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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The 7th Annual THC Expo/The Detroit Cannabis Cup - by Ben Horner

Detroit, MI: The seventh annual THC Expo at the Roostertail Event Center hosted approximately 200 vendors and was attended by thousands who came to meet canna celebrities, sample the wares and enjoy the true spirit of Detroit in epic bad boy mentality. Bill Lambert and Denis Rodman would have been proud. Although most of those who participated had a great experience, a visit from the fire marshal and DPD left several of the vendors in the medicating area punked out. In the end the show had to go on, and the event’s staff pulled off a narrow victory holding things together,  preventing the event from facing further obstruction by Detroit’s finest and upset vendors.
    
Many people met with the on-sight Doctor to see if they qualified for medical marijuana, further adding to the rosters of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Program. More came to meet Red Wings legend Darren McCarty, activist-comedian Tommy Chong and counter-culture legend John Sinclair. Mr. Chong was brought in again by the event’s main sponsor BDT Smoke Shop, who also brought him in for last years Hash Bash. Tommy explained to the crowd that when asked about the event by the local news channels what kind of people would be attending this event he explained with a smile, “Probably the happiest people in Detroit. And then they asked me, ‘why?’ So I said, ‘we just celebrated St. Patty’s day and on the news was how many people got into auto accidents because they where drunk driving, and now there is so many people smoking pot there is a shortage of donor organs (because there are less auto accidents) ... I reminded people at Fox News (Detroit) that St. Patty’s Day is a celebration of alcohol which causes many accidents and fatalities. I said, ‘the weed, which we celebrate everyday if your a medical person like I am, has been keeping me alive.” People lined up to get a picture with him for hours.


     Captain Kirk spoke about his experiences as an award winning cannabis chef and treating his MS with medical marijuana. Richard Clement asked us to “Free the Weed”, pumping up the crowd. However on Friday night, the first day of the event, whispers began circulating around the Roastertail about a raid at the medicating area. Soon medication vendors where coming back and confirming the rumors, to a certain degree. The fire marshal made a short surprise visit, but rapidly returned with DPD and began evicting the vendors. Witnesses reported that a mad dash pursued as ganjapenuers attempted to escape before getting arrested. In the end no arrests where reported but several folks where detained, while others the fled without gathering their products, losing thousands in inventory. Seems the rented location for the medicating area did not have the proper occupancy permit, and was not properly vetted.

     The following day a new location was found for the medicating area, but there wasn’t enough room for all the vendors that had paid to participate. Rage came from those who had lost out due to the raid and they decided to confront the event managers demanding immediate compensation for their loses. After some yelling and pushing the rabble-rousers were dispatched and told to call the office on Monday about any sort of refunds or compensation. “We worked for six months on this event, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let a handful for disgruntled people mob up on me and rob me and my crew, good thing we had security and a back up plan. I feel bad for those who lost out, but I didn’t try to rob anyone,” defended the event’s manager, Tom French, remorsefully.


     At the tail end of the event almost all the contestants in the Detroit Cannabis Cup lined up as the MMM Report and Richard Clement handed out the trophies for best indica, sativa, hybrid, medible and concentrate. Leaf Doctor proudly held up his four trophies. He placed in four separate categories, announcing he was proud to be the most award winning cannabis grower in the world and winning four more in his home town. The boys from IDK Farms made sure to point out that none of his wins were for first place, like their single large first place sativa trophy. After some braggadocios words, they embraced as true brothers and reminisced about the exchange of strains they have done over the years. Its that spirit of competition as friends and the sharing of knowledge and stock that was a silver lining to the event.

     Tommy Chong was right. Marijuana users and advocates don’t get out of control and no one got hurt, as they tend to do when alcohol is involved. The drama mostly became just that. The shear entertainment of it all was worth it, but some of the negativity lingers on social medial as folks vow to seek revenge. Speculation regarding one of the currently licensed dispensaries in Detroit having tipped of the police ,and where the missing product from the event went is still undetermined. If the event returns next year, hopefully a better medicating area will be properly vetted, but with the corrupt City of Detroit, smash and grabs, and back stabbing business owners dropping dimes on their competition, the 8th THC Expo will inevitably be just as entertaining.

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