Bulletins

Cannabis Conference Program 2023

October 16, 2023

   

Welcome to our Seventh Annual State of the Cannabis Industry Conference!

Scroll to find our full program materials, including the letter from the hosts, conference agenda, all moderator and panelist bios, and sponsor information. For more information, including how to register, visit our event page.

letter from the hosts

On behalf of Burns & Levinson, it is our great pleasure to welcome you to our Seventh Annual State of the Cannabis Industry Conference. Whether you’re in the room or joining us remotely, we’re excited to host a day of fresh insights from cannabis leaders and trailblazers, and we thank them for sharing their experiences in this ever-evolving industry. We hope all our guests leave invigorated and inspired, with new ideas and connections to potential resources and partners.

As we all know, the cannabis industry is at a critical juncture. The current realities of market saturation, lack of capital, growing expenditures, onerous taxation, and more will continue to create challenges for operators and investors. Yet, there is also cause for optimism as rescheduling becomes closer to reality, and the SAFER Banking Act passed out of the Senate Committee on a vote of 14-9 to advance to a full Senate vote. For the first time, the U.S. government has taken steps to indicate support for the legitimization of our industry. While there is a long path ahead, we need to celebrate such progress, as incremental as it may be.

There has never been a more crucial time to bring thought leaders together to address the pressing issues and emerging opportunities our entire industry faces.

In today’s conversations, national industry experts will share ideas and solutions related to these many stressors and look at the possibilities in this new market. We’ll hear from industry leaders disrupting and shaping the cannabis space on topics ranging from receiverships to regulations. We’ll learn about strategies, trends, and developments in the marketplace, as well as firsthand experiences from people paving the way forward.

We extend our gratitude and appreciation to our sponsors, speakers, and Burns & Levinson clients, whose generosity and support have helped make today possible. We would also like to thank you for joining us. We look forward to connecting and hope we can assist you in addressing your legal and business needs as you grow your cannabis business.

Frank Segall wearing a white shirt and a black blazer.

Frank A. Segall

Partner | Chairman, Cannabis Business & Law Advisory | Chairman, Business Law & Finance

Scott Moskol wearing glasses, a light blue shirt, and a gray blazer.

Scott Moskol

Partner | Co-Chair, Cannabis Business & Law Advisory | Co-Chair, Financial Restructuring & Distressed Transactions

agenda

Link to download the Cannabis Conference Agenda PDF here.

interviews

A Conversation with Kimberly Roy

Join us as we conclude our conference with an exclusive one-on-one conversation between Frank A. Segall, Chairman of Burns & Levinson’s Cannabis Business & Law Advisory Group, and Kimberly Roy, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission, for a candid discussion regarding the CCC and the cannabis industry in Massachusetts. Commissioner Roy currently serves as Secretary for the Commission and led the agency’s new Host Community Agreement (HCA) regulations initiative.

  • Kimberly Roy | Commissioner, Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission
  • Frank A. Segall | Chairman, Burns & Levinson Cannabis Business & Law Advisory Group

Fireside Chat: Paving the Way in the Cannabis Industry

Join us for an up-close fireside chat among Frank A. Segall, Chairman of Burns & Levinson’s Cannabis Business & Law Advisory Group, Joe Campanelli, CEO of Needham Bank, and Jason Wild, Executive Chairman of TerrAscend. 

Joe Campanelli, a highly respected veteran in the banking industry, has long understood the need for tailoring financial services to unique industries. In 2020, Joe led Needham’s acquisition of the Century Bank cannabis division, which has become a leading financial institution within the cannabis industry through his leadership. Needham has closed on a number of direct cannabis transactions throughout 2023, ranging in debt size from $6 million to $60 million. They are actively and continually managing a robust pipeline in the space. Joe and his expert team will also lead Needham Bank’s IPO this fall.

Jason Wild achieved early success in the cannabis industry by leveraging his background as a pharmacist to find undervalued specialty pharmaceutical companies and focus on long-term price appreciation. Under Jason’s leadership, TerrAscend is one of the leading MSOs operating in five states with over $250 million in revenue. Jason also recently led TerrAscend’s successful listing on the TSX stock exchange.

Join us as Frank A. Segall, an inaugural National Law Journal “Cannabis Trailblazer,” 2022 Law360 “Cannabis MVP of the Year,” and 2022 Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly “Go To Business Transaction Lawyer,” engages in a lively conversation with these industry pioneers. They will share their perspectives on the cannabis industry and how they intend to continue influencing and shaping its future.

panels

Panel I: Weathering the Storm: Restructurings, Workouts & Distressed M&A

Moderated by: Scott Moskol | Partner, Burns & Levinson

For years, the buzzword “green rush” has largely described the emerging cannabis industry. But as stock prices drop and multiples reduce, MSOs and sellers are questioning whether the industry may be entering a new phase. Join us for a panel conversation among nationwide experts discussing best practices for navigating financial and operational distress from multiple perspectives – investors, secured debt holders, and companies.

Panelists

Panel II: Wading through the Weeds: Navigating Cannabis Branding Issues

Moderated by: Lauren Medeiros Forster | Attorney, Burns & Levinson

Join us for an insightful panel discussion delving into the complex issues surrounding branding within the cannabis industry. The federal illegality of cannabis has posed a difficult environment for cannabis companies to establish a national brand. Traditional branding initiatives, such as omnichannel strategies, face similar roadblocks. Hear from our panel of nationwide experts discussing their experience in establishing brands and developing marketing strategies tailored to the cannabis industry.

Panelists

  • Ryan Crandall | Chief Revenue Officer, MariMed, Inc.
  • Joe Hodas | Chief Marketing Officer, Wana Brands
  • Kurt Junggren | Chief of Revenue, Executive VP, Sales, Marketing, and Strategy, Root & Bloom
  • Patricia Rosi | Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer, Acreage Holdings

Panel III: State of the Industry: Financing Sources

Moderated by: Max Borg | Partner, Burns & Levinson

How is the industry accessing capital? What is the status of the M&A market? How are deals being structured, and who are the active players? Our expert panel consists of capital sources and advisers who offer answers rooted in firsthand experience.

