Marijuana Business Daily’s Mj Biz Con most definitely did not disappoint this year, drawing over 27,000 attendees from 70 unique countries to the Las Vegas Convention Center last week, all to discuss our favorite subject: cannabis. This was my third year attending, and I continue to blown away by the forward motion of this industry.
Aside from the overall excitement and energy you could feel at the conference and the almost 2-fold increase in attendance from Biz Con 2017, there was also a lot of buzz around Marijuana Business Daily’s first ever Podcast Row.
Additionally, this year the City of Las Vegas and Nevada’s Clark County issued proclamations declaring a official ‘MJBizCon Week’ surrounding this annual conference and expo. Rapidly expanding show attendance, increasing global recognition and economic impact
of this fast-growing annual cannabis industry trade show were all factors that contributed to these official proclamations.
“Since founding MJBizCon in 2012, our team at Marijuana Business Daily has worked tirelessly to create the preeminent conference and trade show for the cannabis industry,” said Cassandra Farrington, CEO & Co-Founder of Marijuana Business Daily.
A few personal highlights for me this year….
At the conference:
Phyto Animal Health: This company is part of HempMeds and I had the best time meeting Dante the pitbull and learning about Phyto Animal Health’s line of CBD supplements and hemp products that are supported by science and veterinary councils. The company has created sustainably sourced pet-specific hemp products that are safe and healthy for your furry family members, just like Dante!
LeafTyme: I was SO excited to meet a company that is part of M4MM, Minorities for Medical Marijuana, a wonderful organization I have been following for some time now. LeafTyme is an app that allows you to skip the line and get right to business at your favorite dispensaries.
Vitalis: I generally don’t take much time to talk with many extraction equipment companies, but I had the best conversation with Vitalis while I was there. This Canadian based engineering and manufacturing company produces the highest-flowing industrial supercritical CO2 extraction system for the cannabis industry. As they have grown and expanded, this company not only takes incredibly good care of their customers, but also of their employees. They are one of the companies I have met most recently who is doing so many things to push the cannabis industry forward with their community involvement and company culture and it was so great to meet them!
The Peak Beyond: When people asked me what was the “newest cool weed thing” I saw at Biz Con, this product was one that hit the top of my list. I met The Peak Beyond at the Canna Newswire Media Showcase, and they are a smart store technology that allows dispensaries and brands to streamline operations, advertise products and increase sales by inviting shoppers to actively engage with products via large touchscreen displays. As shoppers place products on the Smart Shopping Display, the screen immediately animates with in-depth product information and also collects customer data for brands and dispensaries. Cool!
Vapium: Vapium is a patient-centred vaporizer company that champions ethical, mindful production processes. Based in Toronto, they design, build and sell vaporizers that allow for the discreet, safe and responsible use for medical patients and recreational consumers. It was great to get interview one of their co-founders at the show!
Hemp Panel: When hemp activist greats like Courtney Moran and Joy Beckerman take the stage to talk about hemp policy and industry, I will ALWAYS attend if I can! These women spoke alongside 2 other panelists during the excellent programming options that MJ Biz Con offered this year and the room was absolutely packed.
Jane + CanPay: One of the best interviews I did during Biz Con followed the announcement of Jane Technologies and CanPay forming a new partnership to bring online payments to customers on the digital cannabis marketplace. They have called it ‘I Heart Jane’. This marks the first time electronic payments will be available to cannabis patients and consumers for in-store pickup or delivery orders made online.
Two Roots Brewing: I had a great conversation with Kevin Love, the Director of Product Development at Cannabiniers. This company is best known for launching its brand Two Roots Brewing, the world's first line of THC and CBD infused non-alcoholic craft beer. We discussed their products and his insight on the market, all while sampling their tasty CBD beer and CBD ice cream!
Gofire: During Biz Con, Gofire, a Denver-based digital healthcare company, released an app and scannable “DoseCode” technology as part of its comprehensive health suite for plant-based medicine. The app allows patients to find products, anonymously contribute and access reviews within the community, track personal dosages and document outcomes. This could be a game changer for cannabis consumers, especially those who are trying cannabis for the first time for medicinal reasons.
Events during the conference, but off site from the expo:
Willie’s Reserve Flower Hour: This is perhaps my FAVORITE Biz Con party to attend each year, and it just seems to get better and better! This year the party showcased an even bigger and more luxurious home for it’s venue, complete with 2 pools and a second house where they set up the live tattoo shop! They had 2 tattooists doing ink this year as well as their seamstress who was putting Willie’s patches on hats, bandanas, shirts, and denim. They had small bites as well as chocolate fountain and lots of great Willie’s Reserve cannabis to sample with a line of accessories from Jane West.
Canna Newswire Media Showcase: This was the first year that I attended events off-site from the conference during the daytime, and the Canna Newswire Wake and Bake Media Showcase was the best one for sure. I got to meet some amazing brands, including those who are working with Verano Holdings, and eat some amazing food that was prepared by Exclusive Chefs. I also really enjoyed learning about Point 7 Group, a certified Women's Business Enterprise (WBENC) supporting cannabis businesses throughout the United States and abroad.
Planet 13: I got to go on a tour of this amazing new Las Vegas dispensary. This shop is like no other, and truly embraced the Las Vegas vibe in their facility, complete with water feature and giant lotus flowers outside and an interactive LED floor inside. The shop has big plans for a cannabis consumption area (pending regulatory approval) and an in-house coffee shop.
High Times Biz Bash: One of the best Biz Con after parties, HIgh Times threw an amazing event at Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas. A capacity crowd of more than 4,000 industry players and pioneers gathered in the heart of the Strip to celebrate the business of cannabis. I especially enjoyed my time by the lanes with Bhang Corporation!
Overall, this was the best year yet for MJ Biz Con and I am already excited to see what happens with this event next year!