Search Results for: rick steves

You’re Ready To Grow Your Own Pot, Travel Guru Rick Steves Says

WASHINGTON: Rick Steves doesn’t think Big Marijuana should control your pot. That’s one reason people in Washington state should be able to grow their own weed, Steves told KUOW’s Jeannie Yandel.

“I don’t want marijuana to go the route of tobacco and have Joe Camel and Big Tobacco and Big Marijuana” dominate the industry, Steves said. “If there’s money to be made, it’s going to attract big corporate interests and they’re going to have the clout. I like the idea of having home grow because it gives people an option to having to buy something from a giant organization. They can just have a few plants on the window sill, and it’s not a big deal.”

The host of Travels With Rick Steves was a big supporter of the state’s original marijuana initiative, I-502, which passed in 2012 and took effect last year. Now he supports a proposal to allow people to grow six of their own marijuana plants. It could be considered next year in the state Legislature.

Rick Steves On Washington’s Marijuana Law One Year Later: ‘We’re Able To Be Taken Seriously’

WASHINGTON: Travel guru Rick Steves was among the region’s business leaders who fought hard for the legalization of recreational pot.

When I sat down with him recently, I asked him to look back on his hard-fought victory of Initiative-502 and how Washington state has done in the year since. That anniversary is the subject of PSBJ reporter Sarah Aitchison‘s cover story this week. I asked Steves if he thought the state had gotten it right.

“There’s no way we could get it right,” said Steves, who runs Rick Steves‘ Europe Through the Back Door in Edmonds. “No political entity has ever done what Washington state did. And that’s not decriminalize it. We legalized, taxed and regulated it.”

So he insists, “The question isn’t, ‘Did we get it right?’ The question is, ‘Did we break the ice?'”

Rick Steves Campaigns For Marijuana Legalization In Oregon: Q&A

OREGON:  Rick Steves, the travel guru who was a key supporter of Washington’s recreational marijuana law in 2012, arrived in Oregon Tuesday to kick off a 9-stop tour promoting the campaign to legalize pot.

Steves, 59, of Edmonds, Wash., argued that marijuana legalization is a civil liberties issue that other countries have successfully grappled with. He pointed to the Netherlands’ experience with pot as a prime example, saying that country’s relatively liberal marijuana laws have not resulted in increased consumption.

He took time before his first appearance in Portland to talk with The Oregonian about his views and his work. (This Q&A has been edited for length.)

What is your message for Oregonians?

 

Rick Steves To Be Awarded Lifetime Achievement Award at Cannabis Cup in Seattle

WASHINGTON: Rick Steves, the host of the popular public television series, “Rick Steves’ Europe,” the nationally syndicated radio show, “Travel with Rick Steves” and the author of over 50 books and travel guides, will receive the Dr. Lester Grinspoon Lifetime Achievement Award from HIGH TIMES on Sunday September 8 during the Cannabis Cup in Seattle. [Read more…]

Rick Steves To Be Awarded Lifetime Achievement Award at Cannabis Cup in Seattle

WASHINGTON: Rick Steves, the host of the popular public television series, “Rick Steves’ Europe,” the nationally syndicated radio show, “Travel with Rick Steves” and the author of over 50 books and travel guides, will receive the Dr. Lester Grinspoon Lifetime Achievement Award from HIGH TIMES on Sunday September 8 during the Cannabis Cup in Seattle. [Read more…]

Pre-Fest: A Joint Fundraiser For Hempfest & The Eastern Expansion Of Legal Cannabis

WASHINGTON: On the Wednesday before the opening of the historic 25th Seattle Hempfest, cannabis’ brightest lights will be out in full force as former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, celebrity-turned-ganjapreneur Whoopi Goldberg, tv travel host Rick Steves, NORML’s Dr. Keith Saunders, New Hampshire Senatorial Candidate Roger Tilton and the Cannabis Cafe’s Madeline Martinez join forces for Pre-Fest: A Joint Fundraiser to Benefit Seattle Hempfest and the Eastward Expansion of Legal Cannabis.

Image-1Pre-Fest will be a combination of higher-level reform activism, a joint political and nonprofit fundraiser, a launch party for a new cannabis venture, with dabs, doobies, dinner and entertainment.

 The exclusive $250/ticket event will take place at the Stables in the Georgetown neighborhood of Seattle on Aug 17th, 5-6:30PM.

