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Partnerships: Marketing and the Power of Leveraging Culture and the International Community

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Teddy Grebenc
MJBiz, Partnership Specialist

Teddy Grebenc was born, raised, and currently resides in Denver, Colorado. He has been serving the cannabis industry for the past 4 years in many different capacities, from managing a dispensary in Tabernash, Colorado, to his current role as the Partnership Specialist for MJBiz, a division of Emerald X, LLC. As the Partnership Specialist, Teddy provides strategy direction  and development of mutually beneficial partnerships within the cannabis industry, striving every day to create impactful and meaningful connections to advance and promote industry growth. Teddy earned his B.S. in Marketing in 2016 and an M.S. in Organizational Leadership and Management in 2019, both from Regis University in Denver, Colorado.

Chris Day
Gateway Proven Strategies, Chief Executive Officer

I have a long track record of inspiring businesses to think differently, grow faster, and achieve more than they thought they could. It's about identifying areas within an industry that create disruption or finding industries themselves that are disruptive to the status quo. The proof is in my 25+ years of corporate reinvention, small business growth, industry positioning and marketing excellence. Currently I spend my time in the Cannabis space and helping to drive this new multi-billion dollar market throughout the United States and worldwide. Working with amazing companies and helping people like you to find and develop brands and business. 

I have an appreciation for the instant need of effective digital communication and still love the smell of a real paper book. It's that combined sense of awareness that allows me to take a truly integrated approach to marketing and management channels. I understand and use the connectivity between a person's rational needs and their purchase desires. With more than two and a half decades of marketing, operations, P/L, recruitment, and process management experience; I help people willing to listen solve communications problems that others find difficult to navigate. 

Corvain Cooper
40 Tons, Chief Brand Ambassador

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: Please note: Due to the conditions of his parole, Corvain does not and can not hold equity ownership in any plant-touching cannabis business.

Ru Johnson
Roux Black Consulting, Executive Producer

Ru Johnson is a creative consultant, executive producer and operations strategist who splits her time between Denver and Washington, D.C. Her company, Roux Black Consulting is designed to work with people, places and things that want to expand their consumer demographic. The methods by which the company defines creative output are: campaign development, marketing, press, promotions and strategy. Our specialty and expertise is nightlife, music and cannabis. As a board member at the Minority Cannabis Business Association, Ru Johnson believes the most effect way to market and work within the cannabis space is consistency coupled with exciting components of promotion.