Cannabis: New Industry, New Challenges

Currently, 30 states and the District of Columbia have adopted some form of cannabis legalization, producing an estimated $9 billion in sales in 2017, making it one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S. This accelerated growth will find many new entrants grappling with differing state laws/regulatory structures, contradictory federal statutes, and navigating obscure banking and financial systems. This session will discuss the current trajectory of the industry, provide insight as to how growers and sellers operate their businesses in the current system, and the opportunities, challenges and risks for turnaround professionals, lenders and investors this emerging market creates.

Session Directors: Steve Emerson, Sydney Darling, Jennifer Mercer, Teri Stratton



Dan Garfield, McAllister Garfield, P.C.
Mitchell Kahn, Grassroots Cannabis, Herbology Dispensaries and Greenhouse Dispensaries
Scott Moskol, Burns & Levinson LLP

Seth FreemanSeth R. Freeman, CIRA, CTP, Senior Managing Director of GlassRatner Advisory & Capital Group, LLC, a B. Riley Financial Company, based in San Francisco, is leading the firm’s national Cannabis Business Advisory & Restructuring practice.  Leveraging GlassRatner’s national footprint of 14 offices and 110 professionals and B. Riley’s investment banking and M&A expertise, the firm’s Cannabis practice assists investors, entrepreneurs, operators, landlords, creditors, lenders and their attorneys in this complex, fast-growing industry.  In addition to interim CFO and CEO services, turnaround management and restructuring services, GlassRatner provides the Cannabis industry with due diligence, valuation, litigation support and fiduciary services such as receiver and assignee (ABC); and real estate and construction consulting.

Seth has over 30 years of experience as a turnaround, restructuring, financial, distressed debt, fraud recovery, Chapter 11 bankruptcy advisor and fiduciary across a wide range of industries.  He has over 20 years significant cross-border experience, including India, China, Mexico, Central and South America and Greece.  Prior to joining GlassRatner, Seth co-founded and managed an international restructuring, financial advisory and asset and fund management boutique for over 20 years.  He began his career in real estate investment, development, financing, workouts and restructuring and is a licensed California general contractor and real estate broker.  Seth is a past Chairman of the Editorial Board of the TMA Journal of Corporate Renewal, and a director and officer of the TMA Northern California Chapter.  Seth is presently a Director of the Bay Area Bankruptcy Forum.  He is also frequent contributor on Bloomberg, CNBC, BTVI, CNBC Awaaz, TV18 and other Indian business TV channels.  Seth may be contacted at or 415-839-9280

Dan GarfieldDan Garfield of McAllister Garfield, P.C. is a leading cannabis industry attorney, licensed in Colorado and Oregon. Dan represents individuals and businesses in all types of matters and transactions from the start-up stage to exit. He represents stores and cultivation facilities, investors, landlords, lenders, trimmers, oil extractors, edibles manufacturers, testing laboratories, hemp farmers, CBD manufacturers, and ancillary businesses such as social media companies, consultants, and suppliers.

His experience includes entity formation and restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, debt and equity financing, private placements, licensing, contract negotiation and drafting, corporate governance, and joint ventures, among other legal matters involving cannabis businesses. Dan also acts as outside general counsel for a number of businesses in the industry. 

Mitch KahnMitchell Kahn co-founded Grassroots Cannabis in 2014 after Illinois passed its medical cannabis program to provide safe and efficacious cannabinoid products to patients. In his role as Chief Executive Officer, the company has since grown to have 27 licenses and operations in seven states with more than 200 employees. Grassroots Cannabis is rapidly expanding its footprint by pursuing a robust deal pipeline with active opportunities in new markets across the U.S. Grassroots Cannabis’ unique approach to focus on limited license and highly competitive locations has positioned the company to be the only fully vertically integrated cannabis company in states including Illinois, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Ohio. 
Mitch brings with him more than 20 years of chief executive experience. He also serves as Chairman of Frontline Real Estate Partners, a highly successful commercial real estate investment and advisory company headquartered in Chicago that has acquired properties in excess of $150,000,000 since its inception in 2010. Prior to co-founding Frontline, Mitch founded and served as President and CEO of Hilco Real Estate, one of the country’s leading real estate restructuring, disposition, valuation, and appraisal firms. 

scott_moskolScott Moskol of Burns Levinson is a partner, and co-chair of the firm's Financial Restructuring & Distressed Transactions and Cannabis Business Advisory practices, and a member of the Corporate, Finance, and Infrastructure & Public-Private Partnerships practices. He has developed a national platform representing and counseling clients with respect to all legal issues that may arise in restructurings, workouts, bankruptcies, receiverships and other insolvency-related matters. Scott’s practice also consists of advising clients with respect to the purchase and/or sale of distressed assets, companies and loan portfolios.

Additionally, he has expertise advising private clients with respect to their public-private partnership relationships with the public sector. He also represents clients with respect to financings and lending transactions, as well as general corporate matters, sometimes serving as outside general counsel. Since 2013, Scott has been providing corporate counsel to clients in the cannabis industry. His nationwide base of clients in this growing practice includes investors, lenders, operators of cultivation and dispensary facilities, consultants and family offices.

Scott is often retained for capital raises, structuring appropriate vehicles for investment in the industry, drafting operative documents, and for general business advice given his involvement as an executive team member of one of his operating entity clients. Prior to joining Burns & Levinson, he served as Vice President, Senior Asset Manager and Counsel for Capital Crossing, a division of Lehman Brothers Bank, F.S.B/Capital Crossing Servicing Company, LLC. He also managed all outstanding legal matters and cases for the nonperforming loans in the portfolio, which included assessing risk and cost of various options, and negotiating, resolving and restructuring the loans.


Tuesday, September 24  
9:00pm-11:00pm Party in the USA Pre-Show Party
Hilton TBD
Wednesday, September 25  
8:30am-12:30pm  Great Balls of Fire Golf at Canterbury Golf Club**
11:00am-1:00pm  R.E.S.P.E.C.T.  Inaugural TMA NOW and IWIRC Lunch and Fireside Chat with the Judges**
Nuevo Cleveland 
11:00 am-1:00pm Hungry Like the Wolf  Cleveland Food Tour**
West Side Market
1:00-7:30pm  Come Together Attendee Lounge Open
Hope Ballroom A-C
1:00-7:30 pm Registration Open
Lakeside Foyer
2:15 pm-3:00pm I Feel Good Mimosa Bar sponsored by FTI Consulting
Lakeside Foyer
3:00-4:15pm Main Stage Opening Program:
You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet   Mega Trends in the Economy 
4:30-5:30pm Into the Groove First-Time Attendee Reception sponsored by Melcap Partners
Center Street A
5:30-7:30pm The House is Rockin' Opening Reception sponsored by Huntington Business Credit and Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP
Hope Ballroom A-C and Foyer
9:00pm-11:00 p.m. Forever Young  NextGen Late Night**
The Corner Alley

Thursday, September 26

6:00-6:15am Born to Run  5K Run/Walk Registration 
Hilton Lobby
6:15-7:15am Born to Run  5K Run/Walk**
Downtown Cleveland 
8:00am-5:00pm  Come Together  Attendee Lounge 
Hope Ballroom A-C
8:00-9:00am Walking on Sunshine Networking Breakfast sponsored by Gordon Brothers
Hope Ballroom A-C
9:15-9:45am Main Stage:
A Star is Born  Finding Your Firm's Next Rock Star
10:00-11:00am Main Stage Education Session Plenary:
Under Pressure Crisis Communications in the Digital Age

Education Session Breakout 1:
Spotlight  – Turnaround Strategy in Sexual Abuse-Related Restructuring Cases

Education Session Breakout 2:
Everybody Wants to Rule the World  – Multilateral Negotiations sponsored by Riemer & Braunstein


Main Stage: This is How We Do It – Luncheon Keynote Speaker 


Education Session Breakout 1:
ABC, Easy as 1,2,3 – ABCs vs. Bankruptcies vs. Article 9 vs. Receiverships sponsored by Candlewood Partners

Education Session Breakout 2:
Welcome to the Jungle – Music, Entertainment, and IP

3:15-4:15pm Main Stage Closing Program:
We are the World  International/Cross Border Restructuring
4:15pm-5:15pm Just What I Needed Moscow Mule Bar sponsored by Ashby & Geddes
Hope Ballroom A-C
5:00-6:00pm  We Are the Champions Chair's Reception*
Eliot's Bar
7:00-9:30pm  The Final Countdown – Closing Reception sponsored by Ritchie Bros.
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
9:30-11:00pm Encore Performance: Pump Up the Jam – TMA After Dark sponsored by Alvarez & Marsal
Eliot's Bar
Friday, September 27  
8:00-10:30am Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go – Grab n' Go Breakfast and 1:1 Meetings
8:30-11:30am When I Ruled the World  Joint Executive Board/Board of Trustees Meeting*
Center Street BC

Agenda subject to change. View the full agenda

*Invite only 
** Extra cost to attend 



The Hilton Cleveland Downtown
100 Lakeside Ave. East
Cleveland, OH 44114

Reservation Deadline: September 3, 2019
After the cut-off date, room reservations will be accepted based on hotel availability at the best available rate. 

Room Rate: $209/night plus taxes
Reservation Phone: (216) 413-5000 ext. 1
Group Booking Code: TMA
Online Reservations: Click here to make a reservation