New for the 2019 SXSW Conference, the Cannabusiness Track will feature three days of high-level programming navigating the future of cannabis-focused enterprise. Explore the tech, politics, and culture of the cannabis industry and learn how entrepreneurs are growing businesses in this space.
"We at SXSW feel that the cannabis industry is uniquely positioned to evolve into a positive force that will resonate throughout the globe. Cannabis represents a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs and innovators who are looking to establish themselves in an industry that is just beginning to mature," says SXSW Programmer Adam Wode.
Within the Cannabusiness Track, dive into discussions around the evolving consumer base that is challenging the stereotypes of the typical cannabis user, and learn more about the boom in medicinal and wellness-focused products. "Beyond the opportunities in enterprise, the medicinal benefits of cannabis have the potential to positively impact millions of lives. We're excited to provide a platform for the creative minds who are establishing the industry as we know it."
We hope to see you in Austin from March 14-16, for the Cannabusiness Track at SXSW. In the meantime, take a look below for a list of 2019 sessions we're excited about for this March.
Please be aware that cannabis and related laws vary. Programming in this track is designed to inform attendees about this fast-changing industry, and does not promote the use or sale of illegal drugs.
Cannabusiness Session Highlights
Can We Heal Ourselves From the War on Drugs?
Speakers: Felicia Carbajal (Smart Pharm Research Group), Chas Moore (Austin Justice Coalition), Taylor Pendergrass (ACLU), and LaTorie Wallace (we BAKED)
In the recent past, cannabusiness has meant 2 things: the underground cannabis economy and the business of criminalizing people for participating in it. The injustice and systemic racism present in our criminal justice system remain embedded in the collateral consequences faced by people with convictions on their record. These include lack of access to housing, healthcare, and employment. This panel will outline the racist roots of the War on Drugs and focus on the instruments of oppression that persist today, including the militarization of police, deportation, unfair sentencing, and discriminatory housing, healthcare, and employment policies. As we look to the future, we will highlight cultural, medical, and legal solutions that might allow us to heal ourselves from the War on Drugs.
The Future of Hemp and Health
Speakers: Dr. Jeff Chen (UCLA Cannabinoid Research Initiative), Christopher Gavigan (Prima), Natalie Ginsberg (MAPS), and Chelsea Leyland (DJ and Medical Cannabis/Epilepsy Activist)
Hemp, cannabis' "sober botanical cousin," is one of the most powerful, versatile and misunderstood plants on the planet. As CBD products enter the mainstream market, it is time to decouple hemp from cannabis and appreciate the non-psychoactive hemp plant for what it is: an essential nutrient here to help. This panel will discuss the past, present and future of hemp and its role as a food, fiber and medicine. We will share the relationship between the plant and our body’s Endocannabinoid System, the scientific research leading the way, and the steps to integrating hemp-based products into your wellness routine.
Non-Obvious Trends in the Cannabis Industry
Speakers: Nancy Whiteman (Wana Brands)
It’s easy to toss around buzzwords, such as micro-dosing, senior demos and luxe-ing the leaf, but what are the deeper cannabis trends that will reveal themselves, engage consumers, change purchasing behaviors and have staying power? In this discussion, Wana Brands Founder & CEO Nancy Whiteman will explore the non-obvious trends in the cannabis industry including how do you get out ahead of where the market is going while still running a profitable business today; and how to spot a real trend and not just marketing hype.
Why Cannatech Will Disrupt Traditional Tech
Speakers: Emily Paxhia (Poseidon), Keegan Peterson (Wurk), Tahira Rehmatullah (MTech Acquisition Corp), and Cy Scott (Headset)
In this thesis-style presentation, we'll discuss how the cannabis industry is paving the way for traditional markets to adopt new and innovative technologies and processes. As the most regulated industry in the world, custom solutions are being developed to meet the unique requirements related to maintaining a compliant chain of custody, managing a diverse workforce, handling the challenges associated with money movement, and more. Cannabis is the perfect market size test tube that has been surviving with very little, yet has proven to be creating lean, mean, revenue producing machines. How can these solutions be implemented outside of cannabis to solve the needs of other industries? Where are we already seeing cannabis-specific technology drive outside industry change?
Cannabis Research Shackled by Politics Since 1968
Speakers: Sue Sisley, MD (Scottsdale Research Institute)
The session will highlight the abuses of the DEA / NIDA cannabis monopoly. We will present pictures of federally legal cannabis for research (NIDA’s moldy cannabis study drug) vs Real world cannabis... and why it’s imperative that scientists have access to quality flower & unique phenotypes for testing on humans. We will raise awareness about the fact that $68 million taxpayer dollars every 5 years is going to maintain this Government-enforced monopoly that’s been in violation of the CSA controlled substances act for decades. I will discuss the challenges of trying to push natural cannabis flower through the entire FDA drug development process with no legal supply for FDA phase 3.
Be sure to purchase your SXSW Badge and reserve your hotel today to experience these sessions along with 10 days of screenings, showcases, exhibitions, networking, and more this March 9-18 in Austin, TX.
Featured Image - Photo by Lauren Lindley Photography