December 2019 saw the yearly pilgrimage towards the three-day mecca giant that is the MJBizCon in Las Vegas. Now in its eighth year, it’s the largest gathering of cannabis business professionals in the world — so big that this year Clark County and the City of Las Vegas officially declared December 9-13 “MJBizCon Week” due to the amount of affiliated events going on alongside the main show.
Everybody who’s anybody in the hydroponics and or cannabis industry made the trip to the show to see what’s new in this global industry that encompasses hemp, medical products, recreational cannabis products, new science breakthroughs, and hugely invested entrepreneurs and start-ups. The slight shift of dates for 2019 meant the event fell back-to-back with the Emerald Cup and it will be interesting to see what the dates are for next year.
This year MJBizCon broke all the records again with a show attendance of more than 30,000. There were more than 1,300 exhibitors and 70 seminars with 180 speakers sharing their knowledge and speaking about everything industry related from new cannabis markets, branding and marketing, to the future of CBD.
This year the registration room alone was bigger than most other shows. It was breathtakingly massive! There was still a queue but the organization this year was impeccable, so everyone was dealt with in a timely and professional manner.
The first day of the show was incredible. The scale of a show like this can only be explained so much, like ‘MAN… if you weren’t there, you wouldn’t know!’ The exhibitors were spread out over a gargantuan 250,000 square feet.
With exhibitors from more than 75 different countries, there is literally someone from every sector of the industry ready to do business. Near the end of the first day, MJBizCon brought out free complementary drinks for everyone. Nice touch. A popular seminar and networking event on day one was the “Empowering Women in Cannabis” session which celebrated women championing the industry and was dedicated to all who support equal representation in the cannabis industry.
The second day of the show saw a continuation of an outstanding program that brings the whole cannabis industry together to learn, explore, reward, and get business done. It also saw the hosting of the MJBizCon Daily Awards gala and after party. This premier evening was a chance to celebrate and recognize the best of the best with a true Las Vegas backdrop of entertainment and hospitality. It also saw the induction of the first two members into the MJBizCon Hall of Fame: cannabis activist Steve DeAngelo and successful canna businesswoman and fellow activist Wanda James.
The final day of the show only ran until 3 p.m. so many attendees made the most of it by visiting people on their lists and viewing the products they wanted to see. This was in no way an easy feat given the show represented every sector of the industry you could think of including growers, retailers, financial services, infused product manufacturers, branding and marketing, and compliance experts… you name it, they were there. There was an interesting session on the recent vaping epidemic that has seen thousands of consumers fall ill from products they have bought on the black market. It was fascinating to hear about what the reputable businesses do to address these safety concerns and maintain quality.
This is a great show, don’t get me wrong, but the price tag to attend is still the highest around as well, and thus is a sticking point for some. Depending on what ticket you get and when, it will cost you between $400-700. Add that to the cost of travel and a hotel and you are easily more than double what any of the other shows around the world cost.
That aside, it is a fantastic show that everybody should go to at some point. It’s a great chance for anybody with an interest in the industry to get fresh ideas, information and resources to continue creating a great future for this industry.