Panelists

  • David Bunzel | Managing Director, Young America Capital
  • James Daley | SVP, Director Structured Finance, Needham Bank
  • Travis Goad | Managing Partner, Pelorus Capital Group
  • Peter Sack | Managing Director & REIT Co-President, Chicago Atlantic Group
  • Robert Sciarrone | Principal, Measure Eight Venture Partners

Panel IV: CEO Roundtable: Exploring Shared Dilemmas

Moderated by: Scott Moskol | Partner, Burns & Levinson

What issues are keeping CEOs up at night? Softening in the market, liquidity, operational risks, financial pressures, and expansion opportunities, to name a few. Join this “all-star” group of leading CEOs, MSOs, and SSOs as they openly discuss the issues facing the cannabis industry and how they are addressing these pressing matters within their respective companies.

Panelists

moderators and interviewers

Max Borg

Max Borg wearing a white collared shirt and a blue blazer.

Max Borg is a partner in Burns & Levinson’s Business Law department and is a member of the Cannabis Business & Law Advisory practice. He advises business operators and founders, license holders, brands, technology and other ancillary businesses, investors and funds operating in the emerging legal cannabis industry.

His cannabis practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, securities offerings, debt financings, restructurings, securities laws compliance, corporate governance, and related commercial transactions. Max also serves as outside general counsel to various licensed cannabis dispensaries, cultivators, and manufacturers, helping them navigate an increasingly complex business and regulatory environment through all stages of the business cycle. Max combines his finely honed legal and business acumen to serve as a trusted dealmaker, helping his clients grow (and eventually sell) their businesses while mitigating risks along the way. His ability to distill complex information regarding how legal issues manifest into business issues creates significant value for his clients, who feel well-educated and empowered to make critical decisions with Max’s counsel.

Lauren Medeiros Forster

Lauren Forster wearing a black shirt and a gray blazer.

Lauren Medeiros Forster is an associate in Burns and Levinson’s Corporate department. Her practice focuses on commercial contracts, mergers & acquisitions, finance, securities, lending, and private equity matters. Her clients range from early-stage and family-owned businesses to well-established national and international operators from various industries, including cannabis.

Lauren represents clients on both the buy and sell side of complex corporate transactions and has represented cannabis operators in capital raises, equity and debt financings, strategic joint ventures, and more. She serves as outside general counsel for cannabis operators and ancillary cannabis businesses and has co-hosted a women-run and targeted event for a nonprofit client focused on sharing new research on the positive effects of cannabis for menopausal women. Lauren is also the founder of the Young Professionals of Cannabis (YPC) networking group, a membership-driven collective of future industry leaders at formative stages in their careers.

Scott H. Moskol

Scott Moskol wearing glasses, a light blue shirt, and a gray blazer.

Scott Moskol is a partner and co-chair of Burns & Levinson’s Financial Restructuring & Distressed Transactions and Cannabis Business & Law Advisory practices, and a member of the Business Law & Finance group. He has developed a national platform representing and counseling clients with respect to all legal issues that may arise in restructurings, workouts, bankruptcies, receiverships, and other insolvency-related matters. Scott’s practice focuses on advising clients with respect to the purchase and/or sale of distressed assets, companies, and loan portfolios. He also represents clients with respect to financing and lending transactions, as well as general corporate matters, sometimes serving as outside general counsel.

Scott has been providing corporate counsel to clients in the cannabis industry since 2013. In 2019, he was named an inaugural “Cannabis Trailblazer” by the National Law Journal. His nationwide base of clients in this growing practice includes investors, lenders, operators of cultivation and dispensary facilities, consultants, and family offices. He is often retained for capital raises, structuring appropriate vehicles for investment in the industry, drafting operative documents, and for general business advice given his involvement as an executive team member of one of his operating entity clients.

Frank A. Segall

Frank Segall wearing a white shirt and a black blazer.

Frank A. Segall leads Burns & Levinson as part of its Executive Committee and as Chairman of the firm’s Business Law & Finance group as well as Chairman of the Cannabis Business & Law Advisory group. Known for his business savvy, thoughtfulness and legal expertise, Frank has helped build the firm’s practice and focus on the needs of growing companies. Frank has helped his clients create, develop, and build synergies, negotiate highly complex and sophisticated transactions, secure billions of dollars of financing, broker strategic partnerships, and expand revenues.

Frank provides counsel to clients in the cannabis industry including investors, lenders, and operators of cultivation and dispensary facilities throughout the country. He was named Law360’s 2022 “Cannabis MVP of the Year” and a “Go To Business Transaction Lawyer” by Mass Lawyers Weekly. He was one of the first leading corporate lawyers to enter the space in 2010 and was named an inaugural “Cannabis Trailblazer” by the National Law Journal. Frank is retained for capital raises, structuring investments, drafting operative documents, and for general business advice in this rapidly growing industry.

panelists

The Honorable Frank J. Bailey

Frank J. Bailey was appointed on January 30, 2009, and served as Chief Judge from 2010 to 2014. He has also served as an appellate judge on the First Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel. He received his undergraduate degree from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service (BSFS in economics) in 1977 and his Juris Doctor from Suffolk University in 1980. Judge Bailey retired from judicial service on June 1, 2022.

Judge Bailey served as judicial law clerk to the Honorable Herbert P. Wilkins of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in 1980-81. He worked as an associate at the Boston office of Sullivan & Worcester LLP, where he practiced in the litigation and corporate restructuring departments before spending twenty-two years as a partner at the firm of Sherin and Lodgen LLP, where he served as the Chairman of the Litigation Department and as a member of the management committee.

Judge Bailey was elected by his peers to serve as the President of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges (“NCBJ”), a position that he held until October 2021. Nearly 100 years old, the NCBJ is the voluntary professional association of federal bankruptcy judges. He has been active in leadership positions in the American Bar Association, including as the Judicial Member at Large on the ABA Board of Governors and as a member of the ABA Executive Committee. In that role he approved amicus briefing and as chair of a board committee he worked on Rule of Law Initiative matters. Judge Bailey served as the Chair of the National Conference of Federal Trial Judges, an ABA entity that includes over 400 federal judges.

