Search Results for: Vivian McPeak

Seattle Hempfest Threatened With Extinction By Travel Giant Expedia’s Denial Of Access

Last minute denial of service road expected to negatively impact “Protestival”

WASHINGTON: “The Seattle Hempfest is taking place this year but with an extreme burden that will be disruptive to waterfront businesses and locals in the area. Hempfest has made good faith efforts to negotiate solutions, but even the most modest accommodation has been rejected by Expedia and the Port of Seattle,” says Seattle Hempfest director, Vivian McPeak.

“Forty-five days before the event, Expedia informed us via the Port of Seattle that they are not allowing Hempfest access to the road it has used for 25 years to bring supply vehicles, vendors, and staff into the back of the event. Expedia is blocking access because they say Hempfest will interfere with their construction and employee vehicle traffic for a few days,” he continues. “First Expedia took away all of Hempfest’s parking, now they are declining access for its production.

 

Seattle Hempfest

This last-minute denial is costing Seattle Hempfest thousands of dollars in extra fees and is creating a logistical nightmare likely to lead to unnecessary traffic snarls on a major arterial along and near the central waterfront.” Over 100,000 attendees are expected at the August 16, 17, 18 Seattle Special Event, now in its 28th year, and the 25th year at its current venue, Myrtle Edwards and Centennial Parks.

Expedia’s denial of access may jeopardize the future of this historic event. “Expedia purchased the former Amgen facility that is adjacent to Centennial Park and is undergoing a massive development project. Seattle residents have been severely impacted by the recent relocation to the city by giant tech companies, threatening the city’s culture, history, and historic buildings as gentrification and congestion runs rampant across the city,” says McPeak. “Expedia is apparently willing to end Hempfest rather than endure a few days of temporary inconvenience.”

At Expedia’s bidding, the Port of Seattle, which issues a permit for Hempfest to use Centennial Park, is only granting Hempfest use of the north service road Alaska Way West between the hours of 7 PM and 4 AM ―impossible hours to load event equipment such as staging, fencing, scaffolding, portable toilets, tent canopies, and wash stations in and out of the venue. Even the most meager requests, such as a few band parking spots, have been ignored by Expedia.

Organizers believe Expedia is working to end the world-renowned free speech event.  Hempfest supporters have created a MoveOn.org boycott petition.

Cannabis Activist Partners with Washington Traffic Safety Commission for Impaired Driving Awareness Campaign

WASHINGTON: Vivian McPeak, the executive director of Seattle Hempfest, has joined voices with Darrin Grondel, the director of the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission, to get a holiday season message out about the dangers of impaired driving. The pair participated in the production of a video promoting safe driving through awareness about the dangers of driving impaired on cannabis, alcohol, or other substances.

Vivian and DarrinPSA Video

“Seattle Hempfest takes a variety of measures in the interest of public safety, so this is just another aspect of that approach. We welcome the opportunity to get a message on impaired driving out farther than we could just by ourselves,” says McPeak. 

A recent survey showed that nine percent of Washingtonians report driving after cannabis and alcohol use. These people were also most likely to believe, mistakenly, that using cannabis after drinking helps sober them up. This combined effort puts a focus on advanced planning and alternative transportation.

“One of my personal pet peeves is folks driving after mixing alcohol and cannabis, which is a recipe for driving impaired,” says McPeak. “Driving under the influence of alcohol or cannabis increases your chance of getting a DUI as well as having a car crash. The smartest approach is to use an alternative mode of transportation,” he adds.

“Safety is no accident, it takes planning and forethought. If people plan before they party everybody wins,” McPeak continued.

Free Lyft Tickets

We are looking forward to distributing free $20 vouchers for Lyft rides on Tuesday Dec 11 at Uncle Ike’s Smoke Shop at 2310 E Union St in Seattle, and Wednesday, Dec 12 at Piece of Mind at 2808 E 30th Ave in Spokane.  “We hope everyone will come down to these stores and get a free Lyft voucher to help them plan before they party this season, “ says McPeak. “A little common sense goes a long way.”

 

The Wink In Weed: The Road To Oklahoma Hempfest

By David Rheins 

OKLAHOMA: You know the winds of progress are blowing in your favor when you find yourself making plans to head to Oklahoma City for a cannabis festival.

