This past weekend, the Poseidon team took a trip up to Santa Rosa, California for the Emerald Cup: a popular cannabis festival that annually brings together growers, entrepreneurs, aficionados, lobbying groups, enthusiasts and dispensaries throughout the state. The event was bustling, with lines for entry stretching down the block. Even the sprawling Sonoma County Fairgrounds where it was held seemed almost cramped for the amount of interest the event generated.
It was quite a showing, and difficult not to get swept up in the excitement around a plant that medical professionals are now heralding as a panacea for a range of physical and psychological issues; farmers and planners are calling a sustainable building material for the ages; and entrepreneurs, tech innovators and dispensary owners are betting will be the biggest American industry boom since the dot com era emerged some 20 years ago.
The range of cannabis related products being presented at the Cup was impressive, with companies representing everything from next generation smoking and vaping systems to hemp clothing and food, to every form of cannabis-infused edible and salve imaginable.
A bevy of lobbying groups and professional organizations were also present, including the California Cannabis Industry Association, NORML and a few others. There were also numerous attorneys, doctors, musicians, artists, and artisans representing the multitude of shades that fall beneath this ever-widening umbrella we now call "cannabis culture."
All in all, it was an impressive showing, and an encouraging glimpse into the state of this roiling, evolving, multifaceted industry. Knowing that in 2016, California may very well go the way of Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon (that is, legalizing adult use cannabis), one can only imagine how large and exciting an event like this might be in years to come.