Cannabis Forum - A Budding Industry Focuses on Growth and Social Equity

Cannabis forum

Event Details


August 23, 2022 2:30 PM - 6:30 PM MDT

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Cannabis: A Budding Industry Focuses on Growth 

With more and more states legalizing cannabis, investment and M&A in the cannabis industry have accelerated in 2022. Join us to hear how a panel of high caliber cannabis industry experts share their experiences, opinions, successes and failures in M&A and raising capital and in the rapidly growing cannabis industry.


2:30 – 3:00 p.m. - Registration/Check in

3:00 – 3:50 p.m. - Panel Discussion:  State of Industry & M&A Trends

4:00 - 4:50 p.m. - Panel Discussion Two:  Social Responsibility 

5:00 - 6:30 p.m. - Networking Reception



Trey Handley

Green Dragon
Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Handley is Chief Financial Officer of Green Dragon with experience managing large cannabis mergers in Colorado, California and Oregon. His professional background spans global financial consulting in a range of industries, both in and outside of the cannabis market. Mr. Handley works cross-functionally across all Green Dragon departments to identify opportunities for improved efficiency, cost reduction and seamless customer service through the integration of new technologies and sales analysis to inform product innovation.


Nancy Huber

Nancy Huber

Chief Financial Officer

Nancy Bush Huber brings deep experience in financial oversight of publicly held companies to her role at Schwazze. She joined Schwazze in August of 2019, her start in cannabis.  During her time at Schwazze the company has completed nine M&A transactions and grown from $12M in Revenue in 2019 to $108M in 2021, and a forecasted run rate of $220-240M by Q4 2022. Schwazze has raised approximately $190M in equity and debt financing excluding M&A seller financing over that same time.  Her background includes more than 25 years in multifunctional management, strategic planning, IPOs, mergers and acquisitions, SEC reporting, investor relations, intellectual property, and systems implementation. Among Ms. Huber’s professional accomplishments is a wireless technology firm, Western Multiplex Corporation, she helped grow revenue 100% within two years and executed a successful IPO ahead of planned timing. She received her bachelor’s in chemical engineering from Purdue University and her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management


Michael Johnson

Dalwhinnie Farms

Michael Johnson, the CEO of Dalwhinnie Farms, is a seasoned cannabis industry leader who has led companies in every vertical of the cannabis industry. Michael was also formerly the COO of Siskiyou Sungrown, a category leading CPG company in Oregon, with national awards for cultivation and product quality, and multiple High Times Cup awards. From startups to growth stages, Michael has led companies in cultivation, manufacturing, wholesale and retail, in Oregon and now in Colorado. His efforts have resulted in countless awards and dynamic growth, achieving sector dominance in more than one category. In 2021 Michael joined Dalwhinnie Farms and Shift Genuine Cannabis, a vertically integrated cannabis company in Colorado with locations in Aspen, Ridgway, and the Denver metro area. Bringing a wealth of industry experience, and a passion for brand building and product innovation, he's on a mission to prepare Dalwhinnie and Shift for the coming federal legalization and the subsequent national expansion of their brands.


Sheldon Lotspeich

Carbon Chemistry

Sheldon Lotspeich brings a background in logistics and supply chain management to service the cannabis industry, primarily through the sale of manufacturing consumables designed to improve the quality of cannabis oils and remove harmful contaminants such as heavy metals and pesticides. Selling products across the US and abroad, Carbon Chemistry has supported production of over $3 billion in cannabis oil products. He has grown and led all facets of Carbon Chemistry from inception including operational practices, research and development activity, staffing, and more. Through the act of supplying manufactures, over the past 7 years Sheldon has had the unique opportunity to look at the cannabis industry in its entirety from “behind the curtain”. Operating out of Aurora Colorado, Sheldon and his team continue to offer innovative products, with an eye on providing a wider array of products and services to an increasingly global market.  


Karla Rodriguez

Wana Brands
Senior Director Corporate Responsibility and Human Resources

Rodriguez previously served as National Culture & Community Manager at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. In that role at the national cinema chain, she led the company’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts, including projects that distributed more than $1 million to company employees in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. She also managed the distribution of 328 grants totaling $1.9 million, working with partners such as the Elton John AIDS Foundation, PBS, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the League of Women Voters. Additionally, she vetted and processed $100,000 in donations to non-profits supporting efforts aligned with the Black Lives Matter movement.

Rodriguez was the Film Programming & Community Partnerships Manager at the Denver Film Society from 2005-2013, during which time she oversaw the creation of the Denver Film Festival and coordinated community partnerships with the Clyfford Still Museum, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, and others. She also served as stage manager for scores of Film on the Rocks events at Red Rocks Amphitheater.

Rodriguez holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Wana Brands has been lauded for its cannabis-industry leadership on Corporate Social Responsibility. Earlier this year, the Boulder company was selected as the winner of the Corporate Social Responsibility Award by the Denver Business Journal as part of that publication’s annual Small Business Awards for 2021.

Damon Barry

Damon Barry - Moderator

Ballard Spahr
Managing Partner

Damon O. Barry is the Managing Partner of Ballard Spahr's Denver and Boulder offices and is a member of the firm's Expanded Board. As an experienced M&A and government affairs attorney, Damon solves problems for his clients and assists companies with complex business and legal transactions.

He advises and represents both buyers and sellers in mergers and acquisitions, recapitalizations, and sophisticated commercial transactions. Damon’s clients include directors and executives of public companies, owners of closely held companies, executives and directors of government agencies and others in a wide range of industries including software and technology, retail, hospitality, food and beverage, real estate, cannabis, financial services, government and manufacturing. He also advises professional athletes and coaches on sports law matters.

A former in-house counsel, Damon routinely advises corporate legal departments as well as serves as outside general counsel for middle-market companies.


Ryan Lubniewski - Moderator

Crowe LLP

Ryan Lubniewski is a partner in the audit and assurance services group at Crowe. He specializes in accounting and financial reporting. Ryan has more than 16 years of experience providing financial statement audits, buy side due diligence, practice management, transactional accounting, and equity-based compensation programs.


Nadine Pietrowski - Moderator

Crowe LLP
National Leader, Cannabis Industry Practice

Nadine Pietrowski is the National leader of Crowe LLP’s Cannabis Industry Practice Group and the Office Managing Partner and Partner-in-Charge of the firm’s Audit Practice in Denver, Colorado. She has over 25 years of audit, attest and consulting experience. Ms. Pietrowski has extensive experience providing financial statement audits, reviews, compilations, internal audits, and due diligence assistance.

Within the Cannabis Industry Practice, Ms. Pietrowski’s clients include multi-state operators, medical and adult-use dispensaries, cannabis and hemp growers, seed to sale integrated operations, ancillary product manufacturers and service providers, and cannabis industry private equity funds.

Prior to joining Crowe, Ms. Pietrowski worked with a Big Four firm for 5 years. She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) registered in Colorado, New York and California. She is also a Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA).   

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