CMAcannabis Morning Event Series


December 5, 2019
8:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Members: $139
Non-Members: $239
Early Bird Ends November 14

Artscape Sandbox
301 Adelaide St. West
Toronto, Ontario
M5V 2E8
View Map


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CPD credits

CMAcannabis is an industry event. You must be 19+ to attend.


4DThe ABER Group   CNW     Cleansheets Communications MD

Inbox Marketer a Trendline Company     kaiser lachance    Nabs reality engineTriangles



CMAcannabis will:

  • explore how marketers can be innovative while still complying with the highly restrictive regulations around cannabis promotion, 
  • provide analytics and advice about customers and potential customers, and
  • provide valuable insights for marketers who are thinking of moving into this sector and for new cannabis start-ups.


Agenda & Speakers

8:00 AM
Breakfast and Networking
8:20 AM
Opening Remarks
8:25 AM
Digging Deep on Drivers of Choice in Cannabis Formats

Margaret McKellar
Vice President of Brand Strategy



While we tend to focus on rational reasons for choice, the more powerful drivers are deeply social and emotional - and yet these are often the hardest to surface. As we enter Cannabis 2.0 and a world of new formats, including edibles, beverages, and topicals, understanding the demand landscape of these formats is essential to creating a portfolio strategy and defined roles for them in a meaningful way for consumers.

This session decodes the underlying drivers of behaviour in the alternative cannabis format landscape.

Margaret McKellarMeet Margaret McKellar
Margaret McKellar is Vice President of Brand Strategy and Innovation at Kantar Canada. In this role, she leverages her extensive experience as marketing and innovation leader to help clients identify where to play and how to win through building irresistible brands. Margaret brings over 20 years experience in consumer packaged goods and beverage alcohol, and is a member of the CMA Working Group on Cannabis Marketing and the CMA Public Affairs Committee.

9:05 AM
What comes next for Cannabis marketing in Canada

Jim Davis
Head of Sales

Joe Peters
VP, Strategy



Fast forward one year from legalization and cannabis variants like edibles, drinks and vapes will be available to purchase and consume..

Learn what the latest research means for cannabis marketers and find out how you can best use digital techniques to make the most of this new market while complying with rules and regulations

Key Takeaways

  • Discover how people search for different forms of cannabis such as craft cannabis and edibles.
  • Identify buyer habits and behaviours.
  • Understand the intricacies of digital so you can unearth new audiences, get more insights, and measure the results of your online campaigns

Meet Jim Davis
Jim Davis is a media and marketing leader with an extensive background in the advertising and technology industry. Jim is currently heading up the cannabis division at MiQ, spearheading strategic partnerships and programmatic media activations for Canadian marketers and publishers.

As head of sales, Jim oversees key relationships with a number of agencies and brands, driving the integration and development of MiQ’s proprietary analytics platforms and media solutions. Jim has 20 years of digital media experience in the Canadian market, previously working at companies such as; Yahoo Canada, Snap Inc. and Torstar Digital.

Meet Joe Peters
Joe Peters is Vice President of strategy at MiQ Digital Canada. In this role, he spearheads the growing Canadian strategy team, while providing direction, leadership and oversight to the market as a whole. He aligns organizational objectives and priorities with long-term business initiatives, working directly with clients (brands and agencies) to understand how they realize value.

Joe is a seasoned leader in the digital advertising industry - with knowledge and skill sets stemming across Digital Strategy, Data Enablement through AI, Brand Safety, Programmatic, Analytics and Multi Market expansion. Joe’s previous experience includes working across media and technology brands AOL, Rocket Fuel and Sizmek in a variety of management positions collaborating with clients across EMEA and APAC.

9:45 AM
Networking Break
10:00 AM
Future of Cannabis
Pat Pellegrini
President and CEO


The future of cannabis is exciting and unpredictable. Where such unpredictability exists, insights on consumer behavior and opinions provide a glimpse into the future. Health and wellness brands across many categories — from food and beverage to beauty and pharmaceuticals — are developing cannabis infused products

This session will explore:

  • Consumer attitudes and behaviours around usage.
  • How the profile of recreational users differs from health and wellness users
  • The types of products or services consumers they looking for
  • How can brands change brand perception.
  • Factors that influence purchase decisions
  • The impact of cannabis on the use of other products.
  • Role of medical industry in the uptake of cannabis.
  • Media sources that consumers go to for cannabis information
  • How the market could be segmented

10:40 AM
Insights on the Cannabis Act

Jennifer McKenzie (Moderator)

Chris Bolivar (Panelist)
Vice President

Kirsten Craig (Panelist)
Client Partner

Mariana Fonar, JD, MBA (Panelist)
General Counsel & Corporate Secretary

Rebecca Brown (Panelist)
Founder/ CEO

The CMA Working Group on Cannabis Marketing has developed a Cannabis Marketing Guide to help marketers understand and work effectively within the Cannabis Act, and has been meeting with Health Canada to clarify various aspects of the rules. Engage with industry leaders and get an in-depth perspective on what we’ve learned.

