It’s back to the future when it comes to business development and innovation in the cannabis technology space. With in-person business gatherings returning, several readers have asked “Where can I meet cannabis technology influencers?”
The cannabis industry is relatively young and is built on relationships. Sure, you can use analytics to target certain professional personas but there is one problem with that — we don’t necessarily have the data maturity to mathematically find cannatech influencers (but we’ll get there as more cannabis professionals divulge their experience and skills on social media platforms like LinkedIn). In the old days, we did business the old-fashioned way, hence the “back to the future” reference.
The first step is to review my list of the 200+ most visible cannatech Influencers in the June 2021 issue of Marijuana Venture magazine (the complete list is hosted at www.420msp.com under the Analysis menu). This interactive listing links to each influencer’s LinkedIn profile, so be sure to connect with these individuals and mention you saw the list in Marijuana Venture magazine.
The framework for finding, meeting and greeting cannatech influencers is three buckets: Events, Trade Associations/Groups and Magazine/Blogs. What follows is a summary list for each bucket. You can see the full lists online at bit.ly/420meetinginfluencers.
The No. 1 way to meet cannatech influencers are in-person events (which as of this writing, are rapidly returning). I reached out to Ali Fakhri, CEO of EventHi, a firm that is known as the world’s first cannabis ticketing platform that allows people to discover events, buy tickets, secure sponsorships and more. Fakhri supplemented my research by taking the June 2021 list of canna-tech influencers and running that list against well-known cannabis business events to come up with three top events for meeting cannabis technology professionals: MJBizCon, Cannabis World Congress & Business Expo and Marijuana Venture’s RAD Expo (with its technology track, “Retail Vision”).
It’s a time-tested, old-school formula. Participating in trade groups “just works” in growing your business and network of influencers. For the cannabis industry, these groups include the National Cannabis Industry Association, the Retail Solution Providers Association and dozens of other national, state and municipal organizations across the country.
Why should you care what magazines and blogs cannatech influencers read and bookmark? There are three answers. Thought leaders across all industries stay current as voracious readers. A simple example is that billionaire Warren Buffet reads for several hours each morning. My second point is that perhaps you want to establish yourself as an influencer, so starting reading as much as you can to become an authority in the space. And third, when you meet a leading cannabis technology professional, you have something to talk about if you’ve read the same content.
Again, please see the online collection of events, trade associations/trade groups and magazines and blogs to help you schmooze with the leading canna-tech experts. And if my three lists are missing anything, please let me know and I’ll update them.