The International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) made its debut in Portland four years ago, just before Oregon became the third state to pass an adult-use legalization law. There was no way that any of us involved with producing the conference could predict the rapid growth of the marijuana market across the globe. The Oregon cannabis industry has created thousands of jobs, paying more than the wine industry on average, and shattered the expected revenue the state initially predicted, bringing in $40 million every six months, when the fiscal estimate was between $17 to $40 million per year.

The industry has proven to be ultracompetitive and often too expensive for true mom-and-pop businesses. The ICBC is here to help an Oregon craft business by awarding a local company at least $10,000 on the main stage at the Portland ICBC on September 28th. The money is a great incentive, but for the finalists participating in this event, the opportunity to present their business to a sold-out crowd of attendees who perfectly fit their target demographic may be a bigger business opportunity in the long run than winning $10,000.

One of the highlights of the Vancouver ICBC was the Canopy Rivers “Micro License, Macro Impact” Pitch Day, and I am so excited to be a part of an event that will help out a small Oregon cannabis business. While $10,000 isn’t a huge amount of money in today’s economy, it can be used to cover renewal fees or for any reason that the licensed business wants, no strings attached.

To qualify an Oregon business must sign up online. Potential candidates must be an Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) licensed marijuana business and eligibility preference will be given to businesses that have majority ownership from local Oregonian. Those that wish to throw their hat in the ring must agree to the contest rules and be able to give a five-minute presentation at the 2018 Portland ICBC  and answer questions from a group of judges. Those interested have to submit a short essay, no more than 300 words, on why they should be considered. Factors considered, among others: sustainable practices, any programs that benefit Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) patients, positive engagement with the local community, and any work done to help end the Drug War.

Please spread the word to local businesses that you think would be worthy of the award. I look forward to learning more about some great Oregon businesses and seeing a worthy winner awarded at least $10,000 on September 28th!

To become a potential participant in the ICBC Mom and Pop Pitch Event, fill out the application at: www.internationalcbc.com/icbc-portland-2018-mompop-pitch

For more information on the ICBC and to purchase tickets, visit: www.internationalcbc.com

Be sure to get your tickets to the Portland ICBC by September 12th to save $200!