Weed, like sex and pretty much everything else in life, is best when shared. Whether it’s a one-on-one over a joint or a drum circle with a communal hookah, the act of consuming marijuana improves with company.

Marijuana ExpoWhich is probably one reason why cannabis expositions have become so popular in recent years. Almost anywhere pot is legal (or even semi-legal), there are expos – big expos, small expos, famous expos, obscure expos.

The big ones are well known: HempFest, the Cannabis Cup, the Emerald Cup. Organized gatherings of stoners can be found almost anywhere weed is tolerated. And there are even festivals in some places where it isn’t, such as the Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Fest in Wisconsin.

CWCB Expo provides networking opportunities for entrepreneurs

But not every expo gets big press. Some focus exclusively on marijuana entrepreneurs and industry professionals. The Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition, which meets in Los Angeles in September, is one example that brings together providers from all corners of the business.

What you’ll see at a cannabis expo will vary widely depending on where you are. The High Times Cannabis Cup moves across the country throughout the year, but the key event is in Denver. At these parties, exceptionally good weed is plentiful and everyday stoners are encouraged to take part.

HempFest largest outdoor marijuana gathering

Marijuana ExpoHempFest, in Seattle, is another example of a user-oriented expo. It’s widely considered the largest outdoor pot gathering in America, if not the world. There are others, including the Emerald Cup, which pits organic strains against each other for prizes.

But many expos are geared toward a more button-down crowd. That’s true of the Cannabis World Congress, where features include speeches, seminars, exhibits, and networking opportunities for legal cannabis providers.

Some expos even try to fly under the radar. Police in Las Vegas recently busted several people for pot possession outside an annual conference there. Cannabis use is common at most weed expos, but in these places it’s kept in the shadows.

Rules more relaxed in legal states

Of course, an expo in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, or the District of Columbia is a different story. There all adults may partake, though there may be rules against open consumption in public places.

The biggest events tend to happen in Colorado, Washington, and California, where medical marijuana is legal and widely available. Once a cultural novelty that delivered a contact high to various cities on occasion, the marijuana expo is now an economic staple of the American West.

These gatherings are also a critical means for growers, distributors, and retailers to meet and form partnerships. Where once cannabis networking meant finding a good black-market connection and selling the stuff on the street, it’s now an organized, legal, efficient way to reap profit from America’s new favorite plant.

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