Webinar series

May 19th 2020



This webinar series will provide actionable content from industry experts to sustain your business through 2020. 

The symposium is a touchstone event in the cannabis industry. Each symposium event offers a unique opportunity to learn and for high level peer-to-peer networking. Featuring partnerships with government, industry and media, the Symposium is the premier platform to engage with the sustainable cannabis community. 

This symposium series connects industry executives, advocates, scientists and thinkers together to envision a sustainable future for the cannabis industry – and provides decision-makers with the tools they need to make positive changes today.


Opening Remarks

1pm EST / 10am PST

Ben Gelt, Board Chair, Cannabis Certification Council

Sonoma County Symposium

Ben Gelt is an entrepreneur and consultant specializing in business development and strategic communications. A respected political strategist and policy expert, Ben co-founded the Organic Cannabis Association (now the Cannabis Certification Council) in 2015.

Ben has been at the forefront of cannabis policy in Colorado since 2011 when he represented the University of Colorado Toxicology Lab advocating for higher standards for testing and quality control in the cannabis industry via state rule making panels and committees. Ben currently chairs the Denver Cannabis Sustainability Workgroup and also the Certification Council which both organize the Cannabis Sustainability Symposium.

Additionally, Ben serves on the City of Denver Stakeholder Committee, the City of Denver Community Equality Committee, the State of Colorado Pesticide Stakeholder committee in addition to working with a diverse array of local, national and international clients on matters of business and public affairs.


Economic Overview, sustainability Kpi's

1:05pm EST / 10:05am PST

Tamar Maritz, BDS Analytics

Sonoma County Symposium

Tamar Maritz is VP of Business Development at BDS Analytics, the leading market research, analytics and insights firm in the cannabis industry. With a strong background in market research and analytics consulting for some of the biggest fortune 500 tech companies, Tamar brings years of analytical and insight-driven experience to the cannabis industry, already having helped countless existing and up-and-
coming operators thrive in the cannabis supply chain over the past 3 years. Coupled with an
undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and an MBA with a focus on quantitative marketing strategy, she is able to provide a unique perspective and understanding of the industry from both the commercial and
pharmaceutical ends.


Supply Chain/Packaging:

Domestic production and distribution for packaging and supplies



1:25pm EST / 10:25am PST

Moderator: Ben Gelt


Corner's Packaging, Stephen Barmore

Sustainability Symposium Webinar

Stephen is the Director of New Business Development at Curtis Packaging and has managed the Corners Packaging brand for just over a year. A 2018 Yale Graduate, Stephen was hired by Curtis Packaging to aid in New Business Development, and has operated mainly in the Cannabis space to bolster growth.

STO Responsible, Sandra Elkind

Sustainability Symposium Webinar

Sandra Elkind is Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer of STO Responsible, a Boulder-based sustainable packaging solutions company serving the cannabis industry. She serves as head of product research and development and oversees the marketing of the STO brand.

Sandra brings a deep commitment to environmentalism and a background in conceptual design to STO’s development of sustainable packaging. As a medical marijuana patient herself, she’s experienced firsthand how plant-based medicine can change lives.

Sandra’s design education informs her work at STO Responsible. She holds a master’s in Fine Arts from Parsons School for Design—The New School. She previously worked as a professor at Colorado State University-Global and Central Texas College.



New England Label, Ryan Dunlevy

Sustainability Symposium Webinar

Ryan Dunlevy is the Sales and Marketing Manager at New England Label in Andover, Massachusetts.

Ryan is responsible for all aspects of sales, business development, strategic partnerships, marketing, and customer success at one of the region’s largest digital label printing operations.  Ryan started in the organization working part-time in various departments through both high school and college.  He then went on to attend Northeastern University where he got a degree in business and then spent 5 years working in high-tech sales & marketing for EMC and Rapid7. Ryan re-joined the family business full time in August of 2014 and has helped grow the customer base significantly with a large focus on the food and craft industry. The team at New England Label prides itself on helping customers from the initial label concept and design through to final production and have been doing so for over 40 years. 


Brian Rice, Boveda

Sustainability Symposium Webinar

Brian Rice, Director of R&D at Boveda, oversees the design and development of new products for diverse industries, including cannabis, tobacco and music. Brian brings two plus decades of experience with previous roles at General Mills, PepsiCo, Boston Scientific and 3M. As a leading expert in water activity, Brian and his team have explored the impact aW has on flower economics, quality and safety and have studied the changes that occur to cannabinoids when stored at various levels of humidity and moisture.


