On the second floor of an old ramshackle warehouse in Seattle's SODO neighborhood, Washington State's budding cannabis business community gathered last weekend for the unofficial kick-off of the nation's second legal recreational pot market.
Three hundred cannabis industry attendees -- business people in suits, lawyers, investors, employers and entrepreneurs -- gathered for the first time under one roof to learn about new marijuana products, check returns-on-investment, and establish the necessary industry contacts they'll need in advance of the rollout of state's new retail marketplace, expected to begin sometime in June, 2014.
MJBA Vendor Fair Seattle was produced by Seattle-based Marijuana Business Association, a national b2b trade organization serving the legal marijuana industry, and sponsored by Evergreen Herbal, a maker of popular cannabis-infused edibles and drinks.
The convention was about the business of marijuana. There was an excitement and energy in the room reminiscent of the dot com boom. The people who participated at MJBA Vendor Fair represented the best cannabis companies in Washington.
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More than 300 business professionals attended the two-day event, and nearly two dozen exhibitors showcased their wares – from eco-friendly grow lights (Forever Green Indoors), security (CSA and SCAR), logistics (Green Thumb Logistics), software (BioTrackTHC), hardware (MagicalButter and TrimPal), high-tech extraction (Eden Labs), edibles (Evergreen Herbal, Nana's Secret Soda and Legal (The Law Offices of Kurt and Stephanie Boehl, PLLC), Accounting (New ERA) and, of course, branded marijuana (Sitka and Washington Bud Company).
Washington NORML Executive Director Kevin Oliver was in the house, as was "Radical" Russ Belville, who broadcast the weekend's many live demonstrations (my favorite: Raw Cannabis Cooking with TwiceBaked and Maria) and presentations (including a NASA Scientist explaining how LED lighting technology can save energy and money to your professional grow). MJBA plans call for Vendor Fairs every quarter. An MJBA Job Fair for employers and employees is in the works, as are a series of professional MJ business educational seminars. In Washington, legal marijuana is serious business.
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