Cannabis: Insights and Opportunities

Are financial markets ready for this billion-dollar green economy?
Hosted by: Education Advisory Group

On January 1, 2020, Illinois became the eleventh state to legalize the recreational use of cannabis and brought in 3.2 million in sales on the first day. Some are comparing the legalization of cannabis to the end of Prohibition and there is no shortage of large and small green entrepreneurs racing to claim their stake in what Grand View Research estimates to be a $66 billion industry by the year 2025. However, are the people, the local, state and federal governments and financial markets ready for this billion-dollar green economy?
We invite you to join us as Kristoffer Inton, director of Basic Materials Equity Research at Morningstar, moderates a discussion between our panelists as they share their thoughts and insights on the investment opportunities, evolution and future of the cannabis market. Charlie Batchell, founder and CEO of Cresco Labs, Andy Grossman, head of Capital Markets at GTI, Sumit Mehta, CEO of Mazakali, and John Wellehan, CEO and co-founder of Affect X Technologies, will discuss how states view the benefits (tax revenues) and hurdles (monitoring) of legalization, what new players will enter the space, how to profit from the legalization through private or public investment and which, if any, current companies are leading and why.
Moderator: Kristoffer Inton - Director, Basic Materials Research, Morningstar

Charlie Bachtell - Co-founder and CEO, Cresco Labs
Andy Grossman - Head of Capital Markets, GTI
Sumit Mehta - Founder and CEO, MAZAKALI
John Wellehan - CEO and Co-Founder, Affect X Technologies

Members - $45 or FREE with function ticket 
Student Members - $10
Nonmembers - $65
(member pricing underwritten by CFA Society Chicago)

*Limited sponsorships available, contact Kim Augustyn at

CFA Institute Qualified Activity: Eligible for 1.5 credit hours

Attire: Business Casual

Menu: Hors d’oeuvres and refreshments

Registration: Online

4:00 pm - 4:30 pm: Registration & Networking
4:30 pm - 6:00 pm: Program

*Please note distribution of presentation slides is at the discretion of the speaker and may not be available for this event


Kristoffer Inton is director of equity research, basic materials for Morningstar Research Services LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Morningstar, Inc. In addition to leading Morningstar’s basic materials team, he covers cannabis, gold, aggregates and cement, and uranium companies.

Before joining Morningstar in 2013, Inton was an investment banking associate for Guggenheim Securities in New York. Previously, he was an investment banking analyst for Merrill Lynch in Chicago and New York. Inton holds a bachelor’s degree in finance with high honors from the University of Illinois and a master’s degree in business administration with distinction from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.


Charlie Bachtell
is CEO and co-founder of Cresco Labs, one the leading verticallyintegrated, multistate cannabis companies in the United States. Named one of the top 100 cannabis industry leaders by Entrepreneur Magazine, Bachtell has spearheaded Cresco’s organic growth and acquisition strategies to build the most strategic geographic footprint and the leading distribution platform in the North American cannabis market. Having successfully raised private funding in excess of $200 million, Bachtell has effectively deployed capital to build shareholder value including the $824 million acquisition of Origin House in 2019, the largest public company acquisition in U.S. cannabis industry history at the time. Deeply committed to driving positive social change, Bachtell oversaw the launch of Cresco’s Social Equity & Educational Development (SEED) initiative in May 2019, the cannabis industry’s first national comprehensive social equity initiative promoting inclusion, expungement, equality, access and community engagement.  

An attorney by training and a former executive vice president and general counsel for one of the largest mortgage banks in the country, Bachtell is recognized as one of the foremost authorities on regulatory affairs and compliance in some of the nation’s most heavily regulated industries. He served on the Cannabis Legalization Subcommittee of Illinois Governor JB Pritzker’s transition team, which led to the passage of legislation legalizing adult-use cannabis in the state of Illinois, which now serves as a model for other states to legalize marijuana by statute rather than ballot initiatives. 

Bachtell is a sought-after speaker on the cannabis industry’s national stages and has been featured as an industry leader in mainstream media like CNBC and Yahoo! Finance as well as in industry publications like Marijuana Business Daily, Cannabis Business Times and Marijuana Venture Magazine. 

Bachtell serves as an adjunct Professor at the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law teaching classes on the legal and regulatory matters existing in the emerging cannabis industry and is a founding member or member of associations across the country including the National Cannabis Bar Association, Illinois Cannabis Bar Association, National Cannabis Industry Association, Pennsylvania Cannabis Coalition and the Medical Cannabis Alliance of Illinois.

Andy Grossman
is an entrepreneur and business executive with 20 years of experience in the hedge fund industry. He joined GTI for the opportunity to join a nascent industry with the potential for tremendous growth.

