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Inside the Cannabis Industry’s Luxury Business Conference

Inside the Cannabis Industry’s Luxury Business Conference

The premier boutique cannabis symposium, Cannabis Grand Cru, returned to Seattle in March for the first of multiple 2016 events. The Cru took over three venues around the city including the Fremont Foundry for Saturday’s main event.

The event opened with a Friday-night screening of “Evergreen: The Road to Legalization” at Central Cinemas, sponsored by local extraction company, Evergreen Extracts. The documentary chronicled the industry-driven controversy surrounding Washington’s 2012 legalization initiative, I-502. After the movie, the select group of attendees were given the opportunity to ask questions of the film’s director, writer, and producers.

More than 400 cannabis enthusiasts and curious onlookers joined nearly 50 speakers for a day jam-packed with education, networking, and fun. Having spoken at every Cannabis Grand Cru including the Inaugural Aspen event in November 2014, I am impressed with the constant improvements being made to the series — especially given the high caliber of the first one.

best cannabis industry conference

In an industry that is flush with expos and conferences, it’s often hard for us to decide which to attend. The Cannabis Grand Cru’s high speaker-to-attendee ratio, once again, provided an intimate atmosphere for networking and interaction.

Session topics varied from products and branding to legislation and advocacy, to our staple Cannabis Technology panel.

AC Braddock agreed that the event provided “much higher quality networking as the event is smaller and more intimate.” Braddock, who is the CEO of extraction-tech company Eden Labs, spoke at her second Grand Cru on “The Future of Extraction Technology” panel.

While networking is an integral part of any industry get-together, CGC also focuses on education. Ettalew’s Edibles CEO, Alison Draisin, said her favorite part of the event was “educating new people about the power of the plant.” Draisin was also speaking at her second Grand Cru, and was part of the “Cannabis Infused Journey Through Culinary Pairings”, a live cooking demo where they discussed terpene-pairings of cannabis and food, as well as antidotes for when you’re too high.

best cannabis industry conference

The final sessions of the day featured the “Four Horsemen of Washington’s 502 Legislation” on a panel about the state’s legal landscape on the main stage. Alex Cooley of Solstice Grown was joined by Aaron Pelley, Josh Berman, and Brian Caldwell to discuss current concerns surrounding the transition from medical to recreational cannabis and the future outlook on legislation in Washington.

Up in the penthouse, I was joined by my close friends and colleagues in our CGC-regular discussion about “Cannabis Technology, Data, and Analytics.” Cy Scott, Marie Veksler, Stewart Fortier, John Kagia, and myself convened to emphasize the importance that technology and data play in the legitimization and progression of the cannabis industry.

Once the day’s programming ended at 7:10pm (aka dab o’clock), the speakers and select attendees headed to the closing afterparty at Georgetown’s Brass Tacks which was sponsored by Calyx King, Whaxy and Pelley Law Group. The party allowed me to catch up with Grand Cru regulars like Addison DeMoura, John Hunt, and Sheriff Joe Disalvo of Pitkin County, as well as some new faces. We enjoyed the night over delicious food, beverages, and smoke.

The next day we all packed up and returned to our respective home cities. I know I am not alone when I say that I cannot wait until the next Cannabis Grand Cru.

Alison Draisin agreed, “This is a great group and I excited to work with them in the future!”

Sohum Shah

Why You Should Attend Cannabis Grand Cru in Seattle

Why You Should Attend Cannabis Grand Cru in Seattle

It’s impossible to deny that the cannabis industry is booming. Legal cannabis sales surpassed $5 billion in 2015, and are projected to increase by 25 percent in 2016. The cannabis market is growing rapidly for one main reason — industry leaders are working tirelessly to develop, innovate and drive it forward.

With the ability to create hundred of thousands of jobs in the United States, this industry brings great potential not only to those who consume cannabis, but to everyone. The only way to understand the full capacity of the cannabis industry is to lean how truly versatile it is, and the Cannabis Grand Cru (CGC) is the ideal setting in which to learn, discuss, and experience the most relevant and influential topics in the industry.

The Cannabis Grand Cru, taking place on Saturday March 19 at Fremont Foundry in Seattle, is the premier event bringing the most industry experts, leaders, brands and companies together under one roof to share their knowledge and expertise with attendees in an intimate setting. Whether you’re already knowledgeable, fairly familiar or know nothing at all, you will walk away from the CGC with more knowledge than you could ever gain from reading and research.

There are no better teachers than those who have done, and the Cannabis Grand Cru is the only event which will allow you to learn first-hand from the experts who are making it happen.

Tickets are limited, so click here to buy your tickets now while they’re still available. Lucky readers of this article will receive a 20 percent discount on ticket purchases with the promo code WHAXY20. Click here to see the full schedule of events.

Want to know more about what to expect from the Cannabis Grand Cru Seattle on March 19? Whaxy got the inside scoop from event speaker and owner of Green and Healthy Wellness Colorado Springs John Hunt, Cannabis Commodities Exchange CEO and Denver Post Cannabis Critic Sohum Shah, and professional model turned medical marijuana dispensary General Manager, Damsel W. Dank.

