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    Smoker Friendly Event Shines Light on Legalized Pot

    Panel will look at opportunities in the cannabis industry.

    BOULDER, Colo. -- Smoker Friendly will present a panel discussion on the legalization of marijuana and opportunities for retailers at next month's Smoker Friendly Conference & Tobacco Festival.

    The discussion, a first for the tobacco industry, will examine the advantages and pitfalls of the cannabis industry. The panel will convene during the general session on day two of the event, which will take place Aug. 21-22 at the Omni Interlocken Resort in Broomfield. Colorado became the first state to legalize marijuana for recreational use on Jan. 1.

    Bonnie Herzog, managing director of tobacco, beverage and convenience store research at Wells Fargo Securities LLC, will moderate the discussion. Panelists include U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) and Aaron Smith, the executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association. A local Colorado grower and a retailer will also join the panel, according to Smoker Friendly.

    Also during the general session, Thomas Briant, director of the National Association of Tobacco Outlets, will provide an update on legislative and Food and Drug Administration issues concerning the tobacco industry.

    Christopher Durham, private brand consultant and author of "Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project," will be the featured speaker on the first day of the event.

    Boulder-based Smoker Friendly entered the marijuana accessories business with plans to open as many as 10 new stores this year under the name Glass Werx, a chain that will sell a variety of pipes, bongs, grinders and vaporizers, as CSNews Online previously reported.

    Smoker Friendly operates 90 corporate-owned stores in Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, Utah and Wyoming. Another 850 stores in 38 states are operated by licensed retailers. Smoker Friendly's parent company also operates the Gasamat chain of gas stations and convenience stores. 

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