Blazing the Trail: International Cannabis Business Conference Vancouver 2019
- September 15–16, 2019
- The Westin Bayshore Hotel, Vancouver
- Conference Package $499USD │ VIP Package $649USD
- Best networking in the cannabis industry (est. 1,200–1,300 attendees)
- Luxury yacht after-party with DJ Muggs from Cypress Hill
- Purchase your tickets now (Early Bird rate ends midnight, Sep. 12)
The third annual International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) Vancouver is expected to be yet another sold-out smoke show. Already established as the Lower Mainland’s premier cannabis business networking event, ICBC Vancouver 2019 runs September 15–16 at The Westin Bayshore in downtown Vancouver.
“We’ll have a cerebral day of networking, and everyone connecting and doing business. And then we go party—but a lot of business gets done at the party. We have a yacht party with DJ Muggs from Cypress Hill,” says Alex Rogers, Executive Director of the International Cannabis Business Conference.
The conference boasts a prime opportunity for companies of all sizes to connect with each other. Aurora Cannabis, Tilray, Canopy Growth, and other big industry names are regular attendees, as are hundreds of other product and service companies. Up to 65% of the 1,200–1,300 attendees hail from British Columbia.
“We have the top CEOs in the world coming here, and small ‘mom ‘n pop’ business owners trying to make their way with a product or brand,” Rogers says.
The conference consistently attracts many of the biggest names in international cannabis business and advocacy. Last year’s keynote was Henry Rollins, well-known American musician, actor, cannabis advocate—a lifetime non-cannabis-user who supports its use.
Rogers points out one of this year’s marquee conference panelists, John Conroy—Principal of Conroy & Company, and an established criminal lawyer instrumental to key provincial cannabis legislation and legislative reform:
“He’s kind of the ‘hero lawyer’ in British Columbia. We probably wouldn’t have legalized cannabis if it wasn’t for John Conroy,” says Rogers.
ICBC Vancouver 2019 also spotlights special guest John Salley, an NBA Champion, actor, entrepreneur, vegan, and co-founder of cannabis company Deuces22 Premium Brands; and DJ Muggs of Cypress Hill, who’ll be spinning at the luxury yacht after-party.
The Business of the Conference
Conference Package holders take advantage of the full conference and after-party. This year’s conference portion of ICBC Vancouver 2019 will focus mainly on export market strategies for Canadian cannabis companies.
According to Rogers, Canadian cannabis companies need to maintain market dominance through international exports as global legalization moves forward—and that the conference is a main conduit for export connections: “Though 65% of the attendees will be from B.C., we’ll have a ton of people from Europe and all over the world. We’re telling people it’s all about international export; that’s a big niche [that’s] extremely important to the survival of cannabis companies.”
VIP Package holders additionally have access to an exclusive VIP Reception, allowing for top-level cannabis industry networking: “It’s 300 people networking their face off,” says Rogers.
Rogers’ prediction for the future of the cannabis industry? It’ll go big, then small, then big again.
“There’s consolidation happening now, then things will rearrange themselves, and then the real big money [will be] in pharmaceuticals. It’s already starting to happen,” says Rogers.
“We have Coors and some of the big European pharmaceuticals stepping into this game, but so far they’re just little steps, not huge leaps. Coca Cola will start buying stuff up, then there’ll be a second round of consolidation,” Rogers says.
The Man Behind the Conference
Alex Rogers—cannabis entrepreneur, activist, and ICBC founder—just might be more interesting than the conference itself.
In 2006, Rogers spent six months in German and Austrian prisons for selling 50 pounds of marijuana: “My sister went to Princeton and I went to prison,” Rogers says.
That experience pushed him to become a stronger cannabis advocate, something he’s been since the 90’s, but now enacts in a much bigger, different, way—through rocking a suit and tie, advocating for smaller cannabis businesses across North America and internationally by finding ways to link all the players of the industry.
He currently lives in Ashland, Oregon, where he owns two thriving medicinal marijuana dispensaries—and from which he produces the International Cannabis Business Conference, in six countries across two continents.
“I’m just that activist. I’m one of those people that found a way from the old school. Now I’m helping people from the industry find a niche for themselves,” Rogers says.
Rogers also has an affinity for Vancouver, which is why the conference is being held in Canada on the West Coast.
“A lot of people are saying, move your event to Toronto; Toronto is the big weed capital. But I never will. I don’t want to go to Toronto. I want to go to Vancouver. That’s more my vibe. I’m at home in Vancouver,” says Rogers.