The Road to Oklahoma Hempfest begins this weekend, as the first of three events heralding in a new era for the Sooner state.   A licensed and approved spinoff of Seattle Hempfest, The event will provide a forum and rallying point for participants in the nascent medical cannabis and industrial hemp communities;  a gathering place for sharing information, conducting education and coordinating efforts for the November elections, where adult-use cannabis is on the ballot.

Tickets are FREE to the historic event, which begins at 9am at the Sheraton Reed Convention center in Midwest city. Featured speakers at the Hemposium include many seminal figures — including Connie Johnson, Oklahoma State Senator and Cannabis Advocate, Seattle Hempfest’s Sharon Whitson and Vivian McPeak, Patrick Saint, Twenty22Many Foundation, and Grandma Cat Jeter. The Marijuana Business Association is proud media sponsor for Oklahoma Hempfest, and MJBA founder/executive director David Rheins is a featured speaker.

The Hemposium programming starts at 9AM and will go until 4PM.

  • Oklahoma Hempfest

Speakers List for “The Road to Hempfest”
Connie Johnson – Oklahoma State Senator and Cannabis Advocate
Terri Leek – CEO/Founder Pure Hemp Collective
Victoria Huggins – Studio 89 Massage – Advance Massage
Patrick Saint – Founder of Twenty22Many Foundation
Cat Jeter – Cannabis Activist centered on children
Vivian McPeak – Director of Seattle Hempfest
Sharon Whitson – Operating manager of Hempfest Central
Chad Bibler – Hemp advocate and social media activist called the Hemp Father
Timothy Edwards – Founder of Cannabis Saves Lives
David Rheins – Founder of Marijuana Business Association
Brandi Bibler – Hemp Advocate
Lenny Vanhorn – Comedian and Cannabis Activist
Rusty Shackelford – Cannabis Activist after injury
Mark Hubbard – Industrial Hemp Expert
Norma Sapp – Oklahoma NORML

Oklahoma native Scott McKinley — CEO of HiTunes and a longtime promoter at Seattle Hempfest, Cavi Gold and many other canna events — and his local partners have tapped into a lifetime of connections and personal contacts to make this historic series of events a reality.  In support from Seattle Hempfest, the team worked tirelessly to muster talent, sponsors, vendors and political support — in the midst of the legal wrangling around medical marijuana — needed to make this first Hempfest possible.  It wasn’t easy, and due to the magnitude and overwhelming response from the public, the organizers decided to move the initial main event date back to June 7th – 9th, 2019.

Why is this Hempfest such a big deal?  Oklahoma represents the bedrock of the conservative Midwest, and is culturally as far from the liberal West Coast as you can get.  When legal cannabis comes to Oklahoma, it has arrived in the front yard of middle America. We are witnessing the mainstreaming of marijuana in real time.

Legally, Oklahoma has never been a canna-friendly place, and even with the new medical cannabis laws passed this summer, and adult-use legalization on the November ballot, the Sooner State maintains some of the harshest penalties for possession, cultivation and sale on the books — especially when it comes to concentrates and hash. The War on Drugs remains very real here, and prohibition continues to ruin lives.

Oklahoma Cannabis Laws, according to NORML:

  • Possession of any amount of marijuana is a misdemeanor with a term of imprisonment of up to one year and a fine of up to $1,000
  • The sale of less than 25 pounds is a felony, punishable by incarceration for a period of 2 years-life, as well as a fine of $20,000.
  • Cultivating up to 1,000 plants is a felony, punishable by a maximum $25,000 fine and between 20 years and life imprisonment.
  • Cultivation of marijuana by the owner of land is a felony punishable by a term of imprisonment between 2 years and life and a fine up to 50,000.
  • Converting or attempting to convert marijuana into hashish or concentrates is a felony punishable by a fine no greater than $50,000 and a term of imprisonment no less than 2 and up to remainder of the offender’s life
  • Distributing, dispensing, transporting with intent to distribute, possessing with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense, hashish or concentrates is a felony punishable by a fine no greater than $20,000 and a term of imprisonment no less than 2 years and up to the remainder of the offender’s life.

