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Cannabis Partnerships Conference

  • Hilton San Francisco Airport Bayfront (map)

The Cannabis Partnerships Congress

The Cannabis Partnership Congress all of the key stakeholders in a collaborative environment to face the scientific, medicinal, and governmental challenges of cannabis-based product development. Despite recent changes in state policy and with the increasing rate of cannabis use and its implications for health, the federal government has yet to legalize cannabis. When facing the continued restrictions on research into the health benefits of cannabis, what strategies must pharma companies follow to bring these therapeutics to market?

Clinical research with cannabis needs special approval from FDA, while obtaining the plants themselves involves a separate time-consuming process through NIDA. The Cannabis Partnership Congress helps you navigate all of these regulatory and development challenges.

Top Reasons to Attend

  1. Review standards, current regulatory hurdles, and upcoming legislation
  2. Understand the science and economics surrounding the extraction and QC manufacturing
  3. Recognize the patient role for effective cannabidiol research and approvals
  4. Discover how to improve the quality and efficiency of data integrity in clinical trials


Who Should Attend

This conference is of interest to professionals from pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies, Non-Profits, Patient Advocacy Groups and Academics with responsibilities in the following functions:

  • Cannabis
  • Cannabinoid Science
  • Strategic Partnerships
  • Program and Pharmaceutical Portfolio Development
  • Translational Medicine
  • Medical Science Liaisons
  • Asset Management
  • Pre-Clinical Staging Development
  • Source Management
  • Research and Development
  • Regulatory Affairs
  • Patient Advocacy and Networks
  • Legislative Health Aids
  • Strategic Partnerships
  • Cannabis Clinical Trial Management/Operations
  • Clinical Research
  • Medical/Clinical Affairs
  • Personalized Medicine
  • Patient Advocacy/Access
  • Commercial Operations
  • Lab Management
  • Toxicology

Additionally, this event is for those in the public and private foundations, military support groups, university research, investors in the cannabis sector, economics surrounding the extraction and quality control manufacturing, This event is geared perfectly to bring together the cross-functional synergies for success in the Cannabidiol market place.


Day One
Monday, March 12
8:00AM – 8:45AMRegistration and Continental Breakfast
8:45AM – 9:00AMConference Co-Chairpersons’ Opening Remarks
Dean Petkanas, Chief Medical Officer, KANNALIFE SCIENCES
9:00AM – 9:45AMAdvancing Cannabinoid Science by Driving Effective Research and Overcoming Hurdles in Therapeutic Production and Regulatory Approval
Dean Petkanas, Chief Medical Officer, KANNALIFE SCIENCES
9:45AM – 10:30AMNavigating Governmental and Ethics Requirements for Clinical Trials
Dr. Guy Chamberland, M.Sc., Ph.D., Master Herbalist, Chief Scientific Officer and Regulatory Affairs, TETRA BIO-PHARMA
10:30AM – 11:00AMNetworking Break
11:00AM – 11:45AMMonitor Governmental Awareness and Legislative Research Options
Brian Fisher, Vice President of Operations and Corporate Partnerships, THE STURGE-WEBER FOUNDATION
11:45AM – 12:30PMReview the Barriers and Routes to Success for Efficacy Research
Thoma Kikis, Chief Marketing Officer, KANNALIFE
12:30PM – 1:30PMLuncheon
1:30PM – 2:30PMBreakout Groups
Veronica Arroyave, Sr. Director, Global Health Programs, PARTNERSHIP FOR QUALITY MEDICAL DONATIONS
Dr. Bruno Battistini, President, CEO and Scientific Director, NEW BRUNSWICK HEALTH RESEARCH FOUNDATION
Dr. Guy Chamberland, M.Sc., Ph.D., Master Herbalist, Chief Scientific Officer and Regulatory Affairs, TETRA BIO-PHARMA
2:30PM – 3:15PMEnsure Compliance in Cannabis Marketing
Darshan Kulkarni, Pharm.D., M.S., Esq., Advisor, AMERICAN SOCIETY OF CANNABIS PHARMACISTS
3:15PM – 4:00PMNetworking Break
4:00PM – 4:45PMUnderstand Cannabis-Derived Medications Through the FDA Approval Process
Alice Mead, Vice President, U.S. Professional Relations, GREENWICH BIOSCIENCES
4:45PM – 5:30PMInteractive Partnerships Discussion: Maximize Strategic Partnerships in Order to Ensure Patient Safety and Launch a Successful Product
Dr. Bruno Battistini, President, CEO and Scientific Director, NEW BRUNSWICK HEALTH RESEARCH FOUNDATION
5:30PM – Day One Concludes