 

Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles Leaving State House Aims For King County Council

WASHINGTON: Washington State Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles, a long-time backer of marijuana legal reform, will not seek re-election as a democratic State Senator in the next election, choosing instead to set her sites on a District 4 Seat on the King County Council.

Cannabis Basics' CEO Ah Warner hosted a fundraiser for Democratic Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles, a long-time marijuana reform advocate

Cannabis Basics’ CEO Ah Warner hosted a fundraiser for Democratic Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles, a long-time marijuana reform advocate

The veteran politician, named “Advocate of the Year” at this year’s Hempfest, is busy raising money for her campaign, appearing at fundraisers this month hosted by prominent cannabis industry leaders, including travel journalist and national NORML Board member Rick Steves and Ah Warner, CEO of Cannabis Basics.

Thurs. Sept 24 6-9PM, Sorrento Hotel

Thurs. Sept 24 6-9PM, Sorrento Hotel

She will also be appearing with 4 other prominent Washington women politicians — Kent City’s Gwen Allen-Carston; Spokane’s Karen Stratton; Cat Jeter Pierce County;and Heather Holderich, Firecrest City — at the “Power to Influence,” a women-only cannabis industry event presented by the Marijuana Business Association’s Women’s Alliance, and sponsored by a power trio of leading women-run cannabis brands: Washington Bud Company, Eden Labs, and NWMJLaw.

Jeanne Kohl-Welles is running for King County Council

Jeanne Kohl-Welles is running for King County Council

MJNewsNetwork’s TwiceBakedinWA attended Ah Warner’s industry reception on Tuesday, September 22nd, and had a chance to ask Ms. Kohl-Welles about the future of legal cannabis legislation, how Washington’s new marijuana laws turn underage pot smokers into felons, and why the Democrat was running for King County Council.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kb7HiM8-SUw&w=560&h=315]

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c31sz3vIA8A&w=560&h=315]

 

Witnessing The Birth of An Industry: MJBA CEO David Rheins Looks Back At 2014

By David Rheins 

2014 has been an amazing year for those of us on the front lines of the legal cannabis movement. Thanks to the support of the now 300+ cannabis business members, dozens of sponsors and thousands of supporters, the b2b trade group I run, Marijuana Business Association (MJBA), has grown rapidly.  We’ve been busy during our first full year of operations helping our young industry lay the foundation for what will be one of  Washington State’s — and eventually the nation’s — major economic drivers.  Here are some of the year’s highlights:

Women of Weed

Women of Weed

As the industry grows, so do we: MJBA business groups now meetup regularly in Seattle, Tacoma, Vancouver, and Spokane, WA. And in the first quarter of 2015, we’ll expand these networking events to support cannabis business communities in Denver, CO and Portland, OR.

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In the past year we’ve focused most of our energies helping to build Washington’s nascent legal cannabis business community. Focusing on our core values of providing reliable business intelligence, community and opportunity, MJBA organized two major b2b Vendor Fairs this year — both at Seattle’s Magical Butter Studios.  Our inaugural MJBA Vendor Fair in March 2014, came just as the first recreational marijuana licenses were being issued by the LCB.  That historic event, sponsored by leading edible company Evergreen Herbal, saw more than 300 businesses participate – with 25 sponsor/vendors.  Our second iteration,  MJBA Vendor Fair Summer, sponsored by Blue Line Protection Group, happened just days before the opening of Washington’s first legal pot shops and saw 20 vendors and 200 attendees who made crucial contacts and business deals.

Evergreen Herbal chief Marco Hoffman on stage at Vendor Fair.

Evergreen Herbal chief Marco Hoffman on stage at Vendor Fair.

MJBA_VendorFairPicsAnimation

In between those two events, we launched the MJBA Women’s Alliance with an elegant power luncheon at the Columbia Tower Club, featuring a keynote speech by LEAP’s Diane Wattles Goldstein, guest appearance by Cheryl Shuman. Ah Warner, Cannabis Basics founder, and creator of Women of Weed, was presented with a lifetime achievement award.

MJBA Women's Alliance Luncheon

MJBA Women’s Alliance Luncheon

Later in May also saw the debut of MJBA’s first Professional Education Seminar, “Canna Business and the Law.” Sponsored by Canna Law Group and emceed by CNBC’s Al Olson, the event featured VIP Keynotes by Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes and WSLCB Member Chris Marr.

