Marijuana Business Con Draws Record Attendees
MJBizCon in Las Vegas had its biggest year yet, with a record-breaking 27,000 people attending the annual conference aimed at marijuana professionals and investors.
Jeanette Horton, a vendor at the conference and VP of Global Marketing Communications, said, “It’s surreal. It’s so buzzy and energetic. It’s hard to believe how fast it’s grown.”
Since the first MJBizCon in 2011, the annual cannabis conference has grown immensely. According to Trade Show Executive Magazine, MJBizCon is the fastest-growing retail trade show in the United States.
- The number of attendees at this year’s conference represented an increase of 52 percent from the 2017 convention. In 2017, 18,000 cannabis professionals attended the convention, an increase from 2016 of 67 percent.
- Canada represented the largest number of attendees from outside of the U.S, accounting for just under 70 percent of non-U.S. attendees. About 13 percent of the conference attendees were from outside the U.S, and there were attendees from 70 different countries.
- 1,028 cannabis companies exhibited at MJBizCon, a 38 percent increase from 2017. Last year, a total of 678 marijuana businesses attended the conference, up from 321 exhibitors in 2016.
- Companies involved in the cannabis industry span many different business sectors, including manufacturing, grow and cultivation, investing and marketing, legal services, technology, and consulting. Speakers and panels covered topics like investment, data analytics, branding, compliance, minorities and women in cannabis.
The growth of MJBizCon reflects the increasing number of states in the U.S. legalizing medical and adult-use cannabis. Last month, voters in Michigan voted to legalize recreational marijuana, and voters in Missouri and Utah legalized medical cannabis. Adult-use cannabis is legal in ten states plus Washington, D.C. and medical marijuana is legal in 33 states.
Chris Walsh, the founding editor and vice president of Marijuana Business Daily, who hosts the event, said at the conference, “I’ve been chronicling and analyzing this industry for the past seven-plus years, and for the first time I can potentially see a federal change coming within the next year.”
“There will be a big crack in the marijuana legalization dam in the U.S.,” Walsh said. “So much pressure is building up in significant areas – in the business community, in the investor world, in the general population, in this global movement – that lawmakers must start to pay more attention.”