Alex Rogers: Opportunities abound at ICBC in Portland

I asked the folks at the International Cannabis Business Conference (Sept. 13-14 in Portland) to give us a little rundown of the event and who should go.

Looks like it will be a good one to attend if you’re in the business or looking to join the industry. It should have lots of networking opportunities and educational seminars – although at $599 a badge it’s probably not for the casual crowd.

Alex Rogers, executive producer of the event, gave us a guest column talking about what they have cooking. Check it out below!

-SueVo (sue.vorenberg@columbian.com)

By Alex Rogers
CEO of Ashland Alternative Health and Northwest Alternative Health
Executive Producer of the International Cannabis Business Conference

(Alex Rogers)
(Alex Rogers)

As an owner of Oregon medical marijuana clinics, I have certainly seen an amazing growth in the acceptance of all things cannabis over the last several years.

Bankers and landlords that once frowned upon anything related to marijuana are now warming up to related businesses. People who used to be anti-medical marijuana are now inquiring about getting an Oregon medical marijuana card.

We have seen CNN’s Sanja Gupta admit he was wrong about cannabis prohibition, and down here in Oregon, the state’s Democratic Party and a former state Supreme Court Justice have endorsed Measure 91, the 2014 ballot proposal to regulate, legalize and tax marijuana similar to beer and wine.

We now have 23 states and our nation’s capitol with medical marijuana programs, 2 states that have legalized use for adults over 21 and more states looking to further reform their marijuana laws.

There is a great opportunity for people in the cannabis industry to seize upon this momentum, but the opportunity needs to be tempered with reasonable business sense and careful consideration of cultural and political realities.

I started organizing marijuana business conferences because I want to help further professionalize and mainstream the cannabis industry. It is imperative that we understand the concerns of our local communities and how we can make gains politically and protect those improvements.

Of course, Washington’s experience with regulated cannabis commerce is very influential to your neighbor to the south, and Oregonians are learning a lot by watching both our border state and Colorado.

Despite the expected and unexpected trials and tribulations of starting a regulated industry from scratch, virtually everyone can see that the cannabis industry is booming and poised for even greater growth. Jobs are being created, revenue is being generated, important drug prevention programs are being funded, there isn’t chaos on the highways and the sky certainly hasn’t fallen.

The International Cannabis Business Conference, held in Portland at the Oregon Convention Center on September 13th and 14th, is bringing in cannabis industry experts from across the country and even the globe to provide real-world information that will help cannabis industry participants succeed.


Not only will people learn the ins and outs of actually working in the field, but also tools that people don’t necessarily consider, such as working with legislators and implementing good neighbor practices that ensure the businesses are taking into account the legitimate concerns of their neighborhoods and preventing consequences that can lead to a voter backlash that can set back the many gains the cannabis industry has made over the years.

Long-time veterans of the California cannabis industry, including the Guru of Ganja, Ed Rosenthal and dispensary owner and Sebastopol Mayor Robert Jacob will be at the conference.

Seattle attorney Robert McVay and Dominic Corva, Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Cannabis and Social Policy will provide insight into Washington’s marijuana law.

Colorado entrepreneurs and activists will discuss Colorado’s legalization experience.

Lawyers, advocates and legislators will also extensively cover Oregon’s current law and what the future will hold. We are excited that Congressman Earl Blumenauer will discuss much-needed federal reforms while movers and shakers from both Canada and Uruguay will provide a first-hand account from two countries helping lead the cannabis regulation revolution across the world.

Bestselling author Doug Fine will present on the exciting developments and opportunities in the hemp industry. Doug’s most recent book, Hemp Bound, was called a “blueprint for the America of the future” by the one and only Willie Nelson.

Pioneering blogger Andrew Sullivan is the keynote speaker. His blog, The Dish, is a successful example of the new internet-based media that will only become more prominent as time goes on.

I sincerely feel that our team has put together a conference that will be engaging, entertaining and will benefit those in the cannabis industry, or any industry for that matter.

Attendees also get access to an exclusive party and comedy night. We hope to see you there. For more information, check out: internationalcbc.com.

Alex Rogers is the CEO of Ashland Alternative Health and Northwest Alternative Health, as well as Executive Producer of the International Cannabis Business Conference. He has been an activist for cannabis legalization for over twenty years. He has worked with HighTimes Magazine, Ed Rosenthal, Dennis Peron and the late Jack Herer, to name a few.