The International Cannabis Business Conference returned to San Francisco for the third year in a row with another star-studded lineup on Feb. 17. Rocker turned radio and TV host Henry Rollins, former NBA star John Salley are California's "Cannabis Czar" Lori Ajax were among the speakers.
Rollins delivered the keynote speech at 9 am and Salley was the subject of the celebrity interview, conducted by CelebStoner publisher and Freedom Leaf editor Steve Bloom.
Rollins began his career as the lead singer of the hardcore band Black Flag in the early '80s. Later in the decade he formed the Rollins Band, which lasted until 2006. Since then he's made numerous TV and movie appearances in acting roles, and hosted 10 Things You Don't Know About on H2 and his "Harmony in My Head" weekly radio show on Indie 103.1 in Los Angeles. One of Rollins' "10 Things" episodes focused on marijuana.
In 2013, the notorious straight-edger wrote in LA Weekly:
"Like millions of America, I have no interest in smoking marijuana, but can't see any reason to keep someone of age from lighting up. I don't think it's a 'gateway' drug any more than alcohol."
Salley won four NBA championships (two with the Pistons, one with the Bulls and one with the Lakers) during his 13-year professional basketball career. Since 2000, he's appeared on numerous TV shows (I'm a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!) and in movies (Confessions of a Shopaholic), and co-hosted The Best Damn Sports Show Period on Fox.
Last year, he told TMZ:
"I am a proponent and I believe in the advocacy of medical marijuana… It helps athletes. I didn't start smoking until my last two months as a pro. I believe if I would've while I was playing, I probably would still be playing."
The conference, held at Hilton Union Square (333 O'Farrell St.), focus on nuts and bolts issues facing the industry: regulations and licensing; distribution models and license types; testing regulations and standards; public markets financing and cannabis stocks; and consumer tech and branding.
The other main ICBC events were the kick-off VIP party in the Hilton on Feb. 16, which was attended by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsome, Salley, Tommy Chong and reggae star Sister Carol, and the after-party at Pier 23 on Feb. 17.