The National Cannabis Risk Management Association’s Annual Conference

NCRMA2020 has been postponed due to COVID-19 concerns. Please check back often for new conference dates.

NCRMA2020 is a live demonstration of our disruptive risk management platform.

Interested in being a sponsor for NCRMA2020? Click below to download and fill out our Sponsorship Packet. 

 

Conference Dates:

POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

 

 

 

Keep scrolling to learn about our featured speakers and event schedule!

More details to come, so check this page often for more information and conference updates. 

Meet Our NCRMA2020 Speakers

Chris Day

VP External Relations, Marijuana Business Daily

TOPIC: Media Relations in Cannabis: Cutting Through the Clutter

Chris Day is the Vice President of External Relations and handles global partnership development for MJBizDaily and the MJBizCon family of events. Prior to Marijuana Business Daily, his 20+ year career designing Fortune 100 advertising campaigns, experiential events, as well as Public Relations and Public Affairs programs within marketing agencies spanned a wide variety of complex high growth industries. Having started his career just before the dot.com boom of the mid to late 90’s, he now uses the experience that comes with decades of brand building, global strategic partnership development and surviving numerous boom and bust cycles to more effectively build a sustainable and responsible cannabis industry.

Cassandra Maffey

CEO, Fire Tower

TOPIC: Stronger Together: Using Lessons for a Grass Roots Heritage to Catalyze Long Term Success

Starting out two decades ago as a small-scale cultivator in Humboldt County California, Cassandra Maffey has grown to become one of the world’s top commercial cultivators. Through her cannabis consulting firm, Force of Nature, Cassandra has helped clients worldwide in implementing sustainable Scalable Living Soil cultivation strategies and training award-winning teams. Cassandra now serves as CEO of Fire Tower, a cannabis-specific operations and communication software platform that unites cultivation teams and provides management with cutting-edge analytical tools. Maffey was recently named one of the Top 50 women in cannabis by High Times magazine.

Kirk Barry

CEO, Clarion Compliance

TOPIC: The Cost of Non-Compliance and the Importance of Risk Assessment

Kirk Barry is a seasoned business professional who serves as CEO of Clarion Compliance, a compliance and auditing platform for cannabis businesses. He has completed over 7,500 insurance cases and testified as an expert in superior court 350 times. Since entering the cannabis space, Kirk’s business development ventures have focused on independent 3rd party compliance monitoring and oversight. Kirk’s compliance solution provides industry-specific tools and real-time monitoring for cannabusinesses. Clarion Compliance offers validation through its third-party, independent compliance programs. The progressive technology elevates compliance standards beyond seed-to-sale tracking with a three-pronged approach, including: website application, database system for back-end tracking, and onsite inspection services.

Kimberly Kovacs

President, Arcview Group

TOPIC: Fireside Chat – Sources and Strategies for Capital to Fund Business Growth

Kimberly Kovacs, President of the Arcview Group, has over 20 years of executive leadership and experience across technology services and investment companies. As the founder and CEO of MyJane, Kim built a cannabis wellness technology platform which was acquired in January of 2019 by ManifestSeven. Prior to MyJane, Kim founded or co-founded six additional companies, raised more than $100M in equity capital and has been an active angel investor for more than ten years. Most recently, she served as President of the Los Angeles Venture Association where she launched the CannaLAVA strategic group designed to bring cannabis industry leaders together in Los Angeles.

Tamala J. McBath

Chief Execution Officer, The National Cannabis Risk Management Association

TOPIC: Integration of Your People Strategy into Your Business Strategy

A national consultant in compliance and risk management, Tamala J. McBath serves as Chief Execution Officer (CXO) for the National Cannabis Risk Management Association (NCRMA) – a non-profit that provides innovative risk management and insurance solutions to businesses in the cannabis industry. Tamala also retains her role as President of Cincinnati-based consulting firm, The Regal Group, where she and her team offer solutions in business strategy, sales and marketing, and business development for existing businesses, start-ups and acquisitions. In addition, Tamala is a certified Talent Optimization Consultant and specializes in helping organizations align business strategy with their people strategy by creating high performance teams to drive business results. She is a published author and speaker in her areas of expertise.

