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News Briefs: Cannabis confab hits SF

by Cynthia Laird

The International Cannabis Business Conference will bring its blend of commerce, activism, and culture to the city its fourth information-filled event February 1-2 at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco, 5 Embarcadero Center.

The conference is ICBC's first since the legalization of adult recreational marijuana sales began in the state January 1. Organizers said that the conference will heavily feature all aspects of the California industry.

Events include an in-depth interview with California cannabis czar Lori Ajax and Alex Traverso of the California Bureau of Cannabis Control. In addition to hearing from top regulators, attendees will learn from top entrepreneurs, lawyers, advocates, and experts in the field. Speakers will discuss licensing requirements, lab testing, compliance, delivery, distribution, co-packing, and logistics.

"Every state that has legalized cannabis has had many changes to the law and regulations and different regulatory schemes for localities, and California will be no different; the ICBC will have attendees as prepared as possible," ICBC founder and producer Alex Rogers said in a news release.

There will also be networking opportunities as well as social events. Cypress Hill's DJ Muggs will be providing music at this year's exclusive after-party, so the networking can continue past the conference. A VIP event will also be held.

Regular tickets are $449, while tickets that include the VIP party are $549. Ticket prices go up January 31.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit or call (888) 920-6076.

Academy of Friends Oscar nominee event
The Academy of Friends, well known for its Oscar viewing party that raises funds for HIV/AIDS organizations, will be toasting the nominees at a get-together Thursday (January 25), from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Sui Generis Consignment, 2231 Market Street in the Castro.

A warm-up for the larger Academy Awards watch gala, Thursday's event is more low-key where people can enjoy cocktails and a bowtie-tying clinic and shop for a "fabulous frock for our 2018 gala," organizers said. There will also be door prizes.

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online at

Tickets for the Oscar gala, to be held Sunday, March 4, from 5 to 11 p.m., are $300 and can be purchased at A location for the gala was not listed on the website.

Sha'ar Zahav to install new rabbi
Congregation Sha'ar Zahav will formally install its new rabbi, Mychal Copeland, at a special service Friday, January 26, at 7:30 p.m. at 290 Dolores Street in San Francisco.

The predominately LGBT synagogue appointed Copeland, a lesbian, last summer.

Rabbi Steven Carr-Reuben, rabbi emeritus of Kehillat Israel of Pacific Palisades, and a mentor and spiritual guide to Copeland, will be the installing rabbi and speaker.
There will be a reception following the service.

RSVPs are requested and people can do so by going to

Tree dedication at Pink Triangle Park
Pink Triangle Park and Memorial, a small space in the Castro that honors gay men who were interned in concentration camps during World War II, will have a tree dedication on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Saturday, January 27, beginning at noon.

Organizer John Goldsmith, the park's primary caretaker, said in an email that the ceremony will be brief, about 20 minutes, and very informal with a few possible speakers.

As the Bay Area Reporter noted in a story last fall, the park is in the midst of a rehabilitation project to replace damaged pylons, refresh the landscape, and make the space accessible. He is working with Andrea Aiello, executive director of the Castro/Upper Market Community Benefit District on the project.

Goldsmith said that if people want to "get in on the dirt," they can arrive at 9 a.m. and help out. Tools, gloves, and water are provided. People should wear long pants and closed-toe shoes.

Those planning to attend the ceremony are asked to bring a snack to share.

The park is located at 2454 Market Street.

To RSVP, contact Goldsmith at

Mind, body, soul event for gay men
The California Prevention Training Center will hold a free mind, body, and soul event for gay men Saturday, January 27, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Oakland Marriott City Center, 1001 Broadway (near the 12th Street BART station).

The Oakland LGBTQ Community Center, which sent out information on the conference, said that it celebrates the health and wellness of the gay community. There will be workshops, and speakers on topics like relationships and intimacy, building a spiritual foundation, and increasing safe sexual pleasure.

The day will include a special appearance by rapper, reality TV star, and LGBTQ activist Milan Christopher, as well as food and music.

To register, visit

Afterward, Christopher is hosting a free men's mocktail party at the Oakland LGBTQ Community Center, 3207 Lakeshore Avenue (use Rand Avenue entrance). A virgin happy hour will take place from 5 to 7 p.m., followed by the mocktail party until 11. Rodney Chester will serve as DJ.

For more information about the center, visit

HIV decriminalization topic of talk
Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund and Equality California will hold a talk entitled "California Conversations: Leading the Way on HIV Decriminalization" Monday, January 29, from 7 to 8 p.m. at the San Francisco LGBT Community Center, 1800 Market Street.

Lambda Legal's Scott Schoettes and EQCA's Rick Zbur will discuss the implications of California Senate Bill 239, which Governor Jerry Brown signed last year. The law, co-authored by gay state Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), and gay Assemblyman Todd Gloria (D-San Diego), modernizes the state's HIV criminalization laws adopted during the height of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s. It requires proof that transmission of HIV did occur in order for a person to be prosecuted for intentionally transmitting the virus to a sex partner.

Naina Knanna, executive director of the Positive Women's Network, will moderate the discussion.

The event is free, however, RSVP is required and can be done at

For more information, contact Megan Vankuiken at (323) 370-6910.

IOA's 'Dinner à la Heart'
The Institute on Aging will hold its 35th annual "Dinner à la Heart" dining out event Tuesday, February 6, at noon for lunch or 7 p.m. for dinner.

More than 50 Bay Area restaurants are participating in the pre-fixe meal, where prices range from $85 to $250 per person, including wine and coffee or tea.

People choose a restaurant, make reservations through IOA, and enjoy a unique dining experience while supporting the institute's programs and services that help seniors remain independent and healthy in San Francisco.

To reserve a restaurant, and for more information, visit

Early bird tix available for center's Soiree
Early bird tickets are available (dinner only) for the San Francisco LGBT Community Center's annual Soiree benefit that takes place Saturday, April 14, at Terra Gallery, 511 Harrison Street.

The evening includes dinner at 5 p.m. and the party at 8:30. Juanita MORE!, the Bay Area Reporter's new society columnist, returns as entertainment director. Center officials also announced that Emmy Award-winning CBS-TV and KCBS host Liam Mayclem will come back as emcee and auctioneer.

Soiree features an open bar, food, performances, music, live and silent auctions, and dancing.
Last year's event sold out. Early bird pricing for the dinner - until February 28 - is $249 and includes the party. Tickets for the party only are $95.

The event is for those 21 and older. For tickets and more information, visit


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