The next green wave is quickly gaining strength, fueled by marijuana legalization in two states and the expansion of medical cannabis into new regions, Cassandra Farrington, producer of the National Marijuana Business Conference, said in her opening remarks at the show this morning.
“There is a tsunami coming,” Farrington told top MMJ business leaders gathered in Denver. “It was building before election night, and now that tsunami wave is about to crash over our heads.”
Farrington pointed out that the US medical marijuana market – which includes related support businesses – is valued at roughly $1.7 billion per year. She expects this total to rise considerably over the next 18 months as dispensaries open in states like Arizona, Connecticut and Massachusetts. At the same time, moves by Colorado and Washington State to legalize marijuana will lead to plenty of new business opportunities even if stores selling marijuana for recreational use never open. The hydroponics market, in particular, could flourish, as residents of those states will be able to grow their own cannabis.
However, she issued a warning to the audience: “Corporate America, big investors, and deep-pocketed entrepreneurs from other areas are looking at the growth projections for cannabis commerce and they like what they see. The business pioneers in this industry risk being swept aside unless they develop the business skills to play with the big guys.”
Nearly 400 dispensary owners, infused product makers, lawyers, and related marijuana professionals are attending the conference, which runs through tomorrow afternoon. Farrington noted that the show is the largest of its kind in America in regards to depth of business topics and number of participants. “Attendees have come from 27 states, plus Canada and Europe. We even have a news crew here from Japanese television.”
Interest in the cannabis business is at record highs now that both Colorado and Washington have legalized the general use of marijuana, which will open the door to a host of new opportunities.
Conference organizers have actively discouraged patients and consumers from attending, noting that the show is focused solely on the business aspects of marijuana.
“The cannabis industry’s success depends on building professional relationships, better business skills, and acquiring funding,” Farrington said. “This event is for the entrepreneurs to come together and share knowledge with each other so they can survive the big changes that are ahead.”
News from the show floor will be tweeted with the hashtag #MMJBizCon. MMJ Business Daily will also publish an in-depth wrapup report next week.