Judge Bailey has testified before the United States Congress on matters affecting the federal judiciary, including venue reform and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Judge Bailey is passionate about legal and judicial education. He served on the adjunct faculty at the Boston University School of Law and at New England Law School. He has most recently taught Advanced Business Restructuring at Suffolk University School of Law. He has been active in international judicial training and legal education, including in Argentina, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Russia, Uzbekistan, and Ukraine. He also served as the education chair of the NCBJ.

On June 2, 2022, Judge Bailey joined the Pioneer Public Policy Law Center, a non-profit, public interest law firm as its inaugural president. With a small legal staff and strong relationships with law firms serving as pro bono counsel, the Pioneer Law Center is committed to representing underserved individuals with respect to education equity, economic opportunity, and open government, provided that representation should lead to significant systemic change. The Pioneer Law Center has already enjoyed success at the United States Supreme Court (Tyler v. Hennepin County, MN) and the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (Barron v. Town of Southborough).

Judge Bailey is married to Susan L. Cahill, M.D., FACS, a general surgeon, and has two adult sons. Matthew is a lawyer in Boston and Michael is an environmental analyst for the National Grid Companies in the US.

David Bunzel

David is a Senior Managing Director for Young America Capital’s M&A, Private and Public Markets Group. He has 30+ years of experience as an investment banker and professional investor. David has worked on some of the most significant cannabis raises and transactions in the industry since joining Young America Capital in early 2019. Prior to joining the firm, David led asset management as Chief Investment Officer and Portfolio Manager for Jet Equity, Aletheia Research and Management, Irvine Partners, Nob Hill Capital, and EF Hutton Asset Management.

David guides debt and equity investment strategy for YAC. Partnered with Valerie Bowman, who leads the cannabis group, they have successfully completed multiple M&A and financing transactions in PA, NJ, NY, FL, OK, CA, MA, and MI, as well as other east coast, limited license states.

David specializes in complex debt and equity transactions, structured finance, restructurings, and other significant capital fundraising efforts. David has managed capital raises in excess of $1B in cumulative transactions. An expert in complicated debt, equity, and M&A structures, David has been involved with multi-stage, multi-state, multi-company merger and acquisition transactions and has led and executed large capital raises, including asset disposition, through a proprietary process that he and Valerie have developed.

Joe Campanelli

Joseph Campanelli, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Needham Bank, has been actively engaged in leading transformational change in the financial services industry over the past 30 years and is currently leading Needham Bank’s transformation into a “Super Community Bank.” Known as the Builders Bank, Needham Bank is proud to be the market leader in Cannabis Banking, providing a full suite of customized cash management services and credit facilities to industry participants, employers, and employees.

Joe has had many notable accomplishments throughout his career—leading Hartford National into interstate banking, building Sovereign Bank – New England, and its entry into commercial banking and multi-state acquisitions. Joe was instrumental in leading the turnaround of Flagstar Bank, raising over $1 billion in capital and repositioning the company as a national leader in residential and commercial banking.

He also believes strongly in giving back; he has a long history of community involvement as former Chairman of Tufts Medical Center, Trustee, and Treasurer for the Boys & Girls Club of Boston, Executive Committee member at Mass Business Round Table, Independent Director at First Help Financial, and a Director of the 100 Club of Mass.

Joe graduated from Babson College with high distinction and received his Doctorate of Commerce from Suffolk University. He resides in Wellesley with his wife, Carolyn.

Ryan Crandall

Ryan Crandall has served as Chief Revenue Officer of MariMed, Inc. since 2022, overseeing all revenue generation for the company, including wholesale, retail, and licensing. Prior, Ryan was Chief Product Officer and SVP, Sales for the company, leading sales as well as marketing, product development, and distribution for the company. Under his leadership, MariMed developed a portfolio of award-winning and top-selling brands that meet the needs of cannabis consumers and patients across a wide range of needs and occasions. Ryan co-created Betty’s Eddies, a brand of all-natural, cannabis-infused fruit chews that MariMed acquired prior to Ryan joining the company.

James Daley

James Daley has over 15 years of banking experience as Needham Bank’s Senior Vice President, Director Structured Finance. He’s assisted in the complete restructure of Needham Bank’s Commercial & Industrial Lending Division, which included the establishment of the Bank’s Structured Finance division and the transition of Cash Management services from the Retail network under his leadership.

Prior to joining Needham Bank, Daley was an SVP Team Leader at Customers Bank, managing a portfolio of commercial loans totaling over $300 million. He also managed commercial loan portfolios and served as a credit analyst at banks, including Flagstar Bank, First Trade Union Bank, and Banco Santander (Sovereign Bank).

Daley received a Bachelor of Business Administration from George Washington University with a concentration in International Business.

Terry Fitch

Terry Fitch serves as Chief Executive Officer at Good Day Farm, bringing decades of leadership experience and business expertise. Terry spent over 20 years at Coca-Cola Enterprises and the Coca-Cola Company, leading both domestic and international sales, marketing, supply chain, and manufacturing. After transitioning out of the beverage industry, Terry dove into the world of building and leading hydroponic growing operations in both Colorado and Arkansas. He most recently served as President of Hydrofarm Holdings Group, Inc. In this role, he further established the legacy of Hydrofarm by applying his knowledge of supply chain management, operations, and market share expansion. His time as a leader in the hydroponics industry steered him toward the exciting and rapidly growing cannabis industry.

Terry unifies the efficiency and longevity of Fortune 100 practices with the ingenuity of the hydroponics industry. He brings these qualities, combined with his commitment to active leadership, unwavering dedication to innovation, and continued pursuit of excellence, to the South’s emerging cannabis industry.

