In This Article:

Cannabis Convention: A Networking Goldmine at Cannabis Events 

June 19, 2024
June 10, 2024
| Updated
June 18, 2024

Where do you meet people these days? As the cannabis industry keeps getting bigger, it’s important that operators find spaces to network and meet their peers. The strength of our industry relies on collaboration and building strong connections.

Cannabis events provide a fertile ground for cultivating these connections. From national conferences, such as MJBizCon, to regional trade shows, they offer a unique opportunity to network, learn, and propel your business forward.  

Conferences often feature insightful talks by industry experts, showcasing the latest trends and innovations. Trade shows, bustling with established businesses and rising stars, allow you to build rapport with potential collaborators and discover new products or services that can elevate your brand.  

Whether you're a seasoned entrepreneur or a fresh sprout in the cannabis market, cannabis events offer a potent mix of networking, education, and opportunity. Let's delve deeper into some of the major events that can turn your networking goals into a flourishing harvest.

Cannabis Convention
Distru Team with Metrc's CEO at their User Exchange event in Portland, OR

Spotlight on Top Cannabis Events

These are the most important events for networking in the cannabis industry:

Hall of Flowers (California)

This exclusive, B2B trade show brings together the top names in California cannabis cultivation, distribution, manufacturing, and retailing. Held annually, this cannabis convention allows licensed retailers to connect directly with premium cannabis brands, fostering new partnerships and showcasing the latest innovations in the industry. 

Hall of Flowers often holds two events per year, with one event in Southern California and one event in Northern California.

MJ BizCon (Las Vegas, NV)

This major cannabis convention focuses on industry growth, regulations, and investment opportunities. MJ BizCon participants are part of a large network of plant-touching and ancillary cannabis businesses from all across the United States. 

At this cannabis convention, you can expect educational panels, networking events, and product showcases featuring established and emerging cannabis companies.

Benzinga (Various states)

Financial media company Benzinga hosts various events throughout the year in different states. Most of them focus on cannabis business investment analysis, market trends, or legal updates, depending on the location. 

The Benzinga cannabis conferences are a fantastic spot to network with founders and leaders in the space.

Emerald Cup (California) 

This highly anticipated cannabis convention is a competition and a festival focused on specific product categories or cultivation methods. It features awards ceremonies, educational workshops, and opportunities for attendees to sample and learn about high-quality cannabis products.

Network Trade Show (California)

The Network Trade Show is a cannabis convention that caters to various businesses within the California cannabis industry. 

At this cannabis convention, there will be booths from companies offering cultivation supplies, processing equipment, packaging solutions, security systems, and other industry-specific products and services.

NECANN (Various states)

The National Cannabis Industry Association (NECANN) holds regional conferences in various states throughout the year. 

A NECANN cannabis convention usually features local cannabis companies, educational sessions on cannabis compliance, cultivation techniques, cannabis marketing strategies, and legal updates specific to each region.

Lucky Leaf (Various states)

The Lucky Leaf Expo is a B2B cannabis convention that provides networking opportunities for local cannabis operators. You’ll find cannabis verticals, cultivators, processors, retailers, marketing, and more at this event. The Lucky Leaf events often host speakers and educational sessions as well.

MJ Unpacked (Various states and styles of events)

MJ Unpacked is an umbrella term encompassing several cannabis events held across different states. 

These events can range from consumer-focused expos featuring product demonstrations and educational seminars to a conference-like cannabis convention designed for business professionals.

A “MJ Unpacked” cannabis convention is an event exclusively for licensed THC cannabis retail and brand executives. Managers, scientists, investors, and other approved business types gather to network and share new insights about the cannabis industry. 

Retailers, cannabis brands, and investors can look forward to networking and speaking seminars.

Cannabis events Distru
Distru Team taking a break at Hall of Flowers in Santa Rosa, CA

Maximizing Your Conference Experience

A cannabis convention presents unparalleled opportunities to expand your network, gain valuable insights into this rapidly evolving industry, and position yourself or your cannabis business for success. 

Below are some tips to help you approach these events strategically and maximize your networking experience:

Network with Purpose

Don't just collect business cards aimlessly. Focus on fostering genuine connections aligned with your cannabis industry goals. Identify key cannabis companies, investors, or influencers you want to meet and prioritize conversations that could lead to partnerships, investments, or collaborations.

Attend Panels & Talks

These conferences offer a rich selection of educational sessions led by cannabis experts. Attend keynotes, panels, and workshops covering relevant topics, such as cultivation, regulations, product trends, or emerging consumer markets. You'll gain cutting-edge knowledge to drive your cannabis business forward.

Do Your Homework

Before the cannabis convention, thoroughly investigate the attending cannabis companies, speakers, and other attendees. This enables more informed networking and lets you identify potential partners or investors. Also, study the conference schedule and cannabis-focused expo floor to optimize your time.

Craft Your Cannabis Elevator Pitch

Having a compelling elevator pitch is key for quickly communicating your cannabis company's value proposition. You should tailor it to resonate with your cannabis industry targets like this example:

"Hi there, I'm [Your Name], and I'm with [Your Company Name], a leading cannabis processing company. At [Company Name], we specialize in crafting premium cannabis extracts and derivatives using state-of-the-art extraction techniques and stringent quality control measures. Our team of experts is dedicated to delivering products that exceed industry standards and meet the diverse needs of consumers. I'd love to chat more about how we can collaborate to elevate your product offerings and meet your processing needs. ”

Networking Strategies for Cannabis Events

Do you want to make the most of a cannabis convention? Consider these networking strategies! 

