Last night I attended The Cannabis Society Dinner of Influence in Toronto on behalf of MJBA and the MJNews Network. . The mission of The Cannabis Society to change the perception of cannabis by educating the marketplace on its benefits, and connecting cannabis entrepreneurs.
The night was moderated very well by Graeme Davis and JD Methot of The Entrepreneurship Society and the Keynote Speaker was Niel Marotta of Indiva, a licensed medical cannabis producer. Marotta discussed the importance of the flower market, and predicted that four to five million cannabis users in Canada are being hooked by branding.
A very informative “Fireside Chat” followed with Karina Lahnakoski asking questions to Dr. Jonas Vanderzan of WeedMD. Dr Vanderzan detailed the many medicinal uses of cannabis, including for people with epilepsy. In the good doctor’s opinion, most physicians who do recommend cannabis, do so for chronic pain.
Up next was Eric Vengroff from Twentyoneton, a company that specializes websites and content management solutions for companies engaged in early stage dot-com projects, who talked about the importance of social media, web development, list marketing, and branding.
A spirited panel with psychiatrist Mandeep Singh, MD Ira Price and equities analyst Rahul Sarugaser focused on the challenges of obtaining legal cannabis through today’s medical system. Major barriers remain for for doctors who are interested in prescribing cannabis, and so most patience still get their medicine from dispensaries. Only 1 in 5 doctors feels comfortable prescribing cannabis. With the new laws taking place, there is much concern that big pharma could take over the medical cannabis market.
The highlight of my night for me was Adam Miron from Hexo. As the co-founder & chief brand officer at Hydropothecary. Miron is a very animated speaker, whose remarks were both very comical and informative. His message for the evening was that ‘pot is NOT the dropout drug,’ and he referenced research studies that show more and more professionals are using it for both medical and recreational purposes.
Overall, it was a great meeting and I look forward to attending future TCS events, and to meeting you there!