Cannabrand is passionate about defining exactly what it means to be a cannabis user. This was apparent at the first Cannabis World Congress & Business Expo last month in New York City as co-founders Jennifer DeFalco and Olivia Mannix took the stage. From June 17-19, The Javits Center hosted the inaugural CWCBE, which promised to be the East Coast’s biggest cannabis expo, and Cannabrand was more than honored to be a speaker.

As a leading branding agency in the cannabis industry, DeFalco and Mannix have to tread confidently. The theme of their presentation, Changing Minds: Rebranding Cannabis for the Mainstream, is a solid concept in dire need of circulation. Co-founder Jennifer DeFalco explains:

“We wanted to educate people who were looking to get into the industry, or who were interested in cannabis in general, on the importance of changing perceptions surrounding cannabis in order to change policies, and to broaden the demographics of ‘cannabis consumers.’ ”

The discussion covered a range of topics, including the media’s current outlook and perception of marijuana users as “hedonistic,” how cannabis companies can and should responsibly advertise in a way that doesn’t dumb down or over sexualize their products, and marketing compliance tips for the Tri-State area (courtesy of iComply). Also included were proprietary consumer insights and data supplied by cannabis market research firm, Brightfield Group.

In addition to sponsoring lanyards for the CWCBE, Cannabrand also co-sponsored an after party. DeFalco describes the guests as having been “a really great mix of industry veterans, and people looking to get into the cannabis space. Everyone from activists, marketers, investors, and even a few doctors were mingling, learning from each other.”


So, what were Cannabrand’s takeaways from the Cannabis World Congress & Business Expo? According to DeFalco and Mannix:

1) There are layers of industries within the industry. The cannabis space is evolving so rapidly; Just walking around the expo, we saw innovative products being developed that service both the medicinal and recreational sectors, and everything in between.

2) Everyone wants to get involved, somehow. We met lawyers, doctors, scientists, marketing professionals, who are all interested in cannabis and who want to break into the industry while it’s still in its (relative) infancy.

3) Activists, growers, and industry veterans are leading the way. It was great to see people who have been working in the industry for so long, excited to share their experience and knowledge with newcomers. There was a general understanding that in order for policies to change and advance, we all need to work together. After all, rising tides raise all ships.

Bookmark the Cannabrand blog, The CannaBuzz, and visit often for even more elevated conversation. “Like” Cannabrand on Facebook and head over to to contact Jennifer and Olivia.

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