You’d never notice 360 Studio from the street unless you were looking for it. Even then, your odds of walking right past the incognito entrance are about fifty-fifty on your first visit. But on August 29, seekers who managed to find the hidden stairway to the cozy, split-level loft over Oakland’s Auto Row were rewarded.
The relatively small exercise space was transformed into a miniature cannabis expo, complete with free top-shelf dab hits and a wide array of gourmet edibles for sample and sale. Culinary delights on display ranged from cotton candy and snow cones to potato chips and medicated bacon.
Yes, you fatback-crazed lunatics, I said medicated bacon.
The curated selection showcased a spectrum of quality cannabis products, giving guests a chance to speak one-on-one with some of the state’s most innovative chrontrepreneurs. And the ringleader for this three-ring circus of smoke — the eponymous mastermind of the Stoney Steve Smokeout — presided over the festivities in inimitable style, wearing his trademark cloth fedora and the dab-weary smile of a man who’s seen and smoked it all. When I ask Steve about his relationship to the industry, he answers with a laid-back energy that belies the bombastic confidence of his words.
“I helped found the best cannabis dispensary in the universe — Harborside Health Center,” he said. “My connections with the industry have put me in a position where I can provide patients with only the best of the best. There are no bad vendors here tonight.”
That statement didn’t just apply to consumable goods. William B., a young glass blower operating out of the Russian River area, dazzled event goers with his clean lines and imaginative designs, ranging from aquatic landscapes with backlight responsive elements to a whimsical pipe fashioned to look like a gnome sitting in the shade of a tree. William says he draws inspiration from the natural environment he calls home.
“I was just sitting there thinking about how you sit in the woods and smoke a bowl, just feeling that vibe of the woods and I wanted to capture that in a piece so you could have a piece of that feeling wherever you smoke,” he said. “I’ve been on the torch for a while learning, but I’ve only really been doing this professionally for a little over a year.”
If his current skills keep growing at that rate, he’s bound to become a real force in the world of glass art. Which points to another feature of the Stoney Steve events; they’re not a venue for big-name players to throw their weight around.
“You don’t see any really big established companies here tonight and that’s on purpose,” Steve said. “I want to give the little guys doing big things a chance to shine and for patients to see things they’ve never seen before instead of more of the vendors who table everywhere.”
Like any cannabis expo, large or small, dabs were central to the vibe of the smokeout and several incredible offerings were made by top-notch extractors. Icy Extracts showcased several single solvent nug run shatters, most notably their Strawberry Banana and God’s Gift, which both packed massive amounts of terpenes and more than a decent buzz.
Every vendor at the smokeout has Steve’s stamp of approval, but he says Guild Extracts, scientific extractors dedicated to molecular isolation, are at the absolute cutting edge of cannatech.
“These guys aren’t blasting, we’re talking advanced chemistry. They use molecular isolation to make almost pure THCA extract,” Steve says. “The stuff is magic. At room temperature, you can eat it and it’s fundamentally non-psychoactive. But when you touch it to a nail and it decarboxylates, you’ve got pure THC.”
As the night went on, free pizza was distributed to a predictably ravenous crowd, which made short work of the stack of boxes carried in by Steve. The night ended with a free raffle and vendors pitched in their best stuff. From bags of chocolate covered potato chips (medicated, of course) to grams of shatter, nobody who won left without a smile on their face.
And judging by the looks of the happy but exhausted crowd clearing out at the end of the night, everybody was a winner.
What’s been your best smokeout experience? Share with us below.