Yale Business of Legal Cannabis Conference

February 16, 2018, 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. EST

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On Friday, February 16, 2018, the Yale School of Management will host the Business of Legal Cannabis Conference, the first-ever cannabis conference held at a U.S. business school. The objective of  this one-day event is to convene leaders from all sectors of society—private, government, and nonprofit—to discuss the opportunities and challenges of the business of legal cannabis.

The morning sessions will present conference attendees with a broad overview of the cannabis industry, while the afternoon sessions will provide a deeper dive into specific topical areas, including diversity, women in cannabis, healthcare, private equity and venture capital, and branding and marketing. Attending organizations include Privateer Holdings, Women Grow, and the Minority Cannabis Business Association.

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Edward P. Evans Hall
165 Whitney Avenue
New Haven, CT 06511
United States
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Speakers

Tahira Rehmatullah

Managing Director, Hypur Ventures

Tahira Rehmatullah has been MTech Acquisition Corp’s Chief Financial Officer since September 2017. Since June 2017, she has served as Managing Director of Hypur Ventures, where she is responsible for portfolio company management as well as...

Tahira Rehmatullah has been MTech Acquisition Corp’s Chief Financial Officer since September 2017. Since June 2017, she has served as Managing Director of Hypur Ventures, where she is responsible for portfolio company management as well as investment sourcing and execution. She is also a Director of Dope Media, a cannabis media company and portfolio company of Hypur Ventures. Tahira has been named one of the most powerful women in the cannabis business by Fortune Magazine and Complex, and has a passion for developing female leadership in the industry. Prior to joining Hypur Ventures, Tahira served as General Manager of Marley Natural, where she was responsible for the brand’s launch and managing day-to-day operations of the company, and was an Investment Manager at Privateer Holdings. Prior to the cannabis industry, Tahira was a Portfolio Manager at City First Enterprises managing CFE’s community development investment portfolio. Before CFE, Tahira was an associate at Perry Capital where she led research initiatives for the asset-backed securities team. Her career began in Ernst & Young’s Financial Services Advisory practice. Tahira earned her MBA from the Yale School of Management, where she was a Yale Entrepreneurial Institute Venture Creation Advisor. She holds a B.S. in Finance and Life Sciences from The Ohio State University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude and was a Presidential Scholar.

Brendan Kennedy

CEO, Privateer Holdings

Brendan Kennedy is CEO of Privateer Holdings, the world’s first private equity firm investing exclusively in legal cannabis, which has raised $140+ million to launch global cannabis brands – including portfolio companies Tilray (a global...

Brendan Kennedy is CEO of Privateer Holdings, the world’s first private equity firm investing exclusively in legal cannabis, which has raised $140+ million to launch global cannabis brands – including portfolio companies Tilray (a global leader in medical cannabis production and research), Marley Natural (the official Bob Marley cannabis brand), and Leafly (the world’s largest cannabis information resource). Mr. Kennedy is a sought-after thought leader on the cannabis industry, business, and entrepreneurship and has been featured in publications like the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek, and Financial Post, as well as on stage at Web Summit, Collision, RISE Conference, and SXSW. He holds a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley; an M.S. from the University of Washington; and an M.B.A. from the Yale School of Management.

Michael Blue

CFO, Privateer Holdings

Michael Blue is CFO of Privateer Holdings, the world’s first private equity firm investing exclusively in legal cannabis, which has raised $140+ million to launch global cannabis brands – including portfolio companies Tilray (a global leader...

Michael Blue is CFO of Privateer Holdings, the world’s first private equity firm investing exclusively in legal cannabis, which has raised $140+ million to launch global cannabis brands – including portfolio companies Tilray (a global leader in medical cannabis production and research), Marley Natural (the official Bob Marley cannabis brand), and Leafly (the world’s largest cannabis information resource). His finance expertise and business management talents are honed by more than a decade in investment banking, private equity, and consulting. Beyond his executive role in acquisitions and investments, his career has immersed him in nearly every aspect of business development and operations, across a spectrum of consumer and B-to-B industries. He holds a B.B.A. from Harding University and an M.B.A. from the Yale School of Management.

Ebele Ifedigbo

Co-founder and Co-executive Director, The Hood Incubator

Ebele is co-founder and co-executive director of The Hood Incubator, a non-profit organization whose mission is to increase the participation of Black and Brown communities in the legal cannabis industry. Ebele spearheads the organization’s...

Ebele is co-founder and co-executive director of The Hood Incubator, a non-profit organization whose mission is to increase the participation of Black and Brown communities in the legal cannabis industry. Ebele spearheads the organization’s economic development and fundraising efforts. Ebele is a Yale MBA graduate committed to using business to foster innovation and racial equity in cannabis. Ebele has served as an NAACP Economics Fellow, working to develop federal and state policies and programs aimed at closing the national Racial Wealth Divide. Ebele’s other professional experiences include working as an analyst at Ameriprise Financial, a legal and compliance summer analyst at Goldman Sachs, and an MBA summer intern for the worker cooperative development organization Project Equity. Ebele received a joint BA in Economics and Philosophy, with a minor in African Studies from Columbia University in New York City. In June 2017, Ebele received the highly-competitive Echoing Green global social entrepreneurship fellowship. In October 2017, Ebele was honored by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of 2017's Most Daring Entrepreneurs, along with Jeff Bezos, Issa Rae, Elon Musk, and other global innovators. In November 2017, Ebele was named to the 2017 Full Color 50 List and the 2018 Forbes 30 Under 30 List.

Jesce Horton

Co-founder and Chairman, Minority Cannabis Business Association (MCBA)

Jesce Horton is the co-founder and Chairman of the Minority Cannabis Business Association (MCBA), the first non-profit organization founded to create equal access and economic empowerment for cannabis businesses, their patients, and the...

Jesce Horton is the co-founder and Chairman of the Minority Cannabis Business Association (MCBA), the first non-profit organization founded to create equal access and economic empowerment for cannabis businesses, their patients, and the communities most affected by the war on drugs. The organization has members in over 35 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, USVI, and Canada. Jesce earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL. Following graduation, he pursued a career with Siemens USA. While there, Jesce had multiple roles, including Certified Energy Manager (C.E.M). Within this role, Jesce traveled the U.S. and Germany working closely with the U.S. Department of Energy and local utilities to identify and execute projects that reduced energy usage and environmental footprint. He was honored by Peter Loscher, Siemens AG CEO, with the Siemens Values Award in Munich, Germany for his team’s work at some of the nation’s largest industrial companies. During nearly seven years with Siemens, Jesce held positions in various roles, including sales, finance, field service engineering and global strategy. In 2013, soon after moving to Portland, OR, Jesce began growing medical cannabis in his home for two elderly patients who were suffering with cancer, pain and insomnia. After seeing the benefits of medical cannabis, Jesce founded Panacea Valley Gardens, an indoor and greenhouse cultivation facility in metro Portland. Jesce and his team developed proprietary methods of cultivating and processing Portland Craft Cannabis that garnered Panacea Valley Gardens a nomination for a regional CANNaward for the Best Sustainability Initiative and a Dope Cup Award for Best Savory Edible. Along with partners, Jesce founded Panacea, an adult use dispensary that gives back 10% of profits to social causes. In 2015, The Weed Blog voted Panacea as Dispensary of the Year in Portland.

Dr. Jeff Chen

Director, UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative

Dr. Jeff Chen MD/MBA is the Director of the UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative, where he leads a team of over 20 faculty members to conduct education and groundbreaking research into the effects of cannabis on society, including health, legal,...

Dr. Jeff Chen MD/MBA is the Director of the UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative, where he leads a team of over 20 faculty members to conduct education and groundbreaking research into the effects of cannabis on society, including health, legal, economic, and social impact. He is a thought leader on the intersection of cannabis policy, science, and business, where he has worked for the last four years to accelerate cannabis research. Dr. Chen is a David Geffen Fellowship Recipient, UCLA Anderson Fellowship Recipient, and UCLA Wolfen Entrepreneurial Award Recipient. He is a U.S. patent holder, a published author in cancer research, and sat on the Admissions Committee at the UCLA School of Medicine. He is a graduate of the MD/MBA program at UCLA and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Cornell University where he studied Biology, Business, and Music, and managed the microbiology lab of the Chair of the Microbiology Department, Dr. William Ghiorse.