Get Your Tickets to Join the Global Cannabis Conversation

Why South Africa?

South Africa began licensing the production and export of medical cannabis in 2018, and the Supreme Court’s decriminalisation of cannabis for personal use further propelled the country’s entry into the market. With estimates that the cannabis and associated products market could be worth R27 billion by 2023, South Africa is experiencing a boom in regional cannabis license application and investment.

Africa is in the midst of a green rush. The Kingdom of Lesotho granted the continent’s first license to grow and export legal medical cannabis in 2017, and currently a number of African countries, including Swaziland, Malawi, and Zimbabwe, are examining legalising cannabis cultivation for medical or industrial applications.

The global interest in Africa’s cannabis market makes Cape Town the perfect destination for CannaTech. Showcasing leading-edge R&D, industry mavens, and thought leaders, CannaTech is a premier event contributing to the growth of the medical cannabis ecosystem. Get your tickets to CannaTech Cape Town to join the conversation.

JOIN US IN CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

Register for Your Ticket to the Global Cannabis Conversation

CAPE TOWN AGENDA

NOVEMBER 24-26

PLATINUM SPONSORS

GLOBAL & GOLD SPONSORS

SPONSORS

SPEAKERS

John Veit

John Veit is an American journalist specializing in cannabis regulation and international drug enforcement. He has written articles and produced videos for High Times, Cannabis Now, Vice, Cáñamo, ABC News and Wall St. Journal Television. Recently, John spent three years in Humboldt County, California working on cannabis farms and extraction labs while completing a master’s thesis exploring the relationship between prisons and climate change. For two years, he toured the US running business seminars for cannabis entrepreneurs, focusing his energy in states where legalization was just beginning. While John is an advocate for cannabis legalization, he prefers to promote botanical literacy more generally. At CannaTech Cape Town, John will explain how cannabis regulations often promote the plant’s stigmatization, marginalize communities, and cause environmental harm.

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John Veit

Journalist, Vice, High Times, Cáñamo, Cannabis Now
Steven Turetsky

Steven Turetsky is a cannabis industry veteran and hemp entrepreneur focusing on hemp genetics, cannabinoid production and industrial hemp-based textiles. 

Currently overseeing Shi Farms, a national farming cooperative and wholesale CBD supplier based in Pueblo, Colorado, offering hemp genetics and consulting to farmers across the world, Turetsky manages the sales and business development teams. Presently, the company is planting nearly 1,000 acres of high CBD Hemp across the US. Turetsky is also a partner is Trava, a hemp investment and operations firm who has consulted on international hemp projects in Central Asia and Europe. Steven is passionate about the industrial uses of hemp beyond CBD and looks to expand his portfolio and experience into this sector in the coming months. He sees industrial hemp becoming a staple crop on the African continent in the years ahead. 

Prior to Shi Farms, he worked at Dixie Brands, a cannabis infused product pioneer, for four years, eventually assuming the role of national operations manager and serving as the liaison between corporate executives and franchises. Turetsky attended the University of Pittsburgh and earned degrees in Economics and Biology, authoring both capstone projects on the cannabis industry. A Philadelphia native, Turetsky spends his free time hiking in the Rocky Mountains and enjoying his St. Bernard, Tova.

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Steven Turetsky

Managing Director, Shi Farms
Warren Schewitz

Warren began his career in Investment Banking. He moved from South Africa to Toronto, Canada in 1997 where he joined the Mergers and Acquisitions group of Royal Bank of Canada. In 1999 he joined start up OpenLane and as part of the founding management team grew the business over 10 years to be the largest online wholesale marketplace for used cars in North America selling approximately 500,000 vehicles per annum. OpenLane was acquired by NYSE listed KAR Holdings in August, 2011. Warren returned back to South Africa in 2011 where he founded Clear Asset a technology platform which he grew successfully before selling a majority stake in an empowerment transaction. In late 2018, he launched Southern Sky Group with the goal of building the leading vertically integrated Cannabis business in Africa. He lives in Cape Town where he is married with 4 children.

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Warren Schewitz

CEO, Southern Sky Holdings Inc.
Lorne Gertner

Mr. Gertner is a serial entrepreneur with experience in start-ups, going public transactions, fashion, retail, architecture, real estate, finance and cannabis.

