3rd Annual
Wine & Weed Symposium
Hyatt Regency Sonoma Wine Country, Santa Rosa, CA
Thursday, August 8, 2019

Exploring the Collaborative & Educational Opportunities that Exist Between the Wine & Cannabis Industries

Add to My Calendar 08/08/2019 08:45 AM 08/08/2019 04:45 PM America/Los_Angeles Wine & Weed Symposium The legalization of recreational cannabis use will continue to have an impact on the wine industry, but how? In what ways might the two industries work together, and where could conflicts arise? Can the two industries learn for each other and establish a dialogue? The 2019 Wine & Weed Symposium will open with Corey Beck, CEO & Winemaking Chief of The Family Coppola, to share their company story of venturing into the cannabis industry and what they’ve experienced as a result. The remainder of the event will be largely focused on bringing together wine & cannabis industry thought leaders & innovators to review emerging trends in consumer behavior, the impact on wine sales in states where recreational cannabis is legal, alcohol beverage companies investment activity in cannabis and more. Hyatt Regency Sonoma Wine Country, 170 Railroad St, Santa Rosa, CA 95401 Wine Industry Network info@wine-weed.com false MM/DD/YYYY 1000 Wine-Weed-Symposium
Speaker

Opening Keynote:

Corey Beck

CEO & Winemaking Chief / The Family Coppola

The legalization of recreational cannabis use will continue to have an impact on the wine industry, but how? In what ways might the two industries work together, and where could conflicts arise? Can the two industries learn for each other and establish a dialogue?

The 2019 Wine & Weed Symposium will open with Corey Beck, CEO & Winemaking Chief of The Family Coppola, to share their company story of venturing into the cannabis industry and what they’ve experienced as a result. The remainder of the event will be largely focused on bringing together wine & cannabis industry thought leaders & innovators to review emerging trends in consumer behavior, the impact on wine sales in states where recreational cannabis is legal, alcohol beverage companies investment activity in cannabis and more.

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Registration is OPEN

Early-Bird:  SOLD OUT

Price: $295

Includes Access to the Symposium Sessions, Table-Top Exhibits, Lunch, and Networking Social.

Symposium Program & Schedule



Submit Your Questions

To ensure we meet your expectations and provide an interactive, productive conference, we’d like to find out what your specific questions are in regards to Wine and/or Cannabis.

Click the button below to head over to Sli.do and get started.

Submit Questions


Registration / Check-In / Coffee & Pastries

7:30am - 8:45am

Sponsored By:

Enter through the Hyatt's Main Lobby and follow the signage to the Symposium's registration / check-in area. Grab your name badge then hang out and mingle while enjoying some coffee and breakfast pastries before the symposium begins.

Cannabis Sensory Experience

All Day in the Exhibits Area

Know Your Wine? Find Your Strain!

Join Garden Society and Herb Somm for an exploration of terpenes. See how the terpene profile of some of your favorite Sonoma County wines pair up with strains of cannabis, taste delicious (un-infused!) Garden Society Chocolates and learn more about work being done to define cannabis appellations.


Sensory Stations


Smell

Just like wine, cannabis contains terpenes which cause you to call out the “peppery” notes in a Cabernet or the “citrus-y” flavors of a Sauvignon Blanc. In cannabis, you can pick up notes of pine in an indica strain from the terpene pinene, or the skunky smell of Sour Diesel. These smells actually come from the same terpenes that produce the unique identifiers in wine!

Sight

Examine whole cannabis plants, flowers and leaves as we teach guests about identifying between Indica, Sativa and Hybrid. Much like you’d look at cluster of grapes and leaves to determine the varietal of a grapevine!

Touch

Touch a cannabis plant! The leaves, the flowers, learn what a properly cured plant should feel like – and why that’s important to the cannabis experience. Are the leaves rough, smooth? Are the flowers sticky, spongy?

Taste

As you smell and identify terpenes in different strains of cannabis, you will also have the opportunity to taste foods that share similar terpene profiles to certain cannabis strains.

Feeling

This station is dedicated to talking about the sensation one may have when consuming cannabis. Different methods of consumption, feelings they may produce, and how to safely consume cannabis.

Welcome / Introduction + Opening Keynote

8:45am - 9:30am

Introduction + Opening Keynote

Corey Beck, CEO & Winemaking Chief of The Family Coppola, will share with the audience the company story and reasons behind leveraging the success and brand equity of the Coppola name to venture into the cannabis industry.

Welcome / Introduction

George Christie

President & CEO / Wine Industry Network

Opening Keynote

Corey Beck

CEO & Winemaking Chief / The Family Coppola

Sales and Consumer Trends in the Cannabis Industry

9:30am - 10:00am

Description

This session, presented by Headset CEO, Cy Scott, will focus on the explosive growth the cannabis industry is experiencing with special emphasis on emerging consumer purchasing trends and behavior in recreationally legalized markets. Based on real-time sales data, this presentation will provide a detailed look at how different cannabis categories and products are performing and what we can expect to see going forward.

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Moderator

George Christie

President & CEO / Wine Industry Network

Speaker

Cy Scott

CEO / Headset, Inc

Break: 10:00am - 10:15am

The Beverage Industry's Investment in Cannabis; What Does It Mean Long Term?

10:15am - 11:00am

Description

What’s driving the investments in cannabis by alcohol beverage companies? What have the companies that invested early experienced? What can we expect in the near future? How is the regulatory environment, especially at the federal level, impacting investment decisions and what can we expect long and short term?

This session will provide an overview of investment activity in the cannabis industry, with special emphasis on those involving alcohol beverage companies. The panel will also share their perspective on the potential opportunities for legal CBD, industrial hemp, and the beverage category in particular.

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Moderator

Joyce Cenali

Founding Partner & Chief Operating Officer / Big Rock

Speakers

David Friedman

CEO / VividGro

Marc Hauser

Counsel & Vice Chair / Cannabis Practice Group at Reed Smith LLP

Joe Rogoway

CEO, Managing Attorney / Rogoway Law Group

Break: 11:00am - 11:15am

Leveraging Your Brand Equity; Wineries Partnering with Cannabis

11:15am - 12:00pm

Description

Is your winery’s brand equity transferable to the cannabis industry and specific products in particular? What about cannabis and winery events? What results have we seen so far? What are the pitfalls you should avoid? Can these two industries collaborate to drive more tourism?

This session, featuring subject matter experts, will look at the early results of wineries who have partnered with cannabis companies and other collaborations we can expect going forward.

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Moderator

Alicia Rose

Founder / HerbaBuena

Speakers

Jamie Evans, CSW

Founder / The HerbSomm

Omar Figueroa

Founder / Law Offices of Omar Figueroa

Jared Giammona

Founder / The Sonoma County Experience

Devin Ruddick

Direct to Consumer Sales Manager / Hook & Ladder Winery

Lunch

12:00pm - 1:15pm

Enjoy a beautiful outdoor buffet lunch in the Knights Valley Garden specially prepared by the Hyatt Regency Sonoma Wine Country Chef.

