With an estimated 35,000 attendees and over 1300 exhibitors, this was the largest MJBiz to date. We were fortunate enough to attend and meet with a variety of cannabis industry professionals. It’s incredible to see the different facets of this industry evolving. From cultivation to extraction and an astronomical range of consumer end products, there was a lot to explore.
Without further ado, we’ve summarized the major trends at this year’s conference. Thank you to all the amazing people who openly shared their knowledge and made this an unforgettable conference.
#1 Vape Tech on the Rise
We all know vape hardware comes in an array of shapes and sizes, and there was plenty of variety on display at MjBiz. Big names like PAX, and Divinci were showcased along with a range of international players.
It’s clear that the next evolution in vape technology centres on personalization and optimization, with consumer preferences top-of-mind. Two solutions in particular stood out in their approach to advancing the vape experience.
The Kanvas pod system features smart software called “Vapetellingence.” This clever platform allows cannabis brands to create a customized and consistent experience for their customers. Key inputs such as dosing, plume size and temperature can all be tailored to the user. Taking it a step further, Vapetelligence allows for temperature fluctuation based on the boiling point of the prominent terpenes in the profile. So cool.
Meanwhile, Portland-based ilo Vapor reimagines the concentrates game with their DabTab systems. Their “dablets” are porous ceramic, natural mineral tablets that contain a precise dosing of full-spectrum CBD, providing a unique alternative to cartridges.
#2 Extraction Runs the Expo
Of all the trends at MJBiz 2019, extraction equipment was the winner by volume, hands-down. In a sea of people and exhibitors, you didn’t have to look far to find a shiny piece of machinery. CO2 extraction was best represented, with some set-ups so large they couldn’t be contained in a single booth (Vitalis, that was impressive).
One company, Green Mills Supercritical, took an alternative approach to size. Jeff walked us through his unit, explaining that while other companies were scaling up, they were focused on unit efficiency and craft quality. Holding a model of their 3D printed heat exchanger, the innovation was tangible.
Following CO2 extraction, solventless, ethanol, and hydrocarbon were also well represented. Colorado-based ExtractionTek Solutions showcased the latter. Committed to safety and compliance, this company is removing the stigma around hydrocarbon extraction in the industry. With a closed-loop system and the ability to blend propane and butane solvents, their equipment is remarkably versatile.
#3 Tailored Terpenes
For stimulating the senses, terpene products stole the show. Scent bars with vials were scattered around the expo, offering isolated terpenes and blended aromatic experiences. Due to the recent vape crisis, strain-specific scents that are food-grade and filler-free are most popular.
Terpenes from plant-sources other than cannabis were also on high demand. Teresa at True Terpenes was kind enough to take us through how their terpenes are sourced and refined. With their interactive Terp-Wall as a guide, we couldn’t help but pick our favourites.
#4 CBD-infused Everything
The world’s most popular and accessible cannabinoid could be found in just about every infused product imaginable. Edibles, drinkables and so much more. If you can infuse it with CBD, chances are you’d find it at MJBiz. No doubt the dramatic increase in hemp production plays a major role in the proliferation of these CBD-focused end products. From muffin mix and pizza sauce, to skin care, herbal teas and good old fashioned pre-rolls, CBD definitely stole the show.
Sidenote: check out this insightful infographic that highlights the most popular CBD products in each of the 50 states.
#5 Lesser-Known Cannabinoids
Without a doubt, CBD was the king of the expo. THC and CBD have had the cannabinoid spotlight for years, but this year some lesser-known cannabinoids made their tradeshow debut. Have you heard of CBC? What about CBN, CBGA, CBDA, or CBDV? The list goes on and the acronyms can be overwhelming.
At the MJBiz Leafly booth we chatted with Hannah (@canna_hannah) about how quickly knowledge in the industry is expanding. Leafly is a great resource for keeping up with cannabis, offering relevant information from reliable sources. To learn more, check out their list of major cannabinoids.
#6 The Automation Advantage
It’s no surprise that cannabis and hemp growers are looking to make their operations more efficient. The advantages of various automation technologies were prevalent through the conference. At every step, it seems there’s an opportunity for growers to up their game. Whether that has to do with planting and growing, or post-harvest processes and packaging, automation is a big part of the industry’s future.
Automated equipment for trimming and sorting, climate control and cone filling is just the tip of the iceberg. It was also great to see our friends at Dhydra Technologies, a fellow BC company whose innovative technology automates and elevates the standard drying and curing process.
#7 Plant Health, Naturally
With a growing interest in craft cannabis, natural cultivation solutions had a notable presence. Environmentally-friendly products that serve producers and consumers were big, a response to mass production in the industry.
Walking past a tank filled with insects, we had to stop and chat with the guys at Beneficial Insectary. We learned that green lacewings are harmless insects that help with pest management. By laying predatory larvae that eat aphids, these insects are a sustainable solution to a grower’s problem. Fighting bugs with bugs – it doesn’t get more natural than that.
Klondike was another company that stood out, showcasing their self-contained seed ecosystem. In a small vitamin-like capsule, is a cannabis seed and everything it needs for germination. Once planted in the ground, the capsule is enzymatically activated to support seedling growth. The seed is protected and nourished, giving it the best possible start.
A Glimpse at a Global Industry.
Over 75 countries were represented at this MJBiz in Las Vegas, providing a microcosm of the global growth to come. While North American markets have a bit of a head start, new international markets are forming right before our eyes. It’s truly an exciting time to be a part of this industry and we can’t wait to see what happens next.