Creating a New Kind of Cannabis Conference

Posted Posted in Blog

Cannabis conferences that feel more like product placement opportunities. “Networking” events that end up filling trash cans with discarded business cards. Insights that turn out to have no practical application.

We’ve all been there – which is why we’re so dedicated to making Microscopes & Machines an antidote to your typical boring conference. We’ve been busy creating in-depth content to help highlight what makes us special, but we also know how busy you are, so we wanted to take a moment to just plainly lay out why this is a one-of-a-kind cannabis and help conference.

1) Speakers: 16 speakers over two tracks featuring the experts who are actively creating the future of cannabis medicine and manufacturing. Click here for a full list of speakers.

2) Vibratorium: Live entertainment, CBD mocktails, special treats, and giveaways to close out the event in style. Click here to learn more.

3) Networking: Take advantage of our unprecedented array of experts to make connections and ask questions normally reserved for paid consultations.

4) The Giving Spirit: 10% of proceeds will be donated to The Giving Spirit, which provides immediate aid to homeless people and families in L.A. Click here to learn more.

5) Organic Meals: There’s no such thing as a good time without good food: Breakfast snacks, lunch and dinner will be served by local, organic restaurants.

6) Technology: Get a sneak peek at some of the latest innovations in cannabis manufacturing and technology, shown here for the first time ever.

The final piece that is going to make this conference truly special is you. We hope you’ll join us in Los Angeles on July 27, and in the meantime, don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or requests.

Special discounts available for military and social equity applicants/owners

For more details and to purchase tickets, visit:

Press inquiries:

We look forward to seeing you at the conference!

Nicole Howell Neubert

Posted Posted in Psychedelics

Nicole Howell Neubert is one of California’s most effective and respected cannabis business and regulatory attorneys. Her experience advising hundreds of successful cannabis operators through the corporate, transactional, and regulatory dynamics of California’s complex market illustrates her dexterity across legal and strategic arenas.

Nicole’s incisive, analytical approach provides her clients with the tools and confidence they need to navigate a rapidly changing legal and regulatory environment.

Nicole’s practice focuses on serving as outside general counsel to California’s cannabis operators, providing advice on corporate governance, financing, business transactional matters, entity formation and operation, and local and state permitting and regulatory compliance.  A trusted advisor and industry advocate, she is actively involved in local and state legislative and regulatory efforts, most recently serving as a member of California State Treasurer John Chiang’s Cannabis Banking Working Group.  Nicole serves as Chief Policy Advisor to the California Growers Association, on the Board of California NORML, and is involved in other industry-related organizations, including the National and California Cannabis Industry Associations, and the National Cannabis Bar Association, as well as the San Francisco and Marin County Bar Associations.

Nicole was recently named one of the top 75 “most important women in cannabis” by Cannabis Business Executive, has been named annually as a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers magazine since 2012, and recognized for several years running as an “Attorney to Watch” by Chambers and Partners USA.   Nicole regularly speaks and teaches on the topics of cannabis business and regulatory law, and is on the faculty at Oaksterdam University in Oakland.

Prior to founding Clark Neubert LLP, Nicole practiced law at the respected San Francisco firms Clarence Dyer & Cohen LLP and Farella Braun + Martel LLP, where she distinguished herself in a range of complex matters including business litigation, parallel civil, criminal, and regulatory actions, and high stakes tort, trade secret, and employment litigation.

Dr. Michele Ross

Posted Posted in Psychedelics

Research Director, Decriminalize California

Dr. Michele Ross has been active in psychedelic research and drug policy reform for over a decade. She holds a PhD in Neuroscience and an MBA, and has sat on the advisory board of companies in the tech, cannabis, mushrooms, and wellness industries.

 Dr. Ross believes in increasing access to psilocybin mushrooms, cannabis, and other natural substances to tool to heal trauma and help release emotional and physical pain. She is currently the Research Director at Decriminalize California and a co-founder at Decriminalize Denver. Dr. Ross is also the founder of Infused Health, an online platform for mental health education and health coaching. Fun fact: she was the first scientist to star on reality television, starring CBS’s Big Brother.

