First Annual MCBA Opportunity Summit

Denver, CO • March 22-24, 2018
The Summit aims to strengthen the ability of minority entrepreneurs, business owners, and employees to succeed in the emerging cannabis industry.
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Supporting Sponsors:

MCBA partners with the University of Denver and Hoban Law Group to host inaugural Cannabis Opportunity Summit

The Summit aims to strengthen the ability of minority entrepreneurs, business owners, and employees to succeed in the emerging cannabis industry.

DENVER, CO — The Minority Cannabis Business Association (MCBA) has partnered with the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business and Hoban Law Group to host the first ever Cannabis Opportunity Summit March 22-24, 2018 in Denver. The purpose of the Summit is to provide resources, information, and connections to businesses and entrepreneurs from the communities most impacted by the war on drugs. It will also feature the launch of MCBA’s expungement and record-sealing clinics in Colorado, which will aim to remove or seal non- violent drug offenses from the permanent records of people looking to gain fairness in employment, housing, and more.

“This event recognizes the consequences of the War on Drugs, and outlines best practices to move burgeoning entrepreneurs and businesses forward as we work together to mold the nascent cannabis industry into a better and more equitable industry, not just another industry.” said Kayvan Khalatbari, MCBA board member and 2019 Denver mayoral candidate. “This event will be unlike any other cannabis conference currently being produced across the country, offering unique speakers and topics, and inclusive of a broader spectrum of current and hopeful cannabis industry participants.”

More than five years after Colorado legalized cannabis, less than 1 percent of licensed cannabis businesses are currently minority-owned. Structural and institutional barriers to entry often prevent otherwise talented and capable entrepreneurs of color from participating in the emerging cannabis industry–a novel economic opportunity for communities that have borne the brunt of the Drug War. This Summit aims to provide an educational and professional opportunity for minority entrepreneurs to learn from and meet some of the industry’s leading experts. The three-day program will include speaker sessions and interactive workshops covering a wide range of topics, including market and opportunity analyses, operational differentiators, community reinvestment, cultural integration, advocacy and lobby training, and much more.

“Hoban Law Group is proud to be partnering with the Minority Cannabis Business Association and the University of Denver to present the first annual Cannabis Opportunity Summit,” said Hoban Law Group Chief Operating Officer Kate Strickland. “While the cannabis industry continues to make strides towards becoming more thoughtful, inclusive and supportive of minority communities, we recognize that much work remains to be done and we look forward to the Opportunity Summit as a chance to further this important mission.”

MCBA is the only nationwide trade association representing the interests of minority-owned businesses and their communities in the cannabis industry. Hoban Law Group is the nation’s only full-service cannabis business law firm, servicing all legal medical and adult use states. HLG has attorneys in every state and territory where legalization has occurred and is expanding internationally in 2018. Like with all industries, the Daniels College of Business has faculty who research and study this emerging field, including active programming in their business and law schools.

 

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Shanita Penny, Budding Solutions
  • Paul Seaborn, University of Denver
  • Christopher Alexander, Drug Policy Alliance
  • Shawn Coleman, Terrapin Care Station
  • Amber Senter, Supernova Women
  • Shelli Hayes, American Standard Hemp
  • Robert Hoban, Hoban Law Group
  • Ben Droz, Ben Droz Photography
  • Priyanka Sharma, Ph.D., Kazmira LLC
  • Samantha Walsh, Tetra Public Affairs
  • Jessica Velazquez, Indiva Advisors
  • Ricardo Baca, Grasslands
  • Shanel Lindsay, Ardent
  • Wy Livingston, Wystone Tea
  • Ru Johnson, Roux Black
  • Zairilla Bacon, Zairilla
  • Jason Ortiz, Puerto Rican Agenda
  • Jake Plowden, Cannabis Cultural Association
  • Kali Wilder, Estrohaze
  • Caroline Phillips, National Cannabis Festival
  • Khurshid Khoja, Greenbridge Counsel
  • Wanda James, Simply Pure
  • Lanese Martin, Hood Incubator
  • Kaliko Castille, National Cannabis Industry Association
  • Kayvan Khalatbari, Denver Relief Consulting
  • Dr. Chanda Macias, National Holistic Healing Center
  • Kelly Perez, kindColorado
  • Betty Aldworth, Students for Sensible Drug Policy
  • Dr. Rachel Knox, American Cannabinoid Clinics
  • Theresa Conley, University of Denver
  • Monique Chavez, Southwest CannEvents
  • Reuben Droughns, Athletes for Care
  • Rachelle Yeung, MCBA
  • Gabriel Pendas, Center for Complex Change
  • Stephanie Izquieta, Marijuana Policy Project
  • Julie Gonzalez, CO SD-34 Candidate
  • Sabria Melina Still, Leslie Herod’s Office
  • Larisa Bolivar, Cannabis Consumers Coalition

SCHEDULE

Thursday March 22nd

2:00-5:00p at Joy Burns Center, room 229, University of Denver

Thursday afternoon March, 22nd, prior to the start of the summit, please join Daniels College of Business Faculty Paul Seaborn for a “Business of Marijuana 101” session. He will discuss the history of legalization, regulatory structure, key business challenges, and industry overview of cannabis. The session will be ideal for those new to the cannabis industry wanting to get up to speed prior to the main conference program. In Spring 2017, he taught the first ever “Business of Marijuana” course at Daniels and at any AACSB-accredited business school. Here is a link to Prof. Seaborn’s bio https://daniels.du.edu/directory/paul-seaborn/. This session will be $25.00 to attend.

