The marijuana industry is growing exponentially, that’s no secret. Chances are, if you are reading this blog, you want to learn more about the marijuana industry. Maybe you want to learn how to get a career in the marijuana industry. Or maybe you want to learn how to invest in the marijuana industry. If this describes you, you should consider attending the International Cannabis Business Conference next weekend in Portland, Oregon. The list of speakers is like a ‘who’s who’ of the marijuana industry. Speakers include United States Congressman Earl Blumenauer, Brian Vicente from the successful Colorado legalization campaign, and legendary cultivation expert Ed Rosenthal. Even my long time favorite edible chef Amber Senter will be there, plus many, many more speakers.
There has never been (and maybe never will be again) this many true experts in their fields from the marijuana industry at one event. I have been to a lot of events, and I can honestly say this is the first one I’m going to attend with a pad and paper to get autographs. So many of my heroes will be there. I’ve been to a lot of industry events that have a lot of people that claim to be experts in their fields, but a lot of them are people that I don’t personally find all that credible. You can get tickets to the International Cannabis Business Conference at this link here. Below is the schedule for the event:
SATURDAY, SEPT. 13, 2014
Conference Overview: Alex Rogers
Event organizer and founder of two of Oregon’s most successful medical marijuana clinics.
Keynote: Andrew Sullivan
Andrew Sullivan’s blog, The Dish, is an innovative media site that is trailblazing a successful, independent path in our new media age. The blog has become a must-read for the cannabis community and has even been banned by some workplace filters that screen out “marijuana” websites. Sullivan is uniquely qualified to provide general business tips to the emerging cannabis industry and to share personal and business experiences that will further help dispel the many myths and stereotypes that surround cannabis use.
Federal Tax Reform: U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer
What is being done at the federal level to amend IRS Code 280E, a harmful provision denying state-regulated cannabis businesses the ability to make normal and customary business deductions? Who is working on this important issue at the federal level? What can you do? Who should you be supporting? Our tax presentation will provide the latest information regarding the important work being done in Congress to ensure that state-regulated cannabis businesses can operate the same as any other business.
Cannabis and the Oregon Legislature Panel: Senator Floyd Prozanski and Representative Peter Buckley
Oregon has been a trailblazer on cannabis law reform in the United States and the Oregon Legislature considers proposed reforms every session. The Beaver State was the first state to decriminalize cannabis in 1973, ending the threat of arrest and jail time for possession of less than an ounce; in 2005, legislators voted to increase the possession and cultivation limits allowed under the state’s medical act; and in 2013, the legislator de-felonized up to a quarter pound, ended the practice of stripping one’s driver’s license as a penalty for possession of less than an ounce; and added PTSD as a qualifying condition.
The Oregon Legislature will face hot-button issues regarding cannabis in the years to come. Our panel will touch on where the legislature is currently, where it may be headed and how can advocates be most effectively lobbying to protect and improve our marijuana laws. While this panel is Oregon-centric, the advice and insight provided transcends state boundaries.
Colorado, Washington, California, and Oregon:
The Wild West Gets Regulated
Moderator: Anthony Johnson
Colorado: Brian Vicente
Washington: Dominic Corva
California: Robert Jacob
Oregon: Russ Belville
California has been a clear leader in developing a successful cannabis industry, but Colorado has beaten the Golden State in legalizing regulated and taxed cannabis sales to all adults. Washington is poised to join Colorado and Oregon is hoping to learn from the other states in finding the sweet spot between regulation, taxation and the free market. This panel will provide a comparative analysis of the aforementioned states with regards to what types of businesses are thriving in each respective state and the reasons for their success.
Current Opportunities in the Cannabis Industry: Troy Dayton
The cannabis industry is creating thousands upon thousands of jobs across the country and has become a multi-million dollar business. While growers and retailers are obvious players in this burgeoning industry, what about processors, security firms, consultants, accountants and other ancillary businesses? And are there any other business opportunities that will present themselves as the cannabis industry is further legitimized and professionalized?
International Panel: Lessons and Tales from Around the Globe
Canada: Philippe Lucas
Uruguay: Laura Blanco
Uruguay seems to have sparked a cannabis cultural revolution by becoming the first country to end cannabis prohibition; Portugal has been at the forefront of ending harsh Drug War penalties; countries across Europe have demonstrated tolerant attitudes towards the cannabis industry and Canada seems to implement more sane cannabis policies than the rest of the world, but every once in a while seems to take a step back. Our panel of international experts will shed some light on the advancements and setbacks of the cannabis industry in their neck of the woods.
SUNDAY, SEPT. 14, 2014
Production & Processing
Norris Monson, Todd Dalotto, Amber Senter
Most of the laws, regulations and attention seem to be centered on retail outlets, but the outlets wouldn’t have anything to sell without those that cultivate cannabis. And medicated edibles and concoctions have been extremely popular with patients and recreational consumers. Learn the ups and downs of cultivating cannabis commercially and the tricks of the trade that can help turn culinary skills into a lucrative career.
