Fireside Chat with Corvain Cooper and Lisa Buffo
Corvain Cooper is Brand Ambassador at 40 Tons, a Black, woman-owned premium cannabis, clothing, and accessories brand from Los Angeles, California. Corvain grew up on the east side of South central Los Angeles. Drawing from his experience navigating the legacy market, also a background in apparel, fashion, and brand building, Corvain is an avid public speaker, activist and advocate for bringing awareness to 40 Tons and the causes it serves. Representing those impacted by the system — cannabis prisoners, victims of the war on drugs, their families and loved ones — while a booming billion dollar industry flourishes across the globe, 40 Tons was founded by the very legacy operators who’ve helped build the cannabis industry during the course of battle. In 2013, Corvain received a life sentence without parole after a “third strike” for his participation in a cannabis distribution operation. Despite the relatively minor offense, he was effectively “buried alive” at a federal prison in Louisiana, apart from his then fiancé and two children for something that was increasingly becoming legalized across the country. Through his years in prison, activists and voters continued the campaign to relax cannabis laws across the U.S. and Corvain finally, and fortunately, received a grant of executive clemency from Donald Trump in his final days as President of The United States of America in 2021. Corvain’s story is emblematic of the two disparate realities currently taking place in the U.S., one where some are able to profit off cannabis and the other where a cannabis-related offense can lead to a life sentence — today, 40,000+ cannabis prisoners still remain locked-up. Out on 10 years of parole, Corvain is reuniting with his friends and family, rebuilding his life, and championing the cause for 40 Tons, and beyond. It took the hard work of many individuals and organizations, including the entire 40 Tons team, to help break Corvain free. Corvain now serves as an advisor to the Last Prisoner Project and is the author of a poignant four part memoir Look Into My Eyes set to be released later this year. Just because someone carries it well, doesn’t mean it isn’t heavy. For more information, please visit: https://40tons.co. Please note: Due to the conditions of his parole, Corvain does not and can not hold equity ownership in any plant-touching cannabis business.
Lisa Buffo is a marketer and entrepreneur with a passion for launching companies with experience in both the cannabis and technology industries. Lisa is the Founder & CEO of the Cannabis Marketing Association, a membership based organization focused on education and best practices for industry marketers with the vision of rebranding cannabis at the national level. She was named one of 2019’s 40 Under 40 Rising Stars in Cannabis by Marijuana Venture Magazine in 2019.
CMA has hosted over 50 educational events nationwide bringing together over 3,500 professionals in the cannabis marketing community. Lisa has been quoted in Forbes, The Guardian, VICE, Le Parisien (France), Contagious Magazine (UK), Denver Business Journal, The Boulder Daily Camera, Marijuana News Network, Cannabis Culture Magazine and other national, local, and trade publications.
Lisa has worked in the cannabis industry since 2014. She started working in commercial cultivation where she grasped the important role compliance plays for cannabis companies. Lisa helped launch 10 cannabis startups for CanopyBoulder, the industry’s first business accelerator in 2015. Lisa also launched the industry’s first online wholesale brokerage as their CMO, garnering national coverage in VICE and INC Magazine and becoming the first cannabis-related company to present at SXSW in Austin, TX. Lisa is the Founder & Co-Chair of the National Cannabis Industry Association’s Marketing & Advertising Committee where she co-authored the Public Relations Crisis Manual and the Short Guide to Colorado’s Marketing & Advertising Regulations. Lisa is an active speaker and has spoken at industry conferences domestically and abroad. She currently sits on the Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Equity Committee of the California Cannabis Industry Association and she is an Advisory Board Member of Cannabis Doing Good