If there are any lingering doubts about the emergence of cannabis into the mainstream, it’s time to put them to rest, forever. CannaCon—the nation’s preeminent cannabis industry convention—is gearing up for its biggest, brightest and best event to date, settling in Boston’s historic Back Bay district for three days beginning July 13, 2017.
No doubt, CannaCon will be a fun and exciting event — yet, serious about the business of cannabis. While adult-use—or recreational—cannabis is legal in Massachusetts, CannaCon is designed, in the words of founder Bob Smart, to be a “cannabis convention without the cannabis.” Originally fashioned on the home-and-garden-show model, the convention is aimed squarely at professionals working in—or interested in exploring—the business of cannabis. This means no actual cannabis is present, for one thing. In addition, it fosters a spirit of focused, motivated discovery, connection-building, and education quite at odds with old stereotypes about cannabis.
If you’re just dipping your toe into the cannabis industry, or deepening your reach and expanding your professional horizons, you’ll find plenty of learning and networking opportunities at CannaCon Boston; the schedule is jam-packed with a diverse group of speakers and events. Seminars are organized around three key points of focus or pathways:
Growers and cultivators can learn the basics of plant production and yield management with acknowledged industry leaders, or dive deep and get granular with seminars on topics like the practical use of microbes in cannabis cultivation.
Entrepreneurs will learn about compounding specific products—such as the explosively growing field of topical creams and oils—or take a step back and learn about higher-order business and marketing concepts. One of the most-anticipated events is the “In CannaVest Investor Pitch,” making its CannaCon debut this year. Modeled on the popular reality show, it’s a chance for cannabis entrepreneurs to meet venture capitalists and pitch their cannabis-centric products and services.
And scientists will find plenty of food for thought, whether it’s sharing in the wealth of new cannabis research now becoming available or exploring specific topics such as safety testing, 3rd-party certification and more.
Of course, the true value of conventions is in the people it attracts, and Canna-Con, now in its fifth year, is widely acknowledged as being one of the most important industry events of its kind. Leading business people, investors, researchers, authors, and growers flock to CannaCon for the power of its networking possibilities, and for anyone interested in making headway in this nascent but fast-blooming industry, attendance is nearly mandatory.
But even if you’re not a cannabis professional, fear not. Consumers will find plenty to dazzle — whether it’s the latest products and trends in cannabis lifestyle products, the chance to meet company representatives and try—or purchase—their products directly, or to come together and forge connections with other cannabis-curious citizens.
Cannabis is at a cusp, and it’s an unbelievably exciting time to be involved in this fast-moving industry. If you have any interest in entering the field, deepening your reach, or just educating yourself in the mechanics, the history, the culture and science of this fascinating industry, you’d better get yourself in Boston this July.