6th Annual NoCo Hemp Expo Brings Big Business, Sold Out Crowds to Denver
March 31st, 2019
The signing of the Farm Bill in late 2018 opened the floodgates for the hemp and CBD industry. According to analysts, this booming space will be valued at a whopping $10.6 billion within six short years. At the recent NoCo Hemp Expo in Denver, Colorado, a sold out crowd of 10,000 entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and canna-curious individuals looking to grab a slice of the pie gathered to learn, network, and develop strategies for the future.
The massive crowds overwhelmed organizers of the event (now in its sixth year), who promised to move next year’s event to a larger space. Many hopeful attendees without tickets were turned away, and the expo floor was so crowded that at times it was impossible to move one way or the other.
“There’s over 250 vendors this year, and they turned away over 300,” said Devin Jamroz, co-founder of SteepFuze, makers of CBD-infused coffees and teas and sponsors of NoCo Hemp Expo. “This year has been really fun in terms of seeing the variety of companies that have shown up. It still has it’s homegrown feel, but it’s really amped up a notch this year and has a much more professional feel.”
The sprawling exhibitor hall featured a wide variety of companies and nonprofits offering everything from seeds to hemp clothing to cannabis marketing. Jim Marty, CFO and Co-Founder of Bridge West LLC, had several clients attending the show. He agrees with Jamroz’s sentiment that the variety of businesses was impressive, and is excited for the future.
“One of the amazing things we are seeing at this conference is the versatility of this plant – thousands of different products can be made out of hemp,” the CPA remarked. “There’s a guy here with building materials and insulation, you have all the extracted products, a lot of people swear by CBD for pain relief – the sky’s the limit.”
On the conference side, the business of hemp was explored through a wide variety of topics including branding, patents, testing, and corporate responsibility. A pre-conference investor forum was also held, drawing a large amount of people looking for opportunities.
“Hemp, hemp hooray!” Colorado Governor Jared Polis exclaimed in front of a standing room only crowd. Polis has been outspoken in his support of the state’s cannabis industry and encouraged listeners to continue to set the bar high for other states and nations watching.
“We are at a time unlike any other – we have the chance to do something huge and do it right,” said Brett Johnson, SVP of Global Soil Solutions. “The sheer enormity of this event proves that the world is ready for hemp. We need to make sure we are utilizing clean, chemical-free products and processes in the supply chain in order to protect the consumers because at the end of the day, they’re the ones who will decide which of us here today will succeed.”
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