RESCHEDULING - Wharton Goes to Pot: A Local Cannabis Industry Update

Date and Time
Wednesday, April 19, 2023
6:00pm— 8:30pm
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The Hanover Manor
16 Eagle Rock Ave
East Hanover, NJ 07036
United States
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Susan Goldsmith


Wondering what is happening in the local cannabis business scene?  Thinking of investing directly or in a supplier to the market?  Come get your questions answered by a Wharton+ panel of experts. Sorry – no samples.  

Networking:     6:00-6:30 pm

Dinner:              6:30-7:30 pm

Presentation:    7:30-8:30 pm

Gary Kokalari
Panelists: Guillermo Artiles, Todd Johnson and Jim Smith

Gary Kokalari is the Founder of the Wharton Cannabis Council, an international network of Wharton alumni engaged in various aspects of the cannabis industry. Gary has more than three decades of experience in the financial services industry and holds a Wharton M.B.A.



Guillermo Artiles leads the Cannabis Group at McCarter & English, helping industry clients achieve their governmental, media, and business development objectives.  Before joining McCarter, he served as Associate Counsel to Governor Murphy, working as front office counsel while the state embarked on expansion of its medical marijuana program.  In 2022 he was recognized by the National Law Journal as a “Cannabis Trailblazer.”


Todd Johnson is Executive Director of the New Jersey Cannabis Trade Association, the leading association for permitted medical and adult use cannabis operators in New Jersey. Todd is responsible for communicating with and educating state legislators, regulators and the public on policies needed to build the state's legal cannabis market into an equitable and profitable industry. He is also a co-founder of Community Greenhouse. Todd holds a Wharton B.S. degree.


Jim Smith is the CEO and founder of Whole Plants Health, a licensed grower and processor of cannabis in Pennsylvania.  Whole Plants grows and extracts products for the medical marijuana market and is currently in the midst of a $40 million facility expansion.  Jim has a Wharton B.S. and while at Penn, he was a starting linebacker for the football team, receiving All-Ivy Honors. Signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers, he was released after an injury. Prior to founding Whole Plants, Jim was a Merrill Lynch investment banker and managing director. Among the investors in Whole Plants are All-Pro NFL players Ben Roethlisberger, Dave DeCastro and Bud Dupree.


Location: The Hanover Manor
Time: 6:00 pm ET
Ticket Pricing:

Early Bird Ticket - 

$55 for Supporting Member and Their Guests
$55 for Affiliated Club Member - NJ Alumni Clubs of Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, Yale, and MIT
$65 for All Other Guests

Regular Ticket -

$65 for Supporting Member and Guests
$65 for Affiliated Club Member - NJ Alumni Clubs of Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, Yale, and MIT
$75 for All Other Guests

*A SUPPORTING (Dues-Paying) WCNJ MEMBER: Any Wharton or University of Penn alum who is a dues-paying member of the Wharton Club of NJ in one of the following categories:
· New Graduate (1st Year after Graduation) or Current Student
· Young Alum (between 1 and 5 years after Graduation)
· Standard 1-Year Member
· Dual WCNJ-Penn Metro Club of NJ Member
· Dual WCNJ-Wharton Health Care Management Alumni Association Member

**A BASIC WCNJ MEMBER: Any Wharton or University of Penn alum living or working in New Jersey who is a non-dues-paying member.

To learn more about membership and to become a supporting member please visit:

By registering for this event, I give permission for WCNJ to use any photographs or videos of me taken at the event on its website, social media or in promotional materials without compensation. I understand that WCNJ or its members own the copyrights to all photographs and video taken at the event.


Map & Directions

The Hanover Manor

16 Eagle Rock Ave, East Hanover, NJ 07036, United States,
by public transit by car by bike Walking