NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- A lot more is happening in the marijuana industry than you might imagine. Want proof? Go to a pot conference -- it's not all pipes, bongs and brownies.
The Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition took place from June 17 to 19 in New York, and brought together marijuana investors, entrepreneurs and enthusiasts from all over the U.S. Roughly 2,000 attendees rubbed elbows, browsed exhibits, and listened to talks by industry leaders.
"What you learn at an event like this is just how expansive the industry is," said Dan Humiston, president of the International Cannabis Association, the event's organizer. "It's so much more than dispensaries and growth facilities."
Jason Graham of Forever Flowering Greenhouses, a California-based supplier of greenhouses for the cannabis sector, regularly attends marijuana conferences all over the country.
"I see it, as it gets more legitimized, becoming a whole new agricultural industry. We have the ability to shape the industry from the beginning," he said.
The industry is spawning all sorts of related products and companies. Here are a handful of items you can happen upon at a pot conference, and more than one will probably surprise you.
Jane isn't your average ATM. Described by its makers as a "revolutionary dispensary check-in kiosk system," it is a machine designed to handle cash transactions at businesses that sell marijuana. Customers swipe their IDs, enter their names and phone numbers and insert money to pick up their orders.
The company making these kiosks says they provide security for dispensaries' cash, ease worker anxiety about handling large amounts of cash and bring accuracy to daily cash reconciliation.
Cash is a major issue in the cannabis industry. Marijuana is illegal on the federal level, so banks won't accept revenue generated by it. That means the industry is entirely cash-based, meaning the entities growing and selling the product are sitting on piles and piles of currency.