This past weekend, we traveled to the Cannabis World Congress & Business Expo (CWCB Expo), largely considered to be one of the absolute best business events for the cannabis industry. Exhibitors and sponsors showcased cutting-edge solutions to owners, and there were many speakers and educational panels available.
Notable speakers include:
Geoff Whaling, Founding Member and Board Treasurer , Coalition for Access Now
Michael Bowman, Chairman, National Hemp Association
Joel Stanley, CEO, CW Botanicals
Eric Steenstra, Executive Director, Hemp Industrial Council
Jonathan Miller, President, Kentucky Industrial Hemp
Tim Gordon, COO, CBDRx; and Andrew Graves, Chairman, Atalo Holdings, Inc.
From these keynote speakers, many notable topics were discussed.
Industrial hemp has seen huge progressive changes, largely thanks to Farm Bill 7606. Under this bill, research universities are able to collaborate with licensed individual hemp farmers to import hemp for pilot programs. There are now over 200 of these hemp pilot programs. The 2016 Farm Bill protects these universities and hemp farmers from harassment by the DEA or any other federally funded agencies. This is an immensely huge step forward for cannabis research and legalization. You may learn more about the bill and the change it has brought to the hemp industry by following this link. This website also offers ways to get involved! 🙂
Participants in these pilot programs can legally sell the crop under a Memorandum of Understanding system. There is a chain of custody to sell product outside of the state, and the sellers must report on chain of custody, tracking all of the hemp sold. (Hemp is cannabis that contains 2% or less of THC, the compound that causes a “high” sensation.)
Many supporters of cannabis and hemp legalization are familiar with the story of Charlotte Figi from the Sanjay Gupta special that aired on CNN. Charlotte, a young girl experiencing anywhere from 300-400 seizures a week, was quickly running out of medical options. Her parents were able to source a specific milligram dosage of a certain strain of hemp for her, now dubbed Charlotte’s Web, for how effectively it treated her symptoms. Over 4.5 years later, she is seizure free 99.9% of the time.
Charlotte’s web moved to industrial hemp for mass production and ended a waiting list with over 14,000 patients on it. This list is now ZERO, due to the hemp pilot program being legalized. They they use ethanol extractions and evaporation for their CBD oils and tinctures, using the equipment that we offer at every level of price and automation for medicinal production. Patients on the list had varying medical conditions, including but not limited to epilepsy, autism, Tourette’s, and multiple sclerosis.
Congress is expecting a joint statement from the USDA, DEA and Department of Justice to permit hemp under the farm bill. The USDA will hopefully treat hemp as organic crop that is diversified from tobacco. In fact, Paul Ryan is promising families that they will move on CBD legalization this year.
There was also a seminar with Matthew Abel, attorney for the Cannabis Council, PLC. He spoke about the many commercial opportunities in Michigan that are appearing as a result of the pilot program, and the organizational steps his group is taking to advance Legalize MI, with a line of referendums that would further expand both medical and recreational programs. First come, first serve caregiver sites are appearing on a map of eligible areas in Detroit, MI, but with many disqualifications limiting them to a small fraction of the city’s land to find real estate to establish their medical dispensaries. Referendums in the near future promise expansion of the program, and we all have high hopes (no pun intended) for this and the rest of the 25 states and world.
We appreciated the work that the CWCB Expo put in to making this such a great Cannabis World Congress!