Oklahoma’s Medical Marijuana Law:

  • Those possessing a state-issued license may possess the following: up to eight ounces of marijuana in their residence; up to one ounce of concentrated marijuana; up to 72 ounces of edible marijuana; up to six mature marijuana plants; up to six seedling plants; and up to three ounces of marijuana on their person. Those who do not possess a license face a fine-only misdemeanor for the possession of up to 1.5 ounces of herbal cannabis.

Demand for legal medical cannabis from the public has been strong, as more than 1,600 people and businesses applied for Oklahoma medical marijuana licenses on the first day that applications were made available, according to ABC News

Tickets to The Road To Oklahoma Hempfest are FREE, and available online.

 

 

 

The Wink In Weed: Lessons Learned At Seattle Hempfest

By David Rheins

I’m just back from another epic Seattle Hempfest.  The Pacific Northwest is one of the most beautiful regions on the planet, and its volcanic mountains, vibrant cities and evergreen forests never cease to inspire wonder.  I cherish my PNW canna-family, and am humbled at how rich and meaningful have been our shared experiences, as we workers in weed have toiled to reform marijuana law, and establish a legal cannabis industry.

Jake The Professor and Don Skakie talk Washington Homegrow

Jake The Professor and Don Skakie talk Washington Homegrow

It is a treat to spend time with legends: Farmer Tom Lauerman, Jake The Professor, Grandma Cat Jeter, Kevin and Crystal Oliver, AC Braddock and Fritz Chess, David Tran, Vivian McPeak, Joy Beckerman, Nurse Heather Manus, Ah Warner and so many others.  This year we were honored to have USVI Senator Positive Nelson, who was traveling with a video crew from 420MEDIA,  visit with us.  I first met Terence, who is universally known as ‘Positive’, at a High Tea at Seattle’s Green Labs Farms a few years back, when as moderator I had the privilege of introducing the pro-pot and “positive living” politician to the cannabis community.  Look for great things from the Senator and USVI (pot tourism anyone?) soon.

The canna family gathers every year at Hempfest

The canna family gathers every year at Hempfest

Seattle Hempfest for me has always seemed like the ‘State Fair of Weed.’  Tens of thousands of people — of every age, shape and size — streaming through a labyrinth of vendor booths, food trucks and tents, smoking weed, hanging out and listening to advocates preach to the choir, and bands sing about “Mary Jane.”  This year was no different, a little smaller — a couple fewer stages due to lack of sponsorship support — and smokier, as a result of raging fires in Canada and Eastern Washington.

2018-08-19 14.44.11

Eden Labs’ Fritz Chess, Flower Girls Queen MJ, and MJBA Ambassador At Large Jake The Professor

At the Curved Papers/MJBA booth, and at a series of industry parties, I had the opportunity to reconnect to my industry friends and colleagues. What I heard was a consistent narrative: these are make or break times for Washington licensees.  Competition is fierce and getting fiercer.  Wholesale prices are brutally low for producers, and while sales remain strong at retail and gross revenues are high, profits are elusive and unfair taxes still eat up most of the profits.  For licensees the choice is straightforward: differentiate or die.

Much of our conversation revolved around the mainstreaming of cannabis — and the impact that the $4B USD investment that Constellation Brands just made with Canopy Growth would have on the mom & pops. The game has gone from grassroots to international overnight, and for the smaller players there is tremendous pressure to scale.  Undercapitalized businesses are putting their licenses up for sale, or looking for partnerships and mergers.

 

DOPE celebrated its 7th Anniversary with a “Golden Ticket” Party

Cannafest Destiny.  The West Coast is the fertile birthplace of the legal cannabis industry.  While NORML, established in 1970, can rightfully claim authorship of the political legalization and reform movement, the business — and more importantly the community — started in California, Oregon, Washington (and British Columbia).   The legitimate markets that we have created out West have blazed bright, sparks have now inspired entrepreneurs, activists, investors and politicians across the country — from Maine to Maryland, Michigan to Oklahoma. Our duty and opportunity is now to export the incredible experience and knowledge to these new emerging markets.

In a weird wrinkle of federal prohibition, Legal Cannabis has become international, before it has become a national industry!  Our neighbors to the north are rapidly ramping up their legal cannabis industry, and positioning themselves globally with distribution deals in emerging European, Caribbean and South American markets. Public Canadian companies are gobbling up American brands, and deals are now measured in the billions.

Jeremy MIller is organizing Viva Las Hempfest!

Jeremy Miller is organizing Viva Las Hempfest!

No where can we witness the mainstreaming of marijuana better than Las Vegas.  Neon billboards on strip.  24/7 retailers with drive thru.  Las Vegas, once upon a time among the harshest places in America to be caught with a seed or a stem (an infraction that could land you 20 years in the hoosegow) now actively planning the opening of consumption lounges and canna-friendly hotels.  No peace, love and tie dye hippie culture here.  Just the business of entertainment.  It is fitting then that the next stop for the Cannafest Destiny tour will be Las Vegas Hempfest on November 3&4th — Viva Las Hempfest! Hope to see you there!

Seattle Hempfest & Fix Democracy First Team Up For Voter Registration Push

WASHINGTON: Nearly 10,000 Washingtonians have been registered to vote at Seattle Hempfest. This year the organization has teamed up with the non-profit Fix Democracy First! in an effort to increase voter registration at the event.

“Seattle Hempfest is the single biggest voter registration event in Washington State,” says Cindy Black, Fix Democracy First!’s executive Director.

Seattle Hempfest, a volunteer powered event, is asking for additional volunteers from the community to assist in the 3 day long voter registration drive.

“Voting remains one of your most significant forms of political speech, because it is an ultimate expression of your political opinion,” says Seattle Hempfest’s Vivian McPeak.  “It is as important today as it has ever been that Americans actively participate in elections. If you don’t vote you will have no voice in determining who your elected representatives are, and no say in how local issues and ballot initiatives will be decided,” McPeak continues.

Seattle Hempfest 2018 teams up with Fix Democracy First! for annual Hempfest voter registration push

Seattle Hempfest 2018 teams up with Fix Democracy First! for annual Hempfest voter registration push

As a U.S. citizen of any age over 18, you have a right to register and vote.  But in various parts of America barriers are set in the path of people trying to vote, including photo I.D. requirements, limits on early voting, voter registration restrictions, proof of citizenship requirements, voter roll purges, and engineering legislative district boundaries to favor candidates of a particular political party.  Add to that political campaigns filled with deceptions and propaganda, and it sometimes seems pointless to register and vote.

While there are some positive changes being made to Washington election laws, the outcome of the next several elections could dictate the direction our nation takes on a variety of critical issues.

“Voting remains one of your most significant forms of political speech, because it is an ultimate expression of your political opinion,” says Seattle Hempfest’s Vivian McPeak.  “It is as important today as it has ever been that Americans actively participate in elections. If you don’t vote you will have no voice in determining who your elected representatives are, and no say in how local issues and ballot initiatives will be decided,” McPeak continues.

If you are a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years old, currently not in prison/halfway house, or on parole/probation that requires you to report to a State of Washington parole/probation officer because of a felony conviction in a State of Washington Court, you have the right to vote. (What’s important here is, that you don’t have any reporting requirements.)  You are no longer required to have paid your State of Washington fines and other financial obligations in full, so long as a State of Washington Court hasn’t found that you are willfully refusing to pay them, and has barred you from voting.

If you meet those State of Washington requirements, you can now register and vote. If you were convicted of a felony in Federal Court, you have the right to vote when you are released from prison/halfway house, even if you have fines and other financial obligations (Federal Courts do not barr you from voting if you don’t pay your fines and other financial obligations), and are required to report to a Federal Probation Officer.

Farmer Tom Joins TV Town Hall To Talk Legalization and Normalization In Washington

By Farmer Tom Lauerman

I’m always looking for opportunities to preach the good word about cannabis, as part of my #TodayWeFarm campaignSo of course I said yes when I was asked to be a panelist on KOMO News as they hosted ‘Cannabis Boom or Bust Townhall Meeting.’ 

Along with Seattle Hempfest’s Vivian McPeak, it was a major honor to stand up for patients and farmers. The discussion was led by KOMO’s Molly Shen and Matt Markovich, and included participation from law enforcement, addiction specialists and others. We talked about legalization, and how it has impacted the state of Washington in its first five years. 

town hall komo news

With legalization expanding across the country, KOMO parent Sinclair Broadcasting has plans to run the show across its network.  

