Pubdate: Sat, 18 Jun 2016
Source: Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY)
Copyright: 2016 Associated Press
Author: Ezra Kaplan, Associated Press


NEW YORK (AP) - Men and women in business suits mixed with hippies 
sporting blazers printed with marijuana leaf patterns Friday during 
the last day of the Cannabis World Congress and Business Exposition.

The three-day conference at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center was 
a gathering of professionals and advocates from nearly every facet of 
the emerging marijuana industry. Even though restrictions on the drug 
remain tight in New York, the community gathered to exchange ideas 
and explore business opportunities.

"We are here showcasing the cannabis industry and showing what they 
do," said Dan Humiston, president of the International Cannabis 
Association, which organized the conference.

"It all comes back to: How do we get information into the hands of 
the business community?" Marketing booths lined the aisles of the 
exhibition hall, and seminars were held throughout the day on topics 
including edibles, extraction methods, labor laws and tax challenges.

Customized lighters and mini packets of gummy bears sat next to pens, 
stickers and mints at booths adorned with marijuana-themed backdrops. 
No one was openly smoking marijuana, though the occasional 
conferencegoer gave off the distinctive odor.

Some exhibitors promoted lighting systems, greenhouses and various 
cannabis-based products while others offered vacuum-sealing machines 
or legal firms with expertise in marijuana issues.

Several businesses were selling laboratory equipment, including 
testing and analysis machines and expensive carbon dioxide extraction 

At one table, a woman promoted a headhunting service for people with 
cannabis-oriented skill sets. Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, 
the Libertarian Party presidential nominee and longtime advocate for 
marijuana legalization, delivered a brief address to the attendees on 
Thursday. Keith Stroup, the founder of the National Organization for 
the Reform of Marijuana Laws, and Leonard Marshall, a former NFL 
defensive lineman, also spoke.

The conference was open to the public, and organizers said attendees 
were mostly people looking to get into the marijuana business at some level.

"People come here to learn, and they leave with new ideas," Humiston said.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom