Pubdate: Thu, 05 Oct 2017
Source: Boston Globe (MA)
Copyright: 2017 Globe Newspaper Company
Author: Martin Finucane


Organizers of the Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition say
they expect more than 2,000 people at the event Thursday and Friday at
the John B. Hynes Convention Center in Boston.

It's the first time this particular exposition has come to town. The
organizers also held events this year in New York and Los Angeles.

"We are planting our flag here," said Dan Humiston, an organizer of
the show.

"We anticipate the New England area is going to be the next big market
for the industry. All the tea leaves say this part of the country will
take off."

The event included more than 100 educational sessions with 150
speakers, Humiston said.

Humiston said there were already 150,000 jobs in the industry, mostly
on the West Coast, but "they're coming this way."

The exposition hall floor included a wide range of booths for
businesses related to the marijuana industry.

One company offered shiny science fiction-looking devices that turn
marijuana into oil. Another was a staffing agency for marijuana
industry jobs. Another booth was set up with microphones for Cannabis
Talk 101 FM radio.

"For every dispensary, there are probably four or five ancillary
businesses," Humiston said.

Massachusetts voters legalized the recreational use of marijuana in a
ballot referendum in November.

"One reason why we do a show is so we can demonstrate to people that
this is just like your next-door neighbor could be in this industry
right now," Humiston said. "It's a legitimate industry and there are
people that are really benefiting from this."

"It has changed from being in the shadows . . . to a very professional
industry. This is mainstream now," said Humiston, a slim, balding man
in blazer and loafers who wouldn't look out of place in a financial
firm's office.

Steve Johnson, Eastern Seaboard representative for Advanced Nutrients,
a company that specializes in fertilizer for the marijuana industry,
said Cannabis World Congress is one of many marijuana expositions that
are being held around the country as the industry grows. So far this
year he's been to 50 or 60, he said.

"This is more of a suit-and-tie atmosphere," he said. "It's one of the
more professional ones."

Still, some conference attendees didn't give their names. One
explained, "That's the thing. It's illegitimate going legitimate. . .
. It's still kind of shady."

Matthew Andrus was attending because he works as a horticultural
specialist for Arborjet, a company that offers organic pest management
products to the marijuana industry, among other clients.

"The more growers there are, the more problems come up with the crops,
and the more poor decisions people make to fix that," he said. "The
value of the crop is so high that people don't want to let it succumb
to insects."

Will Read, founder of CannaPlanners, a design and Web development firm
that works with people in the marijuana industry, spiced up his booth
by showing off and offering tastes of hemp honey, made by one of his
clients, Luce Farm of Stockbridge, Vt.

The honey contained CBD, not THC, he said. CBD is also found in
marijuana but it is not psychoactive and some claim it has health benefits.

While there may have been no strange smell in the air in the
convention hall, the taste was definitely there - in a dab of the sweet goo.
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