You can watch the segment here:

DJ Snoopadelic and Kokane Headline Oklahoma Hempfest September 7-9th

NEW DATES. OKLAHOMA HEMPFEST RESCHEDULED:  Oklahoma Hempfest Rescheduled; New Dates June 7, 8 & 9th 2019

By Scott McKinley

Who could imagine Oklahoma going for Medical Cannabis?  After the state just claimed the crown for most incarcerations,  the people have truly spoken with this one.

Being an 8-year member of Seattle Hempfest, I know the power of a “Protestival” done right. This will be my third year of sponsoring a stage in Seattle and networking with all the entrepreneurs to make the 3-day event happen, and so naturally I decided it would be a perfect timing idea to bring the official Hempfest to my home state of Oklahoma.  With the teachers all at strike and a good portion of the proceeds going to them, I banked on state question 788 to pass.

I flew in to my home state of Oklahoma to meet with the group who created Rocklahoma to begin the planning. For public and political support, we flew in Seattle City A Attorney Pete Holmes,  Seattle Hempfest’s Vivian McPeak, Patrick Saint from the Twenty22 Many Foundation, and Ashley Heddy the head of traceability training from BiotrackTHC.

We had a panel set up by Senator and gubernatorial candidate Connie Johnson.   We toured the venue Lost Lakes, and fell in love with the layout. It’s the perfect place.  I put all the pieces together and presented the idea.  Along the way, I had many partners and friends say I was wasting my time because Oklahoma would never legalize.  I reached out to Snoop Dogg’s camp, as I had worked with him in the past, and he had the dates — September 7-9 — open.

All the pieces have come together.  We lined up the investors, the venue, the state, and the artists —  all while awaiting the vote.  So you asked for it, Oklahoma, and you will get it:  the first annual Oklahoma Hempfest headlined by DJ Snoopadelic, and the Legendary Kokane — the most featured artist in the world. — with 3 days and 4 stages of artists and speakers.  In the tradition of Seattle Hempfest, this will be a free to the public event and will have speakers in between each artist performing on all stages.  Stay tuned for more details!

Cannabis Ambassador-At-Large: Marching For Freedom In Legal Seattle

By Jake The Professor

Spring has finally arrived in Seattle, and the locals are beginning to come out from their winter roosts.  The Cinco de Mayo Weekend was the unofficial kick off of the summer season, with lots of local festivities, including the Seattle Cannabis Freedom March — very important to many of us in the cannabis community. 

Melissa Hysom, longtime medical cannabis activist and organizer of the Cannabis Freedom March, works tirelessly to organize this yearly iconic event. Activists from across the country travel to the Emerald City each year to march in support of cannabis legalization.

Many people in the cannabis industry aren't aware of the real struggles of how we got to where we are today.

Many people in the cannabis industry aren’t aware of the real struggles of how we got to where we are today.

Outsiders may look at ‘legal’ Seattle wonder why we are still marching. Many aren’t aware of the real struggles that continue today.  I was pleased to have been asked to speak at this year’s event — and had the pleasure of following my very good friends and mentors, Vivian McPeak and John Davis.

I wasn’t nervous, as I speak to smaller groups each day at Diego Pellicer, as part of my role as greeter and spokesperson for the popular cannabis shop in Seattle and as  I lead Seattle Cannabis tour groups with Leila Ali, Tour Director at Kush Tours.

2018 Seattle Cannabis Freedom March Lineup

2018 Seattle Cannabis Freedom March Lineup

People from all over the world come to Jake the Professor to learn about cannabis. I make a point to tell my audience about the medicinal uses for cannabis, and relish the opportunity to demystify some myths they might have about cannabis.

I ask visitors to return to their state and tell their friends about what the hippie in Seattle taught them about Cannabis. 

jake from behind

The Cannabis Freedom March is much the same, but bigger, and more dramatic. This yearly march was lead by some of the youngest activists in our community –Seattle Hempfest Volunteer, Morgan Davis and her friend Alyssa carried the traditional Freedom March banner.  Morgan is the daughter of longtime activist and entrepreneur John Davis, and truly represents the future of our movement and our community.

