Date(s) - 02/28/2019
12:00 am


Best Practices in Cannabis Marketing for 2019 — Washington D.C.

Legal cannabis has arrived. But with seemingly endless opportunities coming into focus for marketing professionals in our nascent industry, it can be hard to know where to spend your time, money and energy when bringing the next great cannabis product or service to market.

With new legal frameworks and regulations, marketing and communications professionals often find themselves working harder than they need to, spending too much on simple execution, and often finding their campaigns don’t earn the proper reach for the investment.

Cannabis companies continue to struggle for access to traditional marketing channels like digital advertising, social media, and mainstream publications. Not to mention, cannabis still faces a huge branding issue as the stigma still pervades.

Join us for a deep, candid conversation with the top local minds in cannabis marketing, communications, and public relations. This panel discussion will be expertly moderated by Lisa Buffo Founder & CEO, Cannabis Marketing Association.

Reserve your Early Bird tickets in advance. Ticket pricing goes up Day-Of.

Members of the press please email with your credentials for press access.


Topics to be addressed in our discussion include:

  • Navigating Existing Marketing Regulations
  • Authenticity and Inclusivity in Cannabis Advertising
  • Improving Your Bottom Line Through Best Practices


There will be time for a moderated audience Question & Answer session at the end of our panel discussion. Attendees are encouraged to come prepared with their relevant cannabis marketing questions for our panelists. Light snacks and non-alcoholic refreshments will be provided.

6:00 pm – Doors Open

6:30 pm – Panel Discussion and Q&A

7:30 pm – Open Networking

Sponsorships Available Now

Get your brand in front of a targeted group of cannabis business owners, executives, and communications professionals. Email to secure an event sponsorship.

There are 3 corporate sponsor slots available for each event.
Event sponsors receive:

  • One 6 foot table and two chairs at the event to showcase your brand to 100 cannabis professionals
  • May provide one item for the raffle
  • May provide swag items for the group (quantity 100)
  • Your company logo permanently branded on the official CMA event video which is made available to all CMA members nationally through the CMA Member Portal
  • 20% off a First Year CMA Corporate Membership
  • May submit a 100-word blurb to the CMA National Newsletter


Speaker Bios

Joan Parrot-Fonseca
Consultant & Patient Advocate, Herbal Alternatives

Joan Parrott-Fonseca has had a comprehensive career on all levels of government service, as well as in the academic, nonprofit and private sectors. Her demonstrated commitment to advocacy in the areas of education equity, community and economic development is bolstered by effective working relationships with leaders in the public and private sectors; coupled with a strong business background and a record of transformative leadership budget.

She was appointed as the first woman to serve as National Director of the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) of the United States Department of Commerce During her historic appointment, Parrott-Fonseca directed the overall management and administration of the agency’s multi-million dollar budget. Her ability to forge new public and private partnerships with the corporate and nonprofit sectors resulted in the expansion of the agency’s services.

Currently, Parrott-Fonseca is a  patient advocate and consultant for Herbal Alternatives,a DC  licensed medical marijuana dispensary. Herbal Alternatives’ missions stop promote natural cannabis solutions that enhance the health and well-being of registered patients in a safe, open and caring environment, She advocates for patients to ensure that they have safe, affordable and reasonable legal access to the District of Columbia medical marijuana program Ms.Parrott-Fonseca educates and communicates the health and economic benefits of medical cannabis to the community at large, and  to public and elected officials.

She serves as a  pivotal voice of patients to support reasonable regulations and enforcement of the program,while promoting industry best practices.appointment.

Her educational achievements include a Masters in Public Administration from the John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University; J.D.Georgetown University Law; Masters Degree in Education/Human Resource Management, George Washington University; B.A. History Howard University. Certificate In Money Management, Wharton School of Business.

Served as Trustee on D.C. Pension Board, and The Women’s Leadership Board, J.F.Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Leah Heise
Chief Experience Officer, Mission
As Chief Experience Officer, Leah oversees the Mission brand and is responsible for ensuring all patients have positive experiences when they visit Mission dispensaries and interact with its employees, products, and services. Leah was the cannabis industry’s first-known professional CXO, a senior-level position that has recently gained prominence in the healthcare industry as hospitals and other providers have realized that providing clients and patients with a pleasant experience along with the necessary treatment not only helps the bottom line, but pushes them closer to being able to fulfill their core mission as healthcare organizations. Leah formerly served as CEO of Women Grow, the largest professional networking group in the cannabis industry. Her interest in the cannabis industry began in 2015 when she founded Chesapeake Integrated Health Institute, which received pre-approval of a license to dispense medical cannabis in Maryland. Prior to that, she served as an enforcement attorney with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Jesse Thomas

Jesse Thomas is the CEO and founder of JESS3, a creative interactive agency specializing in data visualization, social strategy and visual storytelling. Described as one of the “Web’s Hottest Designers” by Mashable, Thomas has been working toward owning his own agency since he was in his late teens. Obsessed while growing up with comic books, all things Disney and Pixar, MTV and video games, Thomas has built a company that produces the wonderment and magic he remains inspired by for awesome clients that include The World Bank, NASA, Facebook, Google, The Washington Post and Red Bull.