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PHOTO: Debby Goldsberry (L), Diane Fornbacher (C), Liana Held (R)/courtesy International Cannabis Business Conference
Portland, OR hosted the International Cannabis Business Conference that took place during the weekend of September 13th & 14th. The who’s-who of cannabis attended, including international speaker Laura Blanco De Leon, President of the Association of Cannabis Studies of Uruguay. Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer and gay rights activist Andrew Sullivan were also in attendance. Ladybud Magazine publisher/activist extraordinaire Diane Fornbacher was also there to speak, and I was lucky enough to land an interview before she was whisked away by the next eager soul (ahem, The Oregonian).
Adorned in emerald green, she immediately caught my eye as she breezed through the corridor. I previously knew Diane Fornbacher from her online presence because I have written for her before, but we live on opposite coasts. I was thrilled when I found out she was speaking at the ICBC, which also happened to be hosted in my home town of Portland, OR. I (literally) ran up to her and gave her a giant, welcome hug. It felt wonderful being in the same room with such a dedicated activist.
Diane spoke on Sunday September 14th, on the topic of “Meeting your Corporate Goals.” The ICBC was primarily organized to help those new to the industry and veterans of the cannabis industry gain their footing to succeed as legitimate business. Fornbacher reminds us that in the face of success and limitless opportunities, people are still being persecuted for accessing, distributing, cultivating and ingesting cannabis. Above all else, Fornbacher believes that whenever we encounter success in any form, we must be sure to “send the elevator back down.” Many people within the cannabis community are in dire need of help, especially in activism & medicine.
Fornbacher heavily fights for families and the right to use cannabis, primarily because she is a mother of two who also manages her Complex PTSD with a safer choice. She called out all “interlopers” aka businesses only looking to get rich in this industry while refusing to interact or giving back to the cannabis community (and beyond). Fornbacher describes Ladybud as a brand that is “transcending through activism” and has always tried to “collectively evolve as a whole,” which means always giving back. When Fornbacher looks back on her activist career, she simply stated, “When I die I want to know I made a difference, not money — although if I do make a profit, I’d still turn it over to righteous causes and individuals. I’ve always tried to do that, regardless, in some way or another.”
Q: How do you feel about the activist community in Oregon?
DF: It’s important what’s happening here. I love Oregon and the reasons are manifold. I support my compatriots in their undying efforts to redeem civil liberties. I’d vote on yes on 91 if I lived here as a citizen.
Q: What advice do you have to activists currently battling legalization efforts?
DF: Stay persistent but take frequent breaks. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. If you are depleted, you are not effectively contributing to the movement without establishing your own boundaries and self care.
Q: When will Ladybud be available in print?
DF: Two reasons why Ladybud isn’t available on print: 1.) I refuse to kill more trees in the process of printing the magazine itself. 2.) I refuse to produce a print version until growing and processing industrial hemp is legal in more places. Only then I can proudly say Ladybud is printed on 100% hemp (and recycled) paper.