Cannabis Business Summit KeynoteThe Cannabis Business Summit was opened by Troy Dayton, CEO of the Arcview Group, who spoke about the long road to Cannabis legalization. When he started with the Marijuana Policy Project and founded Students for Sensible Drug Policy, the future of Cannabis was not so clear. Today, Cannabis is legal for medical use in 23 states and generally legal here in Colorado.

“The hippies were right.”

Organic food, renewable energy and cannabis legalization were all kicked off by the “hippie movement” (which I got to be a part of, thanks to my parents). Troy spoke about the difference between an alternative movement and a huge industry was the profitability of the businesses that support it. (Think about the small organic food stores of the 70s versus Whole Food today.) What brought movements that were good for our bodies and good for our planet was the professionalism of those businesses.

“The best thing you can do to help legalize Cannabis is to run great businesses.”

Businesses that go beyond just being profitable. Troy challenged attendees to run businesses that consider and care for all stakeholders. Not just your customers but non-Cannabis users in your area. Not just the zoning board but your local school board too. Not just the alternative media but the mainstream media.

“Professionalism…means you treat people with respect no matter how long their hair is.”

Troy spoke to the call for “professionalism” for Cannabis Businesses. But professionalism goes beyond where you went to school or who you know. Professionalism means following through, caring for stakeholders throughout the community, and respecting people no matter how long their hair is. Go beyond making a quick return and invest in changing our culture for the better. Invest in a country that doesn’t deny effective medicine or arrest citizens based on race. Invest in the future of social justice.