Monday, April 21, 2014

The Cannabis Cup

The fourth annual Cannabis Cup convention was held this weekend in Denver.

Colorado voters approved recreational use of marijuana two years ago, and so the annual convention has changed its orientation from medical marijuana to recreational use.  

Sounds as if it was a pretty big deal.  The sponsor, High Times magazine, reported that 37,000 people attended.

(High Times, the marijuana magazine that celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, held its first Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam in 1987.  Other 2014 Cannabis Cup events are planned in California, Michigan and Washington.)

Like any convention, this one had breakout sessions for small discussions.  Here are a few of the topics:

"Won't Someone Think About the Children?" 
on "challenges for pot-smoking parents"

"How to Open a Business in the Cannabis Industry"

"Has Colorado's Over-Taxed and Over-Regulated Marijuana Industry Sold Its Soul?"

"Marijuana for Trauma" 
 "A panel of veterans will explain why access to cannabis is essential to members of the Armed Forces"

There were booths of marijuana wares and implements and many sampling opportunities.        
Prizes were awarded in categories from Best Product to Best U.S. Edible.  In the latter category, the winner was Liquid Gold Delights Orange Meltaway Truffles from G Form Labs.                                                                                     Products on display included systems for extraction of THC and BCD to make marijuana vapors, butane cans with "ZERO mystery oil," hydroponic growing systems and various seed hybrids.

My impression is that more than a few marijuana entrepreneurs could qualify for good jobs with chemical and agricultural firms.
The Cannabis Cup website provided space -- presumably advertisements -- for co-sponsors, some of whom sounded pretty sketchy.  One offered offered detoxes to "cheat your drug test," and another "the highest grade synthetic urine products at the lowest prices." Both seemed aimed to help users pass pre-employment drug screens, which many companies now require. 

The Cannabis Cup grounds included an adult smoking area, which no doubt was large and very popular.

In addition, Uber, the alternative-taxi business, promoted itself with free cab rides up to $20, and there were buses available.  It seems that efforts were made to keep people from driving under the influence.

I do not mean to malign marijuana use here, although I do not encourage it personally.  I believe Cannabis Cup attendees were mostly law-abiding marijuana enthusiasts.

We are in the process of social and legal change on the marijuana front.  Our country's marijuana laws have been ignored by young people for almost 50 years now.  Violent drug cartels operate on our southern border to bring weed into the United States, apparently beyond the control of law enforcement here or in Mexico. 

Meanwhile popular votes in various states are supporting greater access to pot for medical and recreational use.  Talk of a marijuana "industry," complete with marketing to promote its recreational use, is now common.  States seem eager for the tax revenues marijuana can generate.

This all was unthinkable 20 years ago.  From the government seeking to suppress marijuana use to legalization with the potential for marketing to recruit new users is a huge step.  It is bound to have consequences.  We just don't know what they will be.

No comments:

Post a Comment