There’s something about mixing the aroma of cannabis with the feeling (there is absolutely a feeling) of being in wine country that brought out the best of the attendees walking through the gates of the Sonoma County Fairgrounds on May 3-4 for Hall of Flowers 2023. Truth be told, I think that’s the x-factor in motion for the show.
The team behind Hall of Flowers, which includes prolific event producer Dani Diamond, took a chance on a new concept five years ago—an exclusive, invite-only experience that connects cannabis brand buyers directly with growers and extraction companies—and placed it as close to the North American epicenter of cannabis (shout out to Humboldt County and Nevada City Limits) as they could. After multiple successful events in Santa Rosa, Palm Springs and one north of the border in Toronto, the creative gathering shows no sign of slowing down—and truthfully, I hope it doesn’t.
Among the sea of events that plague our inboxes, beg for our attention and yearn for our resources, Hall of Flowers is one of the few that feel like a natural yes. It’s inviting, it’s comfortable and it’s the exact juxtaposition of what the a-typical cannabis convention has been positioned to look like, right down to sample offerings and consuming on-site.
“Once again, even in a tough market, we pulled off a great show,” says Dani Diamond, Hall of Flowers CEO and founder. “We continue to build an exceptional trade show that connects the right people to the right brands; we were excited to see an area dedicated to farmers and small batch and look forward to our next show this September in Toronto.”
As a friend of the show, I was able to attend, explore, experience and take in all that was new and returning. Walking the aisles, seeing the smiles, shaking hands and discovering new products felt like something out of a movie. Attendees were excited to grab free swag, engage with new products and understand why these brands were paying to get their attention and earn their trust. I’d be remiss if I didn’t give an honorable mention to the outdoor grass lounge.
This area, which is right in front of you as you walk through the gates, served as the defacto area to meet, sesh (smoke a joint together) and just kick back after hours of walking. This was also the area where I learned the most. There were colorful stories about how people turned bad life situations into positive growth opportunities for the sake of the plant; how multi-million-dollar brands got started; and how partnerships were forged. This was the spot for making meaningful, relaxed connections. One conversation that really stood out to me was with Dustin Koffler, CEO at GreenTank Technologies, a market leader in vape combustion hardware, that has received investment twice from Snoop Dogg’s own California-based Casa Verde Capital.
“The last few years it’s become about how the product is being heated, versus what the product actually is being heated,” Koffler says. “We’re on a mission to change the way customers experience vaping and that kind of deliverable.”
And this was only one of the many, many conversations. Everyone was smiling and happy to just be in the moment, embracing a freedom that is as much welcomed as it is appreciated: enjoying cannabis legally. Sign me up for the next one. (Full Story)