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Blunt Talks: Cannabis in California




You’re invited to an evening of “Ted” style presentations by cannabis professionals, networking, and fun!

Blunt Talks are “Ted” style presentations given by innovators of the cannabis industry who want to share their knowledge so we can grow together!

With the passage of Proposition 64 (legalization of recreational marijuana use), the California cannabis industry is experiencing a period of rapid growth! There are more businesses, brands, products, and services than ever before, and now is your chance to learn from a few that are really changing the game!

Whether you’re a professional looking to transition careers into the cannabis industry, a canna-professional looking to keep up to date with whats going on, or a business owner that is looking to add talent to your team, or you’re just looking to network and eat some good food, this installment of Blunt Talk is for you!

Past events: Long BeachSanta MonicaBoulder COHollywood CASan Francisco CA

We suggest taking lyft or uber.


  1. Eat. Drink. Check out our sponsors. Make friends and professional connections.
  2. Hear short, TED-style talks from cannabis professionals.
  3. Ask some questions.
  4. Make more Friends and professional connections.


Nick “Nikka T” Tanem- Founder of Essential Extracts

Nicholas Joseph Tanem aka Nikka T is a cannabis visionary, educator, public speaker, processor, activist and artist. Originally from The Bay Area, California, Nikka T moved to Colorado to continue his professional board sport aspirations and attend CU Boulder where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in 2007. After college Nikka T spent the next 10 years in Denver Colorado where he founded Essential Extracts, which was the first licensed Non-Solvent Extraction facility in the United States. From extraction, to cultivation, and dispensaries, Nikka T has owned and operated multiple fully licensed and compliant businesses under the legal systems in Colorado since day one of medical legalization. Nikka T is the proud winner of 15+ Cannabis Cups with his Essential team and another 100+ won by clients using his Essential Bag Design and techniques. As of 2018 Nikka T has returned to his roots and brought his vision and brand back to his home town in The Bay Area and is just months away from the launch of Essential Extracts California.

When he isn’t building extract empires, Nikka T spends his time traveling & DJing, throwing and hosting various MMJ related events including weekly and monthly Reggae parties, producing radio programs, huge festivals and sold out shows, always with a spliff hanging out of his mouth. Nikka T has played with such artists as Rebelution, Kymani Marley, Mr Vegas, The Pharcyde, KRS One, STS9, E-40, Grizz, Matisyahu, Action Bronson, Capleton, Black Uhuru, Busta Rhymes, Gappy Ranks, and Wu Tang Clan, just to name a few. He has hosted and thrown festivals and shows throughout the world including, but not limited to, receiving the honor of hosting and DJing Reggae on the Rocks in 2013, High Times Cannabis Cup Award Ceremonies, South Park Music Fest, Chalice California, The Emerald Cup, The Secret Cup, and Masters of Rosin in Barcelona Spain.

Between his passion for cannabis and music, timed perfectly with the onset of legalization in the US, Nikka T continues to expand his brand, techniques & music all over the globe nationally and internationally. For now you can find him blessing California with Essential Extracts CA and cultivating the most irie musical experiences worldwide!!!

Ophelia Chong, Founder of Stock Pot Images & Asian Americans for Cannabis Education (AACE)
Community activist, educator, graphic designer & photographer.

Ophelia Chong is the founder of Stock Pot Images and Asian Americans for Cannabis Education (AACE). She is driven to help shape the new conversation of Cannabis and is guided by one mission: to advocate for the legalization of cannabis and offer truthful reflections of the faces and communities that embrace cannabis. As of January 2019, Ophelia joined Aura Ventures as executive creative director. Coming this Spring 2019 she will be featured on “Pimp My Grow” as the Short Chinese Garage Grower with DNA Genetics and B-Real of Cypress Hill.

As well as leading StockPot Images, she also served as the Community Outreach liaison for THC Design, one of the top premium cannabis growers in CA, where she was responsible for LGBT, Veterans, Women, Minorities and Disabled outreach.

