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Copy of Highlights from the 7th Annual Cannabis Private Investment Summit in Miami

February 2 2022

Mia Di Stefano, conference attendee and M&A professional

For the first time since Spring 2020, over 170 accredited investors, family offices, entrepreneurs, pharmaceutical, cannabis, and psychedelic companies, and industry experts gathered at The Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Miami, Florida to discuss investment opportunities in cannabis at Kahner Global’s Private Investor Summit.

The energy and the optimism of the speakers and the attendees reflect a maturing cannabis industry; as of 2022 recreational marijuana is legal in 18 states, Washington, D.C., and Guam and medical marijuana is legal in 37 U.S. states plus Washington, D.C.

In addition to the cannabis industry, 2022 marks the first Cannabis Private Investment Summit that addressed the burgeoning psychedelics market.

The conference kicked off with opening remarks by Noa Kahner, CEO and Founder of Kahner Global and was MC’ed by the memorable and charming JJ McKay, Founder/Publisher of The Fresh Toast. “I have worked with institutional and emerging investors for over 15 years, and am impressed by how the excitement and enthusiasm for an emerging cannabis industry has turned into a robust demand for smartly-run, agile businesses that are rising to the needs of a heavily regulated market,” says Kahner.

The first panel “The Legal Marijuana Industry: An Update on Federal Policy Reform” featured a robust discussion on federal cannabis policy including SAFE banking, the Cole Memorandum, state protections, and social equity. Just days before the conference, the SAFE Banking Act, which would provide additional protections to U.S. financial institutions dealing with cannabis companies in regulated markets was added to the America Competes Act, and panelist Saphira Galoob of the National Cannabis Roundtable noted that “federal regulations are coming, in addition to state regulations” and investors should welcome regulations as a sign of market stabilization.

Panelist David Feuerstein, partner at Feuerstein & Kulick noted that the recently legalized New York market is gearing up for adult use licensing and will set the tone for cannabis in 2022. “Everyone's watching New York. The old adage goes that the states are the laboratories of democracy. I think that is true in the #cannabis space. NY revenue is estimated to be $1.7-2B,” Feuerstein noted.

The following panel, “Trends in the M&A Landscape” was moderated by M&A attorney and consultant David Feldman of Skip Intro Advisors. He cited growing M&A activity in the industry and noted that the conference’s host state, Florida, was home to the largest ever cannabis M&A transaction. “Last year [2021], there were 306 M&A deals in cannabis, two times more than the year prior.“The panel discussed how an active M&A market is a sign of a rapidly growing and consolidating industry. The conference’s host state Florida, saw its largest operator Trulieve close on a $2.1B acquisition of fellow Florida operator Harvest Health, creating the largest and most profitable legal cannabis operator in the United States.

Right before lunch, conference founder Noa Kahner hosted an intimate conversation with Tony Cappell, Founding Partner of the Chicago Atlantic Group, titled “Investing in Private Loans in the Cannabis Industry: Taking Advantage of Mispriced Risk in the Cannabis Industry.” Chicago Atlantic Group is a debt-servicing company in the cannabis space that launched in 2020 to stellar results. Fund 1 in 2020 performed 19% net; 13% associated with income, 6% with equity kickers and in 2020 the firm did 13% net. Both years had zero defaults, which is quite the feat for an industry where financial stability is a lender's biggest fear.

Cappell noted that “From the outside looking in, cannabis is a gold mine industry,” however Chicago Atlantic’s strength was its due diligence on the operators. He encouraged investors to look at the metrics when evaluating potential investments. “What are the metrics that matter? Pounds per square foot, [the operator’s] electricity footprint,” he said, emphasizing that context matters: “It differs from market to market. What works in Pennsylvania would put you out of business in California.”

Another highlight of the day was The Investor Pitch Session, which brought together 5 companies for seven minutes in a tightly timed delivery. Moderated by three investors, Khadijah Adams (Private Investor), Brett Finkelstein (Private Investor), and Vikas Desai (Achari Ventures), the pitch sessions featured a wide variety of companies: