Marijuana

Southwest Cannabis Conference Coming to Phoenix Next Month

The Southwest Cannabis Conference and Expo will roll into the Phoenix Convention Center for three days in October, with 300 exhibitors, prominent guest speakers, a job fair, and other events expected to draw thousands.

The conference kicks off with the job fair from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, October, 26, at the Phoenix Event Center, 245 East Jackson Street. This will be followed by the two-day conference beginning October 27 at the convention center, 100 North Third Street.

Organizers vow it will be "the most professional and educational medical cannabis conference [that the southwestern U.S.] cannabis industry has ever seen."

Featured speakers include Keith Stroup, founder of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws; Steve DeAngelo, author and founder of Oakland's Harborside Dispensary; Amy Poinsett, CEO of MJ Freeway, which produces inventory-control software for dispensaries; Arizona Congressman Ruben Gallego; cannabis entrepreneur Cheryl Shuman, called the "Martha Stewart of Marijuana," and Katherine Grimm, star of the CNN series High Profits.

The convention "will showcase the industry's most innovative products, along with scheduled seminars and presentations by industry business leaders and experts," according to the SWCC's website.

Expect to see educational and product booths, experts on governmental policy, healthcare, business, and, of course, cannabis itself.

At the job fair, sponsored by Emerald Opportunities and THCjobs.com, two dozen speakers will engage in question-and-answer sessions on "how participants can advance their cannabis career," says a news release.

But the fun and networking opportunities aren't cheap. Tickets for the career fair and expo are $450 apiece; career fair tickets are $200. 

Policy Quake, MJ Freeway, and the National Indian Cannabis Coalition are giving away free tickets to select groups: elected officials, licensed dispensary and cultivator owners from multiple states, and "300 tribe leaders and their economic development teams from around the nation."

Voters passed the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act in 2010, resulting in more than 80 dispensaries across the state and about 80,000 patients as of this summer. At least one citizens' initiative legalizing marijuana for all adults 21 and older is expected to be on the ballot here in November 2016.

New Times is the media sponsor of the conference, along with the title sponsor, MJ Freeway Business Solutions.
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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.
Contact: Ray Stern