DON’T SMOKE THE MESSENGER: Cannabis Worldwide: Pt. 2
Spannabis – The World’s Best Cannabis Gathering
In the first part of this series, I gave impressions on what the worldwide cannabis climate is currently like. Having never been out of the country beyond Canada, Mexico and Bermuda (Yes, I’ve smoked cannabis in all three locations) I was feeling rather un-experienced for a “cannabis professional.” Fast forward with me a few weeks through extreme jet-lag, the Spanish plague and a truly global cannabis experience: I bring news of the promised land . . . well, sort of.
Some aspects of the cannabis industry and culture in Spain easily stand out. Cannabis is quite socially accepted. Barcelona has a thriving social consumption club scene. The industry, technology and development–and therefore products–are not nearly as far along as in legalized U.S. states. Yet the cannabis community is distinctively excited in this unique atmosphere.
Spannabis 2019. This year Barcelona was graced by over 25,000 visitors clamoring to attend a three day saturation of smoke–both cannabis and tobacco–almost exclusively resulting from joints or spliffs. Fellow cannabis enthusiasts & professionals, international businesses, celebrities and cultural intermingling came together in an exemplary showing of what community and love over commonalities can achieve. I’ve never felt more at home than among thousands of cannabis-flavored misfits, weirdos, entrepreneurs, unfortunate “outlaws” and every other imaginable kind of fellow human. Our common cause made all in attendance immediately unspoken friends. This shared dream and goal coming to fruition on a planet-wide scale made us all family.
Spannabis cultivates a uniquely accepted environment for the cannabis community from all corners to feel comfortable enough to open up and share their love for and involvement with the cannabis plant. Sparking up with thousands of friends at 4:20 on the second day of the event felt like an exercise in shared global consciousness. Unquestionably, this surreal experience will stay with me always on my own path through the future of cannabis.
But just because there was a lot of weed being smoked does not mean that things were not getting done. I’ve never seen so much action. Business. Education. Music. Seminars. Food. Business. Seeds. Seeds. More seeds. Technology & innovations. Did I mention business and seeds? This was the cannabis community coming out in full force and proving ourselves a normal industry that gets sh*%t done. #stonerswithgoals
Because of the unique point along the timeline of cannabis at which we currently reside, these trailblazing businesses, seed-breeders and other entrepreneurs emerging from the shadows are celebrities to the greater cannabis community. These are the shoulders the future of cannabis stands on and it showed in the smiles and palpable enthusiasm emanating from bonafide cannabis fans. People were geeking out over the chance to meet heroes.
Though strict about membership, entrance, and discretion, gathering for multiple safety meetings at the private-membership cannabis clubs was a must for the full experience. A veritable Eden of relaxation, conversation and cannabis enthusiasm, even alcohol is allowed in these true nods to the pub atmosphere where cannabis is the star. Plus, there was actually plenty of decent cannabis available at these clubs. Though expensive, it proved much better than I was dreading to encounter based on stories and internet searches. But in all honesty, it’s really great to be back in Oregon where cannabis is the best in the world . . . and cheap!
Thank you to Spain’s cannabis community for teaching me how lucky we are here in Oregon and how much the U.S. can learn from the genuine anticipation that the rest of the worldwide cannabis family has toward the future of weed! [Check out @roogrostein on instagram for pictures and videos from his trip]