Bigger, crazier, and more open than ever! Enjoying political and social momentum, Festivals await visitors and celebrants in the remainder of 2018.
With festival carpets rolling out in states where cannabis is just recently legal, attendance and participation are expected to increase significantly. Even though you are pushing against 4/20, there are more events to come.
You won’t find events advertising wild and crazy, but you’ll find things more welcoming and casual. You can’t ignore the business conferences because they mean a lot to your future, but you’ll find them loosening the meeting atmosphere this year.
With legal operations now working in California and Nevada, and with Canada soon going legal nationwide, there’s much to talk about and fun to be had.
Here are the 10 biggest and craziest 420 cannabis festivals for your calendar:
#1 — May 9 through 11: Marijuana Business Conference at Hilton Riverside at New Orleans
You must register now for “From License to Launch and Beyond, Building the future of the cannabis industry.” Shark Tank investor, Kevin O’Leary is the Keynote Speaker for this industry-centered event. A directory of 74 speakers will educate, and an interactive and immersive exposition floor with over 275 exhibitors will bring thousands of business leaders, legal minds, and canna-investors together.
#2 — June 8 through 10: Mary Jane Berlin at Arena Berlin
With thousands of square feet indoors and out, Arena Berlin has hosted this leading German cannabis conference and exhibit before. Guests network with vendors on the expo floor, at food stalls, and live concerts. You’ll need to book now for a June trip to Berlin.
#3 — June 16: Cannabis & Sex for Older Adults at Good Vibrations Polk
This meeting is hardly a festival, but it can encourage wild and crazy conversations. Sava presents this workshop how seniors can use the psychoactive and non-psychoactive properties in cannabis to reinvigorate their sex lives.
#4 — June 16 and 17: Mega Sesh Carnival Cannabis Carnival Southern Cal (TBD)
Events include education, music, and amusement rides galore. You can attend if you are 18, but you must be 21+ to enter expo center.
#5 — June 24 and 25: ICBC Vancouver at the Sheraton Wall Centre
Register for the VIP Package and start your visit early with catered networking event before the conference start. You’ll meet major speakers, corporate leaders, medical providers, and political advocates.
And, end your stay with a conference after-party attracting more networkers with major entertainment headliners.
In between, you will enjoy the vibe of Canadian excitement as legalization nears debut. The ICBC meets again in Portland (Sept. 27-28).
#6 — July 25 through 28: NCIA’s Cannabis Business Summit & Expo at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center
Education programs follow 5 tracks on money, cultivation, business practices, cannabis policy and reform, and emerging industry trends and topics. In the meantime, the center’s 120,000 square feet of expo space has sold out to vendors making and shaping the canna-economy’s direction.
#7 — July 27 and 28: CannaCon at Boston’s Hynes Convention Center
Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood, peppered with world-class restaurants, historical sites, and nightlife, hosts this conference on the insights and actionable ideas that will impact your future in the industry.
CannaCon also convenes in Detroit’s Cobb Center on June 1st and 2nd.
#8 — August 17 through 18: Seattle Hempfest Protestival along Seattle’s Waterfront
Hempfest is an unabashedly enthusiastic cannabis festival with music, arts, and crafts. Celebrating its 27th year, it has its share of educational and industry resources, but it considers itself “the most sophisticated and socially responsible cannabis rally in history, and perhaps the largest annual free speech event in the nation.” You can go for the music and smoke well after the sun sets.
#9 — September 29, 30, & October 1: Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival (various sites)
Farmers, musicians, activists, medical professionals and patients, and political leaders speak on Wisconsin cannabis issues. Reggae and rock string cannabis crusaders throughout Madison through educational opportunities, fun vendors, and music venues.
#10 — August 11: HanfParade in Berlin
Parades are fun, and European parades are bigger and crazier. Vocal and smoking participants will gather on Alexanderplatz to march in favor of hemp as a powerful economic commodity and for access to medical and recreational-use cannabis.
But, that’s not all
The events listed here continue to emphasize advocacy and education. But, attendees and participants are feeling freer and more comfortable as the industry becomes more broadly acceptable.
Of course, at this time of the year, you have missed the events highlighting the first quarter. And, you have little time to register for and plan travel for April 20 events. Since most events run annually in the U.S., Europe, and Australia, you may want to plan your 2019 calendar now.
However, firming up your calendar can be difficult when so many events are slow to confirm their dates and location. Cannabis event creators and sponsors must get better at planning and marketing even if that seems contrary to the cannabis culture.