Join editors of The Economist and more than 150 policymakers, investors, licensed producers, tech thought leaders, scientists, pharma companies and entrepreneurs to discover new science and innovations around marijuana and determine how to shape well-regulated cannabis markets across the globe.
9:00 AMOPENING REMARKS
9:05 AMTHE CASE FOR LEGALISATION: THE RIGHT WAY TO DO THE DRUGSWhat is the case for legalising cannabis and what is the potential economic impact of such a measure? What are the main opportunities and roadblocks? What regulation is needed for the market to survive? What are the untapped opportunities in this rapidly growing industry?
9:40 AMTHE POLITICS OF SPLIFFS AND BUTTSIt is high time for a new debate on drug policy. We will analyse legalisation through the eyes of policymakers and explore the plethora of challenges regarding implementation across the world. What are the lessons learned from Uruguay and Canada, and what are the gaps in research and thoughts on how public health experts can guide good public policy? How is Canada implementing legislation to permit a nationwide marijuana market? And how are countries across the world regulating their developing medical marijuana industries?
10:15 AMRED, WHITE AND...GREEN?: THE FUTURE OF CANNABIS IN AMERICAThirty-three US states have legalised marijuana in some form with ten allowing recreational use. With 66% of Americans supporting nationwide legalisation and multiple states expected to add legalisation measures to their 2020 ballots, the US cannabis industry is growing fast. Pioneering entrepreneurs and investors have seen some high returns but banking regulations and growing competition pose key questions for the long term. How can policymakers and key stakeholders shape the future of cannabis policy in the US to create a profitable industry?
10:45 AMMORNING NETWORKING BREAK
11:15 AMCANNABIS FOR GOOD: LEGALISATION MEETS SOCIAL JUSTICEIncreasingly cannabis legislation is focusing on social equity. New legislation gives preference to communities that have been over policed and disproportionately affected by cannabis prohibition. In the United States, Massachusetts and California are already implementing such policies. What can be learned from these models? Can social equity policies empower these communities or, in an oversaturated and under regulated market, are they being set up to fail? What is the best strategy to increase wealth in disenfranchised communities through marijuana policy? And what private sector efforts are being made to improve social equity through cannabis?
11:45 AMVOICES FROM THE FUTURE: CANNABIS ACROSS THE GLOBEIn these ten minute “ted-talk style” segments, we will hear from the next generation of Cannabis entrepreneurs from around the world.
11:55 AMDOCTOR’S ORDERS: INNOVATIONS IN MEDICAL MARIJUANAThirty countries across the globe now have some form of legalised medical marijuana. The majority of these countries are in Europe, and recently a number of African countries have moved from de facto to actual legalisation. These nations have opened their doors to a branch of scientific discovery that was previously stunted by prohibition. Can medicinal marijuana reshape the future of medicine? What are the opportunities and challenges around medicinal marijuana? And which pharma companies plan to integrate cannabis into their new R&D?
1:25 PMCONCURRENT STRATEGY SESSIONS:Making green green: So far, marijuana growers have been able to bear the costs of high energy bills and environmental degradation because there has been neither a regulatory nor financial imperative for them to change their methods. How will the burgeoning cannabis industry confront its massive environmental footprint?A tale of two substances: Alcohol is betting on weed. From the owners of Corona to Molson Coors and Heineken, the race is on to bring cannabis-infused beer to the mass market. What regulatory and PR challenges will need to be overcome beforehand? And is cannabis-infused liquor around the corner?
2:25 PMHIGH TIME FOR INVESTMENTHas Canadian legalisation reshaped the investment landscape? In 2018 Bank of Montreal became the first institutional investor to invest in a cannabis company, while beer giant Constellation Brands recently put $4 billion into a Canadian cannabis startup. Is this a turning point for the industry, or will major investors continue to watch from the sidelines? With legalisation comes new research and innovation. As scientists perfect cannabis products for pain management and sleep deprivation, the industry can expand from the younger demographic to the aging - a highly profitable segment. What other new science is on the horizon, and who will be the first to invest?
3:00 PMSILICON VALLEY MEETS BOB MARLEYWeed tech. There is an app to test what's in your weed; an Uber-like service to optimise medical marijuana delivery; and an AI potbot to sort through peer-reviewed medical journals to find the right strain of cannabis for a specific disease. What's the reality beyond the hype and what technologies really have the potential to revolutionise cannabis business models?
3:30 PMVOICES FROM THE FUTURE: CANNABIS ACROSS THE GLOBEIn these ten minute “ted-talk style” segments, we will hear from the next generation of Cannabis entrepreneurs from around the world.
4:10 PMHAVE YOUR HASH CAKE AND EAT IT TOOIn places where weed has already been legalised, consumers are enjoying new—and increasingly high-end—ways to get high. Cannabis can now be vaporised, absorbed under the tongue, or smoked in a hyper-concentrated form. Edibles have been undergoing a particularly marked revolution with cannabis-infused candy, breath sprays, spritzers, and savory foods. Who are the guides and ambassadors to this world? And who are the executives best placed to make a mint from marijuana?
4:40 PMCLOSING DEBATE: THE HIGHS AND LOWS OF INVESTMENTMotion: This house believes that institutional investors should invest in cannabis in 2019.
5:25 PMCLOSING REMARKS
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