Alex Rogers, who produces the International Cannabis Business Conference, mugs with 2017's guest speaker Tommy Chong.
Matt Emrich

Many readers have asked how to get information on investing in marijuana-related businesses. A good place to start would be attending a couple of conferences, such as the upcoming International Cannabis Business Conference in San Francisco.

The event will kick off with a VIP reception on February 16, including appearances by Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, California Medical Marijuana czar Lori Ajax, Former NBA great John Salley, keynote speaker Henry Rollins, and special guest Tommy Chong. For complete details visit

The one-day event on February 17 will include exhibitors and presentations such as: California Regulations and Licensing, Distribution Models and License Types, How to Survive and Thrive During the Trump Administration, Public Markets Financing and Cannabis Stocks, and Consumer Tech and Branding.

Local Pioneers

The very successful Santa Barbara-based Oniracom PR firm has made a big move into the cannabis industry with numerous local and regional clients. The group hosts quarterly receptions that would be a great introduction for anyone in the county who is interested in investing or going to work with a cannabis-related concern.

The Oniracom offices hold a lot of Gaucho spirit as CEO Jacob Tell and CMO Mike Wald both graduated from UCSB. Communications Manager Darla Bea and Senior Designer Keir DuBois also received B.A.s from the school.

CBD for Pets

With all of the talk about how CBD (cannabidiol)can help humans, it seems like a natural fit for aging or injured pets. And that is just what the goal is of Treatibles, a popular CBD pet treat.

The non-psychoactive cannabinoids used in the proprietary formula are sourced from hemp grown in Colorado. It is a full plant extract which contains terpenes and other non-psychoactive cannabinoids such as CBDA and CBDV. This extract contains no THC.

Not long ago, our own Maltese suddenly developed a troubling injury with symptoms similar to a hip pointer. If she moved in the wrong direction she would scream out in pain. We took her to the vet, and after reviewing the X-rays, she started to talk about a very expensive surgery despite not really knowing what the ailment was.

Having some skepticism about such a course, I decided to try Treatibles to soothe the pain our dog was experiencing. To my amazement, not only did the pain start to subside, but all the symptoms disappeared within three days and have not returned months later.

Take a good look at this product for the good of your beloved pet. For complete details visit

Calling All Scientists

One thing I hear over and over again from cannabis business owners as I cover conferences: “We need more scientists to explore the benefits of the plant and especially the benefits of CBD.” Although much research has been done outside the U.S., especially in Israel, very little has been done here due to the illegality issues.

As we move toward national acceptance, the need will be great for trained scientists to uncover all that cannabis can do. Where will they come from? At the Emerald Conference in San Diego, this topic was on a lot of minds. The event was specifically geared toward lab testing for cannabis. Best guess from the participants was that the needed scientists will be recruited from areas like food research which has many parallels to cannabis.

The organizer of this event, Emerald Scientific, is actually based in San Luis Obispo. “We are a cannabis specific supplier of laboratory supplies and reagents to the industry,” according to Kirsten Blake, director of Business and Sales. Blake is a longtime Central Coast resident and CalPoly grad. The company works with analytical testing facilities, producers, and growers to provide them with lab-grade materials and products.

Election ++

After an initial panic over the November presidential election results, the cannabis industry seems to have relaxed a bit. Many investments that were put on hold are gradually getting going again. Savvy investors are moving in now to cash-strapped projects that were left in limbo but look promising. Case in point, a large Bay Area dispensary project caught in the middle of all this just got their funding this week. Stay tuned.


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