Cultivators and makers of concentrates and other marijuana products had direct access to their customers at the San Diego Cannabis Farmers Market. The event was held outdoors at a Four Points by Sheraton hotel in California’s second largest city.
In order to comply with current regulations, a doctor’s medical marijuana recommendation was required for entry, but it was evident the crowd was also eager to celebrate recreational use with the passage of Prop. 64, as a party atmosphere prevailed.
It didn’t take shoppers long to get in the right frame of mind, with free hits and dabs available at every turn. The reggae rhythms were dropped down only long enough for special events, such as giveaways and competitions.
One contest featured was a “dab-off,” where competitors were timed to see who could hold the longest hit. Freshly prepared food such as kebobs, tacos and barbecue sandwiches, all available with or without THC, completed the festival vibe.
More than 60 vendors rented booth space at the market. Many of these small ganjapreneurs saw great promotional value in their participation, as well as an opportunity to make sales directly to consumers.
Kim, the proprietor of Kim’s Candy, has been making cannabis infused chocolates for about 10 years. She recently perfected her recipes and has launched a cottage kitchen business from her home in the San Diego suburb of Chula Vista. This was her first time as a vendor at the San Diego Cannabis Farmers Market, and she thought it was a great event. Samples of her scrumptious truffles were enthusiastically gobbled as people strolled by her table.
According to Kim, the market was “an opportunity to interact with individuals and confirm strategy, as well as gather consumer feedback in the moment, during sampling.”
“Equally important is the opportunity to meet like-minded entrepreneurs involved in other aspects of the industry and make connections for better business going forward,” she continued.
Sean, of the San Diego cultivation business Dank Tank, was also a merchant at the market. His booth, with gorgeous flowers displayed in 10-gallon fish tanks, was a popular attraction.
He’s been operating a small grow in San Diego and selling to dispensaries for nearly a year. He recently added farmers markets to his business plan and sees them as a way to network with others in the industry, as well as market his product.
“Farmers markets are a great way to meet the community and make great connections,” Sean explained. “I also love meeting all our customers face to face, talking with them and learning exactly what strains everyone is looking for.”
With happy shoppers and satisfied vendors, it appears The San Diego Cannabis Farmers Market has struck on a viable platform to directly connect small marijuana businesses with the customers that use their products. Organizers plan to continue holding the market on an intermittent basis, with the next one tentatively planned for early June.