As a grizzled veteran of both the cannabis industry and the MJBizCon gathering, it was absolutely fascinating to attend last week’s show in Las Vegas. I returned home feeling more confident than ever about our business and its long-term future. Here’s why:
I last attended MJBizCon four years ago, when it was about one-fifth the size of this year’s edition. Flip that around: 2019’s MJBizCon was five times the size of 2015’s.
That obviously translates to a whole lot of new players in the business, but it’s not just more companies … it’s more types of companies, with a greater depth and breadth of applications. MJBizCon now has the appearance of a mainstream convention like PackExpo or the National Retail Foundation’s.
That growth translated to the attendees as well, with more than 35,000 people descending on Vegas for the event. And again, it was more than just the numbers. In prior years, conversations revolved around moving the business forward as a whole with adoption of cannabis at state and federal levels. Now the discussions are business-focused, zeroing in on operations and profitability.
Cultivators, retailers and dispensaries continue to learn and move forward, adopting technologies and business practices that transcend specific industries. Best practices are best practices, and the cannabis industry is beginning to embrace them as a whole.
The overall takeaway from MJBizCon? The size and scope of the show demonstrates that our industry is clearly maturing, and this should offer credence and comfort to investors and other stakeholders. The cannabis industry continues to expand and demand for products and services is stronger than ever.