Travis Goad

Travis Goad is the managing partner of Pelorus Capital Group (“Pelorus”), the leading provider of commercial real estate loans for the cannabis sector. Goad is responsible for the Pelorus Fund’s strategy, execution, investment origination, and portfolio management and works directly with Dan Leimel, chief executive officer of Pelorus Capital Group and managing director of Pelorus Fund. Travis also serves on the Pelorus Credit Committee, where he helps oversee the origination of new loans and equity investments while assisting cannabis companies that are looking to access capital markets.

Travis brings more than a decade of experience in commercial real estate (“CRE”) investing across the capital stack, new loan origination, commercial mortgage-backed securities, bond trading and investment, synthetic credit index trading, and distressed debt investing in the U.S. and European Union. His background in equity investment spans across all CRE asset classes and distressed mall acquisitions, along with seeding early-stage cannabis sale-leaseback REITs. 

Travis joined Pelorus Equity Group from TG Capital Advisors, a firm he founded that focused on distressed debt advisory, where he successfully advised $1B of distressed debt. Travis holds a Masters in Real Estate Finance from Texas A&M University Mays Business School and a B.A. in Mass Communication from Texas State University.

Matt Hawkins

Matt Hawkins is the founder and managing principal of Entourage Effect Capital (EEC), formerly known as Cresco Capital Partners, a venture capital firm focused specifically on investing in the legalized cannabis industry. Since 2014, the firm has made close to 70 investments invested out of three funds, co-investment vehicles, and special purpose entities.

Matt is known and respected in the cannabis industry as having the vision to become one of the first investors in the industry. He brings long-standing relationships in the industry that compare to very few others in cannabis. He is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Statehouse Holdings Inc. (CSE:STHZ) and a board member of Sunderstorm.

He has helped orchestrate numerous exits for the firm’s investments. He has spoken on countless industry panels and has appeared on CNBC, Fox News, Cheddar, Yahoo Finance, Bloomberg, among others discussing the industry. As a result, he is widely considered to be a thought leader in the legalized cannabis industry.

Prior to the founding of EEC, he was a partner and President of a private real estate investment company which acquired REO and NPL from banks and financial institutions across the country, with particular interest in multifamily residential and self-storage assets. The company completed more than 55 bank-direct acquisitions, deploying over $500MM of capital since Q4 2008. In 2013 alone, the company bought close to 10,000 Class B and Class C value-add multifamily units across the Sunbelt of the United States. At the end of 2013, Matt and his partners sold their interest.

Prior to this, Matt was a Principal/ Co-founder of San Jacinto Partners, a fund focused on the bulk acquisition of single-family residential assets, and the Managing General Partner of Adjacent Capital, L.P., a private equity/specialty lending fund. He was earlier affiliated with Treadstone Partners, L.L.C., a distressed debt and equity fund. He has an extensive background in both turnaround management and private equity.

Prior to joining Treadstone and forming Adjacent Capital and San Jacinto Partners, was associated with Hull & Associates, a regional turnaround management firm. Matt is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin.

Joe Hodas

Joe Hodas serves as Chief Marketing Officer for Wana Brands, where he is responsible for generating revenue by creating innovative and refined marketing campaigns for the organization while helping to grow Wana’s brand, market share, and customer loyalty.

Since joining Wana in 2020, Joe has been on the team that launched new innovative lines–including Quick, Optimals, and Live Rosin Gummies–while expanding Wana’s North American footprint to become a top international cannabis brand. An early professional marketer in the cannabis industry, Joe drove the marketing strategy for Dixie Elixirs as its first CMO, helping build it into one of the most recognized national marijuana brands.

Prior to joining Wana, Joe was CEO at Gofire, an innovator of hardware and software IP designed to change the face of plant-based medicine and mainstream healthcare. As CEO, he guided Gofire’s marketing, product development, software, and sales, helping to bring the company’s first metered-dose inhaler to market while developing the company’s next-generation products intended to redefine how mainstream medicine could be delivered and monitored for adherence and efficacy.

Previously, Joe served as COO for General Cannabis Corporation, a publicly traded company consisting of several ancillary businesses. Joe’s experience also includes positions as Sr. Director of Corporate Communications for Frontier Airlines, as well as agency experience at Vladimir Jones, where he was a partner and Ogilvy Public Relations.

Joe has also taught as an adjunct marketing professor at the University of Denver Daniels College of Business. He graduated from the University of Denver, receiving his master’s degree in mass communications and public relations after earning a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas. Joe serves on the Boards of organizations, including Colorado Leads, Volunteers of America, and The Global Livingston Institute. 

Laurie Holcomb

Laurie Holcomb is CEO of Gold Flora Corporationand has over 25 years of experience in start-ups, turnarounds, executive management, business development, and financing. She is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Gold Flora, a fully compliant, vertically integrated Cannabis Company located in California with licenses in cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, and retail sales. Laurie is also the founder of BlackStar Industrial Properties, a company that purchased 28 acres of raw, unentitled land to build and construct 620,000 SF of industrial space in Desert Hot Springs, CA. This project, known as “Gold Flora Farms,” will be one of the premiere cannabis campuses in California and one of the largest indoor cannabis facilities in the United States at full build-out.

With an extensive background in real estate development, Holcomb is well-versed in compliance and licensing issues that can hamper growth for others unfamiliar with California’s complex maze of environmental, water, and land-rights regulations. Armed with this knowledge, she was able to create a masterful cannabis complex with a rapid build-out at a lower cost than many others who raced into the cannabis gold rush. Holcomb also has an extensive background in startups and restructuring companies.

Laurie has her Bachelor of Science degree from Iowa State University, where she was a four-year Division I athlete in Softball. She also completed her Certificate of Entrepreneurial Leadership from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Laurie holds her California Real Estate Broker’s License since 2005. She was also named “Woman of the Year” by the National Association of Profession Women in both 2011 and 2012. 

Kyle Patrick Judge

Kyle Judge is the Private / Non-Profit Central Region team leader for HUB International’s Professional & Executive Risk (ProEx) team.

