Speaking of Weeds

Cannabis buds inspire $6.7 billion sales in North America. Photo courtesy of Dianne Porchia of Porchia’s Wish

In 2016, North American (U.S. and Canada) marijuana sales hit $6.7 billion with $5.86 billion in sales attributed to the U.S., which already has had a $14 billion impact on the economy. According to a leading cannabis trade journal, Marijuana Business Daily®, North American sales will post a 25 percent compound annual growth and reach $20.2 billion by 2021.

Finally emerging from bad press and a shadowy past, the erstwhile connotation of “weed” has now blossomed into the billion-dollar cannabis industry replete with a growing number of trade journals on the topic. For example, The Clever Root magazine, launched last summer, is fast positioning itself as the connoisseur’s choice dedicated to everything cannabis: fruit-flower-farm-leaf.

Now that it is fast gaining acceptance and mainstream recognition as a medicinal plant, cannabis conferences are proliferating. Two years ago, a Medical Cannabis Industry Town Hall Meeting, “How to Operate a Medical Cannabis Business in Compliance with State Law,” was sponsored by Jerome E. Horton, Chairman, California State Board of Equalization with invited guests, California,State Assemblymember (59th AD) Reginald Jones-Sawyer; California State Assemblymember (64th AD) Mike Gibson;  Los Angeles County Assessor Jeffrey Prang; and Curren D. Price, Jr., Los Angeles City Councilmember (9th District). Participating agencies included the California State Board of Equalization, Franchise Tax Board, Employment Development Department, Internal Revenue Service and the Los Angeles County Assessor’s Office.

In November 2016, just days after the election, an unprecedented eight states passed medical or recreational cannabis initiatives, Las Vegas hosted the fifth annual Marijuana Business Conference and Expo (MJBizCon) where the industry’s key players were in attendance. More than 10,000 people attended the event at The Rio Hotel Las Vegas, with representatives from 50 states and 18 countries, including entrepreneurial wholesale growers, dispensaries, recreational retailers, infused product makers, professional and financial services and major private equity investors.  

For the first time in Expo history, MJBizCon Science Symposium offered a full-day workshop for business people to meet top canna-scientists, learn about the plant, its medicinal applications and share case studies and new research.

For those interested or already involved in the canna industry, the MJBizCon Spring 2017 Expo in Washington DC, May 17-19, should be a “must attend” event. Sixty expert speakers will present on all aspects of the business featuring keynote speakers Loren Israelsen, President & Co-Founder United Natural Products Alliance; John Vardaman, Former Assistant Deputy Chief (Money Laundering Section), U.S. Department of Justice; and Chris Walsh, Editorial Director Marijuana Business Daily. For more information: mjbizconference.com

Due to sold-out crowds in 2015 and 2016, MJBizCon has moved to the Las Vegas Convention Center for Fall 201.! Pre-conference Workshops will take place November 14; tThe main conference, expo and MJBizCon Mixer runs November 15-17. (mjbizconference.com/vegas2017)


Dianne Porchia, MA, DMBM, is a holistic health, wellness and spiritual educator of mind-body medicine offering concierge services and Life In Balance wellness retreats in Topanga and internationally. dianne@porchiaswish.com; (310) 455-2851/(310) 850-2499 (cell).


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