Marijuana: A Conference in Sacramento May 18

CAPITOL WEEKLY presents: A CONFERENCE ON MARIJUANA, May 18, 2017 in Sacramento

Join 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.

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

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Confirmed speakers include:

  • Assemblyman Jim Wood
  • Hezekiah Allen, California Growers Association
  • Pamela Epstein, Green Wise Consulting
  • Casey Dalton, Ocean Grown Extracts
  • Joe Devlin, Sacramento County Marijuana Enforcement
  • Tim Morland, Board of Equalization
  • Lauren Michaels, California Police Chiefs Association
  • Julia Mitric, Capital Public Radio
  • Peter Hecht, Sacramento Bee
  • Laurel Rosenhall, CALmatters
  • Rich Ehisen, State Net Capitol Journal
  • Other speakers will be announced as they confirm.

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 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, 916 612 2613 or

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