Kyle has a decade of experience in the private / non-profit space and joined HUB International in 2016 as an account manager. In 2019, Kyle joined the Cannabis Vertical as one of the lead D&O specialists in the space and acts as HUB’s primary contact for Management Liability Cannabis placements.

Along with his expertise in Private / Non-Profit & cannabis, Kyle works with a variety of other niche products & industries like:

  • Universities & Schools
  • Small Transaction Reps & Warranties Placements
  • Crypto related risks

Before joining HUB, Kyle worked as a Placement Specialist at a global firm concentrated on Middle Market Management Liability products. Kyle started his career on the carrier side underwriting Middle Market Management Liability for the Midwest region and Southern California. Kyle is a 2013 graduate of Illinois State University and based in Chicago, Illinois. 

Kurt Junggren

Kurt Junggren is a celebrated brand builder in the cannabis sector. Kurt is currentlythe Chief of Revenue and Executive Vice President at Root & Bloom in Salisbury, Massachusetts. Since early 2023, his adept brand strategy and visionary leadership have been instrumental in launching new products, directing statewide distribution, and refining the company’s brand presence.

In Denver, as the founder of The Link Brands, Kurt’s brand-centric approach transformed the startup into Colorado’s top cannabis sales and distribution powerhouse within a short span. This culminated in its acquisition by a leading cannabis retailer in September 2020. As its subsequent General Manager, Kurt continued to hone the brand, championing acquisitions and market expansions.

Within the cannabis industry, Kurt has also held pivotal executive roles at MiNDFUL and TR Concentrates, helping to build those brands in Colorado. 

Kurt also spent many years in the alcohol sector, where he excelled as the National Vice President of Sales at Glass Distillery and Brand Director at Phillips Distilling Company.

Beyond his achievements, Kurt’s unique blend of brand expertise and leadership has consistently delivered innovation and market growth.

Stewart Kim

As the founder of PGP, Stewart Kim has developed the firm’s strategy and led the organization since its inception in 2003.   From the beginning, his core vision for PGP has been to assist leaders of emerging companies in realizing their businesses’ full potential by providing familiarity with institutional capital and guidance to raise growth capital or execute a sale.  

Stewart has broad, senior-level experience in the financial services industry, starting his career in the Investment Banking Group at Merrill Lynch in New York.  While at Merrill Lynch, Stewart was involved with a wide variety of high-yield financings, restructurings, divestitures, and acquisitions. Significant transactions in which Stewart played a key role include the $2.4 billion RJR Nabisco Holdings leveraged buyout restructuring and the sale of Blockbuster Entertainment to Viacom for $8.9 billion, where he led the execution of the deal.  In addition, as a Vice President in the 70-employee Mergers & Acquisitions group, Stewart had M&A industry client origination responsibilities for the gaming and paper/forest products sectors. Also, he assumed formal group-wide management responsibilities for performance reviews, project assignments, and recruiting.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa appointed Stewart as Commissioner of the City of Los Angeles Affordable Housing Commission in 2010. Stewart also serves on the Board of Directors of US Metro Bank and several non-profit organizations, including The Korea Society.

Stewart earned his BA in Economics at Dartmouth College and his MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Jon Levine

Jon Levine has been Chief Executive Officer and President of MariMed, Inc. since 2023 and a director of the company since 2016. He co-founded the company with his dear friend and “brother” Bob Fireman, who passed away in 2022 as Chairman of the Board and CEO. Prior to his current role, Jon served as MariMed’s President since 2022 and, before that, as Chief Financial Officer since its inception in 2012. A seasoned executive with over 10 years of experience in the legal cannabis industry, he brings a broad range of operations, financial services, real estate transactions, and healthcare management experience to his role navigating the company through its growth and expansion. Through his leadership, MariMed has become one of the strongest and most financially sound companies in cannabis. Prior to entering the industry, Jon worked for 13 years in credit management and as a controller in the banking and manufacturing industries. Additionally, he has over 19 years of experience in commercial real estate development, management, and financial services.

Tom Lynch

Tom Lynch, Founder of Emerald Peak Partners, has over two decades of experience in capital markets and a deep focus on restructuring, workouts, recapitalizations, M&A, secondary market transactions, as well as strategic planning and execution for cannabis companies.

Tom’s most notable engagement was the CEO and CRO role of a publicly traded, United States-based cannabis company with 29 retail stores and 6 cultivation facilities and was later appointed as the Chairman of the Board of Directors. Tom focused on day-to-day operations, cash flow, and rebuilding relationships with key stakeholders, vendors, and communities. He secured ~$170mm in total new financing alongside restructuring of primary senior debt facility and eliminating senior debt through M&A transaction and transforming working capital issues. He reduced in cash rent impact of $12mm+ and improved the retail EBITDA by ~$140mm annualized adjusted over six quarters.

Before joining Emerald Peak Partners, Tom co-founded and was Managing Partner of Woods Hole Capital, where he was responsible for executive management and strategic direction of the firm, including risk management, portfolio management, operations, and leadership. Prior to founding Woods Hole Capital, Tom was the Chairman and CEO of Frederick’s of Hollywood Group, a publicly traded company.

Tom also served as CEO of Mellon HBV (later renamed Fursa Alternative Strategies), a risk arbitrage fund that moved towards event-driven less liquid positions. He held executive positions with UBS Global Asset Management and the Dreyfus Corporation, and was a Managing Director of Mellon Institutional Asset Management, where he was a member of the Senior Management Committee and had direct executive responsibility for a $38 billion AUM business. While at Mellon, Tom founded and launched Mellon’s first Alternative Asset Management distribution group.

Tom graduated from St. Anselm College and has a distinguished career in the asset management business.

Patricia Rosi

With over ten years of cannabis leadership experience, Patricia is widely recognized as a top female executive in the industry and a sought-after advisor on strategy, management, and consumer trends. Additionally, she is a champion of social responsibility and believes that managing by values is what drives the bottom line. 

