We sent Bethany to check out MJBizCon 2018, the industry’s largest gathering. This year was another record year of attendance, with nearly 28,000 attendees and a 70% increase in the exhibit hall floor space for a massive exhibition of equipment, products, and services.
There were also top-notch seminars on a variety of subjects, tracking along key industry areas and themes, such as infused products, global trends, and best practices.
Here are some of the highlights from the seminars Bethany attended:
- Federal Marijuana Reform: Congressman Joyce (of the Joyce Amendment) and Neal Levine of the Cannabis Trade Federation walked us through the status of the States Act and Farm Bill, as well as current trends in congressional actions and stances on cannabis. Joyce described the States Act better than the band-aid that is the Joyce amendment, but it’s still a temporary fix. He felt that we’ve never been better positioned to have such an act pass and that there’s a good opportunity to get the act passed this session. As the panel noted, having the first legislation going through is the hardest part and moves the discussion from “should” we do it, to “how” do we handle cannabis market on the federal level. The States Act could be game-changing legislation.
- Women’s Equity in Cannabis: As was obvious from looking around MJ Biz Con, there was a gender disparity in the industry. There are more women in the industry than in comparable industries, but we are losing ground as the industry expands. Yet the panel had an important message for women considering entering the cannabis industry: there is a place for you in this space; we are building this space together. To make meaningful changes to the industry, everyone in the industry needs to embrace programs that lift both genders up (like maternity and paternity leave), encourage diversity in leadership, and make these changes in the culture of the companies and the industry (under the core level of hiring and leadership tendencies that foster disparity).
- Navigating the CBD Maze: On legal parameters, the panel described the status of CBD as “contested” and in a transitional phase, with inconsistency in the definitions at both the state and federal levels. All eyes are on the Farm Bill, which if passed, would change the legal status, as well as research developments helping to change regulations.
Thanks to Marijuana Business Daily for putting on another great event!