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As I took the podium, I wanted my message to be simple and close to my heart.  I spoke about the need for unity in our industry. We sometimes forget that we all share the same struggles. Many of us do the exact same job as our competitors.  Our companies share similar ambitions, goals and visions for a legal, profitable future. With all that shared positivity, there really isn’t any need or space to speak negative about our competition.

This industry is growing at a much faster rate than when John Davis and I began Northwest Patient Resource Center (NWPRC) in 2011. Back then, as it is now, we learned the necessity of working together and not working against one another.  Now is a very sensitive time, we all need to come together as an industry with a unified message. We must stand for quality — quality products prepared by quality individuals.

Jake the Professor Weekend Unlimited-1As entrepreneurs we are driven to create the best products with integrity, with a sense of sustainability and accomplishment. Negative output about our competitors only distract us from being our best. The market will weed (no pun intended) out the companies and individuals who do not adhere to these principles.

I closed my speech by recognizing my mentors: Vivian McPeak, a good friend and Director of Seattle Hempfest, and John Davis — two better friends you could not find. I thanked them for championing my career, and helping me along the way.  

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I implored my audience not to spend time pointing out the problems of competitors.  The market will seek its own level. Those that offer less than what the market demands will go out of business naturally. They won’t need help from us to bring them down. They are already working hard at that. 

Perhaps the next time we find a crappy product or lousy gram of weed, we don’t write a three page review on Leafly of Facebook. Just scroll up!  You should be too busy creating your own dreams, anyway.  

Just be kind. Play nice with one another. All of us in the cannabis industry share the same struggles: struggles with LCB, struggles with partners, even struggles with employees. This business isn’t for everyone. Some companies will learn this in due time. 

Be patient. ‘Scroll up’ if you don’t like something, and ‘like and share’ if you do.  It brings out your best and puts you back on top! 

Seattle Hempfest and Las Vegas Hemp Festival End Franchise Agreement

WASHINGTONAfter a three year licensing partnership, the Seattle HEMPFEST and the Las Vegas Hemp Festival have come to a mutual agreement to terminate the Las Vegas Hempfest co-branding, according to a news release issued by the Seattle-based non-profit.

Established in 1991, the Seattle Hempfest is the largest annual cannabis related event, drawing an annual attendance of over 100,000. The company owns a federal copyright on the term HEMPFEST, and had contracted with the Las Vegas HEMPFEST to use the name in a licensing agreement in an effort to increase brand awareness and reach. After a three year run both organizations have mutually agreed to part ways, with the Las Vegas HEMPFEST assuming a different event name of Las Vegas Hemp Festival.

“We wish the Vegas event much success, and we support all responsible cannabis reform events and social gatherings”, says Vivian McPeak, the executive director of Seattle’s flagship cannabis culture event. “The two organizations have a differing vision of what a traditional “Hempfest” event should be, so we have amicably dissolved the licensing relationship to allow Las Vegas event to follow its vision unhindered by the contractual agreements,” continued McPeak.

Other HEMPFEST licensed events are still taking place, including the Boise HEMPFEST (4/15/17), the Oregon HEMPFEST (June 23,24,25, Roseburg, Oregon), Alaska HEMPFEST (June 23, 24, 25 Houston, AK)the Austin HEMPFEST (October of 2017), among others.

For information about the Seattle HEMPFEST, HEMPFEST licensing, and other events, go to: http://www.hempfest.org/festival/licensed-events/

The Seattle HEMPFEST is one of the most socially responsible cannabis related events in the world. The Seattle HEMPFEST licensing model includes what the organization considers “community values” components, which include:

Voter registration (Our Voter Reg Crew has registered over 5,000 Washingtonians to vote since 2004). Responsible Messaging that targets policies not personalities, and refrains from personal attacks against anyone. As well as Lost and Found, First Aid services, Water availability, ADA access, neighborhood stakeholder outreach and diplomacy, extensive sanitation and clean-up efforts, an internal trained Safety Patrol, and positive relations with local law enforcement.

