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Los Angeles Cannabis Cup

At the Los Angeles Cannabis Cup, a trade show, judging contest and festival of pot culture, sharp marketers were following a disciplined business plan. On display was an array of products from pipes and vaporizers used to consume pot to products that aid in growing plants, processing leaf into concentrates, packaging and handling pot, and business services such as legal advice, accounting and consulting.

According to the California Cannabis Industry Association, the marijuana market is exploding with business potential as the weed’s legality and acceptance grow.

Just a few yards away, an Irvine company is selling complete plug-and-play growing cabinets for the home herbalist. Inside is everything you need to be a discreet farmer except the dirt and plants — lighting, water, air filtration and circulation systems.

A closet-size model goes for $2,800. Inside the designated “medication” area, available to anyone with a doctor’s prescription recommending marijuana for medical use, the crowd was more consumption-focused. Hits off bongs and vaporizers were freely available, and people walked openly with marijuana cigarettes dangling from their lips.

The Los Angeles Cannabis Cup event is sponsored by High Times magazine, and is one of the largest trade shows for the medical marijuana industry.

For those lacking a legal prescription for cannabis, Medical Green Doctors of Venice Beach is issuing doctor’s orders on the spot. The note costs $40, and the line to get in is long. Staffers advise patients that a chronic disorder, lasting six months or longer, is needed.

February 2014