Seattle Attorney Pete Holmes was a keynote speaker at Canna Business & The Law

Seattle Attorney Pete Holmes was a keynote speaker at Canna Business & The Law.

MJBAProfessionalEducationSeminar

Pete Holmes and Chris Marr take questions

In June the MJBA moved into its HQ in Bothell, WA.  And to commemorate the occasion, we held an MJBA Women’s Alliance Held a picnic at the compound, with more than 70 cannabis ladies pitching in for “pot luck.”

In July, we launched the South Sound Tacoma MJBA meetup at Surge Tacoma. The first event was over-capacity and demonstrated that the need to support cannabis business was not just a Seattle phenomenon

Those getting into the marijuana industry today are getting a leg up on the growing wave of competition. The New York Times recently covered the industry that is now receiving financial backing from several networks of investors that are ready to plunge millions into the industry.

South Sound supports a robust MJBA community

For 4 days in August, MJBA was a VIP Sponsor of Cannacon V1.0 at the Tacoma Dome. Our MJNewsNetwork and Marijuana Channel One on YouTube covered the event extensively.  Canna personality Radical Russ Belville interviewed key MJBA business members for his 420 Radio Network.

LCB's Randy Simmons and David Rheins at CannaCon

LCB’s Randy Simmons and David Rheins at CannaCon

In August, MJBA also hosted a benefit for NORML at its Bothell HQ.  The event was sponsored by Blue Line Protection Group, O.pen Vape, Evergreen Herbal and Washington Bud Company.  NORML founder Keith Stroup, travel author Rick Steves, cannabis celebrity Cheryl Shuman, Washington NORML founder Kevin Oliver and High Times Editor Rick Cusick were all in attendance.  The event raised $1500 for NORML.

NORML's Keith Stroup, David Rheins and Kevin Oliver

NORML’s Keith Stroup, David Rheins and Kevin Oliver

In August, MJBA Women’s Alliance sponsored a benefit for the Pink Gene Foundation at Suite at the Hyatt in Bellevue.  $1000 was raised via a silent auction of donated wares from MJBA’s generous business members and sponsors.
PinkGene

Washington Bud Co's Shawn DeNae and attorney Stephanie Boehl

Washington Bud Co’s Shawn DeNae and attorney Stephanie Boehl

We held our first ever MJ Research listening summit in August, which informed our second MJBA Professional Education Seminar, “Technology & Your Cannabis Business”  held at the Motif Hotel in Seattle. Sponsored by CIPS, the event featured keynote presentation by Jamen Shively and ICCCO, and featured five all-star expert panels.

Ben Livingston Emceed MJBA's Technology & Your Cannabis Business Seminar

Ben Livingston Emceed MJBA’s Technology & Your Cannabis Business Seminar

MJBA at CannaCon 2014

MJBA’s David Rheins being interviewed at CannaCon 2014

In September, MJBA launched the Vancouver Meetup. The Mayor of Vancouver proclaimed the day “Cannabis Hemp Awareness & Marijuana Safe Usage Day” – Viridian Sciences was host, and Congressional candidate Bob Dingethal spoke to the group.  And we’d like to thank Danille Ulvila with Life Gro for hosting our most recent Tacoma Meetup at her impressive Life Gro facility.

Viridian Sciences hosted MJBA Vancouver's first meetup

Viridian Sciences hosted MJBA Vancouver’s first meetup

 

MJBA held its monthly Seattle meetups at Magial Butter Studios in SODO

MJBA held its monthly Seattle meetups at Magical Butter Studios in SODO

In September, MJBA launched MJBA Job Fair, a historic gathering of Washington Cannabis Industry’s employers and job seekers. Presented by Weedhire.com, and sponsored by Viridian Sciences, Eden Labs and Blue Line Protection Group, the event attracted more than 400 attendees, with 30 employer sponsors and more than 140 job openings.  We even hosted a “Marijuana Is Safer Than Unemployment” Fashion Show!

 

Job Fair Seattle was a huge success

Job Fair Seattle was a huge success

Eden Labs' CEO AC Braddock on the runway at the MJBA Jobs Fair in Seattle.

Eden Labs’ CEO AC Braddock on the runway at the MJBA Jobs Fair in Seattle.

