Event Schedule 2023

Morgan MFG


Wendy Berger

Board Member at Green Thumb Industries (GTI), CEO & President WBS Equities, LLC


Wendy is CEO and Founder of WBS Equities, LLC, a company she founded in 2004. WBS Equities specializes in ground-up construction, renovation, development, sale lease back transactions and acquisition of industrial buildings for food and beverage manufacturers and distributors. She has grown the business into a nationally recognized leader in this niche area within industrial real estate development and acquisitions. In addition to the firm’s focus on real estate development for food and beverage manufacturers and distributors, Wendy has over 30 years’ experience in real estate brokerage, real estate finance and structuring complex real estate transactions.

Benjamin Larson

CEO at Vertosa | NCIA Board Member | Cannabis Beverage Association Board Member | ATACH Cannabis Beverage Council

Successfully navigating multi-state expansion as a brand

Benjamin Larson is the CEO of Vertosa, the multi-state infusion technology company specializing in beverages and other fast-acting form factors. Prior to Vertosa, Mr. Larson co-founded Gateway Incubator, California's first business accelerator and co-working space dedicated to the emerging cannabis industry. He's a Director and Mentor at Founder Institute where he formerly managed global operations and helped expand the program into over 100 cities around the world. Mr. Larson is a host of the Marijuana Today podcast; a founding board member of the Cannabis Beverage Association and founding member of ATACH's Cannabis Beverage Council; and he was recently appointed to the Board for the National Cannabis Industry Association. Mr. Larson was a recipient of the San Francisco Business Times 40 Under 40 and was recognized by Forbes in 2022 as one of the 42 pioneers to watch in the green rush.

Kate Lynch

EVP of Marketing for Curaleaf

Creating a National Cannabis Beverage Brand in State-by-State Markets

Get ready to take a deep dive into the rapid growth of the cannabis beverage industry. Kate Lynch, Curaleaf's EVP of Marketing, will share her insights on the driving factors behind the ascent of this emerging category. Drawing upon the successful launch of two beverage brands, Select Squeeze and Endless Coast, Lynch will share her insights on creating national brands within state-by-state markets. Lynch will explore the importance of consistency in formulations, discussing the challenges of maintaining product quality and taste profiles across different regions while complying with varying regulations. In addition, she will analyze  the critical aspect of distribution, providing guidance on establishing strong partnerships, forging relationships with distributors, and navigating the complex regulatory framework in each state. 


Jason Vegotsky

CEO, Petalfast

How To Expand Your Cannabis Beverage Brand In East coast New Markets?

Jason Vegotsky is the Chief Executive Officer of Petalfast, the first-of-its-kind full spectrum sales and marketing agency for the cannabis industry. Petalfast helps cannabis brands achieve rapid growth via its go-to-market accelerator program in California, and through its full spectrum of agency services available to brands nationally. Notable cannabis brands already engaged in the Petalfast platform include Space Coyote, Emerald Sky, Bloom Brands, and Yada Yada. The company, through its incubator program, also provides new and recently launched brands with direct access to leading retailers and opportunities to gain first-hand market analysis, while also offering select retailers the opportunity to see future brands before they formally hit the market.

Jeremiah Moseteller

Policy Director at Americans for Prosperity

Dawson Hobbs

Executive Vice President of Government Affairs for the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America

David Culver

SVP of Public Affairs at the US Cannabis Council

Federal Cannabis Regulation and Adult-Use Laws

This session will explore opportunities for federal regulation of cannabis production, testing, and distribution; and how these requirements can co-exist with state adult-use laws.


Amor Montes De Oca

Executive Director at Illinois Women in Cannabis

Irina Dashevsky

Partner at Greenspoon Marder

Chris Visco

CEO at Fully Baked Brands

Allison Disney

Founder of Mix Mix

Get Candid with the Women Driving the Deals

A discussion with women business leaders driving some of the Midwest's newest cannabis beverages deals. From their leadership lens, we'll discuss the experience, lessons learned, and advice resulting from real case study acquisitions, investments, contract manufacturing deals, and product innovation partnerships.

Malini Patel

CEO Wherehouse Beverage Co.

Who Are THC Beverages Really For?

The talk will explore the debate between whether cannabis beverages should be high dose or lose dose, whether they should target alcohol or cannabis occasions, and whether they should be sold alongside alcohol at retail or in dispensaries. We’ll talk about how Wherehouse Beverage Co has developed WYNK as a low-dose THC:CBD beverage and Countdown as a high-dose THC beverage to address two different consumer demographics, and how the company’s technology has allowed them to be nimble in navigating interstate commerce and distribution,

Andy Dratt

EVP & Chief Commercial Officer at Imbibe

Navigating the Cannabis Beverage Frontier: Formulating for the Future

This presentation provides an overview of the beverage market for cannabis-infused drinks, encompassing the current market landscape, formulation challenges, and future possibilities in this burgeoning category. Join Andy Dratt, Imbibe Chief Commercial Officer, to explore one of the main concerns that plague the cannabis beverage market – making a great tasting product that consumers want. For consumers searching for alternatives to smoking or edibles, working around evolving regulatory guidelines and ingredients not known for their solubility are some of the keys to success for brands interested in propelling the cannabis industry forward.


Diana Eberlein

President at Cannabis Beverage Association and VP of Sales & Marketing at SōRSE Technology

Panel by Cannabis Beverage Association on Risk, Reward, and Beverage Category Impact of Hemp D9

President at Cannabis Beverage Association and VP of Sales & Marketing at SōRSE Technology

Darnell Smith

Founder & CEO, MXXN

Evolution of Cannabis Beverages

Darnell Smith is a CPG and alcohol industry veteran and cannabis entrepreneur, innovator and advocate. Smith is the founder and CEO of MXXN, a non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused spirits brand that is evolving today’s cocktail culture and disrupting the alcohol and cannabis industry. MXXN is the first product launch of MOJO Ventures, which is part of the digital + creative consultancy MOJO he founded that has done extensive work for Procter & Gamble Ventures, Barcardi’s Incubation group, Pepsico and more.  Prior to founding MXXN and MOJO, Smith was a senior digital transformation lead at Infosys Consulting working with the likes of Adidas, Ralph Lauren, AB InBev, Novartis, GSK, Pfizer, AMEX and more. Prior to that, Smith worked for over a decade in various agency and client side roles focused on innovation and commercialization for the likes of Diageo and Pernod Ricard.

Tai Duncan

Vice President of Community Integration at Cresco Labs

ESG, Community Engagement

Tai Duncan is Vice President of Community Integration at Cresco Labs, one of the largest multi-state, vertically integrated cannabis companies in the US. In this role, Tai and her team provide expertise and leadership to promote Cresco’s corporate social responsibility goals to a wide internal and external audience, driving strategic initiatives that align with Cresco’s business objectives and core values, and serve as the company’s central point of contact with community leaders. She is also leading Cresco's Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Initiative, and represents the company on the United States Cannabis Council's Environment Stewardship and Governance Committee. A licensed attorney since 2008, Tai has enjoyed a successful legal and business career, serving in a variety of roles across industries.