Mr. Gertner is a co-founder and former chairman of PharmaCan Capital Corporation (MMJ.V) (now Cronos) Canada’s first publicly traded merchant bank in the medical marijuana sector with investments in five of the thirty-eight legal licensed producers in Canada. He is also a co-founder of Tokyo Smoke. Mr. Gertner was a Co-founder and Director of Cannasat Pharmaceuticals Inc. (CYNA) The first medical marijuana company to be listed on the Toronto stock exchange with an investment in the first government contracted facility growing medical marijuana in Canada called Prairie Plant Systems now called Cannimed Therapeutics Inc. (CMED.TO).

Mr. Gertner is the current Chairman of HG2 Capital Corp., an investment, merchant bank in the cannabis sector. Mr. Gertner is currently on the board of Emblem Corp. (EMC.V), Green Acre Capital and on the board of the Design Exchange, and an adjunct professor of the Daniel School of Architecture Landscape and Urban Design at The University of Toronto.

Mr. Gertner is a graduate of The John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, University of Toronto and has completed the ICD.D designation at the Rotman School of Management.

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Lorne Gertner

Chairman & Co-Founder, Tokyo Smoke
Saul Kaye

Ever since Saul can remember he has looked at a business and tried to break it down to understand it and figure out how to optimize it. He loves to improve a good idea and make it great. Saul understands that there is a fine balance between perfection and delivery – and drives hard to execute. 

He has been blessed with several successes in his career. His experience in pharma and customer service has given him a hard-learned perspective that good customer service and a valued product are keys to business success. He has learned a great deal about humility and success.

The cannabis industry has been Saul’s most fast paced, action filled adventure to date. He loves the ability to make real change in the world and the ability to apply his unique take on this awesome field.

Saul is very proud of CannaTech, his team’s first big initiative in this space and is excited about establishing a global brand infrastructure that will shape the cannabis space.

“To be an ambassador for entrepreneurship and Israel is amazing to me as I am not a public person – but the cause is so powerful I am grateful to take a stand”

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Saul Kaye

Founder & CEO, iCAN: Israel Cannabis
Chuck Rifici

Chuck Rifici is a pioneer of the North American cannabis industry having created and managed opportunities that have positively impacted the Canadian landscape.  Chuck has founded and been involved in the creation of some of Canada’s largest and most successful cannabis efforts. He is best known for having co-founded Canopy Growth Corporation (formerly Tweed Marijuana Inc.).

Today, Chuck is the Founder and CEO of Nesta Holding Co., a private equity firm focused on the global cannabis industry, and, Chair of Auxly Cannabis Group, a platform spanning the entire cannabis value-chain, minimizing risk while simultaneously maximizing exposure to multiple, geographically-diverse cannabis companies through a single source. He is also the former Chair of National Access Cannabis/Meta Cannabis Supply Co., a global leader in medical and recreational cannabis retail.

Chuck is a chartered professional accountant (CPA). He obtained his MBA from Queen’s University and holds a BASc in Computer Engineering from the University of Ottawa.

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Chuck Rifici

Chairman & CEO, Nesta
Ben Larson

Ben Larson is a serial entrepreneur, investor, professional business coach, and startup adviser based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Gateway, the premier startup accelerator and venture fund for the burgeoning cannabis industry. In addition, Ben is also a Director and Mentor for the Founder Institute, where he formerly managed global operations and helped grow to over 100 cities around the world. An active Senior Advisor to the non-profit Youth Business USA, he also resides on several boards inside and out of the cannabis industry and travels around the world speaking and advising early stage companies. Ben’s other true love is for his family, dogs, and scotch.

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Ben Larson

Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Gateway
David Hess

David is President at Tress Capital, an established investment management firm in the cannabis sector, founded in 2013. Tress originates, guides, and manages investment for HNW, SFO, and institutional clients in both fund and bespoke SMA vehicles. Tress works closely with its companies and sector as an active value-add investor. Its portfolio includes industry leaders such as SC Labs, Headset, Baker Technologies, Cannabis Now, Infusion Biosciences, Grownetics and North Bud Farms. A two time cancer survivor, David was introduced to the vast benefits of medical cannabis while undergoing cancer treatments in 2001 and again in 2003. David has since dedicated himself to furthering research, awareness, and business opportunities in the expanding cannabis industry.

