Lift&Co. Expo Content Powers the Future of the Cannabis Industry

Lift&Co. Expo Toronto 2022 showcases an immersive four-day educational agenda that will invigorate your passion for learning while creating career-enhancing connections.

Lift&Co. Expo Toronto 2022 Agenda

Lift Cannabis Business Conference

Thursday, May 12, 2022 | 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Chair: Dr. Sherry Boodram, CEO & Co-Founder, CannDelta

Niel Marotta, President & CEO, Director, Co-Founder, Indiva

      Curbing the illicit market and protecting public health were two of the three objectives offered up in support of cannabis legalization. Three and a half years later, the cannabis market has seen consumers purchasing cannabis in all formats from flower, pre-rolls and vapes, to gummies, chocolates and beverages, creating a $4 billion industry in Canada.
      Despite the industry growth and innovation, since legalization the THC limits on edibles have remained capped at 10 mg per package. The unintended consequence of this is that two-thirds of edible customers are going back to the illicit market for unsafe and improperly dosed products. 
      What do we need to do to get 100 mg of THC in a single package? Join Niel Marotta, President and CEO of Indiva and Co-Chair of the Edibles Caucus, as he explores what Indiva is doing to drive regulatory change in the edibles category.

Moderator: David George-Cosh, Business Reporter, BNN Bloomberg

Shane MacGuill, Global Lead Nicotine & Cannabis, Euromonitor International

Deepak Anand, Founder, Materia


Allen Benjamin, Managing Director & National Team Lead, Cannabis & Emerging  Industries, BMO Bank of Montreal


Cannabis is now a global commodity. International cannabis market estimates vary widely – ‘USD 16.25 billion in 2021’; ‘US$37.4 in 2021’. Despite the broad projections, one fact is certain: the industry is growing quickly. In this international cannabis markets review, hear from experts – with experience and data – on how the cannabis market is growing and where the next opportunities are for business.

  • Canadian context: what are the latest stats for Canada’s cannabis industry (riding a bull or fighting a bear)?
  • International forecasts for the growing, investing, and where are the opportunities
  • Risks, threats, and obstacles – what are the key challenges for Canadian businesses and in the cannabis industry in general?
  • Global cannabis trends, new markets and the competitive landscape for 2022-2023

Jason Lewis, SVP Business Development, RDT Rapid Dose Therapeutics

  • How rapid delivery works
  • What are the potential applications for patients and consumers, and what are the current roadblocks?
  • What is the business potential, and how is this being realized now?
  • What is next for rapid delivery cannabis (and what’s next for old slow cannabis)?

Dr. Jenna Valleriani, Founder, Valleriani Consulting

The cannabis industry started as a grassroots movement, and as the cannabis industry continues to evolve and mature, there is increasing desire for businesses to focus on their social impact. This includes reinvesting in communities, righting historical wrongs of cannabis prohibition, and promoting responsible use in ways that educate, inform, and promote safe consumption of cannabis.

  • The evolution away from traditional "CSR" to more integrated and business wide social impact initiatives
  • How does robust social impact work help cannabis consumers and companies?
  • Best practices for collaboration with non-profit and the charity sector, and the importance of being a flexible private sector partner
  • How current regulations can provide varying challenges unique to the cannabis sector in their engagement with meaningful social impact work

Omar Khan, SVP Corporate & Public Affairs, High Tide

Marc Kealey, Chief Advocate, Kealey & Associates

Jacqueline Menezes, Advocacy Consultant, Cannabis Council of Canada and Principal, 7th Wave Consulting

David Hyde, CEO, Hyde Advisory & Investment Inc.

Dr. Cornelius Maurer, Co-Founder & Board Member, DEMECAN

The time has come for Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada to establish an Industry Panel that includes members of industry and policymakers responsible to oversee the industry’s economic development needs and to address the challenges within the sector. 

  • Canadian government's perspective on the economic importance of a Canadian cannabis industry
  • Assessing the economic impact of business insolvency within the sector, plus the threats, triggers and how to avoid them
  • Sharing authority with Health Canada – what responsibilities should shift, why, and what it will take to achieve
  • The consequences if the Canadian cannabis industry if it is not bolstered and supported

Nico Hache, President, Root to Shoot Solutions

Jawad Skieneh, Master Grower, Greenway Greenhouse Cannabis Corp.

