Exhibitors, speakers boycott cannabis expo over Roger Stone

Numerous exhibitors and speakers are boycotting an upcoming cannabis conference in Los Angeles because Roger Stone, a longtime adviser to Donald Trump, is a keynote speaker.

The Minority Cannabis Business Association (MCBA) is leading the protest against Stone’s appearance at the Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition (CWCBE), scheduled for Sept. 13-15, L.A. Weekly reported. (Note: Marijuana Business Daily, parent company of, also organizes marijuana conferences. MJBizCon 2017 is scheduled Nov. 15-17 in the city-owned Las Vegas Convention Center.)

According to the newspaper, marijuana industry professionals who are challenging Stone’s keynote role cite his:

  • “History of racist rhetoric.”
  • Ties to a Trump administration that’s under fire for its stance on white nationalist protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia.
  • Campaigning for President Richard Nixon, who initiated the war on drugs.

The MCBA circulated a petition to remove Stone from the list of speakers, and key players in the industry who have signed it include New Frontier Data, the Marijuana Business Association and the Greenspoon Marder law firm.

One co-signer said 30 speakers and exhibitors have backed out of the conference, L.A. Weekly reported.

Conference officials defended Stone’s inclusion in an open letter on its website, saying, in part:

“…We always have been inclusionary and have provided an open and unbiased, educational and business platform for the diverse voices and opinions in this industry to be heard … Roger Stone is a proponent of cannabis legalization.”

According to Politico, Stone recently announced he would help push forward a bipartisan group to convince the Trump administration to refrain from enforcing federal law in states with medical marijuana legalization. The group would also attempt to persuade the administration to reschedule cannabis at the federal level.

John Morgan, a major MMJ advocate in Florida, is also part of the group, Politico reported.

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18 comments on “Exhibitors, speakers boycott cannabis expo over Roger Stone
  1. Bob Dakota on

    Wow a better than thou attitude. Just like all lives matter the president was correct in his statement that all side should take responsibility for their actions. The KKK, white nationalist, anarchist or black lives matter are all extremist organizations that I consider hate groups that “we the people” should not tolerate. . Bigotry and racist run ramped on the left and right side of the political spectrum. As a country we have made mistakes past and presents but as Americans we have to come together or this republic generations of Americans fought and died for will be lost forever. Those that want to boycott go ahead, I support your right to protest but don’t shove it in my face yours is not the only opinion. I personally want to hear what Rodger Stone has to say. At this point in time his voice is more important that others.

    • Michael on

      Stone is a known liar and provocateur. Left or right, this guy made a career of disinformation and libel. You cite free speach yet ignore that opposing these people is precisely that.

  2. Chris Richards on

    Listening to the opposition is sometimes very helpful and highly instructive.

    Rolling Stone interviewed Roger Stone (no relation) I think it was earlier this year and I found the exchange quite civil and instructive. He’s a bright devil so it’s good to know how these conservatives think by taking a listen to what he has to say. Also because he is influential to the current conservative (to put it mildly) administration.

    • Molly West on

      Although many of those who want to see marijuana decriminalized don’t want Stone, they should consider that Stone is the best person in position to influence the president. This is a war for the benefit of the health of millions for whom marijuana is their most effective medical treatment. Don’t let ideologies get in the way of providing that.


    OPPOSING MR. STONE’S FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHT TO SPEAK…well that gets as Socialist and Racist as you can get.
    Chris Richards said it best.

    Removing his right to speak also removes your right to speak. Might as well cancel the Pot Party in Vegas.

    • Cactus Bill on

      You’re conflating two completely different situations.
      Of course Roger Dodger has an inalienable right to peacefully speak in public about any subject – including marijuana.
      He can stand in front of an auditorium or on a city hall step and expound on whatever till exhausted.

      In this particular case, his presence as an invited speaker will serve to taint our (mostly, so far) reputable industry.
      IMHO, the industries directly involved should not become overtly “political”, lest the amazing gains made over the past 5 years be affected through purposeful identification with “any” established political party.

  4. clifton middleton on

    Marijuana is the Key to uniting the KKK and BLM. We all know that sharing the herb destroys racism and poverty, which is the same thing. Let My People Grow

  5. Jaymzie Bonnatonna on

    Well I guess all you “no speak” types are universally knowledgeable on every single topic. Why bother to listen to anyone else at all about anything when you are so perfectly able to know them through hearsay.
    You dig a hole for yourselves that you may not be able to climb out of when the time comes that someone else is telling YOU what yiu may hear, read or think. Il fascisti would be proud of your stance!!

  6. Cactus Bill on

    The legal MJ/MMJ industry has grown exponentially because it has been “organic” (pun intended.

    In this particular case, allowing a place of editorial prominence to a person whose entire life has been dedicated to mercenary obstruction and obfuscation will taint our industry for no discernible goal.
    So I ask, “What’s the REAL reason for Stone’s sudden prominence? I think I know.

  7. Don on

    I cannot stop laughing at people who don’t want Stone to speak and yet embrace Al Sharpton, the other keynote speaker, who has an anti-semitic history–through both words and deeds.

    • Cactus Bill on

      “…embrace Al Sharpton”
      (LOL) I only embrace my wife, and certain relatives.
      That stated, I don’t think Al Sharpton should be a “Keynote Speaker” at that conference either.
      He should withdraw in protest of Stone’s invitation.

      Really, at this stage second or third tier “cheerleaders” from unrelated walks of life are an unnecessary distraction.
      I want knowledge and advice from bona fide experts on every facet of commercial MJ/MMJ.

  8. Clive on

    Aside from being a racist and profiteer, Roger Stone is one of the reasons why marijuana is illegal in the first place. You can bet your house on the fact that he’ll change his mind back to being a prohibitionist as soon as it suits him.

    As far as the freedom of speech aspect. EVERYONE has it. NO ONE is required to keep their mouth shut just because YOU have an opinion, you arrogant dirt bags.

  9. Randal on

    The lies of the Media have corrupted the free thinking minds of many! Cannabis advocates should be the first to acknowledge that the Corporate Media Machine Lies Lies and Lies! Have these people taken the time to research? Or just believe the lies from television? Stone is amazing!

  10. Doug Davis on

    This is a cannabis business expo and shouldn’t be about other issues. We are attending to assist this industry in an effort to strengthen the positive aspects of this movement. Boycotting only slows the momentum and sends mixed messages. They need to stay on point and make this a successful expo that is solely focused on the future of the cannabis industry.

  11. lester trefftzs on

    Being about business is not busily being about interfering in others business when the goal is to move the ball down the field. Making it personal so as to destroy others with hypocrisy is jus plainly against good cooperation and collaboration with the wrong motivations. Advance your divisive politics on some other platform imbecilic morons…

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