Joshua Grauso

Senior Member, Underwriters Laboratories

TOPIC: Optimizing Risk Management in the Absence of a Formal Regulatory Network

As a senior member of the Underwriters Laboratories leadership team, Joshua Grauso works with retail chains, brands, grocery and manufacturing organizations to develop, implement and oversee professional 3rd party store, facility and/or supplier assessment programs related to industry standards for quality, food safety and cGMP compliance.  In his current role, Joshua has overall accountability for the leadership of the client, technical and field services for the Retail Food Safety and Supply Chain Quality Audit & Certification Body programs.  Joshua is a certified auditor, practitioner, approved training provider and has performed audits for major retailers and industry recognized certification schemes including cGMP, ISO9001, OHSAS 18001, ANSI Z-10, SQF, and BRC Global Standards.  Joshua participates on industry technical committees and work groups drafting national and international standards as a UL Consumer technical representative.

Albert Lee

Labor Law & Employment Attorney, Tucker Arensberg Attorneys

 

TOPIC: The Effect of Cannabis Legalization on the Workplace: What Everyone in the Cannabis Industry Needs to Know

Albert Lee is a management-sided employment and labor law attorney who has been recognized in the 2020 edition of The Best Lawyers in America®. Albert’s clients are concentrated in the manufacturing, healthcare/seniorcare, technology, financial, educational and service sectors. Albert has deep and broad experience in virtually all areas of employment and labor law. He has defended clients in wage-and-hour/compensation lawsuits and federal employment discrimination trials, resolved government agency investigations, assisted with the design of benefit plans to comply with ERISA and the PPACA, negotiated union contracts, audited wage and hour pay practices/procedures, revised employment handbooks, conducted workplace harassment investigations, drafted and enforced non-competition and other employment agreements, given strategic advice on employment practices and philosophies, handled workers’ compensation and unemployment compensation hearings, and provided guidance on day-to-day matters such as FMLA situations, employee disciplines and discharges.

Riana Durrett

Executive Director, Nevada Dispensary Association

TOPIC: The Retail Challenge

Executive Director of the Nevada Dispensary Association Riana Durrett graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2005 and received her Juris Doctorate degree from William S. Boyd School of Law in 2008. In her work with NDA, Durrett coordinates legislative and policy agendas for the cannabis industry and is responsible for researching and responding to various issues that impact the cannabis industry in Nevada. Durrett sits on the Board of the Nevada Taxpayer Association, serves as outside counsel to McLetchie Law, and serves as Ex Post Officio member to the Cannabis Law Section.

Rocco Petrilli

Chairman, National Cannabis Risk Management Association

TOPIC: The Value of Disruptive Innovation in Cannabis Risk Management 

Rocco Petrilli is Chairman of the National Cannabis Risk Management Association (NCRMA), a non-profit organization that provides innovative risk management and insurance solutions to businesses in the cannabis industry. A thirty-year business executive and veteran of the automotive components manufacturing industry, Mr. Petrilli has extensive experience in all aspects of global and multinational business planning and development. He also specializes in risking management talent optimization, achieving multiple team victories in more than a dozen business start ups by creating the proper organizational architecture and ensuring continuous improvement.

Brenda Powell Wells

Director, East Carolina University Risk Management and Insurance Program

 

TOPIC: Being Better than the Best: Excellence in Cannabis Risk Management

Brenda Powell Wells has spent over 30 years studying and teaching risk management and insurance.  She presently serves as the director of the East Carolina University (ECU) Risk Management and Insurance Program, where she is the Robert F. Bird Distinguished Professor of Risk Management and Insurance.  During her career she has taught numerous risk and insurance courses.  She has also supervised countless internships and independent study projects.  Brenda has a long history of forming, supporting, and mentoring student organizations and has a wide range of experience in public relations and fundraising.

Mark Slaugh

CEO and Owner, iComply

TOPIC: Green Collar vs. White Collar – Bridging Cultural Gaps in the Cannabis Industry

CEO and owner of iComply, Mark works in the specialist sector of compliance for the medical, retail, and hemp industries and has over 12 years’ experience in cannabis industry development, consulting, and operational compliance and over 21 years’ experience in regulations and risk management. Due to his extensive background and education, Mark knows what it takes to move markets forward at political, policy, and operational levels. He has developed small and large startups, improved existing operations, and has protected some of the top companies in the field. iComply provides operational compliance services and validation of over 200 cultivation, manufacturing and processing, and dispensing facilities since 2011 and iComply consults for a variety of communities, organizations, and governments. Engaging in legacy projects over the long-term, iComply builds trusted relationships to ensure industry integrity, standards, regulations, and best practices are implemented and adhered to within organizations.

Dr. Rachel Knox

Founder, ADVENT Academy

TOPIC: Navigating the Retail Risks and Benefits of CBD Sales

Dr. Rachel Knox, MD, MBA is a certified Cannabinoid Medicine specialist who received her medical and business degrees from Tufts University after completing her undergraduate studies at Duke. She trained in Family and Integrative Medicine before pursuing additional study in the areas of Functional Medicine, Cannabinoid Medicine, and Endocannabinology – the study of the function, dysfunction and modulation of the most important physiologic system in the human body, the endocannabinoid system. As a Cannabinoid Medicine specialist and endocannabinologist who has counseled several thousand patients in cannabis therapeutics, she has seen first-hand how significant a role cannabis and cannabimimetic modalities play in helping patients reclaim their health and overall sense of wellness, establishing renewed ownership over their lives. She has witnessed her patients safely use cannabis as adjunctive therapy to their conventional treatment plans, to wean from prescription drugs, find relief from the side effects of toxic therapies, or avoid conventional pharmaceuticals altogether.

Brad Hunt

President, ADVENT Academy

TOPIC: Navigating the Retail Risks and Benefits of CBD Sales

Brad Hunt has more than 20 years of experience managing insurance systems that track and model all aspects of risk identification, operations and claims management data. Using sophisticated analytical tools to identify and characterize emerging risk trends, Brad developed innovative solutions to address these risks, saving his clients millions of dollars in expenses. His benchmarking product for worker injury rates in acute care continues to be used for several initiatives in the states of Ohio, Washington and Alaska. Historically, Brad focused on worker and patient safety in acute care, long-term care and hospice risk issues.

Brian Nelson

Chief Underwriting Specialist

 

TOPIC: Answers to the Top Insurance Questions

Brian Nelson serves as Chief Underwriting Specialist. Mr. Nelson has over 20 years of insurance and risk management experience. He has served the roles of VP of Partner Development, Regional Underwriting Manager, and Branch Manager for several large international insurance carriers. Additionally, Brian executed the role of Risk/Insurance Manager for a national construction/roofing company and practiced law, with an emphasis on insurance related issues, at a Pittsburgh based firm. Brian also served as a broker and member of specialty internal resource team for a large national insurance brokerage.

Charles Brown

Senior Executive, Senior Wellness Innovations

TOPIC: Cannabis Isn’t Only Helping the Millennials…It’s Helping Seniors Too

Charles Brown is a Senior Executive with Senior Wellness Innovations based in San Diego, California. SWI is leading the way in the Senior Wellness market by creating the first person-centered Senior CBD, Cannabis, Nutraceutical wellness products and service brand. SWI has taken their 15 years of expertise providing aging services, education and advocacy to create the first holistic, individualized approach that will empower and educate Seniors to live their best and vital years. CEO and Founder MJ Pfeiffer’s connection to and advocacy for the 10,000 Seniors currently being served have inspired her to build SWI into a visionary Senior wellness brand whose sole purpose is to enrich the lives, longevity, and health of today’s modern Senior.

