Rising From The Ashes: Two Cannabis Entrepreneurship Stories Take Center Stage At Benzinga Conference

Zinger Key Points
  • Panelists navigate entrepreneurship in cannabis, spotlighting the balance between profit and social impact at Benzinga's Conference.
  • Dreka Gates merges music industry hustle with cannabis, aiming to redefine wellness products in Mississippi.
  • Quawntay Adams reflects on 16 years behind bars, turning a sentence for cannabis into a life of advocacy and change.

During the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference‘s second-day fireside chat, panelists Dreka Gates and Quawntay "Bosco" Adams shared insights into how cannabis has shaped their journeys of entrepreneurship and advocacy. Moderated by Beard Bros Pharms co-founder Bill Levers, the discussion unveiled the intricate relationship between the cannabis industry and individual paths toward social and economic empowerment.

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Bridging Cannabis and Wellness

Gates, creator of the plant-based wellness products line DREKA and stepping into the cannabis industry with her venture in Mississippi, Love’s Harvest, aims to make cannabis more accessible, emphasizing its role in holistic healing. With a background spanning 17 years in the music industry, Gates’s entrepreneurial skills have seamlessly transitioned into her cannabis endeavor, reflecting a strong commitment to wellness and community upliftment.

“I’m just excited to help move the industry forward, specifically in Mississippi. Mississippi’s forgotten about, but it’s a beautiful place. It’s a blank canvas,” said Gates, highlighting the still untapped opportunities in her state.

A Journey From Incarceration To Advocacy

Adams, author, producer, advocate and speaker shared his harrowing yet inspiring story of resilience. Arrested in 2004 and sentenced to 35 years for cannabis possession, his solitary confinement did not dampen his spirit. In fact, he self-published a book, “Chasing Freedom,” outlining his life’s journey from Compton to cannabis advocacy. 

Now, Adams dedicates his freedom to uplifting those still ensnared by the war on drugs, stressing the necessity of support for the incarcerated and underserved communities within the cannabis industry. “While a lot of us are looking to get rich, we still need to remember that we have people who are suffering from the War on Drugs,” Adams stated, receiving a burst of applause from the conference audience.


Entrepreneurial Spirit As A Vector Of Social Change

Despite their different paths, both panelists agreed on the pivotal role of entrepreneurship in navigating the cannabis industry’s complexities. Adams and Gates, through their unique journeys, illustrate that with determination and a willingness to take calculated risks, overcoming systemic barriers is possible.

Read also: Top Cannabis Diversification Secrets: Industry Leaders Reveal Strategies For Success At Benzinga Conference

Visions Of Impact And Growth

As the panel concluded, Dreka Gates envisioned her role in health and wellness, aiming to be a central figure in holistic plant medicine. Adams, focusing on content creation, plans to spotlight stories contributing to the broader narrative of drug policy reform.

Levers’ closing, highlighting the irony of discussing a once-illegal activity in a formal, celebrated conference setting, served as a poignant conclusion to a panel rich with lessons of the transformative power of cannabis.

Photo by Jean Laurenceau

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Posted In: CannabisEventsExclusivesBeard Bros PharmsBill LeversCannabis Capital ConferenceCCCChasing FreedomDREKADreka GatesLove's HarvestMississippi cannabisQuawntay “Bosco” Adams
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The Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference is coming to Florida

The Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference is returning to Florida, in a new venue in Hollywood, on April 16 and 17, 2024. The two-day event at The Diplomat Beach Resort will be a chance for entrepreneurs, both large and small, to network, learn and grow. Renowned for its trendsetting abilities and influence on the future of cannabis, mark your calendars – this conference is the go-to event of the year for the cannabis world.

Get your tickets now on bzcannabis.com – Prices will increase very soon!