The first-ever Colorado Cannabis Summit took place Thursday. The Summit gave entrepreneurs and marijuana startups a place to learn how to make it from industry experts.
- Caitlin Hendee
- Digital Producer / Social Engagement Manager- Denver Business Journal
I was pretty disappointed when I walked into the Colorado Cannabis Summit at the Exdo Event Center Thursday, expecting to see a packed room full of entrepreneurs and marijuana startup enthusiasts eager to drink in knowledge of how to get in early on a growing industry.
What I got instead was what I can only describe as a slightly underwhelming feeling — not by the room, which was beautifully decorated with dimly-lit green-lights, fancy-looking table set-ups and business booths, but rather the attendance.
Before an audience that topped out at around 60, KC Stark, owner of Colorado Springs-based MMJ Business Academy, a marijuana business consulting firm, kicked off the event.
> Click the slideshow (above right) to view photos from the event.
Among his other conversation points, which included some step-by-step insights on how to build a marijuana business, Stark said banking is one of the biggest challenges faced by cannabis small businesses, but that it “is coming.”
That was the one that really caught my ear, considering the hot topic marijuana banking has become in recent months.
“Those bankers don’t even know their own damn rules,” Stark said loudly. “We must know the rules.”
He also hurled some accusations in the direction of the feds, saying that since the government takes their money in taxes, marijuana businesses should have every right to bank where they’d like.
“This is the beginning of the end of Prohibition,” he said. “We’re not disappearing. We’re getting louder.”
A panel discussion following Stark’s talk gave businesses insight on marketing, branding, social media and hiring. And while some stuff was probably good insight, I got the impression that while enthusiastic, panelists were a bit nervous.
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Caitlin Hendee is digital producer and social engagement manager for the Denver Business Journal. Email: [email protected] Phone: 303-803-9226.
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