A couple of days ago, I blogged about the fact that the International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) brings together both cannabis activists and the industry to share information and network. Taking place on February 15th, in San Francisco, California, day one concentrates on activism, while day two focuses on business, but at the same time, doesn't forget the importance of activism. We named the ICBC in Portland last year the Marijuana Event of the Year and this one will certainly be on the short list for 2015.
Day two kicks off with travel guru Rick Steves, a true hero in the cannabis movement, especially those in Oregon who saw him tour the state preaching the gospel of cannabis legalization on his own dime. Steves, a self-made businessman himself, will share the knowledge gained from helping two states legalize cannabis, as he hopes that California will join the rest of the West Coast and legalize marijuana in 2016. Following Rick Steves, the Cannabiz 5000 panel features cannabis industry pioneers and veterans Debby Goldsberry, Amber Senter (one of my all time favorites in the marijuana world!), Dean Arbit, Liana Held and Kyndra Miller to discuss the ins and outs of dealing with marijuana laws and regulations, deal with the IRS, brand your business and adapt quickly in a changing marketplace and legal landscape.
Ben Dronkers of Sensi Seeds will receive a lifetime achievement award at the conference and then it'll be back to business. The Dispensary 5000 panel will again feature Debby Goldsberry as she is joined by Audndre Speciale, Rick Pfrommer, Dave McCullick and Robert Jacob to discuss the past, present and future for marijuana dispensaries. After the dispensary panel, ArcView's Troy Dayton will let folks know how they can pitch their business to investors and the day ends with Celebstoner's Steve Bloom interviewing Steve DeAngelo about his life in the activists and industry scenes.
While I don't begrudge anyone from earning a good living, it is always nice when cannabis businesses remember that activism laid the groundwork for their ability to make any money in the cannabis industry and that activists will always be needed to further legalize cannabis and protect the gains we have made. While it is important for every state to combine the talents of activists and entrepreneurs, it is even more important in California. The Golden State presents a great opportunity for the cannabis movement and industry to legalize marijuana in one of the top ten economies in the world, but the sheer size of the state requires various factions to work together. Hopefully, the ICBC in San Francisco will help put California activists and entrepreneurs well on their way to unifying around the ultimate goal: ending cannabis prohibition. So if you're in the Bay Area in mid-February, or can make it, get your tickets to this great event today!