Frank Godfrey: Thoughts on ICBC

Attorney Frank Godfrey recently attended the International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) in Portland.

I wasn’t able to make it that weekend, so I asked him if he could do a guest post for us about his thoughts on the event.

Here it is:

Thoughts on the International Cannabis Business Conference
By Frank J. Godfrey, III

(Frank Godfrey)
(Frank Godfrey)

I attended the recent International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) in Portland.

I wanted to share my thoughts on this exciting, uplifting and interesting event. It raised issues which should be considered in all states that are moving towards or have already implemented marijuana legalization.

The ICBC’s organizers did a fantastic job. There were marijuana and hemp industry representatives from the United States, Canada and other countries.

Speakers included dispensary owners, growers, politicians, accountants, attorneys, and advocates.

Topics addressed included medical and recreational marijuana career opportunities, civil rights issues, tax reform, regulatory compliance, business practices and industrial hemp production.

There were conservatives such as keynote speaker Andrew Sullivan. There were progressives like Congressman Earl Blumenauer. There were younger and older entrepreneurs. There were male and female business owners. There were novice and seasoned business people. Participants and attendees were of various ethnicities and races. This diverse crowd was united by an important common cause.

Serious discussions ensued about the evolution of this industry.

We should never forget our brothers and sisters who were jailed as a result of this unfortunate and failed drug war. Many came before us and sacrificed so that we can participate in this new industry, obtain needed medicines and enjoy our civil liberties. Some did not live to see the tremendous local and global progress and pace of change.

And to be sure, the fight is not over.

In the end, the topic that resonated most was the need to continue to develop industry practices in a professional manner.

Doing so will increase every participant’s opportunity to achieve personal and financial success.

Doing so will help eliminate the stigma that sometimes attaches to this industry. It will also help defuse and undermine the arguments of those who oppose this emerging industry.

The importance of fostering a professional image on all levels of this industry cannot be understated.

Image drives the perceptions and opinions of voters and politicians who control the pace of legalization. And it changes the tone of opponents’ arguments favoring a continuation of failed drug policies.

Image influences customers who are the lifeblood of business owners. Image will continue to be a driving force in developing this industry and allowing it to reach its full social and economic potential.