Chicago is beautiful in the summer – to stroll along the Lakefront Trail while chowing down on a delicious Italian beef sandwich is one of many divine experiences. Located in a cannabis-friendly state, Chicago residents and visitors alike can always discover something new in this vibrant place. This year, there is even more reason to engage with the Windy City: CannaCon’s Midwest Chicago event on August 6-7, 2021! Continue reading to learn why the CannaCon Chicago cannabis convention is is THE Chicago cannabis trade show to attend.
Thriving Cannabis Industry
The medical and recreational cannabis industry in Illinois is thriving, to put it mildly: June 2021 saw more marijuana products sold since recreational retailers first opened in early 2020; reaching sales numbers for the month of about $115.5 million total. Roughly $79 million of sales came from in-state residents, while out-of-state visitors, many from Wisconsin, accounted for purchases worth $36 million. According to the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, June makes for the fourth month in a row in which Illinois recreational marijuana sales have exceeded $100 million. If the trend continues, the state is set to surpass $1 billion in recreational sales during 2021.
In an effort to expand sales, June also saw the filing of an ordinance with the city of Chicago to allow new cannabis dispensaries in a downtown “exclusion zone” where Mayor Lori Lightfoot has previously blocked cannabis sales. Social equity applicants would be able to bypass some of the tedious zoning requirements for cannabis businesses if the ordinance is approved. Under the proposal, social equity players notably would not be bound to a specific area or hindered by the dispensary caps placed on the city’s cannabis regions. The businesses would only be obligated to hold a community meeting and receive a special-use permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals. The plan would also allow social equity shops to open within 1,500 feet of existing dispensaries. The city of Chicago is currently home to only 19 of the state’s 110 licensed weed stores; its population is roughly 2.7 million, with annual tourist numbers reaching over 55 million. Beyond the city, a recently passed bill awaits the signature of Governor J.B. Pritzker which will allow 120 new dispensaries in Illinois to open. Another 75 licenses created earlier are pending until the state holds a lottery to determine the winners.
The Future of Cannabis in Illinois
Even with existing restrictions, businesses tied to the industry are certainly keeping up with the public’s desire for cannabis consumption. July 10th saw the opening of Illinois’ first social-use cannabis lounge, The Luna Lounge in Sesser. With a hosting capacity of 60 people at a time, this woman-owned business is a bring-your-own-cannabis bar made possible by an amendment in 2019 to The Smoke-Free Illinois Act. A unique experience, The Luna Lounge is a win for those looking to socialize while consuming cannabis. Although actual cannabis products cannot be purchased there, papers, pipes and other accessories are accessible onsite for purchase or rental.
Attending a Cannabis Convention in Chicago
Right in the middle of this enthusiastic market is the premier Chicago cannabis convention on August 6th and 7th at the Donald E Stephens Convention Center at 5555 North River Road in Rosemont. Scheduled speakers and curated seminars demonstrate the professional focus found within all CannaCon happenings. The incredible show sponsor, Seed Tracker Technology, which is built for growers, by growers, has generously ensured this CannaCon event is a dynamic welcome back to in-person cannabis education and networking.
Seminars cover a wide range of industry-connected topics including legal, marketing, processing, finance and testing. Here are just a few examples of the fascinating and informative talks:
- Getting the Most Out of Your Cannabis Phenotype
- The Changing Expectations of Dispensary Consumers
- Life after SAFE Banking — Unlocking Payments, Lending and Other Financial Services for your Cannabis Business
- Modern Website Musts to Establish Credibility with Customers & Compete Online
- How To Level Up You Cannabis Operations
- Cannabis Ag-Tech Saves Food from Climate Change
- Cannabis License Opportunities in Illinois, New York, Ohio and Michigan in 2021
- Achieving Genetic Potential with Nutrition and Stress Mitigation
- Pre-Roll Industry Trends & Insights
Further, the Chicago cannabis trade show features an open marketplace of products and services from over 200 exhibitors, which can be purchased directly from manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers. See, touch and experience new products to solve issues, promote business and advance offerings while enjoying a direct connection with those who know their trade best. Attendee registration information can be found here. Advanced ticket pricing to attend expo, seminars or both ends on August 5th, 2021. Become an integral part of the cannabis community through CannaCon!