The first day of MJBizCon provided inspiring information from some of the most prominent players in the industry. The event features 250,000 square feet of exhibit floor space, more than 1,000 exhibitors, more than 80 speakers and ample opportunities for networking and learning.
Unlike the years, MJBizCon 2021 offered both live and digital components. Digital attendees can view selected sessions remotely or on demand.
Wednesday’s content began with an address on the state of the industry MJBizDaily CEO Chris Walsh.
He spoke about the many challenges and difficulties that plagued the world during 2020 before immersing himself in his predictions for the future of the cannabis space.
MJBizDaily estimates that retail sales will double in the coming years. The national brand is also taking off and will play an increasingly important role in the market.
Walsh also briefly explored the evolution of Canada’s marijuana market, noting that cannabis is becoming part of the country’s culture and lifestyle.
MJBizCon KickOff 2021
Digital participants were then offered a live panel entitled “General Session: MJBizCon KickOff 2021”. The session featured cannabis industry consultant and advisor Andrew DeAngelo, SimplyPure founder and CEO Wanda James, Curaleaf CEO Joe Bayern, Swami Select co-founder Swami Chaitanya, co-director of operations for Ayr Wellness Jennifer Drake and co-founder of Happy Munkey LLC. Vladimir Bautista.
The session offered many powerful conclusions, such as Swami’s note that 600,000 people continue to be arrested worldwide for cannabis each year.
The panel often talked about the importance of black and brown communities in establishing the legal market and how these inherited growers and sellers are still being penalized and exiled from the legal cannabis community.
The submerged economy that helped countless low-income people feed their families is now legal in 38 states and these early entrants are still unable to join the legal market due to poor public policy.
James added that during 2020 there were fewer women and minority-owned cannabis companies than the previous year. There was also less investment in women-owned and minority-owned businesses in 2020 than in previous years.
Bayern noted that there needs to be a collaboration between the corporate cannabis market and smaller retailers. He emphasized the role that large corporations play in the development of infrastructure that can ultimately benefit startups.
Drake also noted that without changes in public policy, the industry cannot move forward in an equitable manner. He suggested changes such as allowing criminals to enter the industry, making the application process more accessible to low-income people, and changing the language of the application to make it easier to understand.
Bautista noted that to make this industry something people can be proud of in ten years, policymakers need to create more entry points for black and brown people.
Cannabis and technology today organized a meeting and greeting session at the exhibition floor with MC and NCP co-founder Redman to celebrate the first day of the conference.
Its appearance marked the start of the Golden Ticket Giveaway, sponsored in part by Fluence, which offers participants the chance to win up to $ 15,000 in prizes. Click here to see the prizes and sign up to win.
Technology and data take center stage
Data and technology were the focus of the first day. In the session entitled “Unicorn Yields: Raising the Bar for What Cannabis Can Produce,” panelists discussed the importance of data in driving quality crops. LEDs in particular are driving advances.
In a later session, “Making Your Cannabis Smarter: How Data and Technology Are at the Roots of the Cannabis Industry,” panelists focused on data acquisition and its role in industry transparency.
The second day promises more content, networks and celebrity appearances.
Featuring actor and comedian Jason Gann. He will sign copies of the fall issue of Cannabis and technology today at booth # C3260 on October 21 at noon, Pacific Time.
Whether you’re attending in disguise, in person, or participating virtually from the comfort of a less crowded space, you’re sure to have something for everyone on the second day.