The Washington Cannabis Summit is a visionary event; crafted with the goal of positioning WA State as a powerful thought leader in the industry. It is designed to challenge the current state of affairs with Cannabis legislation, research and education. It will push the envelope of the conversation past the current problems we face, into a realm where we openly discuss opportunities for the future of the industry. As leaders we not only have the opportunity, but the responsibility, to craft a better future. This starts with intelligent dialogue about where we are, where we’ve been, where we want to go and how we intend to get there.
With more and more states choosing to legalize, it’s important to have foresight, to look at long-term strategies in order to position Washington as a competitive and socially responsible contributor. We have the ability to make our system better. This can only be accomplished by coming together, being visionary and by working with each other to create sustainable and successful industries.
Our vision is that the speakers, along with the discussions one will experience at the Summit, will both inspire and better connect you with professionals, public servants, academics and citizens who share a commitment to improving the burgeoning cannabis industry.
The audience of the summit will include legislators, policy makers, government employees, business owners, and advocates. Anyone who sees themselves as a leader in this new industry.
Hezekiah Allen was born and raised in Humboldt County. He studied Politics and Government at Pacific University. After university he returned to the North Coast to work as a consultant helping local residents increase water storage, implement conservation irrigation practices, and assisting local organizations with fundraising and strategic planning. In 2010 he was hired as the Executive Director of the Mattole Restoration Council. While with the MRC Allen was one of the first community leaders to call attention to the increasingly severe environmental impacts associated with illegal and unregulated marijuana cultivation.
In 2013 he stepped down as ED of the MRC to work as a public affairs consultant. In this capacity one of his main areas of focus has been advancing regulation to help stem the tide of environmental and violent crimes associated with cultivation. He has presented at dozens of best management workshops, helped to author the widely distributed Best Management Practices guide, and has done on-site consultation with dozens of farmers throughout the region and the state.
All his life he has been a fierce guardian of and advocate for the heritage of small scale farms and sustainable cannabis cultivation in CA. He has a deep understanding of the impacts prohibition has had on families, communities, and patients throughout the state. It is Allen’s underlying belief that–just as cannabis can heal people–the cannabis advocacy community can heal politics through a collaborative and inclusive approach, cannabis businesses can heal our economy through decentralization and opportunity for all, and cannabis farms can heal the natural treasures of the state by integrating best management practices and a stewardship ethic on to the farm.
In June 2014 Hezekiah relocated to Sacramento after he accepted a contract to work as the Executive Director of the Emerald Growers Association, a trade association focused on promoting public policies that will foster a sustainable, healthy and legal cannabis industry.
Welcome to dope year zero.
Welcome to the era of legal pot shops, cannabis farmers, and brand-name marijuana. Welcome to the interregnum between criminal and customer. Welcome to a world where potency is calibrated in percentages and milligrams which are measurements sort of like alcohol proof but really in so many ways not. Welcome to the end of stoner culture with its glorious tie-dyed shagginess and half-clever puns and propensity to turn any word, really any word at all, into a slang expression denoting cannabis or the ingestion of same. Welcome to the telltale odor of the skunk of the botanical world. Welcome to government pot inspectors and gainfully employed budtenders with health insurance and 401(k)s. Welcome to professional marijuana critics and cannabis connoisseurs who lord it over the rest of us with their insufferable haute-pot snobbishness. Welcome to ornery old men who were once outlaw pot growers but are now just cranky farmers. Welcome to marijuana millionaires, may they spend their winnings wisely and not squander them on jade-inlaid leaf-shaped swimming pools, although that would be kind of cool to see. Welcome to the beginning of the end of Mexican drug cartels, the War on Drugs, mandatory minimum sentences, and ten years in prison for a single joint. Welcome to the moment a political movement gives birth to an economic awakening. Welcome to unintended consequences and unforeseen problems and maybe, just maybe, welcome to common sense and sanity.
Welcome to the future.
Bruce Barcott is a Guggenheim Fellow and author of Weed the People: The Future of Legal Marijuana in America. A nationally recognized journalist, Barcott lives within the experiment of marijuana legalization in his home state of Washington. His provocative thoughts, ideas, and observations on prohibition’s end–the good and the bad–have made him one of the nation’s most sought-after writers and speakers on this dramatic turn in American history. In his writing and public events, Barcott questions and considers the moral, legal, ethical, political and financial implications of legalization. “This is one of the most exciting about-faces in recent American history,” he says, “and it has profound lessons to teach us about taboos, assumptions, evidence, prejudice, mistakes, and the factors that lead people to change their minds.” Barcott has been quoted in newspapers around the nation and has appeared on MSNBC’s “The Docket” and “The Cycle,” National Public Radio’s “Weekend Edition,” KING-TV’s “Evening Magazine,” WJLA (Washington DC) “NewsTalk,” KGO and KCBS radio in San Francisco, KPBS’ “MidDay” in San Diego, KUOW’s “Weekday” in Seattle, and many other media outlets.
Barcott’s previous award-winning books include The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw and The Measure of a Mountain: Beauty and Terror on Mt. Rainier. His cover stories and feature articles appear regularly in The New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, Time Magazine, Rolling Stone, Outside, and other national publications. As a science writer for more than twenty years, Barcott has covered topics ranging from global warming to risk calculus to the science of camouflage. He led National Geographic’s coverage of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and accompanied James Cameron’s 2012 expedition to dive the deepest spot in the ocean, the Mariana Trench in the South Pacific. He lives on Bainbridge Island, across the water from Seattle, with his wife, the memoirist Claire Dederer, and their two children.