Marijuana is currently legal for adults over 21 in 30 U.S. states, plus D.C., and the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes is legal in 42 states. As a result, the cannabis industry has expanded rapidly. Along with this has come the introduction of cannabis trade shows and other events dedicated to the production, extraction, and use of marijuana and its derivatives. If you’re operating a business in this industry, it pays to attend these events. You only get one chance to make your name in a new industry. As it grows—and the major players are identified—it only becomes harder to compete. Now’s the time to make your mark! Attending industry events is a great way to get noticed and perhaps even attract investors.
CannaCon is one of the country’s leading B2B cannabis trade shows, held in multiple locations every year. Collectively, this marijuana trade show has more than 25,000 attendees and 800-plus exhibitors. The schedule for 2021 includes:
- Columbus, OH – January 7-8 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center
- Chicago, IL – February 12-13, 2021 at the Donald E. Stevens Convention Center
- Detroit, MI – April 2-3, 2021 at the TCF Center
- Oklahoma City, OK – May 27-28, 2021 at the Cox Convention Center
- Chicago, IL – August 6-7, 2021 at the Donald E. Stevens Convention Center
- Biloxi, MS – September 17-18, 2021 at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum
Each event hosts vendors from a wide range of industry sectors, including:
- Farmers and cultivators
- Growing and processing equipment specialists
- Soil and nutrient experts
- Extraction specialists
- And more
In every location, CannaCon is a chance for businesses of all sizes to network, learn, and grow. Many of these locations represent emerging cannabis markets. These shows are opportunities to get in on the ground floor.
LEARN MORE: https://cannacon.org/
2. INDO EXPO
This marijuana trade show travels, typically showing up in two locations throughout the year. In 2021 stops include The Denver Mart in Denver, Colorado over January 30 and 31 and The Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Chicago, Illinois over September 25 and 26. And there are plans in the works to add more locations in the future!
The INDO EXPO show focuses on the B2B side of the marijuana industry. It boasted around 16,000 attendees and 400-plus exhibitors in 2019. Exhibitors and attendees come from a wide range of industry sectors, including small businesses, R&D, and larger companies.
LEARN MORE: https://www.indoexpo.com/
3. The Emerald Cup
Held every year in December, the Emerald Cup is all about cannabis culture and always draws a big local crowd of enthusiasts. The show is located in northern California, in a part of the state known as the Emerald Triangle for its strong connection to cannabis farming and culture. It’s typically held over a single weekend in December. Attendance has skyrocketed in recent years due to changes in California’s cannabis laws, with about 28,000 attendees in 2018.
The 2020 Emerald Cup was canceled due to COVID, but it’s likely this event will return in December 2021—no doubt bigger and better than ever.
This is more of a B2C event, so it’s a great option for growers and retailers in the industry. There’s also room for B2B exhibitors and retailers, as the attendee line-up does include people in the industry, like farmers, retailers, and others. There are also competitions and awards given for cannabis products in various categories, and due to the festival’s strong connection with cannabis culture, these awards are considered prestigious within the industry.
LEARN MORE: https://theemeraldcup.com/
4. International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC)
The International Cannabis Business Conference is a worldwide event, held in several locations each year, including the U.S. In 2020 this marijuana trade show was held in February at the Hilton® San Francisco Union Square. With both a conference and an exhibition, ICBC gives attendees the chance to learn and network at the same event. If you’re interested in attending this event in 2021, check the ICBC website for updates. New dates for both live and virtual events are yet to be announced.
For exhibitors, ICBC is all about exposure, with the focus mainly on the B2B side of the cannabis industry. In previous years, cannabis conference topics have included:
- Federal cannabis law reform
- Investment and capital markets
- International investing
- CBD mainstreaming
ICBC is attended by several thousand people from a range of industry sectors. These include cultivating and farming, tech and R&D, sales, and executive and management representatives from larger businesses.
LEARN MORE: https://internationalcbc.com/
5. Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition℠
With locations in Los Angeles, Boston, and New York coming up in 2021, this B2B-focused event is one of the most extensive cannabis conventions on the annual schedule. Each event includes a variety of sessions, such as education sessions and workshops, networking events, and other activities for business owners and entrepreneurs.
In 2021 keep an eye out for:
- Los Angeles, CA – March 3-4 at the LA Convention Center
- New York, NY – May 27-29 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center
- Boston, MA – November 3-4 at the Hynes Convention Center
Attendees and exhibitors come from all over the industry, and there are well over 20,000 attendees and several hundred exhibitors at each event. They include:
Extractors and processors
- Research scientists and medical professionals
- Executives and managers
- Sales reps
- Investors and entrepreneurs
This inclusive focus means that virtually any cannabis-related B2B business can find value in exhibiting here.
LEARN MORE: https://www.cwcbexpo.com/
6. Cannabis Business Summit & Expo
Billed as one of the country’s most influential cannabis conventions, this event is scheduled for August 3 through 5, 2021 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA. Additional annual events include business conferences in Long Beach and Boston. All three events focus on the California cannabis market, meaning that east coast businesses have the chance to network and learn without having to travel extensively.
Attendees of this one-of-a-kind event include over 10,000 leaders, entrepreneurs, and policymakers in the cannabis industry—85% of them have purchasing power. It’s a valuable opportunity for both B2C and B2B businesses, with focus on cultivation, extraction and processing, and retail, as well as business services, policy, and regulation.
LEARN MORE: https://cannabisbusinesssummit.com/
This huge cannabis trade show is typically held in December. In 2019 the event ran for five days. Held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, it welcomed over 30,000 attendees, more than 1,000 exhibitors, 150 speakers, and dozens of conference sessions. These stats make MJBizCon the country’s biggest cannabis convention and the overall fastest-growing trade show.
Attendees include people from all sectors of the industry:
- Small cultivators and retailers
- Sales, management, and executive-level employees of larger national and global companies
- Tech and R&D companies
With such a varied attendee line-up, MJBizCon is a great exhibition opportunity for any company working in the cannabis industry. While the 2021 date for MJBizCon hasn’t yet been announced, it will likely be held in December as usual. In the meantime, the organization’s next major event is a virtual expo scheduled for June 29 to July 1, 2021.
LEARN MORE: https://mjbizconference.com/
Don’t Miss Your Chance to Rep Your Business!
The cannabis industry may be new, but it’s already a lucrative one, and it’s poised for rapid growth. Attending marijuana trade shows is an important means of gaining a foothold in this industry by networking, learning about new advances, and forging profitable business relationships.