High Country: Arcview at altitude | AspenTimes.com

High Country: Arcview at altitude

by Katie Shapiro

MJBizCon, marijuana's first official, national trade show started in 2012. Since then, it has grown to hosting ancillary events in Toronto and New Orleans and earlier this month, welcomed 27,600 attendees and more than 1,000 exhibitors to its flagship conference at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

For Jim Lewi, what comes next on the cannabis calendar is "the anti-conference," where 150 marijuana and music industry insiders will convene (Dec. 2 to 5, aspenhighsummit.com) at the Limelight Hotel for the 2nd Annual Aspen High Summit.

Lewi, who heads up both Goldstar and Red Light Management in Los Angeles, founded the Aspen Live conference in 1996 — a must-attend annual escape for high-profile entertainment executives (Dec. 6-8, aspenlive.com). Last year, he merged with the Arcview Group to present a prequel track of programming examining the intersections of the two industries and how each can work together in preparation for the inevitable: the federal legalization of cannabis.

An immediate success (dates were confirmed shortly after last year's event), it's returning for what Lewi is coining the "Sun Valley of Cannabis," in comparing it to Allen & Company's long-running meeting of the media minds in Idaho every summer.

"This summit gives the leaders in cannabis business a great opportunity to share best practices and brainstorm ways to collaborate to create change. If MJBizCon, which was bigger than ever, taught us anything, it is that there are a lot of new people that believe because they know one industry, cannabis should be easy," says Lewi. "Although we need great business people with different skill sets coming into cannabis, we still need the guidance and leadership of those that paved the way … those with experience to lead and educate the pack."

One such leader is legendary activist, entrepreneur and pioneer Steve D'Angelo, who throughout his four-decade career, has helped shape the medicinal and recreational cannabis industry as we know it. Also president of the Arcview Group, D'Angelo will return to Aspen again to serve as the master of ceremonies.

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Most commonly compared to a "Shark Tank" style investment firm, Arcview hosts a year-round schedule of Investor Forums across the globe. It's also a go-to resource for comprehensive market research, its most recent report estimating that legal cannabis business will generate $57 billion globally by 2027.

"That figure is not even counting the federal government changing its policies. If that happens, we're going to see those numbers go through the roof," explains Troy Dayton, CEO of the Arcview Group. "We're at a really interesting crossroads where the bigger corporations are starting to come into the industry, so it's even more important to gather in small environments with key people."

On the heels of an Arcview Investor Forum in Las Vegas, intentionally held in the days leading right up to MJBizCon, Dayton calls the Aspen High Summit "a calm and more intimate chaser" to the "intensity of it all."

While panel discussions featuring high-profile guest speakers (the lineup is exclusive to attendees leading up to the event) will anchor the three days, Dayton says the focus is more about taking the time to relax and connect on a social level versus marathon days spent at the cannabis industry's many mega-conferences.

"It's all about the hang here. The best business relationships aren't made at a trade show booth and business deals aren't done from the stage … it's done on the slopes during the day and sitting around the fire at night, smoking really great weed and having really smart conversations," Dayton says. "In this industry, we are all working so hard, so having this opportunity to truly connect with those who care so much about this plant and movement is what makes the Aspen High Summit so revolutionary."

This week’s High Buy

Chanukah comes early this year (Dec. 2 to 10) and this limited-edition Grav Labs Menorah bubbler will take your holiday sessions even higher.
Custom-designed by the CEO of Grav Labs for his own family celebration, the Austin-based authority on scientific glass officially introduced the piece in 2016 and has released a run of 200 in mid-November every season since. Outfitted with eight bowls (the number of nights in the Festival of Lights), the “shamash” (the ninth candle holder on a traditional Menorah) serves as the mouthpiece, providing for eight crazy puffs. Available on grav.com

Katie Shapiro can be reached at katie@katieshapiromedia.com or followed on Twitter @kshapiromedia.

If You Go …

What: 2nd Annual Aspen High Summit

When: Dec. 2 to 5

Where: Limelight Hotel

Registration: $1,150

Fine print: All prospective participants are vetted by the Arcview team before attendance is confirmed

aspenhighsummit.com

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