POIPU — Hemp could be Kauai’s economic booster and Kauai’s Dustin Barca will be part of a panel discussion on the topic at the Grand Hyatt Friday to Sunday at the island’s first International Cannabis Business Conference.
“I will be starting the conversation on the topic of creating a community co-op, co-owned hemp farming in Hawaii to replace the seed experimenting,” Barca said.
Hemp was a market within the U.S. economy before the 1950s and is making a comeback.
It has the components for medicine, food, clothing, rope, fuel, and concrete, and Barca believes it could be a worldwide export for Kauai.
The goal would be to create a community-based economic driver that replaces seed experimentation and development, he explained.
“(It would be) putting the power in the hands of the community and way from global corporations,” Barca said.
The conversation will be part of Kauai’s first International Cannabis Business Conference, which is also the first destination conference for the Oregon-based ICBC.
The conference was created four years ago by producer Alex Rogers, and is the only international cannabis business conference, as well as the oldest continuous running cannabis business conference in California.
Rogers started the conference after debuting a medical marijuana clinic in Ashland, Ore. and starting the Oregon Marijuana Conference.
Culture, activism, community and economics are on the docket at these conferences, and Rogers said he likes to mix in networking, seminars and entertainment.
“We like the conferences to be soulful and spicy. They’re a show as well as a conference,” he said.
Tickets start at $650 for the VIP, off-island conference package. Kauai people can get tickets discounted.
But, it’s a networking and learning opportunity for those wanting to get into the cannabis industry that’s blooming on Kauai.
Investors from throughout the industry will be attending the conference, and they’ll go over venture capital and public corporations in the cannabis space, Rogers said.
“It’s unique this time around because we’re bringing our same mix of politics, activism, business, and culture and we’ll be concentrating on what’s going on in the Hawaiian cannabis market and what opportunities lie therein,” he said.
Sen. Will Espero will be present as a speaker for the conference, as well as video appearances by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and Congressman Dana Rohrabacher.
Comedian Doug Benson and DJ Muggs from Cypress Hill will be speaking, and Morgan Heritage will be playing the after-party.
Both Rogers and Barca said the conference is a chance to see the multiple ways the diverse cannabis industry could benefit Kauai and the state.
“We could be ahead of the curve and we could be a major exporter for the world,” Barca said, “And the CBD component (of marijuana) is proving a major force for cutting cancer and epilepsy — just to name a couple.”
More info: (888) 920-6076.