Clear your calendar, the Green Rush is surging. The U.S. cannabis market is expected to hit $40 billion by 2020, fueled by the end of prohibition in more and more states.
This week, California officials said they’d be hiring 126 employees and spending about $25 million regulating medical pot in the coming years. More than 2,000 people attended marijuana’s largest job fair in San Francisco last weekend.
Cannabis industry events are evolving past boring panel discussions and booth-hopping tedium. Don’t miss these huge networking and educational opportunities for newbie ganjapreneurs and established business owners alike. Here’s a top-ten list of the best marijuana events rolling out all over the country for the rest of 2016.
1. CannaGrow Expo – May 7-8 – San Diego, CA
Dedicated to the art and science of cultivating marijuana, the CannaGrow Expo is purely an educational expo (ie, NOT a party) where attendees can learn new strategies and best growing practices from speakers including master grower Adam Jacques, cup-winning Kyle Kushman, facility designer Autumn Karcey, and many more. Sunny, beachy San Diego provides the beautiful backdrop.
2. Marijuana Business Conference and Expo – May 9-11- Orlando, FL
Touting itself as the “largest and oldest running national marijuana conference in the U.S.” this cannabis conference focuses on the medical marijuana industry — aimed at dispensaries, growers and patients, as well as anyone looking to invest and simply gather more cannabis knowledge. The event includes over 3,000 industry executives, experts and investors, vendors, and keynote speakers in Florida — a sleeping giant market of a market.
3. NW Cannabis Classic – May 14-15 – Anchorage, AK
As Alaska’s one and only dedicated competition available to cannabis growers and product developers, the NW Cannabis Classic is a place to explore over 50 strains and cannabis products from over 30 local growers, breeders and producers. Along with breeding classes, equipment tips and lectures on fine-tuning techniques, there will be live music, visual arts, exhibits, vendors, competitions and awards. With Anchorage, Alaska in the background, this is sure to be a cannabis-lover’s paradise.
4. Cannabis World Congress & Business Expo – June 15-17 – New York, NY
Featuring the latest technologies, solutions and resources for cannabis-related companies, this event presents exhibitors and sponsors with cutting-edge solutions for owners and managers of businesses, bringing knowledge to those looking to enter the market with potential partners and investors. Sessions will include topics such as best growing practices, legal protection and finding investment.
5. Cannabis Business Summit – June 20-22 – Oakland, CA
Network with over 3,000 of your peers including growers, dispensaries and infused product manufacturers, as well as meet national policy makers and those with major influence in the marijuana industry. With more than 30 sessions and over 75 speakers, the expo promises to give you all the knowledge you need to be a positive force the marijuana industry.
6. The Portland Indo Expo – August 6-7 – Portland, OR
In an effort to strengthen relationships between growers, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, and the public, the Indo Expo supports the growth of the cannabis industry by bringing together industry professionals from all over the country to promote their products, watch product demonstrations, attend educational seminars, explore networking opportunities, and educate themselves at cannabis classes and workshops.
7. Seattle Hempfest – August 19-21 – Seattle, WA
Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Hempfest is one of the world’s largest cannabis events, where attendees can explore all the different applications of marijuana. Six stages will present non-stop music and various keynote speakers, and there will be over 400 arts, crafts, food and information vendors. With over 1,000 volunteers help set up this huge event, the festival takes place along Seattle’s beautiful Waterfront.
8. NH Hempfest & Freedom Rally – August 25-28 – Lancaster, New Hampshire
Taking place in a scenic mountain setting (yep, there’s camping), the NH Hempfest & Freedom Rally covers all-things cannabis from political speakers to comedians, bake-offs to body painting, cannabis competitions to live music from the likes of Dopapod, Twiddle, The Heavy Pets and many more. This is sure to be a beautiful, informative, fun weekend for all cannabis lovers.
9. 45th Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival – October 2-4 Madison, WI
Celebrating October’s harvest season, as well as activism and the reform of marijuana laws, this festival will feature a ton of speakers fighting for legalization, non-stop music from the likes of Rocker-T, Bongzilla, Tani Diakite, Afrofunkstars and more, and, of course a wide variety of vendors.
10. International Cannabis Business Conference – October 13-14 Vancouver, B.C.
With a limited amount of vendors, the ICBC is committed to allowing attendees and vendors interact closely to discuss and explore the politics, business, activism and culture of marijuana. Taking place in ever-beautiful Vancouver, the ICBC also promises to “give you a chance to unwind at what are quickly becoming legendary after-parties.”
Did we miss one? Tell us if you know about a super cool meet-up.