“Chicago Cannabis Events” a simple phrase that has blown up in the last year. A controversial topic for many, I have decided to talk about some of the more controversial aspects.
Let me preface this by saying: I am and will continue to be an avid supporter of black and brown brands within the cannabis industry. I will continue to support and to uplift those who I have faith in and respect.
You see, while the cannabis industry is fairly new, the cannabis community is centuries old. It’s a huge community of potheads whom no matter where they’re from or who they are, they love the plant and they love those who love it too. The “stoner” image was always one of peace and love, one of unity. It’s an image I hoped that the industry would maintain. One that even newcomers would respect and adhere to, as ignorant as it may sound. But as soon as you visit your first questionable event, you realize some really weird shit goes down.
And this isn’t an attack on any particular type of event. Overall, what followed “legalization” in our state has been disappointing as fuck. Sure, cannabis is legal. But it’s consumption is only allowed at home. There are no legal public consumption lounges operating anywhere near Chicago. We aren’t allowed to smoke outdoors, we aren’t even allowed to inspect the marihuana we buy at dispensaries. It’s really ridiculous what our local government has deemed “legalization”. In fact, it’s a slap to the face, and it started a whole new era of what people call “underground events”. But for those who have been keeping an eye on the industry for years, these are inspired by the California and Miami cannabis scene.
These Chicago Cannabis Events are heavily inspired by the Miami and California cannabis scene.
But with our restricting laws, it’s near impossible to throw a comprehensively successful cannabis event. We’ve already seen many disasters. From “premier” events at shitty dive bars, to cannabis events where you can’t even smoke, we’ve seen it all. And I’m not talking about networking or educational events, I’m talking about social events meant for bringing together like minded stoners. There’s been good, and then there’s been bad and there’s the ugly. Cannabis events held in shit hole venues, venues with no sitting area, vendors packed in like sardines. It’s evident that more and more people are sacrificing quality for something else. Some say that that something else is money, I would probably agree.
So here are some quick tips for vendors interested in these Chicago Cannabis Events.
It’s important to do your research on the organizer, and ask other vendors their honest opinion. They will have no problem giving it to you. This is a community, and we have to look out for each other. Protect yourself from organizers who make money from vendors instead of ticket holders. This act will be quite evident in their promotion and marketing. There is no reason why any event is charging vendors over $200 when they have no prior track record of bringing in a crowd. When it’s their first event. When they have over 20 vendors. When they are charging over $10 for an entry ticket. This is basic business, and if you’re looking to get in, it’s just as much your responsibility to be smart and aware of what you’re getting into. This is a victimless industry, and vendors are just as much responsible as organizers for their own success.
Why am I against this idea of most of these Chicago Cannabis Events?
Because cannabis exists in every industry. Because we shouldn’t be hosting these cannabis shopping trips, we should be partnering with current events and having conversations about incorporating cannabis. My open mic has a focus on talent and art, with the undertone being that cannabis users are welcome. That’s because stoners exist in every aspect of life. We are not a cookie cutter group of people, we exist in every social setting, and we shouldn’t have to create our own separate events. We should be able to assimilate into every aspect of Chicago living. Not to say that there shouldn’t be ANY cannabis events, but it should be about community, distribution of wealth, and promotion of the culture. Not self promotion, greed, and elitism.
Before I finish I want to say that there are plenty of names in the industry creating not only events, but actual experiences. Creating a community. There are good people in every industry. The few bad apples, do not speak for the general, and I firmly believe we are experiencing a roll out of potential. The “what if” of being able to have consumption lounges and being able to consume in public in general. And while there are organizers and vendors alike cashing in on this current trend, longevity is key. And in a year we will not see half of these events we’re seeing now. In a year, only those who were consistent, transparent, and genuine will continue to provide amazing events.
I will continue to support local brands. Black and brown creators. Moral organizers. Apart from that, my focus is on the cannabis community and experience, not on the industry. I will continue to remain unbiased. I will continue to be present at these Chicago Cannabis Events and I will continue to host and uplift those who I feel are moral. I will continue to give my honest opinion and I will continue to recommend those who have provided me with good service, fair prices, and quality products.
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