When you hear a venue has 280,000 square feet of show floor, the immensity doesn’t quite sink in. It’s not until walking through a seemingly endless sprawl of exhibitor booths that you realize how massive MJBizCon has become.
Now in its 11th and largest year, the conference has grown into one of the industry’s most anticipated business-to-business (B2B) events.
There are plenty of non-industry attendees, of course. This year there were more casual cannabis enthusiasts than year’s past, with elements of the show taking on a cannabis comic-con vibe.
Some attendees dressed up in their finest green pot-leaf suits, others rocked faded tie-dye t-shirts, and the vast majority showed up in their business casual best, hoping to make some profitable connections.
This year’s momentous event was more CES-like in its layout.
Perhaps it was the volume of exhibitors or the variety of emerging technology on display, but it had the air of an established industry rather than an up-and-coming, formerly illegal niche.
How Many People Attended MJBizCon 2022?
Every attendee registered for a name badge. Each exhibitor and all staff wore badges that were scanned throughout the event.
Despite the precision with which MJBizCon monitored paid attendance, the company has not released official statistics around attendance.
However, its website boasts that “35,000+” attendees participate in the show each year.
How Many Exhibited and What Were the Best Booths?
While it should be easy to pinpoint how many exhibitors participated, again the data is imprecise.
MJBiz states on its website there were “1,400+” exhibitors, with 380 of those exhibiting at the show for the first time in 2022.
There were dozens of impressive booths, with some of the flashiest coming from established brands such as Raw, Hawthorne, and FOHSE.
Booths were increasingly creative, some offered on-site ice carvings and cold beers, others had full-size tour buses loaded with gear, and several offered in-booth yard games with branded prizes.
Polyscience and Summit Research designed an impressive booth laden with beakers, scientific instruments, and precision chilling equipment.
Summit’s famous Rick and Morty themed totes and t-shirts were hot commodities among attendees. Extractors and engineers passing by lingered over the dazzling array of cannabis tech.
Speaking of which, Cannabis & Tech Today hosted its award winning Cannabis Tech Talks podcast from the Polyscience/Summit booth.
Editor-in-Chief Charles Warner sat down with some of the best and brightest minds in the industry to discuss tech, science, and innovation during the three-day event.
Representatives from Julabo, STM Canna, Huber, LOWD, and many more shared their executive-level insights during the on-site recordings.
Managing Editor Patricia Miller shared a bit of the limelight, overcoming her stage fright to speak with representatives from Teapot, Ramshead, HighOnLove, and more.
Subscribe to Cannabis Tech Talks to keep up with the on-site podcasts debuting over the coming months.
What Happens During Las Vegas Cannabis Week?
One compelling reason to attend MJBizCon is that it spurred the creation of Cannabis Week in Las Vegas.
Associations, businesses, and individuals create compelling programming to take place before or after MJBizCon and capitalize on the thousands of canna-pros swarming the city.
Blunt Brunch took place the day before MJBizCon kicked off. The women’s networking event, founded by Adelia Carrillo and Parisa Rad, featured in-depth conversations, special performances, and a mouth-watering midday meal.
Tyneeha Rivers, Chief People Officer at Curaleaf, spoke during the event alongside several other prominent female executives.
Brunch brought together 220 women, while the social gathering afterward drew more than 330 women for a day of networking and camaraderie.
Afterparties are always popular during Cannabis Week. The “Journalism-Minded” PR agency Grasslands held an event it described as “the warmest room in Vegas” after day one of MJBiz.
An intimate bar with a large outdoor gathering space was the backdrop for the Grasslands Party. Guests were treated to scrumptious appetizers and an open bar with mezcal-inspired beverages.
The Grasslands team was inviting and gregarious, offering stand-in friend services to awkward journalists (ahem) seeking a familiar face in the crowd.
Between creative goodie bags, free drinks, a warm fire, and inventive tapas, guests seemed more than happy to spend a night away from the casino under the Las Vegas sky.
Thursday night, widely considered the largest party night of the conference, is always competitive among party planners. As expected, there were many exciting events to choose from.
Farechild’s Shangri-La took precedence for the Cannabis & Tech Today team. Its jungle-inspired theme, while not as mesmerizing as some years past, was playful and engaging.
Lighted faux trees created a welcoming ambiance outside in the consumption-friendly area. A skilled DJ kept the tunes on point while attendees enjoyed the event’s many on-site activations.
The metaverse VR booth was popular and several smiling faces bedazzled their grill at the tooth-bling booth.
Cannabis was in abundant supply and the sophistication of the crowd quickly became evident with some stating they preferred this or that blend of cannabinoids, or such-n-such type of rolling paper, or preferred instead to smoke their own supply so they could be sure of the pesticides and nutrients used during cultivation.
There was a brief moment of panic when patrons were barred from entering the inside of the event space from the outside consumption area.
The building was at capacity and for a few tense minutes attendees outside feared they would never again gain entrance to the interior where the bar and bathroom were situated.
Fortunately, the imbalance soon corrected itself in a sort of party osmosis and patrons were once again able to move freely from one area to the other.
Educational Insights During MJBizCon
One of the most compelling reasons to attend any cannabis event is the educational opportunities. MJBizCon 2022 featured more than 180 speakers and over 70 hours of educational content.
Some journalists were tethered to their booths for much of the event, sadly missing out on the bulk of the educational content. But there was significant buzz around the fireside chat with Cookies co-founder and CEO Berner.
Further, Boston Beer Co. founder Rhonda Kallman offered her insights from the alcoholic beverage industry while several other cannabis business leaders from brands such as Wana, Acreage Holdings, and the Marijuana Policy Project, drew substantial crowds.
Add in the six pre-show forums, association day, and the off-site offerings from brands such as Mxxn and Highsman and there was a panoply of knowledge.
MJBiz Celebrity Sightings
Who doesn’t love to spot a celebrity in the flesh? As with years past, several celebs attended the event.
Jim Belushi was rumored to be recording an episode of Growing Belushi amidst the crowded expo halls.
Rapper Redman spoke to the crowds on Thursday and RAW founder Josh Kesselman showed up with his signature “RAWk-and-Roll” style, offering tips and tricks to eager attendees.
There were even whisperings that The Dude himself, Jeff Bridges, was spotted wandering the show floor.
Golden Ticket Prize Pack Giveaway
The annual Golden Ticket Prize Pack Giveaway has become a tradition at Cannabis & Tech Today.
A select number of Golden Tickets were hidden in new issues of Cannabis & Tech Today and distributed throughout MJBizCon.
Those who found the lucky tickets and entered received 20 entries to the contest.
MJBiz attendees could sign up online using QR codes spread throughout the exhibit floor for a signel entry into the prize pack.
This year’s prizes included an STM Canna Mini RocketBox+, a Cannatrol Cool Cure, an ATM from National Cash Systems, PreRoller-ER rolling papers, gift cards, t-shirts, magazine subscriptions, and more.
Winners will be announced the week of December 12. Subscribe to the Concentrated Cannatech newsletter to find out if you’re a winner!