I have lost track of how many cannabis business events I have been to since I started blogging in January 2010. Up until Colorado and Washington voted to legalize in 2012, most of the events were either very local in nature, or the ‘business event’ was really just a stonerfest with a business panel on the side. These days it seems like there are cannabis business events almost every week, and while they are better than they used to be, most of them leave a lot to be desired in my opinion.
Only a handful of cannabis business events are truly worthwhile, and at the top of that list is the Cannabis Business Summit and Expo hosted by the National Cannabis Industry Association. There is a reason why The Cannabist named the event ‘Best Cannabis Business Event’ at its award show. Some of the other events I have seen feature speaker names that I have never heard of before, which is telling because I spend way too much time on social media than any normal person should. That’s not to say that I recognize every face that is out there, but I can definitely tell the difference between an ‘expert’ and an expert.
The speaker list for the Cannabis Business Summit and Expo is like a laundry list of my heroes. These are people that I have admired while working in the trenches of activism that have now gone on to take their rightful place as leaders of the cannabis industry. They are all involved in cannabis advocacy in some way, still to this day, and they are all true experts in their sector of the cannabis space. Jesce Horton, Betty Aldworth, Steve DeAngelo, Aaron Smith, Khurshid Khoja, Troy Dayton, Sabrina Fendrick, David Borden, Sam Tracy, Taylor West, Kara Bradford, Shaleen Title, Jason M. Thomas, and several others are people that I follow closely so that I can learn from them. You should be following them too.
All of those people, and many more, are going to be under one roof for the three day event. You will not find a more talented, experienced group of passionate cannabis entrepreneurs and geniuses in one place, trust me. Whenever people ask me what is the best way to find out more about getting into the cannabis industry, I always tell them to go to an NCIA event because they will reap more knowledge in that one event than they will in an entire year doing bootleg research on the internet (I would know!).
The Cannabis Business Summit and Expo takes place June 12-14 in Oakland at the Oakland Marriott City Center. Super Early Bird pricing for NCIA members only goes until May 19th, and the event will fill up fast, so make sure to get your tickets as soon as possible. Over 4,500 people are expected to attend, with over 100 speakers, and an expo floor that is over 80,000 square feet. If you are serious about the cannabis industry, and you want to learn from the best and network with the right people, this event is a must!