Advanced Dispensary Operations: David McCullick, Don Duncan
Learn from a long-time cannabis dispensary operator who can help you succeed and avoid the pitfalls that can plague any business and others that may be cannabis-related. The different business entities to choose from, the pesky bank and tax issues, security, the hiring and firing of personnel, community and political relations will all be touched upon. How do you keep your doors open when folks want to shut you down and how can a mom & pop shop survive the dog eat dog business world?
Advanced Cannabis Business Panel
Moderator: Debby Goldsberry
Cash Accounting: Liana Held
Trademark and Intellectual Property: John Mansfield
Corporate Compliance and Protecting Yourself Into the Future:
Licenses and Permitting: Robert McVay
Meeting Your Corporate Goals: Diane Fornbacher
This panel will delve into the details of managing a cannabis business, with a focus on the most difficult concepts and tasks facing entrepreneurs in this field. Many of these issues apply to all businesses, not just cannabis-related, but dealing with cannabis can add extra layers of complexity for any businessperson.
How to best meet your corporate goals and compliance requirements and develop solid governance and oversight will be covered. Additionally, human resource decisions can make or break any business, especially when coupled with labor and employment law. Cash accounting, the IRS 280E provision and extra scrutiny from regulators must be effectively dealt with. Once your business succeeds, then a whole new list of issues arise as you will want to protect your trademark, brand, intellectual property and other intangible assets of your business.
Hemp: A Blueprint for the Next Agricultural and Industrial Revolution
You may have heard all of the facts: humans have harvested hemp for its fiber for thousands of years; George Washington and Thomas Jefferson cultivated hemp; industrial hemp yields more pulp per acre than timber on a sustainable basis; and hemp seed is nutritious, containing more essential fatty acids than we can get from any other source. Sadly, industrial hemp production was needlessly swept up in the Reefer Madness that we are still recovering from today.
Even more maddening is the fact that the United States has banned the production of hemp, but allows for its products to be bought and sold within its borders. In fact, the US is the only industrial country banning hemp production. However, hope is on the horizon as common sense is starting to prevail across all levels of government around the country. Coloradans and Kentuckians will soon be cultivating hemp for food, fuel, industrial components and clothing. Hemp laws have moved in the right direction in North Dakota and Oregon.
Doug Fine’s Hemp Bound: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Next Agricultural Revolution is a blueprint both for the hemp farmer and entrepreneur. The bestselling author shares his insights from around the world, shining a light into a future billion-dollar industry that has the capability of providing farmers with a sustainable, profitable crop that can stock the shelves of health food stores, produce paper, help build houses and wean us off of petrochemical products. There’s a reason that Willie Nelson calls the book a blueprint for the America of the future-a billion dollar industry that improves our environment and health cannot be ignored any longer.
Anthony Johnson, Tom Burns, Leland Berger
Oregon has long been a trailblazer on cannabis law reform as the first state to decriminalize personal amounts of marijuana in 1973 and one of the first states to enact a medical marijuana law in 1998. Medical cannabis dispensaries operated in a gray area of the law for years as the state’s medical law prohibited anyone from actually making a profit, merely allowing reimbursement for supplies and utilities. In 2013, the state enacted a law allowing for state-licensed medical marijuana facilities, and in 2014, those facilities became operational, but not everything has gone smoothly as many cities and counties have enacted moratoriums preventing the establishment of facilities within their jurisdiction. And this November, Oregon may just join Colorado and Washington in regulating, legalizing and taxing adult use of cannabis.
Attorney Leland Berger, is a criminal defense attorney and long-time cannabis law reform advocate, working to protect the rights of patients, providers and consumers. He is now transitioning his practice toward compliance issues and he will provide an on-the-ground assessment as to the political, legal and business climate across the state as he represents people in all areas of the cannabis industry. The Oregon Health Authority’s Tom Burns heads the state medical marijuana facilities division and is on hand to explain OHA’s current policies and give some insight into what is on the horizon for the medical dispensary program. Anthony Johnson is, among other things, the Chief Petitioner of the New Approach Oregon measure that is likely on the ballot, and he will help explain what is next for Oregon as the state may soon be licensing and regulating commercial producers, processors and retailers of adult use cannabis.
Philippe Lucas, Adam Mintz, Rich Masterson, Amy Poinsett
The cannabis industry and community is filled with visionaries (seriously, given enough time, the cannabis community can think of anything and everything). However, taking that vision into the realm of entrepreneurship takes hard work, common sense, business sense, perseverance and maybe a bit of luck. Our panel of entrepreneurs has succeeded for a variety of reasons and they will share some war stories and tips of their trade before answering your hard-hitting questions.