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Benzinga Cannabis Market Spotlight Launches in Los Angeles

Cannabis Market Spotlight: California
PHOTO spyrakot

Industry Events

Benzinga Cannabis Market Spotlight Launches in Los Angeles

The inaugural event centered on impactful networking opportunities and provided a platform to establish meaningful and enduring business connections in California.

The Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference, one of the premiere cannabis capital events in the US, attracts over 5,000 participants annually. On February 22, it debuted its “Cannabis Market Spotlight: California” event in Los Angeles. As part of the Cannabis Market Spotlight series, this localized event connected industry leaders, facilitating collaboration and offering insights into investment opportunities in the Golden State.

“California stands as a pivotal market in the cannabis sector, rightfully earning its nickname as the Golden State,” said Javier Hasse, head of content at Benzinga. “The decision to extend our offerings, including our content, partnerships and networking opportunities to California, comes at an opportune time as it plays a critical role in directing the worldwide cannabis discourse.”

Hosted at Bioscience LA in Culver City, the event showcased industry innovation in California, renowned for being one of the most dynamic, influential and competitive markets in the cannabis space. Tickets to the event were in high demand, with a waitlist reportedly exceeding venue capacity.

“Cannabis Market Spotlight: California” was a great gathering of California operators and investors. The state has a wonderful heritage of cannabis grown up and down the state,” said Emily Paxia, co-founder of Poseidon Investment. “Fantastic brands and products are born in California, often driving influence nationwide. It was clear that leadership is ready to continue to fight to see this market come around. The passion around putting the regulated market back on a growth trajectory was palpable and inspiring.”

Cannabis Market Spotlight: California
The Cannabis Capital: From Seed to Scale panel, with speakers Tiffany Richardson, Aaron Edelheit, Morgan Paxhia, Ford Smith and Paul Weiss. PHOTO Ginger Michele of Look At You Go Photography

An Opportunity to Connect and Reflect

With structured sessions and networking mixers, attendees experienced valuable interactions that could lead to significant business breakthroughs. Executives from prominent cannabis brands such as Cann, TerrAscend and Old Pal, alongside investors from Mindset Capital and Poseidon Investment Management, shared their valuable insights into the volatile market.

Panels covered key topics pertinent to the California market, including strategies for market domination, conversion of illicit market consumers and insights into the capital markets of California cannabis. 

In particular, the panel “Exercising Discipline: How to Maximize Profitability in Retail,” led by Ricardo Baca of Grasslands, received rave reviews for the information provided on the retail and customer experience trends, offering best practices for maximizing profitability in the cannabis retail sector.

Los Angeles-based cannabis PR and marketing expert Alice Moon says some likened the event’s energy to “the good old days” of California’s cannabis sector. “Benzinga gathered the best of the best in the industry for a day-long event that was surely splendid,” she said. “The event venue was perfect, with a blend of indoor and outdoor space to truly enjoy the SoCal weather. I saw familiar faces and heard from someone that this event was like ‘the good old days of California Cannabis.”

Moon and Steve Council, founder of Council Collective, a high-level cultivation consulting company, discussed the power of personal branding on social media to drive business results in her fireside chat. “We spoke to our favorite platforms, mine being LinkedIn and his being Instagram and why growing your personal page can benefit a business page,” Moon said. “Overall, I’m very excited to see where Benzinga takes this event series. It was one of the best conferences I had attended in a long time.” 

Cannabis Market Spotlight: California
Alice Moon hosted Steve Council at the Fireside: Leveraging A Strong Social Media Presence to Drive Business chat. PHOTO Ginger Michele of Look At You Go Photography

The panel “Effective Strategies to Convert Illicit Market Consumers” covered strategies and solutions to transition consumers from the illicit market to the legal market, addressing economic challenges and opportunities. Speakers included Wesley Hein, Matt Krishnamachari, Anthony Alegrete, Bill Levers and Elliot Lewis.

“One of the things we discussed on our panel was the main issue in converting consumers from the ‘traditional market’ to legal channels of purchasing cannabis is money, plain and simple,” said Bill Levers of Beard Bros Pharms. “The over-regulation, over-taxation and extremely high barriers to entry have products that are in the legal supply chain priced at double or more from your friendly neighborhood dealer with cannabis in a sandwich bag. The solution is simple and it lies in the pricing. Governments need to stop thinking of cannabis taxes as a cure-all for society’s woes and treat the industry just like any other industry with fair tax rates so businesses can survive.

“One of my takeaways from the event—and our panel in particular—was Elliot Lewis’s mic drop,” Levers continued. “If you haven’t seen it, you should; it’s all over social media. I have said several times since the event that this will be Benzinga’s most memorable panel discussion ever.”

The day concluded with a cocktail hour, allowing attendees to network with industry veteran Tommy Chong.

“Benzinga is incredibly grateful to all of the attendees and participants of our first-ever, state-focused cannabis event,” Elliot Lane, Benzinga’s senior vice president of event partnerships, said about the Cannabis Market Spotlight: California event. “We flew past initial expectations for this event, which showcases the sheer willpower and desire of California cannabis leaders to build a successful and collaborative industry. We can’t wait to come back to California and hear more about the incredible innovation in this market.” 

Don’t miss the Benzinga Capital Conference: Cannabis – Spring 2024 in Hollywood, FL., April 16-17.

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