Announcing: 2019 Session Selector Winners!

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This year, The National Cannabis Festival launched The Session Selector Contest as our way of giving the cannabis community input on the educational programming at NCF. We asked for submissions from all sides of the cannabis industry and garnered an array of applicants. In the first round, our applicants were ranked by our expert judges:

  • Candy Angel, Weedmaps

  • Dasheeda Dawson, MJM Strategy

  • Nelson Guerrero, Cannabis Cultural Association

  • Desiree Ivey, Medicinally Jointed

  • Amber Senter, Supernova Women

In the second round, applicants were encouraged to share their ideas on Facebook and Instagram with “likes” and “shares” factoring into their final scores.

After public voting and input from our industry judges, we are pleased to announce the six winning entries that will be invited to present their discussions on stage in one of the program pavilions at the 2019 festival:


Cannabis and Tech: A Platform to Solve Global Programs
Presented by: Aja Atwood, Trella Technologies & Shanel Lindsay, Ardent Cannabis
As cannabis legalization spreads and stigma wanes, scientists, academics and other specialists from traditional and esteemed professions are contributing their expertise to create innovations with benefits that extend beyond changing the way people access and consume cannabis. From reducing the opioid crisis to urban farming, which global issues are cannabis innovators influencing, whether intentionally or serendipitously, and where are the opportunities for experienced and aspiring scientists and engineers to contribute their experience and talent in cannabis? Don't miss this one-on-one conversation and audience Q&A with two women who will change the way you think about your professional and educational past and how you, too, can be an innovator in the bustling cannabis industry and beyond.

How Music and Cannabis Relate to you
Presented by: Lilly Torres, Vira Byramji and Eliza Berse, NowWhat??

Through access to information, networks and industry leaders, our community has flourished. As part of our work to expand opportunity for all, we’d love to invite you to an interactive discussion at the National Cannabis Festival in Washington, DC on April 20th. We’re going to explore ways of increasing equity in both the cannabis and music industries, how creatives use cannabis to pursue their art, and the impact creative communities can have on policy. The cannabis and music industries both have tremendous barriers to success. Join us as we collectively tackle those barriers by sharing resources and insights to breaking through and finding your voice and contribution. 

The Intersection of Cannabis + Tech + Women
Presented by: Jessica Leigh Lebos, Smoke Cartel

We know that women have been sidelined in both the cannabis and tech industries -- until now. Let's hear from the female entrepreneurs who are breaking double barriers within these spaces and how they're holding the door open for other women! Topics can include the tech side of each other their companies, how they've turned the challenges into opportunities and why more women can learn to code for the cannabis industry.


Manufacturing Industrial Hemp-Based CBD Products
Presented by: Barbara Biddle, District Hemp

With a new Farm Bill signed to law and more bills on the floor throughout the country, the hemp industry is changing rapidly. This is the best time to create a learning space for conversation to be had, and we invite you to join us as we explore the new hemp industry. Our panel will feature experts in all areas of the cannabis industry, including: a retail business owner, a Hemp/Cannabis lawyer, a pharmacist, a manufacturer, a local advocate, and a hemp researcher. The panel will go into in-depth conversation regarding what consumers and retailers are looking for: industry regulations and advances, marketing tactics, and economic trend, and more expert insight!

The Cannabis Industry’s Single-Use Plastic Problem
Presented by: Sandra Elkind, STO Reponsible

From regulations to safety concerns cannabis producers have restrictions that limit their packaging material options.  But like any traditional business cannabis companies want their packages to keep products fresh, protected from damage, establish a brand’s identity and convey its values while providing shelf appeal. But how are they able to do this while also being affordable, sustainably sourced, recyclable and reusable? In this session we will explore the real challenges the cannabis industry is facing when it comes to packaging and safety, how producers can seek out sustainable options that meet the needs of the cannabis industry and what we can do as citizens and consumers to help cannabis producers lower their environmental impact.


Harnessing Healing Herbs for Physical and Mental Wellbeing
Presented by: Ebony Payne & Claudia Joy Wingo, District Herbs

How do we find healing in the midst of a lack of affordable health care, the rise of multiple physical and mental health epidemics, and the consequences of the failed war on drugs in our communities? This panel brings together experts in holistic healthcare, ethical hemp and cannabis cultivation, and social justice activism to discuss the significance of herbal healing traditions for the mind, body, and spirit that can empower our lives and our communities.

Congratulations to our winners! Subscribe to our newsletter and check the education program schedule for speaker updates and session times.

Caroline Phillips