Shauna Levy, Founder & CEO, Madge & Mercer

Jordan Rodness, VP Commercial & Product Strategy, Emblem Cannabis, Aleafia Health, Sunday Market

Brianne Tolp, Account Executive, Futurola

The cannabis industry is adjusting to the hard realities of the actual supply Canadian consumers and patients demand for legally produced cannabis. In this session, panelists with a broad spectrum of industry expertise and perspectives will review current realities and offer potential solutions on:

  • Why is 75% of cannabis produced not sold? 
  • Why is industry accepting of a higher rate of failure compared to like industries? 
  • What are the critical data needed to make strategic business decisions, increase yields, improve quality and profitability while meeting actual demand?
  • Plus, updates on standardization, automation, technology, predictive growing, KPIs, benchmarking and metrics

Jay Virdi, Chief Sales Officer, Cannabis Practice, HUB International

Emerging businesses commonly focus investment on R&D, operations and sales, while neglecting workplace safety and adequate insurance coverage, despite the risk of catastrophic claims severely impacting their bottom line and possible future viability. 

  • Current and emerging trends in the cannabis industry – and how it will impact your company’s risk profile
  • Top overlooked risks facing cannabis companies and common mistakes that cannabis companies make when it comes to worker safety
  • Factors to consider when developing a risk management plan for your organization
  • Essential insurance coverages to keep your business protected as the industry evolves

Allison Gutkowski, Director Global Research, HCD Research         

New functional wellness products containing cannabinoids will continue to enter the market at a greater rate than recreational products – by far. But what should they be? What are they going to address? And how to do get consumers to buy them?

  • What are the top drivers for use with both current users and non-users?
  • What is the largest unmet need in the functional wellness space?
  • How can companies develop product pipelines and innovation through behaviorally driven designs?
  • What consumer insights are typically overlooked – that could make or break a brand?

Ivan Ross Vrana, Executive Director, Global Cannabis Partnership

John Prentice, Founder & CEO, PINNRZ

Shannon Torres, CEO, TorrCann Craft Cannabis

Alex Pasternack, EVP & CRO, Binske

Is the future for Canadian cannabis specialty brands and brand development? Craft and premium brands are among consumers’ top favourites. But what is the business case as it relates to growth for micro-producers, and what are the best practices to scale production of craft and premium brands? Learn in this session:

  •  What constitutes a craft brand or a premium cannabis product? Marketing? Product reviews?
  • The business case for craft and premium brands, and when does craft/premium cease to be ‘craft’ or ‘premium’? What is the oversaturation point?
  • Organizational best practices: what are the approaches, processes and timelines to become a great craft or premium brand producer?
  • Business solutions, IT, SOPs: how operational considerations and requirements differ for micro-producers

Diane Scott, Chair & CEO, JMCC Group

Canada established a strong leadership position in the cannabis industry over two decades ago when it declared access to medical cannabis a constitutional right, and again in 2013, when it legalized production of medical cannabis -- creating a world-leading infrastructure for growing, processing, and distribution. Today, after the “rush to recreational”, can we still say we’re a leader? There are several reasons why we might not be considered so, as Diane Scott, Chair & CEO of JMCC Group relates in this brief session. But there are also actions Canada’s government and industry can take to reclaim that position, she explains.

George Smitherman, CEO, Cannabis Council of Canada

Trina Fraser, Partner, Brazeau Seller

Canada’s cannabis legislation (Bill C 45) is set to be reviewed, more than 3 years after legalization.  This is a critical time to review the performance of the Legislation against the public health and safety priorities that motivated legalization and a hoped for re- shaping of the regulatory and taxation model to reflect the operational and fiscal realities of the Cannabis sector. 

  • Statutory review structure and process - key officials, departments and agencies involved, and how industry can engage to maximum effect
  • Key signals on Health Canada's proposed scope for the Review? What about Excise Tax and stamp regime
  • Provincial-Municipal and Distributor cooperation  – are all levels of government and related authorities coordinating within the review? Opportunities for alignment?
  • Practical timelines: What can we expect for regulatory and legislative change following the review?

