Smoking, vaping, cooking, growing: Convention on the burgeoning cannabis biz

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New England Cannabis Convention in Boston, Feb. 21-22

BOSTON, MASS. – The region’s first cannabis convention is coming, and the cannabis curious are invited. The New England Cannabis Convention will be held Feb. 21-22 at the historic Castle at Park Plaza in the heart of downtown Boston.

According to the NECC  website, the idea for a convention was conceived during a discussion lamenting thScreen Shot 2015-02-11 at 7.49.08 AMe lack of established resource hubs for  the rapidly expanding medical marijuana industry in New England.

The organization envisioned an event where patients, advocates, businesses, educators, and consumers could connect and learn from each other. (You can learn more about the convention in the YouTube video above, featuring one of the event organizers, Marc Shepard, publisher of

Click here for more on New Hampshire’s legislation, RSA 126-X, on medical marijuana, and He-C 400 on therapeutic cannabis treatment centers, adopted in November of 2014. You can request an application to operate an “alternative treatment center” from the NH Department of Health and Human Services website. New Hampshire is not yet accepting applications from patients or caregivers.

Despite great interest in the potential for profit from cannabis, a story in the news this week  from CNBC gets at some of the growing pains associated with pot farming. In Washington State, a bumper crop of pot has created a down market, which has been bad business for some growers.

Roll-uh-Bowl products.
Roll-uh-Bowl products.

Panels include business opportunities within the cannabis industry, the progress toward dispensaries for medicinal marijuana, an “edibles” discussion, on how to cook with cannabis, and innovative products, including Roll-uh-bowl, a portable bong that’s sort of like a water bed, in theory (see full schedule below).

Tickets are $25 and available here.

Saturday, 12-6pm

1 p.m.: Cultivation for Patients and Caregivers in Mass.

Screen Shot 2015-02-11 at 8.36.27 AMJon Napoli:  A multi-time winner of the Boston gardening contest’s “golden trowel,”  Jon has been the  owner of local indoor growing shop The Boston Gardener since 2010.

Mickey Martin:  Author of medical Marijuana 101 and Director of the Northeastern Institute of Cannabis.  Mickey also writes the cannablog,  which chronicles his experiences in dealing with major issues facing the cannabis movement.

2 p.m. Politics/Activism Panel

Moderated by Chris Faraone:  News Editor at Dig Boston, and longtime MMj advocate, Chris is a veteran award-winning journalist & author of 4 books.

Diane Russell: Maine State Rep. (D), Portland.  Named Nation Magazine’s 2011  “Most Valuable State Representative,”  Diane has introduced multiple bills to legalize marijuana in Maine.

Jill Hitchman-Osborn: Author of  Seizing Hope, a blog, which chronicles her journey parenting a child with epilepsy and her work as a cannabis activist.

Chris Goldstein:  The founder of Freedom Leaf Magazine and a member of Philly NORML, Chris has been covering cannabis news for more than a decade as both a writer and radio broadcaster.

3 p.m. Becky DeKeuster, M.Ed: KEY NOTE Speech

Becky DeKeuster
Becky DeKeuster

Becky DeKeuster, M.Ed. is founder and director of community and education for Wellness Connection of Maine, the state’s largest group of medical marijuana dispensaries. Wellness Connection operates four state-licensed dispensaries and one grow facility.

DeKeuster has more than a decade of experience in the medical cannabis industry, with special emphasis on dispensary regulations, operations and patient/community relations. As a director of Berkeley Patients Group (BPG), DeKeuster led one of the country’s largest and most established wellness centers through extreme uncertainty as the original medical marijuana movement got underway.

4 p.m. Medical Marijuana as Medicine Panel 

Moderated by Mike CannFormer President of MassCann/NORML and long time successful Boston MMJ activist,  Mike is both a local radio host and weekly “BLUNT TRUTH“ columnist at DigBoston.

Dr. Dustin Sulak – Intergr8 HealthDustin Sulak, D.O. is a licensed osteopathic physician. He is a practitioner and advocate of integrative medicine, the intelligent combination of conventional and alternative approaches to healthcare. He has long been fascinated by mind-body medicine, spirituality in healthcare, and natural approaches to promoting health and healing. He is a clinical hypnotherapist, Reiki Sensei, practioner of chi kung and yoga, and has studied with numerous convention and alternative healers and physicians.


