As I’ve mentioned before about the Illinois cannabis industry, though licensing is important, it is not everything. The Illinois cannabis industry is moving forward, even if it has to drag the State of Illinois along with it. The 5th Annual Cannabis Camp hosted by Trinity Centers at High Harbor Lounge & Events last Friday and Saturday was a perfect example of that.
I admit at first I was hesitant to partner with this event. I didn’t know what to expect. But the coordinators for the Cannabis Camp executed exactly what I was hoping to see not only for me but also the Illinois cannabis industry.
The two-day event that hosted nonstop music and vendors was the perfect length for a festival. The event ran from 4:20 p.m. to run until 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. The event was not overcrowded at any one moment but at the same time kept a study ebb and flow of attendees visiting booths or sitting at tables listening to live music.
The vendors that hosted booths varied from multi-state cultivators to local genetics breeders. I assume the number of booths will grow each year. On a side note, I have attended conferences for two decades that have had up to 700 booths to choose from, and it took a cannabis event for me to witness the most creative way a business has drawn attention to its booth.
The southern Illinois cultivator Ieso created a board game for attendees to play. The board game cleverly combined the potential for free swag through competition, excitement, and ultimately a memorable experience. Does that translate into people buying their products? Doesn’t hurt.
I caught up with old friends and made some new friends (you know who you are). The people who I consider good “Cannabis Citizens” always shine through the rest. The legal cannabis industry is relatively small, and the Illinois cannabis industry is even smaller. So as the Hollywood acting lesson goes, be kind and generous to everyone because the person holding the boom mic on set today might be the director of your next movie a year from now.
As a reporter, I am used to having press passes to events, so cost doesn’t enter my thoughts as much as it probably should. I assume plenty of people who wanted to attend could not afford the event, but overall, I thought the events prices were the normal overpriced costs for such events. For me, it’s built into the experience.
I sampled several foods vendors and found them all pretty good. But the vendor I wished would send a food truck to the Champaign/Urbana area is Jerk Hut. I could eat that white-meat jerk chicken once a week, easily. I want to try several other items off their menu now.
The Cannabis Camp also was well monitored by police officials who did not interfere with anyone working or having a good time. This is the next step for eliminating past stigmatization of the cannabis plant and entering a new era.
I believe I’ll look back at this event as a big step forward in the Illinois cannabis industry, and I hope to see different types of these events popping up across Illinois. The Cannabis Camp proved that good “cannabis citizens” can get create large peaceful events that are as good or better than any other industry event.
High Harbor is located at 1321 North Park Road in the old Sky Harbor Steak House next to Bradley Park off Farmington Road. Follow Cannabis Camp on Facebook or Instagram for updates and details for next year’s event.