The political insanity of the last several weeks is now directly affecting the cannabis industry as a boycott against a major marijuana conference grows.
The planned keynote speaker for the upcoming Cannabis World Congress & Business Expo (CWC) in Los Angeles was Roger Stone, the flamboyant political consultant, notorious Trump advisor and noted cannabis advocate.
Sponsors and partners of the expo began publicly withdrawing their support on Thursday in a move similar to the withdrawals from the president’s business advisory council earlier this month, which led to the eventual disbandment of that council. The exits from the business advisory council were made as statements against President Trump’s recent remarks equating white supremacists with leftist protesters in Charlottesville.
The boycott of the CWC was initiated by the Minority Cannabis Business Association (MCBA), which announced on Facebook last Thursday that it would not attend the expo because of the selection of Roger Stone as keynote speaker for the event, as reported by Leafly.
“As a result of CWC choosing this guy as their keynote speaker, MCBA has decided to withdraw from attendance and speaking roles at this conference. CWC, you know better so there’s no excuse not to do better.”
Later Thursday, the Cannabis Industry Journal joined in the boycott, saying it would “no longer be a media partner of any CWCBExpo events, unless they remove Roger Stone from the keynote slot.”
A managing partner of the CWCBExpo, Scott Gianotti, responded to MCBA leader Jesce Horton in a post with very troll-like language, saying, “How convenient MCBA is promoting CWCBExpo’s biggest competitor NCIA, who hosts ALL WHITE CONFERENCES. Meanwhile CWCBExpo works hard at producing the most politically and culturally diverse conference program in the cannabis industry. But we’re racists ok lol I’ll put our show guide up against NCIA’s any day you want and show you how dumb you people are.”
Roger Stone was permanently 86’ed from CNN for a series of racist tweets directed at other personalities on the network, which referred to some as “quota hires” and one as a “dumb negro.”
Over the weekend, the CWCBExpo has changed its keynote speaker to Reverend Al Sharpton.