Since cannabis trends and sustainable growth are among our favorite things to talk about, the Sira Naturals team eagerly attended the New England Cannabis Network (NECANN) fourth annual convention. It's the largest cannabis convention in the U.S., and the event, held on Saturday March 24th 2018, was the biggest and best in the Northeast so far.
NECANN has grown exponentially from 50 vendors, 40 speakers, and 2,000 attendees in 2015 to roughly 250 booths, 150 speakers, and 9,000 attendees this year. Even more significant is its growth in educational discussions and panels, for the benefit of both business owners and the medical marijuana patients they serve.
The event covered four tracks: medical marijuana, business, innovation, and growing demos. When not using our booth as base for giveaways and demos, we joined the throng for seminars on:
Cannabis in Sports
Professional athletes are in the business of getting injured, but their pain management programs are sometimes considered controversial. While sports leagues don’t allow for medical cannabis use, they’ll gladly hand out opioids. We heard from former NFL and NHL athletes like Jim McMahon and Riley Cote about the consequences to mental health and taking the good with the bad when exploring cannabis as an alternative medication to opioid-based painkillers.
Cannabis for Older Adults
It’s a tricky landscape to navigate for both patients and their families: How do you talk to your doctor? What will friends think? Will cannabis interfere with current medications? Given the recent surge in cannabis use among seniors, it was helpful to get some perspective on the various dosing strategies and consumption methods these patients are likely to find effective.
Who doesn’t enjoy learning about the latest advancements in medical cannabis offerings? From what we saw at the event, there are some pretty cool things happening. Cultivation facilities are using predictive analytics and smart energy to optimize production, cannabis chefs are exploring new ways we can infuse CBD into our lives, scientists are exploring how terpenes can make products taste and smell even better, and pet owners are using cannabis therapies to treat their animals.
Cannabis in the Future
The cannabis industry as a whole was a big topic of discussion – particularly how medical will expand into recreational and what it means for consumers and business owners. We saw more interest in concepts like grow-at-home kits, cannabis cafés, social consumption (public use in designated areas), and purging the black market. How these will come together to help normalize the use of cannabis in healthcare was exciting to think about.
Overall, NECANN was a great opportunity to connect with customers and peers to talk challenges and opportunities in the industry. Educating patients about cannabis through a medicinal lens is something we’re committed to and want to be even more involved with as we move forward.
Thanks to everyone who visited our NECANN exhibit, and we welcome anyone curious about medical cannabis to connect with us at future events and meetups. Until next time!