Inside look at what's creating a buzz at marijuana business conference

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Las Vegas is the center of the cannabis industry this week.  The marijuana Industry Conference is at the Las Vegas Convention Center through Friday, and the gathering of attendees so far has been record-setting.

A total of 30,000 vendors, business owners, and investors flocked to the convention to see what will be big in 2019. "I spend a lot of time in D.C. and I can tell you the tide has turned," said Brady Cobb, the CEO of Sol Global Investments.

Cobb's firm just made a nine-figure investment to get into the medical marijuana industry in Florida. He said their investment was a no-brainer.

"This is the fastest-growing industry, arguably, in the United States, arguably in the world, now with Europe opening up," Cobb proclaimed. "You don't see this many people waiting in line for all of this time to get in with a lot of suits and ties for an industry that's not really running." 

Industry insiders say a lot of that money will go towards tech upgrades at cultivation facilities to maximize how much marijuana is grown.  That includes "smart" growing systems like the one by Urban-Gro, which tracks a number of conditions minute-by-minute on a plant-by-plant basis.

"The operating system makes a decision, send water out, irrigate, increase the fan speed above only those benches that are affected, decrease the light levels only over those benches," said Brad Nattrass, CEO of Urban-Gro. Along with consolidation and new tech, pot lounges are right on the cusp as well.

Priscilla Vilchis is awaiting a license for a lounge she has in West Hollywood. She says she plans to diversify what is now just a cultivation and production business here in Nevada.

"It'll probably be first in the City of Las Vegas, they're working out the details as we speak, so we definitely plan on applying as well in our home state," Vilchis said.  With the latest state tax revenues reaching record-highs, growth will continue to be a theme in Nevada for 2019.

The marijuana business convention continues to expand as well.  It's already the largest cannabis industry conference in the world, and next year, organizers plan to take up a second hall at the convention center.


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