California Cannabiz Expo Wrap-Up
May 30th, 2018
The legal cannabis market in California is poised to be a multi-billion dollar industry, mere months after the beginning of adult-use sales. Nowhere was this more evident than at the California Cannabiz Expo at The Magic Box in Downtown Los Angeles. The innovative event, presented by California Weed Blog and Canna Newswire, featured dozens of speakers and exhibitors representing five sectors of this quickly emerging industry.
California Cannabiz Expo offered attendees a unique experience by utilizing an art gallery approach in lieu of the traditional expo floor often seen at other conferences. Guests perused the categories of extraction, beauty, tech, edibles, and cultivation. Advocacy groups were also on hand to educate conference goers and encourage them to get involved.
“I thought the synergistic nature of the event was really interesting,” said Brett Johnson, CEO of SpectrumGro, who flew in from Denver for the event. “We focus on several areas of the cannabis supply chain and it was sort of like being at a one-stop shop for new business.”
“Our concept for the event was to create a California State-Specific watering hole for the licensed cannabis community to Network, Learn and Grow,” explained Brad Slaughter, Co-founder of California Weed Blog. “We created a circular floor plan to streamline traffic flow, industry-related themed rooms to spark creativity and direct attendees to the part of the industry they’re specifically looking for to grow their business, and a networking area in the center to breath life back onto the floor. All of our keynote speakers and panelists were hand-selected to represent specific areas of the industry that they work in to provide a vast array of detailed knowledge on the California market.
Well-Rounded Panels Aim to Educate
Those looking to gain insider knowledge of the marijuana market were offered several informative and engaging panels on a variety of topics, led by some of the top entrepreneurs and experts in the space. Subjects such as law, tech, extraction science, activism, and women in cannabis were all explored.
“The speakers were the highlight of the event,” said attendee Dan Schmink. “Their passion and expertise for their endeavors could be felt during each panel. The compliance and investment panels, in particular, showcased the finesse and understanding required to navigate California’s transitioning market. I’m a data nerd at heart and found the most long-term value in hearing the tech startups describe their approach to optimizing the cannabis experience – both for business and consumers alike.”
“We at California Weed Blog really advocate for education and pride ourselves on being a resource for the cannabis community,” added Slaughter. “We’re increasingly getting more and more questions about the cannabis industry not just from consumers about products, dispensaries and clean meds but also a noticeable influx of questions coming from businesses on everything from how to navigate the California regulations, how to get ahead of compliance and who they should be talking to. This was really the catalyst and what drove us to create this event in support of our home state.
Live Auditions of Popular Cannabis Reality Show Attract Entrepreneurs
In addition to learning about trends in what could be the world’s largest legal cannabis market, attendees had the opportunity to gain funding before the show even closed. Hit Amazon Prime series The Marijuana Show held live auditions, giving entrepreneurs the chance to pitch their canna-businesses to investors hungry for the next big thing. Dubbed the Shark Tank of cannabis, The Marijuana Show aims to ensure anyone with a good idea can potentially be part of this emerging market.
“CannaBiz was the kind of event where you could really feel the collaborative spirit industry,” said Karen Paull, Co-producer of The Marijuana Show. “And the way this cannabis economy is going to move forward is through collaboration because we are trying to create a new industry together.”
California on Track to be World’s Largest Legal Cannabis Market
Analysts predict that California’s legal marijuana market with be worth over $5 billion by the end of 2019, with no signs of slowing down. John Sidline, Principal of Canna Newswire, believes that California CannaBiz Expo has set itself as a must-attend for anyone looking to be a serious player in this emerging space.
“Virtually all other cannabis trade events cater almost exclusively to the wants of their exhibitors, but CannaBiz Expo producers focused primarily on the attendee experience,” said Sidline. “There is a cannabis industry event of some significance almost every month – if not multiple times per month – which is too many. Those events that deliver value for both exhibitors and attendees stand the best chance of survival, and CannaBiz Expo looks like they’re working on a winning formula.”
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