Thursday, October 30, 2014

National Cannabis Industry Association Meeting - Denver

The Infused Product and Extraction Symposium
Denver, Colorado
October 27-29, 2014

NCIA Infused Product & Extraction Symposium Meeting, October 27-29, 2014, Denver CO
The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) held a 2 day workshop, symposium and vendor fair in Denber, Colorado - America's poster child for the somewhat successful launch of the legitimate legal cannabis industry. The NCIA is the legal Cannabis Trade Association its meetings are eerily similar to any other trade meetings - for instance, the Institute of Food Technologists annual meeting and trade show I attend annually to stay in contact with graduate school and professional friends.

Colorado legitimized medical cannabis and quite a robust industry including flowers, edible products and extracts blossomed in Colorado. Colorado's approach to legitimizing the recreational side of the market was to give the exiting medical cannabis industry the first chance at licenses under the new recreational system.

NCIA Symposium Registration - Just like any other trade show
Differences in 'medical' versus 'recreational' in Colorado have implications beyond taxation (which are severe). New emergency legislation has capped the extracted/edible serving size of THC at 10 mg per serving. Many 'medical' products have deliver in the 50mg - 100 mg/serving size.This led to a flurry of products such as the Dixie Elixer one series of ultra-low dose products intended for the legal recreational marktet.
 Editors note: future articles will cover the product development and marking implications of the new emergency regulations in Colradao. 

The vendor fair was filled with a mixture of extraction product makers (like Apecks and Eden Labs, product manufacturers (like Dixie Brands) and so many more. Many entrepreneurs were swapping business cards and discussing opportunities and shared interests. Apeks supercritical CO2 extraction systems had a good booth with knowledgeable sales people and relevant samples of processed samples made from hops (the only member of the family Cannabaceae other than Cannabis).

The tour of the Dixie Elixers processing facility was full, but I hear it is like a brew-pub set up where product can be observed during processing from behind a sanintary glass wall. 

The "Science and Sale of Extraction" workshop on Wednesday was disappointingly low on science, but did instill the sense of a need for a disciplined but fun corporate structure approach for the nascent cannabis industry. The representatives from O-Pen Vape who led the symposium avoided all technical questions and at one point said he had "nothing to say" about terpenes or "temperature + pressures" during processing. Unfortunately, this is what I specifically came to Denver to learn, So I was disappointed.

Fortunately  I am in the process of reviewing a surprisingly thorough treatment of extracted products from Ed Rosenthal - perhaps my upcoming review of his newest effort will provide uerful rules of thumb for use of these ever-more-popular formats of cannabis. His treatise will provide an invaluable guide for people who were seeking the kind of information I went to this conference seeking.

I took advantage of time between sessions to go on a 'market walk' of the new recreational stores available to out of town visitors. Although I am a medical patient in the state of Washignton, Coloroda does not have any reciprocity program. Each retail store visited will be discussed in future articles
Frosted Leaf - A VERY high-end cannabis retail store with well graded, quality merchandise!

 Editors note: future articles will cover the specific consumer experience of each of the retail cannabis stores in Denver that we had the opportunity to visit. 

I enjoyed the event and especially enjoyed to opportunity to meet fellow cannabis entrepreneurs from all over. Any attendees of the NCIA event want to weigh in? Please keep us posted.

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