The future for agronomy is not only bright, but it has no foreseeable bounds.
- Kenneth Frey’ (1985:188-9) as cited in: Jack Ralph Kloppenburg First the Seed: The Political Economy of Plant Biotechnology (2005)
The legalization of cannabis and hemp in Washington State has opened a pathway for the whole plant and its varieties to come out of the proverbial closet and into the light, as agriculture. The socially beneficial implications of this transformation will depend on the ecological sustainability of how newly legal plants are grown. The new industry has a great deal to learn from existing State agricultural expertise about soil, water, food and pesticide application. This panel draws on broader non-cannabis expertise as well as the experience of newly legal growers to explore questions of sustainability, regulation and ecology to help push the industry towards ecological and regulatory best practices.
Brenda Book, Program Manager, WSDA Organic Food Program
Eric Brandstad, Forever Flowering Greenhouses
Emily Febles, J.D., Industrial Hemp Program Coordinator Washington State Dept. of Agriculture (WSDA)
Max Salinger, Procurement Manager, Solstice
Steve Warner, President & CEO of the Washington State Wine Commission
I calculated about 6% of the current U.S. marijuana studies investigate the benefits of medical marijuana. The rest are designed to investigate harm. That imbalance paints a highly distorted picture. It is irresponsible not to provide the best care we can as a medical community, care that could involve marijuana.
- Dr. Sanjay Gupta
The Cannabis plant has a history of medicinal use dating back thousands of years across many cultures. Today’s debates about the therapeutic and medical efficacy of the plant reflect prohibition’s barrier to scientific inquiry. This applies to both its potential application as standardized modern medicine, and the recent reinvigoration of herbal and traditional medicine at large in our society. This panel will address the current roadblocks in place, as it pertains to cannabis research, and will look at ways to think about overcoming these obstacles and the knowledge acquired despite heavy restrictions.
Michele Bedard-Gilligan, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington
Michelle Sexton, ND, Medical Research Director at the Center for the Study of Cannabis and Social Policy
Nephi Stella, Ph.D., Professor University of Washington
Jessica Tonani, CEO, Verdabio
The legal marijuana industry could be the fastest growing sector of the U.S. economy.
- Time Magazine
The continuity of federal prohibition and the ongoing creation of our State-legal cannabis markets ensure that each year is both dynamic and volatile for Washington’s cannabis industries. Last year’s round of State legislation and subsequent WSLCB rule-making in many ways re-set the economic conditions for successful industry development. For some, the bridge from medical to legal market participation was closed permanently; while for others, the bridge to legal cannabis market participation via license acquisition and out of state investment opened wide. This panel will address the changing material, legal, and political infrastructure required to build and maintain these markets while taking into account the changing national trend toward cannabis legalization.
Dr. Dominic Corva, Executive Director The Center for the Study of Cannabis and Social Policy
Dani L. Espinda, CPA, CGMA, Principal at ACT Resources, PLLC
Pat Oglesby, founder of the Center for New Revenue, a tax policy nonprofit
Don Stevens, Mayor of North Bonneville, Washington
Mitzi Vaughn, Esq. Managing Attorney for Greenbridge Corporate Counsel
Current drug policy shows precisely how a patchwork of temporary fixes can lead to profound confusion and unintended consequences. And in the case of Coats v. Dish Network, that patchwork also has a real life victim: Brandon Coats.
The social policy implications of cannabis politics and policy beyond and alongside continued prohibitions at local, regional, State, and Federal scales are legion. They include racial and economic justice outcomes, successful new legal and medical State initiatives, new research license openings both State and Federal, and new people and perspectives coming to the Federal Department of Justice and indeed all branches of government. This panel will focus on the implementation paradigm in our state and how regional influence will impact progressive cannabis policy across the country.
Ollie Garrett, Board Member, Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board
Sam Méndez, Executive Director Cannabis Law & Policy Project, University of Washington School of Law
Aaron Smith, co-founder and executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA)