Trip Report: International Cannabis and Hemp Expo

AVB On Pizza After Heating

Live! From the Famed Cow Palace Near San Francisco!

Well, that’s what I was thinking about doing…live-blogging the whole experience. But since this blog hasn’t officially launched yet, and I wasn’t even sure they’d have free WiFi down there (they did BTW, and it worked great inside), I decided not to give myself anything to stress over. The lane merge going onto the Bay Bridge is enough stress anyway!

What with one thing and another (it’s always something around here), we left exactly at noon. It wasn’t an early start, but we’ve seen worse, and figured with all our experience at trade shows and the like, we’d have plenty of time to cover the whole thing and hopefully get together with some fellow Ents too. I had stared at the map long enough that I found my way to the Cow Palace with no problem, paid the slightly humorous $10 parking fee, and eventually found a spot to park somewhere out near where the cows probably grazed.

It was a long hot walk to the evENT itself from there (and it was worse coming back, because of the hill), but we got the last laugh indeed because we dutifully followed the path from the parking lot to the smoking area (not the “medicating area”, but just next to it) and then directly into the Cow Palace. Yes, we found ourselves suddenly in the show…no tickets, no dough! Yes, I’m still good at sneaking into places, even inadvertENTly!

So we started checking out booths just by reflex, talking to people, getting literature, and looking at the wide range of products and services and booth babes. There were a lot of pipes and bongs and T-shirts, none of which we were interested in (heck, you can see all that stuff almost anywhere). High-end vaporizers good, selling tiny glass jars for $10 each bad. We saw earnest people with good and sometimes silly ideas, but they all had a dream. We saw a few scumsucking bottom feeders too…I’m not naming names, but beware of cheap pipes from China (shudder).

What we were looking for were signs that this is really a (pardon the pun) growing industry. And there were quite a few. Booths selling insurance and legal services, and special software for dispensaries too. There were LED grow lights, and stealth grow cabinets and even Ed Rosenthal himself in his booth selling books.

Anyway, a short time after we got settled in, I decided to try texting dude2k5, a Sac Ent who had given me his phone number so we could meet up. I said I was in the back, he said he was in the medicating area “at the table”. So I said I would meet him, and so we worked our way through the exhibit South Hall toward the ENTrance where I could show my credENTials and get a wristband so I could get into what the show called the “Prop 215 area”.

Problem was, my wife isn’t a patiENT so she couldn’t get in there. Also, by now we both visualized a big open area where there were all these tables with people sitting around smoking their heads off. So we figured I would go in there, find the Ent table and hang out for awhile, and then come out, so she wouldn’t be bored or lonely for too long. Also, she has asthma and therefore had no desire to be near hundreds of people smoking anything anyway.

So I went to register for the Prop 215 area, and the conversation went like this:

Staff Member: Hi! How are you?
Me (thinking she used the old chestnut “How! High are you?”): Not yet, thank you.
Staff Member: Well, what are you waiting for? Get going!
Me (now totally stoked): As soon as I get in there, I promise.
Staff Member: Yeah, toke up plenty for me, I’m working today.

OK, so she puts the magic wristband on me, and we walk back to the Magic ENTrance, and I tell my wife I’ll meet her back out at 4 PM, about 40 minutes or so. I walk through the portal and…

Wow. Just Wow.

It was like another world. Like when Dorothy goes to Oz and suddenly everything’s in color. Or (for those few who know what I’m talking about) the first time you go to Comdex and you think it’s a Really Big Show and then you see…the real room.

Here was an ENTirely differENT show altogether. Like the other side was the business show and this side was a gun show…like the Wild West, where anything can happen. But that was just the first impression, because in truth it was just the excitement of the people that was making things seem so wild.

After all, it’s quite typical at trade shows to hand out free samples.

It’s just that these samples were…how shall I say it…special.

OMG. Magic mango juice. Buddha beef jerky. Sour Diesel soy sauce. Chocolope chip cookies.