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David Hess

President & Co-Founder, Tress Capital
Yahav Blaicher

Cannabinoid, Terpene and Botanical Formulator Yahav Blaicher brings 15 years of experience in “Nutra” Industry, as well as extensive experience in Product Development, Formulation, Extraction Methods. He is a master R&D Specialist.

Yahav is a highly trained professional with extensive experience in the natural products industry, specializing in cannabis and medicinal plants. His research & development skills have focused on the development and formulation of natural products including cosmetics and dietary supplements as well as food and cannabis products.  Yahav’s 15 years of experience in horticulture, plant biochemistry, organic chemistry analysis and regulation gives companies and entrepreneurs accurate, innovative and exclusive R&D of formulations of new botanicals, as well as cannabis-based products. 

 

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Yahav Blaicher

Co-Founder, Kaneh-B
Tamar Maritz

Tamar Maritz is VP of Business Development at BDS Analytics, the leading market research, analytics and
insights firm in the cannabis industry. With a strong background in market research and analytics
consulting for some of the biggest fortune 500 tech companies, Tamar brings years of analytical and
insight-driven experience to the cannabis industry, already having helped countless existing and up-and-
coming operators thrive in the cannabis supply chain over the past 3 years. Coupled with an
undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and an MBA with a focus on quantitative marketing strategy, she
is able to provide a unique perspective and understanding of the industry from both the commercial and
pharmaceutical ends.

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Tamar Maritz

VP, Business Development, BDS Analytics
Nirit Bernstein, Ph.D

Dr. Nirit Bernstein is the first scientist in Israel to study whole plant cannabis.

Nirit Bernstein, has a PhD in Plant Physiology from the University of California, Davis USA, and a B.Sc. in Agricultural Sciences from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment. She is a principal researcher at the Institute of Soil Water and Environmental Sciences at the Volcani Research Center in Israel, and she teaches graduate level courses at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her research includes studies of effects of treated wastewater on environmental pollution (chemical and microbiological); irrigation with marginal water; effects of effluent irrigation on the field environment; mechanisms involved in plants response to salinity; and mineral nutrition of plants. She has published over 70 academic publications and is a member of the Editorial Board of five international scientific Journals. She also serves as the Chief Editor of scientific manuscripts in Hebrew for the Ministry of Agriculture in Israel.

 

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Nirit Bernstein, Ph.D

Senior Research Scientist, ARO, Volcani Institute
Stephen Murphy

Stephen is Founder of Prohibition Partners, the leading source of data, intelligence and strategic consultancy for the global cannabis industry. Stephen has founded in some of the leading brands and companies in the cannabis industry including Cannabis Europa, ECH and the first chain of Medical Cannabis Clinics in the UK. Stephen works with investors, entrepreneurs and regulators to identify, qualify and maximize the opportunities in this emerging frontier. His background is in technology, digital media and corporate finance.
 

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Stephen Murphy

Co-Founder, Prohibition Partners
Rylie Maedler

Read Rylie’s Incredible Story Here

In 2013, at the age of 7, Rylie was diagnosed with aggressive bone tumors that disintegrated her facial bones. Her mother, Janie, learned about the efficacy of cannabis oil against cancer and decided to give it to Rylie hoping it might help minimize her bone tumors and prevent recurrence. With the help of whole plant botanical oil, Rylie defied everyone’s expectations. Rylie’s smile returned!

Today, Rylie’s focus with her team is to supply quality medical whole plant botanical oil to all generations looking for holistic relief of various debilitating health conditions. Research is a big part of Rylie Sunshine’s goal since it is one of the dilemmas Rylie’s family has noticed can hold back patient care and legislation, besides lack of quality and access. Rylie has chosen specific targets that her team agrees are lacking in research and need to be pushed to the forefront.

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Rylie Maedler

CEO, Rylie's Sunshine, President, Rylie's Smile Foundation 501C3
Cam Battley

Cam Battley is Chief Corporate Officer of Aurora Cannabis, one of the world’s largest and fastest growing cannabis companies. A passionate spokesperson for the medical cannabis industry, Cam started with Aurora Cannabis in March 2016 and has been a key driver to Aurora’s emergence as a global leader.

