The ICBC is the largest B2B international cannabis conference series Europe, so ahead of its upcoming Barcelona incarnation we spoke to its founder Alex Rogers about what’s driven the ICBC’s success so far and what to expect in Spain.
For Alex, part of the reason the ICBC got so large is fortunate timing. “Medical cannabis was stagnant in Germany for 10 years,” but on the day of the first ICBC in Berlin 5 years ago the Bundestag announced an overhaul to the system in response to a lawsuit from a patient who demanded the right to grow his own. “Because the regulations stipulated that suppliers had to have years of experience deals were being done on the very first day of the conference between Canadian and German businesses.”
The second reason that Europe’s cannabis scene has exploded with CBD products, to the extent that it’s a “little wild west”. CBD is “opening up conduits” that are accelerating the rate of change in Europe’s attitude to cannabis, “the proliferation of hemp bud, especially the Swiss market, fueling the continent and providing product that’s reaching Italy and Austria.” For Alex regulated recreational use is going to come to the continent far sooner than sceptical Europeans believe, in part because it’s impractical to distinguish legal Swiss hemp bud from THC rich cannabis.
So what to expect in Barcelona? “It’s the biggest B2B conference in conjunction with Spannabis, the biggest B2C conference in the world!“ For the 600 participants, hailing from over 60 countries, there’s going to be talks from cannabis experts ranging from medical to legal and of course business owners. And who could forget, an interview with Damien Marley ahead of his hosting of the afterparty!
The conference will be held at the Auditori de Cornella in Barcelona on the 14th of March with more information available online.