MJBiz Conference showcases local cannabis industry, highlights strides, struggles

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — It’s the largest gathering of cannabis business professionals in the world, and it’s happening here in Las Vegas. But as business makes strides, 8 News Now found the industry still has a long way to go here in Nevada.

All things cannabis are front and center at the MJBiz Conference. And while business is booming, the state of Nevada is working to balance the successes and struggles of our local marijuana industry.

“The future is truly unlimited,” remarked Cassandra Farrington, CEO and co-founder of MJBizDaily.

From pot products to high-tech tools, cannabis companies are making major moves with marijuana. But change comes with challenges.

“The fundamental backbones of the business landscape that are required to really have a thriving business environment just aren’t quite there yet,” said Farrington.

Nevada has its own specific issues, too. Earlier this year, a judge froze the permit process for potential new businesses while the state works on a new system. This stems from lawsuits where companies rejected from getting licenses claimed the process was unfair.

“I think it’s ahead of other states,” noted Jay Matos, founder of Jay Matos Consulting.

Experts said Nevada is still on the right track, especially with the governor’s task force created to enforce regulations.

“He’s putting infrastructure and a new framework in place in order to improve the industry,” said Matos.

Priscilla Vilchis, the first Latina in Nevada awarded marijuana licenses and CEO of Premium Produce, said another problem is a lack of diversity in ownership.

“I believe once we become federally legit, minorities will be able to take out loans from banks,” she said, “and, you will see a big thrust of minorities into the cannabis space.”

The goal is to boost all these businesses. Farrington said it ultimately comes down to what she thinks is the real solution: federal legalization.

For those who want to attend, the MJBiz Conference runs now through Friday.

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