This conference helped me to find practical ways to integrate risk management in day-to-day operation.  
- Chief of Active Risk Surveillance, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CANADA
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Municipal Issues in the Legalization of Cannabis

A Specialized Forum for Municipal Regulators

April 17 - 18, 2018  ·  Vancouver, British Columbia
Confirmed Speakers Include:

Corporal Dave Botham,

Corporal Dave Botham has been a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police since 2004. Dave was trained as a Drug Recognition Expert in 2010 and has been very active within the DRE program in Canada. In 2013 Dave became a DRE instructor and since that time has trained over 300 Canadian police officers in DRE and SFST's Since joining the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Dave has worked in 4 different Canadian Provinces working in various capacities including General Duty Policing, Indigenous Community Policing, Street Crime Enforcement and Federal Serious and Organized Crime. In 2017 Dave was promoted to the rank of Corporal and began working within the national coordinating office of the Drug Evaluation and Classification Program where he currently coordinates training and standards for drug impaired driving within Canada.

Eric Costen, Director General, Cannabis Legalization and Regulation Secretariat, Health Canada

Eric Costen is currently the Director General of the Cannabis Legalization and Regulation Secretariat, the federal official created to support the Government's commitment to legalize, regulate and restrict the sale of cannabis. Prior to this, Eric was the Executive Director of the Office of Medical Cannabis, and has held a range of health policy positions over his 10 years at Health Canada, including Director, Strategic Policy, Planning and Portfolio Affairs, and Director, First Nations and Inuit Mental Health and Addictions. He has a Bachelors Honours Degree from the University of Ottawa, and is the proud father of four raucous boys.

Sara Dubinsky, Lawyer, Lidstone & Company

Sara is a litigation lawyer who provides legal opinions on a wide variety of issues, with a particular emphasis on cannabis, bylaw enforcement, conflicts of interest and freedom of information. She is counsel of record in more than a dozen cannabis cases for the cities of Abbotsford, Campbell River, Chilliwack, Delta, Richmond, and the District of Kent, and she regularly advises numerous additional municipalities and liaises with counsel from various jurisdictions on cannabis issues.

Peter Gall, QC, Partner, Gall Legge Grant Zwack LLP

Peter Gall has served as a partner for Gall Legge Grant Zwack LLP law group since 2014. Prior to this, Gall spent twenty-three years at Heenan Blaikie's Vancouver office where he was a founding partner. He is widely recognized for his expertise in labour and employment law, both in private and public sectors as well as general civil litigation, administrative law and constitutional law as well as labour and employment law. He has acted as counsel before various administrative tribunals and at all levels of the courts.

Sgt. Jeff Karran, Federal Operations, Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Sgt Jeffrey Karran has been a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for 20 years with a background in serious and organized crime investigations. Sgt Karran is currently the deployed in the National Capital Region and is the RCMP Federal Policing National Cannabis Act coordinator. Sgt Karran has been engaged at the Federal level with the development and proposed implementation of Bill C-45.

David B. Mendoza, Practice Director, Regulatory Compliance, Government Affairs & Public Relations, Calyx King Consulting

Currently, David is the Practice Director of Regulatory Compliance, Government Affairs & Public Relations at Calyx King Consulting, a operations-oriented consulting firm based in Seattle, WA with clients throughout the U.S. From 2014 through 2017, David served as a Senior Policy Advisor in the Seattle Mayor's Office of Policy and Innovation. His policy portfolio included the development of Cannabis Regulations, Labor Standards, implementation of the Seattle Race and Social Justice Initiative and policies related to Uber/Lyft and AirBnB, among others.

Dan Reist, Assistant Director, Knowledge Exchange, Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research (CISUR)

Dan Reist leads a team within the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research at the University of Victoria that focuses on communicating current evidence in a way that supports the evolution of effective policy and practice. With a background in continental philosophy and hermeneutics, Dan is quick to acknowledge that evidence is far more than statistics about patterns of use and harm and includes attention to the ways we as human beings experience and talk about drugs and drug use in our cultures and communities. His team applies this perspective in developing innovative approaches to drug education and school support for well-being.