Sponsored By:

Menu

Summer caponata salad with roasted zucchini, red onions, tomatoes, olives, and basil
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Field green salad with artichokes, tomatoes, shaved fennel, and white balsamic vinaigrette
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Grilled herb marinated chicken breast with chicken jus and parsley – sun dried tomato pistou
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Oven roasted salmon fillet with sautéed baby spinach and lemon-caper sauce
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Quinoa Pilaf
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Steamed garden vegetables
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Fresh fruit tartlet

The Cannabis Impact on Wine

1:15pm - 2:00pm

Description

Is cannabis taking market share away from wine and long term, should the wine industry be wary of weed? This session, presented by Jessica Lukas of BDS Analytics, will provide data driven insights into how cannabis is impacting the alcohol beverage category as a whole, and wine, in particular. The presentation will highlight trends in states where recreational consumption is legal and draw comparisons to states where it is not.

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Moderator

George Christie

President & CEO / Wine Industry Network

Speaker

Jessica Lukas

VP, Consumer Insights / BDS Analytics, Inc.

Break: 2:00pm - 2:15pm

Marketing Lessons from Cannabis; What Can Wine Learn?

2:15pm - 3:00pm

Description

Like wine, the cannabis space is and will continue to be, incredibly crowded and competitive. However, unlike wine, the emerging cannabis industry is much less encumbered with the history and tradition of how products are packaged and marketed. The results of this freedom are outstanding. Innovative packaging, authentic positioning, and need-state product development highlight the radical change of how and by whom cannabis is consumed.

This session will highlight some of the best examples of creative marketing on display, a discussion of where cannabis and wine meet and diverge, corresponding innovation implications, and highlight important takeaways for the wine industry.

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Moderator

Kathleen Murphy

VP, Innovation & New Business Development / The Family Coppola

Speakers

Zack Darling

CEO / The Hybrid Creative

Ann Peltz

Vice President Marketing / Left Coast Ventures

Ed Rice

Managing Director / Affinity Creative Group

Break: 3:00pm - 3:15pm

Women, Wine & Weed + Closing Remarks

3:15pm - 4:00pm

Description

There is an incredible number of talented women emerging as leaders in the cannabis industry. Within that group, there are more than a few notable examples who have come from the wine industry and are now applying their experience and expertise in moving the cannabis industry forward. They are impacting production, marketing, events, legal and sales and they are just getting started. What are the opportunities and how are they different from other industries? How do their backgrounds in wine help? This panel of skilled, successful women will address these questions and more in this interactive session.

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Moderator

Marcia Gagliardi

Founder / mymilligram, tablehopper

Speakers

Rachel Burkons

Co-Owner / Altered Plates

Liz Gehl

Founder, Chief Recruiter / Gehl Search Partners

Stephanie Honig

Director of Sales and Communications / Honig Vineyard & Winery

Tracey Mason

CEO / House of Saka

Karli Warner

Co-Founder, VP of Marketing & Communications / Garden Society

Networking Social

3:00pm - 4:45pm

Sponsored By: Proteus 420

Finish the day visiting with sponsors, exhibitors and other attendees at a networking session featuring hors d'oeuvres and selected wines.

Meet The Experts

Submit Your Questions

To ensure we meet your expectations and provide an interactive, productive conference, we’d like to find out what your specific questions are in regards to Wine and/or Cannabis.

Click the button below to head over to Sli.do and get started.

Submit QuestionsRegister Now



Speaker Bios

Speaker

 Corey Beck

CEO & Winemaking Chief / The Family Coppola

Topic: Opening Keynote


CEO & Winemaking Chief Corey Beck has more than 20 years of experience in the wine industry. Corey began his career in viticulture quite by accident, tagging alongside his grandfather who was the vineyard manager for Napa Valley’s renowned Chateau Montelena. Born and raised in Calistoga, Corey spent summer vacations working in the vineyards.

Upon earning his degree in Fermentation Science from the University of California at Davis, Corey returned to Chateau Montelena as their Cabernet Sauvignon Cellar Master, working with grapes his grandfather had planted in the 1970s–from the same vineyards that gained international recognition in the famous Judgment of Paris tasting. Wanting to broaden his repertoire, Corey joined Inglenook (formerly Rubicon Estate, Niebaum-Coppola) in 1998 as their assistant winemaker.

In 2006, the Coppola family purchased the historic Château Souverain property in Sonoma County, providing a home for the ever-popular Diamond Collection wines, and appointed Corey as director of winemaking and general manager. In the four years following what would become Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Corey worked alongside Francis to help revitalize the property and expand the wine operation. In 2010, after extensive renovations, the winery debuted new tasting rooms, two restaurants, a swimming pool and more. Not only did Corey oversee major components of the hospitality renovation, he also made improvements to the bottling line and winemaking facility, growing the wine portfolio to encompass distinct Sonoma County wines. In 2013, he spearheaded the purchase of the former Geyser Peak facility and vineyard acquisition and transformed that property over the next few years into what is now Virginia Dare Winery. In 2014, Corey was promoted to president of The Family Coppola’s winegrowing endeavors in Sonoma County, managing all business operations, while simultaneously continuing his role as director of winemaking.

In addition to managing two compelling destination wineries, Corey and his team have created a strong grower relations program that their growers rely on and admire. From their hands-on techniques in the vineyards to their valuable winemaking goals and analytical feedback, Corey and his team are often regarded as leaders in the wine industry, known for their innovative and engaging approach to their network of 150+ grapegrowers.

A respected member of the Sonoma County community, Corey is a past president of the Sonoma County Vintners and is regularly involved in a variety of wine industry symposiums and advisory councils. In November 2016, Wine Business Monthly named Corey one of the “Top 50 Leaders,” one of the most sought-after wine industry recognitions.

When asked about his true winemaking passion, Corey’s answer is always Petite Sirah. It’s not just Corey’s favorite varietal, it was a passion of his grandfather’s and one of the primary reasons Corey chose winemaking as a career.

“Harvest is not only about turning grapes into wine, but it’s a reflection of Mother Nature’s work throughout the growing season.”– Corey Beck


Q

What did you think when you first learned about the Grower Series idea?

"I learned about the grower series back at Francis’ bungalow. He called me back because he had something to show me. I walk in and on the table was the wine bottle that was made from tin and had a really great label that resembled a wine label but it was for cannabis. I opened the tin and out came three buds, perfect in size and filled the room with hints of tangerine and lemongrass. I thought it as the perfect package for our foray into the cannabis world."

Q

What has surprised you most about the cannabis industry?

"What has surprised me most? It’s been the open-ness from people who have had to live undercover for years. Folks just wanted to tell their story and get the rest of the world on board with why they’ve been in the business or now getting into the business. I’ve had a lot of people talk about the medicinal side which was encouraging and surprising. "

Q

What are some of the biggest opportunities you see for the wine & cannabis industries to work together?

"I do believe there will be opportunities and one of the areas will be around food, wine, and cannabis. I also believe adventure and an active lifestyle and it will all be in the messaging and how our two industries will craft the message. We need to move away from Weed and Wine as the headline and tug at the emotions of our consumers. Years ago Coke Cola had a whole campaign around Happiness and it really worked for them."

Q

What are some things you think the cannabis industry can learn from the wine industry?

"The cannabis industry will at some point be able to distribute across state lines and that’s when the rubber will meet the road."

Q

How would you characterize the reaction you experienced from your core wine customers when the Grower Series was announced?

"Out of 10,000 wine family members, we had two people drop because of our announcement."


Speaker

 Rachel Burkons

Co-Owner / Altered Plates

Topic: Women, Wine & Weed


Rachel Burkons is the co-founder of Altered Plates, a cannabis hospitality company whose mission is to create high-end culinary experiences driven by education. After over a decade working in the wine and spirits industry as the Associate Publisher at The Tasting Panel Magazine and the SOMM Journal, Rachel and her brother, Chef Holden Jagger, founded Altered Plates in 2016. Since then, they have partnered with brands from across the country to develop standards of service that are revolutionizing both the hospitality and cannabis spaces. Altered Plates is currently working on opening one of the world’s first cannabis restaurants, Chroma Lounge in the City of West Hollywood.

Rachel also consults with mainstream hospitality industry brands curious about the cannabis space with her company, Smoke Sip Savor, and is a frequent contributor to national print publications, including the SOMM Journal, where she serves as Cannabis Editor, and is the Lead Community Organizer for the Los Angeles chapter of Crop-to-Kitchen, a nonprofit community dedicated to building pathways to legalize cannabis cuisine in California.

You can reach Rachel at www.smokesipsavor.com


Speaker

 Joyce Cenali

Founding Partner & Chief Operating Officer / Big Rock

Topic: The Beverage Industry's Investment in Cannabis; What Does It Mean Long Term?


Joyce leads operations at Big Rock Partners, a strategic advisory firm serving investors and companies at the intersection of food, hospitality and cannabis. Their portfolio includes PharmaCann, Cannacraft, Phylos, Henry’s Original, Kikoko, Sonoma Hills Farm, Garden Society, Sava, and others. She previously founded a boutique artist management firm, and lead business development, licensing and partner integrations for e-commerce start-ups. A long time craft cannabis cultivator, she co-founded of an Emerald Cup winning operation, and served as Co-Chair for Women Grow, Sonoma. She attended Smith College, and lives with her wife and puppy children in San Francisco.


Q

How did you get your start being involved with cannabis?

"I’ve used cannabis in my own wellness practices for half of my life. I grew for personal use in my home in San Francisco and later joined forces with some masterful cultivators to produce an outdoor project. The opportunity to grow a cannabis plant from seed sprout into a 5+ lb beauty is truly a marvel.

Every cultivator in California that grew under the medical market will have an abundance of varied stories to share, and I am no different. But for all the tumultuous moments, we experienced many highs, and our pinnacle was winning an Emerald Cup for the dry sieve category several years ago.

I also co-chaired Women Grow Sonoma for a year or so, which opened me up to some great friendships and allowed me to gain a bird’s eye view of so many sound operators in that rich agricultural region, and I balanced that with my own navigation of the sales side of bringing a product into retailers. I decided to pivot away from operating my own business and I began angel investing in other best of class operators who I knew faced a better set of circumstances to drive success than my own path was affording me, based on shifting regulations.

The core folks at Big Rock were already friends and when they pulled the trigger on their first cannabis investment, we decided to go all-in together. I have an extensive network and an understanding of what operators are navigating, and that couples extremely well to other Big Rock team members experience in capital deployment across tech, bio-tech and hospitality sectors.

This partnership is a union of folks that love this plant and this rich Northern California environment that we’ve chosen to call home, and we are dedicating ourselves to it for the long haul."

Q

How has the investment landscape evolved over the past few years?

"The past 2 years have been dominated by consolidations based on a perceived need for vertical integration and because the market is paying for inorganic growth. Companies are raising hundreds of millions of dollars to either acquire certain product IP and talent - so that they can own and manage the entire vertical ecosystem.

The question that I would ask is how is that is sustainable and how will that translate to natural consumerism. If Coca Cola had tried to own their retail experience and branded a bunch of Coke stores all over the country, they would have isolated their crucial retail partners. I’d argue that in some cases, vertical integration can incur isolation.

In the next phase and as additional US markets open up, more opportunities for singular and best of class brands will develop, where companies and founders are committed to the following creating premium and uniquely differentiated brands and consumer identifiers, and creating classes of products or retail offerings that hold intrinsic value, and brands that start to trend regionally and then nationally and then globally."

Q

What is one prediction you have about the cannabis industry in the next 5 years?

"Over the next five to 10 years, every Fortune 500 company will have to formulate a cannabinoid strategy and will hire a cannabinoid specialist to study the impact that the plant may have on their corporate outlook."


Speaker

 George Christie

President & CEO / Wine Industry Network

Topic: Welcome / Introduction , Sales and Consumer Trends in the Cannabis Industry , The Cannabis Impact on Wine


George Christie, a New Jersey native, settled in Sonoma County after college in 1991 where he quickly realized that the wine industry was where he wanted to concentrate his efforts. Since that time, he has been involved in nearly every aspect of the wine industry, from vineyard operations and grower relations to distributor realignments and national marketing campaigns. Always an active member in the wine community, Christie has also held board positions with the Russian River Wine Road, Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley and the Sonoma County Vintners. In 2008, George and his wife Tami, along with the Saini Family, partnered to create Saini Vineyards, a winery specializing on Old Vine Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley.

In 2009, with Elizabeth 'E' Slater, George launched the Wine Industry Network (WIN). What began as an online directory has evolved over the years into one the leading B2B marketing and media companies serving the wine industry. WIN works with over 600 industry product and service providers and produces the Wine Industry Expo (WIN Expo), the 2nd largest trade show for the wine industry, along with the Wine & Weed Symposium, the Wine Industry Advisor news site and the Afternoon Brief daily news email with over 35,000 industry subscribers.


Speaker

 Zack Darling

CEO / The Hybrid Creative

Topic: Marketing Lessons from Cannabis; What can Wine Learn?


Zack Darling is the CEO (Chief Eternal Optimist) at The Hybrid Creative, a thriving digital creative agency in Santa Rosa, Ca. focused on cannabis, hydroponics and medical marijuana ventures. The Hybrid Creative brings to the table a wide variety of skills with a primary focus on brand strategy, design, product packaging, web development and marketing solutions. The agency was recently acquired by cannabis industry heavy hitters Kush Bottles, a move that will help to grow The Hybrid into an international creative force in a quickly expanding industry. Zack launched his first design business, Greenfield Graphics, in 1997 where he first began creating brands and marketing materials for the music industry, sustainable ventures, and the young hydroponics industry. Since then, he has acted as Creative Director for thousands of industry-related projects. He has been a featured speaker at The Emerald Cup, International Cannabis Business Conference, California Cannabis Industry Association Conference, National Cannabis Bar Association, Cannacon, Cannabis Marketing Association, Elevated Cannabis Compliance Conference, Women Grow, Sonoma County Grower’s Alliance events and many others.

