The organizers of KushCon see Colorado as the hub of the marijuana industry thanks to a for-profit business model and state laws. As Michael Lerner, the owner of Kush Magazine, which is running the convention, tells The Denver Post, “Colorado is light-years ahead of the rest of the world in how it regulates and taxes cannabis.” Moreover, the state has a booming medical-marijuana economy, as evidenced by the dispensaries that dot commercial strips throughout the state. KushConII, as the December 17-19 event at the Colorado Convention Center is dubbed, recently drew some controversy when RTD agreed to run bus ads for the show, which sparked protests from law-enforcement officers, who see the convention as promoting drug culture. But as Westword points out, KushCon is much more than that.

For Cheryl Shuman, the event’s international director of public relations and media, there’s a personal angle: her inoperable liver cancer, which she treats with medical cannabis. Moreover, the convention will also bring in some notable speakers, including former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, Boulder Congressman Jared Polis, and a long list of professionals and advocates. KushConII, Shuman says, will be “family-friendly, which is important to me, because I’m a mom.”