The International Cannabis Business Conference in beautiful Kauai, Hawaii, kicks off this Friday at 6pm with a VIP reception featuring cannabis comic Doug Benson, sponsored by the National Cannabis Industry Association, as the ICBC brings its trademark style to the Aloha State, combining cannabis business, politics and culture unlike any other.

Named one of the top 50 successful marijuana enthusiasts by Rolling Stone, Benson will be interviewed at the conference by Celebstoner’s Steve Bloom. Doug will provide a lot of insight into his life and career and how the cannabis scene has changed for him recently in a High Times interview with Russ Belville:

I haven’t watched Disjointed because I’ve had too many people tell me it would make me unhappy because it’s kind of like, um, it feels like having something take place in a dispensary, but there’s a live audience just laughing at everything everybody says. Like I said, I haven’t seen the show, but it feels like it would ring incredibly false.

But in terms of the overall treatment in the media, I think it’s great that more movies and TV shows are tackling it. It’s kind of interesting—if you have anyone smoking pot in a movie it automatically, I think, knocks it up to maybe PG-13 [movie rating] and if there’s a lot of it, even an R rating, even though chances are it is a legal activity in whatever place the film takes place.

But my biggest beef is that, like, AMC’s The Walking Dead is like the most successful weekly television program on TV right now, or at least it was the last time I looked. And these people are living in the apocalypse, and they’re going around scavenging, getting anything they can find, and then using it to survive. And no one has ever talked about or smoked marijuana on the show!

After the big networking event Friday night, important cannabis business knowledge will be presented by an impressive list of speakers.

The programs contains a list of topics that will help those in the industry, or thinking of joining, important tips to help businesses excel. A rundown of the ICBC schedule:

Cannabis in Hawaii: Hawaiian Rules and Regulations have their complications like in every state.. Representatives from Steep Hill Hawaii, Aloha Green Apothecary, and De Costa Hempey Meyers LLC will be giving the lay of the islands when it comes to rules for medical cannabis growers. Later in the program, Greg Smith of Green Hawaii Genetic and Dustin Barca of RVCA will discuss The Future of Hemp in Hawaii.

International Cannabis: Experts Robert Laurie, Bibiana Rojas, Native Wayne Jobson, Lukas Behalf and Jamie Shaw will talk Cannabis Cross Borders, primarily focus on upcoming changes in Canada, Colombia, Europe and Jamaica. On Sunday, a powerhouse of presenters including Dean Arbit of Smell the Truth, Mike Lickver of Wheaton Income, Marc Lustig of Cannabis Royalties & Holding Corporation, and Robyn Rabinovich of Terrascend Corporation will go into further depth about The Rise of Canadian LPs and PubCo Funds.

Investment: Whether you are looking for the right funder or looking for the right operations teams, ICBC will be covering the gamut of cannabis investment. Consultant Mary Patton, Steve Koskie, and co-founder of the venture capital firm Casa Verde Capital Evan Eneman will be headlining our Private Equity, VCs and Angels panel; Investing in California is on everyone’s mind – famed producer and DJ for Cypress Hill, DJ Muggs and Director of Operations for Bhang Jamie Pearson and Paul King of Cannafornia and Duard Ventures give insight into California’s process and what it takes to be successful there; And what would be success without Building Strategic Partnerships? Brad Lane of Cannabis Planet Productions, Brian Staffa of BSC Group, Robin Swinney of Mary’s Medicinals, and NCIA’s Rachel Kurtz let you know the nuances of navigating cannabis relationships.

Politics: A number of prominent politicians will be joining to discuss the progress in changing cannabis policy both in Hawaii as well as at the federal level. Hawaiian Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard will welcome attendees, followed by the opening keynote to be delivered by Hawaiian Senator Will Espero. Aaron Smith, NCIA Executive Director, will be interviewing California Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, a longtime advocate for legalization and one of our greatest champions in the House.

Media, Marketing and Entertainment:  In addition to Getting Doug with High star Doug Benson’s interview, the ICBC Kauai will have plenty of info on entertainment media and marketing. Building a Cannabis Brand is essential for any ganjapreneurs competing in the market space, and no one does it better than Drake Sutton-Shearer of PrØhibited Media, who will be giving tips and advice for aspiring businesses; Finally, to cap off the conference’s agenda, the Guru of Ganja, Ed Rosenthal, will be in town to receive the ICBC Lifetime Achievement Award for Cannabis. (Additionally, attendees get an exclusive concert performance by Grammy award-winners Morgan Heritage.)

Legalease: Lawsuits and Taxes are as inevitable as death, some might say. David Gibb of Legally Mine has years of experience to impart on how to avoid lawsuits and minimize tax expenditures. Intellectual Property Protection is certainly an important tool for avoiding those lawsuits and keeping you brand safe. In-House Counsel for Starbucks Russ Jacobs, Kohel Haver of Swider/Haver Law, Dave Branfman of Branfman Law have advice and answers, with Podcast host Seth Adler moderating.

Growing: Experts in Clean Cultivation and Cannabis Genetics will discussing the latest in technologies and techniques for top-notch cannabis production that will assure you are passing quality control tests, and your customers are getting a safe product. Kevin Jodrey of Wonderland Nursery, Michael Robbie of CONVIRON, and John Perricone of Double Clef Management will be taking questions and giving answers, with moderator Darryl Hudson.

December 1-3, 2017, is sure to be a weekend of a lifetime in Kauai, Hawaii with the International Cannabis Business Conference! The clock is ticking to get your tickets for this must attend event. You know you won’t regret it, so what are you waiting for? Hotel and ticket prices are about to go up again!