Assessing the industry after MJBizCon 2022

March 16, 2023
Security solutions providers shouted loud and proud at the cannabis industry’s largest event

When reviewing the MJBizCon conference/exhibit which was in Las Vegas last November and saw over 35,000 attendees and more than 1,400 exhibitors, the security industry was well represented. MJBizCon, which celebrated its 11th anniversary, is the largest event in the cannabis industry and gathers security integrators, vendors and consultants from across the world to Las Vegas for a week full of walking the tradeshow floor, listening to educational sessions, and attending on-site and off-site networking events.

“This year's MJBizCon had a much better turnout than last year! There were even more exhibitors and attendees than I could have imagined,” said Haley Glover, Senior Security Consultant for Sapphire Risk Advisory Group, a cannabis security consultancy that sponsored two after-parties at MJBizCon 2022 and has been in attendance at the annual event for over a decade. “This show is one of the best simply for the fact that people from all over travel to attend MJBiz. It's a centralized meet-up for cannabis professionals and you finally have an opportunity to meet face-to-face with clients, partners, vendors, and friends you work with within the industry.”

Many cannabis security companies chose to exhibit at MJBizCon and were assigned a booth in the Las Vegas Conference Center’s South Lower Hall. Though MJBizCon had not previously organized booth assignments by business type, 2022’s event designated booth placement in categories. This change appeared to be well-received by both exhibitors and attendees alike who found it easier to locate businesses within the different sectors of the industry.

“Hanwha’s booth had non-stop traffic throughout the show. Security plays a major role in cannabis and we have more and more operators looking to go far beyond the minimum security standards needed for compliance,” said Kevin Brown, Cannabis Business Development Manager for Hanwha Techwin America. “The industry is constantly evolving and MJBizCon is an excellent forum to hear from operators on what challenges they're facing and what new technology or capabilities they want.”

“[MJBizCon] is a great show with heavy attendance,” said William Nelson, VP of Sales for Securitech, a security exhibitor at 2022’s conference and one of the nation’s leading high-security door hardware manufacturers. “We had a great location on the main aisle and attendees were eager to visit and learn about how our locking systems protect cannabis facilities!”

“The show was big but well-organized and well-run. It offered a great opportunity for both vendors and attendees to learn about the latest developments in the cannabis market and see its ongoing maturation,” said David Almasi, VP of Retail Sales for 3SI Security Systems, a world leader in asset protection systems. “Part of the market's maturation is a growing awareness of the need for security and the value it actually adds to a business. It was encouraging that the attendees were eager to learn more - and how much they cared about protecting not just their assets but, more importantly, their people.”

In addition to cannabis security companies that have been attending MJBizCon for multiple years, there were also some in attendance for the first time.

“As a new company, it was the perfect event to meet with industry leaders and future partners in growing our business of protecting the retailers, manufacturers, and growers,” said Mike Egel, President of Density USA, a provider of anti-intrusion fogging security systems. “I had quite a number of conversations regarding security with show exhibitors and attendees alike.”

“We did not exhibit but walked the floor [and] I was able to meet many of the faces I have met online and learn more about the industry’s innovations, as well as set up meetings with both clients and partners,” said Shane Gallagher, Business Development Manager for Kastle Systems, a leader in managed security systems.

Some of the companies attending MJBizCon for the first time also opted to exhibit on the tradeshow floor so that they could showcase their brands and products in-person to industry professionals at the industry’s largest conference.

“This was our first show and thus far we believe it was definitely beneficial, but time will tell!” said Cookie Tanney, owner of The Safe Gal. “Lots of great people who were very impressed by our products - which was very, very encouraging as a new company.” 

In addition to exhibiting at MJBizCon, some companies also sponsored off-site events, such as breakfasts, cocktail hours, or after-parties. These off-site events are becoming a staple of MJBizCon, and many industry professionals attribute these events to generating some of the most valuable conversations of the week. 

“3SI co-hosted an event with COVA, Sapphire Risk, and Hanwha Techwin. The benefit of an event like this is that you meet people ‘off the floor’ and can just enjoy getting to know and understand them,” said David Almasi. “It doesn't have to be all business - having fun builds camaraderie and trust, and that's a great way to grow professional relationships.”

“Hosting a party was both amazing and exhausting!” said Haley Glover. “MJBiz alone is extremely tiring with all of the networking and socializing, but extremely rewarding - so having the opportunity to take part in hosting a party was great, but again, exhausting! Clients and vendors were able to come to hang out and enjoy a cocktail with our team in a different setting than usual!”