The 25 Best Cannabis Conferences
1. The Secret Cup October 31, 2015
Directed at hash growers, the Secret Cup is peer-reviewed competition that culminates in an awards gala in Los Angeles in December. In addition to events in Spain, Michigan and California (including camping events), the organizers host a Halloween Cup in Portland with bands (including Steady Riot this year), booths and vendors.
2. CannaFest November 6-8, 2015
Held at the Incheba Fairground in Prague, this enormous trade fair hosts exhibitors presenting their cultivation technology, fertilizers, seeds, smoking accessories and vaporizers. Manufacturers of cosmetic products, clothing items, foods and/or media focused on raising awareness about cannabis will also be present. Not to mention a lounge for vaporizer testing, fashion shows and a film program.
3. Marijuana Business Conference and Expo November 11-13, 2015
One of the largest trade shows in the country takes over Las Vegas to ponder next steps for legalization and best practices for cannabis start-ups and entrepreneurs. Ralph Nader is the Keynote for the conference side this year.
4. Pot Luck Expo November 15, 2015
San Diego’s Medical Cannabis Expo, known as “Pot Luck”, is a networking event for C2C (caregiver to caregiver) and C2P (caregiver to patient) medical marijuana users. The jam-packed day includes live music, DJs, food trucks, live art exhibits, raffles, presentations, and more
5. ExpoWeed Nov 21-23, 2015
Uruguay has legalized cannabis for medical and recreational use and several other South American governments are also changing laws on cannabis, so this large trade fair in Santiago de Chile is the continent’s go-to event for both growers and consumers in the region and international advocates and experts.
6. HempCon January 1 – 3, 2016 in Bakersfield, CA
This California-wide convention and show (there are editions in San Francisco, San Jose and Las Vegas, to name a few locations) caters to those who may benefit from the medical use of marijuana. HempCon features exhibits from medical marijuana dispensaries, collectives, care givers, evaluation services, legal services, educational institutes, and more. It’s also an educational event with seminars and presentations by industry leaders, advocates, and attorneys. The Hempcon Cup competition is open to growers, breeders, extract artists, and edibles chefs of all types.
7. High Times Cannabis Cup January 30-31, 2016
The New York-based monthly magazine High Times has been devoted to the marijuana-using counterculture since 1974. They host several annual cannabis events to promote awareness of and advocacy of legal marijuana use.
This year and next, gatherings take place in Negril, Jamaica (a collaboration with Rastafari Rootzfest, to celebrate the recent Jamaican government recognition of Rastafarian sacramental and religious rights), Fresno, California; Portland, Oregon, and in Washington, D.C., where a High Times Business Conference and Expo, taking place December 14-16, 2015, will host over 2000 entrepreneurs, investors and leaders, along with exhibits, seminars and breakout sessions.
8. Dispensary Next Conference February 1-2, 2016
Explore emerging technologies and best practices related to the cannabis dispensary industry during this two-day conference. The event takes place in Portland, Oregon and features 17 sessions on management, marketing and service solutions specifically for the cannabis industry.
9. Marijuana Investor Summit March 3-5, 2016
This two-day cannabis event will take place in San Francisco, and promises to educate owners and investors involved in the cannabis industry. Notable speakers include Randy Shipley, CEO of CannaFund, and Chris Bunka, CEO of Lexari Energy.
10. CannaTech March 7-9, 2016
CannaTech will include a full day Cannabis Summit with internationally recognized experts and industry leaders in medicine, science, patient care, regulation, investment and entrepreneurship. The event will include the CannaPitch Final, where innovators will compete to win a grand prize. The Summit is designed to facilitate exclusive networking opportunities and the exchange of cannabis innovation success stories.
11. Cannabis Music Festival April, 2016
This festival is three days of music of all kinds, vendors, food, education & fun in support of medical marijuana and hemp products in sunny Melbourne, Florida.
12. Ann Arbor Hash Bash April 2, 2016
A short but sweet 46-year-old tradition at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor every April, Hash Bash is an hour-long collection of speeches, live music, street vending and occasional civil disobedience. In 2015 the Bash boasted a record 8000-15,000 attendees, largely owing to the appearance of singer Tommy Chong.
13. 2nd Annual Cannabis Film Festival April 23-24, 2016
The purpose of the Cannabis Film Festival (CFF) in tiny Garberville, California is to increase public awareness of all aspects of the cannabis industry through film. The event is newly partnered with The Cannabis and Hemp Marketing Lab to extoll the virtues of growers in the Humboldt county “greenbelt”.
