With the warm, sunny backdrop of Miami Beach, the second iteration of the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference filled every seat with enthusiastic and proactive investors who are looking for their next deal in a budding landscape.
“Every single person in this room is faced with the opportunity of a lifetime,” said Jason Raznick, founder and CEO of Benzinga. “This is the chance to be the future of the next multibillion-dollar industry.”
Similar to the first cannabis investing event in Toronto last August, the U.S.-based conference in January featured some of the biggest players in the industry speaking on relevant topics at a time of market volatility and regulatory changes.
While Canada has certainly led the industry with nationwide legalization, the U.S. is quickly gaining momentum. Support and exposure for cannabis legalization spread like wildfire in 2018; since Benzinga held its inaugural cannabis conference in Toronto, four U.S. states approved medical and recreational marijuana measures, including Michigan.
As of 2019, 10 states and Washington, D.C. have legalized recreational use, while 33 states have enacted medical programs.
States including Connecticut, Minnesota, New Hampshire and New York are slated to decide on marijuana legislation this year, according to a study by Forbes.
Danny Moses, the famous trader highlighted in “The Big Short,” said cannabis businesses will draw millions to Wall Street in the next two years in his remarks at the Cannabis Capital Conference. Other highly reputable investors such as Jeanne Sullivan, Sean Stiefel and Tahira Rehmatullah spoke on cannabis investments, led by CNBC “Fast Money” host Tim Seymour.
George Allen, CEO of Acreage Holdings ACRGF; Kim Rivers, CEO of Trulieve TCNNF; and Steve White, CEO of Harvest Health & Recreation spoke on the responsibilities of performing as a multistate operator in the industry.
Alan Brochstein, the 420 Investor, grilled panelists on specific markets, the overall landscape and compliance issues.
Global expansions of cannabis businesses are on the rise. Aurora Cannabis Inc. ACB’s Marc Lakmaaker, CannTrust Holdings Inc. CNTTF’s Peter Aceto, Mile High Labs’ Jon Hilley and Giadha Aguirre de Carcer of New Frontier Data participated in a conversation outlining U.S. politics, global exposure and the Farm Bill.
Hadley Ford, CEO of iAnthus Capital Holdings Inc. ITHUF, spoke about specific ways to combat rising competition in the cannabis market. While describing the need for companies to grow at a steady pace, Ford compared the market to a game of musical chairs.
“There’s not a lot of chairs left,” he said.
The 420 Investor, Alan Brochstein, facilitated a discussion with CuraLeaf Holdings Inc. CURLF CEO Joseph Lusardi. The pioneers spoke about smart industry execution within the expanding market, as well as some big threats to the space.
Giadha Aguirre De Carcer, the CEO of New Frontier Data and the queen of cannabis statistics, outlined expectations for industry expansion in the coming years. The executive provided four statistics demonstrating just how powerful the market has become.
Three ballrooms at the beautiful Eden Roc resort featured dozens of companies presenting specific plans for growth, regulation and profit. Jessica Billingsley, MJ Freeway’s co-founder and CEO; Josh Blacher, InMed Pharmaceuticals Inc. IMLFF’s chief business officer; and Paul Chu, Weekend Unlimited, Inc. WKULF’s president and CEO were among those who made presentations.
Check out other featured companies and their presentations at this link:
- Americann Inc. ACAN
- Origin House, formerly known as CannaRoyalty Corp. ORHOF
- Gage Cannabis
- High Tide Inc. HITI
- Newstrike Brands Ltd. NWKRF
- MariMed Inc. MRMD
- CEDR Solutions
- Grassroots Cannabis
- Slang Worldwide Inc. SLNG
- Phylos Bioscience
- New Frontier Data
- Faces Human Capital Management
- MJardin Group Inc. MJARF
- CannTrust Holdings Inc. CNTTF
- Medipharm Labs Corp. MLCPF
- Pure Global Cannabis Inc. PRCNF
- Plus Products Inc. PLPRF
- Trulieve Cannabis Corp. TCNNF
- GrowGeneration Corp. GRWG
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Benzinga Cannabis Conferences are coming to Los Angeles
Join the Benzinga Cannabis Market Spotlight: California, and unlock the future of cannabis at the premier networking event in Culver City on February 22. Connect with top industry leaders, gain insider insights into the investment landscape, and shape the evolving markets in California and beyond. Don’t miss this chance to be at the forefront of the cannabis industry’s growth and innovation! Join now.