U.S. events organizer sets CBD expo in Chicago as it expands scope

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Delta-8 THC and medical mushroom extracts will be in focus at the USA CBD Expo later this month in Chicago as organizer ZJ events expands its format to embrace high-demand alternative adult products in addition to CBD.

A panel including Jody McGinness and Rick Trojan of the Hemp Industries Association, Joseph Smith of law firm Thompson Hine LLP, and Roger Brown of ACS Labs will address “What is Delta-8 and the Blurred Lines of its Legality.” Delta-8 THC, produced from hemp-derived CBD, is an alternative to the more common delta-9 THC derived from marijuana plants.

Scott Frohman of Odyssey Elixir will deliver a session on “The Power of Medical Mushroom Extracts” during the event, the second USA CBD Expo of the year following a show in Atlanta this past June that drew more than 7,000 attendees.

Three packed days

In addition to those presentations, another 26 sessions will explore a wide range of topics related to the CBD business. Nearly 50 speakers will appear during the three-day event set at Chicago’s McCormick Place Oct. 28-30.

U.S.-based ZJ Events said despite the COVID pandemic it continues to invest in marketing and business development as it focuses on expanding content to include alternative products such as delta 8 THC, Kratom, and mushrooms.

“This evolution means reaching out to include thousands of business owners who are also expanding to include products outside of the scope of previous versions of the show,” ZJ said in a press release. The company said it is well positioned to take advantage of that expansion based on its recent merger with Vape Conventions and Vape South America.

Where the industry is headed

“We were surprised to see how many vendors had alternative products in their booths different from CBD and Hemp,” Jason Monti, Director of Sales at USA CBD Expo, said of the Atlanta show. “It really gives us a perspective on where the industry is heading.”

ZJ said more than 52% of those who attended the Atlanta event, sponsored by Rocket Seeds, Vancoast Seeds, and Crop King Seeds, were industry buyers and professionals, many outside of the CBD sector.

USA CBD Expo will kick off its 2022 slate of events by returning to South Florida, this time to Fort Lauderdale, on March 11-13, 2022. Expos are also planned May 21-22, 2022 in Medellin, Colombia, and again in Chicago next Nov. 3-5.

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