As a senior healthcare industry leader and strategist with more than 20 years of international experience, Cam is the lead external-facing executive of Aurora, responsible for establishing and managing relationships with shareholders, analysts, media, regulators, governments, and other companies and organizations operating in the cannabis sector. He also chairs the Executive Committee, acts as liaison with the Board, and ensures organizational alignment across the Company’s operations, domestic and international.

Cam is a member of the Board of Directors of Cannabis Canada, the trade association of Licensed Producers. With a background as a health sector management consultant, he brings experience in government, healthcare NGOs, and the biopharmaceutical industry.

Prior to joining Aurora, Cam was Vice President of Communications and Corporate Development for Bedrocan Canada, an experienced world-wide producer of legal cannabis. During his time there, Cam was the primary spokesperson and responsible for media, external communications, investor relations, business development, government relations, and physician and patient initiatives. Cam’s leadership generated significant media coverage for Bedrocan.

In 1997, Cam founded Health Strategy Group, an international management consultancy with clients ranging from health professional and patient NGOs, to innovative and generic pharmaceutical firms, and biotechnology and medical device companies. While there, Cam established himself as an expert speaker and communicator and was retained to provide media training for executives and health professionals throughout the industry.

Before founding Health Strategy Group, Cam was Vice President, Creative, of Veritas Communications. Under Cam’s leadership, Veritas grew from six to 24 employees, becoming Canada’s largest healthcare communications firm.

Cam also worked for Eli Lilly and Company, as Director of Communications for Canada. There, Cam was the lead spokesperson for all corporate and product communications (including Prozac), developed public information and awareness campaigns with mental health organizations, conducted issues management, and developed an external publication that included contributions from leading journalists and public figures.

Cam arrived in the health sector after serving as Legislative Assistant to the Canadian Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs, where he was responsible for developing legislation and shepherding it through the House of Commons, as well as negotiating with stakeholder groups and opposition parties. He is proud to have helped develop and introduce Bill C-91, which provides patent protection for innovative pharmaceuticals.

Cam is also the founder of Wind Gage Communications, a video and film production company. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Micron Waste Technologies, and of Campaigning for Cancer (South Africa).

Cam lives in rural Ontario, Canada with his wife and two children. He coaches boys’ and girls’ soccer teams and is a Scout leader. He is a trail runner and PADI certified Rescue Diver

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Cam Battley

Chief Corporate Officer, Aurora Cannabis
Donald Abrams

Donald I. Abrams, MD. is an oncologist at Zuckerberg San Francisco General and a Professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of California San Francisco. He has an Integrative Oncology consultation practice at the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. He received an A.B. in Molecular Biology from Brown University in 1972 and graduated from the Stanford University School of Medicine in 1977. After completing an Internal Medicine residency at the Kaiser Foundation Hospital in San Francisco, he became a fellow in Hematology/Oncology at the  Cancer Research Institute of the University of California, San Francisco in 1980. He was one the original clinician/investigators to recognize and define many early AIDS-related conditions. He has long been interested in clinical trials of complementary and alternative medicine interventions for HIV/AIDS and cancer, including evaluations of medicinal marijuana. In 1997 he received funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to conduct clinical trials of the short-term safety of cannabinoids in HIV infection. Subsequently he was granted funds by the University of California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research to continue studies of the effectiveness of cannabis in a number of clinical conditions. He completed a placebo-controlled study of smoked cannabis in patients with painful HIV-related peripheral neuropathy as well as a study evaluating vaporization as a smokeless delivery system for medicinal. His last NIDA-funded trial investigated the possible pharmacokinetic interaction between vaporized cannabis and opioid analgesics in patients with chronic pain. His last study was an NIH-funded trial investigating vaporized cannabis in patients with Sickle Cell disease. He co-authored the chapter on “Cannabinoids and Cancer” in the Oxford University Press Integrative Oncology text that he co-edited with Andrew Weil. He co-edits the NCI PDQ CAM Cannabinoids and Cancer website. He was a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s committee that published The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research in January 2017.

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Donald Abrams

Oncologist, Zuckerberg San Francisco General, Professor of Clinical Medicine, UCSF

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