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Diane Fornbacher in Portland, Oregon. Photo Credit: Toni Agosta for Shutterboxx Photography in Vancouver, WA
This past weekend, I had the pleasure of speaking on a panel moderated by pioneer in modern cannabis activism and business development, Debby Goldsberry, on Advanced Cannabis Business at the International Cannabis Business Conference in Portland, Oregon. My presentation stressed the need for businesses — both direct cannabis sales and ancillary companies — to remember to be socially responsible, to give back to community and honor the continued efforts of activists, especially ones who have families. This is not only good for business but solidifies our place in mainstream acceptance, and our continually evolving presence in the future.
I was one of about a dozen women speakers at the The International Cannabis Business Conference and was featured with pundit, super blogger and gay rights activist Andrew Sullivan in The Oregonian on the last day of the conference. It was a great honor to be interviewed and I got the opportunity to further my socially responsible agenda with them by making it clear that while Ladybud Magazine can be entertaining, we are primarily interested in helping refugee families get support from the public and for activists to get exposure for their causes.
The International Cannabis Business Conference was one of the most cohesive, conscientious and professional conferences I’ve attended and I’ve been to hundreds of them. The ICBC team really tried to find qualified and responsible names in the industry and hosted it at the beautiful Oregon Convention Center at a time when the state is pushing for the legalization of cannabis. Keynote speaker Andrew Sullivan called it “The. Best. Conference. Ever.” I gesture to say he’s been to far more than I have (and that is also a lot), but we are in total agreement on that!
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A snapshot of some of the speakers:
Andrew Sullivan, British author, editor and blogger, resident in the United States. A former editor of The New Republic and the author or editor of six books, Sullivan is an influential blogger and commentator. Published frequently by Time Magazine, The Atlantic, and The Daily Beast, Sullivan was the Keynote speaker at the International Business Conference:
“I spent the last three days in Portland, Oregon, the kind of city I could easily live in: manageable, green, easy-going, mellow, polite. And I spent it
with a few hundred entrepreneurs and activists, preparing and debating and sharing experiences about the burgeoning cannabis industry. It felt a lot like a gathering more than ten years’ ago of activists and ordinary gay folks, anticipating the possibility of civil marriage rights. It had the same energy, the same nervousness, and the same excitement. And, for me, the big reveal was the staggering level of innovation, imagination and technology that will transform the cannabis market as only American capitalism can.
And the people there defied every stereotype people want to apply to those of us who want to end the destructive, self-defeating Prohibition of a plant that is much less harmful than alcohol or tobacco. We’re long since past the age of Cheech and Chong; past the dumb giggles and condescending jokes, and mercifully beyond the boomer divide that still somehow sees this is as some kind of culture war issue, rather than a sane, pragmatic, gradual reform that will end persecution of so many, and improve the lives of countless more. So, yes, it did remind me of marriage equality – not least because the logic behind it is just as powerful and the opposition just as intellectually weak. ” -via The Daily Dish, Andrew’s blog
Amy Poinsett, Co-founder of a women-owned software company, MJ Freeway, which is focused on providing an enterprise business platform including point of sale, inventory tracking, manufacturing and cultivation management software, as well as associated services for marijuana businesses. MJ Freeway’s software is currently available in English, French, and Spanish and is now in 17 US states, DC, Canada, and Europe. Amy offered unique insight and lessons learned to aspiring cannabis business owners seeking investment relationships. She believes the ICBC was an opportunity to share advice, connect with others and gain an understanding of the cannabis industry outside of the United States:
“I believe regulation is the way forward both locally and internationally, and that it will be critical in bringing legitimacy to the industry. I look forward to presenting at this conference to share the importance of understanding the business of cannabis worldwide.”
Liana Held, Founder and CEO of Liana Limited, a San Francisco, California consulting firm specializing in cannabis business development has more than fifteen years experience in the cannabis legalization movement. She is recognized by the American Bar Association for her specialization in compliance and accounting issues. Key points she discussed were the importance of accurate accounting and substantiation, Internal Revenue Code 280(e) and its effect on the cannabis business community as well as the need for responsible human resources practices in a growing industry .
Laura Blanco de León, President of Asociación de Estudios del Cannabis del Uruguay (Association of Cannabis Studies of Uruguay) spoke about the business opportunities in her home country, medicinal research and production:
“Uruguay, a small country in the South American continent has defied international conventions on narcotic drugs putting forward the ones about public health and human rights. The regulation of the cannabis market is a national challenge amid the onslaught of international prohibition. Even in this context, the Uruguayan government and civic social organizations work together to build a national model where profit has almost no place. With domestic and collective farming, and public access service almost at cost, this new mode of regulation does not promote consumption but basically aimed at eliminating illegal or unregulated markets.”
Complete list of the speakers who appeared:
Ladybud Magazine would like to give special thanks and recognition to Alex Jones, Debby Goldsberry, Anthony Johnson, Dave Emrich, Noelle Kellar, and the whole ICBC team.