The Passion Driving Cannabis Entrepreneurs

Just before Thanksgiving, Senior Managing Editor Vin Narayanan and I attended MJBizCon, the largest U.S. cannabis industry conference. There were more than 25,000 cannabis entrepreneurs and enthusiasts in Las Vegas for the show.

The conference sessions were informative, and I learned quite a lot. But the real value of attending came from networking with the industry insiders in the exhibition hall, which was packed with hundreds of companies from all corners of the industry: extraction, lighting tech, distribution, packaging, pest control, testing and more.

Most of the businesses I spoke with are growing quickly. This was to be expected, with more places legalizing cannabis on a near-monthly basis.

But what really struck me was the passion everyone displayed for this industry. The only other place where I’ve seen anything like it is the crypto space.

One cannabis grower I talked with, Joe (not his real name), shared his amazing story with me. Some years ago, Joe broke his back in a biking accident. His injuries required surgery, and he ended up with titanium pins and rods supporting his spine. Thankfully he could walk, but chronic pain became a long-term problem.

Like many Americans in this situation, Joe was prescribed painkillers. And he became addicted to them. He struggled to stay employed, and his life was spiraling out of control.

A concerned family member suggested he try cannabis for pain relief. He was skeptical, but figured it was worth a shot. His home state had recently legalized medical marijuana, so he started educating himself on THC and CBD, the two compounds in cannabis that are believed to provide the bulk of pain relief.

Eventually Joe found cannabis products that relieved his pain. And because of this, he was able to kick the painkillers for good. Cannabis transformed his life.

Today Joe runs an impressive (and fully legal) cannabis operation. He has a few thousand square feet of grow space, is doing his own extraction and has a growing line of products.

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