The NJ cannabis convention 420 Expo drew a large crowd with Cheech Marin, many vendors, and minor celebrities which reflected a blooming New Jersey cannabis culture.
The New Jersey cannabis convention was filled with many who reflect the growing cannabis market and community.
Cheech Marin and New Jersey Cannabis
Legendary stoner comedian Cheech Marin was on hand to cut the opening ribbon when it began last Friday.
He smoked a lot and was an advocate of legalization far before there was serious discussion of legalization and an industry when it was hardcore illegal and possession could lead to a felony conviction.
“Now it’s hardcore legal,” Marin joked. “It’s great. I mean I expected it to happen a lot sooner. I just treated it like it was legal.”
He has been promoting their Cheech and Chong brand.
“We’re pretty widespread around the United States now,” Marin noted.
He explained he toured with Chong in New Jersey. But it took him a minute to remember the venue.
“It had a stage,” Cheech Marin joked.
He then remembered they played in Passaic which they did.
They were planning a new Cheech and Chong movie before COVID. It was delayed again due to the ongoing Actor’s strike Cheech noted.
He spent most of his time signing autographs and taking pictures for cash. At one point Cheech came out very briefly to light a joint.
420 Expo NJ Cannabis Convention Fun
One of the best parts of the 420 Expo New Jersey cannabis convention was the outdoor smoking section. It was there that the cannabis community seemed to come together. A DJ played music and a few games with the crowd. Several food trucks provided a cure for cotton mouth thirst and the munchies for hunger.
Inside on the 420 Expo floor, there were several vendors with a variety of cannabis products. Many of them were hemp-derived Delta loophole products for sale. Others sold paraphernalia, celebrity memorabilia, clothing, and other fun goods. The stage was filled with music makers as the convention went on.
The convention tried to make a policy of confiscating business cards from people on suspicion that there were legacy operators.
I was able to keep my Heady NJ business cards as a media VIP.
Many of the new dispensaries were featured on the convention floor.
The New Jersey cannabis market is growing very quickly now. Thus, there are many consumers who are new to the nuances of cannabis coming through their doors. A woman said to Cookies Harrison budtender Niko Pav “I haven’t cannabised a lot.”
The proper thing to say would have been “I haven’t consumed cannabis a lot” or “I don’t smoke a lot of weed.”
Randy Lanier Launches NJ Cannabis Cultivation Operation
Among those tabling was former Racecar driver Randy Lanier with the non-profit Freedom Grow. He was born in Virginia and has a thick Southern accent. Lanier was a racecar driver for Ferrari and other luxury brands. But he was jailed for 27 years for smuggling large loads of cannibals into the United States. Many cannabis social justice advocates worked very hard to free him and others like him.
Lanier has a New Jersey adult use cannabis cultivation license under the company Denver Cole farms. They are based in Eatontown in Monmouth County. He expects their first harvest next Spring.
But that has smoothed over and he is looking to begin cultivating He is planning on releasing an “Octane brand” of cannabis products soon.
Weed Celebrities Featured
“I think everybody saw it coming. (Cannabis legalization) It just wasn’t quite there when I got into it. was bad timing. It was pre-9/11,” she explained.
“I like that we’re legalizing. And I think we need to get people out of jail that are still locked up for things that aren’t illegal anymore. I can’t wait til the whole country legalizes,” Morgan noted.
She said enjoyed her experience making the movie Zach and Miri Make a Porno directed by Jersey boy Kevin Smith.
“That was like amazing. Everyone was super fun. It was one of the best experiences ever. It was a very cold winter though,” Morgan added.
Wilfred Cannabis Brand
He was there promoting his brand.
“I’m about to be a Multi-State operator (MSO) in cannabis,” Gann said.
They are in Illinois and trying to enter New York. But his brand looks like cigarettes and the nature of a mascot might not work.
“My relationship with cannabis is spiritual,” Gann explained.
The show became a hit at the Sundance Film Festival and spread from there.
“He’s a big stoner and a great actor and it was a great experience,” Gann said about working with Elijah Wood.
He explained they never smoked together because he had been trying to go completely clean after a stint in rehab. But by the end of the last season, Gann believed his relationship with cannabis was different than other drugs.
“I smoked in the last season,” he noted.
Gann launched the Wilfred Cannabis brand in 2019 when he got the rights to Wilfred in cannabis.
“This is like the most interesting man in the world. Even Ronald McDonald didn’t have a running start with 65 episodes,” he noted. “I want this to be like… Colonel Sanders. I’m trying to build something bigger than me.”
Gann launched with a manufacturing license in California and began selling Wilfred Cannabis products He now licenses the Wilfred Cannabis brand out to companies and is paid a royalty. Wilfred Cannabis is looking for a partner to enter the New Jersey cannabis market.
NJ Cannabis Convention Features Many Panels
Attorneys John Cooper, Michael Hoffman, and John D. Williams were featuring a panel on legalization. They described their experiences expunging cannabis crimes from records.
Hoffman explained there is no legal way to tell if someone is too high. He described himself as a former municipal prosecutor who went into expungement and is now a glorified janitor “cleaning up the mess from the War on Drugs.”
Attorney John D. Williams noted that some want to build “generational wealth” while others are eager to sell their New Jersey adult use cannabis license.
One cannabis industry expert said a lot of the conditional license winners initially wanted to flip. When they learned the nuances of it they did not go forward.
I was on a panel about working in the cannabis industry.
We discussed a number of ways into the industry in terms of getting a job using an existing skillset, getting a cannabis license, and starting an ancillary or cannabis-adjacent business.