Read what they had to say about CGC below:

High Speaker to Attendee Ratio

No other cannabis industry event brings this many experts together under one roof in an intimate atmosphere that facilitates learning and networking with guests. John Hunt, event speaker and owner of Grimey Gatsby and Green and Healthy Wellness dispensary pointed out,

“The first aspect I feel is vastly different is the crowd to speaker ratio. Every-time I speak at the CGC there is a room filled with passionate people listening and asking questions to passionate people that are speaking about their business or journey in the cannabis industry.”

cannabis grand cru panelPanel discussion Cannabis Grand Cru 2014, Aspen.

Network and Mingle with Industry Leaders

The Cannabis Grand Cru has been described as the most intimate cannabis industry event with a boutique feel. Sohum Shah, Co-Founder and CEO of Cannabis Commodities Exchange and Cannabis Critique for The Cannabist (Denver Post) described it:

“The intimate nature of the events provide ample networking opportunities. More than anything, however, attendees leave the CGC with new friends who are passionate about responsibly legalizing and regulating cannabis.”

“The content of the show is also something that stands alone. Where else can you find more than 20 leaders of the industry from all over the country?” Added Hunt, “I have seen some great networking come from the event also. I hired the manager of my shop at the first CGC in Aspen.”

Learn from Industry Experts

John Hunt has been heavily involved in every Cannabis Grand Cru event, and he shared why the CGC is so unique:

“This event, more than any other, brings together a massive amount of brands and companies under the same roof. That synergetic energy creates an open discussion with everyone about the future, past, and present. It’s an amazing feeling to watch CEO’s, owners, scientists, and patients engage about cannabis with such a wealth of knowledge at hand. It’s something you don’t want to miss, that’s for sure.”

cannabis grand cru 2Bob Braudis and John Hunt at the first CGC in Aspen, CO.

Live Demonstrations

The scheduled culinary and extraction demonstrations for the Seattle event on March 19 include:

  • The Future of Cannabis in the United States
  • Equipment and Technological Advances
  • Cannabis Safety & the Future of Edibles
  • Cannabis Law, Regulation, Politics & Business.

Learn Aspects of the Industry You Didn’t Know Existed

Even those who are knowledgeable in several different aspects of cannabis and it’s industry still don’t know everything. Even speakers and experts can learn from each other, so as an attendee you’re guaranteed to walk away with a wealth of new information.

Even experienced cannabis activist Damsel W. Dank was surprised how much she learned at her first Cannabis Grand Cru:

“You can expect to learn about areas in the industry you may not have even known existed. I’ve been a cannabis user for a very long time, but prior to the first CGC event I knew nothing about the laws and regulations that make up the industry and I only had basic knowledge of the cultivation process.”

Find Your Niche

The first Cannabis Grand Cru turned Damsel W. Dank’s uncertainty into confidence. “I was worried that all the attendees and speakers would be experts on cellular/molecular plant biology and I would come in looking like a total amateur,” Damsel confessed. “However, I quickly realized that everyone attending the Cannabis Grand Cru had something different to bring to the table. Marketing, accounting, public relations, cultivation, extraction, edibles, topicals, constitutional marijuana law, informational online resources…every speaker had their own expertise and found their niche in the cannabis community. After attending several panels I realized there was a place for me in the industry even if I had never grown a marijuana plant before.”

cannabis grand cruDamel W. Dank wearing her Cannabis Grand Cru shirt.

Land Your Dream Job (potentially…)

While Cannabis Grand Cru is by no means meant to be a job fair, the right person may just end up with their foot in the door like Damsel W. Dank did after the 2014 Cannabis Grand Cru in Aspen.

“Attending the first Cannabis Grand Cru event in Aspen was truly life changing for me. I am now the General Manager of Green and Healthy Wellness in Colorado Springs and my husband has also landed a job in the industry. I’ve been passionate about cannabis for over 10 years, and CGC was the place where I turned my passion into a career.”

Explained Damsel.

Save 20 Percent on Ticket Purchases

Lucky readers of this article will receive 20 percent on the price of their ticket with the promo code WHAXY20. Click here to buy your ticket now.

While every speaker, panel, symposium, exhibition and demonstration is sure to please, it may be difficult to decide which to attend, so we asked our experts to recommend a few of their favorites.

Shah is most excited to check out “The Bleeding Edge of Cultivation” to learn about how cultivators can improve or maintain quality while decreasing costs.

Hunt made several recommendations for those which not to miss. “Listening to Bob Braudis, the famous Pitken County (Aspen, CO) Sheriff and long time friend of Hunter S. Thompson, explain his approach to cannabis laws and regulation is always a crowd-pleaser, as well as hearing Gerry Goldstein speak about his relentless drive to support the cannabis movement. I also love to catch the extraction panel with X Tracted Labs, The Clear Concentrate, and the branding panels are some of my favorite.”