The Hybrid Creative is known as California’s homegrown creative agency due to the lifelong immersion Zack has had in the industry’s rich and colorful history. Having been raised on Greenfield Ranch, an intentional community in the hills of Mendocino County in the Emerald Triangle, Zack has been exposed to the cannabis culture his entire life and is truly “second generation.” With a broad perspective that ranges from the front lines of the war on drugs to building brand strategy for many of California’s most prominent cannabis businesses, Zack offers unique context and perspective toward the importance of building a meaningful brand. As a public speaker, panelist or workshop facilitator, Zack’s charismatic presentation style brings to light the importance of creating value-based brands and provides useful tools to the audience. His keen ability to turn the focus of the conversation away from the stage and toward the attendees leaves them with a sense that they have taken important steps in the soul-searching process of building or growing their cannabis brand.


Speaker

 Jamie Evans, CSW

Founder / The HerbSomm

Topic: Leveraging Your Brand Equity; Wineries Partnering with Cannabis


Jamie Evans is the founder of The Herb Somm, a cannabis blog and lifestyle brand that is focused on the gourmet side of the industry. She is an educator, host, and writer specializing in cannabis, CBD, food, recipes, wine, and the canna-culinary world. As a well-known CBD and cannabis personality, Jamie has been contributing to POPSUGAR, MARY Magazine, and The Clever Root magazine specializing in cannabis and CBD lifestyle features for the modern consumer. In addition, Jamie is the co-editor of GoldLeaf's acclaimed Cooking Journal and is working on a book to be published by Fair Winds Press of Quarto Publishing Group scheduled to release next spring 2020.

As an industry leader, Jamie was also recently named as one of Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 Tastemakers in 2018 and as a 2018 Innovator by SevenFifty Daily, both recognizing her efforts in the cannabis industry. Alongside her work in the cannabis space, Jamie has over eleven years of wine industry experience and is a Certified Specialist of Wine.


Q

How has your experience managing and participating in wine industry events helped with your cannabis events?

"Having spent over a decade in the wine industry, I've had the opportunity to host and plan a variety of events throughout my career. From planning 300+ person gatherings for the Napa Valley Grapegrowers, to hosting 50+ consumer events for JAX Vineyards, to organizing wine dinners for high-end international brands such as Ornellaia and Frescobaldi, my attention to detail and drive for excellence has dramatically impacted the experiences that I currently host for The Herb Somm. Hospitality is always a key focus. From the minute a guest arrives, to the moment they leave, it is my goal for each attendee to feel like a VIP. Hosting a successful event also means a lot of planning and organization. I owe this skillset to the many years that I worked in the wine industry and the wonderful people who taught me how to host incredible events along the way."

Q

Do you predict that there will be more collaboration or competition between the wine & cannabis industries?

"I am a firm believer that cannabis, wine, and food belong together. Not only does cannabis enhance the dining experience, but it also opens the door to many new and exciting aroma, flavor, and ingredient pairings. From a culinary and hospitality perspective, I think there are a lot of opportunities for collaboration between the two industries. We need to continue to educate lawmakers, so they can see that there is a way to safely and responsibly use both in a gourmet setting. I am looking forward to the day that we finally see a cannabis-infused restaurant with an award-winning wine list!"

Q

What are the biggest parallels you see between the wine industry & the cannabis industry?

"There are many parallels that exist between wine and cannabis. From an agricultural standpoint, a few of my favorite similarities include terroir, growing regions, aromas, and flavors. Like a grapevine, cannabis is a plant that is climate and soil-driven. While the concept of terroir has been romanticized in the wine industry for years, the same principles apply to cannabis. To a cannabis grower, terroir is more than just weather and soil. As a farmer, you are a part of the terroir, and every growing method you use plays a critical role in the plant’s well being. The same stands true for winemakers and viticulturists. There is so much passion in both industries."


Speaker

 Omar Figueroa

Founder / Law Offices of Omar Figueroa

Topic: Leveraging Your Brand Equity; Wineries Partnering with Cannabis


Omar Figueroa is a graduate of Yale College, Stanford Law School, and the Trial Lawyers College. He believes in lifelong learning, and this year completed an Executive Education program for directors of corporate boards at the Wharton School in Pennsylvania. He founded the Law Offices of Omar Figueroa in San Francisco in 1998, and has more than two decades of experience practicing cannabis law in the Golden State. The Law Offices of Omar Figueroa is one of the leading cannabis licensing, regulatory compliance, and intellectual property law firms in California.

Omar regularly teaches Continuing Legal Education (CLE) courses to lawyers on cannabis-related subjects and has presented to numerous professional associations, including the Bar Association of San Francisco, the Sonoma County Bar Association, and the National Cannabis Bar Association.

Omar is a Director and Founding Lifetime Member of the National Cannabis Bar Association, a Lifetime Member of the NORML Legal Committee, and recognized in the prestigious Distinguished Counsel’s Circle of NORML. Omar is a past recipient of the Hunter S. Thompson Scholarship awarded by Colorado NORML. Omar is an active and contributing member of the Sonoma County Cannabis Advisory Group.

Omar founded a legal publishing company to publish the legal reference series Cannabis Codes of California. The latest version, a carefully curated compendium entitled “California Cannabis Laws and Regulations: 2019 Edition", is now available on Amazon in hardcover and Kindle versions. Omar's expertise with regard to cannabis is not merely legal; he is an expert at judging world-class cannabis as well, and has served as one of the judges for the world-famous Emerald Cup in Northern California.


Q

What is one prediction you have about the California cannabis industry in the next 5 years?

"There is a very good chance that cannabis will be legalized at a federal level (in some form) within the next five years and I feel relative certainty in predicting that the California cannabis industry will be fundamentally transformed by federal legalization. Huge fortunes will be made. It’s going to be a wild ride!"

Q

Where do you see the future of wine and weed events going?

"Given current regulatory constraints disallowing consumption of both wine and weed on the same licensed premises, there are several options, including educational events where wine is served and consumed but cannabis is not provided for consumption; rather, cannabis flowers with particular terpene profiles are paired with wine, and intended to be smelled, examined, and experienced. Another option is contemporaneous sales of wine and weed on technically different but adjacent premises, such as occurs during The Emerald Cup with its adjacent beer & wine gardens. Another option may be a completely private event. The possibilities are limited by the creativity of event organizers."

Q

What advice would you give to those in the wine industry that would like to collaborate with the cannabis industry?

"You have much to offer, and much to learn. Be humble. Remember, the Zen mind is the beginner’s mind."


