With the hype of cannabidiol, or CBD, comes an industry-wide debate on what practices and processes result in the best CBD. There’s a debate on the best methods to extract the compound from cannabis or hemp—to use carbon dioxide, or ethanol, or a cold-pressed method. And then a debate on the best delivery method; do tinctures help users more, or do edibles?
A unique cannabis industry conference is coming to Newark on Nov. 15 and Nov. 16, and six industry pros there will go head-to-head in an equally unique event: a CBD cage match.
“Everyone’s so opinionated about which CBD type and process is the best. This is a hot topic on all the forums because this is an area that we have a little science behind,” said Gary George, who founded the Real Cannabis Entrepreneur Conference with his wife.
In its inaugural year, the Real Cannabis Conference aims to be different than the other conferences out there. Event creation has been a large portion of George’s digital marketing business, and after putting on events for other people’s businesses, his wife said: “Why keep doing this for everyone else if you’ll never do it for yourself?” The Georges had been to cannabis conferences and found they were no longer learning anything they didn’t know.
“We were searching so hard to find the actionable data [on cannabis] we’re used to in the business world,” he said, “So I said, you know, we’re making the conference we’ve been looking for all this time.
“This is the real how-to. It’s not just like ‘hey, this is what CBD does,’ it’s ‘this is my CBD company, this is how I started distributing, this is how I got my packaging and this is what’s good about it.’ It’s real life individuals in the trenches who have the experience to back it up,” George said.
Another facet of the event, Spark Tank, will allow cannabis businesses to pitch their models and ideas in front of angel investors.
What gets investors excited, he said, is “understanding your numbers.” If a business hopeful doesn’t know how much they’re giving in return for what they’re asking for, investors will look on. Hopefuls need to make sure their idea is unique—“if they’re just doing the regular Joe Schmo, that doesn’t excite investors. They want the Airbnb, the Uber, that idea with 1,000 or 2,000 [times] returns”—and to make sure their pitch deck is succinct and to the point.
This is the real how-to. It’s not just like ‘hey, this is what CBD does,’ it’s ‘this is my CBD company, this is how I started distributing, this is how I got my packaging and this is what’s good about it.’ It’s real life individuals in the trenches who have the experience to back it up.
– Gary George
“It’s putting a delivery in story form. It’s about telling a story,” George said. “You gotta have that beginning, middle, present, and bring it home.”
More than 20 speakers, including New Jersey cannabis industry vet Tara Sargente and George himself, will be presenting over the course of two days.
George will discuss digital marketing for cannabis brands, and how to get around Google and Facebook rules prohibiting paid ads. Sargente, founder of New Jersey’s first legal edibles brand Blazin’ Bakery, will discuss how to launch a successful edibles brand.
There’s one other thing that’s different about this conference than others, he said: “We’re doing it in a way that we’re making it fun,” through interactive networking or interactive participation.
“It’s not just straight information. That’s why we decided to do the CBD cage match. When you have it in a way that we call ‘edgytainment,’ it’ll be a better way for them to absorb information that makes learning fun.”
Tickets for the Real Cannabis Entrepreneur Conference can be purchased online.