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National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) Chicago Conference Overview

I recently attended the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) conference in Chicago, IL, which Quantum 9 was kind enough to invite me. I was immediately immersed in a world I knew very little. The volumes of information I gained can’t even begin to cover this post, but we will give it a shot. It all started when I arrived and went to pick up my name tag which read “Pritesh Kumar, Quantum 9.” From that point forward, various individuals, after observing the Quantum 9 logo, would come up to me and ecstatically say “HEY,  YOUR WITH QUANTUM 9? MY NAME IS ETC ETC.” After I explained that I am a research scientist and that the CEO is a friend of mine, they still asked about Quantum 9. The reputation that Quantum 9 has built is very well deserved as Michael has brought such a unique group of individuals that will take this industry to the next level. His passion, vision and creativity, is akin to a transmittable disease – after one minute speaking to him you will be infected with his passion and positive energy.


I was fortunate to meet Quantum 9’s VP of Sales and Marketing, Chris Bochenski. We spoke in great detail about the various directions the industry is headed. In addition, I spoke with Ed Rosenthal, whom I met in Vancouver, Canada, a true pioneer and visionary in the cannabis field regarding the current status of the scientific research and where it is headed.

During the oral presentation and panel discussions, I quietly listened to several individuals representing various companies discuss their role in this industry. I was fascinated by the collaboration and general willingness of companies in this field to help each other progress as a whole.

Tripp Keber, managing director of Dixie Elixirs, arguably one of the nation’s largest medical marijuana products companies, gave insight and tips to individuals looking to get into this industry and what it is going to take to get there.

Everyone was pleased to hear Rep. Lou Lang speak about the various legal hurdles one is going to have to go through in the near future. During his talk he noted the 3 determinants of success in this business: 1) Get people with lots of money, 2) Run background checks on all of your employees, and 3) Go to city hall with a zoning lawyer.

Michael Mayes, CEO of Quantum 9, infused the room during his presentation with the passion he has for this industry. He discussed the role his company plays in terms of consulting and how they help companies enter the cannabis industry through lobbying, strategic planning, and their expertise in implementation technology for cultivation automation.

I heard Genifer Murray, CEO of CannLabs discuss the role that her company plays in this field by providing analytical testing to ensure the health and safety of consumers and to maximize the quality of their clients products. As the cannabis industry continues to, consulting companies like Quantum 9 and analytical testing companies like Cannlabs will be integral for the progress of the cannabis industry as it continues to exponentially expand. I believe it was Mark Passerini, Om of Medicine, who said it best: “It takes a special person to wake up every day and break federal law.”


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About Michael Mayes

As Chief Executive Officer for Quantum 9, Inc., Michael has assisted in funding some of the largest commercial cannabis projects in the world. Michael has been a cannabis investor since 2009 in Colorado’s first legal for-profit cannabis market. As the co-founder and CEO of Quantum 9, Inc., Michael has spent years designing technology and collaborating with countless consultants on the forefront of the cannabis industry. Collaborating with the brightest minds and contributing to world-class organizations has been an incredibly enlightening and rewarding experience for him. Also, he has amassed a comprehensive and award-winning team engaged globally for public policy best practices through the prioritization of environmental sustainability and patient care. Michael is a member of the International Cannabinoid Research Society (ICRS), contributor to Marijuana Business Daily, quoted in the Chicago Tribune, Tampa Tribune, Yahoo Finance, Tampa Tribune, Sativa Magazine, CBC and the Daily Herald. His media appearances include several CBS and WGN appearances and international presence on BNN Commodities in Canada. On the public policy front, Michael and his team were instrumental in their work of drafting the Kentucky Medical Marijuana Bill for Senator Perry Clark. Most recently, Michael taught a class for the International Pharmaceutical Academy in Toronto, Canada. He spoke on Cannabis Pharmacology, and the effects cannabis has on the endocannabinoid system.

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