Cannabis Products Exchange, an annual conference powered by Cannabis Products Magazine, has announced the slate of speakers for the inaugural event.

The speakers will focus on product development and manufacturing for legal cannabis edibles and beverages, including R&D, ingredients, manufacturing, equipment, packaging, logistics, technology, and food safety.

“The fast-emerging legal cannabis food and beverage industry currently faces a number of challenges related to the supply chain and product development," says Douglas J. Peckenpaugh, group editorial director, Cannabis Products, BNP Media. "Addressing these challenges is a core mission of Cannabis Products Magazine—and its new event, Cannabis Products Exchange, otherwise known as CPX20. This event will provide a highly unique and strategic forum to develop collaborative solutions, with suppliers to the industry, thought leadership, and cannabis-infused product developers working together in an intimate environment to advance key areas related to product quality, safety, consistency, efficacy, and more.”

Eric Schnell, founder of BeyondBrands and cofounder of mood33, will kick off the two-day conference with a keynote session on entrepreneurial brand building. Mark Grineland, cofounder and CEO of Coda Signature, will follow with a session on strategies for entering the cannabis edibles industry.

Carl Edstrom, senior vice president and principal, survey solutions, IRI, and Jessica Lukas, senior vice president, commercial development, BDS Analytics, will present together on consumer needs and preferences, particularly when it comes to understanding types of consumers and the products they gravitate toward. They’ll also cover how to identify opportunities for best serving the consumer marketplace.

Matthew Anderson, CEO of Vanguard Scientific Systems, will focus on cannabis ingredient processing dynamics, including how quality assurance and quality control factor into the cannabis ingredient extraction, distillation and refinement process.

Christian Sweeney, vice president of science and technology, and Matt Hepfinger, vice president of commercialization, Cannabistry Labs, will highlight benchmarks for success in the cannabis food and beverage space, including key aspects for a successful corporate culture and strategic positioning for the health-and-wellness and medical markets.

To round out the first day of presentations, Tom Newmaster, partner, FORCEpkg, will take a look at concepts that can be carried over from traditional consumer packaged goods to the cannabis industry.

During the Day Two keynote address, Mike Hennesy, director of innovation, Wana Brands, will provide a roadmap to developing a quality cannabis food or beverage from ideation through launch, including concept development and market research; selecting the right ingredients and equipment; and the importance of QA/QC.

Lezli Engelking, founder, FOCUS: The International Cannabis Health & Safety Organization, will follow with a presentation on creating unified cannabis food and beverage food safety production protocols. She’ll cover aligning with state-run regulatory guidelines and integrating HACCP, GMPs, OSHA and other best practices into a food safety plan to correspond with eventual federal regulation.

The final session — led by Rakesh Amin, partner, Amin Talati Wasserman; Justin J. Prochnow, shareholder, Greenberg Traurig, LLP; and Steve Schain, Esq., senior attorney, Hoban Law Group — will offer legal insights into the cannabis edibles and beverage industry.

Networking sessions will be interspersed between education sessions. For more information, visit

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