The most common question asked about a cannabis industry event is “Is it worth it?”, and I have to reply with a resounding “Yes!” for so many reasons, and some aren’t what you would think.
Cannabis is society’s great equalizer; the seed doesn’t care if you’re a man, woman, gay, straight, or everything in between; it just cares that you know how to nurture. Besides botany, it also teaches us economics and business fundamentals.
The Cannabis Industry is unique in America because it’s relatively young and old at the same time. Younger than the .com industry but yet the product is older than any nation An industry that is still considered outlawed in 48 States, these events help bring about unification and legitimization to an industry where people can still go to jail for a plant.
I’ve attended many of cannabis industry events in the past as an activist, not a cannasseur; I had the pleasure of attending the third day of CannaCon in Seattle, Wa. This was my first event where my whole purpose was to social network and talk to those in the cannabis industry. Before I would spend my time getting people meet their social responsibilities in fighting the war on drugs, things like signing a clemency letter or making them aware how to support a pot prisoner in any other way, i.e., direct donations or even a letter to let them know they will not be forgotten.
CannaCon in Seattle consists of three days where one can find things ranging from analytical services to security; one doesn’t have to have a green thumb to make money in cannabis anymore. Along with the wares and sample products of non-cannabis products, there are also forums and speakers talking about the cannabis industry.
One forum I was able to attend was the Women in Cannabis panel, moderated by Heidi Arsenault of Grasshopper Hub; The panel consisted of Activist/Healer Grandma Cat of Deep Green Extracts, Megan Schwarting of Kush Creams, Anne Van Leynseele of Seven Point Law, Crystal Oliver of Washington’s Finest Cannabis, and Shawn DeNae of Washington Bud Company; an amazing panel of women who offered their unique insight to the role women play in the present and future of cannabis and how you can be to.
Each woman gave their personal and thoughtful insight some of which stood out to me like when Megan Schwarting said to those trying to follow their canna-dreams “Stay in your wheelhouse. If you don’t have a green thumb, don’t start now. Do that thing you know how to do, even if it’s not cannabis related, you’ll find a way.”
Another brilliant piece of advice I walked away with was “don’t overextend yourself.” On stage stood five independent, self-made women, and in life, one should take advice from someone in the place you want to be. Each of these women, while being moms and wives are more than that, they are entrepreneurs, revolutionaries, and history makers.
Now before you start thinking “What’s a weed event with no weed?” Let me assure you, cannabis and cannabis consumption was not frowned upon and happened. If you knew the secret handshake one could get on a bus to an off-site location for cannabis consumption sponsored by Grasshopper Hub and hosted by a different product each day, the third day was Willie’s Reserve.
Besides the daily daytime parties, there was the vendor party, something I was assured was a good time. The nice thing about these parties and events is you don’t have to worry about the other’s intentions; these events all business and not once do you have to ask “Are you a cop?” before you light up.
Cannabis Industry events are well worth your time, as a businessperson or cannasseur, this time I walked away from CannaCon with a pocketful of business cards and emails in my inbox from new brothers and sisters in arms.
I’ll be following up on this article with articles about each of the vendors I’ve met. This is not paid advertising but me a cannabis activist writer proving a point that we are your neighbors, your brothers, and sisters, your family, and friends, people who don’t belong in jail for a plant. Stay tuned for the Canna-people of CannaCon series.