Dr. Nadolny from Canna Care DocsCanna Care Docs is a medical marijuana healthcare facility that resides in Boston, Massachusetts. This location provides extensive and thorough services to inquiring patients who are suffering from chronic and debilitating conditions that are approved illnesses on the Massachusetts and Rhode Island medical marijuana program guidelines. If there has ever been a moment where you have been either unsatisfied with your physician, have had trouble scheduling an appointment at a time that works best for you, or you just simply aren’t comfortable with the services provided by that physician, then look no further.

Donna Hackett: A Rhode Island Medical Marijuana Patient and Advocate, Donna has been active with Moms for Marijuana and as a speaker at the Boston Freedom Rally.

Holly Evans:  As Owner of Healthy Headie Lifestyle, Holly’s  mission is to provide tools, resources and information to people interested in cannabis for their health. Holly works with top of the line manufactures, distributors, businesses and services to share resources for alternative information, awareness and knowledge.

Sunday, 11 a.m.- 5 p.m.

Noon: Cooking with Cannabis

Screen Shot 2015-02-11 at 8.17.07 AMModerated by Mickey Martin, author of Medical Marijuana 101 and the Institute of Cannabis. He has dedicated his life to cannabis freedom for over a decade. His work in providing food-based medicines for many years revolutionized the industry in the areas of quality assurance, packaging, and labeling of cannabis products. His infamous designs made the term “tainted” a household name among medical cannabis patients and edible connoisseurs.

Featuring experienced Cannabis Chefs from across New England:

Stephanie Peltier from Maine, Broderick Moose from RI, and AJ Sweets Smyth from Mass. Aaron Smith was born in Plymouth, MA, and raised in Boston an Cape Cod Massachusetts, he is a 2006 graduate of the Arizona Culinary Institute. With over 20 years of culinary experience and extensive training, he is known as a private cannabis chef. In 2013 he successfully launched cannachusetts caregivers. A local courier service for qualified MMJ patients on Cape Cod and the surrounding areas.

1 p.m. Politics/Activism Panel 

Moderated by Mike Cann: (see Sat. programming for Mike’s bio).

N.A. Poe:  A veteran member of Philly decrim, and former MassCann/NORML National Activist of Year

Cara Crabb-Burnham:  The 2013-14  MassCann/NORML President, Cara is also the School Administrator at Northeastern Institute of Cannabis, an on-air talent at WEMF radio and former writer for Ladybud Magazine.

Nichole Snow:  Nichole is the Deputy Director of the Mass Patients Advocacy Alliance. After meeting hundreds of patients across the commonwealth and advocating for their right to safe access over the last several years, Nichole was invited to take a leadership role in the alliance. Since becoming deputy director, “An Act to protect patients approved by physicians and certified by the department of public health to access medical marijuana.” was crafted, presented, and filed on Beacon Hill to provide protections against discrimination, ease restriction on pediatric access, and to change the caregiver ratio to ensure patients are receiving safe access in the State of Massachusetts.

2:30 p.m.  Cannabis Testing & Quality

Chris Hudalla , ProVerde Labs:  A PhD analytical chemist with 25 years of research experience including chromatographic method development.  Recognized worldwide as an expert in the field of Supercritical Fluid and Convergence Chromatography (SFC and CC) and an sctive leader in the development and implementation of the UltraPerformance Convergence Chromatography (UPC2) instrumentation

Addison DeMoura, SteepHill Labs:  A cannabis expert with more than 15 years experience developing specialized cannabis strains and medicines.  His work pioneered quality assurance principles in the cannabis industry which have been instrumental in helping organizations develop operational and administrative protocols that promote safe medicine.  Previously, Addison founded Oakdale Natural Choice Collective, the first cannabis patient organization in Stanislaus County, CA, and has been honored as a celebrity judge at several High Times Cannabis Cup events.

3 p.m. Career Opportunities in Marijuana

Shaleen Title:  Shaleen Title is co-founder of THC Staffing Group, a recruitment firm for the marijuana industry.  She currently serves as a board member for Marijuana Majority.


About Carol Robidoux 6137 Articles
Longtime NH journalist and publisher of Loves R&B, German beer, and the Queen City!