Hold it...pause...let it out...Phheeeww...What a weekend...
The International Cannabis and Hemp Expo was not only a raging success, but it was the largest gathering of THC-laden tribes that has ever been assembled in one place. Where to start? Huge shout out to the Guys at D-Tree. While East Bay guys gave me crumbs of tiny purple nugs in tiny snuff container, the D-Tree Boyz gave away boulders exceeding almost two g’s, and killer. I heard that D-Tree and a few others, gave...Gave away a pound of bud each day of the Fest to the attendees in the 215 area, where consumption and distribution was allowed. This past weekend, you weren’t allowed to sell Weed, only give it away. We can’t let Meg Whitman anywhere near this state. How great is that?
Okay, there were three sections with some 120,000 square feet taken up by all things Weed. Again, total transparency, this writer is selling one of the coolest products ever and was not only attending the trade show as a journalist but also as a greedy capitalist too. But what better way to really see the convention then as a participant?
I was in the All Ages area. We’re all alone on the North Side of the Cow Palace. On the South side were the 18 and older area, then through that was the 215 area, where smoking and displaying of herb was allowed. Thanks again to all my friends that I saw while checking out booths who said to me, “Try some of this Blueberry Kush, I think you might like it.” Think Costco, you’re walking by the columns of Q-Tip towers and someone gives you a toothpick with a piece of white meat on it with the words, “It’s on sale...” Now imagine the same walk-by only being handed a nug in small baggy with the dispensaries name written on it. Fun, huh? Makes for a nice swag bag for chillin’ at the end of the night. It reminded me how I was as a young kid at Halloween. Remember when you’d separate in piles the good candy from the bad, finding that special candy bar, going, “Oh yeah, now I remember that house. They had good candy.” It was that kind of fun. I stashed so much literature, samples of balms and edibles, brochures, just like any other convention. I still haven’t hit that purple shit from Richmond.
There were two stages with speakers but I was working my booth so never heard any of them except one guy from, I think, New Leaf newspaper. He was good. He educated the crowd on what to expect in terms of opposition with Legalization this November. All the usual bullshit ploys that the other side is going to use. “Do we want our pilots flying stoned?” No, I prefer my flyboys looped on booze. Call me old school. Seriously, he was passionate and informative.
On the most sad note, there was very little mention of Jack Herer’s passing. I saw pictures of Jack posted on some booths. Some Earth Momma who had her daughter, Quarry, slinged to her ample chest, was displaying a Polaroid of Jack holding Quarry in his lap to anyone who wanted to look. It was sweet.
On the positive side, as far as I could tell, for the four days I was there. Friday was load-in. Saturday and Sunday, the days of the show, and Monday was load-out. There was not one speck of trouble. The only problem was that some douche locked the keys to his convertible in his trunk. It wouldn’t have been a big problem, but he had parked in a no-parking zone, thus blocking the entrance and exit to the loading area. This pissed off us vendors; the general public never saw a thing. That was it.
Big shouts out to Bob Katzman and Diana Colvin, the organizers. Did just a fantastic job. Bob was unbelievable. A total picture of Satori and corporate bliss in jeans and a suit coat. I saw the leader of the trade show hit up a huge spliff for the cameras when asked how he was handling the whole scene. Bob just exhaled a belly of blue smoke and said, “It all seems pretty cool, yeah?” The newsman had no choice but to nod yes.
Then there was sweet Stephanie who directed traffic and got you papers, she was the go-to person of the show, and did I mention, sweet?
For a weekend, the papers said there were some 15,000 people who attended the Expo. Hippie Hill is going to get 20 grand worth of freaks today, so I think their figures were light. But be that as it may, there were a lot of stoned people of all ages, creeds, sexes, and to be fair, some that were actually sober and had no intend on smoking or anything Weed related, but wanted to see where the buzz was coming from. And the smoke...
At the turn of the last century... millennium... I was working in the computer industry. We had a product that was a portable computer-mpeg player with a built-in GPS that played commercials in taxis and cabs so that when you drove by the particular club or restaurant, it played the ad for that venue. We were on the cutting edge. The bleeding edge as it was called in those heady upstart days.
I had that same feeling over the weekend. I was once again ahead of the general curve. I met a guy who will grow your plants for you. He does anywhere from one to twenty-five for patients. There was an insurance company that would insure your crop. There was a big ticket item. A mobile grow lab, all self-contained and thermo-sensitive proof. I think it cost like 18 thou. Not to mention all the dudes like me who had a product that went with dope but only as a gag. A guy was selling a mouthpiece that you stick the joint into and there was a tiny rod that went up the ass of the joint, creating a great air-flow hit. Okay...
The guys next to me were starting Union 13. Protecting all things Weed, from growers to dispensaries, and all those trades in between who need representation. Y’know, when you need union help, who ya gonna call? Union 13, that’s who.
To sum it up...There’s no going backwards now. We just had our first legal Marijuana trade show. To think I’m bitching that the free Weed I received from a booth was too small. I guess that’s the real deal.
As a kid I couldn’t wait to do Halloween on my own.
Going out into the night with my buddies dressed like pirates without cares and watchful eyes. Gathering the experience where you learn to carry a mammoth pillow case instead of a flimsy paper grocery bag to haul away your booty. Then after years of being out on your own, you become jaded and cynical. All of a sudden the Snickers and the Milky Ways mean more that the icky Dots and anything orange looking. I would take my Halloween candy and separate it into what I was willing to share with others and what I was going to hide in my bottom drawer, just for me. The stupid stuff, I’d give to my little brothers and mom. The good stuff, if I doled it out just right, could last till December. That was the way it was with my swag bag. I got home Sunday night and separated the whole weekend in piles. Once all was triaged the way I liked it, I dug in.
I couldn’t write yesterday.
It was the Bestest weekend ever...
See you at Hippie Hill, rain or shine...