MJBizCon marks 10th year with return to in-person event

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MJBizCon Las Vegas, MJBizCon marks 10th year with return to in-person event

Attendees pick up their badges Tuesday for MJBizCon 2021. (Photo by Las Vegas Event Photography)

MJBizCon is marking its 10th anniversary this week with a return to in-person events in Las Vegas.

MJBizCon, the oldest and largest trade show of its kind in the cannabis sector, opened Tuesday and runs through Friday.

It will feature more than 60 conference sessions and 1,300 exhibitors spread across 250,000 square feet of expo space at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Daymond John, co-star of ABC TV show “Shark Tank” and founder of hip-hop apparel company Fubu, will be the closing keynote speaker on Friday.

The return to a live event comes after the 2020 conference – and hundreds of other trade shows and events worldwide – were forced to go all digital because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Tens of thousands of attendees are already registered for what is shaping up to be one of the larger B2B trade shows since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic last year and the largest so far this year at the Las Vegas Convention Center, according to Convention Center staff.

Space has been expanded to increase health and safety measures, and the program will include on-demand digital sessions. The on-demand digital content started Oct. 14 with panels on the Canadian and global cannabis markets.

“Despite the huge uncertainties we’ve all faced during the pandemic, one thing has become crystal clear: The cannabis industry is clamoring to get together,” said Chris Walsh, CEO of MJBiz, which hosts the annual conference.

Walsh called this year’s conference “especially meaningful.”

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“It marks the largest gathering of global cannabis professionals by far in nearly two years and reflects the industry’s growth, resilience and maturation during one of the most difficult periods of our lifetimes.”

MJBizCon will be the venue where, Walsh noted, “movers and shakers across all segments of the cannabis business ecosystem – from investors to promising new entrants and industry veterans to everyone in between – will gather.”

The inaugural Hall of Flowers Experience at MJBizCon, a new collaboration, will offer meetings between cannabis brands and retailers, by appointment.

Image of Associations Day at MJBizCon 2021
Twenty-five cannabis associations and nonprofits took part in Associations Day on Tuesday at MJBizCon 2021. (Photo by Las Vegas Event Photography)

The week started Tuesday with pre-show forums on hemp, finance and science as well as Associations Day.

The latter gave cannabis nonprofits, trade groups and member associations an opportunity to connect with professionals interested in supporting their work in equity, justice reform and sustainability among other topics.

Walsh kicks off the general session on Wednesday with a state of the industry address and predictions for 2022, followed by a general session “reality check” on what cannabis businesses need to do to prepare for federal marijuana legalization.

Another general session event, also on Oct. 20, is “Clash of the Titans,” which addresses the question: “Can big business and cannabis culture cohesively build a solid industry?”

Sandwiched between the week’s sessions are networking events on two timely topics: “Achieving Equity in Cannabis” and “Empowering Women in Cannabis.”

Conference attendees will have the opportunity to hear from industry experts on a wide range of other cannabis business topics, including:

  • Federal and state hemp updates.
  • Deep dives into M&A and cannabis funding.
  • The implementation of the ‘smart” cannabis factory.
  • Launching a cannabis cultivation operation.
  • Ancillary business landscape.
  • Cannabis markets in the East, Midwest, South and West.
  • Environmental and sustainability practices.
  • Terpenes and cannabinoids.

There’s also a new topic this year – one that’s been getting a lot of attention recently: psychedelics and their potential to be a market disruptor.

More information, including registration details, speakers and session topics, is available on the MJBizCon website.

Jeff Smith can be reached at jeff.smith@mjbizdaily.com.