LAS VEGAS (FOX5) - Access to the Marijuana Business Conference [MJBizCon] has been called the hottest ticket in Las Vegas.
“It’s surreal,” said Jeanette Horton, VP of Global Marketing Communications and a vendor at MJBizCon, at the Las Vegas Convention Center Wednesday. “It’s so buzzy and energetic. It’s hard to believe how fast it’s grown."
According to several MJBizCon vendors, anyone with a big name or who wants to make a name for themselves in the business will be at the convention.
“This is it, this is the Mecca,” said Jim McCormick, COO of KushCo Holdings. “If you're going to be involved in the cannabis sector, you have to be here. You have to be in Las Vegas.”
During this year’s conference, there is one woman working to change the face of the marijuana industry.
“I myself am a Latina,” said Priscilla Vilchis, CEO of Premium Produce. “Our COO is Mexican, our grower is Hawaiian and our other grower is Egyptian.”
Vilchis was the youngest minority woman to get a license to grow and distribute marijuana in Nevada and the first in L.A.
Vilchis said she is excited by the growth of the convention, but wants to see something else grow in the industry as well.
“It’s super important to embrace minorities and females in a billion dollar industry,” said Vilchis. ”It’s important for us to create proper measures, so we don’t get mirrored out of this industry."
An increase in diversity may not be too far off, because MJBizCon organizers claim the growth of the legal market is reflected in their showroom.
Organizers have reported a 50 percent increase in the amount of vendor booths compared to last year’s convention.
They’ve reported seeing increases in every area, from more growers to more vendors on the technology side.
“We invented seed-to-sale tracking,” said Horton. “That means that you can track a plant from seed to sale. If I buy a brownie, I can see where it was grown."
There were also more vendors that focus on the health and safety side of the industry.
“(Safety includes) child resistant packaging,” said McCormick. “That’s a very important element of the industry, and being a responsible player."
MJBizCon 2018 opened on Nov. 14 and ends Nov. 16.