Nine years ago, Alex Rogers, co-owner of Marijuana Politics, was released from a German prison, where he had finished serving a six-month sentence for cannabis related offenses. He was 35 years old and completely broke. He had been living in Europe for seven years and upon his release from prison, decided to move back to the United States, to, as he puts it, “get my shit together”. And, get his shit together he did. A year and a half after returning to the states, Rogers graduated magna cum laude in Political Science from Southern Oregon University.
Not long after graduating college, he started one of Oregon’s most successful medical marijuana clinic businesses. “Though my degree was not in business, because of the politically charged cannabis industry, my degree has helped me with my business endeavors more than I could have ever imagined”.
After building his clinic business, Rogers started the Oregon Medical Marijuana Business Conference (OMMBC) and the International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC), two of the preeminent cannabis business conferences in the country. One of his proudest achievements is the OMMBC because he has gotten such positive feedback from attendees and colleagues that are now thriving in the burgeoning Oregon marijuana market.
Rogers stated that, “The OMMBC was our first conference, our baby, and we have worked diligently to build the OMMBC brand and improve upon previous events.” Rogers is not just a businessman, he is also one of Oregon’s top cannabis activists, organizing thousands of emails and phone calls to Oregon legislators last spring.
Rogers attributes much of his success to his activist ideology. “I have a tremendous amount of encouragement and help from many good people. Being a good business person starts with being a good member of the community at large.” Rogers describes the current cannabis industry landscape in Oregon as “Booming”. “I have lived in California, Amsterdam, and Switzerland (1999 when weed was virtually legal in the country), and I have never seen anything like what is currently happening in Oregon. It is inspiring”.
Currently, Rogers is starting up two new cannabis businesses, and with his Midas touch, I for one, am not betting against him. Rogers is also currently in negotiations with a venue in Berlin to produce the first European ICBC next summer. Rags to riches stories, like Rogers, are becoming less uncommon in the cannabis industry, as many newbie canna-millionaires had the misfortune of spending time in prison for activities they now conduct legally.
If you are interested in learning more about the Oregon cannabis industry from Alex and other industry experts by attending the upcoming Oregon Medical Marijuana Business Conference on September 12-13 in Portland, please visit www.ommbc.com.