Marijuana trade show set in Tacoma

TACOMA — Unlike Seattle’s annual Hempfest, no smoking will be allowed at a marijuana convention in August at the Tacoma Dome.

People should think of CannaCon (cannabis convention) as a home-and-garden show for the new marijuana industry, organizer Bob Smart of Edmonds told The News Tribune Thursday.

“There’s no smoking at the event,” Smart said. “There will be no marijuana products for sale.”

The convention is scheduled to open Aug. 14. That first day will be given to some 60 seminars on subjects including “best practices for watering, temperature and humidity control, how to read your plants, how to identify different molds, best practices for cloning, taxes,” Smart said.

Over the next three days, the general public will have the opportunity to visit a trade show featuring hundreds of exhibitors, including professionals involved in health care, the law, tourism and various products related to the marijuana industry.

“We will have all of the latest contraptions to ingest smoke, all the pipes and vaporizers and every gadget out there,” Smart said. Add “trimmers, closed-loop extraction equipment, lighting, soil, nutrients, electricians. We’ll have a whole section about hemp, from biofuels to paper, makeup, all the things that can be made out of hemp.”

This is serious business.

“It seems to me with an emerging industry like we have that it needs to be something different from a bunch of people getting together and smoking. It has to be more professional,” Smart said.

He wants to distance the convention from events like Hempfest.

“There’s a better way to put on a show,” Smart said. “If the public keeps seeing this as one big smokefest, I don’t see the industry moving forward. People are going to look at it as a bunch of potheads. We’ll change the perception of how people see it.”

Tacoma officials expect a straight convention.

“One day they’re doing business-to-business, the other three days are a consumer show,” said Kim Bedier, Tacoma facilities director. “We’re treating it like any other client.”

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