The COVID-19 pandemic has sent shockwaves across the entire world, causing disruptions and alterations to everyday operations across all industries and business types – including cannabis. Across the U.S., shelter-in-place orders forced dispensaries to pivot to delivery and curbside pickup, expediting the shift from predominantly brick-and-mortar shopping experiences to e-commerce. Cannabis was deemed an essential service in most states where it is legal, giving power and affirmation to the legalization debate. Now, with uncertainty surrounding what “business as usual” looks like, cannabis companies must steady themselves for a wildly different and unpredictable future.
This panel brings together executives from Flowhub, LeafLink and Vangst, three of the leading cannabis services, to analyze the impact of COVID-19 on businesses and discuss trends that will alter the industry for the future. Based on their in-depth industry report, The State of the Cannabis Industry: 2020, the panelists will provide valuable and quantitative insights into the state of the cannabis landscape, corroborated by in-depth data analysis and survey responses from some of the largest and most respected companies in the industry. The data-packed panel will provide a comprehensive breakdown of the cannabis industry while touching on several key facets of the industrys: B2B relationships and ordering patterns, consumer preferences and purchasing habits, and human resources management.The coalition will also provide guidance and advice on the outlook for 2021.
Karson Humiston, Founder & CEO, Vangst: Karson Humiston is the Founder & CEO of Vangst, the cannabis industry’s recruiting platform. Since launching in 2016, Vangst has connected thousands of people with jobs at over leading cannabis businesses around the World. Karson was featured on the 2018 Forbes 30 under 30 list and Vangst was featured in Entrepreneur’s 100 Brilliant Companies of 2018. Prior to founding Vangst, Karson founded On Track Adventures, a student travel organization based out of St. Lawrence University.
Michael Hanson, Director of Data Science, Flowhub: Michael Hanson is the Director of Data Science at Flowhub with expertise in machine learning, natural language processing and statistical analysis to provide actionable intelligence to decision makers. Michael spent his career designing and building new processes for mining, production and visualization of databases. Prior to Flowhub, Michael worked at Echostar (a Dish subsidiary) as a criminal intelligence analyst, Convercent as a Data Scientist and with local Swiss police departments using data science to help discover patterns in criminal activities. Michael studied at the School of Criminal Sciences at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland, where he wrote a thesis on developing a new process to analyze payment information in an effort to understand and prevent satellite piracy.
Alex Feldman, General Manager, LeafLink Insights: Alex Feldman is the General Manager of LeafLink Insights where he is responsible for product development and data monetization. He has 14 years of experience developing commercial relationships and building new products in media and technology. Prior to LeafLink, Alex worked as Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships at Comscore, a media measurement and analytics company. While there, he was responsible for structuring agreements with connected TV and streaming video platforms and leading new product development. He has also held senior positions at Comcast and Viacom in business development roles. Through his consulting practice, Night Heron, Alex worked with VICE, Wieden+Kennedy and other technology clients. From 2009-2012, Alex built and subsequently led the global forecasting division at ad holding company, Interpublic Group. He began his career as an analyst covering the Education and Advertising sectors for Merrill Lynch in New York. Alex received his Bachelors of Science in Finance with a Minor in Mathematics from N.Y.U’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business. He has served as Adjunct Professor of American Media at the City University of New York.