The International Cannabis Business Conference in early February will update everyone on the status of marijuana in California.
San Francisco has no shortage from conferences or cannabis users; luckily there is an event that combines both! The International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC)), the first B2B event during full legalization, will hit the Hyatt Embarcadero Thursday and Friday February 1-2 with a hybrid mix of business, activism and culture.
San Francisco’s ICBC features in-depth interviews with the California cannabis czar Lori Ajax and Alex Traverso of the California Bureau of Cannabis Control.
“This will be an excellent opportunity to have their questions answered and concerns addressed by those at the top of the regulated food chain,” an ICBC release states.
There’s even an afterparty with DJ Muggs by Cypress Hill and Soul Assassins fame. Muggs, a longtime cannabis activist, believes in the power of cannabis for creative and physical endeavors.
“I think marijuana is a natural herb that comes out of the ground; it’s just like any other herb you use,” he says SF Evergreen. “For me it’s purely creative. I smoke sativas and going into the studio makes me happy. Some people get stoned and lie down like a log. Marijuana makes me want to read, makes me want to rock – it’s like a stimulant next to all the medical stuff we’re all hip for.
While Muggs will be strictly behind the turntables as a DJ at the conference, he appeared on a previous ICBC panel in Kauai to discuss his own cannabis history. Muggs owns a farm called Boom Family Farms, and he plans to roll out a new line of cannabis products (including beet-based health drinks, pre-rolls and flowers) called CHB in February with industry vets Bhang.
But even for an experienced smoker, getting into the weed business poses challenges.
“It’s just coming in and getting to the right people,” Muggs says. “The challenges are just like any other business – there are a few full of stiff people and a lot of get-rich-quick schemes. Moreover, banking is not yet in order and you cannot cross state borders yet.”
Perhaps the biggest challenge is getting a good education.
“I understand what ICBC does from a business point of view: bringing entrepreneurs in and educating people about the business side of the cannabis industry,” he says. “It’s like a one-stop shop if you want to get involved in the industry. You receive full training on the ins and outs of the investment side.”
Today, marijuana is mainstream and people who smoke are no longer seen as criminals or stoners. Recreational legalization will “remove people’s mental shackles,” Muggs notes.
Probably fueled by his favorite flowers, Muggs will play a three-hour set of funk, soul and hip-hop at the ICBC in February. Although he’s been in the game for years, he says cannabis culture has changed significantly since the early 1990s. At the time, Cypress Hill was banned from Saturday Night Live for life after lighting up onstage, and the group included some sort of marijuana manifesto in the liner notes of their 1993 album black sunday, with songs like ‘Hits from the Bong’, ‘Legalize It’ and ‘I Wanna Get High’.
“We’ve been fighting for the legalization of cannabis since 1992, we worked with NORML and were close with High timesMuggs says. “I think we were big on it before any of these other rappers were big on weed. We are very excited about legalization, especially in California if all goes well [recreational] in January.”
International Cannabis Business Conference, Thursday and Friday February 1-2 at the Hyatt Embarcadero; internationalcbc.com.