October 17, 2011

Internation Cannabis and Hemp EXPO sets a new standard for Northern CA

Int Che Entrance Sign
Kim Cue started the International Cannabis and Hemp Expo as a way to bring Cannabis Education to the public in Northern CA. The first shows were held at the famous Cow Palace in Daly City, a venue housing hundreds of concerts and events over the years. The first Expo of its kind in the area, Int Che provided a Prop 215 Consumption area for CA Medical Cannabis patients and featured hundreds of diverse vendors, industry professionals speaking on educational panels and a VIP Cannabis Cup made only available to those with a golden ticket. This year, the International Cannabis and Hemp EXPO made another movement shaking accomplishment. They moved from the Cow Palace to the downtown Streets of Oakland, CA on September 3 & 4th, 2011. The prop 215 consumption section was situated on the front lawn of Oakland's City Hall. Hundreds of vendors moved from an indoor exhibition space to 14th & Clay Street.

Int Che Golden Ticket
The elements of this show were the same as previous events. Patients with a Golden Ticket received judges boxes complete with samples of flower, hash, kief, oils and medibles. Promotional items and a glass smoking piece also come with the box, so attendees were able to sample the products onsite in the VIP section.  
Selkta Lou, premier resident DJ for most events in the Cannabis Industry held the chill vibe in the VIP section hosting guest DJ's throughout the weekend. Mixes of mellow hip hop and reggae filled the air while patients enjoyed the Hash Bar. Winners are announced at the end of the event. This year's winners included Angel Care's WOW for Best CA Cannabis Strain and Best CA Cannabis Hash, San Jose Patients Group's Purple Dragon's Breath for Best CA Wax, Irish Moss Drinks for Best CA Edible and Granny's Greef Leaf's medicated herbal balm for Best CA Specialty product.

Speaker panels with Anna Rae Grabstein of SteepHill Labs, Cheryl Shuman of Kush Magazine, Mikki Norris of West Coast Leaf newspaper, Steve Bloom of Celebrity Stoner, Melissa Balin of Hemp Can Save the Planet and Angel Reich of Angel Reich Center for Health or ARCH Collective were held on the speaker stages in the general public area. panalists discussed many issues affecting the Cannabis movement today including media, politics, culture, trends and science.

Oaksterdam University, located on 16th and Broadway adjacent to the festival grounds hosted after parties for Golden Ticket Holders and conducted tours of the facilities for folks interested in seeing their grow labs and classroom spaces. Oaksterdam University is the first Trade School University of its kind in the Cannabis industry and has expanded since its inception in 2009 to include 4 locations Nationwide. Oaksterdam also showcased their antique car fueled by hemp oil demonstrating the value of industrial Hemp as a replacement for petroleum. Henry Ford's original car was built to be run on alternative fuels like Hemp oil and corn ethanol.

Oaksterdam Hemp Car
Int Che Main Stage Oakland City Hall
Of course with milestones comes criticism. Many articles were published after the event ridiculing the City of Oakland for allowing a Prop 215 smoking section on the front lawn in spite of the City's efforts to keep the media from publishing photos of people smoking with City Hall in the background. Journalists were required to sign a waiver stating they would not publish photos of people smoking with the municipal building in the background. There were no reports of violence or disruption reported at the event.

Although sales of Cannabis medicines were not allowed, many samples were available to patients in the Prop 215 section including flower, seeds and medibles. Originally, the permit allowed for onsite sales in a Farmer's Market environment, however the language was removed from the permit one day before the show. Vendors were told they would not be able to sell cannabis goods upon arrival.

Glass, clothing and accessories were available to the public in the general vending section located on 14th and Clay Streets including DoobTubes, Illusion Glass and 420 FL Products. The event also featured a walk in semi-truck sized Gro Bot container equipped with lights and a high end ventilation system for optimal plant yield.

For more information about the International Cannabis and Hemp EXPO, please visit their website: Int Che Events or email: contactus@intche.org

Golden Ticket Judges Box and Contents