By the time I made it outside (where I was still looking for the big tables), I had ingested a number of samples of all kinds of things, bought cookies and pain salve, and had a big smile on my face…not from actually feeling anything yet, but from the energy.

But then outside was even better. Or worse, if you were planning to get through the crowds.

Because outside was even more intense. And by that, I mean that the booths out there were in tents. And they had serious stuff indeed. Clones. Seeds. Weed. Indeed.

I finally worked my way towards the back, and was rewarded by finally spotting the Official Medicating Area, which was half a dozen white umbrellas with a red line around them on the ground (no Ent table, alas. although I kept looking for The Shirt).

Now this was the real Wild West. My most indelible memory: these two nice Frick and Frack guys wearing natty uniforms. One of them had a little tray around his neck, exactly like the ladies selling “Cigars, cigarettes, Tiparillos?” in the 1940s movies. I looked at a few of his wares and made a moue (there’s your Word For the Day). He instantly spotted me for an Extinguished Connoisseur of Weed and opened up a single little jar.

I took a whiff and my eyes crossed.

I took a close look at the Nugs Within and saw swirling colors and proud little trichomes (I still wasn’t even slightly high).

I closed the lid and I saw the name Chocolope.

Now, how weird is this that I first heard of this stuff at my favorite local dispensary on Wednesday and I finally looked it up on Friday night, at which time I decided I wanted to check it out if at all possible…and then here it was?

Well, clearly this was Meant To Be, so I gladly donated a few bucks to his dispensary and went on my merry way (I let my wife sniff it later and her eyes crossed too). Later I came back and they gave me and another old hippie a big hit off a 1977 Power Hitter (basically a plastic jar that holds smoke and you squeeze it to dispense).

I wandered around a bit in that area looking for Ents and then sadly decided to smoke alone, or at least take a few good hits off my MFLB. I was prepared with some kief and Blue Sky Cotton Candy and Martian Mean Green that I wanted to smoke the Ents out with. Sorry you missed it! Maybe by next year, we can get an Ent table!

So I kept wandering outside…people were buying all kinds of gardening needs, and I didn’t have time to check out everyone giving samples, but then…

I walked past a large booth where scantily-clad young maidens were handing out champagne glasses full of a coffee-appearing substance that they dipped from a huge punch bowl. It was called Irish Moss. Or Irish Mist. Or Irish Moose. Something like that. It didn’t taste like coffee, or weed, or anything else recognizable. But it tasted…amazing. Like Nectar of the Gods.

I asked one of the young maidens what was in it, and she smiled coyly and waved vaguely to a poster and said, “That tells you everything”. It was a large colored sheet with flowers and fairies that said something like, “Irish Piss is made with love. And harmony and shit like that.”

Very New Age and Old Hippie, but not totally useful as a product label. So I sadly trudged off (OK, I stonedly wandered off) and made it back to my dear patiENT wife…5 minutes early. Hah, I didn’t get all wasted and lost track of time and stuff!

I was starting to definitely feel higher than before, and we were both getting hungry, so we checked out the North Hall (and met captaintrips420 there) and then headed downhill to where we had spotted a combination KFC/Taco Bell earlier. I figured we would eat awhile, and drink some fluids, and then head back home. It was just about 5 PM, I think.

I stood at the counter and looked at all the widdly scuds, which is what they were rapidly starting to look like. The guy takes one look at me and says, “Hey, how was the convENTion?” We told him great, and ordered, and we sat down to wait for the grub.

Suddenly I was very tired. But I thought I heard my name, and got up…in very slow motion. And I floated over to the counter. Then I floated back. EvENTually they actually did call my name, and I got the food, and we started to eat.

But then I started feeling very weird. I looked at my chalupa. Luckily, it did not look back at me. But everything was getting brighter. I could see my wife and two or three other things, but everything else in the room was a bright light, like an overexposed photo.

And I could not move.