Day Two
Tuesday, March 13
8:00AM – 8:45AMRegistration and Continental Breakfast
8:45AM – 9:00AMConference Co-Chairpersons’ Recap of Day One
Dean Petkanas, Chief Medical Officer, KANNALIFE SCIENCES
9:00AM – 9:45AMUnderstand Why State and Federal Governments Must Work Together to Align Regulations
Elias Jackson, Ph.D., Director of Scientific Public Relations, VYRIPHARM BIOPHARMACEUTICAL
9:45AM – 10:30AMForecast the Future of Lab Research in Cannabidiol and Improvements in Analytics and Quality
Barbara Read, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, LIFESCRIPT
10:30AM – 11:00AMNetworking Break
11:00AM – 11:45AMUpdate QC and Patient Experience Communications for Medical Cannabis
Mark Reichman, EVP, Client Services Director, GUIDEMARK HEALTH; Cannabis Patient Advocate
11:45AM – 12:30PMInnovative Treatments for Patients Through Drug Repurposing
12:30PM – 1:30PMLuncheon
1:30PM – 2:30PMRegulatory Review: Current Legal Questions and Likely Future Developments
Lezli Engelking, President and Founder, FOCUS
Douglas Brenneman, Scientific Advisory Board, KANNALIFE SCIENCES
Jeremy Unruh, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer, PHARMACANN
2:30PM – 3:15PMIntegrate Medical Cannabis With Traditional Medicine
3:15PM – 4:00PMNetworking Break
4:00PM – 4:45PMUtilize Crowdsourcing in Response to Federal Research Restrictions
4:45PM – Congress Concludes




Verónica Arroyave

Verónica Arroyave is the Director of Corporate Responsibility and AbbVie Foundation for AbbVie. In that capacity, she advances AbbVie’s commitment as a socially responsible company supporting global philanthropic programs and alliance building.

With the AbbVie Foundation, she has expanded philanthropic initiatives in Latin America in strategic priority areas such as neglected tropical diseases, pediatric oncology, and non-communicable diseases. Veronica has worked in academic, corporate, government and non-profit management roles for over fifteen years catalyzing global health partnerships across sectors championing philanthropic opportunities to strengthen communities worldwide.

Prior to joining the AbbVie Foundation, Veronica was a Global Health Fellow for the Partnership for Quality Medical Donations (PQMD) where she conducted field research in Haiti post-2010’s earthquake. She has advised for organizations such as Johnson & Johnson, Schering-Plough, Wyeth, Project HOPE, Medical Teams International, and Carilion Foundation. With MAP International, she led a team responsible for field implementation and global medical logistics across 90+ countries. Veronica also worked with USAID’s MEASURE Evaluation project supporting the prevention and evaluation of HIV/AIDS programs in Latin America and Africa. Veronica has a Bachelors of Science from Our Lady of Holy Cross College, a Masters from Tulane University’s School Public Health & Tropical Medicine and a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech’s School of Public and International Affairs.


Dr. Bruno Battistini

Before becoming New Brunswick’s President, CEO and Scientific Director of the Provincial Health Research Foundation (NBHRF; 2012–), Bruno Battistini occupied senior positions in the private sector (CSO, VP, Senior Director), was a Health Research Scholar and Assistant- Professor (Medicine) at the Université Laval, and Scientist at the Hôpital Laval – Quebec Heart & Lung Institute (1997-2006), and still lectures at the Université de Sherbrooke.

