Atlantic City, New Jersey may return to its original glory as a tourist destination with the Green Rush boom and ensuing cannabis-related business events. A city once dominated by the gambling industry now faces its unknown future, and local experts believe that business-to-business cannabis events could solve that problem.
the familiar “glitter and sleaze” Atlantic City’s boardwalk is known to locals, but the city has been in decline for decades. Donald Trump’s Taj Mahal Casino and Hotel permanently closed on October 10, 2016, and things haven’t gotten any easier for the gaming industry since then. Revel Casino Hotel followed, closing its doors and also being sold.
Things seemed to get worse in 2019and despite an improvement in casino industry revenue in 2021, mostly due to a tax break, the city is still miles away from where it used to be. In addition, Atlantic City Tropicana workers are picketing for better pay and to unionize because the future of the casino remains uncertain.
However, the economic effects of the rollout of the cannabis market could be the answer to the city’s long-term financial difficulties. In the first month of adult cannabis sales in New Jersey, the state brought in $24 million in tax revenue.
Skift Meetings, dedicated to event professionals, has published a recent report on the true potential that Atlantic City offers for the green rush, putting more than a band-aid on the city’s economic fallout.
The most obvious comparison is the boom in trade events in Las Vegas, such as MJBizCon or CHAMPS Trade Show, attracting tens of thousands of tourists looking for networking opportunities and more. Atlantic City is home to 17,029 hotel rooms—a high ratio of rooms compared to other cities of its size since it is designed for tourism. Atlantic City could host similar large-scale events.
Stu Zakimpresident of Bridge Strategic Communications and member of the Marijuana Business Association said,[Atlantic City] can be an extremely successful destination for hosting cannabis conventions,” Zakim told Skift Meetings.
Several others agreed that the new cannabis market in New Jersey is particularly ideal for a city like Atlantic City. This is especially true for cannabis conventions that require large facilities.
“The legalization of cannabis in the state of New Jersey has opened up a new vertical market for meetings and conventions in Atlantic City. We view cannabis as a growing industry, and this will have a significant increase in the overall economic impact of the destination,” said Meet ACPresident and CEO, Larry Sieg. Meet AC is focused on convention development in Atlantic City.
And the idea is not new. Then-Democrat Congressman Reed Gusciora, who is now mayor of Trenton, called out Atlantic City’s huge potential for the cannabis boom in 2016.
Atlantic City reached its peak long ago in the 1930s as a “wet city,” and since then has succumbed to rapid decline, and the casinos fail. Its population fell by half when the city was booming.
The 3rd edition New Jersey Cannabis Convention (NECANN) will be held September 9 and 10 at the Atlantic City Convention Center.
The potential has been building for more than a year. On February 22, 2021, New Jersey became the fourteenth state to legalize cannabis for adult use.
“The cannabis market in Atlantic City in particular is huge, untapped, and brimming with potential,” NECANN writing. “With just one big cannabis dispensary in the city. We are beyond excited to see the potential of Atlantic City’s cannabis community become a reality. NECANN is proud to offer custom cannabis exhibits to fit local communities and their needs.
Check local listings for more events that are sure to follow.