Dr. Stuart Silverman

Posted Posted in Microscopes

Stuart Silverman M.D. is a rheumatology physician, cannabis clinician and researcher in private practice who is a clinical Professor at both Cedars Sinai Medical Center and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He is a faculty member of the UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative.

He has spoken on the topic of cannabis at venues ranging nationally from Princeton University to locally at TEC-Leimert and giving Grand Rounds on cannabis at both Cedars Sinai and UCLA. He is the author of over 200 peer reviewed original papers. He has served as director of the Cedars Sinai outpatient Fibromyalgia Rehab program and Acting Chief of Rheumatology at West Los Angeles VA Medical Center.

He has served on the Scientific Advisory Board of Kalytera Pharma, which is developing CBD and cannabinoids for treatment of disease, and has worked with Niamedic, an Israeli healthcare and research company specialized in integrating medical cannabis treatments.

He is part of a diversity initiative at UCRI and has started qualitative research on the cannabis journey in different racial/ethnic groups as well as working with UCRI on educational initiatives. He has received the Health Network Service Excellence award for his clinical research and practice which include chronic pain, fibromyalgia and osteoporosis.

He is a graduate of Princeton University, Johns Hopkins medical school and completed his medical training in internal medicine at Boston University. He is board certified in internal medicine, rheumatology and immunology. In his rheumatology practice he helps patients with rheumatologic conditions with chronic pain. He helps patients decrease opioid dependence with use of cannabis and both pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic management.

Come Vibe With Us at the Microscopes & Machines After Party

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Blog

We very genuinely believe that we’re at an inflection point in cannabis, and so we’ve designed the Microscopes and Machines conference to be enlightening, empowering, and filled with actionable insights.

At the same time, while steering the future of the cannabis industry is serious business, it’s also a cause for celebration. It’s in that spirit that we’ve created the Vibratorium, which will give every attendee a way to relax into the evening and expand their minds, palates, and networks.

As with everything we do, we aren’t designing the Vibratorium to be your average “networking” event. We’re designing this to be a creatively fueled mini-festival that allows everyone to vibe off each other, making more meaningful connections in the process, and we’re doing that through three main channels.


The Vibratorium will take place in the enchanting Sunset Dining Room upon conclusion of the presentations.

This space is beautiful, interesting, and has deep historical roots, having served as a brothel, cannabis grow, ice-cream factory, and more over the years. Frankly we can’t think of a more fitting place to spark memorable experiences and connections.


For an industry with literal and figurative roots in creativity, cannabis conferences can often be surprisingly dull; un-vibed, if you will.

To counter that, we’re be providing extraordinary entertainment.

First, we’ll be joined by some of the best cannabis-loving comedians out there, including:

Jessimae Peluso: Comedian, cast member of MTV’s Girl Code, Alzheimer’s advocate and host of the Sharp Tongue Podcast. Check her out here.

Rachel Wolfson (aka Wolfie): Comic, creator of @WolfieMemes, host of the Chronic Relief podcast. Check her out here.

Sara Weinshenk: Comedian, writer, host of the Shenk podcast. Check her out here.

Hosting this All-Star lineup will be Kalea Mcneil, who plays Hanifa on The CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and is the host and curator of #winedownwednesday.


After the astonishing comedy hour, we’ve gathered a crew of some of West LA’s best musicians to perform jazz fusion tunes with some pop appeal. (Don’t be surprised if you hear some Janis Joplin and a cover of 24 Karat Magic.)

To top that off, there will also be live art installations happening that we are so stoked about! And more to come.


A dope space is great, dope entertainment is great, but let’s be honest; dope food and drink are necessities.