Speaker

 David Friedman

CEO / VividGro

Topic: The Beverage Industry's Investment in Cannabis; What Does It Mean Long Term?


David Friedman is the CEO of VividGro, a leader in advanced-applications of Agricultural technology (AgTech). Friedman is also the founder of the Panther Funds which have invested over $5 Million in 20 cannabis companies. Friedman is the former CEO of MJIC and successfully managed the company’s restructuring in 2015/2016. He also co-created the current algorithm for the Marijuana Stock Index for MJIC. MJIC is expected to IPO in June of 2019 on the CSE. Friedman is an investment and operations executive with over 25 years in venture capital, mergers & acquisitions and corporate finance. As President of VividGro, David is exploring the new frontier of the business of AgTech, an industry that is exploding with the recent legalization of cannabis across the nation and the effort to feed an ever increasing population. David has appeared on numerous networks and news programs as a leader in the business of cannabis, as well as running his own cannabis media organization and summit series.


Q

How did you get your start with cannabis?

"I have always been in private equity and venture capital. Always in emerging markets (tech primarily) and as cannabis became more and more talked about it was natural for me to go explore. Within a month we had raised our first fund and launched our first company."

Q

What is one prediction you have about the cannabis industry in the next 5 years?

"First of all 5 years is way too long to talk about in cannabis. So many moving part 2 years is the furthest out you can and should really look because depending on the outcomes the 2 years after that and after that will be completely different. Peter Thiel said if you want to predict the future find something inevitable... We know cannabis is inevitable so what are the things that need to fall into place. I think the top two are banking and the sates act. We won't see federal legalization until those things happen in my opinion. Both are moving through congress and if they pass in 2019 or 2020 it opens a whole box of further predictions, good and bad. I would also say my long shot is for our president to try and garner the vote by either making or offering to make an executive order and deschedule. He will be advised by many in the industry that a big step like that is way too much to bite off at once but we all know he takes no advice and that could be a completely different set of predictions."

Q

What advice would you give to those that would like to invest in the cannabis industry?

"Institutional cannabis is here. My partners and started the panther opportunity fund and we recently started a consulting firm called institutional cannabis consultants. We do nothing but talk to institutions who have given a directive to do an analysis in the space. We are working with several alcohol companies but also banks, governments, and universities. All who want to know how to navigate the space. Vividgor, where I am currently ceo, was spun off from a company owned by pegasus, a $2 billion mainstream private equity fund. When institutions start to enter the space the retail investor is marginalized so the window is short. Still longer than people think but now is the time. I would not go it alone. There are too many deals to pick over and probably only 50 or fewer people who can do real diligence on an investment. There are some stock trading now on major exchanges but they are far from trading in fundamental ranges so it is still a game of roulette. I would invest in a fund. One that has seasoned industry veterans has done many different kinds of investments. There are only about 10 - 15 of us in the industry so we are not hard to find and we are all friends and all do the same deals together and share them... If you are an entrepreneur then starting a business is always your thing and there is still room but it is not an easy landscape to navigate."

Q

What are the biggest parallels you see between the beverage industry & cannabis industry?

"Its a social vice. It is (or will be highly regulated). It has a lot of detractors. There is a major reputational risk by association and it is a lifestyle choice. I do not feel it is a coincidence that alcohol came in on the front end. I wrote an article for futures magazine almost 3 years ago an I listed alcohol as #2 behind agriculture as an institution most likely to enter the market. "


Speaker

 Marcia Gagliardi

Founder / mymilligram, tablehopper

Topic: Women, Wine & Weed


Marcia Gagliardi is a San Francisco–based culinary personality and writer, known for her 13-year-old tablehopper e-column about the SF dining scene (at tablehopper.com). Her latest venture is her microdoser media brand, mymilligram. Her weekly newsletter (at mymilligram.com) is a resource for people who want to explore the intersection of cannabis and wellness in a low and slow way. Marcia writes in-depth features about low-dose and high-quality cannabis products made in California (with recommendations on how to carefully consume them), and hosts educational events. Follow @mymilligram for some color therapy.


Q

What is your greatest accomplishment in the cannabis industry so far?

"For me, it has been the creation of mymilligram! Through my microdoser media outlet, I enjoy helping to destigmatize cannabis use, educating new consumers, and providing people a safe, controlled, vetted way to explore high-quality cannabis products for wellness and feeling good through microdosing. My favorite people to talk with are my parents’ age, and a personal victory was the moment my parents started referring their friends to me for product recommendations! Nothing makes me happier than when people come back to me with positive feedback about a product they tried from mymilligram and telling me how it helped them."

Q

Where do you see the hospitality/events part of the cannabis industry going, or where would you like to see it go?

"As someone who has been covering the Bay Area food scene (and beyond) for 15 years with my tablehopper column, and an event host for over 20 years, I'm so eager to see events with food, beverages, and cannabis be able to come out of the shadows. It’s imperative to figure out how to legally host and sell tickets to events that will have cannabis present instead of keeping this scene underground. Of course, it’s so exciting to see the strides the City of West Hollywood is making with opening the first cannabis cafe and selling infused food. These are amazing times we're living in. We need to keep making our voices heard so we have spaces to gather, consume quality cannabis and food together, and normalize cannabis use. Kudos to the Crop to Kitchen Community for helping to push this agenda forward in California!"


Speaker

 Liz Gehl

Founder, Chief Recruiter / Gehl Search Partners

Topic: Women, Wine & Weed


Liz Gehl is the Founder and CEO of Gehl Search Partners, an executive search firm that focuses on cannabis and adult beverage recruitment. GSP provides consulting services to companies within these highly regulated industries to help make smart hiring decisions that promote strategic growth and increase market share. GSP is responsible for creating high performing executive teams in both the wine and cannabis industries within start-up environments, as well as during restructuring and reorganization periods. As a lifelong Sonoma County resident, and a 20-year medicinal cannabis consumer and Human Resources professional, Liz has been thrilled to be able to combine her three passions - Recruiting, the Wine/Beer/Spirits industry, and the Cannabis Industry.


Q

What is your greatest accomplishment in the cannabis industry so far?

"Since our inception, 70% of our placements within the cannabis industry are female, and, we’ve assisted companies in gaining funding or going public on the CSE by providing noteworthy talent at the executive through C-suite level."

Q

Do you think wine industry professionals have an advantage in the cannabis space, given their experience in a highly regulated industry?

"Absolutely. Wine industry professionals have the ability to pivot on a dime when an obstacle is presented. Having prior experience being creative and thinking outside the box within a highly regulated industry is second nature to many wine professionals already; the cannabis industry can capitalize on that experience and move the needle forward quickly despite the industry being fairly nascent."

Q

What are some things you think the cannabis industry can learn from the wine industry?

"I believe more cannabis brands could focus on the talents of their cultivators and breeders; these individuals should receive the same level of notoriety that winemakers do. We should celebrate the process from seed to final product; those behind the process, rather than rely so heavily on celebrity endorsements."