Grossman previously served as managing partner and head of trading, risk management and operations of LG Capital Management. Grossman co-founded LG in August 2011 with $13 million in capital and helped raise it to a peak of $350 million under management. He was instrumental in building the infrastructure of the business and is highly qualified in business operations. Prior to founding LG Capital, Grossman was a senior trader for Chesapeake Partners, a Baltimore-based multi-billion event-driven investment Fund.

Grossman lives in Baltimore, Maryland with his wife, Jennifer, and their three kids. He is passionate about giving back to the community, enjoys traveling with his family and friends and is actively involved in various organizations in the Baltimore community which include The Associated, LifeBridge Health, Beth El Congregation and Jewish Volunteer Connection. Grossman graduated from Syracuse University in 1996 with a Bachelor of Arts in finance.

Sumit Mehta is the founder and CEO of MAZAKALI, a cannabis investment firm based in San Francisco with offices in Denver and Chicago. MAZAKALI offers a turn-key platform for raising and investing cannabis capital. Investors in cannabis since 2014, the MAZAKALI leadership team brings over 150 years of finance, business strategy, legal, compliance and entrepreneurial experience to each client relationship. Technology-enabled capabilities include: a custom capital raising and investing portal; capital advisory, investment banking, asset management and strategic consulting services; and tailored portfolio management led by the industry's first Outsourced Cannabis Investment Officer (OCIO) team.

Mehta founded MAZAKALI to counteract the negative consequences of business practices that deplete resources by making investments in sustainable cannabis. By shepherding capital in a responsible and ethical manner, MAZAKALI and its clients envision a world where cannabis investment will play a significant role Beyond Impact. Mehta authors the MAZAKALI GreenPaper®, a leading narrative that has gained authority through knowledge on deep trends in the industry that matter to investors and operators alike.

In addition to his role with MAZAKALI, Mehta serves on the Banking and Financial Services Committee (BFSC) for the National Cannabis Industry Association and is a consultant to The Arcview Group, the largest cannabis focused private investor network in America. He sits on several cannabis boards, mentors cannabis management teams and advises cannabis private equity transactions. Mehta and MAZAKALI support NCIA, SSDP and MPP in their efforts to promote cannabis education and awareness.

Prior to joining the cannabis industry, Mehta spent two decades on Wall Street at Merrill Lynch, UBS Investment Bank, Susquehanna International and Raymond James Financial in roles that spanned portfolio management, investment planning, capital introduction, strategic consulting, relationship management and business development. In 2016, Mehta left an advisory practice at J.P. Morgan to launch MAZAKALI.  Sumit earned an MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, and a BA with honors in economics with minors in math and physics from the University of Texas at Austin. Mehta holds investment banking, brokerage and investment advisory securities licenses and resides in San Francisco where he enjoys motorcycles, yoga, cannabis and the great outdoors.

John Wellehan
is the CEO and Co-Founder of Affect X Technologies. The company helps discerning cannabis consumers enjoy cannabis more fully, using AI to create quantifiably better experiences. 

Analysts have found that cannabis consumers tend to shop for “effect.” However, cannabis can contain enormously variable levels of the 565 phytochemicals which work in concert and in opposition to each other. This complex receptor tug-of-war generates wildly variable experiences for the consumer. Yet the consumer needs to know what they will experience. Beginning in 2016, Affect X developed a platform that uses Emotion AI (also known as Affective Computing) to quantify consumers' physiological, sensory and emotional responses using sensors and machine learning.

Prior to Affect X Technologies, Wellehan worked in finance as equity hedge fund analyst and trader, as well as in commodities, where he employed a quantitative model-driven approach. Until the launch of Affect X Technologies, Wellehan also served as the managing director of the Good Food Business Accelerator at 1871. Wellehan is an inventor who has filed multiple technology patents, having received his first granted patent in 2003.

Wellehan earned a B.A. in linguistics from Boston University and an M.B.A. in entrepreneurship and finance from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. He currently lives in Winnetka, IL with his wife and three kids.

*Special Notes Regarding Fees:
Regular, Candidate, and Affiliate Members may apply function tickets as payment for Nonmember or Student Member. Credit card required to guarantee ALL reservations except for reservations using Function Tickets. Day-of-event registrations accepted on-site only if applicable and space available. There is a $5 surcharge for walk-ins. Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and Diners Club are accepted. Cancellations accepted until 5:00 pm, February 20th.

Passport Program
Members of any CFA society may attend at the CFA Society Chicago member rate. Please call the CFA Society Chicago office at 312-251-1301 to register. If you are only a member of CFA Institute, you do not qualify for the Society member rate.

CFA Institute CE Qualified Activity
This program qualifies for credit under the guidelines for the CFA Institute Professional Development Program.

2/25/2020 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Standard Club 320 S. Plymouth Chicago, IL UNITED STATES


Wednesday, 15 January 2020

4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
1/15/2020 4:00 PM

4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
1/15/2020 4:00 PM

Sign In