California Leaders of Legalization Gather in SF


David Downs

Smell Te Truth Blog – SF Gate


California’s leaders in the historic drive to legalize cannabis in 2016 are gathering in the cradle of the movement — San Francisco — this President’s Day weekend to keep working while the rest of the nation slacks off.

The International Cannabis Business Conference opens Sunday morning at the Hyatt Regency in the Financial District to an expected sell-out crowd of investors, business operators, and advocates from California and beyond.

Sunday morning at 9:15 a.m., Columbia associate professor of psychology and award-winning author of High Price: … Dr. Carl Hart opens the event with a keynote on spotting biased cannabis science, as well as hiring diverse employees.

Dr. Hart is followed by Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) — a champion for pot law reform — who provides a federal perspective on policy changes in 2015.

Monday morning, best-selling travel writer Rick Steves — something of a sleeper agent for reform — takes attendees behind the scenes of Washington and Oregon legalization and provides winning tactics for talking to the mainstream.

Drug law reform leader Ethan Nadelmann — executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance — talks Sunday morning about legalization in California and the U.S.

Nadelmann is one of several California leaders on the 2016 campaign attending. Also slated: Harborside Health Center founder Steve DeAngelo; Berkeley Patients Group co-founder Debby Goldsberry; Oaksterdam University Chancellor and ReformCA director Dale Sky Jones; California NORML director Dale Gieringer; and former UC Berkeley lecturer Amanda Reiman. 

A VIP reception Saturday at 6 p.m. at the hotel includes Dr. Hart, Rep. Rohrabacher, and other speakers. Sunday afternoon, your humble Smell the Truth editor moderates a media panel with The Denver Post’s Ricardo Baca, best-selling author Doug Fine, and VICE’s David Bienenstock. (Smell the Truth is a media sponsor of this event).

Legal cannabis will be a $10 billion U.S. industry by 2019. Above, The Green Cross, San Francisco. (David Downs)

Also not to be missed:

— Harborside’s winning attorney Henry Wykowski talks Monday morning about tax woes and profits within the framework of California’s not for profit guidelines.

— Sebastopol’s recent mayor Robert Jacob speaks Monday afternoon on running the major California dispensary Peace in Medicine.

— Later on President’s Day, investment leader Troy Dayton from the ArcView Group explains how to get a canna-business funded in 2015

Early registration tickets to that ICBC are $599 and go up tonight at midnight.

© 2015 Sfgate. Original Article at

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