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Posted on Mon, Aug 19, 2013 : 2:59 p.m.

Michigan Medical Marijuana Conference coming to Ann Arbor this weekend

By Ben Freed


The Michigan Medical Marijuana Conference this weekend will include workshops for marijuana growers and panel discussions on the impact of the substance on society.

Ryan J. Stanton |

Things are going to get a little hazy on the west side of Ann Arbor this weekend.

It may not have the instant name recognition of the Hash Bash in AnnArbor, but The Michigan Medical Marijuana Report is bringing the fifth Michigan Medical Marijuana Conference to the Clarion Hotel on Jackson Avenue in Ann Arbor.

The magazine has held one conference in Grand Rapids and is planning an event in Traverse City in September, but is returning to Ann Arbor for the third time.

“Ann Arbor is one of the bigger medical marijuana communities in the state,” editor and conference director Ed Gorski said.

“There always seems to be demand to know what’s new with the laws and what is upcoming. People want to stay ahead of the curve.”

The annual conference involves a combination of speakers, panel discussions and classes for medical marijuana growers and activists. The event kicks off Friday night with a panel that includes State Representative Mike Callton (R-Nashville) and Michigan Medical Marijuana Report owner Ben Horner.

The panel will discuss current medical marijuana legislation and “marijuana impact on society.” Last fall, citizens in Washington and Colorado voted that marijuana should be legalized, adding to the traction that the movement has been gaining over the past few years.

Gorski said that Saturday at the conference is more geared towards growers. The event is free to the public, but a $25 fee is required to participate in full day of activities.

“There are classes throughout the day and then we bring all the teachers together at the end and have a panel where you can ask them questions,” he said. “Then after that we have the cooking class.”

Throughout the conference, a vendor hall will be open to the public and will include displays from local dispensaries and a variety of other ganja-centric companies and organizations.

“A big part of the conference is all of the vendors who come,” he said.

“Marijuana Inc. will have a booth. they are the only marijuana company listed on a stock exchange. There is also a trimming company, a number of non-profit booths and live music to keep everyone entertained.”

In addition to the booths, doctors will be on hand at the hotel diagnosing patients and issuing medical marijuana certifications for $69.

“They mostly diagnose for chronic pain, that’s kind of the average,” Gorski said.

“We do see a lot of that, but you see illnesses from every end of the spectrum. We have people come in with multiple sclerosis and cancer. Our doctors deal with all varieties of sick people.”

The final event of the conference on Sunday is the declaration of the second annual Caregiver Cup awards, given to the best marijuana strains in four different categories. According to an entry form, the strains are judged on cannibinoid percentage, medical potency, flavor and appearance.

“The last cup we had 147 entries, so it’s quite a long process to determine the winner,” Gorski said.

Gorski said that about 500 people attended each of the past two Ann Arbor conferences, and he’s expecting about that many people again this year.

Ben Freed covers business for You can sign up here to receive Business Review updates every week. Get in touch with Ben at 734-623-2528 or email him at Follow him on twitter @BFreedinA2


Norman Gates

Wed, Aug 21, 2013 : 3:08 p.m.

Medical Marijuana Inc. (MJNA) will have it's master distributor HempMedsPX there to show folks their cannabidiol (CBD) based products like CanChew gum and Real Scientific Hemp Oil that are currently legal in all 50 states and are non-smokeable, non-psychoactive ways to increase wellness and combat conditions like: pain, cancer, headaches, seizures and many other conditions. The company does offer THC-infused products through it's subsidiaries, but they are specifically targeting the CBD market so patients and others can increase their wellness without requiring a change in policy on the state or federal level. Disclosure: I do not work for the company and my statements are mine, but I believe in this companies goals and just want folks to know what is available other than bongs and blunts. Also I am a shareholder in MJNA and if anyony has any questions for me outside of your own research feel free to tweet me on twitter @LaughinPaulRyan, but MJNA does have a website full of information and ofcourse there is always google however some bloggers have been running quite a reefer madness smear campaign to encourage investors to sell stocks for a loss.


Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 4:14 p.m.

Things are going to get a little hazy???? That just makes fun of something that some people take very seriously. Those who smoke to get wasted will think it's funny, people who get relief will not.


Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 2:15 a.m.

Doritos & Cheetos & Fritos oh my!


Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 4:18 p.m.



Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 1:13 a.m.

"Please remember, this is a non-smoking hotel. There is a $250 fee if it is determined that smoking has occurred in your room during your stay." "Thank you, The Management"


Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : midnight

I'm not a marijuana user, medical or otherwise, but I have been following closely the story of the young child in Colorado with Dravet Syndrome suffering over 300 seizures a week. She is now on medical marijuana and thriving. Medical marijuana is not always smoked. This child receives it in liquid form.


Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 2:26 a.m.

The lion share of the "medical" marijuana crowd buys a card and gets high. There is also a lot of money to be had by growers. Please don't spout off the one case where some girl is saved by medical marijuana and ignore all of the harm it does.................

The Infinite Jester

Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 12:49 a.m.

@Angry Moderate In the colorado child's case CBD is dominate in the strain that she uses. If you would smoke that strain you would not really get high as there as there is a very little amount of THC.

Angry Moderate

Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 12:11 a.m.

There are already prescription THC pills. They are not as effective because marijuana has many active ingredients. The government apparently thinks that THC has medical value when you buy it from a pharmaceutical corporation, but not when you grow the exact same chemical yourself.


Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 12:07 a.m.

What has been lacking between the Federal Govt and pharmaceutical companies is the legal ability to extract the active ingredient from marijuana and put it in a pill or liquid form distribution through regulated means. Relying only on smoking marijuana for its medicinal affects leaves the door open to abuse.


Mon, Aug 19, 2013 : 11:51 p.m.

I'm surprised that our esteemed State Rep Jeff Irwin hasn't jumped on this conference to promote his 'why limit pot to medicine when we can all get high' desire to make marijuana legal.


Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 11:26 a.m.

Don't need another substance abuse issue either.


Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 12:06 a.m.

Imagine that, someone using mairjuana for the sole reason to get high. What a frightening concept. Keep up that fight, grye, we don't need free will in this society.

michael corleone

Mon, Aug 19, 2013 : 11:38 p.m.

If it was good for you, my co-worker who has been doing it for 35 years, would be able to form a complete sentence. But instead he just mumbles, and smells like reefer after every break he takes. But he should never have to worry about lung cancer, according to you drug addicted geniuses.

harry b

Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 5:20 p.m.

There is no question, when faced with a choice, it much better not to smoke week. Plain and simple, its not good for you. Although I do admit there is medical property that help some people.


Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 2:30 p.m.

Sounds like more of an issue with an employer than weed. Amazingly this person has a job and keeps it. Sounds to me like you are jealous. I am guessing he makes more than you or has a better position.


Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 2:24 a.m.

tartan - denial is not a river in Egypt


Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 1:04 a.m.

So, everybody who uses it, might not be the brightest folks to start with. Beside in some US cities, public education was surely lacking. People used to drop out of school at age 12-13 to work in the factories/farms so they could help out their parents.


Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 12:46 a.m.

What you are describing is a "stoner"! There are a lot of us who smoke weed that are not stoners! I have been smoking weed for a very long time but I am in no way a stoner. I will say this though "the only way to clean a bathroom is when you get a buzz on"!!!

Angry Moderate

Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 12:16 a.m.

Do you understand what a "study" is?


Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 12:01 a.m.

It's a good thing he has you to worry about his health and business.

Michigan Man

Mon, Aug 19, 2013 : 10:46 p.m.

Lots of emphysema, lung disease, cancer of the throat/lungs, chronic pulmonary diseases, heart diseases, psychotic features due to THC content, dental issues, etc. all to follow the medical marijuana foolishness. Thought Ann Arbor had the smartest people around? Burned out, over the hill hippies will probably be the target audience and a couple of hundred will show up - probably will be a weak event.


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 5:34 p.m.

Mind sharp as a bowling ball? You don't trot out your catch phrase anymore. What gives? We know you are a shill for big pharma


Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 2:27 p.m.

When you can show me ONE confirmed case of any person dying from marijuana overdose, you can talk about making marijuana illegal. The studies actually show the opposite of what you believe, BUT let's pretend you are correct. Each and every one of your statements could be said about tobacco. Many diseases are caused by poor dietary decisions (Twinkies have ZERO nutritional value) yet we do not ban junk food. And for the record, you really have no clue about who is smoking marijuana today. If you think it is over the hill hippies, it is because you are old and havent spent time with anybody under 30 in the last decade.

Basic Bob

Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 2:11 p.m.

Talking points from the Wall Street drug cartel. Please explain how an overdose on synthetic heroin which causes one to stop breathing is better than an overdose on marijuana which causes one to fall asleep.


Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 1 a.m.

Tommy Chong is living proof weed isn't that harmful. What ever happen to those Marlboro men that used to be on TV, oh yeah, they all have past away, yet folks like Willie Nelson and Tommy Chong are still going strong. I go by whats happening in the world, not what I am just told.


Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 12:03 a.m.

@ Mich Man. As long as you're just making stuff up, you might as well add everything from the movie "Reefer Madness," as well.

Angry Moderate

Mon, Aug 19, 2013 : 11:21 p.m.

The largest study of its kind has unexpectedly concluded that smoking marijuana, even regularly and heavily, does not lead to lung cancer. The new findings "were against our expectations," said Donald Tashkin of the University of California at Los Angeles, a pulmonologist who has studied marijuana for 30 years.


