Hall of Flowers, the Sequel
(Scroll the images above with the arrows. All photos: © mymilligram.)
Earlier this month was the second Hall of Flowers, a B2B trade show in Santa Rosa for brands, distributors, buyers, journalists, cannabiz players, and budtenders to connect, plus reps from packaging companies, dispensary software, and more. There were a number of speakers focused on branding, including a reprise from Gary Vaynerchuk this year, and special guest Chelsea Handler (you can watch her talk with Dr. Dina here).
The show’s footprint was twice the size of last year, with endless brand booths—I’m lucky I have my microdoser blinders on, which help me cruise the show while focusing on low-dose products (or products that can be consumed easily in a low-dose manner), CBD-rich flower, and topicals. The show may be called the Hall of Flowers, but I’d say it’s better suited for people looking for cutting-edge and innovative products instead of the kindest, stickiest, ickiest bud—leave that to the Emerald Cup. (But don’t get me wrong, there were some quality growers there—I was thrilled to see Casa Humboldt and their 20:1 Abacus S2 pre-rolls in the house, and I got to meet some Central Coast growers too!).
Hall of Flowers offers a great opportunity to meet the founders behind numerous brands (well, the smaller ones), and learn more about their story, products, sourcing, manufacturing, and more. Of course, cannabis branding can be so fun (and funny), so I really dug seeing so many well-designed products. And it made me so happy to say “high” to so many awesome people in the Cali cannabis scene, from LA peeps to Mendocino farmers, all in one place. I love the outdoor chill area the HOF folks set up so well, with all the big pillows, upbeat music, and food trucks—I wish that was an ongoing weekend happening.
Hosting a booth at Hall of Flowers is expensive (starting at $6K!)—some smaller brands smartly banded together to share a booth. But even so, $2K is a big expense, let alone the sampling costs, marketing materials, staffing, travel expenses, and more. Shout-out to Supernova Women for organizing and hosting the off-site Herban Mixer to give social equity, black, and brown cannabis brands presence at a showcase—and just $150 for a table. It was a quality networking event—I got to meet some fab folks (really enjoyed chatting with The People’s Dispensary, James Henry, The Apothecarry Case, and Urbn Cirque) and caught up with some of my favorites. I hope the Hall of Flowers organizers will offer some booths for social equity brands next year and strive to make the event more inclusive.
I also know everyone hopes the organizers are going to fix the ShowGrow sampling snafu—I can’t believe how many hours everyone wasted waiting in endless lines for samples, only to get shut out at the end of the day (and the overwhelmed budtenders were runnin’ hard!), let alone what happened to all the samples at the end of the show. Oy. But I’ve been really enjoying trying out the samples I did manage to get, so thanks to the generous brands!
Overall, I left the two-day event feeling inspired, ever-curious, overwhelmed (so much input, whoa), and happy to deepen some connections (and make new ones, too). Because in the end, it’s all about the people!
Here are some personal highlights from the show, primarily new product releases I’m excited about, brands that were new to me, looking fly, and other groovy things. Be sure to flip through the image carousel above!
Trokie makes a range of innovative, health-driven, medical-grade cannabis products (developed by a Doctor of Pharmacy), like potent and patented little dissolving CBD cubes with melatonin (these would be great for travel), CBD nanocapsules, a pain relief CBD spray for tattoo care (!), topical patches, and more.
Many folks know Kush Queen for her brightly colored bath bombs, but founder Olivia Alexander also has a line of topicals, including the menthol and capsicum–rich Melt lotion, which I am loving on my neck while I’m working at my desk (its icy-hot magic works quickly). There’s also a transdermal body wash called Soaked that will give you psychoactive effects (maybe I’ll start showering twice a day), and a new water-based lube called Ignite, which is latex-safe, and comes in both THC and CBD-dominant formulations.
Locally made IncrediMeds has some tasty products that fall outside the usual confections, like dark chocolate–covered pretzel bites, and dark mint chocolate–covered malt balls. Yum.
Do you know about New Frontier, another alcohol-free cannabis beer that uses nanotechnology (so you don’t get a grassy taste)? And they’re local to the Bay. 5mg per can.
Speaking of canna-beer, Two Roots Brewing is now selling their line of canna-beers (also using nanoemulsion technology). They make five different styles, from a blonde to a stout, all 5mg each and zero alcohol. I tried them in Nevada last year, and now they’re available in California.
