Saturday, October 24, 2020
Culture Puff Puff: Notes from a serious (and seriously interesting) cannabis...

Puff: Notes from a serious (and seriously interesting) cannabis expo

The Cannabis Business Summit and Expo in San Jose showcased the industrial backend of the trade鈥攑lus Jim Belushi sang.

-

PUFF聽Last week in San Jose, the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) held its yearly Cannabis Business Summit and Expo at the convention center for three days to upsell everything cannabis.

If you get the idea I was going to a stoned-out party full of hippies, weed and tie dye鈥攜ou’re wrong. There was no actual pot anywhere except in everyone鈥檚 bag going into the event. Even in the showrooms, fake weed plants or just potted plant stand-ins took the place of actual cannabis.

Getting stoned was for socializing outside of the venue during breaks. At that point, all kinds of cannabis and smoking devices popped up everywhere. It was nice seeing it as the normal thing it is, a bunch of people legally smoking pot. There was a time when I couldn鈥檛 fathom that happening. It was an uplifting moment, especially with the weed.

All the cannabis terpenes you desire, aah the Floraplex Terp Bar.

I myself had some handy pre-rolls from Pacific Stone, which I love. I can usually get a 14-pack for around $40, and they are handy to take out with me. I saw a number of awesome pipes, vaping devices, and portable rigs at the event鈥攊ncluding a handy rig from Puffco Peaks. Very cool, and still on my holiday wish list.

Back inside, there was a whole showroom of booths appealing to a large variety of interests. This expo wasn鈥檛 so much about selling cannabis and smoking devices, as it was selling all the things that lead up to selling those products. There were companies hawking everything from how your product will taste, look, and smell to how it will be packaged, manufactured, shipped, shelved, lit, stored, and more.

I was there to cover the event and promote my queer cannabis party PUFF聽(August 8 at the Stud), since we are offering new sponsorship opportunities (hint, hint). I saw lots of friends in the industry and handed out plenty of cards. It felt good getting out there and meeting new people and seeing all the cool devices and products on display.

A complex looking extraction set-up from Biohazard, Inc.

There were conferences and workshops on licensing, regulations, compliance, cultivation, advocacy, community, processing, distribution, retail, business services, and more with many fantastic panel members and moderators. I sat in on a couple and enjoyed listening in. The one I made a point of attending was Social Media + Digital Marketing: The Secret Sauce. I was hoping to snag a few new tricks of the trade, but ended up realizing I was already on the right path. I did enjoy listening to the stories from the panel because I always learn something from other people relating their experiences.

A plethora of products on display

At the end of the day (I was there on Tuesday), there was a lovely happy hour party sponsored by Khyrsos Industries, Inc with a drink ticket and appetizers. (If you are hungry, always locate the entry/exit door for the waiters with trays of hors d鈥檕euvres, and set up nearby. You are guaranteed plenty of fresh noshes all night long.)

We even had Jim Belushi and his band there to perform for us. Yes, John鈥檚 brother Jim of television and movie fame. He bought land in Oregon and is growing cannabis. He came on with his spiel about being a farmer and part of the land. He doesn鈥檛 smoke much weed but enjoys microdosing. He said if his brother had been a pothead, he would still be alive today.

Jim Belushi sings!

I don鈥檛 know if everyone bought his authenticity (I didn鈥檛), but it was nice to have a celebrity in attendance, and his band featuring performers from San Francisco was excellent.聽Belushi joins Willie Nelson, Snoop Dog and Bob Marley鈥檚 estate to create the first celebrity brands on the emerging market. It will be interesting to see how they fare. Sadly, no free samples were handed out.

Afterwards, as I left the building, I ran into a reporter friend of mine, and he told me the best part of the conference was the after-parties, which I guess is the truth about all these kinds of things.聽I went to a nice party nearby with were free tacos, an open bar, cupcakes and plenty of friendly people to eat with and meet. I always love stoner events because they never forget to have good food.

CBD and THC Processing solutions at the Tractor Depot booth

It was a fascinating day experiencing and exploring the cannabis expo鈥攏ot only the cool gadgets on display and the discussions about all things cannabis but also the ordinariness of it all. We are still in the beginning stages of creating (or recreating) one of the biggest businesses in the state, eventually the country, and this is where all the building blocks are being laid… or smoked.

Now it鈥檚 time to light up!

Dan Karkoska
Dan Karkoska is an independent producer, promoter, film critic, and DJ on the San Francisco scene. He also works with Maria Konner at Under the Golden Gate and is currently producing and hosting PUFF, the first queer marijuana rock-and-roll drag party every first Thursday at The Stud. He is a big stoner. Photo by Sari Staver.

More by this author

Puff: A day for dabs

As we push through a year like no other, we reach another cannabis milestone day, 710! What is 710? It is the high holy day...

Puff: Get high on Pride

As I read all my Pride-inspired emails this year, it is funny how many gummies now have special Pride tins. I know for certain...

Puff: Cannabis-loving care for Mom

Spring is springing all over the place, and we're all still stuck in our homes awaiting the latest anxious buzz about COVID. Now we...

Puff: Toast 420鈥攑andemic-style!

As we enter week five (I think?) of this pandemic, one thing's for sure: nothing is the same. So as noteworthy days arrive we...

Puff: Crazy times deserve good weed, and good care

Like many of you, I'm stuck at home watching Netflix and still putting off household chores as the coronavirus makes its way across the...

Most read

Best of the Bay 2020: City Living winners

Best Street Fair, Best Salon, Best Politician, Best Tour, Best Hotel, Best Trainer, more in our 2020 Readers' Poll

Screen Grabs: Borat’s ‘totally sensationalized false account’ and other bombshell releases

Sure, it has Giuliani looking suspect鈥攂ut is 'Borat Subsequent Moviefilm' any good? Plus, a new documentary on the grifters leading the alt-right movement, and 'The Guardian of Memory.'

R贸is铆n Murphy buffs her disco-house crown on gliding ‘R贸is铆n Machine’

The Irish diva showed us who she was through momentously silly quar performances. Her latest album affirms her mastery of the nocturnal club beat.

Best of the Bay 2020: Arts & Nightlife winners

Best Art Gallery, Best DJ, Best Drag Queen, Best Arts Festival, Best Nightclub, and more in our 2020 Readers' Poll

Best of the Bay 2020: Shopping winners

Best Bookstore, Best Bike Store, Best Shoe Store, Best Cannabis Dispensary, more in our 2020 Reader's Poll

This weekend, The Breath Project streams 24 nationwide theater works in honor of George Floyd

"It鈥檚 another brick in the wall. Or rather, we鈥檙e taking the wall down, so it鈥檚 a brick out of the wall.鈥

Documentary ‘The Reunited States’ looks to bridge the United States’ political abyss

An interview with filmmaker Ben Rekhi about his seemingly impossible mission to bring us all together.

Best of the Bay 2020: Food and Drink winners

Best Burger, Best Sushi, Best Burrito, Best Dive Bar, Best BBQ, more in our 2020 Readers' Poll

The end of Shahid Buttar’s campaign — and the lessons

Shahid Buttar鈥檚 campaign against Rep. Nancy Pelosi was always a longshot. He was challenging the person most responsible for challenging Donald Trump, and while...

5 easy Sriracha-blessed bites for when you need that extra kick

It's a pleasure to premiere a peek inside my forthcoming self-published cookbook Sriracha Snacks at tonight's 48 Hills Online Variety Show Gala....

You might also likeRELATED