While automatic trimming machines and paying for weed with a credit card are dope, this week the original ancillary arm of the cannabis industry — the headshop — hits Las Vegas for the 18th annual incarnation of CHAMPS, and the festivities to go with it.
As the cannabis market explodes by a few more billion each year, that growth is mirrored by sales of the means to smoke it. In no place in the world this week are there more people that want to help you puff for a reasonable price. Is the term reasonable loose in some cases? Yes, but they’re mostly well intentioned.
Every ware a true head could need is on display. From the newest e-nails to silicone everything; if people are selling it to use with pot, it’s here.
The spread of cannabis related companies, much like the sister industry of actual cannabis, is a cross-section of both old and new.
In the rolling paper space alone you see the old guard — folks like Element and Raw — and the newer faces staking their claim on a piece of the pie, like Futurola and Shine.
We spoke with Lewis Nelson of Shine about entering a space that had such defined players already established. He said Shin isn’t playing to be in the regular world of papers.
“We decided to distinguish very early that we knew Raw and Element were the king of the everyday rolling paper,” Nelson said. “We worked to establish a luxury rolling paper market, and we’re the king of that market so far.”
Also kicking off on Tuesday at the show was CHAMPS Glass Games 2017 Master’s Finals. Over the past year, glass artists from around the country qualified at CHAMPS regional shows in places like Atlanta and Virginia. Now, the thirty final artists will compete (under a monochrome theme) and be judged by past winners and Hall of Famers.
We spoke with Zam, one of the three women to qualify for the finals. She said she works to recreate figures reminiscent of ancient history.
“I take ancient deities and make them aliens,” she said, blaming the style on watching too many episodes of “Ancient Aliens.”
Also on the torch was last year’s mini-tube category and best collab winner, Hendy.
He said he’s looking forward to what’s to come in day two.
“Tomorrow we’ll have a better idea of what everything is turning into,” he said, while sculpting one of his signature skulls.
TELL US, have you ever been to CHAMPS?