Before joining Acreage, Patricia served as the CEO of Wellness Connection of Maine, the state’s leading, vertically integrated cannabis operator. Throughout her tenure, Patricia established the company’s operations comprising four state-licensed dispensaries and state-of-the-art cultivation, processing, and manufacturing facilities.

As CMO of Acreage, she leads the development of house brands and retail experience, marketing communications, and product development. She acts as a catalyst for strategic initiatives such as partnerships and innovation, including new products, technology, packaging as well and sustainability efforts.

Patricia is a passionate and result-oriented executive with vast global experience in the areas of business strategy, marketing, communications, and branding. Originally from France, she brings decades of experience as a creative and marketing leader at international advertising networks for CPG clients such as Danone, Kraft, and Procter and Gamble.

Kimberly Roy

Commissioner Kimberly Roy was appointed to the Cannabis Control Commission in July 2021 by former Governor Charlie Baker.

Since then, Commissioner Roy has led several notable public health and public safety initiatives, including a partnership with the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, AAA Northeast, and additional stakeholders to create and implement Shifting Gears, a Commission approved curriculum to educate teens on the risks of cannabis-impaired driving– the first of its kind in the nation. Serving on the commission’s public health seat, she has also focused on educating the public about safe and responsible consumption and youth prevention and has penned several op-eds to this end.

Commissioner Roy is an advocate for cannabis research funding, as well as removing barriers to veterans’ access to medical marijuana. She is also focused on outreach to older Americans, seeing a need for more information around the newly regulated cannabis market. Commissioner Roy developed an informational and educational presentation specifically designed for this demographic.

Commissioner Roy currently serves as Secretary for the Commission and oversees the work of the agency’s Host Community Agreement (HCA) Working Group, which is currently reviewing and updating the Commission’s HCA regulations to comply with Chapter 180 of the Acts of 2022: An Act Relative to Equity in the Cannabis Industry. She is also the liaison to the research subcommittee of the Cannabis Advisory Board.

Commissioner Kimberly Roy has an extensive background in public safety and substance use disorder prevention having served over a decade as a member of the leadership team at the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office. In her capacity as Director of External Affairs and Communications, Commissioner Roy oversaw the Department’s communications, community outreach programs and co-authored its Face2Face substance use disorder prevention and education program, which recognizes the impact of the addiction crisis on the criminal justice system and focuses on youth.

In addition, Commissioner Roy continues to serve as a Board Member for the Worcester County Reserve Deputy Sheriff’s Association, which sponsors annual charitable events for under-served and at-risk communities in Worcester County. Previously, she worked as a Hospital Representative for Johnson & Johnson, for their anti-infective/analgesic division. She also served on the Board of Trustees for Quinsigamond Community College from 2017-2021.

Commissioner Roy holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Western New England University and Master’s Degree in Professional Communication from Clark University.

Peter Sack

Peter is a Managing Director at Chicago Atlantic and serves as Co-President of Chicago Atlantic Real Estate Finance, Inc., our affiliated mortgage REIT. Peter is a credit investor and portfolio manager with experience investing across the capital structure. Prior to joining Chicago Atlantic, Peter was a Principal at BC Partners Credit, where he sourced and underwrote across the firm’s opportunistic and senior lending strategies in a wide array of industries. Peter managed the portfolio of BC Partners Lending Corporation, a private business development company with assets of over $100 million deployed in middle-market private loans. Peter also founded the firm’s cannabis vertical and has underwritten over $1.0 billion in related transactions. Previously, Peter was an Associate at Atlas Holdings LLC, a private equity firm focused on supporting distressed manufacturing and distribution companies globally. Peter speaks Mandarin, Chinese, and Spanish.

Peter received his MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and his B.A. at Yale University, where he graduated Cum Laude. He was also a Fulbright Scholar at Sun Yat-sen University in China with the U.S. Department of State.

Jacques Santucci

As the President of Opus Consulting, Jacques brings years of leadership experience in the entertainment, tourism, financial services, and technology industries. Over the past few years, Jacques has been instrumental in bringing alive a number of business startups and engineering corporate turnarounds. His expertise lies within business strategy and management, new business ventures, accounting, process improvement, financial systems, planning and analysis, and sales and marketing strategy. Prior to founding Opus Consulting, Jacques began his career at Ernst & Young and Universal Pictures in Paris, France. Since moving to the US in 1999, Jacques has held several executive positions and engaged in an array of consulting assignments. Since 2011, he has developed an expertise in the legal cannabis industry, assisting clients navigate the complex and evolving challenges of a cannabis business. He has been approved as a Receiver for cannabis operations in the State of Massachusetts, where he is leading one of the first cases of receivership in the cannabis industry. Jacques is a member of the board of directors for the Turnaround Management Association’s (TMA) Northeast Chapter.

Ed Schmults

Edward Schmults has more than 30 years of experience in global branded consumer products, omnichannel retail, product development, finance, operations, IT, and green and socially responsible businesses. He held CEO roles at FAO Schwarz and Wild Things Gear, and COO roles at Patagonia and Red Envelope, where product quality and customer experience drive the success of brands. In addition, Ed has strong operational experience, having set up and improved warehouse, logistics, and technology infrastructure at five different companies. Since 2018, Ed has utilized his extensive knowledge as the CEO of Calyx Peak Companies (“CPC”). In his role at CPC, he set the company vision and direction in multiple states. CPC oversaw licensed facilities for cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, and distribution in California; cultivation and manufacturing in Ohio; and cultivation in Nevada.

Ed has spoken at numerous cannabis investor conferences as well as at MJBizCon, the cannabis industry annual trade show. Ed began his career in investment banking at Goldman, Sachs & Company. Ed is also on the board of Vera Bradley and the Board of Advisors of First Insight, a predictive data analytics company. He is a former Vice Chairman of the Board of REI, the large national outdoor retail company. Ed holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in Economics and Political Science from Yale University.

