In California, the business community built by and around marijuana growers and product-makers is trying to quickly figure out how to cash in on what experts presume will be a bonanza of opportunity. Pictured: Strains and infused products line the shelves at The Station in Boulder, a recreational marijuana business. (Brennan Linsley, The Associated Press)

California cannabis businesses prepare to promote themselves in recreational era

At a recent industry event, attendees could sample edibles, try new vape pens, and price marijuana-themed luxury jewellery

In November, Californians overwhelmingly voted to legalize recreational marijuana. One caveat of the new law was that the state would have a year to implement regulations and oversight. State officials will require some time to figure out how to introduce legal weed to the world’s 6th largest economy. Officials need to implement things like how to test a marijuana-intoxicated driver. Along with the state and law enforcement community, the vibrant business community built by and around marijuana growers and product-makers is also trying to quickly figure out how to cash in on what experts presume will be a bonanza of opportunity. Last week, Civilized attended an event hosted by CannaCool Lounge and Women Abuv Ground. The pot-focused soirée of sorts was designed to help foster the growth of the legal marijuana business.

The evening was billed as a Grammy Awards pre-party and tribute to Montel Williams, the former daytime talk show host and advocate for recreational marijuana. Held at a ballroom in downtown Los Angeles, the event included a VIP section where marijuana-enthusiasts could sip weed-infused wine and nibble on sushi. On the main floor, attendees could sample edibles, try new vape pens, and price marijuana-themed luxury jewellery. Men in Weedmaps hats ambled past. Women smiled as they tried pot-infused fried potato balls. Meanwhile, as Drake boomed from PA speakers and the DJ mixed in the next track, pot consumers and weed aficionados leaned in close to be able to hear a sales rep explain why marijuana-infused candies are so popular.

As I stopped at one vendor table, a friendly-faced man asked me, “Do you like to smoke rosin?” He was selling vape pens and two products to puff. One was called Clear and was made of 86% THC. The other product was CBD, which he was quick to inform, unlike THC, provides no head high. He pointed out that “Some people tend to get paranoid with a head high. So this is more medicinal.”

And there’s the rub. Wandering from table-to-table, one is left to wonder: which of these products are snake oil and which are viable medicinal and recreational products. Is pot-infused honey really going to do anything for you, besides taste like someone gave bees pot resin to eat? Like the early days of patent medicine shows, today’s maker of marijuana products has little to no governmental oversight. Which makes it difficult for customers to know the real from the bullshit.

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This story was first published on Civilized.Life