ASHLAND, Ore. --- Marijuana businesses gathered Sunday at the Oregon Marijuana Business Conference to share new ideas and knowledge about the fast growing industry and network.
"People need things from other people in the industry, vendors, suppliers, whatever it is. Just like any business. and here's the place where people can connect and make life long connections in the industry," said Oregon Marijuana Business Conference CEO Alex Rogers
Cannabis industry leaders and activists believe Oregon has the potential to show the rest of the United States what marijuana can do for the economy. Some even say the cannabis industry can become Oregon's new timber industry if the state is able to break down marijuana's stigma.
Although medicinal marijuana is legal in Arizona, Arizona native Wes Parks moved to Oregon to start his pot farm.
"It's just thriving with great breeders and great growers with a lot of experience. I truly do believe that the Northern California and Oregon market, we're going to set the bar for the rest of the nation and I couldn't be more happy than to be in a place like this to start our brand," Parks said
Leaders at the Oregon Marijuana Business Conference Agree and say Oregon is on the brink of leading the nation in the cannabis industry. Rogers said it’s rapidly growing throughout the US. In the last five years, nine states have legalized recreational marijuana.
"We were legalized before a lot of other states are so this gives us not only advantage to tourism or whatever but this also gives us a competitive advantage in the industry all around as other states begin to follow suit,” Rogers said.
Rogers added Oregon is evolving faster than all of them Oregon State Senator Floyd Prozanski agrees.
"While it’s intrastate we need to do everything we can to position ourselves so that when it goes interstate we’ll be a national leader and we can actually be an exporter to many states who do not have the ability to grow as our former student throughout the state but specifically in Southern Oregon," said Senator Prozanski.
Marijuana activist said in order for Oregon to take on that lead, marijuana needs to be federally legal.