Wellesley isn’t exactly the most marijuana-friendly community around. Whereas Newtonville has a dispensary on the way in early 2016 and Natick is home to the Northeastern Institute of Cannabis, Wellesley had a year-long moratorium on dispensaries in place until last summer and then imposed new rules last year to ensure the town wouldn’t be overrun with medicinal weed. Wellesley Police have also made their disapproving position on medical marijuana known as well.
So I was taken a bit by surprise seeing that the first Babson Cannabis Symposium is slated for April 26 from 10am-5pm on the college campus.
This, however, is no Boston Freedom Rally, that smoking free-for-all that we seem to stumble across every year on the Boston Common while visiting town for wholesome, family-friendly entertainment.
Babson’s Cannabis Club invites the public to “join us along with entrepreneurs, lawyers, doctors, and scientists at the #1 School for Entrepreneurship for the first ever Babson Cannabis Symposium. Connect with dispensary owners, product innovators and experts as we navigate and explore the future of the marijuana industry.” The marketing message touts the industry’s growth as being faster than that of the smartphone business and its revenue potential being bigger than that of the NFL within a few years.
I asked organizer Anton Pronichenko, a Babson sophomore who is one of the event organizers, how receptive the college was to the concept of the event. “Pretty receptive considering the main focus is not hosting a cannabis club per se, but understanding the current state of the cannabis industry and exploring professional business opportunities within the industry. We began planning 1.5-2 months ago,” he says.
The only requirement was that it be called a “symposium” and not a “forum,” a term the school felt was best for more established confabs. Symposium probably sounds more academic, too.
On the agenda are talks with titles such as “Madness or Medicine,” “Sequencing the Cannabis Genome,” “The numbers behind legalization,” and “A value-driven industry,” a session title that I’m pretty sure is part of every symposium held at every business school on any topic.
Tickets are $10 for students/$20 for others, and that entitles you to the talks as well as munchies, including a Boloco lunch, plus popcorn.