredients in life science industries hold? What kind of cutting-edge technologies and innovations are on the horizon? Is the Cannabinoid-API of the future made from real cannabis, or are these ingredients synthetically developed and sampled together in pharmaceutical laboratories across the globe?
CEO FOUNDER, CANNAVIGIA
LEAD ACCOUNT MANAGER, CANNABIS EMEA, FLUENCE
MANAGING PARTNER, CULTIVATORS
CEO & FOUNDER, STEPWISE PHARMA & ENGINEERING
The cannabis legalization movement is as strong as ever in Europe, with multiple countries exploring the policy change after Malta became Europe's first nation to legalize cannabis for adult use at a national level. Currently, there are three approaches to legalization in Europe. The models include the creation of a completely new industry such as in Switzerland, restructuring a formerly tolerant approach through a pilot program such as in the Netherlands, and a more direct approach such as what is being pursued in Germany.
The current regulatory framework on medicinal cannabis in Europe is highly fragmented. Such fragmentation negatively affects all the actors in the medicinal cannabis sector: it prevents the industry from fully benefiting from the European Single Market; it creates obstacles for patients to get access to safe and high-quality medicines; it puts barriers to the development of sound scientific evidence. The best way to voice the concerns and interests of the medicinal cannabis value chain is therefore through joint action.
The multi-stakeholder approach to EU policy-making on the topic of medicinal cannabis will be the focus of this presentation, explained through the experience of Medicinal Cannabis Europe (MCE), represented by Silvia Alunni, Deputy-Secretary General. Silvia will address the key aspects that MCE is focusing on – such as policymakers' engagement – and will highlight the importance of cross-stakeholder collaboration (e.g. patients, doctors, industry) to build political support and strengthen the association's advocacy activities.
In this session, Nic Easley, CEO of 3C Consulting and Managing Director of Multiverse Capital, will walk investors and entrepreneurs through how to plan for and determine the best current and future global opportunities. Time is limited and we have never been closer than we are right now to create the great future of this once-in-a-lifetime industry genesis. Topics will include a global regulatory overview, investing in public markets vs. private companies, how to plan and prepare for M&A and IPOs, and the risks associated with this medical, agricultural, and consumer packaged goods start-up industry. Nic entered this space 16 years ago with the goal of being disruptive in order to create an environmentally, socially just, and profitable multi-generational industry and will share his passion and exclusive insights from his diverse experience from both the operational and investment sides of the cannabis industry. Nic will educate on the do's and do not's from the cannabis industry frontlines and will illuminate creative targets investors can capitalize upon now for both meaningful short-term and long-term revenue generation, ESG impact, and generation wealth accumulation. You will be inspired and trained by one of the best on how to focus and vet opportunities to create successful businesses and investments by one of the leading pioneers in the legal cannabis and will leave armed and ready to take on the world.
FOUNDER SUNSET CONNECT & PRESIDENT SAN FRANCISCO CANNABIS OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE
CEO, CO-FOUNDER OF GROW GLIDE
SALES MANAGER, CALI TERPENES SL
GENERAL MANAGER, FLUENCE
MANAGING PARTNER, NUREVELATION;
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, AGRIFY
Many licensed producers have started to build up capacity in Europe over the last few years. On a per country basis, each country put into place individual requirements for cultivation facilities. Germany and the Netherlands (Wietexperiment) have opted for a public tender process for country-cultivation, whereas Denmark or Portugal are governed on licensing models. Building a licensed producer is extensive in capital requirements. A common phenomenon known from Canadian or US-facilities, recently the big sale on cannabis facilities across Europe has started. Not all companies have enough liquidity (or revenue streams) to secure and maintain those operations, and a range of assets have been sold. How much of the global supply is covered from Europe? Which production countries exist and how are they performing in comparison to other (more price-competitive) markets? What does the future of cannabis production from within Europe?
FOUNDER OF DOVETAIL CONSULTING
FOUNDER, PHYTOFLOW GMBH
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER FOR ASAHI GLASSPLANT UK LTD.
