Photos: Colorado Cannabis Summit -- and how the pot biz is like Game of Thrones
"We're building a plane while we're flying it."
Photo by Jamie Swinnerton More photos below.
That's how Shellene Suemori, head of science at Dixie Elixirs, a locally based enfused beverage maker, describes the cannabis industry in Colorado. Since recreational dispensaries first opened their doors in January, marijuana entrepreneurs have been exploring new ideas in business, technology and science -- and the first Colorado Cannabis Summit was created to bring together the numerous areas of the industry to discuss them.
More than 300 vendors, growers, lab directors, experts and entrepreneurs visited the Exdo Event Center during yesterday's summit. The panels and speaker presentations were broken up by short intervals for food and networking, and each attendee was given a goody bag, in a distinct shade of green, full of information about sponsors and presenters.
Jamie Swinnerton Brian Seifried, mayor of Garden City.
Stan Wagner, founder and director of outcomes for Red Thread creative group, started organizing the summit in January. "There seemed to be a lot of questions from dispensaries, and also from businesses that serve them," Wagner says. "We thought this would be a good opportunity, almost as a check-in, after retail went live."
To kick off the day-long summit, Brian Seifried, the mayor of Garden City, explained how the small population of his town was learning to not only adapt to the cannabis businesses that had moved in, but also thrive. Since MMJ dispensaries started opening there five years ago, they've become part of the community, Seifried said.
Presenters also offered practical advice. KC Stark, CEO of MMJ Business Academy, detailed the necessary steps for starting a serious marijuana business able to compete in the harsh market. Dedication and good planning were necessary for survival, he said, comparing starting a legitimate cannabis business to the popular yet bloody TV show Game of Thrones. In his words, "Tricky doesn't last. Smart does."
Photo by Jamie Swinnerton
Continue for more about the first-ever Colorado Cannabis Summit.