Preparing for the Cannabis Event

Proper preparation is key to maximizing your networking opportunities at a cannabis convention.

Start by clearly defining your goals - are you looking for cannabis investors, potential business partners, and new clients, or just aiming to increase your industry knowledge and connections? Having specific objectives in mind will help you identify the right people to connect with.

Here's what to do:

  • Research the attendee list and map out companies, speakers, or individuals you want to target.
  • Prepare tailored conversation starters and questions that demonstrate your understanding of their business.
  • Update your professional profiles, such as LinkedIn, to ensure you're putting your best foot forward.

Printing business cards is still worthwhile but don't overlook opportunities to digitally connect with potential investors, clients, partners, and other businesses by having a mobile digital business card or putting your socials/website on display.

Making Connections at the Event

Once at the cannabis convention, be purposeful about making connections from the start. Attend networking receptions, sit with new faces at meals, and engage with exhibitors on the show floor. 

During the event, listen attentively, ask insightful questions, and share relevant cannabis expertise/experiences to add value. After that, step out, relax, and smoke a joint with someone new.

If you're an exhibitor, make your booth an engaging environment by displaying product samples (where permitted), offering literature, and hosting demonstrations or raffles. Most importantly, be prepared to clearly articulate your unique cannabis business proposition.

Be bold about introducing yourself to individuals you've targeted, but ensure conversations remain authentic rather than an aggressive sales pitch. A personalized email or LinkedIn request showing you paid attention and highlighting topics discussed can go a long way.

If there was mutual interest in exploring potential deals or partnerships, set up a dedicated follow-up call or meeting on the spot. Maintain the rapport by engaging with their company's content on social media and sharing your own insights on cannabis industry trends.

Consistently following up and adding value is key to transforming conference connections into long-term, mutually beneficial professional relationships within the cannabis space.

Cannabis events
Distru's Cannabis Industry Happy Hour in Denver, CO

Best Practices for Cannabis Event Networking

Are you attending a cannabis convention soon? These are the best practices for an excellent outcome:

Building Rapport and Relationships

Networking is about more than just exchanging business cards - it's about fostering meaningful connections and relationships. When meeting new cannabis industry contacts, focus on having authentic conversations to build rapport. Ask engaging questions that demonstrate a genuine interest in them and their business. Also, be an active listener and look for common ground to establish trust.

Open body language, eye contact, and thoughtful follow-up questions are simple yet powerful ways to make others feel valued. And don't forget to reciprocate - be prepared to share details about your own cannabis journey, insights, or ventures. 

Ultimately, view each new connection as an opportunity to embark on a mutually beneficial professional relationship rather than a transactional exchange. Strong rapport breeds fruitful collaboration in the cannabis space.

Staying Up-to-Date with Industry Trends

To effectively network and position yourself as a credible cannabis professional, it's crucial to stay updated on the latest developments shaping the industry. Maintain a comprehensive understanding of emerging consumer trends, new regulations, innovative products/technologies, market expansions, and other disruptive forces.

Subscribe to well-known cannabis publications, attend webinars hosted by experts, and follow influential voices on social media. The more knowledgeable you are, the more insightful your networking conversations will be. Cannabis is a rapidly evolving industry - those who stay ahead of the curve gain a distinct competitive edge.

Leveraging Social Media and Online Networking

While in-person networking is invaluable, savvy cannabis professionals recognize the power of online networking and social platforms. Effectively leveraging LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter and other digital channels enables you to exponentially expand your reach.

After the cannabis convention, engage with content shared by your target connections, offer comments that provide value, and don't be afraid to spark new conversations. 

You should also share your own industry insights and professional milestones to reinforce your brand. In addition, consider joining online cannabis communities or participating in Twitter chats to increase your visibility and highlight your expertise. 

But remember, online networking doesn't replace but augments in-person interactions. Integrate both for a holistic, high-impact networking strategy.

Following Up After the Event

Networking doesn't stop when the cannabis convention ends. Follow up promptly with new connections while the conversations are still fresh

Cannabis networking events
AND MOST IMPORTANTLY! Don't forget to have a good time :) | Distru team at MJBizCon Las Vegas, 

Final Thoughts 

The cannabis industry thrives on collaboration and innovation. By attending cannabis events and actively networking, you'll cultivate connections that can be the root of your future success. This network can unlock doors to partnerships, funding opportunities, and valuable industry knowledge.

Here are some tips to maximize your networking potential at a cannabis convention:

  • Do your research: Identify individuals or companies you'd like to connect with beforehand.
  • Prepare an elevator pitch: Briefly introduce yourself and your business goals.
  • Be an active listener: Show genuine interest in others and their ventures.
  • Exchange information: Connect on social media or swap business cards for follow-up.

Remember, building relationships takes time and effort. By attending cannabis events and putting these tips into practice, you'll cultivate a network that will nourish your business and propel it toward a thriving future.


Curious About What Distru Can Do for You?

speeding handtruck icon

Free Order Fulfillment Template!

Organize your deliveries, optimize your route plan, and log returns

Cannabis inventory with an exclamation mark icon

Free Cannabis Cycle Count Template!

Standardize your SOP across multiple warehouses or locations