Hall of Flowers (HOF) last week in Palm Springs felt like the most normal cannabis event yet, as the world continues to get back to its old routine.
Just shy of 400 brands were in attendance bringing 3,400 of California’s biggest cannabis players to town. The setting was as ripe as any to make good business in these tough times for the industry, as it continues to watch the flower price crash due to oversupply. Small farmers who put their life savings into going legal have been particularly devastated by the flood of products.
Hall of Flowers is a good place to start moving it, if the quality and price are right. While the tonnage numbers regarding the amount of surplus cannabis in the California market right now would be horrifying if we could see the overall figure, it’s still survivable if you have an ultra high-end product.
And many of the people with some of the most competitive products in the legal space were in the desert. HOF co-founder Rama Mayo was happy to create an atmosphere that facilitated those killers getting products to shelves.
“I mean, I was excited just to not have a mask on,” Mayo told L.A. Weekly. “I know it sounds so simple and silly, but you know, just the fact that you didn’t have to transform yourself to go in and out of the event.”
Mayo was quick to say he doesn’t have anything against masks. It was just wildly obvious how much more chill things seemed compared to HOF previous Palm Springs and Santa Rosa editions during the heart of the pandemic. For example, they didn’t have the mask police walking around telling people to put theirs back on.
Mayo also noted he appreciates what they’ve been able to do with the venue given the industry’s events and B2B trade shows are mostly located at county fairgrounds.
“This is the old Burlington Coat Factory. You know, so and Dani our partner did an unbelievable job, better than we could even imagine in bringing this to life,” Mayo said before speaking on some of the weather challenges. “Of course, the weather’s going to be 100 degrees today or tomorrow. We’re doing everything we possibly could.”
But that’s Palm Springs. In the end, Mayo and the rest of HOF staff are attempting to create a canvas for hype and vibes. They lay out the paint and brushes, but it’s up to the community to bring their best gear to add that final element that’s helped the event grow to become an industry staple.
Mayo regularly passed off the credit for the show’s success to CEO Dani Diamond and the production team throughout the conversation, “It’s really Danny and the team who are just so incredible at doing this that there’s not even much for me to do. It’s like I almost like would get in the way or something”
Chris Gonzalez helps coordinate HOF’s marketing effort in the buildup to shows and oversees the retail team on site. He argues one of the things that made everyone’s life easier was how hyped Cathedral City was to have everyone back in town.
“The city welcomed us back with open arms and was excited to have us back, our exhibitors were fired up, and ready to meet retailers and open more accounts. Our retailers were ready to stock up their shelves after a busy 4/20,” Gonzalez told L.A. Weekly. “We also added for the first time ever a “Tech & Retail” section, which included POS systems, banking, wholesale, software, analytics, and everything in between, making Hall of Flowers your one-stop shop for retailer needs.”
Gonzalez is now prepping for HOF’s inaugural Canadian outing in Toronto this September and then its biggest show of the year in Santa Rosa.
“Santa Rosa is our largest show as it’s spread throughout the campus of the Sonoma County Fairgrounds,” Gonzalez said. “This year, Santa Rosa dates will be Oct. 4-5, and Oct. 6 we will be doing a conference.”
Gonzalez said to keep an eye out for more conference details.
As for the weed, our favorite strain from the week was the return of Alien Labs’ Lemon Fuel OG. This was actually the strain that helped put alien labs on the map in the mid-2010s. While the lineage is a little dicey, it’s heater OG cut they got in LA many moons ago and brought back to Redway before their eventual move to Sacramento. It’s absolute fireball heat and you should definitely keep an eye out for it on shelves near you.