It has been said that all good things must come to an end, and so too must the Marijuana Investor Summit. Entrepreneurs, investors, and exhibitors came together over the course of three days to share ideas and techniques to make our industry better.
Day three of the Marijuana Investor Summit was much more relaxed than the others. There was an air of familiarity among those that walked the halls of the conference. Former strangers were greeting one another in the hallways and unfamiliar faces transformed into old friends.
The morning kicked off with three spectacular panels. David Friedman of Marijuana Investor News moderated a panel on giving back to the industry. The panelists included Taylor West of the National Cannabis Industry Association, Kelley Crosson of the Marijuana Policy Project, Ellen Flenniken of the Drug Policy Alliance and Betty Aldworth of Students for Sensible Drug Policy. The panel was an excellent reminder that investing in advocacy organizations is a way to protect your cannabis investments.
Matt Mills of Pacific Shore and Tom Quigley of Common Bond Collaborative led a private pitch session for accredited investors who were looking to invest in cannabis startups. Giadha DeCarcer and John Kagia of New Frontier Financials and Mike Hesser of Verabis led a panel on research, data, and its future impact on the industry.
“This is the sort of thing where layering different sets of data onto each other starts yielding insights that reveal the way the market is played,” Kagia told the audience.
The rest of the day was filled with informative panels, such as “Finding & Attracting Capital” with Scott Greiper of Viridian Capital Research and “Key Legislation” with Marc Ross of Sichenzia Ross and Michael McGregory of SmithAmundsen. Wherever you went there was knowledge to be found; and despite two dizzying days and nights of panels and networking, the audience was still rapt with attention.
The honor of the closing keynote address fell upon Allison Graham of Alpha Girl Productions and Spike Humer of MediJane and Bud Magazine. The subject of the final address was “Where do we go from here?” While many speakers shared their predictions of what the market would look like, Humer and Graham sagely suggested that, given the ever-changing landscape, it was too early to predict.
This honest admission of not knowing underpinned their message that those that are limber enough to adapt to changing circumstances will flourish. “If you look at the businesses that have succeeded the most over time,” said Humer, “it’s because they had the ability to look at things from an innovative perspective.”
Upon further reflection, there was one noticeable theme throughout the summit: cooperation. The phrase most often used was “a rising tide lifts all boats”; and that was precisely the attitude of everyone in attendance. Regardless of whether you were a venture capitalist, a budding entrepreneur or even a journalist, it seemed like everyone wanted everyone else to succeed.
You do not see that level of collaboration in many industries, especially when there is so much money on the line. The marijuana industry may not miraculously change over night because of the Marijuana Investor Summit, but a seed was certainly planted; and as Allison Graham said in her closing remarks, “All great revolutions start with just planting a seed.”