Cannabis is a serious business. Currently, medical marijuana is legal in 25 states, with several more considering bills. The Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan research group, estimates that it’s a $45 billion industry in the US alone. This year, the International Cannabis Association hosted the second-annual Cannabis World Congress and Business Exposition in New York City, where cannabis businesses from around the world can network, show off their products, and attend seminars and panel discussions about the burgeoning industry.Take a look at what went down inside the three-day conference.
The event took place at the Jacob K. Javits convention center in midtown Manhattan. Huge signs with the words “Cannabis means businesses” showed the attendees they were in the right place.
A range of products made from cannabis plants were scattered across the exposition floor. Businesses that directly served the marijuana industry — everything from grow lights to product packaging and financial services — also set up shop.
Because recreational marijuana remains illegal in New York State, none of the products on the expo floor contained THC, a psychoactive ingredient in the plant. Instead, products were made from other chemical extracts, like cannabidiol, also known as CBD. It’s often used for both therapeutic and medicinal purposes but doesn’t actually get people high. Under certain restrictions, CBD is legal in all 50 states.
The conference itself was business-focused. Most, if not all, of the attendees were either directly involved in the marijuana industry or looking to invest. The entrance fee was steep: $195 or $95 for early birds. Naturally, people wanted the most bang for their buck.
These aromatherapy sprays are made from cannabis plants. Shira Adler, the creator of Synergy Sprays, mixes all of them by hand. “This one is designed to center you, especially if you’re stressed,” Adler said. The sprays cost around $40.
Edibles also represented a decent portion of the expo. Below is a range of gummy worms containing CBD.
If recreational marijuana becomes legal, companies will likely add THC to edible products, like these CBD gummy bears. In states like Colorado, where recreational marijuana is already legal, edibles have seen massive success.
The exposition showcased more than just consumer products though. Here’s an ethanol extraction machine, which manufacturers use to separate the desired chemical — in this case, CBD — from the raw plant for use in consumer products like gummy bears.