Robert Sciarrone

Robert Sciarrone is a Principal at Measure 8 and has advised on more than $1.3 billion of cannabis transactions. He focuses on tech opportunities ranging from genetics, AgTech, and bio-synthetics to the SaaS platforms forming the backbone of the emerging global cannabis industry. As a strategic advisor to Curaleaf Holdings, Robert contributed to the operational and M&A strategy that propelled Curaleaf to its present position as the world’s largest cannabis company. Over the past four years, he has analyzed hundreds of cannabis and ancillary businesses from seed stage to pre-public. Mr. Sciarrone started his career at Ecolab, a Fortune 300 Water, Hygiene, and Energy Technologies company, holding multiple roles in cross-border business development, global FP&A, and deal structuring.

Darren Weiss

Darren Weiss is deeply involved in Verano at every level and applies his well-honed management and analytical skills across the organization to help streamline processes, standardize operations, and bolster performance. From conceptualization to design and implementation, Darren leverages his many years of regulatory and corporate experience to bring professionalism and efficiency across the company. A cannabis industry veteran and seasoned operations leader and corporate attorney, Darren is also a frequent author and speaker on legal and operational issues affecting the commercial cannabis industry and is widely viewed as a cannabis industry thought leader.

Darren joined Verano as General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer and rose to Chief Operating Officer after leaving his position as a Principal at a large law firm, where he headed up the firm’s cannabis practice. Instrumental in the formation and organization of cannabis companies across the U.S., Darren has worked with privately- and publicly held cannabis companies on corporate financing, drafting and negotiating investment documents, licensing agreements, and vendor contracts, and providing business advice and counsel on competitive licensing applications and cannabis business design and strategy. Darren has been counsel to both investors and cannabis businesses, has helped close multi-million-dollar transactions, and has provided counsel in the creation of multi-state brands and products.

Darren currently sits on the Executive Committee and Board of the Maryland Wholesale Medical Cannabis Trade Association, was named to the Baltimore Business Journal‘s 40 Under 40 List, was awarded the 2016 Innovator of the Year prize, and is identified as a 2017 People to Know in the Law. Darren received his bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from Washington University in St. Louis and his Juris Doctorate cum laude from George Mason University School of Law. Prior to law school, Darren worked as a business consultant providing performance management and business operational consulting services for public and private-sector clients.

Jason Wild

Jason Wild is the President & Chief Investment Officer of JW Asset Management, an SEC-registered investment adviser with more than $500 million in assets under management. Starting his first fund in 1998 with under $100,000 in assets, Jason achieved early success by leveraging his background as a pharmacist finding undervalued, specialty pharmaceutical companies and focusing on long-term price appreciation.

After building a strong track record as a stock picker, Jason expanded his investment universe and applied his experience and extensive healthcare network to private equity opportunities. He has since established himself as a highly respected investor and sought-after partner for both public and private companies. His Firm’s 20+ year audited track record is a testament to consistently sourcing quality deal flow, identifying exceptional investment opportunities, and adding significant value as both a portfolio manager and trusted business partner.

thank you to our sponsors

Platinum

Needham Bank is often called “The Builder’s Bank” based on our decades-long reputation for helping builders and developers with commercial and residential building projects throughout Boston and the MetroWest.

Over time, the Bank has grown its commercial capabilities and expanded its offerings to serve additional industries, including the marijuana sector. Our cannabis banking team, led by industry pioneer Paul Evangelista, was the first to bank cannabis-related businesses in the Commonwealth, so you won’t find a more experienced and knowledgeable cannabis banking team to help grow your business.

We offer sophisticated banking services to dispensaries, cultivators, wholesalers, testing labs and CBD/Hemp businesses across the United States in a safe, secure and compliant way. We provide full-service banking for your business including loans, deposit accounts and cash management services. We are also aware of the challenges employees of cannabis-related businesses face when it comes to banking. We are ready, willing and able to serve the financial needs of your dedicated employees in-person or online, whether they need deposit accounts, mortgages or other personal banking products and services.

HUB International is a leading full-service global insurance broker and financial services firm providing risk management, insurance, employee benefits, retirement and wealth management products and services throughout North America, with a dedicated Cannabis Practice that specializes in providing customized coverage solutions for cannabis-related businesses. HUB works with a wide away of companies within the cannabis industry, including but not limited to cultivators, processors & harvesters, manufacturers, wholesalers & distributors, transport, retailers & dispensaries, laboratories, landlords & property managers, investors & consultants, medical & legal professionals, garden stores and smoke shops.

As the leading insurance broker for northeast cannabis businesses, our seasoned team of experts understands the many unique coverage limitations and exclusions that can leave cannabis businesses exposed. Through deep industry knowledge and market clout, HUB offers custom risk and insurance solutions that enable cannabis business operators to focus on maximizing their growth and profits, with the peace of mind that what matters most will be protected. 

For more information on HUB International’s Cannabis Practice, please visit www.hubinternational.com/cannabis or contact:

Michael Zeldes

Senior Vice President, HUB International Northeast

Direct: 212-​338-2353 | michael.zeldes@hubinternational.com

Kyle Patrick Judge

Vice President, Management Liability, Cannabis & Transaction Risk, HUB International

Direct: 312-279-4993 | kyle.judge@hubinternational.com

Gold

KindTap Technologies, LLC is a financial technology platform that offers a private label revolving credit payment solution for highly regulated industries typically driven by cash. KindTap has partnered with several technology companies, including Aeropay and Payomi, to provide merchants and end customers the KindTap credit product for e-commerce and in-store shopping. Founded in 2019, the company is backed by several strategic investors, with debt capital from U.S.-based institutions. www.KindTap.com

Marcum is a national accounting and advisory services firm dedicated to helping entrepreneurial, middle-market companies and high net worth individuals achieve their goals.

Since 1951, clients have chosen Marcum for our insightful guidance in helping them forge pathways to success, whatever challenges they’re facing.

Marcum offers a complete spectrum of tax, assurance and advisory services. Marcum’s industry-focused practices offer deep insight and specialized services to privately held and publicly registered companies, and nonprofit and social sector organizations. The Firm also provides a full complement of technology, wealth management, and executive search and staffing services.

