November 14-16, 2018 saw the return of the largest cannabis conference/trade show on the planet. The MJBizCon show in Las Vegas Nevada. Now in its 7th year it is the biggest cannabis trade show in the world.
The show fell just a week after more pro-cannabis officials were brought into positions of power following the U.S midterm elections. This created a rather large buzz as the hot subject on everyone’s lips was the very real possibility of there being some massive shifts in the US federal status of cannabis by this time next year. This exciting vision really set the tone for what was a professional, informative, fun and inspiring few days.
Tickets cost between $500-$700+ dollars, depending on whether you wanted included access to all the talks and seminars across the 3 days, which, when bearing in mind that there were over 150 speakers, wasn’t bad value for money! The total number of attendees reached a record high of 27,600 people, with representation from over 63 countries! The whole show is very much geared toward “business to business”.
There were over 1000 exhibitors covering a total of 171,400 square foot of the Las Vegas convention centre. if you were to walk the aisles of the expo up and down in straight lines, it would be over 3 miles! The show ran for 3 days and the opportunities for anyone with a start up, established business or just the seeds of an idea that falls under the cannabis industry umbrella were unparalleled.
For such a large show the layout was good, however my advice to anyone planning to visit would be to take the time to make a list of who you want to see and where they are and then plan a route. Otherwise you may not manage to see everything that you want to.
This year saw the addition of the MJBizCon app which allowed you to set agendas for the talks/seminars that were happening throughout the expo. It also provided you with live updates and push notifications of what’s happening and when, along with alerts for exclusive discounts.
There were 65 different seminars and talks from162 industry leading professionals . The seminars covered a multitude of different industry aspects including, cultivation, infused products, extraction, retail, money and legal matters, business strategies, insights, opportunities and trends and were inspiring and informative, really adding to the positive atmosphere that was in the air.
One stand out seminar I did attend was – cannabis 3.0: Reinventing the industry, held by Torsten Kuenzlen, in the main hall. It was a fantastic talk about the industry, where it’s going and potentially what is going to have to change. He was a really interesting guy, if you haven’t heard of him before, look him up.
There was also the chance to attend the Marijuana Business Crash Course” This one day intensive course claims to have helped thousands of businesses get off the ground and is aimed at the entrepreneurs and start ups in the cannabis industry. Providing them with indispensable advice, pointers and insights on how to launch their businesses and be a success.
As you would expect with Vegas as a back drop, the entertainment and hospitality was out of this world. Every night there were multiple industry, invite only parties. Which were incredible and included free drinks, food, entertainment and even transport to and from the event. With each company/sponsor trying to out do the other, it lead to a competitive ‘who’s who’ of industry big spenders, seeing who could win the accolade of having put on the biggest, best, most memorable party. Additionally, if you wanted to do your own thing, just having an MJBizCon badge enabled you to free VIP lane access at some of the coolest nightclubs in Vegas.
With the state of Nevada having now legalised both medical and recreational use of cannabis, Las Vegas is the perfect venue. As let’s face it, with a show this big and with this much character, there isn’t really anywhere else that could host it.
Over all, MJBizCon was very slick and clearly designed to attract large corporate business. As the cannabis industry becomes ever more accepted worldwide, the opportunities are opening up and the big money corporations are moving in. The big boys are coming! And the MJBizCon show reminded me of how close they really are.
If you’re in the industry it’s a “must”. The next Event falls on December 5-7th 2019. I highly recommend that you book a ticket soon, because with the fast unpredictable pace that the cannabis industry is moving at, It will be interesting to see how they raise the bar even higher!