In the spirit of the conference, this will be a cannabis-friendly and alcohol-free event with specialty CBD mocktails provided by Cannavis Syrup during the Psychedelics panel. And then once you’ve gotten your imbibe on, you’ll get an all organic Ayurvedic dinner provided by Ayur Ras. In addition, every attendee will receive a gift bag loaded with products from our sponsors.

Oh, and there’s some rumblings of an After After Party, too!

Details to be announced.

We’re in for quite an event! Hope to see you there.

If you still need to buy tickets , click this link and vibe on.

Cannabis Research Can Be a Battle but Dr. Jeff Chen Is Determined to Fight

Posted Posted in Blog

Cannabis medical research exists in a catch-22.

Because cannabis is a Schedule-1 drug, anyone attempting to study it scientifically has to climb a mountain of federal regulations and restrictions to conduct even limited research. At the same time, this lack of scientific evidence is often used by regulators and legislators as one of the reasons that cannabis should continue to be so heavily regulated.

There aren’t many people in the world who understand this paradox as well as Dr. Jeff Chen. While Dr. Chen is now the Director of the UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative, one of the first academic programs in the world dedicated to the study of cannabis, he began as a humble medical student skeptical of cannabis’ medical benefits. However, after seeing firsthand how cannabis benefited an epileptic patient he was inspired to dig deeper: 

Because cannabis is a Schedule-1 drug, anyone attempting to study it scientifically has to climb a mountain of federal regulations and restrictions to conduct even limited research. At the same time, this lack of scientific evidence is often used by regulators and legislators as one of the reasons that cannabis should continue to be so heavily regulated.

There aren’t many people in the world who understand this paradox as well as Dr. Jeff Chen. While Dr. Chen is now the Director of the UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative, one of the first academic programs in the world dedicated to the study of cannabis, he began as a humble medical student skeptical of cannabis’ medical benefits. However, after seeing firsthand how cannabis benefited an epileptic patient he was inspired to dig deeper: 

“I started coming across some really interesting animal studies on a variety of medical uses for cannabis. The light bulb went off that this was an area that clearly needed more science and research and that’s when I felt compelled to throw my hat in the ring and see what I could do to move the ball forward.”

That early epiphany set him on a path towards the forefront of cannabis medical science, and along the way he’s become thoroughly acquainted with the unique obstacles cannabis researchers face.

As mentioned above, cannabis’ Schedule-1 status means that researchers can’t touch any cannabis made inside the U.S. and instead have to rely solely on imports. And not only does this cannabis have to come from outside the US, it has to be produced as a pharmaceutical grade drug for the express purpose of research.

While this method of importing pharmaceutical grade cannabis has the benefit of passing the DEA’s restrictions, allowing for research to be done at all, Dr. Chen pointed out that it has several significant downsides. 

First, because they’re forced to use only cannabis extracts instead of entire plants, it’s extremely difficult for researchers to study areas like the much discussed but so far unproven idea of an “entourage effect.”

The presumption of the “entourage effect” is that consuming THC, CBD, and the other cannabinoids found naturally in the cannabis plant together versus separately results in a greater effect. It’s an idea that has the potential to shape the future of the cannabis industry and provide enormous benefit to patients, but proving it to be scientifically true would require direct comparisons of whole plants and isolates that current restrictions make nearly impossible.

And second, because the cost and bureaucracy involved in studying cannabis is so immense, Dr. Chen fears that only big pharmaceutical companies will be able to carry out crucial studies and that the potential benefits of the entire cannabis plant could be lost in the regulatory aftermath.

“There’s been very little to no research done on the cannabis plant. That’s why it’s really easy from a regulatory standpoint to say, why do we need the plant? Let’s just synthesize it and sell it in an FDA-approved fashion. 


So you could have a situation where over the next five years we have FDA-approved pharmaceutical versions available and they start phasing out every other use of the cannabis plant itself. I really hope not, because that would leave consumers stuck with limited, more expensive options.”

