The Cannabis Innovation Lab Summit on April 20 is a joint-venture between world class business accelerator 1871, economic development agency World Business Chicago and Grown In. Our goals for the conference are to normalize, professionalize and harmonize worklife for those currently in or seeking to enter the ascending albeit beleaguered cannabis industry. 

The Summit is the culmination of a 12-week odyssey for Cannabis Innovation Lab business accelerator participants, their mentors and the Grown In community at large. The day-long event will include business plan presentations from startups around the world, progress reports from recently licensed Illinois operators forging their way into the state’s nearly two billion dollar market and conversations led and facilitated by industry leaders and subject matter experts. 

There will also be select licensed consumption events that we will be pointing you to. More details will be shared soon! In the meantime, here are some valuable insights we’ve captured from esteemed Cannabis Innovation Lab presenters so far:

“On paper, Illinois is at the forefront of creating a robust industry, but the devil is in the details.”

Charlie Bachtell, CEO of Cresco Labs 

“It’s a game of probability when you start deploying capital into the cannabis space.” 

– Al Grace, co-founder of Loop Capital

“Cannabis markets in this country are exactly the opposite of how we set up traditional markets.”

– Jeremy Unruh, Senior Vice President, Public and Regulatory Affairs, PharmaCann

“What we really need are funders that understand, a partnership that includes us.”

– Edie Moore, co-founder Chicago NORML and awardee of multiple Illinois licenses
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Brad Spirrison is a journalist, serial entrepreneur and media ecologist. He lives in Chicago with his son. Interests include music, meditation and Miles Davis.