HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The XL Center in Hartford will hold a first-of-its-kind event this weekend.

The Cannabis and Hemp Convention is expected to draw in large crowds on Saturday and Sunday, just four months after recreational adult-use cannabis became legal in Connecticut.

“We’ve got about 130 to 135 vendors, which is about average when we do a first show in a state that’s just opened,” said Marc Shepard, the president and founder of Boston-based NECANN.

NECANN has been organizing and holding conventions for the cannabis industry since 2014, focusing on each local market’s current state and potential.

This is their first run in Connecticut.  

“We rolled out Massachusetts and Maine back in 2015. We had a Rhode Island show for a little while,” Shepard said. “We’ve just been waiting for Connecticut.”

Sixty vendors, including CTPharma, are from Connecticut.

“Ever since the adult-use launch on January 10, we’ve just seen people get more and more excited about this stuff,” said Gary Kro, the regional director of Verano and CTPharma.

Cannabis is a budding new industry in the state, with many hoping this convention helps them build their business, make connections, or learn how to get started.

“I’m just hoping to meet some friendly folks from Connecticut, network a little bit, meet some of the new brands that are going to be popping up this year,” Krol said.

Important to note: There will be no cannabis sold or distributed at the convention, and there will be no cannabis consumed, displayed, or smoked/vaped on-site at the XL Center.

“I love cannabis festivals and cannabis events, but this isn’t one,” Shepard said. “This is more about education and business.

More than two dozen speakers and even panel discussions will be held on various cannabis-related topics this weekend.

“We’ve got medical professionals, we’ve got security companies, we have people who are accounting experts on tax law, we have several law groups who will take people through the licensing process,” Shepard said.

The Cannabis and Hemp Convention by NECANN takes place at the XL Center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 20, and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 21. This event is handicap accessible.

Click here for ticket and convention information.