Pittsburgh is making its mark as a cannabis industry hub for entrepreneurs, investors, and businesses with the return of the World Medical Cannabis Conference and Expo this April 12-14.

Industry professionals from across the country will converge at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center to network, engage, and learn. Open to the public, the large-scale conference will showcase the latest in cannabis research and technology with 175 exhibitors, more than thirty in-depth presentations, and high-profile speakers. General admission starts at $49.

Part business expo, part educational symposium, and part wellness event, the three-day WMCC Expo is a multi-faceted affair designed to bring together all sectors of the cannabis community.

High-Profile Speakers

Keynote presentations include the “Suit Against Sessions,” where plaintiffs U.S. Army Combat Veteran Jose Belen, Super Bowl winner Marvin Washington, and advocate Sebastien Cotte will discuss their federal lawsuit against Jeff Sessions in favor of the legal cannabis industry.

Former professional athletes will headline a “Medical Cannabis in Sports,” panel, including: NFL player and Super Bowl winner Marvin Washington; NFL player Eben Britton; NHL player Riley Cote; and undefeated UFL Middleweight champion Frank Shamrock.

Forensic science consultant Dr. Cyril Wecht, who was portrayed by Albert Brooks in the critically acclaimed movie Concussion, will discuss “Cannabis and Concussions Through the Forensic Lens.”

Dr. Sue Sisley, an acclaimed researcher, will discuss new data regarding the medicinal benefits of cannabis for those suffering from PTSD.

Networking & Education

Healthcare providers, certified public accountants, and attorneys are invited to participate in a series of continued education courses at the WMCC Expo, which includes CME, CPE, and CLE accreditation. Registration starts at $399 for one-day entry or $599 for access all three days.

  • Celebrated medical cannabis physician Dr. Regina Nelson will lead four courses covering a range of topics from “How to talk to your doctor or patient about Medical Cannabis?” and “Sexual Health and Cannabis,” to a comprehensive presentation on the Endocannabinoid System.
  • Catia Kossovsky, founder of Kossovsky Law PLLC, will present “Banking and Financing Obstacles for Marijuana-Related Businesses,” “Consumer Rights Session,” and “Real Concerns Affecting Cannabis Real Estate.”
  • Ron Seigneur of Seigneur Gustafson LLP will discuss “Cannabis Appraisal and Financial Management.”
  • Jim Thorburn of Thorburn Walker LLC will lead “Tax and Your Business” and “Law Update and Business Impact,” courses.

Cannabis Job Fair

The WMCC Expo encourages job seekers, recent graduates, and those in career transition to learn about how they can join one of the fastest growing industries in the country. The number of U.S. cannabis jobs is expected to more than double by 2021, reaching 292,000 jobs, according to BDS Analytics.

Located in the main exhibit hall, the Cannabis Job Fair is open to general admission and will feature local and national companies who are hiring. Viridian Staffing will be onsite to answer staffing and receive resumes. The recruiting agency will also host an intensive career workshop for job seekers during the expo.

Patient-Focused Panels

It is estimated that nearly 200,000 patients are able to qualify for Pennsylvania medical marijuana cards, which is why the WMCC Expo will offer add on-site evaluations for potential patients.

Expo host Compassionate Certification Centers is a physician-owned company based in Pittsburgh with a network of offices specializing in medical certifications, evaluations, and continued treatment guidance.

Dr. Bryan Doner, co-founder of the innovative healthcare network, will lead a “Medical Cannabis Round Table” featuring pioneers in the field, including Dr. Jahan Marcu, an expert on cannabis compounds, and Dr. Christian Bogner, a medical cannabis researcher in the autism spectrum.

Dr. Anu Anand, part of the Compassionate Certification Centers staff, will lead a “Strategies for Opioid Free Living Panel,” just one of many health-oriented discussions on the event agenda.

“Our conference aims to establish a more inclusive and progressive healthcare dialogue by integrating medical marijuana resources, science and education into mainstream medicine. As providers it is our duty to educate ourselves and others, because in the end, what we do is ultimately for our patients,” stated Doner.

Community Highlights: 420 Walk/Run and Riverboat Cruise Fundraiser

In addition to the full day of presentations and workshops, the WMCC Expo will kick-off festivities with a 420 Walk/Run hosted by the 420 Games on Thursday, April 12. Inspiring wellness and driving fitness, the public event will follow a scenic route along the cities Three Rivers.

As a finale to Friday’s presentations, a riverboat cruise and fundraiser will launch at the convention center dock. The Gateway Clipper charter will sail along the steel city’s famed Three Rivers, from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. The event provides an opportunity for the community to socialize with some of the most recognized leaders in the industry. Cannabis advocate Cheryl Shuman also known as the “Martha Stewart of Marijuana” will emcee the fundraiser along with professional comedian Michael Boris. A portion of proceeds will benefit the Disabled American Veterans and Make a Wish foundations.

Tickets start at $75 per person, and includes live music, entertainment, and a three-course dinner menu.

A New American Economy

In its inaugural debut, the WMCC Expo drew over 3,000 attendees, with every U.S. state represented. This year organizers anticipate nearly 6,000 will attend with a strong local presence due to the launch of Pennsylvania’s program.

Though it is too soon to tell, the state may develop into one of the country’s largest markets with dispensary sale estimates projected at $100 million in a few years. Compassionate Certification Centers is prepared to welcome the new patient influx and expects to have 25 locations open by the end of the year.

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