Growth tops 2022 cannabis business priorities for MJBizCon attendees

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image of MJBizCon show floor

Attendees flock to the show floor at MJBizCon 2021. (Photo by Las Vegas Event Photography)

Many cannabis entrepreneurs have a simple goal for 2022: growth.

That was the most common answer from MJBizCon attendees in Las Vegas when asked about their 2022 priorities.

Here’s a snapshot, in their own words, of what conferencegoers are putting at the top of their to-do list:

Image of Christina Lucero
Christina Lucero

Christina Lucero, co-owner, pre-roll manufacturer Olympic Reef, Washington state

Next year is just expand, expand, expand. Let’s just grow and keep spreading the fun and the love. Just share the wealth.

We do really well in Washington state. We’re one of the top pre-roll manufacturers in our state, so we’re doing pretty good and we want to take that on the road.

Todd Kleperis, founder, banking-solutions provider PayZel, Florida

Maximizing the amount of effort we put into finance, and bringing cannabis companies into banking with lots of choices.

Cannabis companies have always had restrictions on banking; we have a network of banks, and we can offer them financing through companies like this.

So our priority is to make sure that every single company in cannabis knows about us.

Image of Wanda James
Wanda James

Wanda James, owner, vertically integrated cannabis retailer Simply Pure, Denver

Creating partnerships amongst the largest in the industry and the smallest in the industry so we can continue to bring on innovation and new ideas.

Joe Caltabiano, CEO, special purpose acquisition company Choice Consolidation Corp., Chicago

We’re targeting opportunities, trying to get deals together.

We’re looking at doing somewhere around four to six transactions, announcing them simultaneously and really creating the next MSO.

We’re going to kind of dive right in. So, for us, we’re trying to find assets in the markets that matter, in our opinion.

Limited-license, high-regulatory environment. Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Massachusetts, Maryland, same story. Not Oklahoma, not Washington, not Oregon, not California.

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Image of Steve Perry
Steve Perry

Steve Perry, chief operating officer, greenhouse company Adapt8, Oregon

Our top business priority is really just getting information out there about Solex and why it’s great for cannabis.

It diffused the light. It really helps spread the light out over the canopy of the crop and helps the plants produce more sugars and higher THC content and CBD.

John Simmen, owner, retail design-construction firm SevenPoint Interiors, Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada

Image of John Simmen
John Simmen

We do business in Canada and in the U.S., and we’re finding that the Canadian market is starting to get saturated, so our main focus is to start penetrating more in the states.

What we do is follow the states as they get regulated, and as they do, that’s where we send our reps and be present. It’s working well.

A year ago, Michigan became legal, we went to the trade shows there and picked up a lot of business. So we’re just following the industry wherever it goes.

Image of Meghan Shine
Meghan Shine

Meghan Shine, head of strategic communications, technology firm Akerna, Denver

What we are preparing to do, as you can tell from all the acquisitions, is really setting up all of our clients for the industry of not just today but tomorrow as well.

So, continuing to grow those resources and get ourselves out there and make sure we are the ultimate true ERP (enterprise resource planning) built specifically for the cannabis industry, and set our clients up for success.

Image of Teresa Kearney
Teresa Kearney

Teresa Kearney, vice president of sales, Panacea Payroll, Pennsylvania

Always looking to expand. I do as much networking as I can.

When I started in this, we had a regular payroll company and started a new entity to get into cannabis.

And when we began, my motto was, “I’ll go anywhere and talk to anybody,” and that has served us well.

We also are looking to expand into any state that’s legal. We’re in most of them now.

Mari Oxenberg, founder and CEO, Orange Fuzz Hemp, Los Angeles

My business objective for 2022 is to accomplish nationwide distribution. We’re already in 100 stores after launching just in February and everyone loves the product, so pilot, proof of concept.

And, so, now it’s just a matter of the stores feeling comfortable with hemp smokes and hemp and CBD and just seeing where the market takes us. It’s quite the adventure.

Kyle Richards, sales manager, business technology provider Intrepid Data, Illinois

We want to start getting in with the big money to make sure that they’re doing appropriate tech audits, because everything else is checked.

Technology seems to be the last thing that people care about, and it costs the most and it gives people the most issues.

John Schroyer can be reached at

Bart Schaneman and Laura Drotleff contributed to this report.