New Jersey recreational marijuana legalization may be a highlight of 2018; it’s possible but unlikely the Trump administration will crack down on the U.S. cannabis industry; and major mainstream corporations are “not going to miss out” on the business opportunities presented by the burgeoning marijuana trade.
Those are just a few of the highlights from four keynote speakers on the opening day of the sixth MJBizCon, which began Wednesday at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Some of the presentations conveyed negative overtones, but the general theme was unbridled optimism.
“There are many unicorns to come, and unicorns are those billion-dollar companies,” Jeanne Sullivan — a veteran of the dot-com boom and bust era — told thousands of MJBizCon attendees.
“They are out on this floor. It is your job to find them this week and to talk to them.”
Sullivan singled out companies in the sectors of cannabis testing, regulatory compliance, data analytics and well-established brands that will likely come to dominate future markets as the marijuana industry comes into its own on a national and global scale.
But those are far from the only opportunities, a point driven home by former Apple and Tesla executive George Blankenship, another of the keynote speakers.
Rather, he focused on innovation as the key to reshaping the marijuana business.
“Sooner or later, you’re going to be able to say, ‘Alexa, send me an eighth of flower,'” Blankenship said.
He noted that before the first iPhone launched in 2007, the vast majority of companies