When we named the International Cannabis Business Conference The Weed Blog’s Marijuana Event of 2014, it wasn’t just because the event was a great time. Of course, it’s a great time with the cannabis community converges upon a cannabis friendly city to network and share ideas, but it’s because the event melds both activism and business together. Marijuana businesses and the activist community haven’t always gotten along, and I have certainly called out businesses that only want to make money and shared appreciation for businesses who are in the cannabis field for the right reasons.
The success and failures of marijuana law reform across the country demonstrate that the cannabis community as a whole is in a much better position when there is unity, when the industry and activists work together, and sometimes compromise. Oregon has long been considered a fractured marijuana movement, but once a majority of groups, activists, growers, patients and businesses unified around Measure 91, the cannabis community won a huge victory by a huge margin. Not everyone got exactly what they wanted, but we greatly improved the law and are in a great position to continue improving the law.
As California and other states look to legalize in 2016, they need to remember that the activists and business communities need each other. The ICBC in San Francicso on February 15th & 16th provides a great opportunity for the California cannabis community to really start unifying around a common goal. The first day of the ICBC features Dr. Carl Hart, one of the foremost scientific researchers of addiction today. Dr. Hart recently testified in federal court helping challenge scheduling policy that puts marijuana in the same category as heroin under federal law. Real science is one of the best tools for the cannabis movement. Dr. Hart is followed by Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, whose name is on the amendment that prevents the DEA from using federal funds to bust state-legal medical marijuana patients and providers. Ethan Nadelmann, the Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance and top drug law reformer in the world, will be sharing his wisdom after the good congressman. Oaksterdam’s Dale Sky Jones, Stanton Peele and Drug Policy Alliance’s Amanda Reiman are focusing on cannabis law reform advocacy. The cannabis media panel is stellar, including Smell the Truth’s David Downs, bestselling author Doug Fine and Ricardo Baca and Elise McDonough of the Cannabist. Anthony Johnson (Measure 91 chief petitioner & New Approach Oregon Director), UFCW’s Dan Rush, cannabis business attorney Hilary Bricken and California NORML’s Dale Gieringer will be informing attendees of cannabis policy developments in the western states.
Day two of the conference will cover the business aspects of cannabis, but as an activist myself, I am so excited about the first day and so happy that a marijuana business conference has the wisdom and insight to meld activism and business together. Get your tickets to this great event now. For more info, check out: www.internationalcbc.com.