Anyone in the businesses of conferences, expos, and festivals learned how to pivot in 2020. Some moved their events to virtual platforms and others simply called it quits, shelving their events in hopes the world would re-balance in 2021. Both approaches still seem to be possibilities in 2021 but there’s still plenty of uncertainty whether we might have to wait an additional year until things approach how they used to be.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is still recommended that “large gatherings be avoided, particularly those in which physical (social) distancing cannot be maintained between people who live in different households. This guidance is intended for those who are planning a large event, such as sporting events, concerts, festivals, conferences, or parades.”
Two of Washington’s more prominent cannabis events, Lemonhaze and Seattle Hempfest, have still not provided information if they will attempt live events here in 2021, but there’s no information available about virtual options either.
Another annual event, Bellingham Budfest, was planning for its July 2021 event, but in late April, organizers announced it would have to be moved to summer 2022. Although there was plenty of excitement and enthusiasm, planners said crowd requirements from the city and Port of Bellingham were too restrictive for what the event wanted to accomplish.
A multi-city weed-centric convention, CannaCon, which was first held in the Seattle area, is currently scheduled in five states in the Midwest and the South, but nothing has been scheduled for Washington.
There are a few virtual events scheduled with great line-ups for speakers and learning opportunities, which work well in the virtual world. And a smattering of live events scheduled for summer and fall, most likely hoping for a healthier populace by then.
Live event websites are generally short on details, however, possibly in preparation for a quick pivot if things swing in a less positive direction. With that in mind, here’s what appears to be happening in the world of cannabis gatherings.
Virtual EventsC-45 Quality Summit
Produced by Hempfest Canada and hosted by the C-45 Quality Association, a private sector advocate for quality in the Canadian cannabis industry, the C-45 Quality Summit brings the leaders of the global industry together to establish Canada as a world leader in cannabis quality and innovation.GCI Virtual Summit – Global Leaders in Cannabis & Psychedelics
A line-up of cannabis leaders from around the world will discuss everything from research and science, medicine and treatment, to psychedelics, regulations and interational markets, consumer brands and retail, investment and finance, cultivation, and technology.
Live eventsWA East Interchange
Aug. 3-4, Spokane
Marijuana Venture invites retailers and producers/processors to come together at the Spokane Valley Event Center to network and share information. Other 2021 Interchange events are scheduled for Sept. 15-16 in Portland and Oct. 5-6 in Renton.
Cannabis Conference 2021
Aug. 24-26, Las Vegas
Presented by Cannabis Business Times, Cannabis Dispensary and Hemp Grower, this convention brings industry stakeholders together to engage the opportunities and challenges facing the legal cannabis market.Cannabis Science Conference West 2021
Aug. 30– Sept. 1, Oregon Convention Center, Portland, Oregon
The conference, called the world’s largest and most technical cannabis science expo, pulls together cannabis industry experts, instrument manufacturers, testing labs, research scientists, medical practitioners, policy makers and interested novices. The annual event is aimed at improving cannabis science.Cannnatank420
Sept. 18, 10 a.m.– 3 p.m.
Spokane Convention Center, Spokane
The one-day farm to retailer expo focuses on building relationships between farms and the retail purchasing managers for the legal cannabis industry throughout Washington.Women in Cannabis Expo
Sept. 27-29, Reno, Nevada
The Women in Cannabis Expo was established to help connect women working in or looking to join the cannabis industry with other women for support, collaboration and connection.MJBizCon Live Expo
Oct. 20-22, Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas
The world’s largest cannabis event is offering a hybrid experience. For those who can attend and follow any legal guidelines, including mandatory masks, there will a live conference. There will also be an online component starting the week of Oct. 18.Retail Vision
Nov. 9-10, Seattle Airport Marriott, Seattle
Marijuana Venture’s Retail Vision is the first event of its kind, a best-in-class business and technology gathering specifically developed to help cannabis retailers grow their enterprise and dramatically increase profits.
Note: Due to health concerns, some events may be canceled, postponed or moved online. Please check with event organizers to verify prior to attending.