Speaker

 Jared Giammona

Founder / The Sonoma County Experience

Topic: Leveraging Your Brand Equity; Wineries Partnering with Cannabis


Born and raised in Sonoma County, Jared has a great appreciation of everything that Northern California has to offer. He’s been fortunate enough to spend a great deal of time around three of its main industries - cannabis, wine and craft beer. Although his family has a rich wine history in the Napa Valley, he’s chosen to focus on cannabis to help remove the stigma, and educate the public around the newly legal industry through unique experiences with his tour company, The Sonoma County Experience.


Q

Where do you see the future of weed and wine tourism going, or which direction are you planning on steering it in?

"I see weed and wine tourism growing together and cannabis carving out it's own path for experiences in Sonoma County. It's already starting to take shape in such a short amount of time after legalization. When you have an area like Sonoma County that produces both cannabis and wine at world-renowned levels, people are going to want to experience both. With wine having the tourism infrastructure, it will continue to flourish. As the cannabis industry evolves, it's inevitable that it will complement wine and become a part of its entire industry."

Q

What are some of the biggest misconceptions people have when they think of cannabis tourism?

"Right now, since it's so new, there are a lot of misconceptions of cannabis tourism. People ask questions...will we be smoking all day? I already know what weed is, what else is there to know? I don't smoke so this doesn't interest me. The cannabis industry is full of people that are passionate about what they're doing and there are so many different products of being involved. The people who work in the cannabis industry want to bring people in, show them the process, educate them on the products, and help normalize this industry. It is very similar to wine -- when you go wine tasting you're being educated about everything from the different varietals, where the grapes were grown, when they were harvested, and more. This is the same with cannabis and will take shape in the form of tourism."


Speaker

 Marc Hauser

Counsel & Vice Chair / Cannabis Practice Group at Reed Smith LLP

Topic: The Beverage Industry's Investment in Cannabis; What Does It Mean Long Term?


Marc Hauser is Counsel and Vice-Chair of the Cannabis Practice Team at Reed Smith LLP, a global law firm with over 1,800 lawyers worldwide. Marc’s entire practice is focused on the cannabis industry, working with his colleagues to provide sophisticated legal services to industry participants across the nation, and helping companies deal will all aspects of doing business in a constantly-shifting legal environment. Reed Smith’s Cannabis Practice Team has over 40 senior lawyers considering what makes cannabis different.

Marc has over 20 years of experience as a corporate deal and capital markets lawyer, spending the bulk of his career as personal deal counsel for Sam Zell, a Forbes-listed billionaire and active investor in Chicago. As in-house counsel, Marc advised his colleagues on billions of dollars of complex transactions across industries and asset classes. Working alongside investment, tax, and accounting professionals, Marc developed a practical, business-oriented approach to advising his colleagues on sophisticated deal structures and risk tolerance.

Marc is a member of the Napa Valley Cannabis Association, the California and Illinois state bars, the National Cannabis Bar Association, and the Napa Valley Bar Association. Marc graduated cum laude from Northwestern University School of Law, where he was an editor of the Law Review, and with honors in history from Northwestern University.


Speaker

 Stephanie Honig

Director of Sales and Communications / Honig Vineyard & Winery

Topic: Women, Wine & Weed


Stephanie Honig was born in Havertown, Pennsylvania. When she was six years old, she moved with her family to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Stephanie moved to Florida in 1994, where she attended Florida International University, graduating in 1997 with a Bachelor’s degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. While attending FIU she also spent time in Europe, studying at Oxford Brookes University in England. She then moved to Philadelphia and worked as a Sales Manager for Marriott Corporation.

In 2000, she moved to New York to pursue a career in the wine industry. While in New York, Stephanie worked as a Sales Manager for Clicquot, Inc., and in National sales for Rudd Winery. In 2005, she earned the WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) Higher Certificate and the WSET Diploma. Stephanie left Rudd Winery in 2006 to import her own wine brand from Argentina. She also taught wine classes at the French Culinary Institute in New York and at Florida International University.

In 2006, she moved to Napa Valley and married Michael Honig. Stephanie travels the globe developing Honig’s international and national presence and handles the public relations for the business. She has chaired the Public Relations Committee and serves on the Marketing Committee and the International Ambassadors Committees at the Napa Valley Vintner Association. She is active in raising funds for Type 1 diabetes research (her oldest daughter has the disease) and for gun violence. She is certified as a Feng Shui consultant and is a founding board member of the Napa Valley Cannabis Association. She lives on the Honig property in Rutherford with her husband Michael, their daughters Sophia and Lola, sons Sebastian and Santiago, and their dogs Raisin, Hunter and Dulce.


Q

How did you get your start being involved with cannabis?

"I have always been a believer that legalizing, regulating and supporting free markets leads to improved consumption practices, healthier products, and decriminalization. About two years ago, I was approached to start found the Napa Valley Cannabis Association with a group of likeminded people and although I wasn’t a cannabis consumer I decided to get involved. Cannabis is gradually being legalized in this country. It’s not a matter of “if”, it’s a matter of “when” and “how”. I felt that it was the right time to get involved in the process and the birth of this new industry. "

Q

Do you think wine industry professionals have an advantage in the cannabis space, given their experience in a highly regulated industry?

"Yes. As a winery owner, I am accustomed to producing, marketing and selling a highly regulating product. We must be in compliance with county, state and federal rules in the US. We also operate under regulations of each of the 25 other countries where we sell wine. I except cannabis to be equally regulated."

Q

What are some things you think the cannabis industry can learn from the wine industry?

"Once it’s a legal market, crime goes down. Before prohibition, there was a lot of organized crime that subsided when alcohol was legalized.

We constantly need to be an advocate for our industries as they are both controversial.

Growing, marketing and developing luxury brands vs. commodities."

Q

Is there any concern that as cannabis becomes a more-accepted industry, that it will also start to resemble other male-dominated industries?

"No. When I began working in the wine business, 22 years ago, it was clearly male-dominated. Today, the landscape has changed. As the cannabis industry develops today, I expect women and men to be equally involved. "


Speaker

 Jessica Lukas

VP, Consumer Insights / BDS Analytics, Inc.

Topic: The Cannabis Impact on Wine


Prior to joining BDS Analytics and the wild world of cannabis data, Jessica Lukas spent ~10 years working with top global CPG and Beverage Alcohol companies at Nielsen Innovation (BASES) and at Dr Pepper Snapple Group. After taking a short break to develop and launch an app with a business partner, Jessica returned to data analytics—but this time for weed. BDS Analytics is now her home, and she leads client engagement. BDS Analytics is headquartered in Boulder, CO and is the leader in data, market research, analytics, and consumer insights for the cannabis industry. She helps clients (inside and outside the industry) understand the evolution of the cannabis market and Consumer in order to assess the opportunity and/or threat and drive strategic decisions. AND given her many years spent working within Beverage Alcohol, the interaction, overlap, substitutability, pairing of Cannabis + Alcohol is a particular focus and passion.


