CannaBusiness: Capitalizing on the Cannabis Economy Recap

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Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce and Flower City Solutions partnered to present “CannaBusiness: Capitalizing on the Cannabis Economy”. With the legalization of adult-use recreational marijuana under discussion in the New York State Legislature, the half-day symposium attended by more than 350 people opened a community conversation on the emerging cannabis and hemp industries.

Click here for video of welcoming remarks from Rochester Chamber CEO Bob Duffy and Flower City Solutions Founder Zach Sarkis.

Click here for a photo album from the event.


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Keynote speakers included Constellation Brands EVP and General Counsel Jim Bourdeau with a look at industry insights (watch video), Consulate General of Canada in New York Deputy Consul General Khawar Nasim focusing on health and safety (watch video), and New York State Assembly Majority Leader Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes exploring community impact (watch video).





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Panel discussion topics following the keynotes included Legalization, Regulation, and Compliance (watch video) featuring Kaelan Castetter, founder of Sovereign Vines and Castetter Sustainability Group, Morgan Hopkins, Co-Director of DeJoy, Knauf & Blood's Cannabis and Hemp Advisory Practice, Jason Klimek, Boylan Code attorney, and Jim Malatras, president of the Rockefeller Institute of Government. The Social Justice and Law Enforcement panel (watch video) included Korey Brown, Monroe County Undersheriff, Kassandra Frederique, Drug Policy Alliance New York State Director, Mary Kruger, Roc NORML Executive Director, and David Soares, Albany County District Attorney.

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The Business, Innovation, and AgTech panel (watch video) featured Dasheeda Dawson, The WeedHead global cannabis advocate, Dennis DuVal, Acreage New York COO, Richard Glaser, founder of RochesterGrowth, and Julie C. Suarez, Associate Dean for Government and Community Relations for Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The Health and Medicine panel (watch video) featured Corey Hewitt, Columbia Care New York State Director, Dr. Laszlo Mechtler, Professor of Neurology and Oncology at the State University of New York at Buffalo and Medical Director of the Dent Neurologic Institute, Dr. Michael Mendoza, Commissioner of Public Health for Monroe County and Associate Professor at the University of Rochester in the Departments of Family Medicine, Public Health Sciences, and Nursing, and Harold C. Smith, Ph.D., cell and molecular biologist and full professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of Rochester, School of Medicine and Dentistry.

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Click here for the full program of speakers and panelists.