Looking to get inspired for your next move in the marijuana industry? Mark your calendar, because cannabis expo Hall of Flowers is officially back for its fourth season. The recurring event recently announced that it will be taking on a SoCal venue on April 1 and 2, 2020, a change of pace for the normally NorCal-based business expo.
When it comes to those looking to broker a weedy deal, there are far worse events to attend than HoF. Hall of Flowers has rather quickly established itself as one of the prime B2B cannabis gatherings. It’s an industry-only affair, which means that business deals are conducted with some regularity between puffs of sample pre-rolls, which at the fair’s last edition were priced at $2 a pop so as to stay in line with California laws that prevent cannabis companies from gifting their products.
Lounging areas abound, but don’t think Hall of Flowers is a consumer-facing excuse to get stoned beyond recognition. There’s no live music, and consumption often seems limited to taste testing the products of potential business partners.
The massive trade event provides a look at brands that make flower, vape pens, edibles, drinks — if cannabis has been manufactured in a certain form, you’ll find it here. Past events have highlighted brands from across the cannabis world, including Bay Area rapper Berner’s Cookies brand, and most of the West Coast heavies like MedMen and Harborside, in addition to hundreds of smaller companies looking to make their mark on the industry’s consciousness. It’s become a popular venue for brands to debut. You’re unlikely to get as many influential eyes on your product elsewhere in the cannabis world.
The fair got its start with an invite-only first edition in 2018 in Sonoma, California that attracted some 1500 guests, over 300 buyers, and 150 brands. The minds behind its launch were marijuana-oriented marketing pros, like cannabis firm Green Street Agency’s Rama Mayo and Josh Shelton, and trade show organizer Dani Daiamanstein. Many of its first edition retailers were Green Street Agency clients.
Appropriate for an industry that has seen as much shift as marijuana recently, Hall of Flowers is not on a strict annual calendar. The expo, which has ballooned to welcome some 6,000 attendees over its two-day events, popped up twice this year, and will head south this spring for round four.
September was the last time Hall of Flowers took place. That third edition was marked by an unannounced appearance by actor Seth Rogan. The Pineapple Express creator recently got into the game himself with Canadian company Houseplant, and did little more than browse HoF’s aisles of product to land headlines.
He’s far from the only celebrity to promote their wares at Hall of Flowers. The second edition of the expo saw not only presentations from comedian Chelsea Handler and hip hop entrepreneur The Game, but also the preview of Shaboink, tousled rapper Post Malone’s line of cannabis products.
Who will be present at April’s SoCal Hall of Flowers showing? You’ll have to stick to the expo’s social media and the cannabis gossip lines for clues.