Photo from mjbizconference.com
In the security industry, there are two conferences experts don’t want to miss: The International Security Conference and Exposition, commonly known as ISC West, and the ASIS Global Security Exchange. Security professionals converge at these annual events where they can network with other professionals, discover new products and emerging technologies, and learn about the latest industry trends. The Security Industry Association and ASIS set the standards for security training and knowledge and their events attract tens of thousands of people in North America and around the world.
But these events aren’t the only places for security experts to convene. For those security experts interested in or engaged in the quickly evolving cannabis industry, there’s arguably an even more important conference to attend: MJBizCon.
This conference, hosted by Marijuana Business Daily, has occurred annually since 2012 and has increased in size every year. In 2019, the conference, which was held on December 11-13, attracted 33,000 people- more than ISC West’s 30,000 attendees and ASIS GSX’s 22,000 attendees.
While one may conjure up images of everyone in a circle smoking, the conference actually had more ties than tie dye. Business professionals in suit jackets or heels lined the busy hallways between the exhibits. If it weren’t for the multitude of cannabis-shaped and -themed pens, necklaces, and memorabilia, one might not know this group of industry experts was meeting about cannabis.
The cannabis industry values security higher than most retail and manufacturing spaces due to demanding regulations and the risks of black-market diversion. Almost all careers in the cannabis industry deal with security in some capacity. The conference, which was not specifically for cannabis security professionals, drew experts from all corners of the cannabis industry, allowing for both business-to-business and business-to-consumer connections.
MJBizCon filled the Las Vegas Convention Center with 1,300 exhibitors – more than last year’s ISC West’s 950 exhibitors and ASIS GSX’s 550 exhibitors. Spread out over 250,000 square feet, the 2019 conference beat its previous record in terms of attendance, exhibitions, and overall size and was the event of the year for cannabis business professionals.
While it has only been around for 8 years, MJBizCon has also already established an international presence with International, European, and Latin Symposiums scheduled for this year. Although similar in size, ISC West and ASIS likely have MJBizCon beat on both name recognition and scope. ISC has been a well-known brand for over 50 years and their reach extends domestically and globally with events in Dallas, New York, Mexico City, and Brazil. Similarly, ASIS has been around for over 60 years and has conferences scheduled around the world, including Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, and Southeast Asia.
Businesses involved in the cannabis industry from cultivators to dispensary chains to law firms to marketing agencies make this conference a priority, even established companies that have been around longer than the newly legalized industry has. In 2019, the conference attracted larger security companies like Ameristar Perimeter Security and FireKing Security Group, while also attracting smaller regional companies or investors just trying to start out in this blossoming industry. No matter the role in cannabis, everyone would agree that attending this show was invaluable to their career in the industry.
MJBizCon connects an entire industry of professionals in much the same way as conferences like ISC West and ASIS GSX. It may not have been around as long, but every indication shows that MJBizCon has become the go-to show for anyone looking to invest time into the cannabis industry.