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In-Person Cannabis Events Are Making a Comeback

Vaccine rollouts, easing of restrictions in most states, and declining Covid-19 cases have allowed for a return of these established events and opened the door for new cannabis-related experiences to launch.

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The pandemic left countless cannabis conferences and festivals postponed or canceled in 2020. Many high-profile organizations were forced to ditch their in-person, flagship conferences and substitute them with virtual meetings. Some groups even elected to postpone their events until 2021 in hopes that in-person outings would be possible once again. 

Vaccine rollouts, easing of restrictions in most states, and declining Covid-19 cases have allowed for a return of these established events and opened the door for new cannabis-related experiences to launch.

The flurry of Cannabis events arising from the pandemic’s ashes seems to be concentrated on one of the industry’s most promising markets: New York City. 

Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo

Perhaps one of the most refreshing sights as the pandemic has waned has been New York City springing back to life. With New York being one of the places hardest hit by COVID-19, there were questions as to whether the city would ever recover, but it seems that it is back in full swing with a number of cannabis events, new and established, scheduled to happen later this year. 

The 2021 Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo, a B2B Cannabis and hemp expo, will return to the Javits Center in November after being forced into a virtual setting in 2020. The three-day event is NYC’s largest Cannabis business trade show and offers potent networking opportunities, hours of educational programming from industry leaders, hundreds of exhibitors, and the potential for growing business partnerships. Thanks to New York’s recent legalization though, the CWCBE has competition. Earlier this year, the NECANN Cannabis Convention which originated in Boston and has spread across the Northeast announced plans for a 2022 conference in Brooklyn.

It’s not just business as usual when it comes to New York cannabis events. Even established mainstream conferences are dipping their toes into cannabis. For example, Mondo.NYC, an established music festival and music industry conference, introduced a Cannabis program for this year’s event. 

New York’s very first immersive cannabis-themed experience, The Stone Age, is set to launch in the heart of Manhattan this fall. The non-consumption-based pop-up will be designed to envelop its visitors in an interactive and entertaining environment dedicated to cultivating awareness on the wellness and lifestyle benefits of the Cannabis plant. This includes thoughtful call-to-action integrations that promote visibility on social justice reform and community engagement.

“We are incredibly proud to pull together this one-of-a-kind experience created to destigmatize Cannabis use and educate our visitors on advocacy and the role of Cannabis as a personalizable lifestyle tool,” said Sasha Perelman, Co-Founder of The Stone Age Experience. 

“For us, bringing this to New York City was a no-brainer,” said Elizabeth Santana, Co-Founder of The Stone Age Experience. “The long-awaited, but finally up-and-coming New York cannabis market is brimming with opportunity and with the pandemic finally receding, now is the time to introduce a captivating and unprecedented experience like The Stone Age to eager New Yorkers.” 

Other notable events returning to New York City include High NY, the New York Cannabis Film Festival, the Cannabis Summer Fest, and NY Harvest Festival to name a few. On top of that, there are a plethora of underground events, including Cannabis speakeasies and pop-up shops, happening with regularity. 

Other Events

With 18 states, most recently Virginia, New Mexico, Connecticut, and New York, allowing recreational use, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Shumer unveiling a federal legalization bill, it is only fitting that in a year that has been monumental for legalization we are seeing cannabis events return in full force.

Outside of New York, MJBizCon, arguably the largest event in the Cannabis industry, will make its comeback to Las Vegas in October, headlined by keynote speaker Daymond John, founder and CEO of Fubu and star of ABC’s Shark Tank. After being forced into a virtual event last year, MJBizCon is set to host over 1,000 exhibitors and 50 speakers for a four-day event.  

Hall of Flowers is also gearing up for two events later this year— in Santa Rosa in September and Palm Springs in December. The highly curated B2B show is designed to facilitate commerce between a vast network of premium licensed cannabis brands and retailers.

If the current trends continue, the remainder of 2021 may persist as a historical year, not only for the industry, but also for Cannabis events, conferences, pop-ups, and immersive experiences that will continue to break into large and opportunistic markets.