Washington’s legal cannabis industry has some great things going for it, including quality plants and products, and lots of creative people growing and selling them.
But this also creates a big challenge observed by the industry: too many producers/processors and not enough stores. (About 1,400 growers to 500 stores, for those who are counting.)
That’s part of the reason Dennis Turner and his partners started Cannatank 420 last year. They hoped the farm-to-retailer expo in Spokane would serve as an easy and useful way to get both groups to conduct business together, and have fun in the process.
This year, Cannatank420 returns April 6-7 to the Spokane Convention Center with nearly three times as many exhibitors as last year, plus new features like the first-ever Canna Cup Awards, an auction, seminars, live music, a VIP event, local and national comedians, and an after-party for vendors at the Glover Mansion.
“This event is a great return on investment for retailers and producers/processors,” said Turner. “We play the role of a middleman in bringing everyone together.”
Last year, there were about 70 booths, mostly Eastern Washington businesses. This year, Turner said about 200 exhibitors will be coming from all around the state.
In addition to having a presence on the showroom floor, retailers and growers can schedule private meetings to discuss possible sales or introduce themselves to each other. The timing is perfect, since most stores are starting to make plans and make orders for 4/20, a day of high consumer demand.
Turner, who also owns the Lucid Cannabis stores in Cheney and north Spokane, said the auction will be especially exciting.
Planners have hired a professional auctioneer, who will be selling anything that people puts up for sale. This can include flower, processing equipment, glass and even marketing materials.
Bidding on something could be a perfect opportunity for a retailer to get a great deal and perhaps help out a struggling grower who may have a hard time finding buyers.
“Maybe a buyer can get to know a new grower by bidding on 50 pounds of their flower,” Turner said. “Selling in bulk can also provide a nice lifeline to someone who might be having a hard time right now.”
The event is designed to have an industry focus, but the public will also be welcome. Any visitor may enjoy the seminars that cover everything from how to get hired and do well in the industry to how CBD can help health conditions.
Music will be provided by Biggie On The Beat.
Turner and his partners are also planning to utilize the Cannatank420 model in Colorado, with a similar event planned in Denver in October.
“I’d like to start taking this template to different states,” he said. “Last year was kind of a test for us, and this year we’re really going pro.”
Members of the industry interested in arranging meetings or participating in the auction can contact event organizers at email@example.com.
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