Tuesday, August 4, 2015
Champs Trade Show in Las Vegas - by Ben Horner
Sin City is the perfect place to host a smoking accessory and head shop trade show. The dry heat hit us hard when we arrived. After working in the medical marijuana industry for the last five years, being in an environment where one has to curb the cannabis language, is a reminder of how good we have it here in Michigan. After checking into the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, we made our way over to the Las Vegas Convention Center and registered at the Champs event.
Although, Nevada passed medical marijuana back in 2001, dispensaries have yet to come into effect. For a few of my teenage years, I lived with my father in a small town called Fallon, which is about an hour south of Reno. Everyone in Nevada knows that law enforcement officials in Nevada don’t play when it comes to marijuana. As Hunter S. Thompson pointed out in is critically acclaimed book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, simple possession can land you in jail for a year, and ten years for sales. Recently, medical marijuana patients and cannabis entrepreneurs have had some victories and it seems that the tides are turning towards acceptance for medical marijuana.
Once inside the Champs trade show it was hard not to mention marijuana even though many of the product vendors were from states that have yet to legalize any cannabis use. Glassblowers, nutrient companies, vaporizers, containers, fake pee, heady gear, and just about any other paraphernalia that you can imagine was available for wholesale purchasing. Champs has been hosting these events since the nineties. An amazing glass blowing competition was the highlight of the show. After spending way too much money and getting educated on all the new weed tech and swag, we went back to the hotel and went to the spa.
The after parties were off the hook. Finding out how to get a pass took some smooth operations and charismatic networking. It is absolutely amazing what you can find in Vegas. The next Champs show will be the bigger one, and is in February. If you have a product or a wholesale business you should get a booth. I know that MMM Publishing, the parent company of this magazine will be there hoping to expand into new cannabis friendly states. If you own a business that sells products like those mentioned, go as a buyer. Buyers get in for free, booths start at around twelve hundred.