We're Live! Watch the Cannabis Forum for Food & Beverage.
Live from the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel on Friday, December 6th from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM PT. Tune into food and beverage industry discussions centered around the emerging cannabis space. Conversations will cover cannabrand building, challenges for entrepreneurial cannabis brands, the financial environment, tipping points in regulation, and the current state of the market.
Some of the Brands Registered to Attend
Cannabis Forum Winter 2019 Speakers
There are more to come. Stay tuned for additional speaker announcements!
Dr. John Oram
CEO and Founder, NUG
Dr. John Oram is CEO and Founder of vertically-integrated cannabis company NUG, which operates the highest volume cannabis extraction facility in California, producing the majority of concentrates and other infused cannabis products sold in California under the NUG label and other leading brands. John holds Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in environmental chemistry and engineering from the University of California Los Angeles and bachelor’s degrees in analytical chemistry and biochemistry from the University of Colorado at Boulder. A veteran of the industry since the early 2000s, John possesses extensive knowledge on how to operate a successful cannabis company from seed to sale. Prior to founding NUG, he co-founded CW Analytical Laboratories--recognized as the most trusted analytical laboratory in the state--to establish standardized testing and certification protocols in order to ensure the safety and quality of medical cannabis.
Partner, Margolin & Lawrence
Allison was one of the first lawyers to specialize in cannabis and has built a burgeoning practice over the last 15 years that is unrivaled in the space. A graduate of Harvard Law School and Columbia University, Allison combines top credentials and an extensive depth of experience in cannabis business law, with a lifelong passion for cannabis policy reform. In her current focus on cannabis business regulation and compliance, Allison has guided her clients— licensed dispensaries, growers and manufacturers— through the complex and ever-changing laws and regulations governing medical and adult-use cannabis.
Head of Beverage, Caliva
Chris Cuvelier is Head of Beverage at Caliva. Chris started his career focused on beverages, working in the juice and smoothie industry before taking a life-changing trip to Brazil in 2001 where he fell in love with Açaí and was inspired to start Zola. A few years later, he expanded Zola to include Coconut Water, his favorite hydration drink after a good surf session. In 2016 Zola was sold to growth investors KarpReilly and Chris stayed on as CEO doubling down on his passion for delicious plant-based drinks. In late 2018, Caliva’s CEO, Dennis O’Malley and Chris were speaking about disruption at a beverage conference in 2018. Chris had long seen Cannabis as the ultimate plant-based ingredient and began consulting for Caliva soon after meeting Dennis. Recognizing the opportunity to be a leader in cannabis beverages, Caliva acquired Zola in May 2019 to quickly accelerate Caliva into the cannabis infused beverage category.
Managing Partner, Privateer Holdings
Michael’s finance expertise and business management talents are honed by more than a decade in investment banking, private equity, and consulting. Beyond his executive role in acquisitions and investments, his career has immersed him in nearly every aspect of business development and operations, across a spectrum of consumer and B-to-B industries. Principal at Herrington, Inc. Michael joined Herrington, Inc., a private equity and development firm, in 2006 and led a range of development and business ventures for the firm. As COO of Ridge Capital Partners and COO of Gaillardia Development Company, Michael was responsible for planning, marketing, and operating both development projects and existing companies across the country. Vice President at de Visscher & Company. During his time at de Visscher & Company, a private equity, investment banking, and consulting firm based in Greenwich, CT, Michael led major assignments in the valuation, refinance, acquisition, and sale of publicly traded as well as privately held companies. His experience in a variety of industries includes software development, healthcare, energy, real estate, textiles, retail, and hospitality. Harding University: BBA Yale School of Management: MBA Michael lives in Seattle with his wife and two children.
Cy has been involved in the professional cannabis industry for over five years. In 2010, Cy co-founded Leafly, and helped grow the company into one of the most well-respected brands in cannabis and had a successful exit with Privateer Holdings. Cy’s latest venture is Headset, a SaaS platform providing actionable insights and business intelligence services for the emerging cannabis industry. Cy has experience in building companies, product management and engineering and development.
