As health concerns and social distancing plans mount because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, major events and conferences are rescheduling or cancelling planned events throughout the U.S. to ensure public safety.
The second annual Cannabis Science Conference (CSC) East announced plans to postpone their Baltimore, Maryland event from early April to June 29–July 1, 2020. According to the conference’s announcement letter, all vendors, attendees, and sponsor commitments will be honored for the rescheduled event. “Out of respect for the concern surrounding the current public health crisis, Cannabis Science Conference has arrived at the conclusion to postpone 2020 CSC East,” said Joshua Crossney, President, CEO and Founder of CSC Events, LLC. “The CSC Events, LLC, team is committed to being good stewards of people’s health.”
In a recent interview with Crossney, he explained the difficult decision to postpone his event. “We were following the developments related to COVID-19 very closely and it just got to the point where with us being a science-based, medical, health and wellness-focused conference we just felt the only smart decision to make was to postpone because the safety of all our attendees, sponsors, and exhibitors is our number one priority,” he said.
In addition, Crossney explained that a lot of CSC East attendees, speakers, and vendors are scientists and medical professionals. “A lot of those medical professionals are working with immuno-comprised individuals on a daily basis. We also have speakers whose children and loved ones are suffering from cancer,” said Crossney. “So obviously we are taking this health crisis very seriously and we wanted to show people that we really care about them and our community. Everyone’s safety and well-being are the most important factors in what we are doing.”
The decision to postpone rather than cancel the event was another matter that Crossney did not take lightly, factoring in both the timing for people to adjust their travel and business plans as well as his commitment to the Baltimore area. “We’re really excited that there was a need for us to expand the conference with an East Coast show last year because the need for education is just so great here in the U.S. and other countries where we get attendees from. We feel that we owe it to this community in Maryland—Baltimore specifically and the East Coast in general—not to cancel,” said Crossney. “We said we were coming here to provide education and a platform for these researchers, scientists, medical professionals, and cultivation experts to come together to network and learn with patients and attendees and we meant it. We are excited to be coming back to do that in June!”
The current agenda that is listed on the CSC website will remain the planned agenda for the rescheduled show in June. “There might be some changes here or there, but we’re planning for the content to stay pretty well intact moving forward,” said Crossney. “We have a talk planned from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) on the need for standardization and what they are working on there as well as a similar talk from the U.S. Pharmacopeia and what they are working on. We’re also really excited about the expansion of academic cannabis all over the U.S. and we’ll have two talks dedicated to that. (See Crossney’s latest “Cannabis Crossroads” column.)
Crossney’s flagship event—CSC West—will take place as planned on August 31–September 2 in Portland, Oregon.
Following suit, other cannabis conferences across the U.S. have announced plans to postpone or cancel their events. Due to a recent COVID-19 outbreak in Boston, New England Cannabis Convention (NECANN) has also chosen to postpone their conference which was scheduled for March 20–22, 2020. They are currently working with their venue partners and other city officials to settle on a new date this year. In their announcement, cofounders Marc Shepard and Jeff Lawrence stated, “If anyone has any questions, please understand that we are still actively working with our partners to secure the new date and address this change, and ask that you wait before contacting us until we know exactly the new details and dates.” NECANN further commented on the conferences’ postponement by adding that, “all vendor registrations and pre-sale tickets will be honored for the new date.”
Editor's note: NECANN announced their conference is rescheduled for June 27-29, 2020 in Boston.
The American Chemical Society (ACS) decided to terminate their Spring 2020 National Meeting & Expo that was originally meant to be held between March 22–26, 2020. The Cannabis Chemistry (CANN) subdivision of ACS had a two-day sub-meeting planned at the event. “Safety is a core value of the American Chemical Society, and it permeates all of our actions, activities and events," Thomas Connelly Jr., PhD, the ACS CEO said in a statement. “With the Pennsylvania governor’s Proclamation of Disaster Emergency last Friday, we do not feel we can guarantee the safety of the 15,000 attendees expected for the Philadelphia meeting or of the city residents themselves.”
The ACS Fall 2020 meeting is still planned for August 16-20 in San Franciso, California.
If you do have to travel this conference season, be sure to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available. As Crossney stated, “We’re looking forward to working together with the community to get through this and we wish for everyone out there to be safe and take the extra precautions that were recommended by the CDC and WHO.”