Webinar series

June 23, 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.


June 23rd Agenda 


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.


Legislative & Regulatory Affairs: 

CA, CO & NY responses to COVID and sustainability outlooks 

Hear from gubernatorial advisors from these important and distinctive markets about how they are working through the COVID crisis and share about their efforts to drive sustainability.



1:00pm EST / 10:00am PST
Moderator: Ben Gelt


Nicole Elliot, Senior Cannabis Advisor to Governor Newsom
Nicole Elliot

Nicole was appointed to serve as Governor Newsom’s senior cannabis advisor in February 2019. She is tasked with coordinating the work of numerous state agencies, communicating and collaborating with all impacted stakeholders, advocating for equity, advising the Governor on efficacy of current programming and developing additional policy reforms to strengthen and further develop the state’s cannabis framework.   

Prior to serving in this role, Nicole was appointed to serve as the first Director of the San Francisco Office of Cannabis in 2017. Responsible for overseeing the City and County’s development and implementation of a commercial cannabis regulatory framework, she facilitated the creation of San Francisco’s current cannabis policies – policies that focus on robust community engagement, successfully transitioning hundreds of local small cannabis businesses to the legal market, and prioritizing the development of an inclusive and diverse legal industry.

Prior to her state service, Nicole spent ten years serving the City and County of San Francisco under the Newsom and Lee Administrations, working her way up from intern to serving in a variety of roles including Director of Appointments, Liaison to the Board of Supervisors, Director of State & Federal Affairs and Director of Legislative & Government Affairs.  


Ean Seeb, Special Cannabis Advisor to Governor Polis
Ean Seeb
Norman Birenbaum, Director of Cannabis Programs NY
Norman Birenbaum

Energy Workshop:

30 minute follow up discussion featuring thought leaders from the Resource Innovation Institute, Fluence and Heliospectra



2:00pm EST / 11:00am PST


Derek Smith, Resource Innovation Institute
Derek Smith RIIDerek Smith is Executive Director and Co-Founder of Resource Innovation Institute (RII), a national non-profit whose mission is to promote and quantify energy, carbon and water conservation in the cannabis industry. Prior to RII, Mr. Smith ran Clean Energy Works, a residential energy efficiency program that blended utility, public and private dollars to deliver whole-building retrofits while generating carbon emission reductions along with equitable economic development outcomes. Clean Energy Works was hailed as one of the most successful US Dept. of Energy funded stimulus programs in the country. Mr. Smith has also led energy programs with the City of Portland Bureau of Planning & Sustainability, served on the management team of a Zero VOC start-up paint company and developed an award-winning corporate sustainability program for a national retailer.
Corinne Wilder, Fluence
Corinne Wilder

Corinne has spent her career fusing her childhood love for science with the rigors of international business development. She earned a bachelor’s degree in ecology and marine biology from Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi, where she took particular interest in genetics, cell biology and plant science.

A few years later, she entered the lighting industry at Universal Lighting Technologies and Panasonic (ULT), where she tracked LED sales forecasting and demand planning and was responsible for reviewing energy standards and codes for lighting technology.

She earned her MBA from Lipscomb University in 2014, rounding out her career at ULT which covered multiple disciplines from customer service, technical engineering, marketing, lead generation, business development, and sales management.

In 2016, Corinne started as manager of sales operations at Fluence, where she was responsible for all internal sales teams and resources before eventually becoming Fluence’s VP of Global Commercial Operations. Today, she is responsible for all business reporting and analytics for internal operations, heading the company’s commercial support teams, including the utility rebates and incentives program, and directing internal processes to meet global strategic goals for the cannabis and commercial food markets.

Ryan Wankel, Heliospectra
Ryan Wankel
A second generation cannabis grower, Ryan has led commercial teams at large scale facilities in Denver. Having taken multiple cultivation facilities from HPS to LED lighting solutions, he now assists our customers in North America and Europe in developing strain-specific lighting strategies and understanding the benefits and environmental conditions of growing with LEDs.

Thank you to our 2020 Sponsors

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