Amid a boycott by the Minority Cannabis Business Association, a Change.org petition, and the loss of sponsors, and participants, Roger Stone will no longer be featured as the keynote speaker at either the Los Angeles, California or Boston, Massachusetts Cannabis World Congress & Business Expositions.
“The forums created by CWCBExpo are crucial to the growth and legalization of the cannabis industry and they supersede the distractions that have surrounded the events,” organizers said in a press release. “CWCBExpo is wholly committed to promoting diverse business and economic opportunities in the cannabis industry by providing a united and welcoming environment for its exhibitors, sponsors, attendees and speakers.”
Stone, the former campaign strategist for President Donald Trump, was invited to deliver the keynote after launching the bi-partisan United States Cannabis Coalition in June. However, his inclusion at the event was met with resistance due to previous “hateful” statements, including calling Rev. Al Sharpton, who is now the scheduled keynote speaker at the Los Angeles event, a “professional Negro.” Stone also served on the campaign of President Richard Nixon who famously launched the War on Drugs.
Stone has called the boycott an “agitprop astro-turf…smear campaign” levied by “the usual trolls and bots” including the founder of Media Matters for America Davis Brock “and his minions.”
Organizers have not announced who would replace Stone as the keynote speaker in Boston.