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Oral Presentations: Formal, individual presentations on various conservation topics will be scheduled in general sessions depending on the specific “Track” in which it was submitted and the thematic content. The abstract submission form requires the selection of a preferred presentation format (oral) and whether you are submitting your abstract as an individual or part of an organized panel. The Session Chair may suggest that you change your proposed format depending on the novelty, relationship to the theme, available time in the program, and whether or not the content has been previously presented.

All presenters must be registered conference participants.

Please, do not submit the same abstract in multiple formats.


Cannabis* and Society (Public Policy, Regulation, Legal Landscape, Impacts on Research, Social Impacts)

Sessions & Session Descriptions:

ICR Funded Project Highlights

The Institute for Cannabis Research’s vision is to advance knowledge and understanding of cannabis, broadly defined, by supporting unbiased, high-quality research. To date, the Institute for Cannabis Research has invested over 2 million dollars in research in the state of Colorado. These projects focus on observational and hypothesis-based research that includes scientific, medical, social science, economic, and clinical studies of cannabis that impact the state, nation, and the world. This session highlights the outcomes and impact of several of the funded projects.

Law Enforcement, Regulation and Public Safety

The vision of public safety promoted by marijuana reformers over the past two decades has been enthusiastically embraced by some while strongly opposed by others. It is this: adults would be allowed to purchase marijuana from licensed retail stores instead of from illicit drug dealers, while limited law enforcement resources could be directed toward other serious crimes.

The simplicity of the concept is compelling. Regulating marijuana like alcohol and allowing it to be produced and distributed by legitimate and transparent commercial enterprises would create a positive social presence for products that were previously the domain of criminals and drug addicts. Creating reliable markets under an enlightened regulatory scheme would allow willing participants to earn a fair living and enjoy both the intoxicating effects and therapeutic benefits of marijuana, all while filling government coffers with new tax revenue and promoting and preserving public safety, security, and health. Few will doubt that in many respects, decriminalization and commercialization of marijuana have achieved certain desirable effects. However, progress remains uneven, and tough questions about the public safety implications of legal marijuana still arise. This session will take stock of the social experiment in marijuana legal reform.

Presenters will critically assess whether marijuana legalization has lived up to the hype of its supporters. Among the subjects that may be explored are occupational safety, traffic safety, and consumer protection. Illicit distribution to minors and diversion of marijuana from jurisdictions where it is legal to those where it does not remain critical concerns. Federal prohibitions against the possession of firearms by commercial producers and consumers of marijuana pose a stark contrast to the near-religious fervor of those who staunchly defend their rights under the Second Amendment. The security of marijuana businesses, especially those constrained to operate on a cash-only basis due to pervasive banking restrictions, suffers when those very limitations make
them targets for theft, burglary, money laundering, and fraud. In an imperfect and often overbearing regulatory environment, black and gray markets for marijuana endure and risk crowding out the very legitimate businesses meant to displace them.
This critical exploration of public safety issues will not likely offer many definitive conclusions. Whether marijuana may be produced, distributed, and consumed while satisfactorily mitigating the risks to public safety presents an unending challenge to policymakers, regulatory authorities, and law enforcement. The debate over whether criminal and commercial regulatory
regimes mitigate risks to public safety or cause them to arise in the first place will continue.

But attendees may rest assured that they will leave this session endowed with a fresh perspective on the seemingly intractable problems posed by the intersection of marijuana and public safety.

Cultural and Indigenous Perspectives on Cannabis

Cannabis is a gift of nature that meets the major needs of human well-being. It is the most valuable, versatile, and earliest cultivated crop. For millennia, cannabis has been an essential component of human society, serving a variety of purposes in religious, cultural, and medical traditions across different cultures and indigenous communities. The session probes into the historical, cultural, and spiritual significance of cannabis within diverse societies and indigenous communities around the world. This session aims to explore the traditional knowledge, practices, and beliefs surrounding cannabis cultivation and consumption and its role in cultural rituals, ceremonies, and healing traditions. It shall investigate a thorough understanding of the numerous ways with its wide range of uses and benefits, can improve several facets of human existence. The types of presentations within this session can encompass a wide range of topics, each contributing to a holistic understanding of the role of cannabis in promoting human well-being. These can be divided as follows:

Historical Significance: Cannabis use can hold deep roots in Indigenous traditions. We'll delve into how it's been cultivated for generations, with knowledge passed down through oral histories and practices.

Sacred Plant: Many cultures view cannabis as a gift from nature, imbued with spiritual significance. The session will explore its role in rituals, ceremonies, and connecting with ancestral wisdom.

Holistic Approach:  Indigenous communities often take a holistic approach to cannabis cultivation, emphasizing respect for the land, sustainable practices, and preserving biodiversity.

Perspectives on Legalization: The session will likely discuss the complex issue of cannabis legalization from an Indigenous standpoint.


This might include:

  • Self-determination and the right of communities to regulate cannabis use on their terms.

  • Economic opportunities and challenges for Indigenous communities in the legal cannabis market.

  • Addressing historical injustices and the disproportionate impact of cannabis criminalization on Indigenous peoples.


Knowledge Sharing: This session can be a platform for Indigenous voices to share their rich knowledge and nuanced understanding of cannabis. This knowledge can inform research, policy, and best practices in the cannabis industry.


Regulatory Challenges of Hemp-Based Animal Feeds

In spite of hemp and its by-products known to be nutritious, healthy and safe food for human consumption, why is it still illegal to feed it to animals?
This session will include panels and experts working with the regulatory agencies and bodies charged with animal feed ingredient approvals, regulation and enforcement of feed safety to identify the roadblocks to hemp as animal feed in the US and globally. Discussions and presentations will consider current policy and processes necessary to gain legal approval and compare these globally, nationally and where applicable by state. Jurisdictional differences will be explored and updates on individual countries and activities occurring to address barriers and gain legal approval. The session will also provide discussions and presentations on the current policy and regulatory environment including; the FDA- Center for Veterinary Medicine's zero tolerance policy, the Feed Additive Approval Process, Generally Recognized as Safe - Federal and State submission process, and the American Association of Feed Control officials (AAFCO) Ingredient Definition Process. The session will begin broadly with a global focus and conclude with details on the current hempseed meal for laying hens ingredient definition and a panel discussion on its impact on farmers, regulators, consumers and the hemp supply chain.


ICR Funded Project Highlights
Law Enforcement, Regulation and Public Safety
Cultural and Indigenous Perspectives on Cannabis
Regulatory Challenges of Hemp-Based Animal Feeds
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