The sixth annual Hemp & Cannabis Fair is expected to draw more than 100 vendors, 16 major speakers and some 2,500 interested people this Saturday and Sunday at Jackson County Expo.
The free event is produced by Naomi Forkash of Ashland out of an office on Pioneer Street as a way to offer a one-stop “house and garden show” on everything cannabis, from pre-rolled and extracts to trimmers and harvesting equipment and, she adds, “It’s the opportunity to connect on a personal level with dispensary bud-tenders, build relationships and find that shop ‘where everybody knows your name.’”
About 80 percent of vendors are local, she says. Lectures will feature the latest technology and science around how to grow and consume cannabis, the politics around the plant, how to use it medicinally, and what smoking it does to your lungs, with tips on how to “bypass” smoke.
“One of our big goals is to help normalize the hemp and cannabis industry and have normal conversations about it,” she says. “Some people are still worried about coming out and speaking about their use, even with hemp products. I love to see three generations shopping together and talking out in the open about everything.”
Speakers details are at http://thcfair.com/event/speakers_list.php?eid=61. They include:
— Tori Wright, “The Healing Effects of Medical Cannabis.”
— Harley Smith, “Plant Nutrition for Maximum Yields.”
— Mahalath Wealthy, “Increase Yield with Chemical Free Pest Solution.”
— Carly Culin and Kayla Rau, “Germinating Cannabis Seeds in Good Earth’s Soil.”
— Kelly O’Connor, “Cannabis Science Made Simple — Understanding your Label.”
— Thomas Boruff, “Security and Beyond.”
— Randal Barrett, “The Science of Cannabis, Health & Delivery.”
— “Pioneer Pete,” “Pot Policy & Politics: What Weed All Like to Know.”
One big trend in the industry is the presence of women and, she notes, almost half the vendors at this fair are female, sadding, “In our first year, 30 of 40 vendors were male. As we’ve grown, a lot more women are coming in, having started at home with edibles and CBD products and they now are becoming a powerful entrepreneurial phenomenon.”
The fair is broadening out to include locally handcrafted jewelry, body care items and such. It also gives the opportunity to network and get the word out for locals who create their own cannabis products at home and want to expand, she says.
The fair is set for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday at the Expo in Central Point. it is held here twice a year, with the next one scheduled for March 2-3. It is also held around the West at Salem, Bend, Reno and Merced. Consumption of any cannabis is not allowed at the Fair. For details, go to thcfair.com.
John Darling is an Ashland freelance writer. Reach him at email@example.com.