When Californians voted to legalize recreational marijuana on November 8, 2016, there may have been a common assumption among many that pot smokers and wine drinkers belonged to two distinctly different social groups.
But as counties and other municipalities throughout the state continue to grapple with the regulations around marijuana cultivation and sales, strong evidence has emerged that there is a definite overlap between the two industries and that wine will be impacted, but to what extent, remains to be seen.
Recognizing the uncertainty between the two industries early on, Wine Industry Network (WIN) produced the Wine and Weed Symposium in Santa Rosa, CA last August, primarily to educate wine businesses about the latest in cannabis and what they might expect to come once recreational use was a reality.
The huge success of the first symposium prompted calls for another like it in the Central Coast, where the rules, regulations and politics, to a degree, differed with their North Coast counterpart.
In response, WIN has organized a one-day conference and trade show called the 2018 Wine & Weed Symposium, Central Coast taking place on May 10th, in San Luis Obispo at the Embassy Suites by Hilton.
According to WIN President and CEO George Christie, the purpose of the event is to provide wine industry attendees with a cannabis update on what’s happening in their region, along with presentations on relevant issues, as well as opportunities, that legalization presents to the wine industry.
“This is an emerging industry that we will be sharing our neighborhood with, and to no small degree, land, labor, natural resources and consumers,” Christie attests. “Regardless of whether you’re for or against the legalization, it’s just good business to be aware and up to speed on your potential competition. That, and creating an open dialogue, also helps to avoid conflicts and readies those looking for opportunities.”
The event features experts from both industries, speaking on topics ranging from the lastest in licensing to health and wellness and the potential for collaboration on issues such as labor, government regulations and tourism.
“The conference is not exclusively focusing on the potential threat,” Christie points out. “We’re seeing more discussions around alliances on many levels and from a business perspective, people in the wine industry want to know more about that as well.”
Conference topic sessions include
- Legal Cannabis 101: How We Got Here
- Keeping It Legal: What You Can and Can’t Do
- The Business of Cannabis: A New Normal
- Cannabis Use for Wellness: Will Wine Feel an Impact
- The Wine Industry’s New Neighbor: Predictions for Wine & Weed
The 2018 Wine & Weed Symposium, Central Coast will also feature a catered lunch, specially prepared by Embassy Suite Chefs, and a Networking Social at the end of the day with selected Central Coast wine and paired hors d’oeuvres hosted by Wine Industry Network.
For more information and registration go to wine-weed.com.