In November, the Women’s Alliance hosted “The Power To Lead,” a day of inspiration, information and celebration, featuring Ladybud publisher Diane Fornbacher and financial guru Debbie Whitlock.

Ladybud Publisher Diane Fornbacher keynoted "The Power to Lead"

Ladybud Publisher Diane Fornbacher keynoted “The Power to Lead”

A couple of days later in November, MJBA Research published its first market research report, and held its third Professional Education Seminar:  “Dollars & Sense: Risk & Financial Planning for your Cannabis Business.” Sponsored by RMMC Consulting, the daylong event included a robust vendor area, and a daylong series of panels, including an hourlong Q&A with LCB Deputy Director Randy Simmons. 7 expert panel focused on actionable advice for the more than 200 I-502 licensees and applicants on their major areas of concern: financing and money management; insurance and risk; security, distribution and transportation; merchant service; business intelligence. MJ Freeway sponsored the 4:20 happy hour.

 

Dollars and Sense of Risk & Financial of Your Cannabis Business

Dollars and Sense of Risk & Financial of Your Cannabis Business

Just under 500 job seekers networked for opportunities to work in WA's legal marijuana industry.

500 job seekers came to MJBA Job Fair Seattle

In December 2014, the Company held its first annual “Cannabis Xmas Bazaar: Hot Pot Products for the High Holidays,” an historic showcasing of marijuana-themed products and innovations with participation by over 20 independent vendors and 150 members.   And, to top it all off, we were honored to be nominated as “Best Cannabis Association of 2014” in the Dope Industry Awards.  All in all, I’d say it was a fantastic first year in the life of a Green Rush startup.

Can’t wait to share what next year brings.  Hope you’ll stay tuned.  In the meantime, here’s wishing everyone a safe, happy, hempy holiday season.

The Cannabis Elders at the Dope Industry Awards

The Cannabis Elders at the Dope Industry Awards

 

Leafly sponsored Sativa Santa at MJBA Cannabis Xmas Bazaar

Leafly sponsored Sativa Santa at MJBA Cannabis Xmas Bazaar

Farmer Tom "Sativa Santa" and Seattle Hempfest's Vivian McPeak

Farmer Tom “Sativa Santa” and Seattle Hempfest’s Vivian McPeak

Michael Stusser and Higher Ground TV captured this year's Hot Pot Products

Michael Stusser and Higher Ground TV captured this year’s Hot Pot Products

It’s A Carnival, But It’s Our Carnival: 2014 Seattle Hempfest

By Keith Stroup

I just returned a few days ago from the annual Seattle Hempfest, the 24th version of this extravaganza, and I thought I might share some of my reflections on this extraordinary and unique event.

First and foremost, Hempfest is truly an enormous undertaking that requires several days of long hours to assemble the stages and hundreds of individual exhibitor and vendor booths; three days of long hours to manage, including a security team to guard the park overnight and provisions to feed the hundreds of volunteers each day; and then several days of equally long hours to disassemble everything, clean the grounds and replace any damaged turf.

And keep in mind this is an all-volunteer event sponsored by Seattle Events, a not-for-profit corporation, and is also free to the public. The event costs the Hempfest organization nearly $900,000 to put on, and that money is raised largely from vendors, exhibitors and sponsors. The volunteer effort is headed by Hempfest co-founder and Executive Director Vivian McPeak. McPeak leads a core group of volunteers who meet year around to plan for the next Hempfest, and who run a downtown store called Hempfest Central selling all sorts of hemp-based products.

There are three primary stages (the Share Parker Memorial Main Stage; the Peter McWilliams Memorial Stage; and the Ralph Seeley Memorial Stage, all named for beloved legalization activists who are no longer with us) spread along a narrow piece of parkland called the Myrtle Edwards Park. The park extends more than a mile along the downtown Seattle waterfront, from which an array of bands perform each day, with several speakers scheduled for brief 5-minute speeches between music sets (while the next band is setting-up). Some of the prominent speakers this year included Congressman Dana Rohrabacher from CA, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes and public television travel guru and author (and NORML board member) Rick Steves.