The Seattle HEMPFEST is produced by Seattle Events a Non-Profit Corporation, a federal non-profit organization, and the event utilizes as many as 1,000 volunteers annually, and costs $750,000 to produce. Info on the 2017 platform, event history, economic impact study, published media, and community values distinctions can be found here

The Wink In Weed: Leap Day Cannabis Industry Report

By David Rheins

Happy Leap Day.  The last two weeks of February have been such a whirlwind of hyperactivity for myself and Team MJBA that I need the extra day to tell you all about it.

On February 17th, MJBA Seattle presented, “Managing Your 502 Business,” a two-hour business boot camp designed to provide Washington’s licensed cannabis companies with “must have” information and best practices.  Sponsored by NWMJ Law, the professional education seminar featured presentations from top industry authorities, including Act Resources, Dani Espinda; Mosaic Insurance’s Norm Ives; business coach Debbie Whitlock and NWMJ Law’s Anne Van Leynseele.

The entire event was recorded, and can be viewed on MJChannelOne:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68iRB9vebNQ&w=420&h=315]

The very next day, Team MJBA packed up our tent and made our way down to Seattle’s Pier 91 for CannaCon.  The three-day event, February 18th, 19th and 20th, has become a keystone event for MJBA/MJBA Women’s Alliance, one where we participate as exhibitor, and media sponsor.  This year, both Morgan and I were featured speakers,  I had the honor to moderate 10 panels, and conduct a host of 1:1 taped interviews with CannaCon speakers, exhibitors and other industry leaders (special thank you to Darin Bruce and his AV team).

BDS CEO Roy Bingham delivered a keynote at CannaCon

BDS CEO Roy Bingham delivered a keynote at CannaCon

This was MJBA’s fourth CannaCon and I could not help but be struck by both how large and professional the industry and “the business of cannabis” show has become.   Everyone who is anyone in cannabis was present: Washington’s top cannabis regulators came out to participate as panelists, including WSLCB Director Rick Garza, WSDH’s Kristi Weeks, and the WSDA’s Steve Fuller.  This year’s panelists include a very diverse representation from the broad tent of our cannabis community, including long-time activists like Cat Jeter, Kristin Flor, Don E Wirtshafter and Vivian McPeak; legendary growers like Ed Rosenthal, Kyle Kushman and Farmer Tom Lauerman; media personalities like Katherine Grimm and Cheryl Shuman, and a host of power women in cannabis, including Eden Lab’s AC Braddock, Seattle Hempfest’s Sharon Whitson, Washington’s Finest Cannabis founder Crystal Oliver, Cannabis Basic’s Ah Warner, Kush Creams’ Megan Schwarting, and Washington Bud Company’s Shawn DeNae.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_ewkwNh5kc&w=420&h=315]

On Thursday, February 25th, MJBA Spokane held its February Meetup at a new venue, The Black Diamond.  Jon Legualt, Belladonna Growhouse, was our host and a featured presenter. He shared the stage with Washington’s Finest Crystal Oliver, who updated the group on what’s happening with Spokane’s Clean Air regulations and how they are impacting Eastern Washington producer/processors, and Kevin Oliver, executive director of Washington NORML, who gave the group a report from the legislative fronts in Olympia and Washington D.C.  Front Runner ceo Brian Yauger unveiled his latest offering, MJTicker.com, a real-time business intelligence portal designed especially for participants in the legal cannabis industry.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hy5YgjDTntE&w=420&h=315]

And finally, to close out the month, MJBA New York is hosting a Leap Year Happy Hour at Manhattan’s swanky Gansevoort Hotel. Hosted by MJBA NY’s Stu Zakim and Paul Abramson, the evening of information, community and opportunity takes place at the ultra-hip hotel, located at 420 Park Avenue!

Coming up next: MJBA Portland hosts a special Meetup: “Game On: The Business of Cannabis and Sports,” Wednesday, March 2nd at the On Deck Sports bar.  Sponsored by CannaGuard Security, the event will feature opening remarks by NBA All-Star turned cannabis entrepreneur Cliff Robinson, who’ll debut his new “Uncle Spliffy” brand.  Then an industry panel will discuss the many business opportunites that exist at the intersection of sports and cannabis.  VIP Panelists include Uncle Spliffy’s Linda Miller, Siverback Advisory Groups’ Marc Belsher, and Fore-Twenty Golf’s Matt Enos.

Reserve your spot for this historic discussion here: