The cannabis industry is rapidly expanding and changing around the world and Canada has the potential to lead that change.  The 2nd annual Cannabrunch brought together some of the best and brightest from the cannabis and investment sectors to talk about the realities and opportunities of the cannabis industry in North America.

Participants enjoyed a beautiful view from the 34th-floor offices of event host Bennett Jones in downtown Toronto.  The day was opened by JJ McKay, founder and publisher of The Fresh Toast, a lifestyle and cannabis website.  Ranjeev Dhillion, co-head of Bennett Jones cannabis group, was the first moderator for the day as the panel discussed the legal concerns for cannabis investors in both Canada and elsewhere.  Participants discussed the many opportunities and risks that exist in the cannabis market.  This panel posed the interesting question ‘what other agricultural industry is forced to grow its product indoors?

Nic Easley, of event sponsor Multiverse Capital, moderated the second panel discussion about diversifying risk and multiplying opportunities within the cannabis market.  Some key risks were identified and sound strategies for diversification were discussed.  Panellist Kevin McGovern, Chairman, and CEO of McGovern Capital and the Water Project, stated “intellectual property is extremely important to the strategies we have” and panellists agreed it will be an area of great importance to cannabis companies in the future.

An informative discussion on the future of cannabis saw all participants agree that the future for cannabinoid medicine lies in customized extractions of specific cannabinoids and terpenes.  Custom tailored medication to each individual patients, possibly based on the patient’s genome will be the norm in the future.  Tissue culture was also deemed to be of major importance for the cannabis industry.  Tissue culture is the growth in an artificial medium of cells derived from living tissue.  An informative discussion on where medical cannabis is going was up next and there was general agreement from the panel that cannabis has tremendous potential for the future.

Chris Schnarr of Extreme Cannabis talked about the history of cannabis and the future potential of cannabis as medicine.  Steve DeAngelo, CEO of FLRish and author of The Cannabis Manifesto enlightened participants about the cannabis market in California, long an industry leader in medical cannabis.  Melissa Rolston of Team MD moderated a panel discussion on supply chain management in the cannabis industry.  The talk focused on the need for GMP and GAP practices within the cannabis industry.  Any cannabis company that is successful need to have its supply chain ‘buttoned up’ participants agreed.

The day ended with the much anticipated live pitch contest.  This year there were six unique companies looking for investment, hoping to realize their cannabis dreams.  This year saw a diverse range of companies from a cannabis beer and soft drinks to a company who received the first license to grow medical cannabis in Columbia.  Province Brands, Valens GroWorks, Sprig, Spirit Leaf, Lexaria Bioscience and Khiron Life Sciences all had seven minutes to pitch their cannabis business to judges Colin Webster (Hero Ventures Ltd), Ryan Ansin (Ansin Investments) and Gorav Seth (Venture Capital Group, Richardson GMP).

After a tough deliberation, Khiron Life Sciences was declared the winner.  Khiron Life Sciences Corp. is a Canadian integrated medical cannabis company with its core operations in Colombia.  Khiron combines leading international scientific expertise, agricultural advantages and branded product market entrance experience to address the unmet medical needs in a market of over 620 million people in Latin America.  Congratulations Khiron Life Sciences!

The day would not have been possible without the help and participation of many people.  A big thank you goes out to the following:

• Event host Bennett Jones

• Event Sponsors: Multiverse Capital, Extreme Cannabis, FLRish, Khiron Life Sciences Corp., Lexaria Bioscience, Province Brands, AgriCascadia, Growcentia, Sprig, Spirit Leaf, Valens GroWorks

• Event Chairman JJ McKay (The Fresh Toast)

Don’t forget to spread the word about the upcoming CannaBrunches in the new year: February 21, 2018 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and May 2, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. Email info@kahnerglobal.com to request a preliminary agenda for both events. Details available at www.cannabrunch.net

Article written by Sarah Clark.