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Hall of Flowers: Oh the Weed We Smoked

The Dank Duchess smokes a large joint containing 5 grams of cannabis and 2 grams of hash.
PHOTOS Gracie Malley/Cannabis Now

Industry Events

Hall of Flowers: Oh the Weed We Smoked

The collective experience of consuming cannabis took center stage at the industry event.

It’s the third iteration of the Hall of Flowers, a massive two-day California cannabis industry event that seeks to connect buyers from cannabis retail stores with product companies. I’m cruising with famed hashisin The Dank Duchess through the indoor exhibit halls. It’s packed with booths and people, and so, on a tip from Nikki Lastetro of Swami Select, we find ourselves in a shaded area outside decked out with Moroccan rugs, embellished brass tables and comfortable padded chairs. Basically, we’ve discovered the perfect place to smoke hash. 

Duchess has been saving a five-year-old cure for the occasion. It’s rolled in a massive joint containing 5 grams of weed alongside 2 grams of the first hash she ever made. But the joint is for later.

At the first smoke circle of friendly faces, we spot Tony Verzura, the founder of Blue River, one of the most undeniably innovative cannabis extraction companies in terms of the scientific methodology it uses to create concentrates. Through a quest to isolate and discover the best terpenes in cannabis, Blue River has created a solventless product they call “flan.” Verzura offers me a dab of Stawnana Mochi Flan. He calls it a “live” product and explains that the flan is a fresh, frozen, solventless concentrate. Rather incredibly, the resin from this dab was extracted from the plant while it was still in the ground.

A small bit of the luscious lightly-colored hash is placed in a dab rig that also contains a tiny marble of ruby. Verzura fires up a cold-start dab, meaning the flan is already in the banger when he hits it with the fire from the torch, and I inhale a full-flavored smoke that tastes like a combination of strawberries, bananas and mochi ice cream. As I inhale, the ruby spins within the quartz nail and Verzura explains that while the quartz cools, the ruby does not, which allows for maximum intake and no waste.

No kidding, this dab was so good I had to immediately sit down. What amazes me the most beyond the flavor and the immediate and fulfilling high is that the hit burns so clean that no residue is left in the banger.

Moments later, I start trying to convince others they have to share in the experience and am joined by Meadow co-founder David Hua and communications and event manager Karen Biswas. Meadow brought its point-of-sale system to this year’s event and significantly improved the experience. In previous iterations of the Hall of Flowers, buyers met with companies at their booths and picked up a ticket, which they then would have to bring to another location to pick up the corresponding items. This made for long lines and a disconnect between the person representing the company and the person learning about the company’s products. With Meadow’s POS set up at select locations throughout the event, Biswas explains, people were able to receive products “in that moment and look at it, improving the conversations between buyers and brands.”

And, for those who got the chance to directly meet with some of the movers and shakers behind the California cannabis industry, this was a real treat. In an indoor area with a grouping of companies represented by Flow Kana, I meet Bobcat, who works with Brother David’s, a company with ties to Dr. Bronner’s that is focused on promoting small, regenerative farms. Here I pick up a Pineapple Punch grown by Elysian Fields. When it comes to making a first impression, it’s often the little things that count, and when Bobcat hands me an envelope with a $2 bill, the amount it takes to redeem a sample of an eighth of this boutique flower, I can feel the love. Later, when I open the sample, I notice the informational material within is perforated in such a way that it can be used as a crutch. Inside, much like how Dr. Bronner’s soap comes with a message, there is a letter from David Bronner.

“Sisters & Brothers,” it reads, ‘this sacred ally can help wake us to the miraculous present moment — to the natural world, music, each other, and our beautiful selves. God/dess bless.”

And, maybe surprisingly for a business-centered cannabis event, the sacredness that cannabis culture can bring comes up again when I find myself back in the Moroccan-decorated chill zone with The Dank Duchess. We’ve found a spot at the center of the area, when a multitude of hash makers (including Nikka T of Essential Extracts) and chillums begin to appear. With a quick education on how to hold my hand to support a chillum, Duchess explains that when using a chillum, one needs to give a small bow of the head in blessing to honor and acknowledge the god Shiva. More chillums arrive, more people arrive to smoke and we fire up one of Duchess’s joints, which is so big around — 28 tips for a crutch! — that we smoke it chillum style. When Duchess lights up a joint, the draw is strong. Even people who joined us on previous rounds, return bringing others to join in the experience. The circle widens and ever expands as smoke lazily climbs within the golden-hued beams bringing the last of the day’s light. We’ve gathered flowers together and spread the seeds for another day.

TELL US, have you ever smoked out of a chillum?

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