Some of the cannabis industry’s most successful growers and extractors gathered at the 7th CannaGrow Expo to discuss everything and anything to do with the business of cultivating their cash crop.
The CannaGrow Expo caters to cannabis growers, grow managers, dispensary owners and grow enthusiasts. It explores the latest cannabis cultivation technology, tools and techniques. This year’s event had more than 35 cultivation-focused educational sessions, which included advice and expertise on marketing, packaging, finance and law, as well as grow techniques and tips.
With over 100 exhibitors in attendance and 1,200 people on site to share their knowledge, the event was a great way to get in the know about all things weed related.
From different methods for fighting mold to scientific disease detection systems, there was a wealth of knowledge available, right at people’s fingertips.
Cannabis royalty Frenchy Cannoli, who was treated like a celebrity as he moved around the exhibition hall, was impressed with the diversity of what was on display.
“It was great — the quality of exhibitors and the knowledge on offer,” Frenchy said. “I thought it was a shame they didn’t have more people here because you could really learn some good stuff. They were good panels and we had more people from outside of California here.”
For 18 years, 62-year-old Frenchy traveled the world, heading to such far-flung destinations as Morocco, Pakistan, Nepal and India to learn various techniques on how to craft the perfect cannabis resin. During his travels, he lived with local monks and people who did everything by hand when it came to creating their extract.
Now known as the No. 1 producer of hashish, Frenchy added, “When you travel and you do something all your life, you have a certain amount of knowledge, but you don’t know how much you know. I do only traditional hash, something which is not very well appreciated here in the US.
“Anything that is black and pressed is not good, in the eyes of most,” Frenchy continued. “I have to provide the proof of the science behind the traditional. Something that spans tens of thousands of years has a lot of validity with it.”
Asked why he attends CannaGrow and other cannabis-centric events, Frenchy explained, “Six years ago, no one would buy pressed resin. It would be like someone buying dried grape instead of wine. My only solution was to smoke people out — so I did every cannabis event in California. Six years later, everyone knows me!”
Brittany Cowan, who was exhibiting at the expo to showcase to growers her innovative drip tray Drain Away, said she received a lot of interest from attendees who stopped by her booth.
“I am getting the word out and doing this all on my own with no investors, so I am using this to speak to people. I did this expo in Denver last year — this one [in Palm Springs] was better. I had the same sort of traffic, but the quality [of potential customers] was better. I had a lot of great, interested buyers, and Canadians. I also had a lot of large-scale growers interested. It was a great show, great contacts — and who doesn’t love Palm Springs!”
Jay Kitchen, founder of Uptown Growlab, was using the expo to talk about his new digital platform. Last April, Kitchen’s YouTube channel, which had 42,000 subscribers, was shut down as a result of the video platform’s purge on cannabis content. As a consequence, Kitchen has sought out new and creative ways to connect with his cannabis community.
“The expo is great as it is all about education and information. And there is tons of that,” Jay said. “I particularly like to help novice growers.”
Kitchen is a retired attorney who has been using cannabis since 1974, when he first started consuming it to help with symptoms of his Crohn’s disease.
Back in the ’70s, he was arrested for possession. Now, he grows himself.
“A lot of people my age are using cannabis because their biomechanics start to fail,” Kitchen explained. “I am not sure if cannabis is going to cure cancer, but I do think it definitely helps mitigate the symptoms.”
Vendors and attendees at the expo also got to enjoy an intimate networking event on Saturday night, complete with an open bar as they relaxed in the balmy air of the Grand Ballroom and terrace of California’s Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel.
Cannabis Corporate Law Firm lead attorney Dana Cisneros, based in Anaheim Hills, California, said she thought the event was a great way to get valuable information out there to people in the industry.
“It has gone extremely well. The quality of information is really top-notch. It is a broad overview, but also in depth for specific topics. I’ve been asked [by budding cannabis entrepreneurs] how to become legal, what are the trends on enforcement, and the legal licensing.”
Cisneros added, “I think [the cannabis industry] is getting easier [to navigate] in California, because the state is trying to make things more user friendly. For example, [surety] bonding was an issue recently — the state resolved that. There was also issues with pesticide management, and the state came up with something for that.”
The organizer of the expo, CannaConnections, was pleased with the way the event had turned out, with COO Jessi Rae saying, “The 7th CannaGrow Expo was incredibly successful. We look forward to returning to Palm Springs for the 9th CannaGrow Expo, August 17–18, 2019.“