WEED EXPO BUD­DING THIS YEAR

L.A. con­fab takes low-key route af­ter past con­tro­versy

Variety - - Legalization And Entertainment -

Now in its fifth year, the Cannabis World Congress & Busi­ness Expo is re­turn­ing to the Los An­ge­les Con­ven­tion Cen­ter for the third time Sept. 26-29.

Pro­duced by Lead­ing Edge Ex­po­si­tions based in Para­mus, N.J., the CWCBE got its start in New York and has since ex­panded to L.A. and Bos­ton.

Com­pared to last year’s event, which had its share of con­tro­versy when Roger Stone was booked to speak un­til a threat­ened in­dus­try boy­cott re­sulted in his be­ing dis­in­vited, CWCBE’S 2018 lineup is pretty tame. In­dus­try vet­er­ans Steve Dean­gelo and Troy Day­ton kick off the expo with key­notes, fol­lowed by two days of panel dis­cus­sions. Add-on work­shops con­ducted by Clover Leaf Uni­ver­sity, New Fron­tier Data, Mar­i­juana Re­tail Re­port, In­cred­i­bles and Hoban Law Group pro­vide a deeper dive into sub­jects like open­ing a cannabis busi­ness, in­vest­ing, reg­u­la­tions, ex­trac­tion and cul­ti­va­tion.

Two years ago, Melissa Etheridge and Montel Williams brought some celebrity star power to the Expo. This year, the clos­est celeb on the bill is Maya Elis­a­beth, who teamed up with Whoopi Gold­berg to form the cannabis prod­uct line, Whoopi & Maya. Sorry, no Whoopi, though she ap­peared at CWCBE’S last New York event in June. — Steve Bloom

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