Pictured above: Christine Lanuzzi. Photo courtesy of Christine Lanuzzi.
With a burgeoning industry like that of cannabis, the ceiling of growth appears non-existent. However, with rapid-growth comes a clustered and sometimes confusing situation. While cannabis may seem as simple as growing, smelling and smoking; the business side of it is a complex and branched-out scene.
The industry comes with various aspects including growing, marketing, investing, etc., and requires some type of centralization to benefit everyone.
This is where Christine Lanuzzi, who both runs and directs The Cannabis World Congress and Business Exposition (CWCB), comes in to meet these requirements and bring everyone together.
A Family Legacy
Lanuzzi is no stranger to expositions. In fact, her family has been involved in trade shows for nearly 70 years.
“I come from a family that has been in the trade show industry for many many decades…my father became a press publicist for many trade shows since the 1950s and eventually started to own his own,” explained Lanuzzi.
While most of Lanuzzi’s family was in the trade show business, she started off on her own route. She worked various technical jobs at companies such as ABC Television, ABC Radio Networks, and HBO. Working as an executive, she has led disruptive and progressive businesses of various blue-chip companies since 1987.
“After my father died, I joined my family in late 2014…we ran a couple trade shows in the cannabis space,” she said. “The first ones were held in New York City and Los Angeles in 2015.”
Since then, Lanuzzi stuck with the cannabis-related exposition to this day. The shows are set to resume this year in November.
Taking off in 2015, the CWCB expo is one of the leading forums for business involving the cannabis industry.
The expo is typically located in California, New York and New Jersey annually.
The seventh annual CWCB expo will take place this year from November 4th-6th. The Jacob Javits Convention Center will host the event.
Contrary to many cannabis events, the CWCB focuses more on the business-side of the industry. One of its main goals is unifying the long-list of different sectors within it. If one is involved or wishes to get involved in the industry, then they shouldn’t ignore this expo.
“We built a marketplace so that an industry can grow and have a market to sell to and grow to…and this show is all about that,” said Lanuzzi.
Don’t be Shy
With the social-acceptance of cannabis starting to pick up pace, the expo is focused on the reassurance and comfortability of those interested in getting involved with the expo or industry.
“We didn’t go into this saying there’s a stigma about this. We went into this saying that everyone is welcome…This is the opportunity for new economic land and business,” explained Lanuzzi.
Lanuzzi also commented saying that “many people from our show felt very comfortable. They said when they came in, they felt welcomed. It was professional.”
“There were people who never went to any kind of trade show and were very reserved and on-the-fence to even go to a marijuana shop,” added Lanuzzi. “Once they came in, they came back the next year, they would follow us to the West Coast.”
For nearly seven years, the CWBC is no stranger to those interested in the business-side of the cannabis industry. Much of the CWCB’s initial success according to Lanuzzi was location. With New York being the said business-capital of the world, it was a prime location for the expo to take place. The frequency of the shows also contributed to its success, with three hosted every year.
“It just kept growing and growing. We had over 10,000 attendees in 2019 in New York,” said Lanuzzi. “We had some of the greatest and biggest deals ever happen in our shop.”
Faced with the Pandemic
When the COVID-19 pandemic initially hit the U.S. in 2020, regulations caused many businesses to close their doors. Inevitably, this led to the shut down of venues that would be hosting expos such as the CWCB.
Today, as businesses start to slowly open back up, the CWCB expo will be allowed to thrive once again. Fortunately, the expo hasn’t lost any attention at all, and is expected to be just as successful as the last live expo.
“We’re looking forward to resumption of business, we’re gonna come back to business, we’re gonna have face-to-face meetings and conferences,” said Lanuzzi. “Our exhibitors are looking forward to it. We’re almost sold out.”
Eighteen months later, the expo and its clients are ready to get back to business. The CWCB is always trying to evolve their events, and they are prepared to top their last, despite the pandemic.
“We can start resuming our business, and build it back better,” Lanuzzi said.
Those interested in attending the upcoming CWCB expo can register here.