Industry Trends, Investment Tips, and Takeaways From Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference

The Benzinga buzz is still going! We had a productive trip to Benzinga in Hollywood, FL doing on-site interviews for Market Like A Badass with our Season 4 media sponsor, Strike Visuals.

Attending the cannabis capital conference for the first time was an eye opening experience. The format took a departure from traditional conferences or expos to provide more time for meeting and networking. I also had the honor of interviewing industry leaders on site through Market Like A Badass podcast to hear unique perspectives and tips and tricks for navigating the industry.

The cannabis industry is at a pivotal moment, with rescheduling efforts gaining momentum and new markets opening up across the globe. Leaders at the conference highlighted several key trends.

Here is a recap of the insights, trends, and tips that I took away from the conference:

Market Expansion: With more states and countries moving towards legalization, the potential for growth is enormous. Companies are positioning themselves to enter new markets and capture market share. Brands like Kiva are taking first mover advantage to get in front of these new consumers with the hemp-derived version of their classic edibles. 

Product Innovation: From edibles to wellness products, innovation in cannabis products continues to thrive. Companies are innovating products but also creating ways to appeal to new consumer segments. Brands like It’s All About Choices are bringing unique products to market like infused spices, infused ice cubes, and more. 

THC Beverages: All the buzz was around the boom of the hemp beverage category. Hemp and cannabis companies are not at heads, but enjoying opportunities to create new consumer segments that will uplift the entire industry. Low-dose beverages are getting canna curious shoppers purchasing THC products and growing the overall market of cannabis consumers. 

Capital Raising: From an investment perspective, there are still many holes in the market that are making it challenging for business owners to secure capital, especially for social equity companies. According to Scott Delgado at Hawkeye Capital Markets, There is currently a hole in the market for de-novo buildout projects, for example someone wins a license to build out an expensive $15-20mm facility, that capital is very hard to find. Other than maybe wealthy individuals or rich aunts and uncles via a friends and family raise, there is not really any institutional capital making these investments given the additional risk associate with new buildouts. Until that hole gets filled, its going to lead to a competitive advantage for established operators and public MSOs who can tap the public equity markets for funds or leverage cash flow from existing operations, making it harder for the social equity and less well healed mom & pop entrepreneurs.”

What I Enjoyed Most About Benzinga

Beyond learning the trends, it’s important to get ROI and unique opportunities from the events we attend. Here is what I liked most about the event:

Networking: We loved the emphasis on networking and meeting new faces! Being able to schedule high impact meetings throughout the day and have the space to conveniently meet up was exceptional.

Innovative Format: The format of the event truly stood out. By prioritizing networking and interactions, Benzinga offered a refreshing departure from traditional conference setups. It was refreshing to see a focus on meaningful connections rather than just presentations or trade show displays.

Industry Insights: Despite some hiccups with approved speakers, the event still delivered valuable industry insights and perspectives. The hemp beverage panel had everyone buzzing! It was great to stay informed about the latest trends and developments.

Accommodating Staff: Cori and other staff members were working so hard the entire time to put this event on. They even accommodated space for Market Like A Badass podcast to record.

We would love to continue dialogue around creating a safer space for our female and BIPOC community and platforming the right speakers. Overall though, the event was a success and it was fantastic meeting so many incredible industry professionals that are working hard to move the industry forward. 

To hear some of our live interviews from the floor of Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference, check out out Season 4 bonus episodes here:

Ian Dominguez – Delta Emerald Ventures


Kristi Palmer – Kiva

Co-Founder & President

Seth Yakatan – Katan Associates


Author Profile

Kristin is the Founder and CEO of The Source Marketing Group. The marketing agency is focused on elevating female-, veteran-, and minority-owned businesses in the cannabis and craft beer space.