Las Vegas MJBizCon Brings Record Numbers
MjBizCon, the annual conference aimed at marijuana professionals and investors, wrapped up its sixth year earlier this month and established itself as the fastest-growing trade show in the country.
This year’s conference was the first in Nevada since recreational marijuana was legalized, and the event drew a record number of vendors and attendees.
- 678 companies exhibited at the event, a 111% increase from last year. Exhibiting companies spanned all sectors of the industry, from banking, security, packaging and marketing firms to consultants, cultivation equipment manufacturers and infused product companies.
- 18,000 cannabis professionals attended the convention, a new record and up 67% from last year’s event.
- Nearly 11% of all conference attendees – 1,932 in total – hailed from outside the U.S. Canada had the largest International presence at the show, accounting for over 75% of the non-domestic audience.
The convention’s four keynote speakers included former Apple and Tesla executive George Blankenship, Jeanne Sullivan, a dot-com era investor in tech companies, Marijuana Business Daily vice president of editorial Chris Walsh, and Chief White House Correspondent for U.S. News & World Report Kenneth T. Walsh.
Chris Walsh, who was also one of the event organizers, said that interest in the conventions was so great that they had to cut some of the exhibitors because there wasn’t enough room.
“You have people who were probably against marijuana at some point in their lives and then said maybe it isn’t that bad,” Chris Walsh said. “Or maybe try to get in on it on the business side, now that it’s becoming legal, it’s not the devil weed people said it was.”
“You have people who are ambivalent, who are here for the same reasons and then you have business people from the mainstream business world who were successful in other industries looking for their next project.”
“Cannabis is here to stay,” Sullivan told attendees. She urged companies in the marijuana industry to focus on positioning themselves favorably for potential acquisition by larger corporations, such as pharmaceutical and agricultural industries.
“These companies are not going to miss out,” Sullivan said, referring to the industry entrances of Scotts Miracle-Gro, liquor distributor Constellation Brands, and Netflix.
Blankenship was equally optimistic about the future of the cannabis industry. “Sooner or later, you’re going to be able to say, ‘Alexa, send me an eighth of flower.'”