It’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks, highlighted by a road trip to Seattle for HempFest and visiting Hemp friendly folks and businesses in the Pacific Northwest. What a great trip! The Seattle HempFest event went off without a hitch, providing an obvious boost to the local economy as hotels and restaurants were filled (to say nothing about the parking lots – ouch!). The crowd swelled to what must’ve been a couple of hundred thousand people strolling peacefully along the scenic park by the water. There were vendor booths selling Hemp products, information booths, food vendors (I especially enjoyed the Hemp Ice Cream!) and several stages featuring music and speakers as well as a “Hemposium” where speeches and panels entertained a constant and appreciative audience. I was fortunate to be able to speak several times on different stages, and everyone was just great and accommodating. I must give a shoutout to Vivian McPeak and the friendly and helpful HempFest crew! It’s amazing how the City of Seattle worked with the promoters seamlessly to host a huge multi day event that was void of incidents, and really, it was almost impossible to even see law enforcement, no less be burdened any kind of oppressive ambience. I was really blown away by how cool everyone was.
Of course, as we know, there were letters mailed from the US Attorney’s office the week following HempFest targeting Seattle dispensaries, or access points that were within 1,000 feet of schools. This brings to the forefront a marketing plan that I have been talking to dispensary’s about for years – selling Hemp products to augment sales and educate their members about the benefits of Hemp. Now, with landlords facing criminal charges including property confiscation,, many access points will likely close, losing the money they have invested in the build-out, inventory and advertising. If a tenant has a lease and can’t sell the commodity that the business was built upon, why not sell a product that the clientele will embrace in order to give the business a chance to thrive while embracing the cause legally? There are so many Hemp products available, and since most dispensaries or access points may have several thousand members who are by definition more like family than clients, isn’t it likely that those members would continue to support the business if it provided Hemp clothing, Hemp food products and other Hemp goods? I think so!
So thanks to everyone in Seattle for a spectacular event and to Dave at HempShield in Eugene, Oregon for a tour of their facility, and a special thanks to Ed Rosenthal and his wonderful wife Jane for a great afternoon among their flowers and goldfish in the Bay area – it was actually so busy at HempFest that we couldn’t effectively meet with Ed there even though his “Ask Ed Rosenthal” booth was only a hundred feet away!
To top it off, this morning FINRA, the oversight organization for OTC Stocks, approved our submission of 149 pages of paperwork, and approved the official name change of our parent company to Hemp, Inc. See that press release here