Partner, Privateer Holdings
Christian’s combination of professional accomplishments and business vision give Privateer Holdings a uniquely well-positioned partner. His more than 10 years of strategic sales, operations, and management experience has consistently been in new commercial frontiers and instrumental in the emerging legal cannabis industry. Director of Sales at SVB Analytics. Christian was pivotal in growing its client base from 200 to 2500. He specialized in early stage, venture-backed companies focused on hardware, software, life science, and clean tech. Advisor for AB 223 Compassionate Use Act of 1996 (Hon. Tom Ammiano). This bill would make findings and declarations regarding medical marijuana, as well as provide that it is the intent of the Legislature to improve the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 and the states' medical marijuana program by establishing a comprehensive and multidisciplinary commission that is empowered to address issues regarding the legality and implementation of the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 and the states' medical marijuana law. Director at Nextel Communications. Christian created the corporation’s national affinity marketing program. He served as a subject matter expert in Transportation/Logistics' vertical partnering with key industry associations through speaking engagements, conferences, and sponsorships, elevating Nextel’s position as the premier wireless solutions provider. Christian is married with two children. He has competed professionally in mountain biking.
Founder & CEO, Willow Industries, Inc.
Jill Ellsworth is founder and CEO of Willow Industries, Inc., which provides state-of-the-art, ozone-based technology for post-harvest microbial decontamination. Upon launching Willow Industries in 2015, Jill’s aim was—and remains—to protect consumers and patients by helping producers put clean, safe product on the market. Willow’s technology has proven to reduce yeast, mold, bacteria, mildew, E.Coli, and other dangerous pathogens, all while protecting the medicinal properties of the plant. The introduction of the WillowPureSM system to the market has provided growers a solution to passing newly set state regulation standards. Fueled by her passion for innovation and dedication to healthier living, Jill is a vocal advocate for the cannabis industry’s adoption of FDA-like standards and proactive promotion of safety measures. Jill serves on the Cannabis Health and Safety Advisory Committee for the City of Denver and is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a Master’s of Science in Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Science. She also has tremendous experience in HAACP plans, pasteurization techniques, and food safety. Prior to launching Willow Industries in 2015, Jill founded Vibrant Earth Juices (VEJ), a cold-pressed organic juice company, in 2010 and later parlayed VEJ into a beverage distribution company. In 2013, Jill was named Female Entrepreneur of the Year in Emerging Business by the Santa Barbara Women's Economic Ventures group. Most recently, Jill was selected by Marijuana Business Daily as one of their 2019 Women to Watch in Cannabis. She has also been honored by cannabis lifestyle magazine, GreenDorphin, as one of the 20 Most Influential Women in Cannabis and Industry Leaders Magazine as one of the Influential Businesswomen in the Cannabis Industry. She recently closed a $2 million Series Seed round for Willow.
Founder & CEO, Grasslands
Ricardo Baca is a 20-year veteran journalist, keynote speaker and thought leader in modern media and drug policy circles. He served as The Denver Post’s first-ever marijuana editor and founded news vertical The Cannabist, where he extensively covered the advent of adult-use cannabis and related issues across the country and around the world. In 2016, Mr. Baca launched Grasslands: A Journalism-Minded Agency to work directly with business leaders in highly regulated industries, including cannabis, energy, hemp and healthcare. He has received numerous accolades for his trailblazing work covering drug policy, cannabis business and culture, and continues to columnize and host podcasts for a number of top publications. Mr. Baca was named Marketer of the Year by AdCann in 2019.
Director of Products, SoRSE Technology
Hillary Brown brings over twenty years of experience in the culinary industry, six years in the cannabis space, and five years specializing in product development to the team. Prior to SoRSE, she was the Head of Research and Development at Botanica Seattle where she focused on flavor palatability and supported the development of multiple award-winning products including the Moxey Mint (#1 edible in WA State). Hillary owned a chocolate company, Restless Chocolates, and contributed recipes for “Grow Your Own: Understanding, Cultivating, and Enjoying Cannabis.”
Founder & CEO, Ojai Energetics
Will Kleidon founded Ojai Energetics in 2014. His goal was to provide the purest, healthiest, and most ethically produced cannabidiol (CBD) product on the market… giving people a viable supplement for living the most effective and healthiest life possible. Four years later, the small business is a leader in cutting-edge, science-driven organic nutraceutical and medical food products for achieving optimal physical and spiritual health. Will has collected one of the most interesting executive boards in the world, including famous athletes, doctors, and well-connected members of the entertainment industry. Prior to founding Ojai Energetics, Will coordinated a sustainability summit with 25 organizations and 500 attendees. He went on to study permaculture in Australia, where he apprenticed with one of the world's leading experts, Professor Robyn Francis, at Permaculture College Australia.
Founder & President, Db3 Inc.
Michael Devlin was most recently the founder and president Db3 Inc., Washington State’s first licensed marijuana-infused edibles manufacturer. The Company’s brand of products, ZootsTM , has developed into a full line of offerings across the confectionery, baked, and liquid categories of infused edibles, with distribution in 4 states. He is an experienced manufacturing professional, with over 30 years of CPG experience in the snack food industry, during which he developed the skills and abilities to design and implement new product processes, as well as drive measurable improvements with limited budgets.
Director, Sands Lane Capital
Jacqueline has over 15 years of professional experience spanning multiple disciplines, including investment banking, private equity and operations. Before joining Sands Lane Capital, she was a Director at ELLO Capital, one of the first US Investment banks dedicated to Cannabis, Hemp and Impacted Industries. Previously she was a Vice President at J.P. Morgan’s Investment Bank in New York where she advised early stage disruptive companies and consumer & retail clients on private placements, mergers & acquisitions, leveraged buyouts and initial public offerings, as well as provided general strategic advisory services. Prior to this she spent two years at Credit Suisse advising and executing transactions on behalf of private equity clients. Jacqueline spent three years in San Francisco working for Viator, a venture funded, high growth, ecommerce company. At Viator she managed both strategic and finance teams, led multiple acquisition efforts and contributed to the company tripling revenue. Viator was acquired by TripAdvisor in 2014. Jacqueline started her career as an equity capital markets analyst at Babcock & Brown, a leading merchant bank, in Sydney. In this capacity she helped raised multiple asset management funds and structured complex margin loan facilities.
Managing Director, ELLO Capital
Hershel has over 20 years of success in Investment Banking, M&A and Private Equity. He has successfully advised and closed over 55 transactions for private equity and corporate clients with a total value exceeding $30 billion. His ability to advise across a broad range of strategic matters – including leveraged finance, mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings, private placements, project finance, and general advisory assignments – has allowed him to build long-standing, trusted relationships with clients. He has previous deal experience across industry verticals that include retail and consumer, TMT, energy, real estate and healthcare. Previously, Hershel led Macquarie Capital's Consumer Coverage efforts focused on the food, beverage, H.P.C. and restaurant sectors. Prior, he led M&A efforts at Causeforce, bringing capital to consolidate the endurance event space with a focus on raising money for cancer research. He also held leadership roles at BNP Paribas as West Coast Team Leader and Credit Suisse as Head of West Coast Retail and Consumer coverage.
As Editor-in-Chief of BevNET, Jeffrey Klineman oversees the organization's reporting across all of its web sites, as well as BevNET Magazine. Jeffrey is also responsible for developing the content for conferences like BevNET Live and Food and Beverage University (FBU). Jeffrey previously worked as a newspaper reporter for the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune, the Boston TAB and the Metrowest Daily News, and has freelanced for publications like Slate, Boston Magazine, Self, George, Commonwealth, and the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Jeffrey is a graduate of Yale University and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. A frequently-cited expert on the beverage industry, Jeffrey has also been named in Forbes as one of the 25 Most Influential Kingmakers in Consumer and Retail Companies. He is still trying to live that one down.
Stay the Friday Between NOSH Live and BevNET Live
Hundreds of food and beverage leaders will come together in Santa Monica for NOSH Live on December 4th and 5th, and BevNET Live on December 9th and 10th. Together, the business conferences provide a one-two punch, focused individually on the business of packaged natural food and beverage. With hundreds of food and beverage professionals coming together we have the opportunity to explore an emerging market, the fast growing cannabis industry.