Cannabis Products Exchange returned with its second virtual edition this week, bringing together industry leaders for two days of insights into the challenges of and opportunities for the cannabis-infused food and beverage market.

At the start of the first day’s sessions, Michael Leonard, publisher of Cannabis Products Magazine, said consumers use a variety of infused product formats to address many needs, from alleviating pain and emotional concerns to enjoying cannabis recreationally. 

Leonard pointed to his own family, noting 80 percent of his family members use cannabis in one form or another. However, all of them, Leonard said, have turned to cannabis-infused foods and beverages, whether they’re in their 20s, their 80s, or somewhere in between.

“We have felt that the whole intersection of food and beverage and cannabis is consistent with all users, because even within my family, all of them come to use edibles or drinkables at any given point in time,” Leonard said. “That’s why we got into this space a couple years ago, because we realized the food and beverage industry would be a major driver in administering THC or CBD.”

Santi Proano, director, Lighthouse Incubator, Ocean Spray, kicked off Cannabis Products Exchange by discussing the process of creating and launching a CBD-infused beverage brand, including details on the recent launch of CarryOn CBD Sparkling Water. 

Keith Villa, Ph.D, co-founder of CERIA Brewing Co., presented the second keynote. As the originator of Blue Moon, he documented his journey from MillerCoors to CERIA Brewing Co. and provided insight into capitalizing on the fast-growing cannabis-infused beverage market.

Cannabis Products Exchange’s seven other speakers and their presentations included:

  • Jessica Lukas, senior vice president, commercial development, BDSA, “U.S. Legal Cannabis Food & Beverage Market Projections & Outlook”
  • Matthew Anderson, founder and CEO, Vanguard Scientific Systems, “Supply-Chain & Quality Challenges in the Current Cannabinoid Market”
  • Karen J. Bernstein, Esq., managing partner, Bernstein IP, “Planning Your Branding & Production of THC-Infused Foods & Beverages with Child-Resistant Packaging”
  • Dr. Jeff Chen, MD/MBA, co-founder and CEO, Radicle Science, “Future of Cannabinoids in Foods & Beverages: An Evolving Scientific & Regulatory Landscape”
  • Jim Makoso, founder and CEO, Flowe Technology, “Understanding Cannabis Edibles & Beverage Product Development Dynamics”
  • Chris Walsh, CEO, Marijuana Business Daily, “Charting a Course in the $20B Cannabis Industry: Opportunities, Challenges, & Considerations”
  • Rebecca Maestas, brand development manager, LivWell Enlightened Health, “Developing Demographic-Specific Cannabis Foods & Beverages”

Sponsors for Cannabis Products Exchange included MTI Bioscience, Nexira, and The ViViD Team. Exhibitors included Applied Engineering Corporation, Bell Flavors & Fragrances, Caliper Ingredients, Centerchem, Douglas Washing and Sanitizing Systems, and Mile High Labs.

Cannabis Products Magazine will provide more in-depth coverage of each session over the coming weeks. Viewers who missed the live broadcasts can register to view the recordings on demand through March 2022.

Cannabis Products Exchange 2022, set to be the show’s first in-person event, is scheduled for April in Denver.

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