Brendan Kennedy is a founder and CEO of Privateer Holdings, the first private equity firm to invest exclusively in cannabis. Since 2010, Privateer has raised $82 million to launch, develop, and grow a portfolio of leading cannabis brands including Leafly (the world's largest cannabis information resource), Tilray (exceptional medical cannabis), and Marley Natural (the official Bob Marley cannabis brand).
Privateer and its subsidiaries employ a diverse group of more than 250 professionals in over five U.S. states and across multiple continents. From securing the first institutional investor in cannabis (Founders' Fund) to running the first full-page ad for a cannabis company in the New York Times, Privateer is a proud company of firsts. A recognized thought leader, Brendan is frequently asked to speak about the state of the cannabis industry in publications like the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Bloomberg Businessweek, and at events like SXSW, Web Summit, TechCrunch Disrupt, and Collision.
CALIFORNIA STATE CANNABIS CZAR
Lori Ajax was appointed Chief of the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation on February 4, 2016. She was previously Chief Deputy Director of the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) where she had served in multiple positions since 1998, including Deputy Division Chief, District Administrator and Supervising Investigator. As Deputy Division Chief, assigned to the Department's Headquarters Office, she oversaw several statewide programs. She began her career as an Investigator in ABC's Santa Rosa District office in 1995 and then transferred to Sacramento to work in the Trade Enforcement Unit where she promoted to Supervising Investigator. In 2006, she was promoted to District Administrator assigned to the ABC Grant Assistance Program (GAP) and the TRACE Unit. She then served as the District Administrator for ABC's Sacramento, Yuba City and Redding District offices from 2007 through 2011, overseeing the licensing and enforcement operations of 20 counties in Northern California. Ms. Ajax also served as an Investigator at the California Fair Political Practices Commission from 1997 to 1998. Ms. Ajax spent 10 years in private industry prior to her State government career. She holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from California State University, Sacramento. She is a member of the National Liquor Law Enforcement Association and the St. Sava Mission Foundation.
REPUBLICAN U.S. CONGRESSMAN
Currently serving his 13th term in Congress, Dana Rohrabacher represents California's scenic 48th District. An Orange County Republican with a libertarian bent, Representative Rohrabacher is one of the leading cannabis law reformers in Congress. As a speech writer for former President Ronald Reagan, Rohrabacher penned the famous line ``Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall`` in Berlin, Germany. A firm voice for freedom and liberty, Representative Rohrabacher works today to bring down harmful and failed cannabis policies.
As co-founder of the bipartisan Congressional Cannabis Caucus, Representative Rohrabacher has recently sponsored the Respect State Marijuana Laws Act, which would protect all state cannabis laws from federal interference, and co-sponsored the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, a bill that would revert cannabis laws completely to the states.
Perhaps the most iconic name in all of cannabis, Tommy Chong is best known for his role in the classic Cheech & Chong movies that set the stage for the future of cannabis comedy. A tireless cannabis activist, Tommy Chong has continued his career in the cannabis industry to this day, and is now leading a well-branded line of cannabis products called Chong's Choice.
The German cannabis patient community has grown by leaps and bounds since the program was approved a few years ago and the International Cannabis Business Conference is so pleased to have witness the growth firsthand, holding our first annual conference in Berlin just after medical legislation was approved. Despite a lot of bureaucratic red tape...
The international cannabis industry is getting more interconnected than ever before and Canadians are still leading the way while other nation’s policies are still trying to catch up. Canada’s progressive national policies, while still needing some fine-tuning, have allowed its cannabis companies to make moves around the globe that others simply cannot make. Canadian companies...
Three United Kingdom Members of Parliament, representing the Conservative, Labour, and Liberal Democrat parties all recently traveled to Canada on a fact-finding trip organized by the harm reduction group Volte Face and all came back proclaiming that the UK would legalize cannabis in the coming years. The three MPs had different opinions on how soon...
Thailand, last year’s last minute cannabis reformer (along with Israel, on Christmas Day, as a “gift” to the Thai people), has wasted little time going where other national governments so far, have been slow to go, if at all. As some had hoped, Pipat Ratchakitprakan, the new tourism and sports minister, plans to promote medical...
The International Cannabis Business Conference returns to beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, this September 15-16, with our trademark blend of business, politics, and culture. If you want the latest information on rules and regulations in Canada and around the world and to network with top investors, entrepreneurs, and advocates, the International Cannabis Business Conference is...
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