14. Emerald Cup April 29-30, 2016
Held at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds, The Emerald Cup is Northern California’s premier outdoor destination for medicinal marijuana news and products. The gathering – also a music festival – brings together experts and educators in the cannabis field, organic farmers, patients, and patrons and is a community celebration of what’s become a global movement. Each year the best growers are awarded with hand-blown glass art. Rolling Stone Magazine calls it “the Academy Awards of the cannabis industry.”
15. MardiGrass April 30 – May 1, 2016
This protest rally and parade (“Our mission is to bring about change by the most entertaining means possible.”) is held on the first weekend in May in Nimbin, Australia. It’s a crowning event for a weekend-long roster of cannabis-friendly activities such as the Hemp Olympix (competitions in joint rolling,bong throwing and Iron-person) as well as the Nimbin Cannabis Cup, live music and dance parties.
16. Cannabis Liberation Day in Amsterdam June 2016
Holland’s biggest cannabis event is a free, daylong celebration in Amsterdam’s Flevopark. Crowds can enjoy bands and DJs, a hemp market, a medical cannabis bicycle tour, and a film festival – then hit the city’s notorious “brown” cafés for more sampling.
17. Cannabis World Congress & Business Expo June 15-17, 2016
It’s estimated that the cannabis industry will total $35 billion by 2020, this event promises to prepare those in the cannabis business world to take advantage of this anticipated growth by providing attendees access to informative sessions covering topics like growing best-practices, legal protection and finding investment.
18. Cannabis Business Summit June 20-22, 2016
This Oakland, California event bills itself as ”the only event where senators, congressional representatives and policy influencers converge with industry leaders and entrepreneurs to shape the cannabis economy.” Their agenda includes presentations on law and policy reform, cultivation and processing, and tips for getting a new cannabis enterprise off the ground. An exposition of goods and services runs concurrently over three days.
19. Chalice California July 9-10, 2016
A strictly medical marijuana event that focuses on concentrates and extracts in San Bernardino, California. Chalice participants must have their documentation in order to enter the compliant medication area. Bands, glass art, speakers, exhibits and an awards ceremony round out “the Coachella of Concentrates”.
20. Seattle Hempfest August 19-21, 2016
Hempfest in Seattle is a “protestival” and one of the largest annual gatherings rallying support for reform of cannabis legislation in the States. It’s free and features speakers, bands and business-oriented mixers and presentations.
21. CannaGrow Expo August 28-29, 2016
A truly world-class event, CannaGrow Expo is designed to educate those interested in learning the art and science of growing cannabis. The event will take place in Portland, Oregon and is open to all (18+).
In addition to speakers who are experts in growing cannabis, the CannaGrow Expo will also have an expo hall featuring outstanding cannabis businesses.
22. Science Of Cannabis Summit October, 2016
A source close to this fantastic cannabis event says that it will take place in Jacksonville, Florida sometime in October. This event features speakers involved in cannabis growing, researching and distributing. It’s designed to educate newcomers to the cannabis industry, and cannabis insiders alike.
23. Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival October, 2016
The 45th edition of this smorgasbord of activism, music and information-exchange recently concluded. The event is thrown by the local chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). Speakers at the 2015 event, also known as HarvestFest, included state representatives, legal experts and environmental advocates such as Nebraska’s Farmer Bill.
24. Cannabis Grand Cru TBD, 2016
CGC is an umbrella organization that aims to present a quality experience for cannabis enthusiasts and professionals. Says founder John Hunt, “ … there has been a historic absence of professional cannabis events in this industry and CGC was built to fill that void.” Cru events take place in several cities, including Seattle, Washington and Aspen, Colorado, and offer what they’re calling “an elevated cannabis experience” with lectures, fine food and information exchange in safe and intimate settings.
25. Dabadoo TBD, 2016
Created by Mila Jansen, founder of the Pollinator Company, the Dab-a-doo invitational originated in Amsterdam. After the initial success of the invitation-only competition, she decided to hold similar cannabis events in the US, starting with Denver. The Dabadoo Invitational made its way to San Francisco in June 2014. In September 2015, Dabadoo hosted its first ever East Coast event in Providence, Rhode Island. More Dabadoos will take place in 2016.