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MICBD Conference May 20, 2018 in Bay City, MI



Tickets are available here.

Why and when did your conference start-up?

MICBD Group has held cannabis business conferences since 2015. Events have been featured in all over Michigan in cities like Detroit, Traverse City, Flint, Lansing and Ann Arbor.

What does your conference, offer patients/business people that they can’t find anywhere else?

MICBD Group events are different from other conferences in many ways, but the following three differences stand out:

  1. The diversity of opinions. Hearing from a broad perspective of voices is crucial in business development; each opinion is derived from personal experience and perspective, both of which can be limiting. More information is better. If you are hearing from just one legal firm or have a single source of advice, you are far less likely to be successful. Conferences which offer a single-firm, limited perspective are of limited value—and, oddly enough, seem the most expensive.
  2. Distraction-free environment for learning. There are no sales booths, no vendor tables or loudspeaker announcements at MICBD Conferences. Selling booth space and renting tables to vendors is profitable for the event company, but business conferences are not expos or a circus. If you seek a comfortable environment to learn about business, come to an MICBD Conference; if you want to buy a vaporizer or some soil, go to a store.
  3. The most business professional locations and fabulous food. The MICBD Group hosts conferences in hotels and college campuses with stunning appeal. In Traverse City, the Hagerty Center conference rooms gave attendees a stunning view of the Lake Michigan shoreline—and the atrium featured a complete sailboat! In Detroit, the Atheneum Hotel is a Greek-themed venue with two-story murals and rough-hewn marble benches. The Kensington Hotel in Ann Arbor is a historic hotel; the Radisson Hotel Lansing and the Gateway Centre in Flint are the most upscale venues in their markets. Each MICBD event except Ann Arbor has featured a full meal—and the food is always a big hit with our guests.

How has the cannabis industry changed since you started this conference? Where would you like to see it go?

Rick Thompson and Jamie Lowell have been involved in Michigan’s cannabis business space since 2009, individually. The Michigan industry has grown from a thing brave people whispered about into an industry even the tepid are clamoring to get involved in. The hardest part about watching the industry grow has been seeing it become more focused on commercial industry instead of individual compassion. Through the MICBD Conference series we try and shape the direction of the new business environment but to a very large degree the future is already designed; helping people adapt to that new canna-business space is what the MICBD Group does.

What are the some of the challenges you have faced in this industry, as a cannabis-related business?

Acceptance of our industry was slow at first but is now rapidly becoming the normal in daily life here in Michigan. The challenge we face is thinking about all the people who were disadvantaged by the slow-to-believe system during the MMA’s early years, and who paid a criminal price for their advanced thinking and early advocacy. These memories are what drive us to help people avoid those consequences; knowledge is power.

What is the one main thing you want patients and the public to know about your conference?

This comes at a crucial time for Michigan canna-business hopefuls. But maybe more important than that is the possibility for a final cannabis family reunion. The Michigan cannabis business community will be totally different in one year; faces will have dropped out, new players will be added, some cherished events will be banned, and some familiar places will be closed. Nobody knows who will remain, or in what role they will be; this is our last chance to gather as champions and celebrate the industry we made and the legacy we laid down. Lansing business owners, Ann Arbor and Detroit business owners, out-of-state and Flint and west side people should all share a drink and a meal for a final time before the “Great Upheaval of 2018” begins.

What is the most important thing you hope to accomplish while in the cannabis community?

Create a world where my children can seek the best treatment for their illnesses without being judged or made into criminals. It is the same wish all parents have. And if we get to kick some ass along the way, well, that’s just bonus.


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