Jennifer McKenzieMeet Jennifer McKenzie (Moderator)
Jennifer McKenzie is a partner with Bereskin & Parr LLP and head of the Regulatory, Advertising & Marketing practice group, and co-chair of the Cannabis practice group. Jennifer is recognized as a leader in her profession and has been ranked in the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, Who’s Who Legal: Trademarks, Chambers Canada guide and in The Best Lawyers in Canada.

In addition to her extensive and enforcement trademark practice, Jennifer has a 20 year history in advertising and marketing law. Jennifer reviews advertising and claim substantiation for clients in a wide-range of industry sectors from prepackaged consumer goods to regulated products such as drugs, cosmetics, food, alcoholic beverages and cannabis. She has represented clients in competitive trade disputes before Ad Standards and the Pharmaceutical Advertising Advisory Board, and provides advice to clients on federal and provincial privacy legislation for the private sector, including the drafting of consumer facing privacy policies and terms of use, and consumer protection legislation. Jennifer helps clients in relation to promotion and contest design. She is a frequent speaker on intellectual property issues and marketing, advertising, branding, labelling and privacy law.

Chris BolivarMeet Chris Bolivar (Panelist)
Chris Bolivar is the Vice President, Strategic Growth for Fire & Flower, a Canadian cannabis retail company. Mr. Bolivar is responsible for the Fire & Flower brand, strategic agreements and partnerships, alternative revenue channels and works closely with the Company’s Hifyre digital retail and analytics platform including the Spark members program.

Mr. Bolivar has over 15 years of experience in consumer brand, marketing and communications. Prior to joining Fire & Flower, Mr. Bolivar was the President of FREE, a Canadian brand and marketing agency with clients across North America.

Mr. Bolivar has been recognized by national and international award shows including Strategy, Marketing Magazine and Applied Arts. Mr. Bolivar is also currently the Co-Chair of the Canadian Marketing Association’s Cannabis Marketing Working Group and has served on the Board of Governors of the Institute of Communication Agencies.

Fire & Flower is a leading independent adult-use cannabis retailer poised to capture significant market share in Canadian provinces that allow private retail. The company will provide customers with expertly curated product selection and a best-in-class, education-driven customer experience.

Kirsten CraigMeet Kirsten Craig (Panelist)
Kirsten Craig is a Client Partner managing Financial Services and the Cannabis Vertical at Twitter Canada. Having spent 4.5 years at Salesforce she made the move to Twitter 1.5 years ago and enjoys the deep strategic partnerships this industry offers.

Since the Twitter Cannabis Policy came into effect March 4th 2019, Kirsten has been responsible for business development both internal and client-side helping to launch campaigns across six Health Canada License Holders and 10+ brands. She works to onboard licensed partners onto the Twitter platform so they can #LaunchSomethingNew (Brand, Message, Product, Promotion & or Feature) and #ConnectToWhatsHappening (Events, Trends & or Occasions) with a highly engaged Twitter Audience!

Mariana FonarMeet Mariana Fonar, JD, MBA (Panelist)
Mariana Fonar is the General Counsel & Corporate Secretary for Lift & Co. (TSXV:LIFT) (OTCQB:LFCOF), a publicly traded technology company modernizing the cannabis industry through data and education.

Mariana oversees the Company’s corporate, commercial, employment, and governance strategy. She played a key role in taking the company public and raising nearly $14-million, and she continues to be responsible for disclosure requirements, while advising on risk management and compliance in Canada’s heavily regulated cannabis industry. Mariana also leads the legal oversight for Lift & Co.’s retail strategy and international expansion.

Prior to joining Lift & Co., Mariana was Senior Legal Counsel at one of the largest developers and owners of utility-scale solar energy projects in the world, and an Associated at Dale & Lessmann LLP in the Corporate/Commercial and Employment Law Groups.

Mariana was called to the Ontario Bar in 2013 after obtaining her Juris Doctor from the University of Western Ontario and completing a Master of Business Administration at the Richard Ivey School of Business. She also completed an Honors Bachelor of Administrative Studies at York University. Mariana is an advocate for empowering female leadership and promoting women on board

Rebecca BrownMeet Rebecca Brown (Panelist)
Rebecca is Founder/ CEO of Crowns, a leading strategy, creative and media agency for the global cannabis industry. Deep expertise in cannabis regulation, policy and the consumer mindset sets Crowns apart. Crowns works with clients across the value chain to develop brands, content and compliant campaigns.

Rebecca is a marketing and advertising veteran with a proven track record for helping brands increase both marketshare and mindshare. Before Crowns, Rebecca was Vice President of social media and content at J. Walter Thompson. She is a sought after thought leader and speaker. Rebecca has lent her opinions on the business and marketing of cannabis to a wide array of media outlets including the Economist, Marketwatch, Vice and BNN Bloomberg. Recent speaking engagements include The Economist Cannabis Summit, Cannabis Europa and MaRS Health Innovation Week.

11:20 AM
Closing Remarks & Networking