Pubdate: Mon, 10 Apr 2017
Source: National Post (Canada)
Copyright: 2017 Canwest Publishing Inc.
Author: Randi Druzin
Page: B6


Thirteen years ago, singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge took medical
marijuana to combat the side effects of chemotherapy to treat breast
cancer. Today, she is the owner of her own line of cannabis-infused
wine tinctures and other marijuana products.

"Seventy years ago, marijuana was on pharmacy shelves. Now it's time
to get back to that," she told Billboard magazine when she launched
Etheridge Farms last year. "I just feel really strongly about the
medicinal aspects of cannabis."

Etheridge will be heading to Toronto later this month to attend
O'Cannabiz Conference & Expo, a three-day event that will explore the
latest regulations, industry standards and best practices for medical
and recreational cannabis.

Thousands of attendees, including physicians, licensed producers,
industry professionals and the general public, are expected at the
event at the Sheraton Centre April 21-23. They see it as an
opportunity to learn, network and advocate.

Some of the sessions are specifically geared toward those who have
invested in the marijuana industry or are considering doing so. Among
those sessions is a pre-conference boot camp, which will provide
attendees with an overview of the evolution of the cannabis industry
dating back to the 1960s. Attendees will learn about the three
cannabis markets and be introduced to the various businesses, products
and technologies in the industry. At the conference itself,
prospective cannabis investors will be attending a presentation that
looks at the cannabis market, its segmentation, size estimates, growth
drivers and investment risks. They will also attend a panel discussion
about how and where to access capital to launch and develop a cannabis

Thanks to its size and scope, O'Cannabiz Conference & Expo has
attracted some of the biggest names in the cannabis space, some of
whom will be making presentations or giving talks.

In addition to Etheridge, the roster of keynote speakers includes
Bruce Linton, the founder of Canopy Growth, Canada's biggest publicly
traded marijuana company, and Dr. David Meiri, head of the Laboratory
of Cancer Biology and Cannabinoid Research at the Technion-Israel
Institute of Technology.


MNP, a national accounting, tax and business consulting firm, is the
lead sponsor of O'Cannabiz Conference & Expo.

"We looked into the marijuana industry a while back and realized that
as an entrepreneurial firm, it presented a great opportunity for us,"
says Glenn Fraser, vice-president, national leader, food and beverage
processing at MNP. "We've been active in the industry for a couple of
years and now offer a full range of services."

The firm's head of cybersecurity, Danny Timmins, will be giving a
presentation on that subject, looking at how cyber-attacks are
evolving and the steps that owners should take to protect their
businesses from attackers.

It made good sense to get involved with O'Cannabiz, says Fraser. "This
is the big conference of the year. The major licensed producers will
be there and people will be coming in from all over the world. If you
want to see what the future of the industry looks like in terms of
investment and other areas, this is great conference for you."

"Many conferences focus on just one thing," adds Danya Dixon,
vice-president of programming at O'Cannabiz.

"But this conference is different because of the broad focus and range
of activities - from presentations on important industry topics and
networking opportunities to entertainment. O'Cannabiz is the first of
its kind in Canada."

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