In this session, Brian Rice, Director of Research & Development at Boveda Inc.—the global leader in 2-way humidity control—will cover the wide-ranging impacts that humidity levels have on post-harvest cannabis, from the predictable impacts (dry flower weighs less and is worth less), to the unexpected (accurate labeling necessitates proper humidity control) and even the troubling (medical-grade cannabis won’t stay medical grade for long without adequate humidity control). 


A leading expert in water activity, with over 20 years experience in packaging and product innovation for companies like General Mills, PepsiCo, Boston Scientific and 3M, Mr. Rice’s session will illuminate the widely misunderstood issue of humidity control in post-harvest cannabis, as well as addressing effective solutions that cultivators can implement to ensure evaporation isn’t undermining their product quality or gobbling up profits any more.


In this session, attendees will come away with an understanding of how moisture and evaporation affect many different aspects of dry cannabis flower, including its weight, price, quality, purity and even therapeutic effects. They will learn about various target moisture levels for post-harvest cannabis flower, and understand how moisture levels directly impact cannabinoid levels and chemical stability. Attendees will be able to gain an understanding of water activity (aW), the recognized measure for determining cannabis safety, and how fine-tuning aW levels to their sweet spot drives quality and economic gains for cultivators and the entire supply chain. Finally, Brian will share new standards of identifying preferred methods for optimizing business outcomes.


Finance & Tax in the Pandemic: A candid discussion about finances; cash flow, tax implications and federal/local resources. 



2:10pm EST / 11:10am PST


Nick Richards, Greenspoon Marder LLP


Nick Richards is a Partner in the Tax practice group at Greenspoon Marder LLP. He represents individuals and businesses in tax audits & trials, M&A, in managing tax debt, and he advises cannabis companies, owners and investors regarding tax and regulatory compliance matters. Mr. Richards has been a tax attorney for more than twenty years beginning his career with the IRS where he was a leading trial attorney, a Chief Counsel advisor, and a Special Assistant United States Attorney.

With his broad experience and understanding at all phases of the tax system, from reporting and assessment through appeals, court, and tax debt resolution, Mr. Richards achieves successful legal solutions tailored to his individual client’s needs. Mr. Richards also teaches tax attorneys and CPAs throughout the US and he is an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Denver, Graduate Tax Program, where he teaches State and Local Tax and Civil and Criminal Tax.

Taxes can be stressful and Mr. Richards’ clients find relief in his broad experience in the IRS and in representing taxpayers large and small. He understands the tax system, provides informed advice, and protects taxpayers from the mistakes and missteps of those less experienced. Several years after leaving the IRS, he represented a Colorado cannabis company in one of the first IRS audits in the legalized industry. Since that ground-breaking case, he has gone on to successfully represent companies in many cities, states, courts and before the federal government. In addition to tax audits, trials and collections, he is widely recognized as a leading cannabis industry attorney and has extensive experience in IRC Section 280E and BSA cash reporting requirements. His knowledge of the tax system is essential when advising business owners and investors, particularly in mergers, acquisitions and entity formation.

Nick is a father of two young children, a proud husband, a music fan, and he enjoys the outdoors when not fighting for his clients.


Sarah McGarrell, Pierce Atwood

Sustainability Symposium WebinarSarah McGarrell is an attorney in Pierce Atwood’s Business Practice Group, where she works primarily with emerging, growth, and closely held companies.

Sarah represents companies in the medical, recreational, and hemp industries and frequently works with entrepreneurs and stakeholders to develop sustainable, thoughtful, and compliant business structures and financing plans. In addition, Sarah represents investors in leaf touching and non-leaf touching opportunities, counseling on due diligence, structure, and regulatory issues across all stages of investment.

Sarah has represented investors through all stages of their investment cycle and advised portfolio companies as in-house counsel at a private equity firm. As a former entrepreneur herself, Sarah brings a unique perspective and understands the challenges facing founders and young companies.


Chris Driessen, SLANG Wordwide

Chris Driessen is the U.S. President at SLANG Worldwide. (CSE: SLNG, Frankfurt: 84S).  The Company develops and markets leading cannabis brands and is responsible for popularizing the 510 thread vaporizer pen with the launch of its O.penVAPE product line in 2012. Mr. Driessen is the principal executive within the U.S., and is responsible for all American operating entities.  Prior to his work with SLANG Worldwide, Mr. Driessen held senior sales positions with Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Konica Minolta Business Solutions.

Mr. Driessen has a Bachelor of Arts degree in public relations that he completed at Texas Tech University and the University of North Texas.



Virtual Happy Hour / Networking

3:00pm EST / 12:00pm PST


Thank you to our 2020 Sponsors

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