Welcome to the 2024 

Cannabis & Psychedelic Symposium

Join us Wednesday, April 17th at the Wolf Law Wittemyer Courtroom

At the University of Colorado Boulder, we are continuing our efforts to provide high quality public education on drugs and drug policy with the 2024 Cannabis & Psychedelic Symposium, to be held on April 17th. This year we are offering a series of speakers, panels, an activism workshop, a preparty, and more! 

The event is free and open to the public. Coffee and pizza plus an Information Fair will be provided in Boettcher Hall.


2024 Keynote Speakers

Stephanie Shepard

Closing Plenary Speaker

Director of Advocacy: Last Prisoner Project

Stephanie Shepard was convicted of conspiracy to distribute marijuana in 2010. As a first-time, non-violent offender, Stephanie was sentenced to ten years in the Federal Bureau Of Prisons. After serving nine years, she was placed on federal probation for an additional five years.

Stephanie now serves as Last Prisoner Project's Director of Advocacy and sits on the organization's Board of Directors. She is adamantly advocating for restorative justice for those who have suffered and continue to suffer as she has from the criminalization of cannabis.

Wanda James

Opening Plenary Speaker

Cannabis Research at the University of Colorado and the Imperative for Racial Justice in the Industry

A current University of Colorado regent and CU alum, Wanda James is also one of the most widely respected leaders in cannabis today. As a Black woman, a veteran, and a former Fortune 100 executive, she has spent the past decade working to remove the stigma of the plant and shedding light on the racial inequities of the cannabis industry. 

Wanda is the founder and CEO of Simply Pure Dispensary in Denver. Along with her husband Scott Durrah, they became the first African Americans, legally licensed in America, to own a dispensary, a cultivation facility, and an edible company. 

A decade after the first move to legalize cannabis, Wanda is unapologetically critical of the industry that remains 97% white-owned. 

Whether it’s speaking out on the lack of Black ownership in cannabis, over-policing Black neighborhoods, or the mass incarceration that still exists for people of color, Wanda is a fierce advocate for those without a voice.

 She is also the founder and President of the Cannabis Global Initiative (CGI), a marketing and consulting firm that specializes in diversity development, regulatory framework, and marketing. The group is dedicated to providing innovative solutions through strategic alliances and business development surrounding the legalization of cannabis.

Check out our Schedule for the full list of presentations!