OAKLAND–For the booming cannabis space, networking opportunities are crucial for long-term success. Trade shows, conferences, and parties celebrating all things industry are a beloved part of doing business. And while the COVID-19 shifted many events online, it appears in-person events are slowly making a comeback.
Here are Highly Capitalized’s top picks for the 2021 North American cannabis events investors should consider a “must-attend.”
One of the first hit events to come out of the pandemic, the Emerge Virtual Cannabis Conference, presented by Cannabis & Tech Today, is an immersive online expo where attendees create avatars to explore panels and even a trade show floor. This unique experience offers the fun and networking of an in-person show from the safety and convenience of your home or office. Featuring dozens of thought-leaders and entrepreneurs from across the supply chain, Emerge is the best online trade show in the cannabis space, hands down.
Presented by Cannabis Business Times, Cannabis Conference has been bringing together the best and brightest from across the industry for years. Focused on offering education and deal-flow opportunities to stakeholders from cultivation, manufacturing, retail, marketing, and beyond. One of the first large-scale in-person events to be scheduled post-pandemic, the upcoming Cannabis Conference is certain to be one of the most anticipated yet.
Considered a top event for the medical and R&D sectors of cannabis, the Cannabis Science Conference is one of the most well-respected events in the industry. Featuring dozens of expert speakers presenting some of the most cutting-edge developments in the space, this trade show offers exclusive insights not available at other shows. This year’s keynote speakers include Dr. Sue Sisley, Stormy Simon, and “Amazon” John Easterling.
One of the hottest shows on our list, Hall of Flowers is a B2B event featuring all of California’s top brands in one bustling arena. Their flagship event at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds gathers buyers, sales reps, journalists, and celebrities for two days of engaging content and sample haggling. Even Seth Rogen has been spotted smelling the jars. Hall of Flowers is one of the most sought-after tickets in the cannabis event space, so make sure to secure yours early.
One of Canada’s premier cannabis trade shows, the Grow Up Conference & Expo focuses on cultivation and extraction in the Great White North. Additional workshops and networking breakfasts and lunches cover investments, women in cannabis, and much more. Set against the breathtaking Niagara Falls, this event also features one of the best after-parties of all the shows on our list.
MJBizCon is a behemoth, considered the holy grail of cannabis conferences. This industry institution sees tens of thousands of professionals from around the world flock to Sin City for a week of panels, trade show floor hikes, and of course, parties. Usually held in late November or early December, the 2021 event will be held in mid-October at the expansive Las Vegas Convention Center. While it’s unclear why the event scheduled was changed, it’s still certain to be a big draw.
With the tagline “cannabis does business,” the Cannabis World Congress and Business (CWCB) Expo is a favorite among C-suite executives and thought-leaders alike. Their flagship NYC show brings the booming marijuana and hemp industries to the Big Apple for an exciting week of seminars and expo hall exploring. The organizers also host events in Los Angeles and other bustling markets but the NYC show is the place to be.
A hybrid B2B and consumer experience, the Lift&Co. Expo represents all of the best parts of Canadian cannabis culture. Adored by locals and Americans alike, this fun and informative conference never fails to deliver. The first day is reserved for industry only while day two invites plant enthusiasts to come to interact with the brands and service providers they enjoy all year round. The sister event in Vancouver has yet to be scheduled post-COVID, but when it does happen, it’s definitely worth attending.
The folks behind Hall of Flowers have been aiming to expand the popular event to Southern California for some time, but the coronavirus crisis put the brakes on indefinitely. With the nation now on the verge of getting back to normal, organizers finally set a date for the inaugural HOF Palm Springs. Sure to bring out the biggest names in California cannabis, this trade show promises to be one of the most talked-about of the year.
The Cannabis Business Summit, the flagship conference presented by the National Cannabis Industry Association, is typically held in the summer but in order to ensure attendee safety, organizers opted to schedule their first post-COVID conference later in the year. Featuring a wide array of speakers and networking opportunities, this trade always brings out decision-makers and advocates alike for an engaging week of conversations. It’s also a great opportunity to get legislative updates and preview the trade organization’s annual lobby days in Washington, D.C.
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