Wow, things are getting crazy. Just a few years ago, a cannabis event was a smoking circle in a San Francisco public park or a secluded ranch in Wyoming, for that matter. But, as more states legalize cannabis and marijuana, you find your calendar swamped with events and opportunity.
Here’s a few worth visiting in the first months of 2018:
Every month has a flock of cannabis-centered events. But, beyond March, details remain to be determined. Still here are 13 cannabis events worth starting your 2018:
1. The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) has become the central voice for canna-industry interests. In early January, NCIA begins a series of state caucus meetings towards creating “a unified and coordinated campaign to ensure this emerging sector is treated fairly under federal law.”
Caucus meetings will run throughout January in Oakland (Jan. 9), Philadelphia (Jan. 9), Newport Beach (Jan. 11), West Palm Beach (Jan. 16), Columbus (Jan. 16), Troutdale (Jan. 18), Denver (Jan. 23), and Lac Vegas (Jan. 23). These meetings are free to NCIA members, but non-members can join for $50.00.
2. The 4th Annual Cannabis Collaborative Conference meets January 24–25 at the Portland Expo Center. “Dedicated to growing the industry and connecting cannabis professionals,” the conference hosts a large exhibitor’ exposition space, and speeches and training tracks on business practices and building profit potential.
3. Seed to Sale Show is another NCIA event at the Denver’s Colorado Convention Center on February 7-8. Billed as “The Most Comprehensive Cannabis Trade Show” is hosts cultivators and dispensary operators with the individuals and businesses supplying them.
Breakout session open on cultivation issues, advertising and marketing, and human resources. Sessions then track cultivation innovation, infused products, and extractions, sustainable cultivation, sales strategies, edibles marketing, retail dispensaries, and more.
4. The Indo Expo Trade Show meets in Denver (27-28), Portland (Aug. 4-5), and California (date and place TBD). This trade show builds around creating B2B relationships and networks. It’s an opportunity for wholesalers and retailers to work with produces and processors. Brands and products are represented as well as peripheral equipment, tools, supplies, and more.
5. The Cannabis Wedding Expo may be the most novel meeting of any year. In 2018, it will hit Denver (Jan. 28), San Francisco (Feb. 11), and Los Angeles (Mar. 3). Founders and sponsors invite couples to learn how to introduce cannabis to their wedding plans in a safe and stylish way. Products can be offered to guests, incorporated in food and drinks, and paired with meals.
6. Vancouver hosts the Canada Cannabis Business Conference (Jan. 31-Feb. 1) at the Metropolitan Hotel. 2018 will be a challenging year for Canadian cannabis interests as they rush to establish standards for seed to sale practices in cities, provinces, and territories.
The Conference seeks to bring together the nation’s industry leaders, educators, and regulators with related B2B interests, legislators, and suppliers to prepare for Canada’s plan to legalize cannabis nationwide.
7. Women Grow Signature Events meet throughout the year across the U.S. and Canada. The 2018 Leadership Summit meets in Denver (Feb. 1-2). Interested women advocates meet to network and to promote their growing role in education, leadership, cultivation, and sales. Women Grow meets for lightning speeches, panel discussions, and lots of social events.
Men are still welcome at programs highlighting how women are driving many cannabis-related initiatives, are active in ownership roles, and have been strong influences in the direction of the canna-economy.
8. The International Cannabis Business Conference (IBCC) gathers in San Francisco (Feb. 1-2). Attendance is crucial for anyone wanting to take advantage of the cannabis economy as California leaps into the first year of legal recreational marijuana.
Business owners and leaders need to assess where they are and where Sacramento expects them to be as compliance issues are still shaping up and trickling down.
The IBCC creates gold standard networking opportunities in what looks like the most exciting for the industry. Other meetings are scheduled for Berlin, Vancouver, and Portland later in the year.
9. The 3rd Annual Hawaii Cannabis Expo runs February 9-11 at Honolulu’s Blaisdell Center. Educational sessions and exhibitors generally serve Hawaii’s medical marijuana economy. The Expo has low admission fees, but there is an additional Cheech & Chong Comedy Show at extra cost.
10. The Emerald Conference will gather at the Mission Bay Hyatt Regency (Feb. 15-16). This group is covered by international media interested in its devotion “to the free exchange of ideas and fresh insights on topics like cannabis analytical testing, inter-lab comparisons, extraction, and industry best practices.”
Each year, the conference attracts chemists, clinicians, cultivators, dispensary operators, extractors, policy makers, and producers. Speakers and exhibitors focus on innovative technologies and research projects.
11. CannaCon meets with thousands at Seattle (Feb. 15-17) before it moves on to Detroit (June 1-2) and Boston (July 27-28). Perhaps the single most important show of the year, CannaCon schedules scores of speakers and interactive discussions with an emphasis on growth through networking.
Sessions are scheduled on tracks serving topics in branding, business, compliance, cultivation, extraction, genetics, investment, legal, marketing, retail, and science. This and hundreds of exhibitors and sponsors fill the Washington State Convention Center.
12. Las Vegas will be home to the CHAMPS Trade Shows (Feb 19-21), a most suitable place for “The Premier Counter Culture B2B Expo Since 1999.” The show focuses on products, vendors, and customers of hundreds of cannabis brands and innovations.
13. High Times Cannabis Cup will visit Jamaica (March 1-4). You can plan to enjoy the conference and the island. But, the agenda remains to be determined. Each meeting does produce the most competitive challenges in many categories seeking the coveted High Times award designation.
The rest of the year?
It won’t be long before we have more detail on conventions, expos, and other cannabis events throughout the rest of the year. For example, 420 celebrations will pop up soon, and some may require travel plans. So, stay focused for more news.