The Pennsylvania Cannabis Festival this past weekend was a great gathering of cannabis-related enthusiasts, advocates, patients, and business people.
Held outside Kutztown this past weekend, the site consisted of two large pavillions with vendors in tents surrounding them. There were many people of different ages there, though mostly younger people. A few seniors and eccentrics strolled along with families with kids and dogs. Bands played rock music on one side of the pavilions with people watching on a field. Some people medicated around the cannabis festival. It was held concurrently with an antique and farmer’s market on Saturday.
The place was very colorfully decorated. Raw rolling paper companies had giant joints suspended from the ceilings of tents displayed prominently.
Cannabis Festival Highlights
It was very crowded both days so parking was a bit difficult. It was much bigger than last year. There were more smaller tent outside the two main pavilions.
Many vendors busy with other customers could be annoying if you weren’t willing to wait or come back. My friend known here as Gonzo MacGiver also said the prices had jumped noticeably from when we visited last year.
There was a free-spirited feeling brought out by cannabis that resulted in some eccentric hats next to people strolling with dogs and babies. Most but not all were masked.
There were many people there with New Jersey ties and NJ plates. Some were interested in the business opportunities adult-use cannabis will create.
Brands that have vended in New Jersey like Juice Joint had steady customers throughout the cannabis festival.
There were many vendors who were giving out strong samples that one could definitely feel the effects. On Saturday Gonzo said got many samples while I was occupied elsewhere. By the end of the cannabis festival, many vendors were out of the products they were giving samples to entice purchases.
On Sunday, I was feeling cosmic after I took a 1000 mg CGB oil sample. When I explained my symptoms, it was recommended and bought CBG capsules of 35 mg each 30 in for $60 plus tax.
There were a range of brands including large company brands, including Multi-State Operators (MSOs) operating in Pennsyvlania. Some vendors were trying to sign up people to become PA patients.
Tinctures and hemp joints were the most popular items sold last year. This year there was more variation with a heavy emphasis on infused edibles according to Gonzo.
Many variations of CBD tinctures, flowers, cartridges (or carts), and lotions or salves were sold. Carts also seemed much more popular. I got a deal on a pipe I had been planning to buy. There were a lot of great options of pipes and bongs.
Delta 8-THC was the newer product I had not previously seen widely sold. It was becoming increasingly popular because it gets people high. It’s derived from cannabis. Moreover, it is completely unregulated by the federal government. I heard a couple anecdotes about how people who smoked regularly thought it strong and knocked out when tried it.
Gonzo said he was annoyed one vendor trying to sell him something didn’t know what Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) was so he didn’t seem very knowledgeable. He wasn’t selling RSO though.
Gonzo spent time figuring out if getting a deal, the best deal depending on how many milligrams a product contained, and negotiating. Depending on the different amount of milligrams, some products ranged from $35 to $200 at one booth.
“Everybody wants to sign everybody up,” Gonzo MacGiver said. Referring ot one guy eager to wholesale a bag of CBD among others. He was almost signed up for an elaborarate program that made sense if planning to regularly buy a lot of CBD, otherwise not a good deal at all because spending a lot of money. He said they were based in Texas. They asked for a lot of information so he gave the wrong phone number. Gonzo compared it to the plotline in “Weeds” when Celia sells make up with weed because otherwise the products were difficult for her to sell.
Ultimately he concluded that it was a legitimate business opportunity if he had the network and community we enjoyed in college.
Gonzo said the cannabis festival had “gone corporate” compared to last year. While it could still be “hippie” or otherwise themed, he said many of the participants were corporate. Last year there seemed to be more mom and pop, start-up businesses.
“This time I’m dealing with organized crime,” Gonzo said.
Now the companies had uniformed representative, whole supply chains, and call centers he said.
(Read Part Two on a great advocate who was tabling there tomorrow!)