The State of Cannabis is a two-day meeting of the minds where industry leaders, government, and regulators gather to create smart and sustainable cannabis policy. This past State of Cannabis was held November 15 & 16 in Long Beach, California at The Loft on Pine.
Our CEO Vince Ning was invited to speak on a panel titled “The Pros on the Pros of Streamlining the Supply Chain” with fellow speakers:
- Caity Maple - Vice President Government Relations & Compliance, Perfect Union
- Kenny Morrison - Founder and CEO, Venice Cookie Company
- Zach Silverman - Co-Founder and Chief Technical Officer, Leaflink
- AnnaRae Grabstein - Chief Compliance Officer, NorCal Cannabis Co.
For those unable to join in person, below is a brief recap from our head of Business Development, Daniella Segal, who was in attendance.
1. What topics did the panel “The Pros on the Pros of Streamlining the Supply Chain” cover and what were the main takeaways from this discussion?
Overall, the Supply Chain panel was in consensus that incongruent state and local regulations are complicating the cannabis supply chain, making it difficult and costly to operate in the legal market. The current regulatory environment has resulted in a limited number of available licenses and extremely high taxes. Not only is this preventing unlicensed cannabis operators from transitioning into the legal market, but it’s also driving consumers to seek lower-priced cannabis from the illicit market.
While everyone recognizes the need for change, there are various opinions on how to approach it. The one thing that everyone seems to agree on is Power in Numbers: the industry must come together in an organized effort to lobby and push through changes in local and state government.
2. State of Cannabis differs from many traditional cannabis events in the political focus of the discussion and the audience in attendance. Why is it important that distributors are involved in this conversation?
Distributors play a crucial role in California’s cannabis supply chain. Cannabis can only be transported to a retailer by a licensed cannabis distributor. Distributors are also responsible for ensuring that cannabis products are lab tested and pass all requirements. Overall, distributors provide security, efficiency, and transparency in the legal cannabis market.
3. Where do you see the political landscape headed with regards to cannabis regulations throughout the supply chain?
Unfortunately, despite the widely recognized need to reduce cannabis taxes in California, taxes have just increased. For the time being, it seems like the legal cannabis industry will continue to face an uphill battle before things get better.
Thank you to our host Susan Soares for organizing this event and creating a forum for these important topics to be discussed. We look forward to moving cannabis forward together with our partners across the industry!