The inaugural National Cannabis Industry Association's Infused Products and Extraction Symposium kicked off last night with a cocktail reception and networking event; today, the symposium started in earnest with two different tracks for attendees. "This is an area of the industry that's creating a lot of conversations right now," says NCIA deputy director Taylor West, "so the timing is great for this. And it'll be a great opportunity for people in that sector to compare notes about how they're planning for the complicated regulatory future."
West says that after the first-ever NCIA national conference in June, the organization started brainstorming sector-specific events for members. "A lot of our members are pretty experienced," notes West, "and the Cannabusiness 101 lectures are too simple for them. So we wanted to start creating some events that allow for a deep dive into parts of the industry that are important -- and infused products is obviously a large and rapidly growing sector of the industry."
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There are two tracks available to attendees; one focuses on infused and extraction manufacturing, the other on branding, regulation and retail topics. "Regulation is a huge issue for infused product makers," West says. "It's an area where there's a lot of change happening in terms of branding and marketing, too. So it seemed like there was a lot of potential for people who already have an infused-product business and understand the basics. We wanted to get into issues that are at the next level."
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And the regulatory aspects of the symposium aren't necessarily state-specific, either. "The intention with the regulatory panels is to be forward-looking," West explains. "We're looking at what's been going on in Colorado and Washington and using that as a basis to say to people in other states, 'Here are the developments and trends we're expecting to see, and if you're developing a business, here are some things you should assume might be required soon."