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Thursday, August 5, 2021 Live Webcast

Cannabis Conference (E2108050)

8:00 AM - 4:00 PM EDT


6.5 CPE Credits in SK
1.5 CPE Credits in TX


This new, full-day conference will provide updates on New Jersey’s adult-use cannabis industry and must-know information for CPAs looking to serve cannabis clients in any part of the supply chain. Topics will include banking, finance, insurance and payroll concerns and options; legal hot topics; and tax issues including IRC §280E.


CPAs and professionals who are interested in the impacts the legal cannabis industry will have on New Jersey businesses


Gain a full-spectrum awareness of the status of cannabis legalization and issues your clients may face whether they are in the early/start-up stages or multi-state operators. This dynamic industry is full of uncertainty that CPAs seeking to service clients in the space should be aware of.


8-9:15 a.m.
New Jersey Cannabis Update
Speakers TBD
This session will provide an update on the cannabis industry in New Jersey, including:
  • 280E decoupling legislation and NJ legislators' appetite for change to this area of the law
  • An update on the status of the commercial, adult-use market from the New Jersey Department of Health and the Cannabis Regulatory Commission
  • How to work with New Jersey towns to get a cannabis business established

9:30-10:45 a.m.
Business Operation Challenges
Peter Su, CTP, CCBP, CCCE - Dime Banking
Ashley Elsner, COO - Artery Pay
Melanie Tighe - Prime Pay
The cannabis industry is rife with issues as a result of the federal illegality under the Controlled Substances Act. Hear first hand from industry experts about the effect of the federal and state law disparity and how to navigate the uncertain waters in the current environment. Areas to be covered include access to banking and finance, payroll processing, point of sale solutions and supply chain management.

11-12:15 p.m.
Navigating the 280E Tax Burden
Nick Richards, Partner - Greenspoon Marder LLP.
Internal Revenue Code Section 280E is a discrimatory tax burden imposed on an industry with an already immense cost of compliance. Hear from a former IRS trial agent [replace if different speaker] about the IRS techniques to enforce 280E and the internal revenue code, case law to be aware of and how to maximize the minimal legislative grace granted to cannabis businesses.

12:15-12:45 p.m.

12:45-2 p.m.
Legal Hot Topics
Jonathan Havens, Partner - Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP
Lisa Gora, Shareholder - Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer, PA
Donald Clarke, Esq. - Genova Burns
Michael McQueeny, Counsel - Foley Hoag
For the cannabis industry, compliance is key to avoid scrutiny and maintain licensure status. Our team of legal experts tackle some of the legal hot-button issues that accountants should be aware of when advising their clients. While it is not our job to navigate the uncertain legal waters, it is important to know when to call an attorney to assist.

2:15-3:55 p.m.
Cryptocurrency Solutions for Compliance, Banking and Payment Processing
Dr. Sean Stein Smith, DBA, CMA, CPA, CGMA, CFE, Assistant Professor - Lehman College
Melissa Dardani, CPA, MAcc, Founder - MD Advisory
Ashley Elsner, COO - Artery Pay
We'll wrap up the day with a Q&A to discuss how crypto can help cannabis businesses overcome the challenges associated with banking, payment processing, reporting and tracking. Our crypto experts will speak to the potential synergies, and hurdles still to be overcome, that could result from a crypto-based infrastructure for cannabis companies.




Donald Clarke

Donald W. Clarke, Esq.

Genova Burns

Don Clarke has substantive experience in a wide range of complex commercial matters concerning bankruptcy, restructuring and state court insolvency.

Mr. Clarke is a member of the firm's Bankruptcy, Reorganization and Creditors Rights Practice Group, and Cannabis Law Group. Principally, Mr. Clarke has substantive experience in a wide range of complex commercial matters concering bankruptcy, restructuring and state court insolvency.

Mr. Clarke helps debtors-in-possession manage their estates in an effort to retain control of their assets and minmize their liabilities. Mr. Clarke assists interested investors with their efforts to fund the acquisition of a debto or its assets through a range of structured financial transactions. Mr. Clarke represents Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 Trustees with their oversight of the regorganization, liquidation, and administration of bankruptcy estates. Mr. Clarke also helps creditors protect their interests in assets included in a debtor's bankruptcy estate, enforce their rights, and maxmize their recovery.

Mr. Clarke's extensive experience with complex restructuring matters demands an comprehensive understanding of federal, state, and local laws, including regulatory requirements, across all industries. This experience has enabled Mr. Clarke to assist clients with their navigation of such regulatory schemes outside of bankruptcy, including the space of cannabis law.

Melissa Dardani

Melissa A. Dardani, CPA, MAcc


MD Advisory

Melissa is the leader of the NJCPA Cannabis Interest Group, a member of the Student Loan Debt Task Force and a member of the Emerging Leaders Council. She has an extensive background in forensic accounting, data analytics, and cash flow analyses, as well as in diagnosing and remediating business problems. Melissa began her career in public accounting prior to founding MD Advisory, a boutique forensic firm.

Ashley Elsner

Ashley Elsner


Ashley Elsner is COO and Founder of Artery Pay, a legal, easy to use payment processing system with integrated bank level compliance built for the cannabis industry, a 2020 Benzinga Listmaker for both Best Payments App and Best Use of Blockchain, and one of Exeleon Magazine's 100 Best Companies to Watch in 2020. She was named one of the Top 100 People in Finance by Top 100 Magazine in 2019.

Ashley is a FinTech expert with 15 years of global financial law, regulation and operations experience. Prior to Artery Pay, she cofounded and was Vice President of Operations for Greenshoe Asset Management, a fintech online hedge fund investment platform. Ashley managed the investment process and regulatory compliance of $600M+ transactions for Bessemer Venture Partners in their legal and operations group, including interests and responsibilities for LinkedIn’s IPO and Amazon’s acquisition of, among many other exits, and developing the regulatory compliance strategies for India’s new foreign investment laws.

Ashley spent 4 years in the financial regulatory group of Sidley Austin LLP in New York, NY, where, in addition to managing SEC and state regulatory compliance for its top-ranked fund services team for 800+ hedge funds and 6 publicly traded companies, she was instrumental in managing a year-long internal regulatory audit of an $850B+ international investment bank, saving the firm $40M+ in fines.

Ashley holds a B.A. with majors in Political Science and Classics from Yale College and a J.D.M.B.A from Northwestern School of Law focused on the intersection of Law and Economics and Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management with majors in Finance and Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Sean Stein Smith

Sean D. Stein Smith, CPA, CFE, CGMA, CMA, DBA

Assistant Professor

Lehman College

Sean is an expert and sought-after speaker, focusing on the intersection of financial services, blockchain and cryptocurrencies. He is a regular contributor to IBM’s Blockchain Unleashed website, analyzing applications for blockchain technology on business at large, as well as being a regular expert guest on China Global TV Network discussing blockchain and related applications. Sean is a member of the Advisory Board for the Wall Street Blockchain Alliance, which coordinates with the AICPA in developing standards and reporting frameworks in this emerging area. Sean continuously works with, and consults for, the AICPA and several professional training organizations in the creation and delivery of blockchain and cryptocurrency related content. He is currently under contract to publish two books focusing on blockchain applications for financial services and other industry sectors. Sean is also the leader of the NJCPA Emerging Technologies Interest Group.

Peter Su


Vice President - Private Banking

Peter Su, a 23-year veteran of the banking industry, is vice president of private banking at Dime Community Bank where he has been running Dime’s cannabis banking platform for the past two years as well as spearheading their de novo international trade finance business. He also serves on the Banking and Financial Services Committee of the National Cannabis Industry Association. Prior to embarking a banking career, Peter was a turbine engine specialist with the Army.

Melanie Tighe

Melanie Tighe

Human Capital Management Consultant

Melanie Tighe is a Human Capital Management consultant with PrimePay. As a recovering entrepreneur herself, she understands the many challenges of running a business. She loves sharing knowledge, tactics and strategies to help business owners be more successful, by designing customized solutions for the management of their workforce. By bringing the tools and technology of the nation’s largest privately held payroll company into play, she’s often able to help her clients turn employment expenses into revenue streams – it’s not magic, it’s method.


$289.00 - Member

$439.00 - Nonmember

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Note: Online pre-registration will close on August 5 at 8:00 AM.


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