New York Marijuana Expo Connects Those Interested in Industry

Could marijuana be New York’s next big business? Exhibitors from all ends of that emerging industry were in Times Square Sunday to show off their wares. NY1’s Jon Weinstein filed the following report. When you hear Cannabis Convention, you may not expect a business trade show—but that’s really what the 2014 East Coast International Cannabis Conference and Regulatory Summit is. “There’s way more than growing weed and selling pot. There’s so many businesses, and there’s billions and billions of dollars to be made,” says Dan Humiston, President of the International Cannabis Association.

The conference’s main goal is to change the perception of the marijuana industry. It starts with speeches, focused on science and the medicinal benefits of marijuana. “What I will be talking about is what I think is a very promising approach for the future in using specific cannabanoids that have specific targets,” says Temple University’s Ronald Tuma. Every kind of support product for marijuana was at the show—from the lighting to grow it, to the machine that turns marijuana into oil, to the vaporizer equipment to smoke it.

“This machine, particular machine, you can put up to a half pound of cannibus in it, in here, and about a four hour process, and then you’ll get an oil,” says Shawn Litterini of Apeks Supercritical. “The patients are going to be using vaporizers to consume their medicines, so we hope that business is going to improve for us,” says Sunny Yadiv, who owns a vaporizer business. New York State’s medical marijuana law is one of the most restrictive in the nation.

When legal distribution begins in 2016, only a few outlets will be able to dispense the drug— and smoking it will still be forbidden. State Senator Diane Savino sponsored the legislation and attended a fundraiser some attendees threw for her. “We set up the regulations, we do it the right way and we will be the model for the rest of the nation,” Savino says.

What’s clear is that legal marijuana use nationwide is expanding, and everyone is trying to cash in—even bakers. “They’re going to have edibles allowed—recreational and medical—and they need ingredients to make them,” says Sally Baybutt of Sparrow Enterprises. Of course, there’s nobody actually selling marijuana here. That would still be illegal in New York State. But there are a whole lot of people here hoping that one day, that won’t be the case.

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