Nick Kuzyk, Principal & Owner, Meadowbank Strategic Partners Inc.

Bethany Gomez, CEO, Managing Director & Co-Founder, Brightfield Group

Adam Temple, CEO/CTO, Evolved Extraction Solutions

Adam Taylor, President, Export Action Global

The primary focus of competition in the cannabis industry was for too long on competing for investors, rather than businesses establishing a long-term competitive strategy to meet consumer demand and beat their market competitors. In this session, established business experts will share their views on winning competitive strategies in the cannabis sector.

  • Price & profit: techniques to mitigate downward price pressures
  • Collaborations & partnerships: how cooperation within the Canadian market can be a bulwark against international competition
  • How to create a competitive strategy that is the right fit, how to implement, and how to measure progress and results
  • What can government do to boost Canadian competitiveness, i.e. reduce high taxation


Friday, May 13, 2022 | Open: 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Industry Stage Agenda

Claire Stawnyczy, President & CEO, Lophos Pharma

  • What is peyote, and why is it important to indigenous people?
  • What makes peyote unique?
  • What are the challenges of cultivating peyote?
  • How will Lophos Pharma play a key role in the future of peyote and in peyote-derived pharmaceuticals?

Jonathan Zaid, CEO, CannaWay Clinic

Barb Vermeulem, Director, Harvest Medicine

Dr. Jennifer Anderson, Family Physician, Pediatric Cannabis Practice, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Anita Rasoda, Clinical Pharmacist, Fraser Health Authority and Medical Liaison, CanMar


  • What are the characteristics that patients are seeking? Medical centre or therapy/spa vibe
  • What are the specializations and health practitioners that patients need?
  • Overview of professional education, common treatments and integrating new therapies
  • Aligning regulatory compliance and ‘customer service’

Corey Herscu, Director Growth, VerbFactory

Ryan Abramowitz, Head of Brand Marketing, PINNRZ

Ian Kwechansky, CEO & Co-Founder, LOOP/POOL

Amiga Wheatle, Owner, 6 of Spade


  • Retailer-centric success: how brands are creating experiences with retailers
  • ‘Pay-to-play’: why it’s a hot-button issue right now
  • Update on evolving advertising and promotional regulations, including new AGCO rules
  • How brands can work with regulators to advance public safety goals and bolster legal sales

Diane Scott, Chair & CEO, JMCC Group

Trina Fraser, Partner, Brazeau Seller Law

Max Monahan-Ellison, Chair, Medical Cannabis Canada

Created by Adolfo Gonzalez, Founder & Headmaster, CannaReps


  • Certification and accreditation: where to get it, based on where you work
  • The realities of the job: deciding if budtending is for you
  • Reliable ‘post-graduate’ training: detailed learning, becoming a cannabis sommelier, and what you can share on the job with consumers
  • Information and resources for: sommelier training, Budtenders Association, etc.

Patrick Neary, Exercise Physiologist, Faculty of Kinesiology & Health Studies, University of Regina

Elias Theodorou, MMA Fighter, Cannabis Advocate, Athlete Ambassador, Athletes for CARE

Angelina Blessed, Muay Thai Fighter, Co-Founder, Gallery Brands & CEO, Blessed, Cannabis Advocate, Athlete Ambassador, Athletes for CARE


  • New cannabis therapies for professional and amateur athletes on and off the field
  • Cannabis treatments versus traditional pharmaceuticals – what are the benefits
  • Regulatory authorities – sport and government – including the approval processes for cannabis therapies
  • Research updates on performance, blood function, etc.