Headquartered in New York City, Marcum has offices in major business markets across the U.S. and select international locations. #AskMarcum

As an award-winning local bank with over $1.5 billion in assets, North Easton Savings Bank is uniquely situated to provide personal and business banking and lending solutions to southeastern Massachusetts. Founded in 1864, North Easton Savings Bank has a proven track record of growing the community through fair banking practices, financial advising, and local philanthropy. Looking forward, the Bank is well-positioned as the preferred area banking partner with a powerful combination of convenient features like mobile and online banking and the personal, hometown touch of a local bank. North Easton Savings Bank is fully insured by the FDIC and the DIF and is an Equal Housing Lender. For more information, please visit NorthEastonSavingsBank.com.

Opus Consulting is a business performance advisory firm that helps businesses and executive leadership teams transform, innovate, and accelerate their operations, creating solutions to empower businesses. Launched in 2009 by founder Jacques Santucci, Opus has grown to provide strategic management and turnaround services to clients facing operational challenges and uncertainty across the U.S. With a deep understanding of clients in regulatorily complex industries such as cannabis and alcoholic beverages, hospitality, food, and beverage, agriculture, energy, and with North American Indian Tribes, Opus management consultants leverage their networks and experience in uncertain environments to help businesses and executive leadership teams thrive. Learn more at opuscg.com.

Bronze

CPower Energy is the leading, national DER monetization and Virtual Power Plant provider, creating the Customer-Powered Grid™ that will enable a flexible, clean and dependable energy future. With 6.3 GW of capacity at more than 19,000 sites across the U.S., we unlock the full value of distributed energy resources to strengthen the grid when and where reliable, dispatchable resources are needed most. CPower is based in Baltimore, Maryland, and is owned by LS Power, a development, investment and operating company focused on the power and energy infrastructure sector. For more information, visit: www.cpowerenergy.com.

With over 77,000 private cannabis businesses, 200,000 cannabis licenses, 130,000 decision-makers, and 1,700 listed cannabis-related securities, CRB Monitor serves as a “single source of truth” on cannabis-related businesses and their beneficial owners, enabling organizations to effectively reveal connections, evaluate risk, and make decisions with confidence. CRB Monitor’s founder and CEO, Steven Kemmerling, was the first to lay out the now widely adopted risk-tiering framework to differentiate types of cannabis-related businesses and perceived risk in his 2016 ACAMS Today white paper Defining Marijuana-Related Businesses. These cannabis-related taxonomies, and the data within the CRB Monitor platform, are now relied upon by financial institutions as they seek to understand the industry and to formulate relevant and effective policies and procedures.

ELEVATE Northeast Events and Education, Inc. is a woman- and minority-founded 501(c)3 nonprofit organization created to support the Northeast US’s growing cannabis industry and the corresponding need for workforce and community education, advocacy, and networking. And because cannabis businesses cannot succeed without inclusion of multiple perspectives, an educated community, and informed customer base, ELEVATE’s mission is to empower underrepresented populations to work and lead in the cannabis industry, and to empower our communities to be educated customers and responsible consumers. Learn more at elevatene.org.

Lighthouse Biz Solutions LLC, a Subsidiary of GFA Federal Credit Union, has been the serving the legal cannabis market since 2018 and as such we understand the nuances, respect the challenges, and are proud to serve as your trusted advisor. We have processed over $3 billion in cannabis deposits in a compliant yet personal manner. 

Our philosophy is compliance, balanced by high-touch service. We assign each client a dedicated Concierge Banker to deliver a turnkey program designed to meet your financial needs. From a simple application process, to turnkey solutions, we’ve got you covered.

Northern Bank is a full-service bank dedicated to providing practical, common sense financial solutions to help our customers’ lives and businesses grow. From deposit products to loans to payment and collections services, we work hands on with our entrepreneurial customers, both locally and across the country, to provide the financial support they need to realize their personal and business goals. Founded in 1960, Northern Bank has 13 locations serving communities throughout Middlesex County, Massachusetts. Northern Bank is a Member of the FDIC, and an Equal Housing Lender.

Shield Compliance transforms how financial institutions manage risk, comply with regulations, and satisfy operational demands associated with serving the legal cannabis industry. Its purpose-built BSA/AML compliance management software solution sits behind the financial institution to simplify compliance management, accelerate the new client application and underwriting process, and enable digital payments. The Shield compliance management platform aggregates financial institutions’ transaction data and demographic records with restricted and publicly available information from state and local governments, seed-to-sale tracking, and client financial statements. 

With Shield, banks and credit unions can take advantage of the opportunity to grow their portfolios, gain an early mover advantage on new relationships, and benefit from low-cost deposits and non-interest income that come from cannabis-related businesses – all while protecting themselves from the risks associated with serving this industry. 

For more information, please visit https://www.shieldbanking.com or contact info@shieldbanking.com

Wifi

AAFCPAs is the premier CPA and consulting firm based in New England and considered an attractive alternative to national CPA firms by discerning clients who appreciate exceptional value. We have been deeply immersed in serving cannabis businesses since 2012, including dispensaries, growers, distributors, retailers, and other commercial enterprises. We were the first full-service CPA and Consulting firm to represent Massachusetts cannabis companies. Our multi-disciplinary team includes CPAs, CFOs, consulting estate planning & Tax Attorneys, wealth advisors, as well as business valuation and IT & Cyber security professionals. AAFCPAs has a suite of proven solutions, and the depth & expertise to support your current and evolving needs.

Lanyard

Withum is a forward-thinking, technology-driven advisory and accounting firm committed to helping clients be more profitable, efficient and productive in today’s complex business environment. With offices in major cities and financial centers across the country, and as an independent member of HLB, the global advisory and accounting network, Withum serves businesses and individuals on a local-to-global scale. We provide the expert advice and innovative solutions you need to help your business grow and thrive – to Be in a Position of Strength℠. Get to know us at www.withum.com.

receive news & alerts

Yes! I’d like to receive updates with firm news and insights that are relevant to me!