Retail Cannabis Forum

Please note that this event has passed. Please view our upcoming events page or contact events@retailcouncil.org for inquiries about future events.

May 13, 2021

| 1:00pm - 4:00pm ET | 12:00pm - 3:00pm CT | 10:00am - 1:00pm PT

Creating new opportunities in Retail Cannabis

The cannabis retail landscape is constantly growing and evolving. RCC’s Retail Cannabis Forum on May 13 will explore the newest trends and best practices in cannabis retailing so you can stay on the cutting edge of this exciting sector. Hear from cannabis retailers about creating immersive brand experiences, new marketing strategies, educating consumers, and finding the best talent. Stay tuned for agenda and speaker announcements. Register now

Who Should Attend?

Current and prospective cannabis retailers as well as those who want to work with them. Retailers who are looking for new ways to infuse their marketing and merchandising with a fresh approach will also benefit greatly from this educational event.

Tickets

Registration Type Member Non-Member
Retailer
RCC members always pay the lowest rate. Become a member.
$99.99 $199.99
Independent Retailer
*Non-member rate includes one year membership.
$49.99 $299.99*
Associate/Non-Retailer $129.99 $149.99
Educator $129.99
Student $49.99

 

Agenda – May 13, 2021

 

12:45 – 1:00pm

Virtual Doors Open

 

1:00pm – 1:05pm

Welcoming Remarks

Diane J. Brisebois is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Retail Council of Canada (RCC) and has held that position since 1995. Prior to joining RCC, Diane held the position of President and CEO of the Canadian Office Products Association for 14 years. Diane has spent more than 38 years leading retail industry associations in Canada.

Michael has 20+ years of brand/retail/marketing leadership experience and is considered by many as a pioneer in the Canadian omni-channel and e-Commerce retail space. As an award-winning insight driven strategic marketer with a passion for holistic retail brand/customer experience, Michael has been on the front lines of retail industry change for his entire career with brands such as Black & Decker, Levi Strauss & Co, Hudson’s Bay, CanWest Media, The Shopping Channel and Herbal Magic. After spending almost three years advocating and lobbying for the Canadian retail industry at Retail Council of Canada (RCC), Michael formed M. E. LeBlanc & Company to leverage this knowledge and experience back onto the front lines and regularly is invited to share his insights on the current and future retail industry in Canada and around the world.

 

 

1:05pm – 1:35pm

Sponsored By: 

The Balancing Act of Growth and Retail

In this rapidly developing sector retailers are uniquely challenged with balancing growth against tight timelines and unique retail challenges. In this session we chat about openings new stores in 2020, what is working, and what is on the wish list to enable continued growth.

Isaac Watson is the VP of Retail, Operations and Warehousing at Fire & Flower, a leading, technology-powered, adult-use cannabis retailer.
Since joining F&F in April of 2018, he has built and led teams to open and acquire 85+ locations across Canada.
Fire & Flower guides consumers through the complex world of cannabis through education-focused, best-in-class retailing while the HifyreTM digital platform empowers retailers to optimize their connections with consumers.

Prior to joining Fire and Flower, Isaac spent a decade with global retailer lululemon and has worked at Best Buy, Staples and as a consultant with a variety of independent retailers.

Neal Claassen is the VP Corporate Development (Canada) for Visual Elements, who helps retailers develop superior quality consumer environments and develop new products and finishes to meet the demands of a globally competitive retail sector. With almost three decades experience in store fixture manufacturing, Neal knows how to make the visual side of a brand identity take form.

Neal helped create the brand SEVENPOINT Interiors to leverage this knowledge for cannabis retail, and has helped create and develop almost one fifth of all cannabis retail stores in Canada. Neal has either written or been featured in many industry magazine articles, including Cannabis Retailer, Heads Lifestyle and Cannabis Prospect magazine. Neal created the PAVE student design challenge, a premier annual global student retail design competition, and continues his involvement today. Neal is also a high level ski instructor, a performance level ski coach, and a rugby coach.

Neal studied economics at Carleton University.

 

1:35pm – 2:05pm

Sponsored By: 

Building your Business with Better Data

Join us for an exclusive session looking Canadian retail sales data that sheds light on what, where, when and who of cannabis product purchases. The purchase of a single item can provide clear indications of consumer experience, habits, and preferences. Gain the exclusive insights you need to hedge your bets and align your customer centric strategy.

