CWU to host Cannabis Caucus

Miles King, News Editor

The CWU College of Business is hosting a Cannabis Caucus on Friday, April 27. The conference will be the first in Washington devoted the growing industry.

The caucus will take place in Sue Lombard Hall from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and will consists of four presentations and two discussion panels.

The caucus is the 18th installment of the College of Business’ annual economic outlook conference, which cover a variety of economic topics.

Economics professor Peter Gray came up with the idea of a cannabis focused outlook while doing research on the marijuana industry economics for the last few years. He believes the college students should have some interests in the caucus and cited their involvement with WA Initiative 502.

“College students were a big part of getting it on the ballot,” said Gray.

Organizers expect a decent turn-out for this year’s outlook. Economics and finance double major Kyle Robertson said over 100 people have already registered. Attendees include faculty, students, speakers and consumers in the community.

“We’re getting interest from not only the population around us but also academia around the state,” Robertson said.

Director of Engagement and Outreach for the college of business Christopher Mendez hopes the caucus can grow in the future to draw those in the industry statewide. He also hopes the caucus becomes more interdisciplinary in the coming years, talking about the effects of the industry has on populations.

This event will be the first of a four-year academic cannabis series and will detail the history of the industry in the last few years and what makes it such a revolutionary area of study.

 Panel members and presenters include students, retailers, producers, bankers, lawyers and even the WA state Chief Economists Steve Lerch. This variety of sources will be grouped into discussion panels and separate presentations.

“It’ll be a very dynamic presentation between different speakers,” Robertson said. “We want them to communicate together and give a different sort of communication for the audience.”

Of all the presentations and discussion panels, Gray is most excited about the producer/processor panel in the 10:30 a.m. slot. The panel will include cannabis producers and retailers from Evergreen Herbal in Seattle, Stickybudz in the Yakima Valley, NW Grown in Mt. Vernon and Capitol Analysis in Lacey, WA.