5 Things We Learned from MJ Biz Con 2021

3 mins read

by Jay Rosenthal, Managing Director, Business of Cannabis

Last week, the team from Business of Cannabis was in Las Vegas for the continuation of the annual industry gathering that is MJ Biz Con. While it felt different than the same show in 2019, there were some key takeaways to share from this year’s gathering:

Excitement Abounds

There is still tremendous excitement about the sector in the US. New markets, new opportunities and a maturation of the sector since the last MJ Biz Con 2019 all lead to a palpable buzz in the sector. Coupled with that US excitement is a fair amount of shoulder-shrugging about what Canada has been through. This is largely to do with the relatively lackluster performance of publicly traded companies of late. 

Change is Constant

Every legal jurisdiction continues to change, adding to the dynamism of the sector. Legalization in a state is just the end of the beginning – and changes can come fast and furious and over a long period time. When states legalization, it’s the start of that state honing, changing and shaping what legalization looks like. For example, while New York is going to offer delivery from day one, Colorado, the most mature market, is just getting in on delivery.

Technology Driving the Sector

Technology companies are the belle of the ball. Huge fundraising from cannabis technology companies put them front and center at the show. Jane Technologies, FlowHub and Dutchie all announced capital raises recently – showing that they are underpinning the new sector, and allowing companies to expand rapidly within and across jurisdictions.

Las Vegas as a Cannabis Destination

Las Vegas is a one-of-a-kind cannabis destination. Between the in-your-face marketing and signage and the general acceptance of all things cannabis – Las Vegas and cannabis are now synonymous. A sporadic visitor to Las Vegas quipped that cannabis has overtaken strip clubs as the most in-your-face, Las Vegas activity available.

In-Person Events

It’s hard to overstate the fact that the cannabis industry is ready to be back together, planning, debating and moving toward the future together. We saw it in New York at Business of Cannabis: New York in September and again at MJ Biz Con in October. 

As the pandemic (hopefully) wanes, an industry stands ready to reunite for the future. (See your upcoming, in-person events in London (November), Toronto (December), New York (December), and Florida (March).

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