INDIO, Calif. - The two-day event called the "SoCal Cannabis Summit" kicked off Monday, at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio.
Organizers say the goal of the Summit, put on by the City of Coachella, is to "share ideas and unveil new opportunities in the growing billion dollar cannabis industry"
One of the organizers for the Summit tells News Channel 3 the response has been "overwhelming".
People were lined up Monday morning for the bus tour, and Tuesday's session of presentations by high-profile speakers is sold out.
Two busses were ready roll to roll Monday morning at the Special Events Center at Fantasy Springs.
The people lined up included business owners, local government representatives from around California, cannabis investors and aspiring entrepreneurs.
"Just kind of curious to see who the players are, what's happening, what are the things driving the industry here," said Palm Springs resident Everett Hauck.
With a background in digital marketing, Hauck says he wants to provide consulting services to the dozens of cannabis related businesses quickly sprouting up around the Coachella Valley.
One such business would be Lighthouse, a dispensary in Coachella, which was the first stop on the bus tour Monday morning.
"Whenever we get an opportunity like this to educate the public, it is very exciting," said LIghthouse General Manager Jennifer Montgomery.
Montgomery, a summit sponsor and attendee, is among those in the industry who are looking to Tuesday's speakers, including elected officials, for answers and solutions for a number of issues slowing the growth of the market, including competition from unlicensed dealers, and enforcement action against those dealers.
Pot businesses are also restricted from using standard commercial banks, and many questions remain when it comes taxes.
"There are challenges on all ends of the industry right now," said Montgomery.
Other stops on the tour included House of Liquidity in Cathedral City, and a shop nearby, Atomic Budz, where the visitors learned more about cannabis, and got ideas on how they might capitalize on the growing market.
"There is a lot of companies out there wanting to get a piece of it," said Hauck.
Link: SoCal Cannabis Summit
More: I-Team investigations
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