Last year I attended the Oregon Marijuana Business Conference, which was at that time called the Oregon Medical Marijuana Business Conference. The name change is a reflection of the current times, as recreational cannabis is legal in Oregon, and limited sales have been occurring since late last year. By the end of the year full recreational sales should be occurring in Oregon. Last year's event was awesome because it took place during the lead up to recreational rule making and there was a lot to discuss.
As a lifelong Oregonian myself, I can personally say that it's an amazing time to live in this state. There is a lot going on, and it's very exciting. But there's also a lot of uncertainty. Yes, there have been other states that have gone ahead of Oregon, but Oregon is going to be different, as every state will be. As the recent extract debacle showed, things are in a fragile state for the Oregon cannabis industry in its young life. Navigating the landscape is not always easy, which is why this year's Oregon Marijuana Business Conference is so important and timely, as was last years event.
This year the event is bringing Tommy Chong and Dr. Carl Hart to Eugene, and I can't wait to attend myself and see what they have to say. To be clear, this isn't a sponsored post in anyway. I genuinely loved the last event I attended, and have been looking forward to this year's event for months. Below is more information about the event. You can get tickets at a significant discount if you purchase them by April 8th:
Below is the schedule for the Oregon Marijuana Business Conference:
9:00 AM Keynote Speech with Dr. Carl Hart
Dr. Carl Hart is a neuropsychopharmacologist at Columbia University, where he conducts research and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in neuroscience, psychology, and pharmacology.
10:00 AM Local Ordinances & Activism
While we have made many gains statewide, local regulations can threaten our medical patients and burgeoning cannabis businesses. 100 cities and counties have placed bans on marijuana businesses, with 47 of those communities holding elections on the issue. Overturning the ban on marijuana businesses is on the ballot in Klamath and Grant counties this May and more bans will be voted on this November. The Jackson County cannabis community has dealt with a multitude of interference from local politicians, from proposed bans to egregious land-use regulations. Even in supposedly progressive Portland, the local cannabis industry is dealing with exorbitant licensing fees and arbitrary regulations. This panel will provide an update on what is happening in Klamath, Grant, Multnomah and Jackson counties and how we can all help make a positive difference in these and other local communities.
11:00 AM OLCC Licensing & Compliance
A wide variety of topics will be covered from initial licensing- including the different levels of licensing-as well as requirements for farming, retail, wholesale, manufacturing and processing. Also covered will be the new micro canopy license that allows medical growers to join the recreational market but continue to care and provide for their patients. We are excited to provide this hands on Q and A opportunity with these regulatory bodies. The business compliance panel will be made up of OLCC specialists as well as a representative of Framwell, the company responsible for tracing marijuana products in Oregon. This panel will present an excellent view for people to know how to move forward in this blossoming industry.
12:00 PM Break
1:15pm Federal Update (Aaron Smith)
While states are moving forward with reforms, much-needed action is also occurring at the federal level. Aaron Smith, director of the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) will provide the latest on potential national reforms from taxes to banking to ensuring that federal officials don't interfere with state's marijuana systems.
1:30pm Matt Rowe- Mayor of Coquille
Mayor of Coquille, Matt Rowe is the youngest serving Mayor in Oregon. He is currently running for Treasurer of Coos County. This rising political star holds a fresh take on cannabis policy reform and is always an extremely informative and entertaining speaker.
1:45pm Legislative update (Floyd Prozanski)
The Oregon Legislature has made numerous changes to Oregon's marijuana laws. We have made progress on reducing criminal penalties, expunging past offenses and allowing medical growers to cultivate an adequate number of immature plants. However, some changes have had serious unintended consequences, posing issues for patients, extract processors and Jackson County rural residential farmers. Longtime ally Senator Floyd Prozanski will review what has occurred, talk about what is on the horizon and answer your burning questions.
2:15pm Growers and Retailers
The foundation of the Oregon cannabis industry has been growers cultivating for patients. Large grow sites have cultivated for multiple patients, but new medical rules have placed limits on how many plants can be on one grow site. Growers are now able to license with the OLCC and will soon cultivate canopy limits for recreational customers. New rules also allow growers to grow for the recreational system while continuing go grow for patients and the rules are still being worked out. Here from an experienced grower who will discuss how things are now and how growers must transition to the new system. A cannabis industry attorney will also be on hand to answer your questions about how to comply now and into the future.
More than 400 retailers are licensed to sell medical cannabis, showing both great possibility for the industry, but also a saturation on the market. Most dispensaries will likely move into the OLCC recreational market, but new rules will allow retailers to serve both patients and non-patients alike. This panel will include a dispensary owner surviving the current system and looking forward to thrive in the upcoming system, and as usual, we'll have an industry attorney on hand to answer your questions.
Oils, edibles and other products will be a huge market for Oregon, but new rules and regulations have thrown a wrench into the system. Currently retailers aren't allowed to purchase new medical products extracts that aren't already on the shelves since the Oregon Health Authority has licensed processors yet while we can't expect OLCC stores open until October. Hear from experienced processors and lawyers as they discuss the muddled situation now and how the industry will move forward.
3:45pm Testing, Labeling and Branding
Oregon is moving beyond just accepting any testing lab's results that marijuana products have passed a test for mold, mildew and pesticides. New testing lab regulations are in place and while branding is so very important, businesses must be sure to follow state labeling laws. Our panel will have the latest on all of the news rules and regulations to help you ensure that marijuana products are tested and labeled properly.
4:30 PM Tommy Chong Celebrity Interview
The legendary stoner known best for his comedy act Cheech & Chong and string of movies beginning with "Up in Smoke" in 1978 will sit down with CelebStoner publisher and Freedom Leaf editor-in-chief Steve Bloom for a lively discussion about his life and career.