NCIA Show Upstages NBA Finals
With clouds of cannabis smoke lingering around the entrances, the Oakland Convention Center served up the perfect venue for the 4th annual Cannabis Business Summit & Expo. The arena next door was hosting the NBA Finals, and reports were that players and their families were partying with cannabis show attendees at the posh Claremont Hotel in nearby Berkeley.
The show was well attended, and featured a variety of industry sectors from packaging to security, and just about everything in-between.
Keynote speaker, former Mexican President Vicente Fox, said that the legal cannabis industry is helping reduce crime.
The war on drugs started by President Nixon and continued by "stubborn governments" has resulted in the deaths of thousands of people, Fox said. "Governments don't have the right right to impose behaviors on its citizens except when they affect third parties. We are created free and can exercise our freedoms with responsibility."
He noted that now there are responsible business people running the cannabis sector, "instead of murderers and drug cartels," but said it is important that we continue to learn, exchange ideas and act responsibly.
"Now we have an extreme government in the United States, that smells like a dictatorship," Fox said. So it's vitally important for the industry to act "with purpose."
The show itself was filled with vendors such as CannaGuard Security, which brought a ping pong table to give show attendees some respite and recreation. Show attendee Joshua Artman, a grower in Mendocino, said he was looking for and found some great resources for his upcoming brand launch. Greg Gamet of Denver Consulting Group said that his new cannabis complex, Gold Flora Farms, was almost 80% sold out. And Grasshopper Vending showed off their new automated dispensing system.
Other interesting vendors included a company that sells fashionable women's purses that feature concealed, smell-proof sections for transporting your stash; and Vangst Talent - a recruiting company for cannabis companies, founded and run by the very young Karson Humiston, who is the daughter of Dan Humiston, the founder and a managing partner of the Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo.