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Westchester TIER Talks® to explore burning questions surrounding marijuana

By Steve Seepersaud


TIER Talks

Cannabis has arrived. Historically associated with beatniks and hippies, marijuana now enjoys a more favorable public perception. In no small part, that's because of the presumed healing powers of cannabis, perhaps offering help and hope for those suffering the daily afflictions of cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis or chronic pain. Its use as a recreational drug has been decriminalized in eight states and in the District of Columbia.

How did we make this shift culturally, scientifically and legally? How and why have medical and recreational marijuana become at odds with each other? What are the business drivers fueling the cannabis industry?

Join us for the first-ever TIER Talks® event in Westchester County. "From Reefer Madness to America's Fastest-Growing Industry: The Evolution of Cannabis" will be held 6-8 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 27, at the Reckson Building, 360 Hamilton Ave., White Plains.

TIER Talks® is a speaker series presented by M&T Bank and the Binghamton University Alumni Association that leverages our alumni and faculty to enlighten local and global audiences on hot topics.

Our panelists are:

Yasmin Hurd '82Yasmin Hurd '82
Ward Coleman Chair of Translational Neuroscience and Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Icahn School of Medicine; 
Director, Mount Sinai Behavioral Health System Addiction Institute
"Marijuana from Weed to Medication: a Scientific Journey"
Yasmin Hurd is an internationally renowned neuroscientist whose translational research examines the neurobiology of drug abuse and related psychiatric disorders. She is highly published in the field and leads a team of investigators in molecular biology, behavioral neuropharmacology, genetics and neuroimaging to study the human brain as well as translational animal models. Her innovative research explores epigenetic mechanisms associated with developmental cannabis exposure providing novel insights about the long-term effects into adulthood and even across generations.


Neil Kaufman '81Neil Kaufman '81
Managing Member, Kaufman & Associates, LLC, Corporate & Securities Counsel to the Legal Cannabis Industry™
"Current Cannabis Investment and Legal Challenges"
Neil Kaufman combines 33 years of practicing corporate and securities law at the highest levels with extensive cannabis industry experience. He represents a wide variety of cannabis companies and investors in their corporate, securities, financing, borrowing, merger and acquisition, contract and other legal matters, and has participated in more than $85 million of cannabis-industry financing transactions. Kaufman is a trustee and chairman of the Audit Committee of Two Roads Shared Trust, a series of mutual funds with more than $2 billion under management.


Debra BorchardtDebra Borchardt
Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Green Market Media
"Cannibalization of Medical Marijuana by Recreational Marijuana"
Debra Borchardt is editor-in-chief of the websites Green Market News, Cannabis Craft and Philly420. In addition, she has written for, Civilized and Forbes. She has covered the cannabis industry from a financial perspective for the past five years, gaining expertise as the business has changed rapidly. Borchardt has appeared as a guest on TODAY, CNBC, CNN and numerous radio programs and podcasts. Prior to specializing on reporting in the cannabis industry, Borchardt worked for almost 20 years in the securities industry.

Matthew GreeneMatthew Greene
Managing Partner, 420Group, LLC
"Bleeding-Edge Cannabis Industry Technologies"
In 2015, recognizing the phenomenal growth and consumer-led demand for medical and recreational cannabis, Matthew Greene founded 420Group, LLC, a boutique investment firm focused on the ancillary businesses and technologies being developed to support the legal cannabis industry. Greene started his technology-discovery journey in the heart of Silicon Valley in 1987 working with Steve Jobs to develop the marketing and communications strategy for NeXT Computers – his post-Apple period. In 1998, he joined one of the earliest interactive advertising agencies which pioneered online ROI marketing.


Meet our speakers and other alumni at a reception to follow the panel discussion. Refreshments will be served. The cost to attend is $10/person. Register online by Wednesday, Sept. 20. If you have questions, contact the Alumni Engagement office.


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Last Updated: 11/20/17