NCIA Holds Fourth Annual Northeast Cannabis Business Conference

by Emily Langner

The NCIA’s Northeastern Conference highlights regional-specific regulations, market trends, and advocacy efforts in the cannabis industry.

The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) recently held its Northeast Cannabis Business Conference in Boston. This is the fourth year the association has held the conference and expo, formerly called the “Seed to Sale Show.”

According to Morgan Fox, media relations director for the NCIA, the goal of the Northeast Cannabis Business Conference and the other regional conferences put on by the NCIA is to “not only provide a venue for people in the cannabis industry and ancillary industries to network and show off their products, services, and innovations, but to provide the best possible education for anybody that is interested in the cannabis industry or policy.” The panels and educational sessions cover a broad range of subjects: anything from “industry specific technology and best practices, to developments in federal and state policy, and other major issues that are of interest to businesses, advocates, and policy experts,” he adds.

Derreck Kayongo delivered the keynote on Day 1 of the conference.

Attendees and exhibitors at this year’s conference included cannabis business owners and those looking to start a cannabis business, consumers, lawmakers, regulators, policy experts, advocates and activists. The conference featured a keynote speech entitled “Reimagining Diversity & Inclusion: A Pathway to Courageous Conversations” by Derreck Kayongo, Global Soap Project founder, CNN Hero, and former CEO of the Center for Civil and Human Rights.

It also included opportunities for networking and a full schedule of educational events on topics such as money and banking, local regulations in Massachusetts, paths to distribution, compliance and industry best practices, environmental sustainability, and responsible sourcing.

The show featured panels and educational sessions on industry best practices, environmental sustainability, and more.

Fox says, “There’s way more to this industry than just being a cultivator or owning a dispensary. These shows that we put together are an excellent way to be able to grasp the whole range that is involved with these products and the industry itself.” He says the opportunities created in regulated cannabis markets have “opened a door for exploration and innovation in so many fields.” Some of those include lighting manufacturing; compliance consulting; greenhouse and extraction technology, plant tracking, and seed to sale tracking; and marketing and branding.

The NCIA has a full calendar of events throughout the U.S., which provide an opportunity to discuss the successes and challenges of the industry.  Fox adds, “One of the big hopes of these conferences is that people who are interested in getting involved in the cannabis industry, get just as involve in activism and in making sure that the bills and legislation that allow regulated cannabis markets are getting passed in an efficient and timely manner. We want to activate attendees to participate in the political process that allows these markets to exist, and to make sure they have the information to do it in the most forward-thinking and conscious way possible.”

Emily Langner is the staff writer and associate editor for High-Profile Monthly.