On Feb. 7, Americover attended the 2018 Seed to Sale Show at the Colorado Convention Center. The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) produces the annual event, which focuses on innovation, technology, science, and best practices.
More than 3,000 attendees and hundreds of exhibitors ascended the glass building of the convention center during the two-day event in downtown Denver.
Below, we discuss highlights from this year’s event.
Speakers & Exhibitors
Wednesday morning kicked off with Keynote speaker Tony Magee, Lagunitas’ CEO, in a presentation about the similarities between beer and cannabis.
“I don’t know anyone in craft beer who doesn’t smoke weed,” he said, comparing some hops to particular strains of cannabis.
The current challenges faced by the cannabis industry are similar to what Magee remembers in the late 70s after home-brewing was legalized by Jimmy Carter. If federal legalization occurs, Magee predicts the state-licensed cannabis industry may contract. Magee used his own experience to guide new business owners and entrepreneurs in the crowd.
“Right now, you’re all in the boom cycle,” he said. “…[P]ursue experiences and journeys for your customers.”
After the presentation, the shows’ exhibitors took center stage.
The click-click-snap sound of an impressive sorting machine called the PrimoCombi was most impressive. This automatic weigh filler can reduce hand labor by thousands of hours. Thomas Davis representing Paxiom said he brought the PrimoCombi to Denver’s Indo Expo in January.
“There’s a totally different audience at this show,” said Davis. “The spaces here cost more, but the attendees are more connected to the industry.”
It’s true. Conversations at round tables and near the registration area were filled with discussions about legislation and licensing; there were few vendors pitching consumer-facing products.
In addition to impressive sorting and packaging machines, the Seed to Sale Show also showcased a wide variety of service offerings.
GreenLight, for example, is an energy conservation service that helps clients reduce utility costs across the board.
“We take a little off the top of what we save our clients,” explained Charles Kaplinsky, who came all the way from New Jersey to attend to show.
CannaPoint is a specialized point of sale and management system developed for dispensaries. Track sales trends, inventory, shipping, or just about anything from seed to sale.
This was the second consecutive year the Seed to Sale show premiered in Colorado. At the end of the 2-day event, NCIA announced the show would be moving to Boston, Massachusetts, in 2019.
“There is a massive opportunity in New England to build a robust, thriving cannabis industry and as the industry’s only national trade association, it’s our responsibility to ensure the success of these newly legalized markets,” said Aaron Smith, Executive Director of NCIA.
The first day of the Seed to Sale show ended with attendees flooding into the streets of downtown Denver. They were headed back to nearby hotels and restaurants; many people stopped at nearby dispensaries to get a real glimpse of Colorado’s booming bud industry.