CEO, HEMPGROUP INT., CO-FOUNDER WEEDO & HEMPGROUP, PRESIDENT, GUSHI CULTURE IBIZA
CO-FOUNDER CANNABISCIENZA SRL, CANNABISCIENTIA SA
In past centuries Europe and Asia served as the driving forces behind the stigmatization of cannabis use. What was perpetrated by Napolean and leaders in the UK at the time was that cannabis caused lethargy and altered the state of mind in a negative way, despite cannabis' potential medicinal properties, and thus was frowned upon for use in their armies. In the 1900s cannabis prohibition swept North America. Since that time, anti-cannabis propaganda and political pressure led largely by the United States pushed the world to scrutinize the use of cannabis even further. Decades of prohibition have created tremendous stigma regarding the cannabis plant and that continues to negatively impact cannabis reform and industry efforts around the world, particularly in North America. Cannabis reform is now sweeping the continent, with Canada having legalized cannabis nationwide in 2018 and Mexico on the cusp of legalization, in addition to a growing list of legal states in the U.S. This panel will discuss the potential impact of ongoing cannabis reform in North America, on Europe's cannabis reform and industry efforts and how social stigmas continue to haunt us globally in different ways.
SENIOR POLICY ADVISOR, EIHA
Where does hemp stand in Europe? What regulatory changes are expected? What markets are currently being developed?
An overview of the industrial hemp in Europe today and tomorrow.
PRESIDENT & CEO, BHANG INC
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, RAD SOURCE
AKERNA FOUNDER, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER & BOARD CHAIR; CHAIR OF THE US CANNABIS COUNCIL
Business development is about turning opportunities into long-term success. Product design, marketing, and price points can all either be opportunities to advance your cannabis company's endeavors, or they can be missed opportunities that contribute to failure. Maximizing opportunities on a global scale is particularly difficult due to constantly evolving policies and regulations from country to country, as there is currently no uniformity at the international level. Markets that already exist will continue to mature, new markets will be created in the near future, and both will create unique opportunities and challenges. Panelists will discuss how to create effective strategies to scale cannabis companies and brands in an emerging international cannabis industry that is becoming increasingly competitive.
FOUNDER, CANEX JAMAICA
PRESIDENT DRONKERS GROUP, (HEMPFLAX, SENSI SEEDS, THERMO HANF)
Legacy markets in Europe are very different from North American markets, not only from the cultural dimension. Very few brands have managed to build up long-term brand recognition, except for some long-established coffee shops, some seed banks as well as certain paraphernalia or equipment producers. Legacy use in Europe itself comes from an illegal background. In the prohibitionist setting, different key players are active. The most important question for Europe is: which areas of the legacy markets can be transferred, and how can we make sure that it is the proper part and the people who are legally active for 20+ years? Are North American concepts like social-equity, amnesty or compassionate-use programs suitable for Europe? How can we keep cannabis legacy alive in Europe?
CHIEF STRATEGIC OFFICER, CHARLIE'S PHARMERS MARKET
FOUNDER OF MITA
CIO (CHIEF IMPACT OFFICER), ISPIRE
FOUNDER, LAW OFFICES OF MATTHEW KUMIN
WEEDMAPS VP OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
The emerging legal cannabis industry is creating once-in-a-generation business opportunities all over the planet. As cannabis reform continues to spread to every corner of the globe, the profit potential of the cannabis industry will only increase. It is a truly critical juncture right now for the cannabis industry and its members as lawmakers and governments craft cannabis rules and regulations that will largely govern the cannabis space for decades to come. It is as vital as ever that all members of the cannabis industry organize and lobby effectively to ensure that sensible laws and regulations are implemented.
PRESIDENT CHARLIE'S PHARMERS MARKET
JAMES BEARD NOMINATED CHEF, BEST SELLING AUTHOR, CULINARY CANNABIS PIONEER
VICE PRESIDENT, SALES & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, MARATEK
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, BOVEDA
Sustainability and safety are often afterthoughts in an industry that should be pushing it to the next level. Sustainability and safety are also often a cost saver, rather than needless expenses. Safety of the final product is also a growing topic, with the consistent push towards solventless technologies, and is something that can be dove into with this discussion as well.