MJBA Expands National Footprint, Relocates HQ To Silver State
This summer I undertook a cross-country, coast-to-coast, “CannaFest Destiny” road show. Sponsored by Curved Papers, the MJBA tour made ‘official’ stops in Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Indiana, Massachusetts and New York. We gathered in small groups and large, hosting meetups, participating in panel discussions, exhibiting and speaking at trade shows, investor summits and Hempfests. We exchanged ideas, shared our dreams and committed to working together to build a truly sustainable, profitable and ethical legal industry.
The MJBA held court at Indianapolis’ oldest political venue, the storied Antelope Club, where alongside Hoosier Veterans for Medical Cannabis and the Indiana Chapter of the Libertarian Party, where we discussed ways that Hoosiers can participate in the Cannabis and Hemp revolution today.
The CannaFest Destiny Tour generated excitement and positive press – in local newspapers and radio, on podcasts, through Facebook feeds and social media – opening eyes and making new allies and friends all along the way.
Having spent much of the past 5 years working to build the legal cannabis industry in the Pacific Northwest and Colorado, it has been exciting for me to witness CannaFest Destiny at work: how each new state and local community is incorporating and modifying best practices from Washington, Colorado and Oregon to create a unique legal marketplace tailored to the needs and sensibilities of the local culture. While laws, rules and regulations vary widely, I found a common spirit of community and cooperation and commitment to building a fair and responsible industry.
Nowhere did I witness more radical change in such a short time as Nevada. It has not been too many years ago that possession of a seed or stem in the Silver State would get you 20 years, and trafficking could earn you life behind bars. Today, Las Vegas is home to the biggest of the industry trade shows (though recently the Casino and Gaming Commission has discussed banning the legal cannabis industry from Casinos) and nearly 150 licensees grow, process and sell some very fine cannabis.
The state passed its medical marijuana initiative in 2000, and its recreational initiative in 2016. Adult use sales began on July 1st and since that time Nevada has outpaced the launch of both the Colorado and Washington markets. With 42 million tourists visiting annually, Las Vegas is ground zero for the next wave of the legal market, heralding in the era of Commercialization and Normalization. Demand has challenged supply, overwhelming a short-lived monopoly by the alcohol distributors and causing major bottleneck. Pains of growth are inevitable and signs that legalization, once the exclusive province of the liberal West Coast, has now reached the mainstream. Las Vegas is where America (and the world) comes to play – and the players want their legal weed.
True to our mission to provide reliable business intelligence, professional networking and business opportunity to participants in legal cannabis, the Marijuana Business Association has decided to relocate its HQ to Las Vegas. An ideal location to service the expanding national footprint of the MJBA, Las Vegas offers cheap and easy travel, amazing entertainment venues and one of the fastest-growing legal cannabis marketplaces in the world. In addition to hosting meetups and professional education events, we will be in a better position to support our growing MJBA Chapters in Oregon, California and Washington, while simultaneously growing our presence on the East Coast – expanding MJBA New York and launching MJBA Boston.
We’re taking on new partners, and soon will be unveiling a more robust suite of member benefits, including meaningful discounts on the industry’s most important trade events and media opportunities, a new b2b technology platform, and exclusive members-only invitations. Stay tuned to this space!