Rachelle Gordon January 18th, 2019 Investing in the burgeoning cannabis market has reached a fever pitch and nowhere was that more evident than the... Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference Brings Leading Investors, Execs to Miami Beach

Rachelle Gordon

January 18th, 2019

Investing in the burgeoning cannabis market has reached a fever pitch and nowhere was that more evident than the Cannabis Capital Conference in Miami Beach. Presented by financial media behemoth Benzinga, the daylong event attracted hundreds of top industry entrepreneurs, accredited investors, and media professionals to the lavish Eden Roc hotel. C-level executives provided company updates and engaging panels on a variety of hot topics, many of which were moderated by marijuana business expert and founder of The 420 Investor, Alan Brochstein, who took an opportunity at the beginning of the day to honor the passing of cannabis industry pioneer Brett Roper of Medicine Man Technologies (OTCQX:MDCL).

Roper’s name was also invoked during Andy Williams’ presentation, which included the announcement that Medicine Man Technologies would be launching a direct operations division.

“This is what Brett and I talked about when we filed out first S1,” said Williams, who co-founded Medicine Man Technologies alongside Roper in 2014 after finding success with Medicine Man Denver. “The plans currently going into effect were partially influenced by him.”

MSOs Share Strategies, Investors Crystal Ball Future of Cannabis

The Cannabis Capital Conference was jam-packed with content featuring some of the leading names in the business discussing their successes, strifes, and strategies as the industry enters a new era.

“It pays to be vertical,” Curaleaf (OTCMKTS:CURLF) CEO Joseph Lusardi told the crowd during his fireside chat, referring to the the idea of being involved in many areas of the marketplace from cultivation to retail to consulting. He added that the biggest threat to the industry in the US is still the black market, not our neighbors to the north who recently legalized marijuana nationwide.

“The market is valued at $50 billion, but only $10 billion of that comes from legal sales,” Lusardi pointed out.

During a town hall panel featuring three of the leading multi-state operators (MSOs) offered advice on how to plan for the future during such uncertain regulatory times.

“You have to keep your eyes on where the industry is going,” said George Allen, CEO of Acreage Holdings (OTCMKTS:ACRGF). “Focus on long-term creation of shareholding value. For us it’s not only about investing in the brands, but also the infrastructure leading this fast-growing land grab.”

Company Presentations Include Publicly Traded Corporations, Start-Ups

Between the panels and addresses being given in the main hall, around 30 unique companies gave 20 minute pitches which included business stats, team introductions, visions for 2019, and calls to action. For potential investors and business partners, these lightning presentations provided an opportunity for introductions, deal flow, and profit – the most exciting potential of all.

Some of the highlights included updates from Surterra Holdings, who recently saw an injection of $65 million in capital and the naming of Beau Wrigley as Chairman of the Board, Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB), who focused on their Aurora Sky facility, the nearly completed 800,000-square-foot hybrid indoor grow facility in Edmonton, and High Tide, a vertically-integrated cannabis retail and accessories firm that recently began trading on the CSE under the ticker symbol HITI, who just so happened to snag a $7.5 million deal with Aurora to provide branded smoking pipes, lighters, dab rigs, and other merchandise.

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Rachelle Gordon

About Rachelle Gordon

Rachelle Gordon is a Minneapolis-based writer. Find her online at www.rachellegordon.net.

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