New Jersey Cannabis Community

The 420 Expo held at the Edison Convention Center in Middlesex County was a great celebration of the New Jersey cannabis community.

It was the largest cannabis consumer convention in New Jersey in a while and certainly the first in Central and North Jersey. However, the first-ever New Jersey cannabis consumer convention title goes to last year’s Boardwalk Budz in Atlantic City. 

Unlike many of the cannabis conferences in New Jersey, it was a consumer-focused affair with many types of paraphernalia and smoke products for sale, along with a lot of music. Most cannabis conferences in New Jersey have focused on different aspects of the business and the growing industry. These have largely been white-collar professional gatherings. Thus, this represented a more representative gathering of the diverse New Jersey cannabis community. 

The New Jersey Cannabis Community Celebrates

One of the highlights of the 420 Expo was the outdoor section, which featured a range of food trucks and a consumption-friendly fenced-in parking lot area. While the weather was beautiful, and the New York Giants managed to win on Sunday. Unfortunately, there were not many chairs.

Outside over the clouds of smoke and being eating at tables that required them to stand, played Bob Marley and other cannabis musical favorites.

The event had an air of a fun festival with the diverse range of the New Jersey cannabis community on full display. 

At 4:20 PM on Sunday, a man had attached a dab machine to a leaf blower and blew gigantic clouds of smoke into the faces of consenting adults.

The event overall had a peaceful, calming atmosphere. Unlike the views of those who are against cannabis, no violence or threats were seen or heard through the grapevine.


Only those who were 21 plus were admitted.

The 420 expo floor vendors had a lot of CBD, Delta 8, Delta 10, THC-O, THC-P, and hemp-derived Delta-9 THC products in a range of forms for sale. The better companies had QR codes explaining the scientific nuances of their products in depth. Hemp and CBD represent a great entry point into the market for many small business people interested in cannabis for many years who might have trouble with the great barriers to entry into the New Jersey adult-use cannabis market.

The Apothecarium by TerrAscend was the only licensed adult-use cannabis dispensary to feel the need to market to the faithful of the New Jersey cannabis community.

There were many bands, dancers, and a few funny acts on the main stage, which was on the exhibition floor. Grinders, trays, bongs, glass, glass blowers, a stage with a band.

Along with the expected CBD, hemp, and cannabis vendors, there was the opportunity to take a picture with a real-life Mystery Machine and a Scooby Doo doll inside. There was also Nintendo 64 games to play, along with arcade games.


Tommy Chong Issues

Unfortunately, while Tommy Chong was pitched as the headlining act of the event, he had to leave earlier than his Saturday 7 pm panel discussion scheduled with former High Times Editor Steve Bloom, who currently produces According to Bloom, there was a miscommunication regarding his schedule and flight plans back to California, which prevented him from staying.

Fortunately, Bloom was able to get Heady NJ into his green room, where Chong was relaxing briefly. He also had a giant blunt on hand, ready to light up.

When asked what sort was in it,  “no idea,” he said.

The prospect of a new era of cannabis legalization did seem to faze the old counter-cultural symbol.

“I have never been paranoid about smoking weed. I was always smoking,” Chong said. 

“And then when I went to jail, it was more about me being embedded with the troops kind of thing,” he added about his 2003 arrest. “So I’ve never had an issue with it being illegal. That’s the way it always was.”

Chong’s imprisonment was noted at the time as a great catch of a cannabis leader by the anti-legalization administration of former President George W. Bush, whose agencies raided California-legal medical cannabis dispensaries.

Many convention goers reported Chong spent most of the time signing autographs for money and smoking weed with those who paid $1,000 for the privilege of doing so with him.

The wrestler Rob Van Dam was also on hand with the company he had promoting Delta products*.

Panels on a range of interesting topics were held, including one on NJ Cannabis Homegrow politics I moderated (a separate article is forthcoming.) Unfortunately, like cannabis conferences, there was a great divide between the exhibition floor and the panels at the expense of the panels. Most of the foot traffic was directed towards sights and delightful products displayed at the convention or the allure of smoking outside, unfortunately.

The producers of the show also produce other shows at the Edison Expo and Convention Center, like the Exotica pornography industry conference. Thus, they had the website Chaterbate on the convention floor along with cannabis brands.

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