Anne Forkutza, Head of Strategic Growth, Dutchie

Dr. Ife Abiola, VP Advocacy & Education, FOUR20

Benjamin Tran, CEO, House of Cannabis

Richa Vaipeyi, CMO, Stash & Co

Tawana Johnson, Cannabis Brand Ambassador & Assistant Manager, Babettes


  • Review: current consumer and patient demand and product preferences
  • The customer experience: what keeps them coming back (and what converts illicit market consumers on to the legal market?)
  • Marketing best practices for micro-producers and premium brands
  • Emerging POS and inventory systems and data gold

David Schenk, Consulting Director, Bridge Street Consulting

David Berg, President & CTO, Strainprint Technologies

Megan Henderson, Head of Operations, HelloMD

Israel Gasperin, Founder & CEO, Zentrela


  • New apps and digital tools for patients
  • Inventive medical and therapeutical tools and accessories that improve patient care
  • Drug delivery systems that support patient compliance
  • Physician and health practitioner education

CannaVest Agenda

Rishi Malkani, Partner, Deloitte

Cy Scott, Founder, Headset

Steve Goertz, Chief Financial Officer, Acreage Holdings

This presentation will provide a big-picture overview of the adult-use market. The panelist will review growth market trends, consumer behavior preferences, sales of different form factors, and cannabis production challenges. The session will also address current trends in vaping.

Allan Rewak, Partner, Pathway Group

Jonathan Purow, Counsel, Zuber Lawler

Genevieve Eccleston, Director of Investment Banking, Canaccord Genuity

Dr. Gavin George, Co-Founder & CEO, Puregene

This session will cover a review of building out your grow facility, selling to brands and stores, delivery models, and the use of data analytics to measure performance and enhance profitability.

Rodney Perry, Chief Digital Officer,, CannaAds

Kyle Hulme, Partner, Consulting, BDO Canada

This presentation will cover why ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) can bring value and opportunity to cannabis companies, while also impacting the wider community. This presentation will also address ways cannabis organizations can get started on their ESG journey to fuel future success.

Eric Foster, Partner, Dentons

Sam Znaimer, Managing Director, WGD Capital

Matt Shalhoub, Managing Director, Green Acre Capital


George Smitherman, Executive Director, Cannabis Council of Canada

Beena Goldenberg, Chief Executive Officer, Organnigram

Hugo Alves, Chief Executive Officer, Auxly

Niel Marotta, President & CEO, Indiva

Mandesh Dosanjh, President & CEO, Pure Sunfarms

Myrna Gillis, CEO, Aqualitas

In this session, C3 CEO George Smitherman will moderate a panel of 5 leading Cannabis Industry CEOs to discuss their approaches to business planning and how prospective regulatory reforms factor into future forecasting. 


Saturday, May 14, 2022 | Open: 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Industry Stage Agenda

Albert Kim, CEO, Greenline

Elyse Ranger, Director of Store Experience, Vetrina Group

  • Importance of budtenders – empowering your frontline
  • Achieving retail operational efficiency – what it looks like and how to get there
  • Maximizing sales and margins – tips and tactics to increase revenue
  • Financing – assessing needs, defining goals, and making the investment

Alison McMahon, CEO, Cannabis At Work

Britney Guerra, General Manager, Brant Cannabis Co

Mika Unterman, Founder & Principal, Apical Ethical Cannabis Collective

Deepak Anand, Founder, Materia

  • CSR: examples of outstanding corporate social responsibility…and areas in need of improvement
  • ESG: how the cannabis sector is meeting – or missing – global environmental, social and governance goals
  • Business strategy and reality – the difficult road to being a ‘B Corp ‘
  • Work culture review in the cannabis industry

Steven Conville, Founder & CEO, Kronic Relief

Antuanette Gomez, Founder & CEO, Peak Pharm Labs

Darwin Douglas, CEO, All Nations Cannabis

Audrey Wong, CEO, Zyre Brands & Executive Director, Elimin8Hate

  • Business case for diversity in the workplace
  • Recruitment and retention strategies that boost the bottom line and representation
  • Righting past wrongs and not repeating them again and again
  • Case studies: what success looks like

Hosted by Tamara Lilien, Head of Education, CannSell Ontario

Created by Adolfo Gonzalez, Founder & Headmaster, CannaReps

  • Certification and accreditation: where to get it, based on where you work
  • The realities of the job: deciding if budtending is for you
  • Reliable ‘post-graduate’ training: detailed learning, becoming a cannabis sommelier, and what you can share on the job with consumers
  • Information and resources for: sommelier training, Budtenders Association, etc.

