The National Cannabis Industry Association is one of the most anticipated event series in the cannabis space. Nearly one hundred and fifty NCIA member organizations set up booths in Oakland, California to display their products and services to the community.
While there are many reasons for business owners to attend the NCIA Cannabis Business Summit and Exposition, the opportunity for networking is hard to match. Alison Ettel, founder of TreatWell, said the positive environment helps people “connect with cannabis professionals from around the country, old friends and new.”
Thousands of actors from the cannabis industry walk the expo floor to build relationships with other organizations in the space. Connectivity and togetherness were both prevalent themes at the Oakland NCIA Summit, as the future of the cannabis industry requires a community that is willing to stand together.
The Cannabis Reports team wants to give thanks to all of the wonderful organizations that participated in the NCIA Business Summit and Expo this past June. Our media team has posted photos to the Cannabis Reports Flickr account.
Industry Trends and Presentations
Cannabis is emerging from the shadows of federal prohibition. This is undeniable when you see the caliber of professionalism on display at the NCIA Business Summit. Still, there is work to be done if the future cannabis industry is open to everyone.
Most authorities agree legal cannabis is just over the horizon, and much of the industry is preparing for a major shift in both regulations and social stigma. NCIA members got to enjoy several panels discussing the ways the cannabis industry needs to bridge standards of science, safety, and technology.
Ahmed Rahim, CEO and Chief Alchemist of Numi Organic Tea, encouraged the industry to apply focus to sustainability and fair trade practices that support local communities. Cannabis has helped so many people over the years that a successful industry must remember the importance of those people and celebrate humanist values.
California’s Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom gave a keynote presentation that stressed responsibility for regulators and industry actors to communicate efficiently, and to learn from other states that have implemented legalization of recreational cannabis.
Newsom reminded those in attendance that the Blue Ribbon Commission he fronted last year concluded that youth exposure, environmental protections, and educational programs will be necessary for California if we want to set an international standard for future cannabis economies.
Mr. Newsom also expressed the importance of flexible legislation designed to be respectful of the opposition’s concerns without restricting an open and fair market.
Newsom also touched on traceability, which many panel presenters focused on during their time behind the microphone. Jeannette Ward of MJ Freeway and Roy Bingham of BDS Analytics both provided a lot of insight into how businesses can leverage market data to make real-time decisions about their pricing and product development.
Cody Bass and Steve DeAngelo have both established successful cannabis retail operations in the state of California. In their joint presentation, both founders discussed the notion of “patients-first,” and noted that this mantra, if taken to heart, is capable of defeating those that oppose cannabis based on irrational fears.
Over the last two decades, cannabis pioneers had to learn a different kind of politics to be able to communicate with regulators and law enforcement. DeAngelo highlighted the ways the industry has been successful in approaching policymakers with respect and flexibility.
In front of a packed conference room, Dr. Sue Sisley and Dr. Martin Lee did a fantastic job of laying out the medical applications of cannabis and how they relate to the science of the endocannabinoid system. Dr. Sisley, along with MAPS, was recently given the green light to pursue a triple-blind clinical study of cannabis on veterans with PTSD, marking a progressive win for cannabis research.
While there were only a handful of cannabis product brands with booths on the NCIA expo floor, everyone did a great job displaying their innovative creations. One of these brands, Zen Potion, showed off their line of gourmet teas that are designed to please all walks of the cannabis community.
Product diversity is important for brands that want to serve larger portions of the retail market, and Zen Potion offers several teas with different concentrations of THC and CBD so that anyone can be comfortable consuming their beverages.
Kiva is one of the most well-known brands in the cannabis edibles space, and their booth on the NCIA expo floor definitely lived up to our expectations. Building a brand means establishing a company narrative that reflects the quality and care put into the product.
Kiva does a wonderful job of not just creating delicious chocolates, but introducing these products in an aesthetically-pelasing space that draws consumers to the brand.
Legion of Bloom
The Legion of Bloom is a group of friends that have decades of experience with cannabis. Their story highlights the importance of sticking together to build a bigger industry for everyone. Legion of Bloom supplies the community with quality medicine, but they don’t stop there.
Many brands have established unique products that rely on Legion of Bloom flowers. The team behind Legion of Bloom is a great example of businesses supporting the industry: “We are all colleagues, not competitors.”
Canna Clear is a relatively new company, but their vision intends to stand the test of time. Canna Clear opened up shop last year in an effort to provide the community with oils that were not diluted, and that focused on lab testing and transparency to ensure consumer trust.
Reports of tainted products hurt the entire cannabis industry, and Canna Clear hopes to be a leader when it comes to educating patients on true measurements of quality.
Medicine Box makes some undeniably delicious edibles. They also know how to turn an expo booth into an experience. The Cannabis Reports team loves to support emerging brands, and Medicine Box has an incredibly positive mission for both their own products and the cannabis community as a whole.
The Medicine Box team is incredibly passionate when it comes to cannabis activism, especially in regards to California cultivation regulations. Keep an eye out for our upcoming interview featuring Medicine Box and their goals for the future of cannabis.
The brand Lola Lola, founded by Michael Garganese, is “reimagining alchemy.” One look at the Lola Lola website is all you need to see that this new company is applying great emphasis to packaging and presentation that support the high quality of their flowers and concentrates.
The Lola Lola booth supplied the NICA expo floor with a taste of “Lolalandia,” an ode to free expression and a “higher state of consciousness.” Lola Lola also hopes to improve the retail experience by providing dispensaries with display cases that communicate the artistry of the products and packaging.
The team at Gold Drop seems nearly unstoppable. After hosting a multi-booth experience at the High Times Cannabis Cup the weekend before, the Gold Drop crew tabled at NCIA, catering to the many retailers that would love the chance to carry Gold Drop products on their shelves.
The Cannabis Reports team was thrilled to meet the other organizations representing software technology through the NCIA platform. Releaf is one such company that is building tools to help patients better understand their relationships with cannabis.
Individuals feel different effects and flavor profiles when consuming cannabis, and the future of commercial cannabis will depend largely on applications like Releaf, that bring comfort and comprehension to the varieties of cannabis.
Tradiv: B2B Wholesale Technology
Another inspiring technology organization on display at the NCIA Summit was Tradiv, a business-to-business wholesale platform attempting to cover the complexity of state-specific licensing, compliance checks, and normalized product distinctions.
Any one of these features is a lot to handle, so it is incredibly impressive that a technology platform is combining so much into such a user-friendly space for business operators.
Combining hardware and software into a cohesive product is difficult to do in any industry. iCann has set out to supply cannabis cultivators with these combination tools for improved efficiency.
The interactive booth at iCann showed off both the hardware sensors as well as the intelligent-learing software that is capable of giving instructional insights to growers working with unfamiliar strains.
Bookstore and Author Signings
One of our favorite booths at the NCIA expo was the cannabis bookstore, where expert authors engaged with the community and signed copies of their work. Education in the cannabis space deserves to be highlighted as much as possible, and the authors contributing their knowledge through cannabis literature get a special shout-out from the Cannabis Reports team.
Check out their books below:
- Uwe Blesching – The Cannabis Health Index: 600 pages of cannabis studies organized by condition.
- Peter Hecht – Weed Land: An inside look at the clashes and contradictions in American cannabis culture.
- Ed Rosenthal – The Big Book of Buds Series: Cannabis varieties from the world’s great seed breeders.
- Martin Lee – Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana: A social exploration of the politics, legality, and science of cannabis.
- Steve DeAngelo – The Cannabis Manifesto: A pioneer’s insights into the evolving cannabis industry and community.
- Jorge Cervantes – The Cannabis Encyclopedia: The definitive guide to cultivation and consumption of medical cannabis.
Once again, the Cannabis Reports team wants to give thanks to all of the wonderful organizations that participated in the NCIA Business Summit and Expo this past June. Our media team has posted photos to the Cannabis Reports Flickr account. All photos are licensed under Creative Commons stipulations, and are available for public use.