Smoker Friendly to Highlight 'CannaBusiness'

Conference panel will discuss state of legal marijuana market

Published in CSP Daily News

BOULDER, Colo. -- At the upcoming Smoker Friendly Conference & Tobacco Festival, Smoker Friendly will convene a panel, which it said is the first in the tobacco industry, to discuss the legalization of marijuana and the opportunities that it will provide.

The event will be held Aug. 21 to Aug. 23 in Bloomfield, Colo.

For the Aug. 22 general session, Smoker Friendly has assembled a group of individuals to discuss the advantages and pitfalls of the cannabis industry.

Bonnie Herzog, tobacco, beverage and convenience store analyst and managing director for Wells Fargo Securities LLC, New York, will moderate the panel.

Panelists include:

  • Representative Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.). Perlmutter has represented the 7th Congressional District since 2006; he is serving his fourth term in Washington. Perlmutter is on the Financial Services Committee and the Capital Markets & Government Sponsored Enterprises and Financial Institutions & Consumer Credit subcommittees. He is also co-chair of the New Democrat Coalition Energy Task Force.
  • Aaron Smith. Smith is co-founder and executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association. Before that, he was a public advocate for marijuana policy reform. His opinion pieces have appeared in major newspapers, including The San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times. He has been a frequent commentator on national TV news networks.

Smoker Friendly has also secured a local Colorado grower and a marijuana retailer to participate in this panel.

To round out the information packed general session, Thomas Briant, director of the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO), will be giving a legislative and U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) update on the tobacco industry.

Retailers will also have the opportunity to listen to Christopher Durham, a national private brand consultant and author of Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project.

Boulder, Colo.-based Smoker Friendly operates 90 corporate-owned stores in Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, Utah and Wyoming. Another 850 stores in 38 states are operated by licensed retailers. Smoker Friendly's parent company also operates the Gasamat chain of gas stations and convenience stores.