Of course Level had to blow our minds with some brand-new cannabis-infused gum (coming soon!). And not just a hybrid of THC and CBD, or CBD only, but there’s one with THCV as well. That’s one helluva way to perk up in the afternoon.
Défoncé makes my eyes pop with their beautiful packaging, and they have a new line of bites (dark chocolate blueberries, milk chocolate almonds, milk chocolate espresso beans, and milk chocolate hazelnuts), all 5mg each. They also just released single-serve squares in five flavors, also 5mg each, and gorgeously wrapped—they would make such a nice host gift, turndown present for house guests, or party favor.
The array of products from the upcoming Pantry made the Italian half of my blood spike with joy. This chef-driven line of edibles is coming soon from the Franks in New York (Frank Castronovo and Frank Falcinelli, of Frankies Spuntino), and will include gourmet treats like olive oil ganache bonbons and gianduja with feuilletine. I die.
Oh, high, new Sparks from Somatik! The latest in the Sparks line is their dark chocolate 1:1 golden berries (AKA cape gooseberry or Inca berry), with 4mg CBD and THC per berry. You’ll be reading about them in mymilligram very soon!
It was so exciting to see the new packaging for Green Bee Botanicals, a botanical beauty line from Bridget May that is coming back to shelves very, very soon. Perfecting serum, get into my life.
More skincare: Divios is a line of natural, chemical-free sun care and skincare made with cannabis (did you know THC offers UV protection?) that’s launching in CA soon, and they have a CBD line from hemp, too.
Jetty Extracts recently launched a new line of full-spectrum, hemp-derived CBD vapes, from AC/DC to lemongrass ginger, six in all, with over 350mg of total cannabinoids. Instant chill.
I am pretty much living for the entire Entheo line of adaptogenic infused chocolates and 1:1 tinctures, coming this summer. Golden milk 5mg chocolates! Wrap it up, I’ll take it!
I had a huge laugh over the Dr. Robb Farms Mom’s Formula tablets (2.5mg CBD, 2.5mg THC, or there’s a 5:1 ratio), which were made to look like pressies. Raver flashbacks! (Mom! Don’t take those! Actually, wait, you can.)
Style and fun AND high quality? Yes! The line of Sonder vapes made me smile. Intergalactic, quirky-cute! Queer-owned (yes!), women-owned (yes!), and they source their cannabis from Family Roots in Mendocino, who use sustainable farming practices. The Sonder line has sativa hybrid and indica hybrid blend carts, as well as single-origin strains, like Blue Dream (tastes so good), Green Cush, Gorilla No. 4, and S.F.V. OG. It’s Sonder Time!
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Honestly, I’m bummed about all the disposable vapes I’m seeing, but it’s gonna be hard to get those horses back in the stable…
The line of Roam Escapes vapes was pretty darn clever, from NYC Hustle to Paris Nights (a 1:1 ratio that I’ve been enjoying in the evenings), with four “destinations” in all. The vape has a soft matte touch, an oblong shape so they don’t roll, and they were displayed with a leather carry case. Made with sun-grown cannabis from Santa Barbara’s Glass House Farms. And they won’t set off a metal detector (so handy for shows and festivals).
The Besito line also stopped me in my tracks with their chic AF branding, packaging (that Yves Klein blue!), and diversity in their visuals. I’m obsessed with their website too (does anyone know who did their branding? Wow.). Anyway, this line of three vapes is based on a sativa hybrid, with a 1:2 CBD: THC ratio, with grapefruit, mint, or blackberry. Sexy little gold hexagonal vape. Their site and materials were a little thin on info, so I hope to learn some more about their sourcing soon.
And Foria, known for their THC lube and suppositories, just released a vape cart (not disposable) called Empower (with a 4:1 CBD: THC ratio) that is designed to deliver an aphrodisiac microdose. The vape uses sun-grown cannabis cultivated to organic standards, essential oils, and botanical extracts, and is coming to CA in June. (Did you know they make CBD products as well?)
One last thing: fans of Kiva Petra Mints should know about the new lineup of flavors: tart cherry (it reminded me of a fruity Pez!), pineapple, Saigon cinnamon, and new citrus CBD mints. If you’re a fan of the eucalyptus flavor, stock up now because it’s being phased out in the summer. You can find these microdoser faves on Sava (and read my original Petra writeup here).
Thank you, Hall of Flowers!
Disclaimer: The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult your healthcare professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product.