DJ Muggs if Cyprus Hill at ICBS kauai.

Party With DJ Muggs of Cypress Hill at ICBC

The International Cannabis Business Conference in early February gets everybody up to speed on the status of marijuana in California.

San Francisco has no shortage of conferences or cannabis users; fortunately there’s an event that combines both! The International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC), the first B2B event during full legalization, hits the Hyatt Embarcadero Thursday and Friday, Feb. 1-2, with a hybrid blend of business, activism, and culture.

The San Francisco ICBC includes in-depth interviews with California cannabis czar Lori Ajax and Alex Traverso of the California Bureau of Cannabis Control.

“This will be an excellent opportunity … to have their questions answered and concerns addressed by those at the top of the regulatory food chain,” an ICBC release states.

There’s even an afterparty with DJ Muggs of Cypress Hill and Soul Assassins fame. Muggs, a longtime cannabis activist, believes in the power of weed for creative and physical endeavors.

“I think weed is a natural herb that comes from the ground; it’s like any other herb you use,” he tells SF Evergreen. “For me, it’s strictly creative. I smoke sativas, and when I go into the studio, it lights me up. Some people get stoned and lay around like a rock. Marijuana makes me wanna read, makes me wanna rock out — it’s like a stimulant in addition to all the medical stuff we’re all hip to.”

While Muggs will strictly be behind the decks as a DJ at the conference, he appeared on a previous ICBC panel in Kauai to discuss his own cannabis history. Muggs owns a farm called Boom Family Farms, and he plans to roll out a new line of cannabis products (including beet-based health drinks, pre-rolls, and flowers) called CHB with industry vets Bhang in February.

Henry Rollins at ICBC, 2017

But even for a veteran smoker, getting into the weed business comes with challenges.

“It’s just getting in there and getting with the right people,” Muggs says. “The challenges are like in every other business — there’s some full of shit people and a lot of get-rich-quick schemes. Also, the banking isn’t right yet, and you can’t move across state lines yet.”

Perhaps the biggest challenge is getting a proper education.

“I dig what ICBC is doing from a business standpoint: to have entrepreneurs come in an educate people on the business side of the cannabis industry,” he says. “It’s like a one-stop shop if you want to get involved in the industry. You’ll get a full education on the ins and outs of the investment side.”

Today, weed is mainstream and people who smoke are no longer thought of as thugs or stoners. Recreational legalization will “take the mental chains off of people,” Muggs notes.

Likely fueled by his favorite flowers, Muggs will play a three hour set of funk, soul, and hip-hop at the ICBC in February. Although he’s been in the game for years, he says weed culture has changed significantly since the early ’90s. Back then, Cypress Hill was banned from Saturday Night Live for life after lighting up on stage, and the group included a sort of marijuana manifesto in the liner notes of their 1993 album Black Sunday, which included songs like “Hits from the Bong,” “Legalize It,” and “I Wanna Get High.”

“We’ve been fighting for the legalization of cannabis since 1992, we worked with NORML and were tight with High Times,” Muggs says. “I think we were big on it before any of these other rappers were big on weed. We’re really excited about legalization, especially in California when everything goes [recreational] in January.”

International Cannabis Business Conference, Thursday and Friday, Feb. 1-2, at the Hyatt Embarcadero;