Images and post by Michael Howard

The 4th annual Cannabrunch, place on by Kahner Worldwide, kicked off with a private celebration in a swanky Beverly Hills residence rented by Holonis (a group of social media influencers). This place created for a slightly bizarre evening as the very first factor I noticed have been influencers (who wouldn’t say their names or permit themselves to be photographed) wearing silk pajamas and a topless guy carrying about a bong and a tiny sack of nugs. These characters have been flanked by safety guards to make certain that photographs have been not taken of them (and possibly to inflate their on the web personas and/or egos). This influencer circus (along with other, much less camera shy influencers) was intermingled with ultra wealthy cannabis investors and CEOs of cannabis corporations and cannabis investment funds. A single could very easily have had a dream that looked like this celebration, on the other hand, due to the fact I took photographs, it truly occurred. Or did it? Perhaps my camera and iPhone have been dreaming as effectively?

A single sponsor of the evening’s festivities was Philter, a enterprise with a cool new gadget which gets rid of the smell and the smoke of your exhaled hit (from a vape or a pipe, and so on.). It is about the size of an inhaler but you exhale into it and your smoke (or vape hit) actually goes in and does not come out. Superior for about 200 hits, Philter is aiming to sell their smoke disappearing contraption to the stealthy cannabis user who may perhaps want to smoke at residence, at perform, or in practically any public location (do not even Consider about attempting it on an airplane or you could wind up in critical difficulty) exactly where smoking or vaping cannabis is prohibited or frowned upon. Philter brought along a photo booth for men and women to take Philter photographs.

A second sponsor was Quanta who have been sampling their CBD infused creams as effectively as various scrumptious flavors of disposable CBD vape pens and have been actually “the hit of the celebration.” They even brought purple couches from their workplace to set up sort of a lounge region in the effectively-manicured backyard with palm trees subsequent to the pool with a float shaped like a giant pizza slice in it. A single quite good touch was possessing two massage therapists with a table and massage chair set up to treat guests to back and neck massages (along with some ultrasonic healing device) as effectively as hand massages with CBD infused cream (which is all the rage these days) from Quanta. There was a complete bar and light snacks have been served as effectively.

The following morning was the actual Cannabrunch Investment Summit held at the attractive and fashionable Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills. Beginning the morning off suitable with networking more than coffee, tea, fresh squeezed orange juice and a scrumptious assortment of fruit, croissants and pastries, the climate was almost best with sunshine and pleasant temperatures outdoors on the outside patio, adjacent to the conference area.

The conference area was packed with almost 300 registered attendees, mainly investors.

Kicking off the conference with flair, JJ McKay, Founder & Publisher of The Fresh Toast, who was the MC for the occasion, created a point to mention that he is single and out there, which was a quite ballsy factor to announce in a area filled with mainly wealthy, middle-aged, white males.

The very first panel covered the legal state of the cannabis sector, moderated by Matt Karnes, Founder and Managing Companion of GreenWave Advisors, LLC. Panelists discussed the present state of regulations in the US, what is becoming completed to combat the illicit industry. Alex Freedman, Deputy City Lawyer, Los Angeles Division of Cannabis Regulation, admitted that it is  challenging to permanently shut down illegal dispensaries since they just open up once again in a further nearby place, in some instances opening up straight across the street from legal dispensaries who are paying taxes and charges to be licensed, and so on. A different subject of interest was when the US will legalize cannabis nationwide. Inside three-five years was the common consensus.

The subsequent panel was about specialty finance and debt options. Rob Sechrist, President of Pelorus Equity Group, explained that it is superior to spend 25% to 50% interest on funds borrowed for 12-18 months than to give up 10% of your enterprise, which could sooner or later be worth hundreds of millions or a lot more.

A fascinating panel about health-related marijuana and investigation followed featuring Dr. Jeff Chen, M.D./MBA, and Director of UCLA Cannabis Study Initiative. Dr. Chen discussed the worth of carrying out a lot more investigation in order to get information which can clearly show that cannabis can aid alleviate symptoms of a variety of health-related situations such as epilepsy, arthritis and nausea. Dr. Chen is looking for funding for this investigation as the US government only funds investigation which is developed to prove the dangerous effects of applying cannabis. A single of the other panelists, Roger Abramson, has donated generously to the UCLA Cannabis Study Initiative, according to Dr. Chen. Calum Hughes, CEO of Allied Corp, talked about that their core mission is to aid military veterans who are normally prescribed opioids for discomfort management and then develop into addicted to this medication. Cannabis has helped men and women to get off of opioids but a lot more investigation is required in order to establish how powerful cannabis can be in combating opioid addiction. Our nation’s veterans deserve the quite ideal health-related care we can give to them, and they ought to all have legal access to what ever medicine they opt for, which includes cannabis.

