A Hemp Journey through the Benzinga Cannabis Conference

There I was, at the heart of the Benzinga Cannabis Conference, surrounded by thriving innovators, seasoned investors, and legions of the curious, each exploring the expanding universe of cannabis. The buzz in the air was palpable, with anticipation for what many have viewed as a monumental shift in the industry — the rise of hemp-derived products, notably those featuring Delta 8.

With every step through the aisles of the exhibition floor, I could feel the charge of a market continuing its transformation. Exhibitors displayed an array of products, from oils and edibles to tinctures and topicals, each infused with the promise of wellness, some products with and some without the psychoactive effects of traditional THC offerings.

I embarked on this experience not just as a curious observer but as an inquisitive mind, eager to understand the implications of this trend. My thoughts wandered to the frontline warriors of the cannabis industry — the budtenders and dispensary agents. How would they navigate the waters of change brought upon by the array of hemp-derived competitors to traditional THC- products? What questions might they bring into the Sell-SMaRT Responsible Vendor Training offered by my company, Cannabis Trainers?

Drawing from research and interactions at the conference, it became clear that hemp-derived products continue to become a significant market force. This evolution reflects a broader shift in consumer preferences, with a growing segment seeking the therapeutic benefits of cannabis with lighter or limited psychoactive effects.

The legal landscape plays a pivotal role in this narrative. In regions where THC is shackled by legal constraints, hemp-derived products emerge as beacons of hope, offering a viable pathway to wellness. This legal accessibility broadens the consumer base, inviting those who were previously hesitant to explore cannabis’s potential.

Traditional THC-centered businesses are tuning into the shift in the competitive marketplace, many unable to expand their product lines  to encompass hemp-derived offerings due to existing laws.  Yet, this shift brings forth inquiries from consumers while they are purchasing at their dispensaries. They ask about the efficacy and health benefits of hemp-derived products, their legal standing, the presence (or absence) of psychoactive effects, the nuances of usage and dosage, and, importantly, the measures ensuring their quality and safety. The dispensary agents, in keeping with their goal of providing information for a desired wellness experience (while never offering medical advice), underscore the importance of being informed and adaptable.  A recent article from Cannabis Equipment News suggests the newest Farm Bill may change the game even further. Time will tell if both product categories can be sold within dispensaries or even at all.

The Benzinga Cannabis Conference was more than an event; it was a compass pointing towards the future of cannabis — a future where hemp-derived products may stand alongside their marijuana counterparts, addressing the diverse needs and preferences of an expanding audience.

This conference reinforced in me a constant realization — the cannabis industry is ever evolving, driven by innovation, consumer preferences, and legal developments. As we chart our course through these changing tides, staying informed, open-minded, and responsive to consumer inquiries will be paramount. Cannabis Trainers does and will continue to keep our learners educated and compliant as the industry evolves and shifts.

If you are ready to experience the high quality and incredibly engaging content available through our Sell-SMaRT Responsible Vendor Training, check out one of our upcoming courses.

 

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Pictured in Image:

Jeanne Sullivan, Dr. Chanda Macias, Gail Rand, Heather Molloy, Maureen  McNamara

 

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