September 30, 2011

From Hydroponics to Hot Girls, HempCon Caters to All Aspects of Marijuana Scene

Finally, an event focused specifically on the medical side of the marijuana community. Er, mostly focused on MMJ.

HempCon 2011 kicks off in Denver this afternoon, promising to bring together industry leaders, advocates, dispensary owners, patients and attorneys for a weekend full of seminars and presentations. But don’t be fooled: Like any marijuana event, HempCon will also feature plenty of midriff-baring women and a good dose of the stoner culture as well.

Perhaps it’s unavoidable, even for an event that pitches itself as an educational gathering. Most cannabis-related events are focused on general pot smokers, meaning they draw a fair share of teens and 20-somethings interested in picking up a new pipe and checking out scantily clad girls peddling top-shelf weed and other products. That’s what gets people through the doors.

HempCon largely tries to steer clear of that, as evidenced by its lineup of seminar topics – which include everything from marijuana for terminally ill patients to managing a dispensary. But it also came under fire recently for promoting a “hottest ass” and “fake orgasm” contest  – not exactly what you’d expect at a gathering for industry professionals. The organizers behind HempCon said the contests proved popular at past events and were purely about providing attendees with a little light entertainment, though they promptly removed all pictures and references to those events from the website. HempCon will also feature bands and other forms of entertainment, so it likely will have the look and feel of other notable marijuana gatherings like Kushcon.

Unfortunately, this is the type of image that harms the industry significantly, as we’ve mentioned time and time again. And trying to pass something off as a professional event – and then including a hottest ass contest – is bad form. But HempCon seems to be one of the more professional events of the bunch, so maybe some progress is being made.

The lineup of seminars and talks offer something for everyone. Here are some of the more interesting (and business-focused) events:

For dispensary owners:

– Dispensary Management, 6 p.m. on Saturday

– Banking Solutions for the Cannabis Industry, 7 p.m. on Saturday

– Building Your Grow Room, 5 p.m. on Sunday

For vendors:

– Topical and Salves, 1 p.m. on Saturday

– Edibles and Patient Dosing, 4 p.m. on Saturday

– Making Edibles That Patients Love, 2 p.m on Sunday

For patients:

– Know Your Rights

– Cannabis for the Terminally Ill

– Hemp for Weight Loss

For industry workers:

– Cannabis Jobs “Putting America to Work”

Tickets cost $20, and the event runs through Sunday at the Denver Merchandise Mart. After Denver, HempCon will move to San Jose, Calif., from Nov. 11-13 and then to Anaheim from Jan. 6-8.

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