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Aug 13, 2019 9:57 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Cannabis Expo Comes To East Hampton

Aug 13, 2019 1:58 PM

With the tide of public opinion turning in recent years when it comes to supporting legalization of marijuana, the U.S. cannabis industry has exploded.

This has not gone unnoticed by Gary Bierfriend — which is why he organized the inaugural Hamptons Cannabis Expo, set for Sunday, August 18, from 4 to 8 p.m. at The Clubhouse in East Hampton.

According to Mr. Bierfriend, the expo, which he likened to a trade show, will have a little something for everyone, appealing to a wide range of people, from individuals with relatively little knowledge about the industry who might simply want to explore cannabis as an option for treating a medical condition, to large-scale investors looking to get in on a burgeoning industry.

Mr. Bierfriend is the organizer of the event, with Clubhouse owner Scott Rubenstein as the venue partner. Mr. Bierfriend also called on the expertise of Matt Karnes, a consultant who works as a financial analyst in the cannabis industry and has a wealth of knowledge in the field.

Mr. Bierfriend, who lives in Sag Harbor, is an attorney who also has extensive experience as a businessman, having worked in high-level positions for Deutsche Bank and other companies. He is well aware of and well-versed in the ever-evolving landscape of the cannabis industry, and believes, as do many others, that it is ready to explode because of the public shift in opinion surrounding marijuana use for both medical and recreational purposes.

New York State legalized medical marijuana in 2014, and the legislature came very close to voting on a full legalization proposal earlier this year. Several states, including Colorado and Washington, have legalized recreational use, and many people believe it is only a matter of time before the rest of the country follows suit.

For all those reasons, Mr. Bierfriend said that a big event like the one he’s organized for this weekend is a necessity.

“It’s important to me, because with expanding legalization, and with the change in public opinion, the changes we’re contemplating to both the economy and in terms of social standards in the world are transformational,” he said. “This is bigger than alcohol coming out of prohibition. This will have a bigger impact than many other things I’ve seen in my lifetime in terms of business opportunities coupled with lifestyle changes.”

The event will start with registration at 3 p.m., followed by a cocktail party at 4 p.m. The first of three panel discussions is set to start at 5 p.m. That first panel discussion will focus on the medical aspect of the cannabis industry, and will be moderated by Nick Beeta, founder and CEO of Columbia Care Inc, which grows, manufactures and retails medical marijuana products. The company is considered the “white glove standard” in the field, according to Mr. Bierfriend.

The second panel will focus on legalization efforts, and the star of that panel will be New York State Senator Diane Savino, who has made legalization one of her priorities in the State Senate. A third panel will focus on investment opportunities, and will feature representatives from successful hedge funds as well as Matt Markiewicz, the managing director of THCX ETF (exchange traded fund), which advises investors who want to get in on the cannabis market.

Each panel will end with a question-and-answer session. Dinner will follow after the panels.

Mr. Bierfriend says that anyone with an interest in the cannabis industry will have something to gain from coming to the expo, and he says an event like this is long overdue, adding that there is an “avalanche of opportunity” within the ever growing market.

“There hasn’t been any large-scale investment on Long Island, and that’s mind-boggling to me,” he said. “The mood of the community is that it’s ready for greater understanding. For those involved, it will be a great networking opportunity.”

He expects it to be a diverse crowd, with a strong showing from the finance community, and Wall Street types mingling with people in the medical community. Dozens of different cannabis-related retail vendors will be on hand exhibiting their products as well.

“There will be so many different people to speak with and to compare notes with and get views and opinions,” he said. “Never before on Long Island have we had this high a concentration of thought leaders and experts coming together to talk about this.”

The event costs $150 for those who pre-register, and $200 at the door. For more information, visit cannabis495.com.

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I recently came across your post for the August forum but I object to the absurd tariff of $150 per person to attend.

Many of us are senior citizens living on fixed incomes supported mainly by
Social Security. We can not afford to attend nor support your efforts at that rate.

We are not interested in a cocktail hour or dinner, which we can make by with at home.

We do want to learn more about cannabis and how it may help with the aging process and pain.

If ...more
By jediscuba (71), Suthampton on Aug 15, 19 12:32 PM
Hot Tubs,SALE, Southampton Village, SouthamptonFest weekend