Long considered the ho-hum cousin of marijuana, hemp comes into its own this week in New Orleans, where the producers of MJBizCon present three days of exclusive networking and business intelligence for the hemp industry.
The inaugural Hemp Industry Daily Conference will be held at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, the same venue as MJBizConNEXT, giving attendees the option to focus hemp, marijuana or both varieties of the cannabis sativa plant.
The dual conferences, which run Wednesday-Friday, are a first for Marijuana Business Daily, which started Hemp Industry Daily in 2018 to bring independent journalism to the fast-growing but, at times, misunderstood hemp sector.
The staging of the two conferences simultaneously reflects the evolution of the whole cannabis plant as something with both distinct and shared interest for the roughly 4,000 attendees and 300 exhibitors from 19 countries expected to enter the convention center.
“As the industry looks forward to the future and what’s coming next, it’s clear that the medical marijuana and adult-use industries are intersecting with the quickly evolving hemp industry,” said Cassandra Farrington, CEO of Marijuana Business Daily.
“We are excited to host the entrepreneurs, investors and executives from these distinct and unique industries in an environment tailored to each group’s education needs, in a space that also provides an excellent platform for shared exploration of future business opportunities.”
Though the conferences are separate, the audiences will gather together Wednesday for a joint keynote speech from former Mike’s Hard Lemonade executive Anat Baron as well as the MJBizConNEXT Mixer on the expo floor. (To read more about MJBizConNEXT, click here.)
The inaugural hemp conference is among the offshoots of the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill.
While not exactly unleashing a completely predictable industry landscape in terms of regulation, that piece of legislation gave rise to widespread interest in the newly legal hemp sector.
Farmers want to get in on the crop, investors are looking at the multiple uses of the hugely versatile plant for potentially lucrative opportunities and CBD has become a commonplace abbreviation in the United States.
After a Wednesday opening that serves as an essential overview of the U.S. hemp industry, The Hemp Industry Daily Conference will split into two tracks Thursday focused on:
- The business side of things in “Dollars and Business Sense.”
- The agricultural nature (and potential business opportunities) of the plant itself in “Plant Matters.”
“Dollars and Business Sense” sessions include “Investing in Hemp” and “Going Global,” while “Plant Matters” panels include “Gene Blues” and “Harvest Strategies.”
On Friday, the “Dollars and Business Sense” track will include sessions such as “CBD: Fad or Forever,” and the “Hemp Commerce” track will feature sessions that include “State Expansion and Interstate Commerce” and “Beyond the Flower: Finding Market Opportunities in Hemp Fiber.”
Throughout the conference, hemp entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to network in the new “Hemp Hangout.” The designated meeting space can be found on the expo floor, where vendors will display the latest in growing and processing technology for hemp and marijuana alike.