A Sherbrooke – Eastern Township native, Dr. Battistini holds a B.Sc. (Cell Physiology), M.Sc. and Ph.D. (Pharmacology; 1992) from the Université de Sherbrooke, QC. As a Fellow, he conducted three post-doctoral pieces of training (1992–1997). at the William Harvey Research Institute – St. Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical College – U of London – under Sir John R. Vane, Nobel Laureate, UK, then UBC-Vancouver and U de Sherbrooke. He has been awarded many health research Studentships, Fellowships, and Scholarships and was in receipt of several operating grants and venture capitals funds. Dr. Battistini continues to serve on several provincial and national advisory committees, peer-review committees, and boards, recently as national Co-Chair of and the Forum of Health Research (Canadian) Funders (2015-2017), and is the recipient of many national awards and honors.

His research focused on the cardiovascular, pulmonary and “diabesity” fields, with close to a hundred co-authored cited publications, a couple of patents, and 350 various posters, oral, keynote presentations, particularly on the mechanisms of endothelins and other vasoactive mediators in hypertension, sepsis, asthma, alveolitis, diabetes, and more recently in managing major scientific and social health endeavors. When a Faculty, he has trained over 20 students.

Since his arrival at the in early 2012, he fostered a significant increase in the Foundation activities, programs, to fund, leverage, and facilitate over $10M per year of combined investment in the New Brunswick Health Research Enterprise in building the knowledge economy.


Bruce Bloom

Dr. Bruce Bloom is President and Chief Science Officer of Cures Within Reach, a nonprofit corporation saving lives since 2005 by repurposing human approved drugs and devices to quickly deliver safe and affordable treatments and cures for diseases that have no currently effective therapy. Cures Within Reach uses CureAccelerator™, the only global online repurposing research collaboration platform, to bring together clinicians, researchers, funders and industry to create and conduct pilot clinical trials that quickly drive more treatments to more patients. Dr. Bloom is an Ashoka Fellow, recognized as a social entrepreneur for his system-changing solutions to one of the world’s most urgent social problems, finding new treatments for unsolved diseases. Dr. Bloom is the Patient Advisory Board Chair for the Institute for Translational Medicine; on the Science Advisory Boards of Rediscovery Life Sciences, the GARROD AKU Consortium, the Dr. Ralph and Marian Falk Medical Research Trust Awards Programs, the Findacure Social Impact Bond Initiative, and Healx, LTD; Chair of the Governance Committee of the Kendall College Charitable Trust; a member of the Board of Councilors of Midwestern University; and a member of the editorial board of ASSAY and Drug Development Technologies. Dr. Bloom hosts the Clinician’s Roundtable on, and is a facilitator for Pathways to Successful Living.

Jerry Bryant



Dr. Guy Chamberland, M.Sc., Ph.D.
Master Herbalist, Chief Scientific Officer and Regulatory Affairs, TETRA BIO-PHARMA


Jeffrey Chen

Dr. Jeff Chen M.D./MBA is a physician, researcher, and social entrepreneur. He is Founder and Director of the UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative, where he leads a team of over 20 faculty members to conduct education and groundbreaking research into the effects of cannabis on society, including health, legal, economic, and social impact. He is a thought leader on the intersection of cannabis policy, science, and business, where he has worked for the last four years to accelerate cannabis research. He has spoken on the topic of cannabis at organizations ranging from RAND and Yale School of Management to Senator Feinstein’s Office and Burning Man. Dr. Chen is a David Geffen Fellowship Recipient, UCLA Anderson Fellowship Recipient, and UCLA Wolfen Entrepreneurial Award Recipient. He is a U.S. patent holder, a published author in cancer research, and sat on the Admissions Committee at the UCLA School of Medicine. He is a graduate of the MD/MBA program at UCLA and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Cornell University where he studied Biology, Business, and Music.


Lezli Engelking
President and Founder, FOCUS

Lezli possesses more than two decades of professional experience in cannabis, government relations, pharmaceutical, mental health, and nonprofit industries. More than twelve years with Eli Lilly Pharmaceuticals laid the perfect foundation for Lezli’s role as Executive Director of the first chain of vertically integrated medical cannabis operations in Phoenix, Arizona. Lezli’s proven success in the highly regulated pharmaceutical industry, combined with her firsthand experience working in the nascent cannabis industry, provided the perfect experience to create the Foundation of Cannabis Unified Standards (FOCUS).

