The SVO hosts cannabis panel

The silicon valley organization is hosting its monthly member breakfast, access silicon valley, on Thursday, Feb. 16, and will feature a panel discussion surrounding the local cannabis industry.

“Cannabis is an emerging industry that faces unique business challenges,” said Matthew Mahood, President and CEO of The SVO. “We wanted to provide a way for members of this burgeoning industry to engage with the Silicon Valley business community at-large, provide insight and create business connections.”

The panel, taking place on Feb. 16 at the Silicon Valley Capital Club, 8:00 a.m. includes five speakers:

  • Jeff Brothers, CEO of Harborside Oakland, Inc., a vertically integrated cannabis retailer, cultivator, nursery and manufacturer based out of Oakland
  • Troy Dayton, CEO and co-founder of The ArcView Group, a cannabis investment and research group
  • Josh Drayton, Deputy Director of the California Cannabis Industry Association, representing more than 200 members
  • Aaron Johnson, a leading Cannabis Industry Attorney on the Central Coast at L+G, LLP Attorneys at Law
  • Sean Kali-rai, Government Affairs Consultant at Jackson and Main, LLC

"We share the Silicon Valley organization’s drive to promote healthy, small business growth, education and employment opportunities, and see great potential for partnerships," said Josh Drayton, Deputy Director of the California Cannabis Industry Association. “The California Cannabis Industry Association has been at the forefront

 of efforts to legitimize and regulate the industry for over four years. Our work at the Capitol and partnerships have had measurable, positive impact on public opinion of Cannabis business culture.”

While cannabis use for medicinal purposes has been legal in the state of California since 1996, last November the residents of California approved the legalization of recreational use through Proposition 64—a game changer for this booming industry. 

“I'm honored to be invited to speak about the cannabis industry at The silicon valley organization,” said Troy Dayton, The ArcView Group CEO and co-founder. “Cannabis is one of the fastest growing industries in the world and the agtech, fintech, sharing economy, and social networking revolutions have all been boosted by its growing acceptance. To have The SVO on our side, advocating for sensible regulations is a true testament to the motivating factor for starting ArcView, which is that business is a super powerful force for political change that will lead to a day when not a single adult anywhere in the world is punished for this plant.”

“The past 20 years have seen tremendous change in agriculture in the Salinas Valley and industrial technology the Silicon Valley,” said Aaron Johnson, L+G, LLP Attorneys at Law. “High tech innovation has been a topic of discussion over the last few years, but with traditional agriculture's slim margins, investment in agriculture technology has been relatively slow. Cannabis is a game changer for innovation as the industry steps front and center with the most valuable crop in California agriculture, and as cannabis companies vie for market share using the latest and greatest technologies.”

According to the State Board of Equalization, there were 1,023 publically disclosed medical cannabis sellers registered and more than $575 million in taxable sales reported.

"Love it or hate it there is no denying that everything in and around Cannabis changed after November 2016,” said Sean Kali-rai, JACKSON and MAIN, LLC. “We are in the middle of experiencing a paradigm shift in the politics and public perception around Cannabis and it is important to make sense of this new reality. In less that 11 months come January 2018 we are going to see the 7th largest economy in the world give birth to a brand new industry. Not since the lifting on the prohibition on alcohol or when Tech came to Silicon Valley has there been such an opportunity. Everyone has a binary choice, bury your head in the sand or participate in the discussion. Don't get left behind, be engaged in the discussion by participating with The silicon valley organization or look back years from now and talk about how you missed an opportunity over drinks at a cocktail party."

More than two dozen states have legalized some version of cannabis sale and the revenue generated nationwide exceeded $7 billion in 2016. According to Eaze’s [a San Francisco-based company that processes medical marijuana deliveries on demand] “State of Cannabis” report, the East Bay outpaces the rest of the state in terms of consumption, followed by San Francisco and then the Penninsula/Silicon Valley.

“Silicon Valley is the epicenter of thought leadership in California and to inform this group will have a beneficial ripple effect,” said Jeff Brothers, Harborside Oakland CEO. “We want to increase the awareness and understanding of cannabis as medicine, and as a wellness product ... and begin to dispel the misinformation about cannabis that has been perpetuated by elements of the government. Cannabis will be a major contributor to the California economy and many technologies and services will be needed.”

Register here for the Thursday, Feb. 16 panel at the Silicon Valley Capital Club.