The topics that will be discussed in this session are:

  • History (how marijuana became legal, key political and legal events that led to return to legal status)
  • Legal and Regulatory Structure (federal vs. state vs. local, key regulatory bodies, current issues/debates)
  • Key Business Challenges (accounting & finance; marketing & branding; management & human resources; strategy & supply chain)
  • Colorado Industry Overview (both core and ancillary businesses, current state and future directions)
  • U.S. and World Industry Overview (key U.S. markets, interstate commerce challenges, international import/export)

6:00-8:00p at Location TBD – Speaker reception with light snacks. Come meet with Friday’s speakers in an intimate setting.

Friday March 23rd

A full day of sessions and speakers from across the country talking about all things cannabis and social justice. Registration will be held with a light breakfast from 8:00-9:00a at Marcus Commons at the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business. Tickets are $99 for MCBA members and $119 for non-members. Confirmed sessions and speakers follow.

8:00-9:00a – Registration and Breakfast

9:00-10:15a – Session #1, Track A – Market Opportunities

  • Paul Seaborn, University of Denver
  • Christopher Alexander, Drug Policy Alliance
  • Shawn Coleman, Terrapin Care Station
  • Amber E. Senter, Supernova Women

9:00-10:15a – Session #1, Track B – Hemp

  • Bob Hoban, Hoban Law Group
  • Ben Droz, HEMP Magazine
  • Priyanka Sharma, Ph.D., Kazmira LLC
  • Samantha Walsh, Tetra Public Affairs

10:30-11:45a – Session #2, Track A – Ancillary Opportunities

  • Ricardo Baca, Grasslands
  • Wy Livingston, Joint Venture Flavors
  • Zairilla Bacon, Zairilla Bacon
  • Cindy Sovine, Utopia

10:30-11:45a – Session #2, Track B – Cultural Integration

  • Jake Plowden, Cannabis Cultural Association
  • Kali WIlder, EstroHaze
  • Caroline Phillips, National Cannabis Festival & National Cannabis Policy Summit
  • Ru Johnson, Roux Black Consulting

11:45a-12:45p – Lunch

12:45-2:00p – Session #3, Track A – Partnerships & Capital

  • Wanda James, Simply Pure Dispensary
  • Lanese Martin, Hood Incubator, Oakland Cannabis Regulatory Commission
  • Kaliko Castille, National Cannabis Industry Association
  • Marion Mariathasan, Simplifya

12:45-2:00p – Session #3, Track B – Community Impact

  • Dr. Chanda Macias, National Holistic Healing Center
  • Kelly Perez, kindColorado
  • Betty Aldworth, Students for Sensible Drug Policy
  • Matt Molinaro, Law Office of David Lichtenstein
  • Corey Pegues, Law Enforcement Action Partnership

2:15-3:30p – Session #4, Track A – Operational Differentiators & Understanding the Consumer

  • Rachel Knox, American Cannabinoid Clinics
  • Theresa Conley, PhD, University of Denver
  • Monique Chavez, Southwest CannEvents
  • Reuben Droughns, Athletes for Care
  • Jeff Doctor, National Indian Cannabis Coalition

2:15-3:30p – Session #4, Track B – Activism & Advocacy

  • Gabriel Pendas, Center for Complex Change
  • Stephanie Izquieta, Marijuana Policy Project
  • Julie Gonzalez, Colorado Senate District 34 Candidate
  • Sabria Melina Still, Colorado Black Women Political Action
  • Larisa Bolivar, Cannabis Consumers Coalition

3:45-4:30p – Keynote with NFL Hall of Famer and ex-Denver Bronco Terrell Davis

4:30-6:30p – Cocktails and Dinner

7:30p-Midnight – Afterhours Party at Sneekeazy Lounge, 1134 Broadway, Denver, CO 80203

 

Saturday, March 24th

10:00a-2:00p – Opportunity Clinic at Cultivated Synergy, 2901 Walnut St, Denver, CO 80205

The Opportunity Clinic will be broken up into five workshops that will be running in parallel with one another throughout the event. They will be directed by leaders in each area and will focus on:

– Business Planning 101, Hoban Law Group
– Record Sealing, McAllister Garfield, P.C.
– Entrepreneurship Ideation, The Hood Incubator
– Resume Building, Würk
– Cannabis Cultivation Entry, The Grow-Off

Keep your eyes on the MCBA website, and this page to get more information and the agenda for the conference: https://minoritycannabis.org/2018-opportunity-summit/. We will be providing more details as the event gets closer. www.minoritycannabis.org