In a move that affirms the importance and legitimacy of cannabis-related investment in the coming year, C2—the conference at the intersection of commerce and creativity—has announced that Snoop Dogg will speak at the 7th edition of its flagship event this May 23-25th.
This comes after Startupfest announced the addition of a cannabis-themed premium fest for 2018 in January. CannabisFest will take place on July 11th, right around the time the legalization of weed is expected to go into effect.
“Our intent is, as always, to be an event about the business side of industry,” Startupfest founder Phil Telio told MTLinTECH at the time of the announcement. “We’re not about how to grow the stuff or roll the stuff, our interest is in the business opportunities in the industry. What kind of innovation can we expect? It’s already happening in places like California and Colorado, and we’re one of the first companies to legalize it nationally. Some people are going to find it odd, there’s definitely a stigma around it. But I have no doubt that in the days of prohibition and alcohol it was the same thing. And then once it was legalized, the opportunities for entrepreneurs began to enlarge. What’s vastly important for us to put across is, I know Startupfest is a fun, cheeky, laid back place to be, but CannabisFest is really about the business aspect of cannabis. It’s about the pharmaceutical applications, extraction technologies, things like that. It’s not going to be creating a big party around pot.”
Snoop Dogg, aside from being an iconic rapper, is also the co-founder of Merry Jane, what TechCrunch dubbed a “pot-flavored lifestyle media platform”, and a founding partner in the cannabis-specialized investment firm Casa Verde Capital. The artist turned entrepreneur will take centre stage in the Big Top to discuss his entrepreneurial vision for the cannabis industry.
— C2 Montréal (@C2Montreal) February 21, 2018
Casa Verde Capital makes early-stage investments in startups in the ancillary cannabis industry. The firm has so far funded several major marijuana ventures in the agtech, financial services, health, technology, and media sectors. Trellis, one of the firm’s recent high-profile investments, received $2 million in funding to further its Canadian cannabis inventory management platform.
With Merry Jane, which he co-founded with business partner Ted Chung, Snoop aims to offer marijuana-focused editorial content, including marijuana news, politics, business, and culture. The platform already has strategic brand partnerships with VICE, MTV, Reddit, and Complex to create and share original news and video content. VH1’s enormously popular Martha and Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party TV series is one such example. His co-host of that show, Martha Stewart, was a C2 presenter back in 2016.
These ventures have positioned Snoop Dogg as an industry leader and a leading voice on matters related to the business side of cannabis. With Montreal institutions like Startupfest and C2 taking note, it’s exciting to see what the next breed of cannabis-related startups will look like on this cusp of legislative change.