Following the health-related investigation panel, Gene Simmons (born Chaim Weitz, in Israel), the bass player of KISS and a quite profitable serial entrepreneur, delivered a keynote which actually captivated the complete area. Wearing black leather pants and boots with dark sunglasses, Simmons had practically every person hanging on his each and every word. He matter of factly described how he had formed an opinion of cannabis customers (stoners from higher college, who he believed have been losers) and held that viewpoint for decades. Surprisingly, he claimed that he never ever had any interest in or applied drugs or alcohol, in spite of becoming a big rock star for almost the previous 50 years. He began to spend closer interest to cannabis when his buddy John Boehner got involved with Acreage Holdings and started lobbying for legalization. Simmons mentioned that he now understands that cannabis is truly assisting men and women with a variety of health-related situations and in 2018 he became the Chief Evangelist Officer of Invictus, a cannabis enterprise primarily based in Canada. With regards to celebrity cannabis brands, Simmons explained, “Just since you know somebody’s name or face, does not imply that they know what the fuck they are speaking about.” When asked by an attendee what he felt about social equity, Simmons mentioned, “If it is a victimless crime, why are they in jail? Clearly if you can use cannabis currently and not go to jail…just before the law was passed, to the extent that it has…we’ve got to suitable the incorrect…either it is illegal or it is not. Just since the law didn’t catch up with science, is the law’s fault…Yes, I would appear seriously at releasing all sorts of men and women if that is (applying cannabis) the only factor they did incorrect.”

Following a panel about the emergence of private equity and cannabis funds was a scrumptious, although a bit heavy on the meat, networking lunch. A different cup of coffee for a small jolt of power for the afternoon sessions and we have been prepared to get back into the panels.

The very first afternoon panel was about manufacturing and extraction. Featuring Dr. John MacKay, CTO of New Bridge Worldwide Ventures, a hugely regarded extraction professional and a Board Member of many cannabis corporations, clearly edibles and other manufactured goods applying cannabis extracts are on the rise all through all of the states which have legalized cannabis in the US. Extraction gear makers, could be worth taking a appear at, from an investment point of view, as extraction gear will be in higher demand for decades as a lot more states and nations legalize cannabis.

The following panel was about brands and the significance of developing a constant, higher high quality and recognizable cannabis brand. The upshot is that there is nonetheless a lot of area for top brands to be launched and the fight for shelf space in dispensaries will only continue to get a lot more intense and pricey for brands. Vertically integrated cannabis corporations have a competitive benefit as they can opt for to give as substantially shelf space as they want to their personal brands.

Alex Fang, CEO of Sublime (a Gold Sponsor, and an award winning cannabis brand), took a deeper appear at cannabis as an asset class and discussed exactly where he sees possible pitfalls concerning investing in the cannabis space. Particularly, he talked about 3 kinds of danger, political danger (coining the term “Jerseyed”), regulatory danger (which includes the effects of illicit cannabis activity), and industry danger. He also graphically represented how young the cannabis sector and how handful of huge players and established brands have been in the space. Fang is also a Certified Monetary Planner and his expertise was really impressive.

Following a networking break exactly where I ate various, succulent, chocolate chip cookies (mmmm…chocolate…drool), there was a panel about technologies in the cannabis space. In the end technologies is enhancing cultivation, seed to sale tracking, payment systems, delivery, client encounter, and practically each and every aspect of the cannabis sector. A single benefit of investing in cannabis technologies is that it is federally legal and there are no extra taxes imposed upon technologies corporations, in contrast to cannabis corporations which are plant touching such as cultivation, manufacturing, distribution and dispensaries.

The final panel of the day featured seasoned cannabis investors from Loved ones Offices giving a candid appear at the ups and downs of investing in the cannabis space. A single crucial takeaway was that it is vital to create relationships with each corporate CEOs and fellow investors. Sharing ideal practices and finding “pre vetted deal flow” is a single of the most important advantages of investing in a collaborative way with other Loved ones Offices. Kai Nygard was refreshingly transparent when he told a story of how his household when created a cannabis investment which wasn’t correctly vetted. Although at very first there have been some unforeseen challenges, that investment has now been creatively turned about and will in the end develop into lucrative right after all. Lesson discovered.

Final but not least, there was a pitch occasion featuring six corporations, which includes a single enterprise  which may perhaps quickly be emerging as a leader in the swiftly expanding CBD space. The winner of the pitch occasion was Dr. Mowgli Holmes, Co-Founder and CEO of Phylos, who has established “the world’s biggest database of hemp and cannabis genetic insights featuring thousands of heritage and contemporary varieties from more than 80 nations.”

Wrapping up the occasion and the day was a good cocktail reception and networking finale with an assortment of cheeses and crackers and an open bar with scrumptious cabernet.

All in all, the Kahner Worldwide Cannabrunch Investment Summit was effectively organized and curated, creating for an outstanding cannabis investment conference.

Michael Howard is a freelance photojournalist, primarily based in Los Angeles, who covers the cannabis sector, investing and entertainment. Michael also enjoys shaking his booty at Phish and other jamband concerts as effectively as playing percussion and composing music.

Michael Howard is a freelance photojournalist, primarily based in Los Angeles, who covers the cannabis sector, investing and entertainment. Michael also enjoys shaking his booty at Phish and other jamband concerts as effectively as playing percussion and composing music.

Published: Could 06, 2019

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