Founded in 2014 as The Cannabis Health and Safety Organization, FOCUS addresses the many shortcomings in quality, safety, and consistency that became evident with the explosive growth of the global legal cannabis industry. FOCUS is an international, non-profit, cannabis standards development & third-party certification organization dedicated to protecting public health, consumer safety and safeguarding the environment. FOCUS is not an advocacy organization, nor an industry trade association. FOCUS does not accept membership dues or fees for standards development. This autonomy fosters a principled, objective environment that serves end users, and acts as the much-needed bridge between industry and regulatory protecting public health, consumer safety, and safeguarding the environment.


Brian Fisher
Vice President of Operations and Corporate Partnerships, THE STURGE-WEBER FOUNDATION

Brian Fisher has more than 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry from sales to managed care and including marketing and product launch. Before working with The Sturge-Weber Foundation, Mr. Fisher was Managed Care National Accounts Manager for Schering-Plough Pharmaceuticals; Western Regional Sales Director for Draxis Health of Canada; and Sales, Marketing Rotations and Institutional Sales Trainer with Bayer Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Fisher’s strengths lay in patient advocacy after experiences in cross-functional pharmaceutical roles as he develops partnerships between industry and patient advocacy organizations. Mr. Fisher regularly lobbies in Washington, D.C., drawing attention to patient insurance support, translational research science, and rare diseases ultimately benefiting multisystem disease states.


Elias Jackson, Ph.D.
Director of Scientific Public Relations, VYRIPHARM BIOPHARMACEUTICAL

Dr. Elias Jackson is the co-founder, President of Research and Development and Director of Scientific Public Relations for Vyripharm Biopharmaceuticals, a precision medicine biotechnology firm that develops drugs to target cancer, PTSD, drug addiction and other metabolic diseases. He was previously a professor and research faculty member at the Cardiovascular Research Center at the Yale University School of Medicine, and is a graduate of The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.


Thoma Kikis
Chief Marketing Officer, KANNALIFE


Darshan Kulkarni
FDA Regulatory and Compliance Attorney, THE KULKARNI LAW FIRM

Dr. Kulkarni is Vice President, Regulatory Strategy and Policy at Synchrogenx — a medical writing and regulatory strategy company, and is the Principal Attorney at the Kulkarni Law Firm. He is an advisor for the American Society of Cannabis Pharmacists and works with a variety of life science companies and their service providers to help with a variety of services including aggressive and compliant:

A. Sales tool development
B. Health economics, sales, and marketing approval
C. Responses to titled and untitled letters from various governmental agencies including the FDA
He has worked as a pharmacist for more than 10 years and is currently Visiting Professor at the Univ. of the Sciences where he teaches and develops courses a course on Promotion of Biomedical Products. He has lectured in engineering, medical, and law schools all over the country and was voted in the Top 20 of the 2012 and 2013 Top 100 most influential Social media participants in the annual #pharma100 poll.

Dr. Kulkarni also serves on the Editorial Advisory Board for FDANews and serves in the American Bar Association where he participates and is actively involved in the Healthcare Fraud and Life Science Interest Groups.

Most recently, Dr. Kulkarni has written several articles, and chapters for textbooks including the chapter on Promotion of Pharmaceuticals, and the chapter on medical devices for the Second, Third, Fourth and upcoming fifth Edition of Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Law: Regulation of Research, Development, and Marketing – the American Bar Association’s flagship textbook for pharmaceutical and medical device law.


Alice Mead
Vice President, U.S. Professional Relations, GREENWICH BIOSCIENCES


Dean Petkanas
Chief Medical Officer, KANNALIFE SCIENCES


Barbara Read
Vice President of Sales and Marketing, LIFESCRIPT


Mark Reichman
EVP, Client Services Director, GUIDEMARK HEALTH
Cannabis Patient Advocate


Jeremy Unruh
General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer, PHARMACANN LLC

Please contact the event manager Marilyn (marilyn.b.turner(at) ) below for: 
- Multiple participant discounts
- Price quotations or visa invitation letters
- Payment by alternate channels (PayPal, check, Western Union, wire transfers etc) 
- Event sponsorship

Prices may go up any time. Service fees included in pricing. 
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