MJBizConNEXT Wrap-Up: Emerging Innovations, Celebrity Appearances & More


Rachelle Gordon

May 29th, 2018

Policy


On May 11th-13th, 3,200 cannabis business owners, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders gathered in The Big Easy for MJBizConNEXT. Focused on emerging innovations within the cannabis space, the conference drew celebrities, seasoned industry veterans, and those looking to begin their own foray into the fast-growing legal marijuana market.

“There has been so much excitement about this event,” said Cassandra Farrington, Co-Founder and CEO of MJBiZDaily, presenters of the event. “We keep a very sharp focus on the people who are looking to establish and run a business and what they need to know in order to do that successfully in the cannabis industry, all the way from those looking to get their first licenses up to rockstars like Gene Simmons. There are so many high-level, real decision-makers in this room having really great conversations that absolutely will drive their businesses forward.”

MJBizDaily has quickly become the industry leaders in education with the overall goal of advancing cannabis business interests. Their events are known as a must-attend for anyone looking to be a part of what is on track to be a multi-billion dollar global market.

Event Attracts Thought Leaders, Rock Stars

There were many high-profile speakers at this year’s MJBizConNEXT, covering topics ranging from 280E to extraction sciences. Shark Tank star and O’Shares ETFs President Kevin O’Leary offered an entertaining and educational keynote presentation, offering tips on what to look for in the coming months as support for cannabis reform continues to climb worldwide. KISS frontman Gene Simmons addressed the MJBizLIVE crowd, discussing his recent appointment as Chief Evangelism Officer to InvictusMD, a Canadian cannabis holding company.

Education on What’s NEXT

Attendees looking for the latest insights on the industry were met with a large number of workshops, speeches, and panels on different verticals and topics. Short pitch contests were also held, giving cannabis startups the chance to impress a live audience – and gain potential investor or other business relationships. Harvest Direct Enterprises, creators of LACY (Lossless Activation Chamber Y), took first place in their category.

“Winning the MJBizCon Innovation Battlefield was the result of years of work and it meant finally having the cannabis community not only grasp the technology and what it means for our industry and beyond but to welcome us with open arms as well,” explained Harvest Direct Co-Founder, CEO, and Lead Chemist, Zeyead Gharib.

Future Reigns Supreme on Expo Floor

The expansive expo floor featured a wide-range of engaging exhibits, from mock grow-rooms to a pseudo Omni-theater like tent featuring an immersive and endearing look at what’s ahead for cannabis commerce.

“It invigorates those who are in the space already with an acknowledgement of their aspirations,” exclaimed Gary Cohen, President and CEO of Cova Software, who co-sponsored the Future of Retail Experience. Cohen recently announced his candidacy for President of the National Cannabis Industry Association, citing his 30 years of experience in the cellular communications space as one of regulation business development, much like the emerging marijuana market.

“The show was good,” said Nenad Yashruti, CEO of Root Sciences, who had a booth next to the popular Sustainability Experience. “Any attendee had well-rounded access to industry-leading vendors, manufacturers, and distributors within the cannabis space.”

After Hours Crowd Rides High

As always, some of the most exciting events of MJBizConNEXT occurred after hours. Grasslands Agency invited an elite group of cannabis insiders to The Tigermen Den for an evening filled with delicious local food and drink, co-sponsored by Manna Molecular. As always, the DOPE Magazine Golden Ticket after party delivered a night of true Big Easy entertainment. Terpene-infused cocktails courtesy of True Terpenes flowed while a brass band brought the house down. 

DOPE Co-Founder David Tran gave an emotional speech, reminding the hundreds gathered that what they are apart of in this watershed moment for cannabis reform will have a lasting effect for generations.

“You’re the pioneers that we’re all going to remember for many years to come,” Tran told the crowd. “Support each other, do good business, and have integrity. You’re the leaders.”

The Future of Canna-Business

In order to stay on track with the rapidly expanding international cannabis market, MJBizDaily is taking their conference to Canada, which is on pace to be the first developed nation to fully legalize cannabis. The first annual MJBizCon INT’L is set for August 14th-16th in Toronto. Then, it will be all eyes on Sin City as the 7th Annual MJBizCon takes over the Las Vegas Convention Center November 16th-18th.

“30 countries now have some form of legalized cannabis,” Farrington said. “It’s thrilling to be on the cutting-edge of what I can now proudly say is a global market for marijuana.”

Rachelle Gordon

About Rachelle Gordon

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


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