The International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) does a great job mixing both activism and business to put together a lineup of speakers that will help move marijuana legalization forward while also helping cannabis entrepreneurs succeed in the business world as well. We here at The Weed Blog have always promoted businesses that give back to the cannabis community, so it is great to see the ICBC feature travel guru Rick Steves, who traveled across Oregon on his own dime to campaign for legalization and the Drug Policy Alliance's Ethan Nadelmann, who helped fund Oregon's Measure 91 and has been at the forefront urging the cannabis industry to support legalization measures.
The Leaf Onlinepreviews the upcoming ICBC, focusing on Ethan Nadelmann's message that the cannabis industry is going to be needed to move legalization forward, particularly in California, but also nationwide:
When cannabis entrepreneurs and activists convene at the next International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) February 15 and 16 at San Francisco's Hyatt Regency hotel, at stake will be not only the future of California --- which is widely expected to vote to regulate the adult use of cannabis in 2016 --- but also the future of the cannabis industry nationwide.
Few understand these stakes better than Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) Executive Director Ethan Nadelmann, who reportedly took the stage at another marijuana business conference held in November in Sacramento and reprimanded the group of investors and entrepreneurs gathered there for failing to support reform groups in Alaska and Oregon, which lack of support forced those groups to seek help from outside philanthropists.
California, too, has been plagued in the past by a lack of financing from the business community; despite a sizable donation by activist entrepreneur Richard Lee, for example, the 2010 legalization initiative Proposition 19 failed to receive the financial support from businesses required to run a campaign in a state famous for the expense of its initiative process.
While earning money in the cannabis industry is great and all, we must all remember that the most important aspect of legalization is promoting more freedom and equality for the cannabis community. When talented people in the industry team up with talented activists, we can't be stopped and we will be legalizing more and more states in 2016 and beyond.