Last week, Surna headed to Seattle for CannaCon for the second time. The energy at the show, and in Seattle in general, was great and we were excited to see new and familiar faces!
CannaCon was smaller than the last show we attended of 10,000 people but just as full of serious industry professionals. It seemed like everyone we met at the show were very involved in cannabis and looking to create meaningful relationships with others in the industry. Part of this could be due to the shows location in Seattle and the demographic of attendees. The Washington cannabis market is one of the oldest in the country, legalizing medical in 1998 and adult-use in 2012, and making it a mature market which we saw reflected in the exhibitors, attendees and speakers. It seemed there was a large proportion of Washington and Oregon residents at this event, many of whom have been participating in the cannabis industry since before it had the national attention it does now.
It was exciting to see so many serious players in the industry, with more joining all the time. Even since we were in Las Vegas last fall, it seems that cannabis has become more legitimate, with plenty of new businesses joining the market from all different industry backgrounds. What is most exciting for us to watch is the growth of this industry not only through the direct business (producers, processors, retailers) but also through ancillary businesses. Cannabis has really become a job creator. Everything from re-purposed gun safes for security to high quality cocoa for edible manufacture is coming to life. This industry really has become a massive engine for economic growth which was quite clear from the diverse businesses and people we met at CannaCon.
As with most shows we attend, there were some regular themes in our conversations with attendees and exhibitors. We had a lot of conversations about compliance at this show. Professionals who start thinking about compliance now and how to produce consistent quality without any issues (fungus, pesticides) are going to have the competitive edge in the world of re-scheduled cannabis. This plays out in many different avenues but, for us, we see cultivators opting for Surna environmental control systems in order to achieve a reliable and healthy yield, helping them to meet compliance requirements.
Another regulation causing stress in the industry is tighter restrictions put on pest and fungus control. The strict testing protocols make it more difficult for farmers to use pesticides and fungicides as their primary means to maintain healthy crops. As you can imagine, there was quite a lot of talk around biosecurity control and moving to more controlled, indoor cultivation facilities as a way to work in accordance with tight restrictions.
We so enjoy exhibiting at trade shows like CannaCon because it is a unique opportunity to meet, talk and engage face- to-face with the people we aim to serve. Seeing what’s happening on the front lines of this budding market as well as receiving feedback on our products is incredibly valuable in our effort to provide efficient, reliable and intelligent technology to the cannabis industry. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to see us and we hope to see everyone at the next show!