Jason Horst

Principal, Horst Legal Counsel

TOPIC: State of the Cannabis Legislative Union

Jason Horst is the principal of Horst Legal Counsel, a law firm serving the legal needs of clients in and around the cannabis industry. Jason served for more than a decade as a litigator and insurance coverage attorney in large regional and international law firms before founding Horst Legal Counsel. Jason is an advocate for cannabis policyholders and offers a range of risk management services to clients in and servicing the cannabis industry, including counseling related to insurance placement, risk transfer strategies, and preparing insurance specifications. Jason counsels clients regarding how to effectively transfer their business risks, allowing them to focus on running and growing their businesses sustainably.

Jessica Velazquez

Managing Partner, Indiva Advisors LLP

TOPIC: Your Finances Won’t Take Care of Themselves

Jessica Velazquez is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensed in Illinois & Nevada and Managing Partner of Indiva Advisors LLP, a full-service accounting firm for cannabis and hemp businesses. Jessica assists business owners navigate through unique accounting, tax, and financial industry challenges. She guides c-suite executives achieve their goals by providing guidance on tax and general business matters. She brings with her a wide array of experience, working with closely held businesses as well as publicly traded multinationals, across a variety of industries such as gaming, retail, and manufacturing.

 

Joe Kopko

EVP – Client Services and Business Development, HUB International

TOPIC: Cannabis Risk Management: A Road Map for Sustainable Operations and Favorable Underwriting

Joe Kopko is a published thought leader and regular speaker leading discussions on leveraging innovation and holistic risk management to establish sustainable companies. He has nearly 20 years of experience proactively managing safety, risk, and employee health. Joe works extensively with analytics partners to fine tune and integrate the correlations between employee health and workers compensation programs. These efforts have yielded better outcome management, reduced absence, and the ability to predict future sources of loss.

David M. Kennedy

Founder and CEO, Purple Risk Insurance Services

PANEL MODERATOR: In Response to the Needs of the NCRMA Member

David M. Kennedy, Esq. is the founder and CEO of Purple Risk Insurance Services, an independent agency providing top-tier insurance solutions and consulting services to clients in the cannabis and hemp industry. Based in New York City, Purple Risk primarily focuses on the New England and New York tri-state markets, as well as select target markets across the country. With 15+ years of experience as an insurance broker, executive, and insurance coverage attorney licensed in multiple states with adult use and medical marijuana programs, David is uniquely positioned to help businesses navigate the purchase of insurance in the rapidly changing, highly-regulated cannabis industry. 

Zach Stock

CEO, Stock Insurance Group

PANEL: In Response to the Needs of the NCRMA Member

Zach Stock is an experienced risk management professional with 15+ years of large commercial account management experience. Zach also brings the unique perspective of having built and sold a cannabis company in Colorado. Having worked directly on the design, construction and operation of cultivation and retail stores in Colorado for more than 7 years Zach provides cannabis companies with a depth of knowledge and perspective that is hard to match.

Rena Trodick

Sales Executive – Commercial Lines, Branch Benefits Consultants

PANEL: In Response to the Needs of the NCRMA Member

Rena Trodick brings more than 15 years of experience to Branch Benefits Consultants with a background in Property and Casualty, Claims and Risk management in commercial and personal lines. Rena supports Branch Benefits Consultants’ goal of delivering creative insurance solutions with thoughtful strategic planning, valuable professional services, and technology-based solutions by focusing on identifying exposure and risk and providing clients with a creative solution to all their complicated insurance needs. Rena graduated from University of Phoenix with a Bachelors in Science of Business Management, and she also has an Associate Degree in Business Administration from the College of Southern Nevada. In addition to her Insurance License, she also holds a CISR Designation.

Kevin Hughes

Executive Vice President, Black Insurance Group

PANEL: In Response to the Needs of the NCRMA Member

Kevin Hughes has been at the helm of Black Insurance Group since 2016.  His responsibilities include running the agencies operations as well as overseeing the risk management programs for several sister companies including a Medicinal Marijuana Grower Processor located in Erie, PA.  He served in the U.S. Naval Reserve, including 2 years of active duty, from 1987 until 1997. Obtained his BA in Economics from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1992 and began his insurance career as a Property & Casualty commercial insurance producer that same year. He has extensive experience with Captive insurance programs, Technology businesses, Venture Capital firms, and Risk Management.

