Cannabis Industry Report

December 16, 2020 @ 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Zoom Meeting

Cannabis Industry Report

Wednesday, December 16th, 2020 @ 5:30pm PST (1.5 hours)


There’s no denying that the cannabis industry is emerging as the biggest new industry in years. It’s been two years since we last covered this industry, so let’s check in and see what has changed, what remains the same, and what new opportunities exist.

And, in San Diego, that is no exception. But what does the research say about cannabis use? Who are the cannabis consumers? Where is cannabis making a difference? What business hurdles do companies deal with on a daily basis? What are the industry regulations and the barriers to entry? What does it take to be successful?

The MIT Enterprise Forum of San Diego is excited to host this intriguing update.  Please join us on December 16th at 5:30pm PST.

Meeting info provided upon registration.



Brian Buckley, CEO/Founder at Helmand Valley Growers Company

As a Special Operations Team Commander with Marine Raiders, Bryan led multiple teams in deployments to Operation Enduring Freedom-Trans Sahara (Africa), South East Asia, and Operation Enduring Freedom-Afghanistan (Helmand Province). Developed rapport with numerous host nation forces, enhanced capability and capacity within the host nation units, and briefed US Ambassadors. Led a 20 man Marine Raider Team to Afghanistan that mentored, trained, and conducted over 40 combat operations with an Afghan Special Operations Battalion. Bryan also deployed twice to Operation Iraqi Freedom with Marine Infantry and Marine Reconnaissance.

Bryan is a Founder and CEO of Helmand Valley Growers Company. HVGC was founded by United States Special Operations Veterans (Marine Raiders). Since its inception, HVGC has been in discussions with some of the cannabis industry’s top researchers and has developed a veteran based protocol to effectively prove the benefits of medical cannabis. HVGC is supported and essentially ran by three Marine Raiders that served following 9-11.

As a service disabled veteran owned business, HVGC is intimately aware of the daily challenges that our fellow veteran brothers and sisters face as a result of their time spent on the battlefield. Some of these wounds are not visible to the naked eye.

HVGC began its outreach into the veteran community by observing first-hand and listening to the suffering of our veterans. We knew right then that our cause was worthy; and that our mission was defined. As our research progressed, the answer to this crisis became clear: develop alternate medical solutions for those suffering with pain, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, sleep disorders, and most critically, are at significant risk of suicide. We care about those who suffer and believe that medical cannabis is the way of the future to help those in need. The recreational cannabis and branding will be used to assist in accomplishing these goals and ultimately serve as a profit center for HVGC.


Pelin Thorogood, President & Co-founder, Wholistic Research and Education Foundation

Pelin Thorogood is a tech executive turned impact entrepreneur who has made a career out of being at the forefront of emerging business trends and disruptive technologies. The potential for CBD-rich therapeutics to deliver significant health benefits has led Pelin to co-found Wholistic Research and Education Foundation, a public non-profit (501c3), dedicated to CBD research, education and advocacy, where she serves as President.  With an unwavering focus on data and analytics throughout her career, previously Pelin was CEO of Anametrix, an award-winning multi-channel analytics platform (acquired by Ensighten in 2014) and CMO of WebSideStory, the pioneer in web analytics (IPO in 2004, acquired by Omniture/Adobe in 2008).  Pelin holds a B.S. in Operations Research, Masters in Engineering and MBA degrees, all from Cornell University, where she also serves as Industry Scholar for Cornell Institute of Healthy Futures.  With a deep commitment to community and education, Pelin is also a trustee and treasurer of the UC San Diego Foundation and serves on the Executive Board of the UC San Diego Basement, a campus-wide incubator and startup hub that runs innovation and entrepreneurship programming.


Stephen Boyd, Founder & CEO at Growpacker, Inc







Kendra Losee, Founder of Mota Marketing

Kendra Losee is an award-winning marketing strategist with more than 20 years of experience. In 2016, she started Mota Marketing to work with cannabis and hemp CBD companies. Mota Marketing develops and executes marketing strategies designed to help launch lasting brands that make an impact in this rapidly changing, highly regulated space.

In addition to public speaking and guest appearances on podcasts, Kendra hosts Cannabis Marketing Live, All Puff, No Fluff, a Facebook Live show, where she interviews brands and cannabis industry experts. She also manages a Facebook community of women entrepreneurs in CBD.

In 2011, she was named Higher Education Marketer of the Year, by the American Marketing Association, for her work at National University. Kendra earned her BA in Communications from UCSD, her Executive MBA from the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University and is halfway through her MFA in Creative Writing from National University. Kendra is also an adjunct professor at universities around San Diego, where she can be found teaching social media and marketing classes.




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We look forward to connecting with you,

The Chapter Executive Committee & Advisory Board
MIT Enterprise Forum-San Diego Chapter