Scheduled Speakers are listed on this poster:
cannabis grand cru poster

Enter the Cannabis Grand Cru Seattle Ticket Giveaway

Enter the Cannabis Grand Cru Seattle Ticket Giveaway

The cannabis industry’s premier event is coming up, and we don’t want you to be left out! Enter below to win a free pair of tickets to the Cannabis Grand Cru in Seattle on March 19, 2016.

“Cannabis Grand Cru is a boutique experiential event that appeals to cannabis enthusiasts worldwide. CGC is designed for guests with a life-long relationship with cannabis and those interested in learning more. Cannabis Grand Cru features a high speaker to guest ratio, an intimate atmosphere that facilitates learning and networking. The program includes a host of symposia, exhibitions/demonstrations and networking opportunities in a sophisticated setting focused on cannabis culture and business.”

This is the cannabis industry even that you don’t want to miss! Click here for 8 Reasons You Should Attend Cannabis Grand Cru in Seattle on Saturday March 19 at Fremont Foundry.

How Do I Enter?

There are multiple ways to enter, one of which can be done daily to increase your chances of winning!

  1. Enter your email in the box below = 1 entry
  2. Like the Cannabis Grand Cru Facebook Page = 1 bonus entry
  3. Follow @CannabisGrand on Twitter = 1 bonus entry
  4. Tweet the message = 1 bonus entry (Do this one every day to add your name over and over and increase your chances of winning a free pair of tickets!)

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cannabis Grand Cru Seattle is the only event where you’ll hear from industry experts in such an intimate setting. Don’t wait! Buy your tickets now. Click here for tickets: 

Scheduled Speakers Include:

  • Gerry Goldstein: Lifetime chair of NORML Legal Committee, Criminal Defense Lawyer
  • AC Braddock: CEO of Eden Labs
  • Alison Draisin: CEO at Ettalew’s Edibles
  • Ryan Abernathy: Co-Founder of Refine Seattle & X-Tracted
  • Ah Warner: Founder & CEO Cannabis Basics, Long-time Cannabis Advocate
  • Brian Caldwell: Founder Triple C Cannabis Club
  • Alex Cooley: Co-Founder & Vice President of Solstice
  • Bob Braudis & Joe DiSalvo: Sheriff & former Sheriff, Aspen – Pitkin County, Colorado
  • John Hunt: Serial entrepreneur w/ businesses in Cannabis, media & beyond
  • Addison DeMoura: Co-Founder Steep Hill Lab & Bedder Investment and Consulting
  • Stewart Fortier: Co-Founder and CTO MassRoots
  • Josh Berman: Founder PDA, 4evergreen Group (4e)

Symposium and Exhibitions to Include:

  • Cooking & Extraction Demonstrations
  • The Future of Cannabis in the United States
  • Equipment and Technological Advances
  • Cannabis Safety & the Future of Edibles
  • Cannabis Law, Regulation, Politics & Business.

Don’t wait! Buy your tickets now and save 20% with the promo code WHAXY20. Click here for tickets!

Must be 21+ with proof of age to win and attend.

Cannabis Grand Cru Event Takes Over Aspen Hotel This Weekend

Cannabis Grand Cru Event Takes Over Aspen Hotel This Weekend

This weekend, November 14-16, all rooms in the Sky Hotel in Aspen, Colorado will be occupied by cannabis industry professionals and enthusiasts for the exclusive, Cannabis Grand Cru event. This is the first of what is sure to become an annual treat.

Colorado laws require that marijuana events may not be open to the public. This means that attendance must be by invitation only. Does this mean that you must receive a formal invitation in the mail in order to attend? No. To get around this, one must go the the Cannabis Grand Cru website, and sign up for a free membership. Once this is done, an invitation to purchase even tickets will be emailed.

This educational, networking event is being sponsored by Wellspring Collective Dispensary of Denver, Culture Magazine, Y5Rx, and Aspen’s own, Silverpeak Apothecary. Friday night opens with a networking event for attendees. Then, bright and early Saturday morning, attendees will be greeted with an optional yoga class before the day continues with thirteen different educational sessions for attendees to choose from. Session titles include, “Brand Building and Evolution of Cannabis Brands,” “Cannabis Genetics,” “Cannabis Business Logistics and Financials,” and “Cannabis Culture Shift.”

But wait! There’s more. There will also be a “Cooking with Cannabis and Edibles” demonstration that promises NO actual marijuana edibles will be used or given to attendees for safety reasons. Throughout the weekend, there are also, more than twenty different people scheduled to speak, including the director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, Mason Tvert.

There is one thing, however, that will not be permitted at the cannabis event- smoking cannabis. Event organizers were under the impression that because the entire hotel was reserved for the private event, smoking would be permitted outside on hotel property. The Sky Hotel manager was even on board with this, as long as smoking remains outside because all rooms in the hotel are non-smoking. Event organizers had difficulty reaching city officials to clarify whether allowing adults to smoke marijuana at the event would violate any city codes, and the event had already been scheduled by the time they received the bad news.

Members of the Whaxy team will be in attendance this weekend, so be sure to keep an eye out for event details next week.

photo credit: Sky Hotel

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