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  • Writer's pictureElucidation Strategies

Name Badges & Networking

"Cannabis conference."

What comes to mind?

The response depends on who you ask. My impression is that the stoner stereotype influences some to imagine a hotel ballroom filled with people in tie-dyed tees, barely visible because thick clouds of smoke and barely hearable because of endless snacking.

The cannabis conferences that I've participated in couldn't be farther from that. At the recent MJ Unpacked event in Atlantic City, thousands of cannabis professionals spent several days in the conference areas at the Hard Rock, discussing industry trends and networking to learn more from talented cannabists. I met people from up and down the east and west coasts; I even met some folks from Canada. Sessions like "Curating the Cannabis Lexicon" and "Exploring Cannabis as a Substitute to Prescription Opioids Through Data" helped me to widen my understanding of plant topics that ultimately make me a better cannabis educator. I found myself wishing for a couple of Angela clones at times, as I would've liked to attend all the sessions and spend even more time with the 100+ businesses that exhibited in the Experience Hall.

If you aren't quite sure what a cannabis conference is like, I can tell you that it aligns with any other professional development event in other industries, with one exception. The energy. The energy is palpable, with an undercurrent of urgency that takes a gathering, one unified around cannabis, to another level.

A handful of takeaways from #MJUAC24

  • I'm glued to my seat when it comes to information outside of my own history and communications cannabis wheelhouse; I conclude I should prioritize more learning opportunities outside of my comfort zone, particularly science and non-NJ trends.

  • The Green Shoulder commentary I received most often included the words "needed" and "senior population," so we're on the right track!

  • We live in a digital world. For the colleagues who enthusiastically suggest pictures for social media feeds and promotions, thank you. Many of us become so focused on conversation that it's challenging. (I'm looking at you, Nichelle Santos. Thank you!)

  • Every time someone said, "We should keep in touch," it felt authentic. That's different from some other industry conferences.

  • We should all freely share this experience on our feeds for our cannabis AND non-cannabis connections. This furthers industry normalization.

  • As a small business owner, all the connection refills my cup, professionally-speaking.

  • As someone who loves and values the plant, all the connection refills my cup, non-professionally speaking.

To all the cannabists near and far, I'm sending a blanket thank you out in the ether for the #MJUAC24 generosity and energy. I appreciate the passion, encouragement, and information-sharing that was part of every minute of my time at the Jersey Shore, talking cannabis and growing an industry.


Contact Elucidation Strategies to learn more about cannabis education and consulting services.


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