Liz is the VP of Data & Analytics at Headset, a cannabis data intelligence company. At Headset Liz and her team are responsible for everything from creating SKU level, realtime market forecasts of Adult Use cannabis sales across the US and Canada to the creation of dashboards for our Retailer product. In addition, Liz and her team write Industry Reports and run webinars working to increase data literacy across the cannabis space. Instead of sending over just a PDF of numbers and graphs, Liz’s team provides users with cutting edge insights via user friendly dashboards that allow you to get the data you need quickly.

Prior to working for Headset, Liz worked as a Data Scientist in CPG retail and financial services, as well as spent some time in Financial and Economic Consulting. After eight years working as a Data Scientist, Liz started her own Data Science consulting business where she advised small businesses on how to use their data to make better product, marketing, and operational decisions. Along with her work at Headset, Liz currently works with researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and London Business School doing experimental research on heuristics and biases that impede business decision makers from optimally using data to drive decisions.

 

2:05pm – 2:35pm

How COVID Impacted the Retail Cannabis Landscape

Cannabis retailers discuss the impact and the opportunities that came to be in 2020 in light of the public health crisis. Retailers answer questions about the long-term outlook of new opportunities like delivery and how they are safeguarding their teams and their brands in these unpredictable times.

Eleanor is a skilled retail executive with twenty years of experience across multiple leadership roles. Working with large national retailers, Eleanor has a track record in growing brands across Canada with both significant brick and mortar presence and experience in executing omni channel excellence. She focuses on building world class retail teams who deliver premium experiences and is excited to work with her team to bring this to the cannabis retail space.

 

Trailblazer. Creator. Collaborator. Founder. Darren is the President and CEO of Inner Spirit Holdings (Spiritleaf).


The company is led by his strategic planning, determination and creativity – not just for thinking outside the box, but for creating a whole new box! With an uncanny knack for surrounding himself with the best and brightest, Darren has a proven executive management track record and extensive experience driving sales growth in retail and franchise industries. He founded and ran a retail franchise system in major markets across Canada for 20 years. With cannabis legalization coming to Canada, he founded Inner Spirit Holdings as the public company to establish the Spiritleaf retail cannabis brand network. Spiritleaf has become Canada’s leading recreational cannabis retailer with franchised and corporate-owned outlets located across the country. Darren has been recognized with multiple industry awards including Canadian Franchise Association awards of excellence, an Alberta School of Business retail award, and a Top 40 Under 40 designation in his hometown. He received his MBA from the University of Alberta and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Western Ontario.

Michael has 20+ years of brand/retail/marketing leadership experience and is considered by many as a pioneer in the Canadian omni-channel and e-Commerce retail space. As an award-winning insight driven strategic marketer with a passion for holistic retail brand/customer experience, Michael has been on the front lines of retail industry change for his entire career with brands such as Black & Decker, Levi Strauss & Co, Hudson’s Bay, CanWest Media, The Shopping Channel and Herbal Magic. After spending almost three years advocating and lobbying for the Canadian retail industry at Retail Council of Canada (RCC), Michael formed M. E. LeBlanc & Company to leverage this knowledge and experience back onto the front lines and regularly is invited to share his insights on the current and future retail industry in Canada and around the world.

 

2:35pm – 2:45pm

Sponsored By:

Coffee Break

 

2:45pm – 3:10pm

Sponsored By: 

Marketing with Confidence

Opening cannabis stores presents retailers with unique challenges to connect with communities, overcome marketing challenges, service customers under public health restrictions, and compete in a crowded marketplace. What unique strategies can retailers take to connect with their communities, build strong alliances and colour within the local lines? Cannabis Retailer Steven Fry from Sessions Cannabis shares his experience with opening 30 stores in Ontario and how he launched a brand that continues to steadily grow.

Steven has an extensive record of professional achievement with progressive experience in entrepreneurship, marketing, leadership, large scale construction services, and supply chain management. Prior to entering the cannabis industry, Steven was the Vice President of Operations at Shared Services West, where he was the champion for strategic sourcing and supply chain transformation across 12 healthcare organizations, with responsibilities for over 100 staff and $700M in yearly contracts.
Steven successfully opened the first ever licensed cannabis retail store in Hamilton, Ontario which he grew to become the busiest store in Canada. Steven has quickly become an influencer in the cannabis industry, through his vast network, contributions to cannabis policy, and extensive engagement with cannabis entrepreneurs. Steven has been featured in many online, print, radio, and live news media, including: Toronto Life, BNN Bloomberg, CBC, The Globe and Mail, Global News, and CTV, among others.
Steven’s business mission is to be the wildcard that ups the ante and redefines the game. Stayin true to his mission, Steven is proudly the President and Co-founder of Sessions Cannabis, the fastest growing and largest cannabis brand in Ontario with 30 locations open and another 50 scheduled to open in 2021/22 with revenues to exceed $100,000,000 per year.
Steven holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Brock University, Master of Business Administration from McMaster University, and has a Certified Health Executive designation.