As an artist, her work has been published by Harper Collins, Gestalten (3 books) and other major publishers of books and magazines. Her latest collage work was commissioned by Simon & Schuster and will debut in the Fall of 2018.

Her career path has been formed by her 3 decades in photography, as an award winning creative director in publishing and film as creative director to three major film festivals, published artist and gallerist, entertainment and as an adjunct professor in education at Art Center College of Design – her path is non-ending because she believes that we all have at least five careers in our lifetimes.

About StockPot Images https://www.stockpotimages.com/about
Asian Americans for Cannabis Education http://www.asianamericansforcannabis.org/
Aura Ventures https://auraventures.co/

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is
the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Steve Albarran, CEO & Co-Founder of Confident Cannabis

Before co-founding Confident Cannabis, Steve developed his career in New York with experience in startups, the finance industry and growth capital investing. He founded Left Lane Capital to invest in, incubate and co-found branded consumer-facing businesses. His investments include Health Warrior, one of the fastest growing superfood snack companies in the US. Steve then moved to California to study at Stanford Graduate School of Business where he met his co-founding team. Driven by the opportunity to create a vibrant industry where every ethical cannabis business thrives, he co-founded Confident Cannabis. Steve and Tony Lewis now determine Confident Cannabis company vision and strategy, lead hiring, fundraising, and product development. Steve has a BA in Finance and a Master’s in Management from Stanford GSB where he was a Sloan Fellow.

Confident Cannabis

Founded on instilling trust and transparency in the marketplace, Confident Cannabis empowers all verticals in the supply chain—and ultimately consumers—to know what is made, who makes it, and what it’s made of in real-time. It’s the only place where cannabis producers, processors, wholesalers and retailers showcase and discover products from verified businesses with test results directly from licensed labs.


Mariah Dodson- Co-Founder & COO of Dust to Diamdons Incorporated

Life is truly a Journey, and for entrepreneurs we are handed a hundred lessons everyday, we are taught and tested of the true meaning of determination and perseverance! Passionate about community development, 2016 began with redeveloping a 3-bedroom house into a low income costing home for veterans, in California City. Mariah and her business partner, Vanessa ended 2016 with the commencement of a true dedication to philanthropy, and started a 501 © 3, United Herbalism, a non profit organization that focuses on holistic education, Creating enriching experiences for people, families and communities. December 2017 United Herbalism donated 1.5 million pounds of clothes internationally, as well as to local Los Angeles Homeless missions. United Herbalism continues to fulfill our mission by hosting quarterly Day of Prosperity events, where free haircuts, clothing,and many other resources are provided to families. Arts and crafts, empowerment seminars are provided. These events are focused on southern California communities. United Herbalism has also hosted monthly seminars focusing on mind, body and soul wellness at the local senior centers and Medical clinics.

In 2016 myself and my team took special interest into the upcoming legal cannabis market, Co-founded and formed Dust To Diamonds Incorporated. A cannabis – integrated holistic corporation, our company advocates for Self-reliance through holistic health as well as self-empowerment. Dust To Diamonds Inc promotes the awareness of one’s whole self activating our true wellness with CBD infused health & lifestyle products. Dust To Diamonds Inc has recently opened a CBD wellness shop in-which sales: Salves, capsules and droppers infused with CBD and natural essential oils, for those looking for a more harmonious nutritional routine.

Dust To Diamonds Incorporated has currently created history by being the youngest to have received Medical Cannabis Cultivation and Manufacturing permits for the State of California in April of 2018. We take pride in the chances to inspire our communities with a platform and educate on social equity within the cannabis industry. Blessed with the opportunity to host workshops promoting holistic wellness, CBD, as well as the knowledge it takes to become successful in this newly regulated industry. Dust To Diamonds Inc is currently the majority investor into the development of a pristine medical cannabis cultivation, and manufacturing facility in California City, CA. I wake up daily with motivation to persevere through this difficult process and I believe by walking in purpose daily, I will help make the world a better more aware place.

Hosted by Sam Zartoshty

Special Thanks to Expert Dojo for hosting the event! Make sure to check them out if you’re an early stage, technology related company!







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