Dan Rowland, Principal Consultant, 420 Advisory Management

Dan Roland spent more than three years with the City and County of Denver's Office of Marijuana Policy leading implementation efforts for the first major city in the world to develop a fully legal, commercial industry for cannabis. Dan Rowland helps state, provincial and local governments craft sensible regulations, ensuring the successful implementation of legal markets in the U.S. and Canada. Rowland also consults with private companies related to the cannabis industry that are seeking expertise on operations, investment opportunities, compliance, community engagement, government relations and policy reform. Prior to working with 420 AM, Rowland directed communications and marketing for the City of Denver's Office of Marijuana Policy and Department of Excise & Licenses. He was the spokesman and director of media relations and public affairs for the city's business licensing efforts and first-in-the-world implementation of legalized marijuana regulations.

Gerald Thomas, Director, Alcohol, Tobacco, Cannabis and Gambling Policy and Prevention, BC Ministry of Health

Dr. Gerald Thomas is the Director of Alcohol, Tobacco, Cannabis and Gambling Prevention and Policy at the British Columbia Ministry of Health, a Collaborating Scientist with the Centre for Addictions Research of BC, an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychology at University of British Columbia, and owner/operator of Okanagan Research Consultants. He received his PhD in political science from Colorado State University in 1998 and has worked in the area of Canadian addiction policy since 2004. He served on the secretariat of the working group that created Canada's first National Alcohol Strategy in 2007, worked on several national and provincial level projects related to substance use and addiction, and has published numerous peer-reviewed papers with leading researchers in the field.

Melanie Vipond, Partner, Gall Legge Grant Zwack LLP

Melanie Vipond focuses her practice on labour and employment law, human rights, privacy and administrative law. Vipond advises both private and public sector employers, including the provincial government, municipalities, districts, public agencies and crown corporations. She has appeared before all levels of court as well as various administrative tribunals. She also is an adjunct professors at the faculty of Law at the University of British Columbia.

Tom Zworski, City Solicitor, City of Victoria

Tom Zworski has over twenty years of local government experience as a lawyer and a manager. He provides advice on all aspects of municipal law and legal issues involving the City, including administrative, constitutional, construction, general litigation, and zoning and development law matters. He has appeared before all levels of BC courts and the Supreme Court of Canada, as well as before various administrative boards and tribunals. Mr. Zworski has taught municipal law at the University of Victoria law school and has spoken at local and national legal conferences and continuing legal education programs in BC and Ontario.

[   Register  |  Speakers  |  Venue  |  Agenda (PDF)   ]



Legalization of cannabis is just months away. Municipalities are responsible for a smooth roll-out to the public, with significant work to be accomplished. If you work on land use planning and zoning, business licensing, municipal workplace safety, enforcement relating to public consumption or impaired driving, you are feeling the pressure of the looming deadline. You have important questions and you need answers from the provinces yesterday relating to critical matters such as what retail model your province will choose. You need to budget for start up and implementation in all these areas including the cost of public education, public health and law enforcement.

INFONEX's two-day program Municipal Issues in the Legalization of Cannabis, will be the ideal forum for discussing and sharing ideas with others to help you move forward without wasting time or spinning your wheels. A faculty of experienced government officials from all the relevant areas will share their insights on what's working effectively and what's not. U.S cities who have made the journey you are about to embark upon will draw on their experience to help you benefit from what they have learned along the way so you can avoid potential missteps and proceed in timely fashion.

You will learn what you can expect with legalization, including the impact on community and public health and safety. You will leave with a clear picture of what you are required to do, as a municipal employer, to keep municipal employees safe now that you have to worry about the potential effects of marijuana at the workplace. Experts from U.S. cities and large and small municipalities in a variety of provinces will explain how they are dealing with land use planning and zoning and business licensing (including government-run, private retail or a mixed retail model depending on the province's choice.) You will understand the enforcement issues relating to consumption and impaired driving and the complexity and potential problems involved in the supply chain.

This is a unique opportunity to hear from those most able to provide the important information, insights and strategies you need to meet the complex challenge ahead. Register now so you and your municipality have the necessary knowledge to reduce the risk and increase the potential benefits of this important change in national cannabis policy. Your up-front investment of time will repay you time and again as you move forward more decisively, confidently and knowledgeably than you otherwise would have. Register today!

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