It’s been days since 4/20, yet the cannabis celebration continues around Boston. This year was Boston’s first 4/20 celebration after passing Question 4, the measure to legalize recreational cannabis use in Massachusetts. Hundreds of cannabis consumers flocked to the Boston Commons (a.k.a. the most popular spot in Boston to consume cannabis) on April 20th to light up on this special day. Passing Question 4 sent shockwaves for the state of Massachusetts, opening up a unique industry that was already booming in the West Coast.
With Question 4 passing last year, what kind of businesses will we see around Massachusetts? What kind of cannabis culture will we see here in Boston? Could Boston’s cannabis culture be different than the culture seen in Colorado or California?
To get a sense of how the cannabis culture fits into the city of Boston, I took a trip to the New England Cannabis Convention. This event was located at the Hynes Convention Center on Boylston Street in Boston; now in its 3rd year, it is the biggest convention dedicated to companies/organizations doing business for the cannabis industry. A wide variety of businesses met with consumers to discuss what kind of work they conduct on a daily basis. From growing supplies to consulting, every type of product or service was featured in one building.
After scoping out the convention for the past few days, I found some inspirational companies looking to make it big here in Boston. Some businesses had a unique take on the cannabis culture while others stood out for their interesting product that would make the cannabis experience much better. Here were some notable moments I had to share about my experience at the New England Cannabis Convention:
Charlotte’s Web: For the first vendor, I went to check out Charlotte’s Web. Charlotte’s Web is the name for a high-CBD strain that was created by The Stanley Brothers. The Stanley Brothers’ created the strain specifically for a young epileptic patient named Charlotte. Charlotte is a young girl who uses CBD medicine to treat her ongoing seizures due to epilepsy. Since using the CBD oil, Charlotte has experienced much less seizures than she did before. This brand of CBD can be used as oil or capsules, depending on what works best for you.
CannaKorp: My next stop was to CannaKorp, known for being the world’s first pod-based cannabis vaporizing system. CannaKorp is manufactured in Stoneham and currently a patent-pending vaporizer that allows people to indulge with cannabis through efficient vapor. You can choose from a variety of indica, sativa, hybrid, and CBD strains to vape with. Each pod contains pre-ground cannabis flower that is sealed to lock in the flavor, freshness, and aroma for an amazing experience.
AngryBuds: When I passed by Angry Buds, I immediately thought of the game Angry Birds that was released more than 7 years ago. Ironically enough, the company is releasing the game Angry Buds that is similar to Angry Birds (except that it’s with buds rather than birds!). Other than the interesting Angry Birds reference, Angry Buds sells a wide range of products for a greater smoking experience. Such products include grinders, vaporizers, papers, bud stuffers, containers, and other accessories. The Angry Buds game won’t be released anytime soon and hopefully we will hear more of the game’s release sometime this year.
Kushley: Kushley features organic products that eliminate the cannabis odor from the room. Just a few sprays of the product and you can keep your room smoke-free. Cannabis may be recreationally legal here in Boston, but not everyone is looking to join the Boston Pot Party! Whether it is a conservative friend that doesn’t like the smell or keeping the odor away from kids, Kushley is available for any kind of situation.
Lifted: Located in Santa Monica, Lifted looks to help businesses create mobile apps for the iOS, Android, or the web. With cannabis prohibition slowly becoming a thing of the past, building a strong brand with a passionate following is crucial for cannabis companies. Having a strong brand is critical for surviving the business world and Lifted looks to build up a long-lasting brand that consumers will remember. This was a unique company that worked on cannabis brands rather than the actual product itself.
Maine Green Scene: Even though Massachusetts legalized recreational use last year, Maine has already been paving the way for the cannabis industry. Maine Green Scene is a business showcasing a directory of the cannabis culture in Maine. From dispensaries to medical doctors, Maine Green Scene provides all the information you need to snag the best cannabis products. Legal dispensaries won’t be opening their doors until early 2018, but you can still find a handful of medical products within the state.
ProVerde Laboratories: ProVerde Laboratories is one of a few medical cannabis testing labs here in Massachusetts. It’s the company where science, technology, and cannabis all meld together under one business. Testing for cannabis includes tests for THC, CBD, CBN, CBC, terpene profiles, and other data about the product. This was a great company to check out because testing labs are so important in revealing what’s inside your cannabis flower or edible that you are consuming.
Skunk Magazine/Linzy Heartwork: While wandering through the last lap of the exhibit hall, I noticed the name ‘Shona Banda’ on the cover of the book Live Free or Die. It took me a minute to realize that Shona was featured on Viceland’s show Weediquette last year. Shona was interviewed for the episode titled ‘Stoned Parents’ where Shona discussed how her kid was taken away because he mentioned the term ‘cannabis’ while in school. I was excited to talk with Shona Banda about her experience with cannabis and how she is paving for the fight against prohibition here in America. It’s figures like Shona Banda that help push the fight for recreational cannabis use all across the country.
Other than the vendors, I walked through an art gallery that featured some infamous art work surrounding the cannabis culture. Some featured pictures of the cannabis/hemp plant itself while other works revolved around the history of cannabis prohibition. Here were some notable pictures I found within the art gallery:
You heard it from the man himself, George Washington!
‘The New Billion-Dollar Crop’: A headline that would’ve revolutionized the hemp industry had it been released in the 1930s.
The man, the myth, the Harvard Professor himself – Dr. Lester Grinspoon!
America’s most famous stoner duo…Cheech and Chong!
A Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 – the stamp needed to grow cannabis/hemp, yet none were given out.
Samuel R. Caldwell – America’s first victim of cannabis prohibition who was incarcerated in 1937.
Famous ‘Reefer Madness’ posters that initiated the PR nightmare that destroyed cannabis’s reputation for decades!
Harry Anslinger and Richard Nixon – two different political figures with the same goal to eradicate cannabis in the country.
That was my infamous journey around the New England Cannabis Convention. I had an amazing time meeting with people from different companies/organizations and learning about what they have to offer for the cannabis industry. Recreational dispensaries haven’t opened up yet, but business will be BOOMING in Boston by summer 2018. It has been a long road up until Question 4 passed, but all of our hard work will pay off once the cannabis culture is in full bloom.