The Maui Cannabis Conference returns to the Royal Lahaina Resort this weekend for a weekend of cannabis-related education, entertainment, and networking. The goal of the two-day event is to build awareness and bridge education for the various health and economical benefits of cannabis for legal medical use, and industrial hemp. The conference will be a gathering of cannabis experts, educators, industry leaders, and local politicians. Without a doubt, there will be many opportunities to learn, network, and create discussion.
On both days, the public is invited to attend a variety of 15-minute to hour-long conference sessions. The conference is open to all ages, and attendees do not need a 329 Medical (Marijuana) Card to attend.
Day 1 – The “Cannabis Business Summit” will begin with an opening keynote speech by State Senator Mike Gabbard (D-Dist. 20). It will continue with a video broadcasted speech by Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-Dist. 2), and it will be followed by a myriad of speeches, updates, and talk story sessions. Day 1 topics include Hawai‘i Medical Marijuana legislative updates, legal brand protection and trademark law in regards to cannabis products, cannabis and tourism, a hemp talk story session with Kelly King, book signings, and marketing, branding, and investment panels.
Also on Day 1 is the Elevated After Party (6-10pm). Hosted by Shaka Hemp Company, the Maui Cannabis Conference celebration will continue into the evening with a fashion show featuring hemp and eco fashion, and local Maui bikini designers. There’ll also be live DJs, giveaways, and fire dance performances.
Day 2 – The “Community Education Day” will begin with a keynote speech by Will Espero. Espero served as a Hawai‘i State Senator for the 19th District, West O‘ahu (Ewa Beach, Iroquois Pt, Ocean Pointe), from 2002-2018. The remainder of the day will offer a multitude of opportunities for the community to gain valuable cannabis education with authors talks, book signings, educator panels, industry farmers, nurses, and doctors. Day 2 topics include: CBD 101, How Cannabis is Used in Pain Management, How Cannabis Can Be Used to Treat PTSD, How Seniors Can Benefit from Medical Marijuana, Edibles, How Hemp Can Save the Bees, and more.
Mary Bailey is the CEO at Alpha Agency and is the executive producer for the Maui Cannabis Conference. We asked her a few questions about cannabis education, and what the Maui community can expect for this year’s event.
MauiTime Weekly: What do you feel is the biggest myth in regards to cannabis education?
Mary Bailey: I feel that the biggest myth about cannabis users is that cannabis users are lazy or stupid. Some of the most organized, intelligent, detail-oriented, and self-motivated people that I know are cannabis users. These people are scientists, attorneys, doctors, teachers, and all around amazing community members.
MTW: Do you feel support from Maui County in regards to this event? Who have been your biggest supporters in terms of local politicians, advocates, scientists, professionals, nonprofits, media, etc., on Maui?
MB: Tommy Russo and Samantha Campos from MauiTime Weekly have both been huge supporters over the last two years of this event. Maui Cannabis Guild has been a very helpful and supportive sponsor. Maui Grown Therapies (dispensary) has been supportive by sponsoring Michael Backes, author of Cannabis Pharmacy, as a speaker at the conference. Former Senator Will Espero (he served 16 years as a state senator) has been a long time cannabis advocate and keynote speaker. This year, I am also excited to welcome Senator Mike Gabbard and his daughter Tulsi Gabbard as keynote speakers. (Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard will be recording a video statement and will not be present in person.)
MTW: Since last year’s event, do you feel like any major milestones were achieved in terms of cannabis education on Maui?
MB: Maui dispensaries are working hard to bring more education to Maui County regarding cannabis and its various uses for medical reasons. Maui Grown Therapies has hosted many talks by Michael Backes (author of Cannabis Pharmacy), and Pono Life Dispensary will be opening an educational center very soon.
Maui Cannabis Conference
Royal Lahaina Resort
2780 Keka‘a Dr.
Sat-Sun., Jan. 5-6 (schedule online)
$20-$99 (pre-sale online)
Photos by Brian Berkowitz