In my 40 years of collecting a paycheck, I gotta admit this has been the oddest business trip I have ever embarked on, beginning with the packed Spirit Airline flight from Baltimore-Washington International Airport to the check-in at the Westgate hotel to grabbing my press credentials Tuesday afternoon at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
When I departed from the East Coast at 7 AM Tuesday morning, it was with sleepy eyes, but a clear head, but with great trepidation and outright confusion as to whether it was safe to travel in the new pandemic world we live in. After all that has transpired, (we have all been touched in some way… hundreds of thousands of mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, grandparents, friends and contemporaries have succumbed to this scourge), we have somehow mustered a way on with our lives and chosen pursuits.
Its been nearly two years since my last out of state business trip (I haven’t been on a commercial flight since the December 2019 MJBizCon) and frankly, as an aging wage-earner, I wasn’t planning on attending this year until I received my Pfizer booster vaccine just 3 weeks ago. And you know what, walking onto the exhibit hall yesterday morning after watching MJBizCon CEO Chris Walsh’s Kick-off presentation, complete with his obvious predictions of more states legalizing, more federal government ineptness and more mega-deals, I felt an excitement and surge in my spirits telling me it was time to get back to work and continue the learning and documenting of the advent and rise of the fastest growing industry in the world.
The journey that Cannabis Business Executive (CBE) has taken me on since my sister Colleen Hobbs and I launched it literally at my first Vegas MJBizCon at the Rio hotel in 2014 as a 100% electronic publisher with a goal to simply provide information that helps industry companies and their leadership teams run their companies better began anew today. Like many of you I’m sure, the COVID-19 induced fog cleared as the energy of the thousands of wannabes, newbie entrepreneurs and professionals from the licensee, ancillary and regulatory ranks that drive the industry washed over my mind and body and nearly 8 hours later, as I got back to my room at the Westgate, I had a desire to share the day’s experience and the importance of the phenomena that is MJBizCon.
Since that first conference, MJBizCon has been a safe haven for pirates, pioneers, visionaries and just plain old hard working folks, predominantly American but also including our Canadian friends up north and industry advocates and players from around the world that shunned the stigma years ago to embark on this journey. Some of us have been or are motivated by a desire to help people benefit from the still untapped potential that cannabis represents and provides and some to make their fortune in what has truly been a gold rush not unlike what adventurers pursued on their way across the great plains or by boat to the west coast in the mid 19th century.
After the isolation that the pandemic has wrought on society, like a shining light, MJBizCon has absolutely, once again brought together the industry’s rank and file together and still attracts the leaders of all of the industry’s constituents. In our first day here yesterday (I spent the day with CBE contributor Tom Hymes), we literally met many of the industry’s titans and doers as we search for company success stories and best practices to share with our readers as well as our marketing partners to support our efforts to share useful information.
So as I get ready to rest my tired old legs and get out tomorrow’s e-newsletter, I thank you, CBE’s readers for indulging me and letting me express my excitement in seeing the Phoenix rise from yesterday’s ashes. I am absolutely reinvigorated and excited to meet more of you tomorrow to share knowledge and learn more about this industry that is providing opportunity and hope to the thousands of professionals at this wonderful industry event which truly represents a great ROI for both the money and energy it requires to be a part of.
There is still a lot of work to be done by all of us to get this industry over the final hurdle, the end of prohibition here in the good ole USA that will accelerate the industry wave across the globe. I hope that all of you that experienced the first full blown day of the conference yesterday share my enthusiasm and experienced the same surge in energy, hope, desire and the motivation MJBizCon provides to continue on this journey together. The industry has not only grown and thrived in this pandemic, but it has also innovated and improved in many areas during this crisis.
I don’t know about you, but I am surely grateful for being lucky enough to still be around and hope to be here when we all cross that magical line that doesn’t appears as distant on the horizon as it did when CBE started its journey 8 years ago!
Rob Meagher, CBE’s Founder, President and Editor-in-Chief is a 30 year veteran of the media world. His career has spanned from stints representing the Washington Post, USA Weekend, Reader’s Digest, Financial World & Corporate Finance to the technology world where he worked at International Data Group and Ziff Davis where he was part of the launch team for The Web Magazine, Yahoo Internet Life, Smart Business and Expedia Travels before starting his own marketing and Publisher’s Representative Firm. He also ran all print and online media sales and marketing for the Society for Human Resource Management before partnering with Forbes and then Fortune to create Special Sections covering a variety of topics. Rob, who started CBE Press in 2014, can be contacted at [email protected]
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