Congratulations, attending a cannabis conference or trade show is an amazing way to learn more about the industry. But before you go, there are a few things I wish someone had told me before I had to learn through experience.
Prior to committing to a conference, familiarize yourself with the local laws and cannabis regulations. Just because you are going to a state that allows recreational consumption, it does not mean that you can smoke wherever you want. Look up the rules. Follow the rules. Don’t let a citation ruin your weekend. On that note, it’s a good idea to find 420 friendly accommodations. A lot of Airbnb’s in rec states have specific clauses against cannabis use, so make sure you’re setting yourself up for success.
After reviewing the destination regulations and securing sleeping arrangements you’ll want to have a plan for getting cannabis. Unless you are driving in a rec state do not travel with cannabis. I repeat, DO NOT TRAVEL WITH CANNABIS. That means flying or driving across state lines. It’s not worth it, and besides, getting weed is super easy. In fact, I’ve never had a problem getting pot in a new city, you just have to be friendly to the right people. Plus, the options for legally buying cannabis are increasing and the selection in adult use states is superb.
When packing your bag for the trip it’s advantageous to leave extra space for items you pick up. The vendors will have swag to giveaway and plenty of items for purchase, plan ahead and make the return trip easy. Another packing consideration- bring comfortable shoes. You’ll be spending the majority of the show walking around so plan accordingly or your dogs will be barking.
Depending how particular you are about your smoking kit you might want to pack the essentials.
For me that’s some papers, a lighter, and a disposable pipe. If you’re cool with potentially overpaying for off brand papers and cheap lighter at the dispensary that’s up to you, but I’m a big fan of consistency, so in the toiletry bag it is.
Once you arrive and get your bearings, talk to everyone. You never know who you’ll meet or what connections you’ll make. Although you’re attending a cannabis event, try your best not to perpetuate stereotypes, be the successful stoner Jeff Sessions doesn’t want to see.
If you’re at an event that promotes consumption, don’t forget your manners and assume it’s a free for all. Like a wine tasting, the vendors are there to educate you about the product, not just get you high. Be polite, pay attention, say please and thank them for the stoney education. Some events will have disposable hookah like mouth pieces to help avoid the dreaded conference cough, but most don’t. That’s why I bring a Moose Labs Mouth Peace with me to shows, besides being a conversation starter it’s also a sanitation savior.
After returning home I like to follow up and interact on social media. Many, if not most, companies in the cannabis space are relatively new. That means that they are more than willing to respond to follow up inquiries with new enthusiasts. The industry is so new that the relationships made now could reverberate with opportunities which could lead to a job down the line. If nothing else, you’ll be in a prime position to watch companies you like grow and expand, which is pretty awesome in its own right.