As Dr. Chen stressed, avoiding that limited future is going to require continued and substantial support for non-profit research, and it’s going to require cannabis scientists and manufacturers to work hand in hand. In his view, the more science drives the direction of the industry, the more benefits consumers will see, and the more comfortable regulators and legislators will be in allowing cannabis to be sold in a variety of forms, not just as a FDA-approved pharmaceutical.

As he said, “The more the industry can learn from newest science coming out and create products accordingly, the more beneficial and stable the industry will be over the long-run.” 

To hear Dr. Chen speak more about his work and vision for the future of medical cannabis in his keynote address, join us in Los Angeles on July 27 for a day devoted to exploring the intersection of cannahemp medical research and manufacturing technology.

Refocus on the Doctors, Researchers, and Scientists Healing Patients Through Cannabis

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Blog, Microscopes

1981: San Francisco activists routinely risk arrest to care for those dying in the throes of the AIDS crisis with cannabis.

2019: Cannabis billboards dot San Francisco’s skyline as brands maneuver for position in the newly minted Green Rush. 

While the current cannabis spotlight is increasingly focused on brands – an inevitable and in many ways positive sign of cannabis’ normalization – we can never forget that it was medical providers who laid down the foundation for the industry to exist at all, and who remain devoted to improving the lives of patients. 

It’s fair to say that in cannabis’ rapid rise into the mainstream the medical benefits of the plant have been sidelines in the national discussion, and so understandably that dynamic plays out at many cannabis conferences. We designed Microscopes and Machines to be a counterbalance to that trend, a chance to reprioritize the latest cannabis science and bring forward some of the extraordinary people doing that work: 

Dr. Jeff Chen: The Founder and Executive Director of the UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative, one of the first university programs in the world dedicated to the study of cannabis, Dr. Chen is a renowned physician, researcher, entrepreneur and speaker.

Dr. Sue Sisley: The Principal Investigator for the only FDA-approved randomized controlled trial examining safety/efficacy of whole plant marijuana in combat veterans suffering from PTSD. She is also suing the DEA over marijuana cultivation application delays.

Dr. Andrea Small-Howard: The Chief Science Officer at GB Sciences, Inc., Dr. Small-Howard is helping to create a novel drug discovery engine and biopharmaceutical drug development program for disease-specific, cannabis-based therapeutics.

This is a critical time for medical cannabis. FDA hearings on CBD and possible descheduling are underway. Big Pharma is making its move. The time is now to come together and figure out how to support scientific research in a way that honors the incredible healing potential of the plant, continues to keep the benefit of patients at the forefront, and inspires a new generation of researchers and medical professionals to pick up the torch and carry it into the future.  

We hope that you’ll join us for an opportunity to hear some of the most exciting new research happening. By uniting these two sides of cannabis – the microscopes and the machines – along with all of you, we truly believe that we can help build a cannabis industry that truly values people over profits.

Click this link to buy your tickets and learn more about our mission and the benefits of attending. 

Meet the People & Machines Building the Future of Cannabis Manufacturing

Posted Posted in Blog

Seemingly every day we read headlines about a new brand, and understandably so. As cannabis mainstreams, brands are the most accessible touchpoint for consumers. But those in the industry know that the real story, what will truly determine the future of cannabis, is playing out a level deeper – in the supply chain.

That’s precisely why we created the Machines portion of our conference, because if the cannabis industry is to actually reach that vaunted $60 billion a year in revenue projection, it will be because the supply chain has stabilized. After all, even the greatest brand in the world will fail without consistent access to safe, reliable, and approved product. 

Stabilizing that supply chain will depend on leaps forward in terms of technology and manufacturing processes – all with the approval of regulators – and behind those advancements are some of the best and brightest minds in cannabis, many of whom we’re honored to have as speakers:

Dustin Powers: The founder of GoodLifeGang and the Future4200 Forum, Dustin has gone on to pioneer multiple breakthroughs in the industry, from the beginnings of ethanol extraction to pesticide remediation.

