A successful launch.

Three years after its inception, Cannabis Business Times—the top source of cultivation information and news for the cannabis industry—launched its own educational conference and trade show, titled the “Cannabis 2017: Cultivation Conference,” to better serve the educational needs of the cannabis cultivation market. Hundreds of attendees packed into the Marriott in Oakland, Calif., March 21-23 to learn from industry leading experts and vendors at CBT’s inaugural event.

The education program kicked off with a look at how the industry is shaping itself, and what changes and developments we might expect in the not-too-distant future. Nic Easley, Founder and CEO of Comprehensive Cannabis Consulting (3C) moderated the panel, while Michigan-based attorney Matthew Abel, the Cannabis Certification Council’s Ben Gelt, and Joshua Kappel, a partner at Vicente Sederberg, explored the emerging cultivation market, and state regulations’ impact on businesses. (Spoiler alert: their impact is massive).

Day 2 started with a history lesson from Berkeley Patients Group Vice President Etienne Fontan. He keynoted the day’s first session and discussed his experience working with sick and ailing Californians during the early years of medical cannabis in the Golden State.

But it was all hands on deck for the following keynote panel discussion on the major challenges facing the cannabis industry. Industry leaders Brooke Gehring (FGS, Inc.), Jesce Horton (Panacea Valley Gardens/Saints Cannabis), Tom Schultz (Connecticut Pharmaceutical Solutions), Jim Ott (Precision Cultivation Company) and Debby Goldsberry (Magnolia Wellness) presented a candid discussion about what business owners can do to move the industry forward, including doing something that illicit growers have tried to avoid for years: be transparent.

“It always starts with one key principle: You walk into a bank and you tell them exactly what you’re doing,” Debby Goldsberry, executive director of Oakland’s Magnolia Wellness dispensary, said. “‘I’m a marijuana business, and I’d like an account.’ And if you don’t do that you’re already violating the law.”

Building on the work of Cannabis Business Times magazine, the “Cannabis 2017: Cultivation Conference” aimed to answer every cultivator’s questions and address every business owner’s concerns about operating in this fast-paced environment. Other sessions included: ways to increase yield, facility automation, facility design (for both indoor and greenhouse operations), OSHA compliance, creating SOPs, and much, much more.

Cultivators who attended Cannabis Business Times’ inaugural “Cannabis Cultivation Conference” received the best information available from the industry’s top experts and influencers. With so many pitfalls, hurdles and risks that come with operating in the cannabis industry, attendees agreed this is a can’t-miss conference.