Marijuana growers, consumers and entrepreneurs from far and wide will flock to the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center this weekend to take part in the fourth annual New England Cannabis Convention, where attendees can explore the latest trends in the booming recreational pot industry.
The convention, branded as one of the largest and most influential events of its kind in the U.S., featuring more than 200 vendors, is expected to draw 6,000 people to Hynes before it wraps up this evening, according to NECANN co-founder and President Marc Shepard.
“We’ve doubled in size every year, but we’re not going to double this year,” Shepard said, noting that last year’s convention saw close to 8,000 people.
“Sooner or later for this, the market will max out,” he said.
Shepard said this year’s convention was primarily focused on recreational marijuana and filling people in on how they can go about getting their own marijuana licenses.
“We’re talking about New England, and how we can keep the $12 billion revenue here and not have it go to Colorado or California,” he said. “The idea is to get everyone here in the same room together so they can network with each other.”
Among the vendors displaying their wares yesterday was Jake Miller of the Jupiter, Fla.-based marijuana packaging company eBottles 420.
The 26-year-old business development manager said he decided to set up shop at the convention to get a feel for the market in New England.
“With the current law, we are kind of mimicking the West Coast in terms of growth and overall outlook on legalization,” he said. “It’s a huge step forward beyond just the tax revenue and money in the aspect of fixing the backward laws and giving people a different outlook on the cannabis industry as a whole.”
Another company attending the event for the first time is Green Vault Systems, which is showing off its massive cannabis batching machine that measures weed by the ounce.
“It weighs it out so it’s ready to go out to the store,” Green Vault Systems founder and engineer Arnar Olgeirsson said. “The most common packages are 1, 2 and 3.5 grams.”
Attendees at the convention yesterday were also perusing a large assortment of pipes, bongs and medicinal products.
Chris Copley, business developer of the Vermont-based Ceres Natural Remedies, said the sky is the limit for the marijuana industry in New England.
“We’re excited about what’s happening,” he said. “Folks are really waking up to the use of marijuana.”