Ace Shelander: The co-founder of Beaker & Wrench, Ace has brought wiped-film evaporation and machine design to a new level of excellence. His dosing pump made formerly unuseable machines useable and Beaker & Wrench is now releasing their own wiped-film evaporator. 

Dr. Wyeth Calloway, Ph.D:  Wyeth joined the Jetty Extracts team in 2017 where he has focused on analytics, operational efficiency, new product lines (including high purity d8), and more. As a result of his work, Jetty’s capacity has risen 10 times and is now one of the top 5 brands in CA.

Noah Cook: Noah is the President and Co-Founder at HZB Manufacturing in Los Angeles and is at the forefront of industrial cannabis applications in a regulatory environment. His work on ethanol extraction and recovery systems is now world renown.

We can say without exaggeration that this will be the first time this number and caliber of manufacturing experts will be in one place, and we expect their insights on topics like processing biomass and scaling while meeting regulations to be enormously valuable. These aren’t analysts or observers, these are the people actually building the machines and facilities the industry depend on, and consultations with them run in the thousands of dollars (if you can even get one).  

In addition, some of the technology being presented at the conference hasn’t been displayed before anywhere, giving attendees a sneak peek at some of the equipment that will help redefine what’s possible in cannabis manufacturing. 

This topic is both critically important and chronically overlooked by most cannabis conferences, and we hope you’ll join us for a day filled with actionable insights and guidance – purchase your tickets now. 

How Noah Cook Is Working to Solve Cannabis’ Quality at Scale Problem

Posted Posted in Blog

The world at large sees two primary images of cannabis. The grow – rows of cannabis plants growing under the sun or lights – and the final product. But just like any industry, there’s a small army of people between those two points without whom the entire system would collapse. We don’t often realize how complex the machine is, and how many cogs are involved, until we open it up.

Noah Cook is one of those crucial cogs. As one of the foremost experts on extraction, it’s Cook’s job to help make sure that farmers can produce high-quality product at scale while meeting the requirements of one of the most complex and quickly shifting regulatory environments in business.

Of course, Cook didn’t always know that he’d end up helping to build some of largest cannabis extraction facilities on the planet, but he did know his mother, and his mother was an inspiration. A recovered alcoholic who raised three kids by herself while getting her master’s degree, Cook’s mother went on to become a substance abuse counselor dedicated to helping people along their journey of healing.

Cook felt driven to follow in his mother’s footsteps and dedicate his life to helping others, but the road forward wasn’t immediately clear. The cost and amount of schooling involved in becoming a doctor seemed overwhelming, and not the best fit for his more engineering-leaning mind. And then in 2008 his home state of Michigan legalized cannabis, he became a licensed caregiver and discovered his passion.

“I started with small scale extractions for other small caregivers in Michigan, but there weren't enough caregivers and there wasn't enough material to really sustain any type of income. So I decided to move to California and put all my energy into large scale, cannabis concentrates that have the potential to provide medical benefits to the most people possible.”

Through a mix of dedication, constant learning and experimenting and outright hard work, Cook has been enormously successful in his mission, but knows better than almost anyone that the current challenges are still enormous.

From Cook’s perspective, the biggest problem facing the medical cannabis industry ties together both patients and cultivators: failed tests. Testing is necessary to protect patients, but cannabis processors are often drawing from five to ten farms to produce products and are simply unable to handle the complexity of subsequent of meeting very strict regulations, resulting in shortages that can endanger both patients, farms, and processors.

The best way for Cook to help patients then is to help these farms scale while meeting regulations, and despite the enormity of the task, he remains optimistic about a future where anyone who would benefit from cannabis has complete access to their medicine.

“Five years ago I would've said that not realistic with all the pushback. But I really see that now there's a lot of engaged players in this industry and people are really turning to science a lot more instead of conjecture.”

To hear more about how Cook and others in his field are working to make the machines that power natural medicines,  join us in Los Angeles on July 27 for a day devoted to exploring the intersection of cannahemp medical research and manufacturing technology.