The Winter Emerge 2020 Virtual Cannabis Conference & Expo isn’t just about powerhouse speakers and celebrity sightings, it’s about community.
During day two, Cannabis & Tech Today spoke with attendees to learn more about their experience and what drew them to the show. “Well, during this time with COVID, Emerge is an innovative way to keep the conferences growing and happening,” shared Taylor Wilson, account manager for Revivid CBD.
— Brad Bogus 🌹 (@forceghostbrad) December 16, 2020
For the cannabis community especially, events are the lifeblood of commerce. Without marketing opportunities elsewhere, events become the catch all for marketing, networking, and growing one’s brand.
Sarah Keeney, social and marketing director for Design Kush, explained: “This is the most socializing I have done in 2020. Networking is essential in cannabis because you need to know who you are working with and their goals/intentions. Add the marketing and advertising limitations in cannabis and you realize how limited our options for marketing can be.”
These experiences echo the mission of the event, which was to create an opportunity for commerce during the pandemic and to provide the cannabis community with a place to gather with their friends and build relationships.
As Editor-in-Chief of Cannabis & Tech Today Charles Warner noted, “With Emerge, you can turn your work day into a game.” That’s a sentiment shared by attendees on social media.
— Emerge Virtual Cannabis Conference (@EmergeCannabis) December 16, 2020
One of the highlights of day two was a fireside chat hosted by the Clio Cannabis Awards featuring Berner and Run The Jewels.
Attendees were treated to an inside look at the lives of some of hip-hop’s most iconic performers. Killer Mike shared his history with cannabis and Berner revealed the song he was listening to the first time he ever smoked.
It wasn’t all laughs with this talented ensemble, as the conversation often turned to discussions of social equity, prison reform, and taxation.
Speaker Rob Tankson, COO and co-founder of PrestoDoctor, also discussed social equity and legislative reform during his session on COVID-19 and cannabis.
He discussed the MORE Act and how, in the last moments before it passed the House, changes were made to the bill that made it less equitable for communities of color. “Overall, with the changes, the Black and brown community were, and myself, very discouraged. Moving forward, if we keep social equity and justice in mind, we can make it a more even playing field,” noted Tankson.
Since the first Emerge, one of the continuous themes of the event is how to create a more equitable industry. Although the cannabis space is growing in America, it’s still a close community that needs all of its members working together to create more access for marginalized groups.
Mike Glazer and Mary Jane Gibson, hosts of the Weed & Grub podcast and mc’s for the Winter Emerge 2020 conference, shared that sentiment: “Connection is key in cannabis. The culture thrived underground because of the network of people who loved the plant and benefited from its use. Now that it’s legal in many places, it’s essential to stay connected and remember where this all came from — the grassroots organizing and activism, the legacy growers who risked their lives, etc. Emerge is a place to gather for business knowledge and also to keep educating and spreading awareness about cannabis.”
For those who couldn’t attend the first two days, there’s still plenty to see on day three. Keynote speakers Dana Rohrabacher and Julian Marley will be sharing their expertise on the topics of business, health, and wellness.
The Clio Cannabis Awards will be honoring the best marketers in the industry with their Impact Awards and a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Sponsors are primed for a final, big day of giveaways and the auditoriums will be hosting some of the most respected names in the industry to inform, educate, and inspire.