 

3:10pm – 3:30pm

Sponsored By: 

Breaking the Barriers with eComm

Cannabis retailers face unique challenges in bringing their business online and creating a seamless experience. Access to banking services, cyber security, delivery options and effective communication are critical elements and can present significant challenges. In this session Clint Seukeran, owner of Ganjika House, chats with Greenline POS CEO Albert Kim about his journey to develop smart solutions and why Ganjika House ranks among the highest grossing stores in Ontario.

Clint G. Seukeran is the owner of Ganjika House, Brampton’s first legal cannabis dispensary, which opened its doors to the public on April 1 2019.

Clint was an AGCO Cannabis lottery winner in January 2019 and was subsequently featured in various media including CP24, CBC Toronto, CBC Radio, Midas Letter, Toronto Star and Global News among others.

When he entered the cannabis space in 2019 Clint was called a novice. Now in 2021 he is recognized as one of Ontario’s cannabis retail leaders.

Over the past 2 years Clint and his team have built a strong customer-centred brand. Ganjika House was in the top ranked retail cannabis stores in Ontario for 12 months running in 2020.

Prior to entering the cannabis space Clint owned a food processing, manufacturing, distribution facility in the Dominican Republic, where he supplied various international markets. He holds an MBA in Food and Agribusiness as well as certifications in Food Science and Logistics.

Clint now has two retail cannabis locations in Brampton Ontario with more store openings planned across Ontario.

Albert is the co-founder and CEO of Greenline POS. He started building commercial software during his time at the University of British Columbia, eventually entering the world of software startups.

Greenline is a cannabis retail point-of-sale system focused on ease-of-use, compliance, and a robust integration marketplace that connects essential software services together.

Growing up in Vancouver, Albert always believed in the inevitable success of recreational cannabis markets, and so started Greenline POS with the goal of providing robust retail infrastructure for cannabis entrepreneurs.

Greenline supports 400+ stores across 7 provinces/territories in Canada, employs a rapidly growing team of 25+ with the business growing at 300% annually.

 

3:30pm – 4:00pm

Sponsored By: 

Diversity in the Cannabis Industry

In a time where cannabis companies continue to deal with a competitive illicit market with strategies that aim to reach beyond stereotypical labels, a more diverse cultural understanding will allow cannabis companies to broaden their consumer base and build the political capital to drive government to an enlightened regulatory approach. In this session, discover why a better understanding of cultural needs and perceptions is a major key to unlocking accurate consumer insights and building diverse teams with the right skill sets.

Akwasi Owusu-Bempah (PhD) is an academic, author and activist. He is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Toronto, an Affiliate Scientist at Canada’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and the Director of Research for the Campaign for Cannabis Amnesty. With an eye on social justice, he is currently exploring how cannabis legalization is being used as a means to redress the various harms caused by drug prohibition.

Sameena Ibrahim is Senior Advisor, Partnership & Strategy at Cannabis Amnesty. With over a decade of global marketing experience, she has created best-in-class retail activations for Adidas in the Middle East and most recently launched a cannabis brand in Canada. She believes that equity in the legal cannabis industry requires an approach that is rooted in social justice and this is the primary focus of her work at Cannabis Amnesty.

Shilbee Kim is a social enterprise and passion coach for Innoweave, the Women of Ontario Social Enterprise Network, and the Toronto Enterprise Fund who supports leaders in clarifying their passions, leadership approaches and/or business models. She is also the Workstream Manager, Entrepreneurship Policy at the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship.

 

4:00pm

Closing Remarks

Interested in sponsoring this event?

Contact Mary Markou at mmarkou@retailcouncil.org.

Questions?

For event related inquiries, please contact events@retailcouncil.org.

 

Platinum Sponsor 

 

Silver Sponsors

         

 

Bronze Sponsors 

         

Media Partners 

       

                        

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