I attend many cannabis conferences in many places, and have recounted, dear reader, my experiences.
To save you having to search for these columns and posts, here is a quick summation: The attendees, speakers, and vendors are primarily male and white.
On the other hand, the War on Drugs—and on cannabis in particular—extracted a heavy price from communities of color, resulting in arrests and incarceration rates which vastly and unfairly impacted POC.
Now that the “Weed Game” has developed into the “Cannabis Industry,” there is finally some recognition that when it comes to giving POC a seat at the table, there remains a shortage of chairs.
On Friday, March 8, Portland will play host to the National Cannabis Diversity Awareness Convention (NCDAC). It was created and organized by Mss_Oregon, a Portland born and raised woman of color who works in many spaces, including cannabis.
As the invite describes it: “The NCDAC is bringing together Cannabis Companies and Consumers to support the movement towards greater Diversity within the Industry. We’re featuring prominent industry speakers on Policy and Education issues with the goal of increasing Community Engagement & Economic Development. We will also be showing support to the importance of Representation for African Americans as business allies in the Cannabis Industry.”
(Originally published February The event will also be the first of its kind to have a strong hip-hop element. The invite shares that “the Hip-Hop Artists showcase is the highlight of the day. One winner will be picked by celebrity judge panelists” and win a music video shot, produced and placed by Hoodrich Films.
There will be an expungement info booth, public policy updates surrounding cannabis, cooking demos, local food vendors, the OLCC answering questions about compliance, and more.
What there will not be is cannabis—consumption, sampling of educated products, or any weed on the premise. I’m not saying you might want to grab a few low-dose edibles on your way there, and I’m not saying you shouldn’t, either. You do you.
Tickets start at just $30, with discounts for seniors and veterans, remarkably affordable considering the triple-digit rate most cannabis conferences charge. You must be 21 and over. Get tickets and info here.