By Ali Shana
On Saturday Feb. 8, Shepherd Express hosted the first ever annual Wisconsin Cannabis Expo. Over 3,000 cannabis enthusiasts came to the Wisconsin Center to learn about the cannabis, CBD and hemp industry.
For business people, the event was a networking opportunity riddled with dispensaries, growers, processors, testers, operators, and investors. Consumers had over 150 exhibits to browse, almost all of them sampling and selling cannabis products.
“It’s so rare to have all these different professions in the hemp industry in one place,” said Ben Skoworonek, sales representative for PDX CBD. “I think events like these solidify what many young people have always known – that cannabis will be legal. It’s no longer a taboo niche interest.”
Nate Wyllie, PDX CBD partner, explains how significant the expo is to industry workers. “In the past, if there was a networking event, it was hosted by one retailor,” said Wyllie. “But events like these are a chance for all businesses to promote their products.”
Perhaps the most impressive element of the exposition was the sheer amount of information presented.
Two stages simultaneously held discussion panels with experts on the medicinal application of cannabis, legalization, social justice, hemp harvesting, and other cannabis interests. Afterwards, experts answered questions from the audience.
These discussion panels included academic and industry experts, but also a select bunch of WI legislatures. Rep. Melissa Sargent and Rep. Mary Felzowski shared the stage to discuss the pathway for legalizing medical marijuana in Wisconsin. Later, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes and Rep. Sargent shared a stage with former Edgewater, CO mayor Kris Teegardin and trial attorney Terry Polich to discuss full recreational legalization.
This expo is the start of a rich yearly tradition that will evolve alongside the legal status of cannabis in Wisconsin. Visit wicannabisexpo.com for more information on the event.