Alex Rogers is the founder of the International Cannabis Business Conference. The International Cannabis Business Conference is the leading B2B cannabis event series on earth. Events have been held in the United States, Canada, Spain, Germany, and Switzerland. Additional locations in other countries are being identified and will be announced in the future.
The International Cannabis Business Conference is coming back to Berlin, Germany on July 19-20, 2022. Offering world-class industry networking opportunities, the Berlin International Cannabis Business Conference is the largest B2B cannabis trade event in Europe and is also the longest-running cannabis B2B conference on the continent. The conference will once again feature a unique blend of cannabis policy, advocacy, industry, and networking. I sat down with Alex leading up to his conference in Berlin and here’s what he had to say (his answers are in plain font below my questions in bold font):
JG: How did you get your start in cannabis?
Alex: I met Jack Herer in 93 when I was living in Santa Cruz, CA. Jack soon hired me to run his California Hemp Initiative campaign in Northern California. From there I worked w Ed Rosenthal, Dennis Peron, Debby Goldberry, Cypress Hill, and many others. In 99′ I got the opportunity to run the concert venue for the High Times Cannabis cup for five years
JG: You were previously incarcerated for cannabis in Germany – how has that impacted your advocacy and business pursuits?
Alex: In hindsight, it was a good experience for me. I was a petty weed dealer. I realized that there is no glory in being a dealer when the profits are earned on the back of prohibition. When I got out, I dedicated my life to changing laws I did not like, not breaking them.
JG: What role does the cannabis industry play in achieving reform?
Alex: Good question. Not too long after I got out of prison, I began to work for a cannabis advocacy group. I did some great work for them. I felt a bit guilty when I quit and started my first legal business, which was a medical marijuana clinic in Oregon. Promoting and building my business, I was actually able to make much more of a difference with regard to changing the hearts and minds of Oregon. I revolutionized the process of getting one’s card, empowering over 5K growers and 15K patients. I was able to use this client base to advocate for further policy reform. I also was the first person to advertise MMJ on network TV. These commercials I did were unique and powerful, and helped normalize MMJ in Southern Oregon
JG: What effect will legalization in Germany have on the industry and reform efforts in Europe?
Alex: It cannot be understated how important legalized in Germany is for the rest of Europe. Germany is the big kid on the block in Europe, and traditionally, Europe goes the way of Germany. I predict cannabis will be legal in almost all European countries within 5 years.
JG: What events do you have coming up?
Alex: Our Berlin B2B is our flagship event around the world and is coming up July 19-20. We also have our new investor events in Berlin and Zurich this summer. We also have the ICBC Mediterranean Retreat coming up in Rovinj, Croatia in Sept, which is one of the nicest destinations in all of Europe.
JG: How can people follow your future endeavors?
Alex: You can follow me personally on LinkedIn. We have a bunch of exciting stuff coming up for the International Cannabis Business Conference in the near future, and the best way to stay informed is to follow ICBC at Internationalcbc.com as well as on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.
Johnny Green is the Media and Content Director for the International Cannabis Business Conference. Upcoming conferences include Barcelona (March 10th), Berlin (July 19-20th), and Zurich (September 8-9).