Corey Tobin

Senior Vice President, Bolton & Company

PANEL: In Response to the Needs of the NCRMA Member

Corey Tobin is lead of Bolton’s Cannabis Practice. He’s on the leading edge of helping cultivators, manufactures and distributors navigate the complex insurance landscape to protect their business and employees. Corey is actively involved in the insurance committee for the California Cannabis Industry Association. With close to a decade of insurance industry experience, Corey has worked with a number of small and medium-sized businesses and is knowledgeable about property and casualty, life and health insurance. He routinely blogs and speaks on panels that are setting the course for the cannabis industry.

 

Drew Taylor

Broker, AlphaRoot

PANEL: In Response to the Needs of the NCRMA Member

Drew Taylor and Isaac Bock co-manage AlphaRoot, a Shield Insure brand that focuses on the Hemp / Cannabis industry. During their time with AlphaRoot they have assisted many different size companies in both the hemp and cannabis space. They have placed coverage for some of the following type companies, including but not limited to; multi-state cannabis distributors, publicly traded cannabis companies, both US and Canadian, vertically integrated (seed to sale) entities, and single parent dispensaries. These placements have allowed the AlphaRoot team to build strong relationships across the cannabis insurance marketplace. They join the NCRMA as Appointed Brokers and work out of NYC.

NCRMA2020 Event Schedule

DAY 1 – March 23

8:30AM

The Value of DISRUPTIVE Innovation in Cannabis Risk Management

  • Learn about the value of disruptive innovation and what it will do for you in risk management and the quality of cannabis insurance

Rocco Petrilli

Chairman, National Cannabis Risk Management Association

9:00AM

Stronger Together: Embracing Our Grassroots Heritage to Galvanize Long-Term Success

  • Learn the history of cannabis legalization and the risks (and rewards) presented by today.

Cassandra Maffey

CEO, Fire Tower

9:45AM

BREAK: Answers to Top Insurance Questions

  • Have your insurance questions answered by one of the prominent SME’s in the cannabis market

Brian Nelson

Chief Underwriting Specialist

10:00AM

Being Better Than the Best:
Excellence in Cannabis Risk Management

  • Best in class requires a commitment to excellence. Dr. Wells tells us how to get there.

Dr. Brenda Wells

Director, East Carolina University Risk Management and Insurance Program

11:00AM

Navigating the Retail Risks and Benefits of CBD Sales

 

  • Retailers will learn how to train their employees to answer questions appropriately, decrease liability, and improve consumer safety.

Dr. Rachel Knox, Founder
Brad Hunt, President
ADVENT Academy

12:00PM

LUNCH

1:45PM

Breakout Discussion A: Green Collar vs. White Collar – Bridging cultural gaps in the cannabis industry

  • Gain compliance insights from a trusted resource in the government and business sectors

Mark Slaugh

CEO and Founder, iComply

1:00PM

Breakout Discussion B: Cannabis Isn’t Only Helping the Millennials, It’s Helping Seniors Too

 

  • People over 55 are the fastest growing group of cannabis users for wellness. Learn of why and the multitude of products that are available

Charles A. Brown

Senior Executive, Senior Wellness Innovations

2:15PM

BREAK

Charles A. Brown

Senior Executive, Senior Wellness Innovations

2:30PM

Breakout Discussion C: The Effect of Cannabis Legalization on the Workplace: What Everyone in the Cannabis Industry Needs to Know

  • Related workplace issues and responsibilities for employers and employees…learn the do’s and don’ts.

Riana Durrett, Esq.

Executive Director, Nevada Dispensary Association

 

 

2:30PM

Breakout Discussion D: The Retail Challenge

  • A local expert describes the dispensary risks and what actions are necessary to protect the owners and employees.

Albert S. Lee

Labor Law & Employment Attorney, Tucker Arensberg Attorneys

2:30PM

Breakout Discussion E: Your Finances Won’t Take Care of Themselves

  • There are many finance related business risks unique to cannabis. Learn what is important and where to spend your time and dollars in your financial management practices.

Jessica Velazquez

Managing Partner, Indiva Advisors LLP

3:30PM

Breakout Discussion F: The Cost of Non-Compliance and the Importance of Risk Assessment

  • Listen as this compliance expert takes a deep dive into the current cannabis market and how the financial sectors are trying to position themselves to do business in a non- regulatory environment

 

Kirk Barry

CEO, Clarion Compliance

3:30PM

Breakout Discussion G: A Road Map for Sustainable Operations and Favorable Underwriting

  • Get real time input from “BIG” insurance on cannabis risk management and input on how to protect your business beyond just checking the box.

Joe Kopko

EVP – Client Services and Business Development, HUB International

3:30PM

Breakout Discussion H: Optimizing Risk Management in the Absence of a Formal Regulatory Network

  • Learn how to be proactive and manage your risks BEFORE regulatory enforcement.

Joshua Grauso

Senior Member, Underwriters Laboratories

DAY 2 – March 24

8:30AM

Welcome & Opening Comments

Rocco Petrilli

Chairman, National Cannabis Risk Management Association

8:45AM

State of the Cannabis Legislative Union

  • The head of the NCIA risk management committee keeps us up to date on the ever-changing legislation governing our life in cannabis

Jason Horst

Principal, Horst Legal Counsel

9:30AM

Panel: Going Beyond the Insurance Policy and Embracing the NCRMA, Your Broker/Agent as a Trusted Advisor

  • The general theme of the panel is based on questions submitted by NCRMA members and conference attendees. Questions directly submitted by NCRMA members and conference attendees will be fielded.

 

Moderator:

David Kennedy

Founder and CEO, Purple Risk Insurance Services

 

Speakers:

Corey Tobin

Senior Vice President, Bolton & Company

Kevin Hughes

Executive Vice President, Black Insurance Group

Zach Stock

CEO, Stock Insurance Group

Rena Trodik

Sales Executive – Commercial Lines, Branch Benefits Consultants

Drew Taylor (Isaac Bock)

Broker, AlphaRoot

 

11:00AM

BREAK
Answers to the Top Insurance Questions

Brian Nelson

Chief Underwriting Specialist

11:15AM

Bridging the Talent Gap

  • Talent was identified as the top business risk by our members. Attend this session and learn about the trends in talent acquisition and engagement based on predictive data analytics

 

Tamala McBath

Chief Execution Officer, National Cannabis Risk Management Association

12PM

Cutting Through the Clutter

  • How and where information is obtained is important to the success of any business. A senior executive from one of the cannabis market’s most relied upon multimedia firm will bring clarity to this aspect of business risk.

Chris Day

VP External Relations, Marijuana Business Daily

12:45PM

LUNCH

1:45PM

Cannabis Entrepreneurs – What Is New and What Is Not?

  • Learn simple and common-sense tips on how to limit regulatory exposure to the numerous federal and state agencies that now have oversight of the industry.

Darrell Rogers

BinWell Group, Founder and CEO

 

2:30PM

Fireside Chat: Sources and Strategies for Capital to Fund Business Growth

  • Various methods, dangers and tips regarding access to capital will be discussed in this fireside chat format. Fair and equitable capital to grow businesses was the #3 business risk identified by NCRMA members.

Kimberly Kovacs

President, Arcview Group

3:15PM

Update on the NCRMA Owned Insurance Company and Closing Statement

  • Update of the progress of this member owned insurance company and its role in creating “best in class”.

Rocco Petrilli

Chairman, National Cannabis Risk Management Association

"There is no more neutrality in the world. You either need to be part of the solution or you will be part of the problem." - Eldridge Cleaver

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