Mon, Aug 19, 2013 : 10:11 p.m.

Since there is no medical value for weed this event is really just another hash bash


Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 12:56 a.m.

Weed kills my nerve pain and makes other pains more manageable. Every time I go over a month without weed, my left arm "kills me" by falling asleep like but it hurts much more and wakes me up at night. Don't go telling me its all in my head, I wish it was. Love to be 100% drug free but M.M. is the closest I can get. Sure beats talking narcotics for my ills. Love the state of Michigan, its the "best" state in the med west, IMO Got pretty cool traffic laws too compared to other near by states--now if just more folks could just drive a little better, lol


Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 12:46 a.m.

Just cause the feds claim no medical value, doesn't mean it has to be true. We are told man walked on the moon 40 years ago yet there is no real prove, no films, no blueprint of the moon buggy, yet most folks still believe it happen. U sometimes need to think for yourself and decide what is true and what might not be true.

Joey Ismail

Mon, Aug 19, 2013 : 10:33 p.m.

Lol, sorry to break it to you "doc" but a few hundred medical studies, a few million patients, thousands of doctors, almost a dozen nations, along with about 5000 years of historical evidence all say the exact opposite.


Mon, Aug 19, 2013 : 9:34 p.m.

I understand the first one's free

Dog Guy

Mon, Aug 19, 2013 : 9:32 p.m.

Underground parking, public art, traffic calming, and the JustUs Center now draw conferences to Ann Arbor.

michael corleone

Mon, Aug 19, 2013 : 9:11 p.m.

Whoa! Too cool, man!


Mon, Aug 19, 2013 : 8:25 p.m.

Probably half of the people there will be plain clothes cops.


Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 12:43 a.m.

Sad but true. The police are too powerful to stand back and not care. They made a super business out of the war on drugs. Too bad, folks are on more drugs then ever before. CVS and Walgreen's even have drive up windows to pick up your meds.

Jon Wax

Mon, Aug 19, 2013 : 8:53 p.m.

ya got that right or damn close to it. dea probably rents out a couple rooms a floor or 2 above. must be a simple gig for 'em. Peace Wax


Mon, Aug 19, 2013 : 8:25 p.m.

I just checked out their website thinking maybe I could potentially become a last minute vendor since I run a Hemp based Apothecary.. They want $600.00 ! That's just being greedy.. The Clarion is in no way a "premium" hotel, nor is this a "premium" venue. I am so sick of the Medical Marijuana community/organizers taking advantage of people, just to make a buck, and claim it's to "further the cause" It just goes to show that those interested in legalizing Hemp, and those interested in legalizing Marijuana, have to very different agendas.. One is to further economic growth as a country, and become more self sustainable, and the other is to line some "advocates" pockets.


Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 12:41 a.m.

Oh for sure its a rip off. Health Canada which is getting out of the M.M. business now charges $1 a gram, one buck no miss print. The guess is once it goes private, the cost will be $8 a gram. That is still way cheaper then $20 a gram. And don';t go tell me Canada pot is weaker, no way.

Jon Wax

Mon, Aug 19, 2013 : 8:52 p.m.

you're ascribing "altruisitic" ideologies to a newly developing industry in a unsure market in a country where for the most part the product has and still is illegal. it's just business and when the tobacco companies lose enough market share then their investors will want to find a product that gets them the returns they want. the infrastucture is already in place, so when big tobacco wants it legal, it'll be legal. if you think it's greed-oriented now... just wait a few years. i expect to see tv ads for it made illegal. but these aren't the hippies of old that were about peace, love and equality. these are the "business hippies" from harold and kumars first movie. can't really blame 'em. the market supports it. Peace Wax

An Arborigine

Mon, Aug 19, 2013 : 8 p.m.

"The last cup we had 147 entries, so it's quite a long process to determine the winner" Need any judges?


Mon, Aug 19, 2013 : 11:29 p.m.

Long process indeed and even when they have a winner, no one can remember who it is... ;) Please pass the Oreos....

Ben Freed

Mon, Aug 19, 2013 : 8:19 p.m.

You'd have to make it into the "secret" judges panel. Groski didn't tell me how they were chosen.

Fred Pettit

Mon, Aug 19, 2013 : 7:46 p.m.

It's too bad that the conference center wasn't built so this could be hosted downtown. NOT!!!!!

Joey Ismail

Mon, Aug 19, 2013 : 10:31 p.m.

Word man. Like whoop there it is dude!


Mon, Aug 19, 2013 : 9:01 p.m.

Wayne and Garth want their catchphrase back.


Mon, Aug 19, 2013 : 7:40 p.m.

Fer sure man.