By Dennis Huspeni for HispanicBusinessTV.com
[dropcap]O[/dropcap]ne of the most well respected trade shows in the cannabis industry lands in Denver Monday.
The National Cannabis Industry Association, a tightly organized national trade association, hosts its second annual Cannabis Business Summit & Expo Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at the Colorado Convention Center.
Business owners, legislators, investors and information seekers will flock to the Mile High city from all over the country.
“Our intent with the Cannabis Business Summit is to make it the most influential industry event,” said Taylor West, Denver-based deputy director of the NCIA. “We have top-of-the line industry representatives, some of the pioneers and a lot of big players in the public policy arena.”
Like most respected cannabis business-to-business trade shows, the actual plant itself — or consumption of it — is not allowed.
Industry friendly legislators Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colorado and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-California, are scheduled to speak.
“NCIA is becoming the well-known organization in Washington D.C.,” West said. “We’ve been pushing for policy reform for the industry for years with high-profile members of Congress and their staffs. So when you have members who want to talk about these issues, and learn about it directly from the people in the industry — and frankly build support for their office and campaigns — our event is the natural place for them to go.”
About 100 cannabusinesses, and the ancillary support businesses like security and lighting companies, will have booths. Some the industry’s heaviest hitters will be there, including Medicine Man Technologies, Dixie Elixirs, O.penVAPE, Surna, CannaGuard Security, Leafly and CannLabs.
High profiles speakers include: Tripp Keber, CEO of Dixie, who has been featured in the MSNBC reality show “Pot Barons” and Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project and co-author of Amendment 64.
“The expo will be heavily focused on getting information directly from the plant business, dispensaries and cultivators, the core of the industry,” West said. “We’re expecting a high-level business crowd and this is definitely more business-to-business focused, instead of consumer focused.”
West said NCIA’s summit differs from all others in that it’s “not just a money-making endeavor.”
“If we do make any money, it goes right back to our mission of advancing causes for the industry,” she said.
Two of the most pressing issues facing the industry that will be addressed during the speeches and workshops are lack of banking and unfair taxation, West said.
“There are tax provisions that cause cannabis businesses to pay double or triple what other businesses are paying,” she said. “You can’t grow a business that way…. Unfortunately, both problems can only be solved with congressional action. That’s why what NCIA does is so important.”
Marijuana remains a Scheduled I controlled substance, thus still illegal federally.