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    Great things that happened during a messed up year

    Sigh. 2021 is finally coming to a close. While we all made ‘pandemic crazy’ our normal this year, it wasn’t quiet by any means. Most entrepreneurs took this year to catapult into something new, or something they’d always wanted to test out. Maybe it was multiple locations, moving across state lines or investing in a state on the brink of an expanded cannabis program? Maybe you doubled your sales and team and decided to move into a larger space with better foot traffic. Or maybe you and your partners finally took the plunge, secured some solid investors and went after your first retail cannabis license. 2020 gave us the kick in the pants we needed to make those scary jumps in ‘21. I’m not saying I want a repeat of last year- no thank you. But a lot of GOOD did come from it. At least three great things pertaining to the cannabis industry come to mind.

    Stay with me here.

    Conventions hop back on our calendars! MjBizCon, Hall of Flowers, State Hemp conventions, and many many more- most back in full swing with a few Covid precautions. Great to get out, see and hear leaders in our industry educate and connect. This was definitely something we were all missing last year. Maybe you’re new to the cannabis industry and not sure where to get on the signup list for info on events and conferences happening near you? NisonCo has put together a handy list for 2022- you can check it out here. Melinda went to the Texas Hemp Convention in Dallas two weeks ago and had a really great time connecting with some amazing people. Attendance definitely was down from two years ago , but so many new entrepreneurs and brands attended. It’s a great way to put faces to names, make industry connections and sample and see new products and the inventive ways people are using the plant. We will definitely be putting more events on our calendars in 2022.

    Texas Hemp Convention, Main Stage Speaker Panel Industry Leaders

    States Reform Act. The States Reform Act is hot on the press, just introduced last week.

    “Freshman Rep. Nancy Mace, South Carolina Republican, during a news conference Monday introduced the States Reform Act, which would federally decriminalize cannabis and regulate the substance similarly to how alcohol is regulated while instituting a 3% excise tax on cannabis products.”

    Yes, there are some big compromises that will happen with the bill, but I like that a rookie, female member of congress will be the one to get it done. And putting politics back into it, she is a Republican. It doesn’t have a chance at passing without bipartisan support so having the bill presented by a Republican leader is a good thing. It feels good to finally see a shot at a passable legalization proposal. Concessions and compromise? Of course, but the public is ready for an end to cannabis prohibition. Sixty-eight percent of U.S. adults said they approve legalizing cannabis. We like seeing progress in the law that everyone has been fighting for so long.

    The third “great thing” we noticed in 2021 was the expansion of Consumption Space licensing. We have started getting inquiries for consumption spaces in multiple states, fine tuned for a luxury experience. They are blowing the small, dark & hazy smoke shops of the past out of the water with amazing refinement and extremely high tech equipment and mechanical systems. We are especially happy to see everyone’s commitment to elevating not only the experience, but the connotation behind consumption lounges and restaurants. And, we love designing them. It’s fun to create unique spaces where you overlap and blur the lines between retail, hospitality and restaurant design while still maintaining the vibe of and energy of the branded space. New locations are popping up throughout CO, CA and NV and we hope to see, and design, more and more over the next year. We’ve talked about elevating the cannabis culture at great length and we see a huge opportunity to do the same for new, emerging consumption spaces.

    The great things that happened in 2021 may not seem to affect all of us in the industry immediately, but eventually they really will. Having federal legalization, more consumption locations in more states and networking conventions in full force benefit everyone from the investors to the farmers and everyone in between. We love the positive uptick this past year that shows us a peek into what is yet to come.