Speaker

 Tracey Mason

CEO / House of Saka

Topic: Women, Wine & Weed


Tracey Mason joined CannaCraft in February 2019 after creating innovative products in the CPG space for over 25 years. Her prior experience includes serving as CMO at Terravant Wine Company, SVP of Marketing and Innovation at Purple Wine and Spirits, EVP of Global Marketing for Clos Du Val Winery, VP of Global Innovation at Treasury Wine Estates, Director of Innovation at Diageo and VP of Sales and Marketing at Epic Wines.

Before joining CannaCraft, Mason co-founded House of Saka, a line of luxury, cannabis-infused products while simultaneously serving as President of M3G-Inc, a leading sales and marketing consultancy group she founded in 2013. She has a BA in Politics from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia with further graduate study at Albertus Magnus College in New Haven.


Speaker

 Kathleen Murphy

VP, Innovation & New Business Development / The Family Coppola

Topic: Marketing Lessons from Cannabis; What can Wine Learn?


Kathleen Murphy, Vice President of Innovation and New Business Development, is responsible for establishing new business ventures and unique partnerships for The Family Coppola outside of food and wine. Murphy defines an outside-the-box approach to marketing paired with her ability to meet the vision of Francis Ford Coppola.

Kathleen was responsible for spearheading Francis Ford Coppola’s entrance into the cannabis space with the Coppola Grower’s Series. Leveraging consumer insights from the wine industry and applying them to the cannabis industry, the Grower’s Series is a limited edition collection for cannabis curious consumers to discover, and rediscover, cannabis. The initial Coppola offering is an appellated flower sampling kit with three distinct strains along with smoking accessories.

Kathleen’s professional background includes +15 years of global and domestic wine & spirits industry experience. Prior to joining The Family Coppola, Murphy led the innovation pipeline of new products at Constellation Brands, worked on global teams with Diageo in the Netherlands, managed international brand development for Campari in Monaco, and championed marketing strategies for E&J Gallo in Latin America, Benelux, France and Spain.


Q

Do you think your wine industry experience has given you an advantage of working in the cannabis space?

"Yes, I do feel that my wine and spirit experience has given me an advantage in the cannabis space. However, I feel that the cannabis industry stands to benefit from marketeers of all backgrounds, especially from luxury brands and other agricultural commodities have gone glamorous, such as coffee. Cannabis is getting a facelift and how brands are brought to market and marketed are shaping its future. It’s the job of brands to help demystify highly complex categories, while of course, making sure that the discovery component is still alive. "

Q

Long term, do you feel that the cannabis industry is a threat to wine?

"Cannabis is a reality. It’s here, and it’s coming in a bigger way. Cannabis can be a threat to organizations that don’t embrace the changing consumption landscape. Frankly, I think the wine industry has more things than just cannabis to worry about. "


Speaker

 Ann Peltz

Vice President Marketing / Left Coast Ventures

Topic: Marketing Lessons from Cannabis; What Can Wine Learn?


Ann Peltz is Vice President of Marketing at Left Coast Ventures, a diversified cannabis company specializing in cultivation, manufacturing, brand development and distribution. Left Coast Ventures and its subsidiaries are working to shape the future of the legal cannabis industry in the United States through acquisitions, investments, and incubation while building a respected portfolio of top-shelf brands. Wholly owned, licensed, and distributed brands in Left Coast Venture’s portfolio include Marley Natural™, Mind Your Head™, Headlight™, Chill™, and SoulSpring™.

Previous to joining Left Coast Ventures, Ann was VP Marketing for a wine direct selling business, The Perfect Sip, led marketing efforts for Barefoot Wine and Bubbly at E&J Gallo Winery, owned and operated her own marketing strategy consulting firm, and ran corporate branding at Shaklee, the largest natural nutrition company. She earned her MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and a BA from St. Mary’s College of California.


Speaker

 Ed Rice

Managing Director / Affinity Creative Group

Topic: Marketing Lessons from Cannabis; What can Wine Learn?


Ed Rice serves as Managing Director of the Brand Design team for Affinity Creative Group, a leading agency providing branding and design, digital media and retail activation marketing services for wine, spirits, beer and other image-intensive categories. The firm is located along Officer’s Row on Mare Island, a former Navy base in Northern California.

Ed has over two decades of experience in agency management, account supervision, brand strategy, identity and design, and client development. He began his creative career at Landor Associates, the international brand consultancy, where he built their beverage practice with particular emphasis on wine and spirits. For Landor, Ed eventually opened a Seattle office and studio, with a staff of 60, after leading the team that won the Microsoft account.

Ed also understands what it’s like to be on the client side of the desk, having served as Global Brand & Marketing Director at THX Ltd., the entertainment technology company founded by George Lucas. It was there he learned the value of movie trailers, animated characters and theatrical trade shows.

Early in his career, Ed endured long cruises across the Pacific, directed Naval Gunfire Support exercises and often stood watch on the ship’s bridge as an officer in the U.S. Navy.

Prior to his time at sea, Ed attended the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, earning a BS in Economics. After moving to the west coast, he acquired his MBA from Pepperdine University, graduating summa cum laude.

Ed lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife Caren and a neurotic Border Collie, Maya. Their son, Kevin, is a recent graduate from the University of California, Davis, College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences.


Speaker

 Joe Rogoway

CEO, Managing Attorney / Rogoway Law Group

Topic: The Beverage Industry's Investment in Cannabis; What Does It Mean Long Term?


Joe Rogoway is the CEO and Managing Attorney for Rogoway Law Group, a cannabis focused law firm with offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Santa Rosa. Widely recognized as a thought-leader in the cannabis industry, Joe has dedicated his academic and professional career to cannabis law reform, regulation, and the representation of businesses. As a trial attorney, Joe conducted dozens of jury, bench, and administrative trials. As a political advocate, Joe was the author and co-proponent of several state ballot initiatives seeking to end cannabis prohibition in California. Today, Joe leads the Firm dedicated to assisting businesses with their corporate, compliance and litigation needs. Joe resides in Sonoma County, California with his wife and 2 children.


Speaker

 Alicia Rose

Founder / HerbaBuena

Topic: Leveraging Your Brand Equity; Wineries Partnering with Cannabis


Alicia Rose founded HerbaBuena in 2015 in order to serve the needs and desires of consumers looking for the same purity, quality and sophistication in their cannabis products as they’ve come to expect in their organic food and fine wine. Offering an award-winning product line of full spectrum, therapeutic cannabis products, made from Demeter certified Biodynamic cannabis, HerbaBuena’s mission is to help support healing of people and planet. For Alicia, HerbaBuena is a culmination of all that’s come before including her upbringing on an organic farm, her master’s degree in Environmental Science, and a 17-year career in Napa Valley’s wine industry, during which time she consulted with dozens of ultra-premium wine brands and a handful of 100-point winemakers.


Q

What is your greatest accomplishment in the cannabis industry so far?

"I founded HerbaBuena to help redefine and elevate the dialog and culture around cannabis, and to help establish a new standard for quality - as defined by purity - and the consumer experience. Just one example of how we’ve done this is releasing the state’s first-ever Demeter-certified cannabis. Demeter is a trusted agricultural designation that ensures purity and quality, and is especially important for cannabis given that as an industry we’re unable to use the federal USDA organic designation. As an industry I believe we now have both an opportunity and a duty to do better than those which have come before us. Cannabis has the power to heal, and help us realign our values and expectations around medicine and nourishment as a whole. As a company we’re growing a trusted consumer brand defined by purity, quality and therapeutic benefit – to promote health for people and the planet."

Q

Do you predict that there will be more collaboration or competition between the wine & cannabis industries?

"I’m blessed to have a foot planted firmly in both wine and cannabis, and am incredibly excited about the opportunities for collaboration between the two. Both wine and cannabis are highly prized and highly regulated agricultural products which, in their highest form, have the ability to elevate the human experience. The opportunities for collaboration, in everything from the consumer experience, to shared expertise from things as far reaching as compliance and cultivation, are significant."

Q

What do you think the biggest negative misconceptions are about the cannabis industry?

"The biggest misconception is the idea that cannabis (and hemp for that matter), should never have been made illegal. The fact that we’ve pushed this extraordinary therapeutic healing plant into the shadows, and that the federal government has mislabeled it has a harmful drug, is the reason we face every misconception about this plant and the positive impact it can have in nearly every segment of our modern life."


Speaker

 Devin Ruddick

Direct to Consumer Sales Manager / Hook & Ladder Winery

Topic: Leveraging Your Brand Equity; Wineries Partnering with Cannabis


Devin grew up in Sebastopol, California where he gained an affinity for wine, food, and travel. After attending college at the University of Oregon in Eugene, he returned to California and began working in hospitality while finishing his Bachelor’s degree at Sonoma State University.

Devin joined Hook & Ladder in March 2006, facilitating the grand opening of the tasting room. With the successful launch completed, he left to explore Western Europe. Living mainly in Paris, he was drawn to the role wines played in daily life in the vineyard regions of France.

After his return, he honed his hospitality skills at the winery while eagerly absorbing detailed knowledge of grape growing and winemaking, even working as a member of the harvest team during the 2007 vintage. After two years of bartending and extended travel, Devin came back to his roots in Sonoma County and took over leadership in the Tasting Room and eventually the Direct to Consumer channel at Hook & Ladder Vineyards & Winery.

Devin sits on multiple wine tourism boards and is currently the Vice President on the Executive Board for Wine Road Sonoma County. He and his wife Talena continue to explore wine regions all over the world. They live in Ukiah with their two children, enjoying the abundance and beauty of Northern California. Devin can often be found at the winery pouring in the tasting room and sharing his enthusiasm of wine, music, travel, and sports.


Q

What are the biggest parallels you see between the wine industry & the cannabis industry?

"The Northern CA Wine and Cannabis industries both tell a story rooted in the land, people, technique, and quality. The generational stewardship of land associated with wine and cannabis, along with the ongoing industry innovation, is unlike any other region in the world. The cannabis and wine industries of CA strive to be leaders in production, prestige, education, and advancement. For decades this has been reflected in the acknowledgment and visitation to the area by tourists, consumers, and experts."

Q

Where do you see the future of weed and wine tourism going?

"I see a partnership of the industries in leveraging marketing budgets, telling stories, and executing unique experiences based in the beauty of the land, quality of the product, and hospitality of people."

Q

Do you think canna-tourism will cut into tasting room traffic or drive traffic?

"If the industries do not fully commit to the partnership then neither will obtain the best possible results in terms of driving traffic. At this point, it is too early to tell what the outcome will be, but ultimately it will depend on thoughtful collaboration to get the best visitation results for both respective industries."


Speaker

 Cy Scott

CEO / Headset, Inc.

Topic: Sales and Consumer Trends in the Cannabis Industry


Cy Scott is co-founder and CEO of Headset, Inc., turning retail data into real-time cannabis market insights. Headset helps companies in cannabis succeed by promoting better decision making via market intelligence offerings and operational insights in a sleek, intuitive and easy-to-use package. Prior to founding Headset, Cy co-founded Leafly. Since Leafly’s inception in 2010, Cy helped to grow the site into the world’s leading cannabis information resource, a model of a successful ancillary brand in this new emerging industry. Along with his work at Headset, Cy founded a monthly Cannabis Tech Meetup hosting cannabis entrepreneurs and technology developers, which has now expanded into multiple regions throughout the US. Cy’s favorite strain is Tangie.


Q

What are three predictions you have about the cannabis industry in the next 5 years?

"Federal Legalization: We will see full federal legalization in the US. East Coast Expansion: We will see adult-use adoption in NY and NJ. International Markets: Expansion of medical programs in Latin America and Europe."

Q

How did you get your start being involved with cannabis?

"Got my start when I co-founded Leafly, based on what we were seeing happening in California in 2008/9 with more dispensaries popping up and more acceptance of the industry. The industry has come a long way since then, but still has quite a long way to go yet."

Q

One trend in consumer sales both industries should be watching?

"It’s not just a flower market anymore! New format adoption and demographic expansion as legal markets mature and the industry continue to be more normalized. For example, more Baby Boomers purchasing capsules and topicals, or Generation X buying the largest percentage of vapor pens across all generations. "


Speaker

 Karli Warner

Co-Founder, VP of Marketing & Communications / The Garden Society

Topic: Women, Wine & Weed


Karli began her career in the wine industry at a boutique PR agency in Napa, learning the ropes of pitching and building media relationships while also expanding her wine education. Building her repertoire in food and wine, both professionally and personally, she quickly began exploring other aspects brand and event marketing in those fields. As her career progressed she moved to Constellation Brands, the world’s leading wine company, where she learned firsthand the importance of partnerships and cross-brand collaboration to become a top-tier marketer. Through thoughtful storytelling, pitching and partnerships, Karli landed media coverage for brands on the Today Show, and in national publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Wine Spectator and Food & Wine magazine.

During her time at Constellation, Karli helped launch a wine brand that, at the time, she didn’t know would eventually shift her career from wine to cannabis – which is where her Garden Society story begins. A former wine industry peer, Erin Gore founded Garden Society, a cannabis company focused on women’s wellness, in 2016 and shortly thereafter asked Karli to join the team to lead their marketing and communication efforts. Together and with their third partner, Matthew Bartlett, they have quickly built a well-recognized luxury cannabis brand that has garnered the interest of the Today Show, CNBC, Marie Claire, Los Angeles Times, Forbes and many more.

As she loved telling the story of wine - from vine to glass – she is even more so passionate and personally touched in telling the Garden Society story, from seed to delectable confection. As a working mom and wife to a cancer survivor, she knows the positive wellness impact low-dose edible cannabis can have on the mind, body and soul.


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