There is also a separate tent called the Hemposium, where panels are scheduled each day focusing on the politics of legalization along with cultivation techniques, and edibles and concentrates. Most Hempfest attendees, however, seem to enjoy strolling the grounds lined with literally hundreds of organizational booths and food vendors (no alcohol is permitted), enjoying the colorful crowd and the live music. Attracting a crowd to the more serious panels is a challenge each year, as most of the estimated 90,000 people attending each day are there to relax and have fun, not to attend seminars.

The first thing one becomes aware of when entering the Hempfest is the rather long, narrow walkway from the entrance just to get to the event itself; and just when you think you have reached the center of things, you realize the park continues for more than a mile, with every inch lined with booths and vendors on both sides. If one is speaking at one of the distant stages, you have to allow as much as an hour or more to wade through the crowds on the narrow, crowded pathways to arrive at your destination. Most attendees seem to come for the day, making one big loop through the park to catch a glimpse of everything, before picking a comfortable place to spend time listening to music and speeches at one of the stages, before starting the trek out of the park and back to reality.

Also, anyone attending for the first time would be amazed at the colorful and creative look of many who attend. Although the majority are ordinary-looking folks who have come to enjoy a day in the park with other marijuana affectionados, a fair number clearly see the Hempfest as an opportunity to fly their freak-flags. People with bazar clothing and costumes, and sometimes face and body paint; a few were topless with marijuana leaves painted strategically on their bodies. It is, after all, a counter-cultural celebration of personal freedom.

After my first Hempfest, I told a friend that I had discovered the answer to the question of where all the hippies from Woodstock had gone: I saw them at the Hempfest!

And everyone is in a celebratory mood, enjoying the scene and soaking-in the good vibes. Since alcohol is not allowed anywhere in the park, there are no drunks, no fights and none of the problems one might find in a crowded beer garden. Instead those who want are high on some form of marijuana, and all are feeling mellow and celebrating the reality that marijuana has now been legalized in Washington state.

NORML, along with WA NORML, always has a booth near the main stage (the NORML Women of Washington have another booth nearby), next to the High Times booth, which allows us to hang out with our friends from the magazine, and back each other up if someone needs to leave to deliver a talk at some distant stage. With the two biggest brands in the legalization field being next to each other, that is always a popular area with lots of foot traffic. But by mid-afternoon on all three days, the park is jam-packed with people and it is a challenge to keep the crowd moving, regardless of where one is located in the park.

On the first evening, Hempfest throws a special party at the Hemposium tent for all speakers (and there are more than 100) along with their adult guests and those who have purchased VIP tickets. On the second evening there are no official events, but generally there are a couple of private, invitation-only parties. This year one party was sponsored by WA NORML,the Marijuana Business Association (MJBA) and O.penvape, a company that sells small pen vaporizers; and the second by DOPE Magazine and Dutch Master, a cultivation nutrient company. For most of us who have a booth at the event, we are exhausted by the end of the day, and can barely drag our ass to an evening party. But as you would imagine, these are terrific parties. Good food; great marijuana in all sorts of varieties, and an open bar. What’s not to like?

And because there are thousands of people in Seattle from the newly legal marijuana industry all across the country, there are generally a couple of late night private parties that one only learns about through word-of-mouth. Just the type of parties I would have enjoyed when I was a little younger, but generally pass-up today. I am an old guy, and my internal clock just does not accommodate a lot of late parties!

The Hempfest theme this year was “Time, Place and Manner,” focusing on the need under the new WA legalization law to limit one’s smoking to private situations. As their website states, the “Seattle Hempfest seeks to advance the cause of Cannabis policy reform through education, while advancing the public image of the Cannabis advocate or enthusiast through example.” They want to encourage responsible use, while celebrating all things marijuana-related.

This was further reflected in a new feature this year; 21 and older smoking tents (called Adult Lounges) at two locations within the park. Of course lots of attendees also smoked as they strolled the grounds, and there were no arrests, but it was nonetheless a thoughtful gesture by Hempfest (something they were urged to do by the Seattle police department) to include these fully-legal smoking areas this year, intended to avoid anyone having to worry about receiving a citation for public smoking and at reducing youth exposure to pot smoking during Hempfest.

By the end of the three-day event, I was exhausted and happy to head home to Washington, DC. But the make-believe world that is the Seattle Hempfest is an annual spectacle I look forward to attending each year. There really is nothing quite like it anywhere.

Sent from iCloud

Keith Stroup

NORML Legal Counsel

keith@norml.org