It was great returning to Portland, Oregon, last week for another engaging and informative International Cannabis Business Conference that continued the ICBC’s tradition of combining business, politics, and culture, unlike any other event. Going back to where the ICBC started was a good time to connect with a lot of people that attended the first ICBC, and have continued to travel with us around the world, and to reflect on how much the industry has grown in four short years.

There were so many great panels and interesting people to meet, that the ICBC provided something for everyone. Whether it was seeing Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley welcome the crowd via a recorded message (Senator Merkley, unfortunately, couldn’t make the ICBC in person, you may have heard that there are some important hearings and votes in Washington, D.C., these days.), hearing from actor Jim Belushi, questioning OLCC regulators, seeing the Greener Side take home $10,000 as the winner of the Mom and Pop Pitch Event, learning from so many great speakers, or attending the always fun ICBC afterparty, the ICBC Portland did not disappoint.

Personally, I was really looking forward to the Mom and Pop Pitch Event and it certainly didn’t disappoint. While the good folks at the Greener Side took the grand prize after a tough deliberation from judges Cliff Robinson, the Willamette Week’s Lauren Yoshiko, HiFi Farm’s Lee Henderson, and ICBC founder Alex Rogers, all of the contestants-Western Oregon Dispensary, Coastal Cannabinoids, and Muru, pitched fantastically. More on all of the contestants in future blogs.

Next up, the ICBC returns to San Francisco on February 7th-8th, where the 2nd ICBC was held. Past San Francisco events have included some amazing and important speakers including current Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom (likely the next governor), California Cannabis Czar Lori Ajax, travel guru Rick Steves, and former NBA great John Salley. As always, you can count on the ICBC to provide valuable information and premier networking opportunities. With California’s licensing underway, but still working out the kinks, this will be a great time for those in the industry, or thinking of joining, to prepare, plan, and adapt to the ups and downs of the world’s largest marijuana market.

The February 7-8, 2019 ICBC San Francisco will be at the Hilton Union Square and tickets are on sale now. Be sure to secure your tickets by January 18th to save on the early-bird pricing. After San Francisco, the ICBC will be heading onto Barcelona and then Berlin for what is sure to be an epic 2019 for the conference and the entire cannabis legalization movement.