It’s been nearly two years since the NCIA (National Cannabis Industry Association) held their Annual Cannabis Business Summit & Expo in person. But the flagship event is back this week in San Francisco as over 3000 industry folk are expected to descend on the cavernous Moscone Center on December 16 and 17 to check out the competition, share trade secrets, make deals, and hear from leaders in the field.
The event offers educational sessions covering best practices, how to succeed and thrive in the industry, and regulatory and law trends.
If you’re wondering how seriously the city takes cannabis, the mayor of San Francisco, London Breed, will be on hand as a guest speaker.
The expo floor will include 200 exhibitors, including services, brands, and ancillary products. We caught up with NCIA CEO Aaron Smith on the expo floor to get the lowdown on the event.
What exactly is NCIA?
NCIA is the largest trade association representing the cannabis industry across the country. We host networking opportunities and events like this, which offer education for our members. Most importantly, we lobby Congress to change federal law to open up opportunities for the cannabis industry coast to coast.
Who are your members?
We have over 1500 members, which equates to tens of thousands of employees and jobs. The membership includes plant-touching companies like retailers, cultivators, and manufacturers and ancillary businesses and products that are making packaging for those products or are professional service providers.
You’ve been doing this for 7 years. What’s different this time around?
This is the first year we’ve done the event in San Francisco, and it’s happening during COVID, so there’s kind of a layer over everything, but it’s good to be back in the birthplace of medical cannabis and the movement that got us to where we are today.
This year, we’ve also added Bloom, a new brand experience where cannabis brands showcase their products first. We did this so that we’re actually able to have product on the show floor for people to touch, feel, smell, and have a full sensory experience around cannabis.
We’re seeing brands that are not only thriving in California but licensing in other states. So adding Bloom seemed like a natural evolution for NCIA.
Who do you expect to come to the Cannabis Business Summit & Expo?
Cannabis CEOs, investors, employees, and people who are just getting into this space like accountants, lawyers, manufacturers. It’s very similar to our membership.
What makes this cannabis business summit different than all the other events?
All the exhibitors and many of the attendees are part of NCIA, which is funding the cannabis industry. NCIA is the most credible lobbying operation in Washington DC. So coming here is not only an investment in your own business, but unlike any other cannabis event, proceeds from our sponsorship sales support the movement and the cause.
Note. Tickets are still available. To register, go to: https://cannabisbusinesssummit.com/