MJBizConINT’L Brings Eager Cannabis Entrepreneurs to Toronto


Rachelle Gordon

August 24th, 2018

Policy


Canada is mere weeks from being the first G-7 nation and only the second in the world to fully legalize adult-use cannabis sales, and at the cutting-edge of this revolutionary time for a quickly-emerging global industry is MJBizConINT’L. Presented by Marijuana Business Daily, the conference and expo drew over 2,500 cannabis professionals, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders from 30 countries to Toronto, Ontario, which may soon be the North American epicenter when legalization begins on October 17th.

“It’s very exciting to see Canada taking this leading role on the world stage,” Cassandra Farrington, CEO of Marijuana Business Daily, told CFN Media. “MJBizConINT’L is all about the conversations happening right now on the global cannabis marketplace stages; it’s incredible to bear witness to all of the work that’s being done around the world driven in large part by these massive Canadian companies that have the regulatory structure, the financing, the stability, the scope and the talent that they have built up over the last several years.”

Brendan Kennedy, CEO of the game-changing Canadian cannabis company Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY), delivered the keynote address, sharing insights on how to capitalize on a fast-growing market by focusing on due diligence and market research. Tilray recently became the first plant-touching business to go public on the NASDAQ exchange, knocking their IPO out of the park with a raise of over $153 million.

The conference came at an electric moment for the cannabis industry as Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ) announced an additional $3.8 billion investment in Canopy Growth Corporation (NYSE:CGC), the largest single investment in the market to date. Constellation Brands, best known for Corona and SVEDKA, acquired nearly ten percent of the Canadian producer in late 2017, marking Big Alcohol’s first foray into the nascent marijuana market. Canopy Chairman and Co-CEO Bruce Linton spoke a packed room, remaining behind for nearly an hour and a half to address attendees curious about the company’s success.

“We just went from companies getting hundreds of millions of dollars to billions of dollars overnight, and it’s quite remarkable,” exclaimed Jon Cooper, CEO of cannabinoid research and development company ebbu. “I love the concept of this event because the opportunity to develop meaningful connections with international players is crucial at this point in time.”

“It was great to see what was going on in Canada,” said Michael Feinsod, Chairman of the Board of Denver, Colorado-based General Cannabis Corp. (OTCMKTS:CANN), who spoke on a panel about due diligence. “I especially loved having the chance to see a bunch of the newer names in the market – it’s very exciting.”

The busy expo floor featured 125 unique exhibitors, showcasing everything from trimming machines to tax attorneys, and a beer garden in the far corner provided a much-needed respite for attendees to could take a load off and enjoy a local brew.

“We’ve had some really great conversations with potential customers and longtime relationships,” commented Amber Orr, of Kush Bottles (OTCMKTS:KSHB), whose vibrant booth featured various packaging elements. “I’m really looking forward to the Las Vegas show!”

While MJBizConINT’L was the first Marijuana Business Daily event in Canada, it won’t be the last. In the meantime, cannabis entrepreneurs can look forward to the outlet’s annual MJBizCon, which will see over 20,000 people flock to the Las Vegas Convention Center November 14th-16th. The conference, which will feature over 900 exhibits and dozens of speakers, is the biggest of the year and a must-attend for anyone in the industry.

“I am once again looking forward to that sense of community that’s at the Vegas show,” adds Farrington. “You don’t really truly understand the scope and scale of what the cannabis industry has become until you walk into that extremely expansive, developed, and sophisticated trade show hall and listen to the conversations that are happening.”

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Rachelle Gordon

About Rachelle Gordon

Rachelle Gordon is a Minneapolis-based writer. Find her online at www.rachellegordon.net.


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