Jun 22, 2019

Budding branding

Wiz Khalifa onstage Aug. 25, 2018 in Austin, Tex. Photo: Rick Kern/WireImage

Barely a day goes by without another trade show where starry-eyed (or, perhaps, glassy-eyed) cannabis entrepreneurs gather to tout their products — with creatively named brands like Schnazzleberry, Lucky Charms and Train Wreck.

The big picture: There are hundreds of trade shows showcasing thousands of brands, and even a thriving industry of weed-specific branding consultants and marketing agencies.

  • As in any emerging industry, there is growing specialization, with some trade shows tilting more toward hemp and marijuana growers and others toward more exotic specialties like vaping technology.
  • Celebrities are riding the wave, with entertainers like Snoop Dogg (Leafs By Snoop) and Wiz Khalifa (Khalifa Kush) creating products they believe in.
  • Mike Tyson's business, Tyson Ranch, has both a diverse product line and a corporate mission, "to make cannabis universally understood and accessible."

The punch line: At some events, actual marijuana products are not allowed. At one upcoming expo in California, for instance, 125 vendors are expected but "the venue still (prohibits) cannabis possession and use at events like this one."

  • The backdrop: Before attitudes changed on cannabis, these conferences essentially served as speakeasies for activists who preached the drug's merits and pushed back against policies used to lock smokers and dealers away.

The bottom line: These days, with business booming and billions of dollars pouring in, cannabis conferences are used mostly as showcases for new products and networking opportunities — just like any other business conferences.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

What a post-pandemic space industry might look like

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic could spell major trouble for dozens of small companies working to break into the space industry.

The big picture: SpaceX, United Launch Alliance and other companies are well-established with strong customer bases and robust portfolios, but the prospects for the industry's growth hinge on smaller companies.

Trump removes watchdog overseeing rollout of $2 trillion coronavirus bill

Glenn Fine, acting Pentagon watchdog

President Trump on Monday replaced the Pentagon's acting Inspector General Glenn Fine, who had been selected to chair the panel overseeing the rollout of the $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill passed last month, Politico first reported.

Why it matters: A group of independent federal watchdogs selected Fine to lead the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, but Fine's removal from his Pentagon job prevents from being able to serve in that position — since the law only allows sitting inspectors general to fill the role.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 1,365,004— Total deaths: 76,507 — Total recoveries: 292,467Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 369,069 — Total deaths: 11,018 — Total recoveries: 20,003Map.
  3. Trump administration latest: Peter Navarro warned White House colleagues in late January about the massive potential risks from the coronavirus.
  4. Federal government latest: The public wants the federal government, not states, in charge of coronavirus — Testing capacity is still lagging far enough behind demand.
  5. States update: New York death toll surged to its highest one-day total as state predicts a plateau in hospitalizations.
  6. 2020 update: Wisconsin Supreme Court blocks the governor's attempt to delay in-person primary voting until June.
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.