Region: Northeast Cannabis Business Conference
Coming Fall 2021!

#NECannaBizCon Keynote Speakers



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Wednesday, February 19 at 10:15AM

Reimagining Diversity & Inclusion: A Pathway to Courageous Conversations


Derreck Kayongo
Entrepreneur, Global Soap Project Founder, CNN Hero, and Former CEO of the Center for Civil and Human Rights

Has anyone ever calculated the total cost of a lack of diversity in the workplace? Kayongo tackles the subject head-on by sharing how his organization found itself grappling with the issue. He examines how diversity and inclusion problems impact your corporate bottom line. From long-term harm to your brand and weakened stock prices to negative perceptions within the community, Kayongo reveals the potential savings that come about when employees understand the cost of no diversity and the value of their fellow employees. He illustrates with eye-opening examples, how our upbringing and unconscious biases can become a net negative to organizational growth and have a negative impact on the bottom-line. He explains his theory of  “Corporate Moral Aptitude,” an intriguing notion similar to Emotional Intelligence, but for corporations around cultural biases within the market place.

A native of Uganda and former refugee who worked his way up to become a CEO of a major American cultural institution, Kayongo has a great and noble story to tell about diversity and inclusion from an outsider’s perspective that you don’t want to miss. From executives to rank-and-file employees, audiences will walk away, inspired and positioned for success in today’s multicultural workplace. Read More

(Watch Video)


Following the presentation, Q&A moderated by Chloe Aiello.
Chloe Aiello is a Reporter for Cheddar covering the rapidly evolving cannabis space.
Follow her on Twitter: @chlobo_ilo

Thursday, February 20 at 10:15AM

Illicit Market Summit: Addressing the Illicit Cannabis Market Through Public-Private Collaboration

Andrew Kline
Director of Public Policy
National Cannabis Industry Association
Britte McBride
MA Cannabis Control Commission
Ed Davis 
Former Commissioner
Boston Police Department
Sarah Gersten
Executive Director
Last Prisoner Project

Ean Seeb
Special Advisor on Cannabis
Colorado Governor’s Office


Be the first to get the inside scoop after members of local and federal law enforcement, attorneys general, cannabis commissioners, entrepreneurs, associations, federal health agencies, and big tech companies gather for a closed-door summit to share information about the illicit cannabis market. Currently, this flourishing illicit cannabis market continues to: 

  1. Harm public health by offering untested, unregulated, unsafe cannabis products to consumers
  2. Divert precious law enforcement resources away from other law enforcement priorities
  3. Harm the profitability of state-legal cannabis businesses
  4. Divert anticipated tax revenue from cash-strapped states and municipalities

Although the summit will be closed to the public, this meeting of the minds has provided us with a rare opportunity to share behind the scenes advocacy work in action strictly to #NECannaBizCon attendees! On Day 2 of Northeast Cannabis Business Conference, leaders from the Illicit Market Summit will present a report recapping and highlighting a path forward that encompasses best practices for sharing information through a public-private partnership and alternatives to arrest and incarceration.

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