Philippe Lucas, PhD, President, SABI Mind

Dr. Ivan Cassellman, Chief Psychedelics Officer, HAVN Life

Irie Selkirk, Co-Founder, GoodCap Pharmaceuticals

Andrew Charette, Director Regulatory Affairs & Psychedelic Advisor, KGK Science

Thomas Hartle, Psilocybin-Assisted Therapy Patient & Psychedelics Activist

  • The Canadian Psychedelics Survey: Investigation highlights from Canada’s first comprehensive assessment of national psychedelics use to date

  • Reviewing the science: separating facts from claims and myths

  • Growing in popularity: top psychedelics therapies today and how patients choose treatments and clinics

  • Physician education - what kind of information can physicians provide patients and how are physicians educated on new therapies

Atiyyah Ferouz, Founder, CEO, AgCann Consultancy Ltd.

Av Singh, PhD, PAg, Cannabis Cultivation Advisor

Alexandre Gauthier, Master Grower, Origine Nature

Patrick Page, Master Grower, MTL Cannabis

  • Plant profiling - growing for quality vs growing for mass production
  • Pros and cons for standardization within the industry
  • Preventative controls in cultivation
  • Overview and update on tissue culture in cannabis right now

CannaVest Agenda

George Smitherman, Executive Director, Cannabis Council of Canada

Trina Fraser, Partner, Brazeau Seller Law

Landon Tresise, Director of Government Relations, Aurora Cannabis



Kevin Lee, VP of Business Development, ND Supplies

Mika Unterman, Founder & Principal, Apical Ethical Cannabis Collective

Stephanie Martens, Former Director of Marketing, Adastra Holdings

The Beginning
Where we were - scramble to find CR options, looked more towards pharmaceuticals
The Present
Where we are -  still heavily muted but companies are starting to find creative ways around regulations. Seeing more colorful and custom designs. Some companies are pushing boundaries and that’s what’s needed to move the needle.
The Future
Where we want to be - sustainable both in environment and affordability.

Joshua Reynolds, President, CapitalNow Cannabis

Nawan Butt, Portfolio Manager, Purpose Investments

Phillip Shum, Director, Listings Development, Canadian Securities Exchange

Peter Graham, Managing Director, Investment Banking; Echelon Capital Markets

Allan Rewak, Partner, Pathway Group

Scott Walters, Principal, Blaise Ventures


Sunday, May 15, 2022 | Open: 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Industry Stage Agenda

Lisa Petty, Senior Marketing Manager, Lift&Co. Expo & MCI Group

Antuanette Gomez, Founder & CEO, Peak Pharm Labs

Tijen Yalchin, Co-Founder, Earth Kisses Sky

Solonje Burnett, Co-Founder & CEO, Humble Bloom

Jonathan Dekel, Freelance Journalist

Ian Kwechansky, CEO & Founder, LOOP/POOL

Jason Pierce, Drummer, Our Lady Peace

Michaela Freedman, Cannabis Business Consultant, MF Cannabis Consulting

Paul Pedersen, CEO, Nextleaf Solutions

Jaipaul Massey-Singh, VP Business Development, Peak Processing Solutions

Arjen Melis, Co-Founder & President, Voyager Products

Keenan Pascal, CEO & Founder, Token Naturals

Alex Revich, Equity Partner, Hybrid Pharm

Drew Henson, CEO &Founder, TOQi

Mika Unterman, Founder & Principal, Apical Ethical Cannabis Collective

Treno Morton, Founder, Fumes Rolling Papers & Accessories

Michael Ghazal, Founder & CEO, Eco Four Twenty

Created by Adolfo Gonzalez, Founder & Headmaster, CannaReps

  • Certification and accreditation: where to get it, based on where you work
  • The realities of the job: deciding if budtending is for you
  • Reliable ‘post-graduate’ training: detailed learning, becoming a cannabis sommelier, and what you can share on the job with consumers
  • Information and resources for: sommelier training, Budtenders Association, etc.

Tamara Hirsh, CEO, TripMaps

Holly Bennett, Communications Director, TheraPsil

MCpl(ret) Scott Atkinson, psychedelics patient