The Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition rolled into New York City’s Javitz Center, one of three regional shows held annually, and the largest business-to-business cannabis conference on the East Coast. And, it wouldn’t be a Manhattan event if it was without its celebrity drama.
That drama arrived on the second official day of the conference, May 31st, during a midday secret surprise session in the form of Whoopi Goldberg, who joined former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, football player Mike James and NY Gov. Cuomo advisor Alex Bernabe. Whoopi Goldberg who is both a staunch cannabis advocate and entrepreneur with her Whoopi and Maya line of medical cannabis products specifically designed for women.
“Male government officials don’t believe women suffer from period pain enough to add this to the list of qualifying conditions,” Goldberg declared.
During the session, Bernabe revealed that an upcoming New York State report on cannabis, commissioned by Governor Cuomo, was showing positive data in regards to cannabis as a legitimate treatment for opioid addiction.
Montel Williams, a long-time cannabis medical advocate was scheduled to deliver the following day’s keynote address, but had to cancel last minute after he suffered from a health issue during a workout. But, that didn’t deter the crowds or damper the atmosphere on the show floor.
In fact, the call to legalization across the entire Tri-State area has grown louder in recent months. Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey ran and won on legalization and while he has yet to achieve it in his first hundred days, as originally promised, kudos to New Jersey for expanding their medical program and taking up the issue of legalization in the state senate.
Beginning in Jan., Pennsylvania began selling medical marijuana, while Connecticut recently expanded their medical program. And, we have Sex and the City’s Cynthia Nixon to thank for the renewed focus on legalization in New York state, making it front and center in her campaign. In fact, it was received with such enthusiasm by New York constituents that Gov. Cuomo, for the first time, jumped on the legalization bandwagon, and vowed to make it happen in 2018.
On the heels of all of this political activism over cannabis legalization in the New York area, the CWCB Expo was both a hopeful sign of how far we have come and a stark reminder of how much more work needs to be done before many of the exhibitors on the show floor could sell their wares in the nation’s most populated corridor.