With the cannabis business booming in Washington, it’s logical to expect various trade shows to pop up, including the Imperious Cannabis Business Expo slotted to take place at the Tacoma Dome July 20 and 21.
While not the first expo to roll into town, organizer Eric Norton believes the expo’s focus on business owners rather than the consumer base will set it apart.
“It’s a true business-to-business show, as we book exhibitors and attendees with business owners in mind,” Norton said.
With so many changes to the laws surrounding the industry, Norton believes the show is needed to keep business owners up to date and grant understanding of future policy changes. Norton believes that while consumer shows are vital and important, it’s hard to get into that mindset after deep business talk.
“There is so much change in the industry, policy change, things of that nature. We have things like a NCIA (National Cannabis Industry Association) policy panel, and they have a huge presence in our show as exhibitors. It’s difficult to have legal and policy discussions and be in that frame of mind and switch right into consumer based questions. It’s not like one is better than the other at all; there is a huge need for consumer based shows and education to the public, but my niche is business-to-business shows, and this is needed as well,” Norton said.
This is Norton’s inaugural event, and he is very happy it landed in Tacoma.
“Tacoma was recommended by industry leaders in Washington state and I’m delighted that they sent me to Tacoma. The City of Tacoma wants cannabis tourism and have been very supportive, so in return we plan to do this every year in Tacoma and keep it right there. We really like Tacoma. It’s been a good move for us,” Norton said.
The expo will feature more than 35 speakers from various sectors of the cannabis business, including:
Eric Brandstad, the leading greenhouse and growing efficiency expert in the legal cannabis industry. Brandstad has been invited to speak at many events, including The CWBExpo, The Emerald Cup, Santa Cruz Cup, The Golden Tarp Awards, The Cali Dep Fest, Humboldt High Grade Gala, CannaCon, and the NCIA Cultivation Management Symposium.
Ed Rosenthal, the world’s leading expert on the cultivation of marijuana. In his more than 40 years as the “guru of ganja,” he has written or edited more than a dozen books about marijuana cultivation and social policy that cumulatively have sold over two million copies. His “Ask Ed” marijuana advice column ran in High Times for several decades and still appears internationally. One of his books on marijuana cultivation is the only book of its type to be reviewed by The New York Times.
Chris Beals, president and general counsel for Weedmaps and its affiliated companies. Weedmaps is the largest and oldest technology company in the cannabis sector with key verticals including the dispensary, doctor and deal information site Weedmaps.com and the media sites marijuana.com, WeedmapsTV and cannabis.com. In this role, Beals works in close collaboration with the CEO to guide strategic policy and business decisions to help the company continue its rapid growth while navigating the constantly evolving regulatory environment. Prior to joining Weedmaps, he served as senior vice president with a New York-based investment fund and previously worked as an M&A and technology transactions associate with the law firms Covington & Burling and Davis Polk. Beals received his law degree cum laude and Order of the Coif from the University of Pennsylvania. He graduated in 2002 from the University of Pennsylvania with a BSE in Systems Engineering and BA in Economics.
Charlo Greene, a broadcast journalist and media expert turned activist and businesswoman who has emerged as a leading voice in the ongoing conversation about legalization, as well as diversity, in the cannabis community. Charlo successfully led the charge in Alaska’s 2014 effort to legalize recreational marijuana, securing Alaska’s place as the third state in the nation (and first Republican-led state) to legalize usage for adults. Through her newly launched socially conscious organization Go GREENE, Charlo is joining forces with nationwide grassroots activism campaigns that seek to change the way we think about cannabis.
Tickets are nearly sold out and go for $149 for two-day admission and $99 for one day. For more information on the event, visit www.imperiousexpo.com.