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Legal marijuana and blockchain topics at chamber summit May 8

Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce is hoping to shed new light on weed and cryptocurrencies as part of its Economic Summit 2018 at the Hard Rock Casino Vancouver in Coquitlam.

Blockchain and the legalization of cannabis have been popular topics in the business community over the last year.

Now, the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce is hoping to shed new light on the subjects as part of its Economic Summit 2018 next month at the Hard Rock Casino Vancouver.

“We want to really educate the local business community,” said Michael Hind, CEO of the chamber. “These are two topics that are really top of mind right now.”

The event will feature keynote speaker Niels Velhuis, president of the Fraser Institute, who will present his perspectives on the current state of the economy. Hind said Velhuis’ data-driven work will review the provincial and federal economic outlooks while suggesting policies to improve competitiveness in the country.

But blockchain and cannabis will be prominently featured during the summit’s panel discussions.

Chris Jensen, the co-founder of Right Mesh; Frans Tjallingii, the co-founder of First Coin Capita; and Peter Chow-White, a professor at SFU, will take part in a presentation titled The Future of Currency moderated by Kevin Rathbun of Rise CPA.

Hind said many chamber members are now accepting payments in crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin and are looking to learn more about blockchain technology, which tracks and records movement of such currencies. “We hope we can demystify it a bit. Maybe we can shed a little light on what is going on and what the future holds.”

The imminent legalization of cannabis is another subject that the chamber aims to tackle at the event. Hind said the federal law changes expected this summer could have wide-ranging ramifications for businesses. He said there are many misunderstandings about what the new rules will mean. 

“It is not all consumed via smoking,” he said. “There are edibles. There are cannabis ointments. There is a whole broad range of what the cannabis industry is about.”

The cannabis panel will feature Allan Lingwood from the Original Farmacy; David Martyn of Compass Cannabis Clinics; and Matt Christopherson with Keirton; and will be moderated by Barinder Rasode of Niche Canada.



The Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce Economic Summit will take place Tuesday, May 8, 7:15 to 11 a.m. at the Hard Rock Casino Vancouver on United Boulevard in Coquitlam. Tickets are available for chamber members for $95 and non-members for $125. Full tables can be purchased for $710 for members and $975 for non-members. For more information and to register, go to