CannaCon convention coming to Tacoma

Most folks have heard about Seattle’s Hempfest, to be held Aug. 15-17 this summer.

But there’s another interesting event running parallel to it up north that looks equally interesting.

CannaCon, held Aug. 14-17 in the Tacoma Dome, is a mixture of a cannabis business convention and a trade show that’s open to the public on Aug. 16 and 17.


CannaCon will also have free bus trips on the hour on Friday and Saturday between it and Hempfest for folks that want to attend both.

The is the first year for CannaCon, which was created by Bob Smart, a professional event organizer for the past 20 years and a marijuana grower for the past 40 years.

Smart said he saw a need for a cannabis trade show that the public can also attend. There’s no pot smoking at the event, but plenty of business and job information.

“The problem is that the other business conventions won’t let people in,” Smart said. “And so the public sees everything as Cheech and Chong. If we want to shed that and show people that we’re a legitimate industry, we need to let the public in.”

Business owners can attend the conference for free with one guest so long as they bring their business license as proof. Public admission is $30 on Saturday and $25 on Sunday, or $50 for the full weekend.

“The other huge thing we’ve got going on at CannaCon is that we have 60 seminars, and once you get in, they’re free,” Smart said.

The Seminars include information about growing, business licenses, banking, sales, plant physiology and – for those looking to get into the business – a series of budtender seminars that run both Saturday and Sunday.

The budtender seminar participants will complete a final exam on Sunday and if they pass, they’ll get a CannaCon Budtender Certificate.

“Budtender classes will cover customer service, terpenes, cannabanoids, THC, CBD, medibles, strains and several other things,” Smart said.

There is no smoking allowed at the convention, and no marijuana will be sold there. But there will be lots of associated products and business experts.

The show has already sold 190 booths, making it the largest cannabis trade show in the world, Smart said.

“The next largest trade show, which isn’t open to the public, has 62 booths,” Smart said.

The show will also have a marketplace where visitors can purchase items like pipes, vaporizers, trimming machines, nutrients, soil services, consulting or buy tourism packages.

I know several folks from Clark County are planning to attend, including CannaMan Farms and Farmer Tom Lauerman, who’ll be speaking Sunday afternoon on Sustainable Cannabis Propagation.

How about you? Are you going? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this.