The reviews are in and attendees, vendors and speakers all thoroughly enjoyed the first International Cannabis Business Conference. The weather even cooperated in beautiful Portland, Oregon, and the staff at the Oregon Convention Center was top notch. We are so pleased that everyone received great information and networking opportunities and we are excited about our next set of upcoming conferences and ventures. Pleased keep checking back to our website and blog as we will continue to provide good content and will keep everyone updated about our next events and endeavors.
The conference got off to a rousing start as keynote speaker Andrew Sullivan brought his unique take on politics and business to the cannabis industry. His blend of conservatism and libertarianism, sprinkled with his wit and compassion, made him a great fit for this conference, demonstrating that conservative and progressive ideals can be blended to help move our important cause forward. Sullivan’s experience with the marriage equality movement allowed him to to provide the parallels between the fight to legalize marriage equality and cannabis. It was an honor and a privilege to have Sullivan at our conference and he wasn’t shy about acknowledging how much he enjoyed himself as well.
Congressman Earl Blumenauer followed Mr. Sullivan, really demonstrating how ending marijuana prohibition cuts across political ideologies. Reaching across the political divide isn’t new for Representative Blumenauer, as he has shown the willingness to work with conservative icon Grover Norquist as the two have put aside their political differences to work on sensible tax reform for the cannabis industry. When liberals and conservatives both agree that the War on Marijuana has failed and unite to change tax codes and laws, it is easy to see that days of marijuana prohibition are numbered and it is only a matter of time before federal marijuana prohibition crumbles just as alcohol prohibition before it.
The conference featured practical business advice from cultivators, processors and dispensary owners. Longtime advocates and entrepreneurs like ASA’s Don Duncan and Debby Goldsberry gave advice that benefits everyone working in activism and business. Diane Fornbacher of Ladybud Magazine was covered by The Oregonian, demonstrating the emergence of women in the cannabis industry. Lawyers of various fields, from criminal defense to business organization to licensing to intellectual property shared their extensive knowledge.
Local Oregon legislators, Representative Peter Buckley and Senator Floyd Prozanski, shared insight and advice that benefit industry participants and advocates, regardless of locale. Bestselling author Doug Fine, a hilarious comedic investigative journalist, gave an amazing presentation on the hemp industry, featuring his work from his latest book Hemp Bound, and he even hung around to sign books for his fans. Philippe Lucas and Laura Blanco provided the international flavor with fascinating tales from Canada and Uruguay respectively. The entrepreneur panel provided real-world business advice that transcends the cannabis industry.
The social events, both the mixer party featuring Rocker T and Cannabis Comedy Night showcasing Ngaio Bealum (with a surprise comedy routine from the Guru of Ganja, Ed Rosenthal), provided an opportunity to continue the networking in an enjoyable, fun atmosphere. And finally, the media coverage of the event was stellar, as the cannabis industry demonstrated that we are responsible, mainstream professionals and that cannabis legalization, regulation and taxation should be embraced in Oregon (Vote Yes on 91, everybody), across the country and even the globe.
Again, a sincere thanks to everyone involved, the list could go on and on, so we apologize for not mentioning all of the people who did such great work. Please stay tuned for much more from all of us here with the International Cannabis Business Conference.