The State of Marijuana lived up to its calling of being a meeting of VIPs in the cannabis scene. For those who didn’t make it, this is the 411.
In 2003 Jack Herer said to me after my comment about Prop 215 opening the doorway for legal pot, that medical marijuana was the worst thing that ever happened to pot.
At the time, his comment made me blink because I did not see the meaning in his words; I was naive, I was a stoner, and I didn’t have my recommendation. While I knew of medical marijuana patients I didn’t know the world of medical marijuana.
Now 12 years later and twenty years after Prop 215 the prophecy of Jack’s harbinger words have come to light. There were doctors hawking books, business owners hawking products, growers hawking tips, consultants hawking expertise, politicians hawking regulation, lawyers hawking futures, and activists hawking visions of empowerment hoped for. Cannabis Product News made its first issue debut while Cannabis Now, a slick full color $7.99 mag, was at issue #16 with headlines on dabbing, cannabis careers, and legendary strains like Jack Herer.
At the event’s end, the keynote speaker, an activist named Deborah Peterson Small asked an audience of 11 ‘if the current marijuana is that of an industry or a movement?’ The size of the audience after all the proceeding discussions were packed or at least filled, itself was the answer. The days when pot was just a political statement of the anti-establishment crowd are gone. If nothing else, the State of Marijuana, the second such gathering announced such a carrion call. Once cool, pot is now hot.
The ROC building in downtown Santa Monica is a multi-purpose three story structure that used designated areas on all three floors to feature keynote presentations and panel discussions on the first floor, Q&A workshops and entrepreneur pitch sessions on the second and the upper floor hosting the sponsors, the after party area which commenced after around 7:30 or 8. Bathrooms were available on all three floors as were off-limit areas.
The structure and atmosphere of the State of MJ differs in several ways when you compare this event to something like a Cannabis Cup, or Green Mile or Chalice. The latter events are vendor driven and more in line with a county fair event. The SOMJ was more policy/political/business driven so there were no dancing girls, no bands or music artists, and definitely no twerking contests. There was a smoking/medicating area up on the roof part of the outside patio. That was where a few interesting observations were made.
At present, everybody and his brother has entered an initiative including Jack’s CCHI2016. Since this event featured NGOs, it was a good place to float a balloon for test results. Also though the 420Nurses isn’t a revival tents no one is freaked out about cannabis being in the Bible. Perhaps that is why cannabis is treated as a commodity and patients as a captive market.
Nothing medicated was sold however there were medicated samples available from some vendors. VCC Brands was there but it seemed their wares were for display only. Not so with W Vapes who offered sample disposable 350 MG vape pens in various flavors. The NEWS sample was Girl Scout Cookies and it kept its potency right up til the last drop, to quote Maxwell House Coffee. The sample rechargeable vape pen kit [battery and USB charger] came with a sativa Blue Dream CO2 extract that didn’t pack the punch of the disposable hybrid GSC.
Bhang Products also offered a variety of its products and logo-branded promo items. The coolest of the items was the Bhang Stick, their branded vape pen. Coming in its own cellophane wrapped aluminum wallet sized storage case was the solid black battery stick and the USB charger. Our samples included both a sativa [Kali Mist] and an indica [Purple Kush] both CO2 extracted 550MG. Personally, the indica felt more potent than the sativa though neither one had the punch of the GSC disposable. Both were exceptionally smooth with a different taste range than the GSC disposable. While the GSC disposable tasted like chronic, the Bhang extracts tasted more like a memory or an aged taste. All 3 were very pleasurable and vaping offers a strong argument for its method of delivery over the others.
Bhang also offers edibles and a double strength medical cannabis Pretzel Chocolate bar was included in the Bhang swag bag.i can’t speak for the potency but I can speak for the deliciousness. So creamy and just chocolate enough, I mean Goldilocks ‘just right’. The pretzel-ed bottom of the bar is the added touch. According to the product sheet, a triple strength bar is available. That’s on my bucket list. And I do remember a very good night’s sleep. Bhang provided a double-sided 8 ½ x 11 card stock handout showing their edibles, vape pens and oils.
Also showcasing edibles and later providing toppings for dessert ice cream scoops was Auntie Dolores with her everyday edibles. This time the main two samples were medicated Caramel Corn nd Savory Pretzels. All the products mentioned so far were handsomely packaged, with better, more accurate labeling than food and independently lab tested. So what could government regulation to to this picture? Burdensome and unnecessary expense especially when nothing of merit is added to the picture. When you add in that regulators are often ‘captured’ for later revolving door employment, having a government regulator is like helping someone else’s kid through college.
Topping off the products at this upscale gathering offered for the first time seen by me the LavaStoneWare Celebration Pipe with its 22KT Gold Plated bowl and chamber. This pipe is a real looker. Polished gold inside and out with a gold screen; the pipe maker said the gold kept the heat in so less was used and radiated it also insuring of a clean burn with no black ash, only white. I admit, this is a pipe to bring out when The Pope is in town or something. The one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted, gold plated, individually numbered pipes retail for $139. Other LavaStoneWare non-gold plated models run $109.
Already the event is booked for the third week of September, 2016.