MARIJUANA – MAY 18, 2017

MJ_header_smallJoin two dozen industry experts, elected officials, regulators and journalists on Thursday, May 18 for a day-long discussion about California’s newly-legal Cannabis industry.  We’ll look at the regulatory framework, environmental impacts, distribution concerns,  the evolution of the state’s Medical Marijuana industry, and the intersection of state, local and federal law.

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Our Keynote speaker will be Lori Ajax, California’s chief marijuana regulator.


8:30 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. Check in, coffee

9:15 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Welcoming remarks
: Tim Foster, Open California, Rob Gunnison, Open California

9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
 Panel 1
The Market, the Costs & Taxes

Jim Araby, United Food and Commercial Workers; Conrad Gregory, Harborside Dispensary; Jeff Michael, University of the Pacific; Tim Morland, California Board of Equalization

Moderator: Laurel Rosenhall, CALmatters

10:50 a.m. – 11:50 a.m.
 Panel 2
Regulatory Disarray: Locals vs. State vs. Feds

Assemblymember Jim Wood; Tim Cromartie, League of California Cities; Joe Devlin, City of Sacramento Cannabis Policy and Enforcement; Pamela Epstein, Green Wise Consulting; Paul Smith, Rural County Representatives of California

Moderator: Rich Ehisen, State Net Capitol Journal

 Luncheon Keynote: Noon

 Lori Ajax, Chief Marijuana Regulator, State of California
Introduced by John Howard, Capitol Weekly

1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Panel 3
Banking, Security & Distribution

Hezekiah Allen, California Growers Association; Nate Bradley, California Cannabis Industry Association; Casey Dalton, Ocean Grown Extracts; Lauren Michaels, California Police Chiefs Association

Moderator: Peter Hecht, Sacramento Bee

2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m
 Panel 4
Looking Ahead

Senator Mike McGuire, Sean Donahoe, Operative Campaigns; Jamie Kerr, Roots Consulting; Jean Quan, former Mayor of Oakland

Moderator: Julia Mitric, Capital Public Radio

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Four panels throughout the day will examine:

The Market, the Costs & Taxes – One estimate puts California’s cannabis market at $6.4 billion a year, but it likely will be higher when both the medical dispensaries and the recreational sector are up and running. How are taxes tracked and collected? How much goes to government? How can it be spent? And if taxes and fees wind up being 30 percent on the dollar, which is one projection, are we poised to see a major black market in California?

Regulatory Disarray: Locals vs. State vs. Feds — The multi-level clash of governments, the ambiguous role of law enforcement who face different rules for state, federal and local jurisdictions. To the feds, marijuana is a Class 1 illegal drug, to the state it is legal medicinally and recreationally, while to the locals it may be both. And more: The still-unknown posture of the Trump administration is causing uncertainty up and down the line, although there are signals of a looming crackdown.

Banking, Security & Distribution – From the growers to the processors to the retailers, cash changes hands at every step. Banks dislike opening accounts for cannabis industry workers, so the need for security is paramount. Cash transactions are the norm. Ongoing business expenses, employees’ payroll, taxes, deductions, inventory – all are affected in ways unknown to other legitimate industries. Some Board of Equalization offices are forced to accept suitcases full of cash for tax payments. Even the simple task of shipping marijuana from one point to another can be fraught with legal peril and physical danger.

Looking Ahead – The future of the cannabis industry in California, including: The expected entrance of major outside companies, the potential redrafting of rules and laws to deal with the new marijuana landscape, the political impacts of cannabis, the question of potential, long-term environmental damage and the hope – by police and pro-marijuana forces alike — for a saliva-based test for impaired drivers.

Seating IS limited Tickets are currently available at the regular rate of $199.  Registration includes Lunch and all materials.

Special $99 rate for California state government staff. 

 For information regarding registration, including fee waivers, contact Kathy Brown, 916 444 7665 or

For information regarding sponsorship and underwriting opportunities, contact Tim Foster at Capitol Weekly, 916 444 7665 or

For information regarding content or speakers for this event, contact John Howard at Capitol Weekly, 916 444 7665 or

THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS: The California Endowment, The Tribal Alliance of Sovereign Indian Nations, Western States Petroleum Association, KP Public Affairs, California Professional Firefighters, Pandora, UFCW Western States Council, The California Channel, California Marijuana Policy, The Institute of Governmental Studies and The California Center.


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