[RKS Partner Steve Hecht is currently at MJBizCon, the largest Cannabis business conference in the US.]
The diversity of businesses and business lines here at MJBizCon is one of the first things that hits you. While cannabis itself is sometimes thought of as either an agricultural business or a retail business, the reality is it’s both and much more. Here exhibitors ranging from agricultural machinery to varied service providers in the accounting, law, insurance and consulting space sit side by side. What’s particularly notable is that basically every one of these businesses – those directly in the cannabis space and those serving them – sit within a regulatory grey area. That grey area, reflecting classic federalism at its core, appears to underlie how every business here does its work. Issues of interstate commerce (usually the stuff of law school exams) are not hypothetical but a very real, day-to-day phenomenon for these businesses.
Additionally, the energy at the convention speaks to a growing market and one that is seeing horizontal and vertical expansion. It’s worth noting that valuation issues are front and center for the investors and business people we have met so far.
Further updates tomorrow.