In-person expos were put on hold last spring as companies figured out how people were going to gather in a safe capacity. Emerge Cannabis Conference, however, made no hesitation making their gathering virtual, implementing fun technology they found they could utilize to make a virtual convention as realistic as possible. We covered Winter Emerge and had a blast; now we are back for more with Spring Emerge. 

The Emerge team did not hesitate to expand what they were doing. Spring Emerge featured amazing new booths spread across three separate pavilions. They also featured The Artsy Leaf Marketplace which is an great way to shop and support small businesses. 

Not only did Spring Emerge feature unparalleled networking opportunities, but there were also some awesome panels showcased throughout the day. Here are some highlights from the amazing talks featured throughout the three days. 

A screenshot of an avatar at the virtual Emerge conference.

Cannabis Conversations with Dr. Chanda Macias

Day one of Emerge opened with a powerful talk featuring Dr. Chanda Macias. Dr. Chanda started her journey in the cannabis space with research while she attended Howard University. She was researching breast cancer when she found the positive correlation between cancer patients and cannabis consumption.

Later in her work, Dr. Chanda moved on to working in research with prostate cancer because she found that there is a higher chance of Black men developing prostate cancer. She soon discovered that cancer treatment can drastically evolve with natural medicines including cannabis. Patients are finding that cannabis helps with pain and other symptoms related to their cancer or cancer treatments. 

However, the positive aspects of medical cannabis use were sadly met with negative repercussions. Dr. Chanda saw there was a pipeline of patients going to prison for their medical cannabis use. This continued to hurt the community as more and more Black patients were going to prison for their medical use. 

Another part of the medical community that Dr. Chanda highlighted are parents and the amazing lengths they would go through to help provide medicine for their children.  Mothers had to be separated from their children just so the children could be provided for, especially parents of children with special needs. These parents were finding that the use of medicinal cannabis was drastically improving quality of life in their children. However, if they were living in a state where medical cannabis was not legal, these parents had to navigate through several obstacles. Dr. Chanda mentioned how the Safe Harbor Act allowed for parents to safely obtain medicinal cannabis for their children while keeping their families together. There is also a significant demographic that is going unseen within the medical cannabis space:the special needs community. Medicine for these individuals needs to exist on a more regulated basis. 

Dr. Chanda prioritized the need for patients to further understand the types of consumption that would be best fit for their needs. If a patient is having a panic attack, then the best product for them would be a vaporizer or inhaler. If the patient needs more long term effects, then a gummy or related edible is the best product. Patients must work with doctors and thoroughly educate themselves in order to understand the best ways to consume and use their medicinal cannabis. 

Cannabis Conversation with Montel Williams 

Day two of Emerge was kicked off with powerful insight from Montel Williams. Montel is a former Navy and Marine Corps Veteran and now spends his time as a cannabis advocate. Montel is living with MS and is a stroke survivor, and he found that cannabis can really benefit people living with those conditions more than they may think. 

Montel touched upon how CBD is now allowed for use on national bases, but this is just scratching the surface of possible medicines that can be beneficial to the troops. “Take the patients off the battlefield,” Montel said. He believes that there needs to be more help for patients that are being thrown into battle as combat is making their symptoms worse. 

Montel took the time to raise awareness for MS and other medical conditions as well as the medical patients in the Navy and Marine Corps because those topics of interest hit home for him. Some of these patients, much to Montel’s delight, are aware of the benefits of cannabis. Montel also spoke about the issues that have arisen during the pandemic. He believes that we will be transitioning from a COVID-19 pandemic to a mental health pandemic. Frontline workers are being overworked and underrecognized to the point where their mental health is deteriorating—not to mention the fact that people are constantly losing loved ones and are not having the means to say goodbye or have a mentally-healthy grieving process. These are issues that many are facing, and cannabis can help people work through their grief and suffering

Sustainability with Gladbrook Holdings

Warren Blesofsky, Co-Founder and CEO of cannabis company Gladbrook Holdings, walked the audience through a pitch of the company’s new cannabis subscription box. People looking to get the box will go through a quick, interview-type process so the company can figure out the best products for the customer. This subscription box delivery service isn’t your typical cannabis delivery. Most cannabis deliveries happen on a quick basis. The customer places the order with the service, and then it shows up. The subscription box, however, delivers on a monthly basis and will include the products tailored to the customer’s needs.

Having this kind of  service for the service will minimize gas emissions from transportation. The company values sustainability, something that is vital for a company-consumer relationship in the present day. Customers can feel better about the products they are buying and the places those products are coming from. Warren spoke about how Gladbrook cares so much that they even pay an extra surcharge for renewable energy. They are also looking into using compostable plastic for their subscription boxes with substitutions like corn in order to advocate to their customers that they are not wasting any plastic.

Emerge’s virtual cannabis conference packs in the fun and provides the most normal experience one can have in the virtual sphere. As people use their avatars to walk around the conference, they can feel that they’re not missing out on anything.