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MJ BIZ CON Las Vegas

MJ BIZ CON 2018 - What You Need To Know

The MJ BIZ CON Show is Las Vegas Wraps Up on Friday the 16th

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BehindTheWaves on Sunday Nov 18, 2018
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5 Take-a-ways from the MJ BIZ CON Conference of 2018


Las Vegas, Nevada played host to the largest cannabis show on earth this year as the MJ BIZ CON show invaded the Las Vegas convention center over the past 4 days.


For those that don’t know the industry, MJ BIZ CON is the biggest cannabis show in the world, it is the “Super Bowl” of cannabis shows, and a must attend for most people in the industry.  Only 4 years ago the show was hosted at the RIO hotel and drew 3,000 people.  This year the show took up its’ largest space yet at the convention center and drew an estimated 25,000 paid attendees.


Why is this show so popular?


The show now draws tens of thousands of people for a few reasons.  One, it is one of the longest running shows in the industry and has a strong and vibrant history.  Two, it is well run and professional, kudos to the management team at MJ BIZ Daily for doing a great job.  Three, it is in Las Vegas, a fun place for just about any adults to visit but more importantly, due to where Las Vegas is geographically, it brings all the West Coast cannabis people as well as the East Coast cannabis people who get on the plane and make the longer trek.  Four, it is in Nevada, where recreational and medical cannabis are legal, so it is a nice bonus for everyone to checkout “new products and selections” and use the product during the show as well.


In case you missed our 2017 write up, the theme last year was “international”.  There were more international conversations (non-English) in the crowd, more foreign companies getting booths and presenting, and specifically more Chinese companies selling direct to the consumers.  The reason being is that as countries legalize different forms of cannabis, they are all headed to the biggest cannabis show of the year to find out how to set up grows, what lights to buy, what nutrients and soil to use, etc.  The Chinese companies, who are strong in lighting and vaporizers, are now coming direct to the shows and selling as Chinese companies, hence avoiding the US middlemen who mark up their products and put their own logos on products. 


So, what are some of the new themes in 2018 at the Las Vegas BIZ CON show?


  • CBD – CBD was the rage, hemp based, as well as female cannabis plant based.  The world is feeling much more comfortable with hemp-based CBD products as the US FARM BILL has passed both houses of Congress already and a final version if expected to be signed into law by December 31st of this year.   That would make CBD from hemp pretty much completely legal and remove criminal risk from 99% of the retail industry.  There were scores of CBD vendors from around the world pitching their brands of CBD infused topicals, tea, beer, joints, tincture drops, and pet treats.
  • Terpenes – The next phase of the cannabis evolution was in full effect as multiple companies were presenting their idea on how to use and enhance flavor terpenes from and in the cannabis plant for a better product. It is an interesting niche, especially in the vape area, as most vape oils are made with schwag cannabis and left-over parts.  Those parts are made into oil and then sold at a higher margin.  Think of hot dogs, take the left-over, non-flower, parts of the plant, and make them into oil, then season the oil with flavors and smells to enhance the product.   If you have good cannabis vape oil and you want it to taste like Blue Dream or Mango Kush, no problem, just add the terpenes into the oil and you can’t tell the shwag oil with terpenes apart from the real flower oil.
  • Lack of Major Innovation – We may get some flack for this, but we may be reaching “peak cell phone” in the cannabis niche.  Yes, there will always be a cleaner way to create oil, or a new software that is quicker and better than the next, but in general, the enhancement and innovations appear to be slowing.  This is expected, much like cell phones where the incremental improvements in each model aren’t breathtaking or industry changing. We may be reaching peak lights as we now have lights that mimic the sun’s cycle exactly, can turn with electronics and Bluetooth, and last 3x longer than older version of lights. Oh yeah, you can also control the whole light system with an app.  Small incremental changes in technology now, as the massive leaps and bounds, or “the easy money”, has been already been made.
  • The Sub-Niches are Getting More Competitive – As expect the niches are getting crowed with competition. There were over 20 companies pitching why their vape pen cartridges with ceramic coils and anti-leak cartridges are the best.  There must have been over 10 menu management, seed-to-sale, software companies competing for the dispensary menu management business. From the recently funded giant like MJ Freeway, to startups like IHEARTJANE.  Throw in the 25 companies selling lights, the 25 packaging companies selling labels and bags, and the 25 companies pitching their soil and nutrient packages as the best in the biz, and you get the point.  Competition in every vertical is getting fierce as everyone wants to make their money in the green rush.


There was still a strong presence of international companies and languages as you walked the show.  We spent 3 days walking over 5 miles a day at the show trying to get a feel on where the industry was going and what are the trends for 2019.  The show is always in November in Las Vegas if you can make it next year, it is well worth the price of admission.  There is no better show for hallway networking and meeting people as well.








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