The soda dispenser, behind me, started making a high-pitched noise that unaccountably disturbed me…it was like it was demanding something, and it wanted it faster, and it was making me anxious because of the speed it demanded, or something. But it took all my strength just to stay sane and conscious, and I was not unaware that I was sitting bolt upright in a chair in a Taco Bell in a strange neighborhood far from home.

Control? I’ll Show You Control!

The next thing I knew, I was coming back to consciousness.

I was still sitting bolt upright in a chair in a Taco Bell in a strange neighborhood far from home.

I had completely passed out, and come back, while remaining sitting up.

I wasn’t even leaning on the back of the chair. My wife says I never even swayed.

I have passed out quite a few times in my life (it used to happen every time I had a blood test), so I’m quite familiar with the process. Invariably I start feeling hot, nauseous, pale, weak, and out I go on the floor. I have never had an experience even remotely like this one.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have any vast spiritual experience or insight from all this. But after it was over, I started feeling better. Of course, that’s relative. “Better” in this case meant that I didn’t feel like I was going to pass out again or die or anything. I remember thinking…”Hmm…at this rate, I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to stand up by the time the sun goes down.”

Like the Gumbie Cat, I sat and sat and sat and sat. And evENTually, I managed by sheer force of will to not only stand up but also walk! Believe me, this was a bigger accomplishment than it sounds like. I calculate my level on the Official Highness Chart to be precisely 12.34 at the momENT of maximum whatsis. But my body high was off the chart.

Anyway, I walked to the car, where I prudENTly remained sitting and/or resting until about 7 PM, when I felt like I could drive decENTly enough to share the road with innocENT people. And I had plENTy of time to practice this, because 7 PM on Saturday night is precisely the worst time to drive anywhere near San Francisco, so we tooled along on various freeways for almost an hour at speeds sometimes approaching the double digits.

And then we finally got to the other side of the Bay Bridge and wENT home. The end.

I haven’t figured out exactly what caused my problem, but I’m a solid sativa user and this was a very definite body effect, i.e. indica, which makes sense for many medical conditions but I’m not used to it, so I have no tolerance built up against it. I’m not sure if it was the Irish Whizz or those amazing little cookies I bought (and had a taste of, and you could really taste the weed).

Anyway, folks, I’ve warned you about edibles. Ye gods!

Old Hippie is a father of two boys and thankfully living in California where all this kind of thing is legal. He started smoking marijuana in 1967 in high school, experimented with mind-expanding drugs of all kinds, and then straightened out 15 or so years later to become an airplane pilot. After being diagnosed with depression in 2000, he lost his job and most of the following decade to prescription medications (such as antidepressants) which sapped his energy and will. Finally, a chance conversation with a friend led to a doctor’s recommendation for medical marijuana (MMJ). This changed his entire life, health, and outlook for the better. is his continuing story. It’s also his way to provide experienced advice on using medical marijuana effectively and responsibly, as well as advocacy, activism, and support for others. Old Hippie teaches about safe use of cannabis edibles, Canna Caps, vaporizers, dosing, and even microdosing.


oooh goodness. I wish I lived in Cali… I have fibromyalgia and could almost certainly get my MMJ licence.

I’ve always wondered, OldHippie, what is the medical condition that you have that resulted in you getting your licence?

I’m not quite sure, since I reported quite a few things. It’s “easier” when you’re older (wry laugh). But I know I mentioned depression, anxiety, arthritis pain, sleep problems, and high blood pressure. I would guess the arthritis would be considered what they call a “million dollar injury” in the military because it shows up on an X-ray…lots of mean-spirited people are quick to pooh-pooh pain as a reason to get MMJ (until they get it, of course :-), but it’s hard to argue with an X-ray.

Good luck on the fibromyalgia, dear friend. I know that’s no fun; a relative of mine has that plus lots of anxiety, and one day soon I hope to recommend MMJ to her too!

So I understand that it is 3 a.m. (Eastern) and midnight (Western), but… WIDDLY SCUDS!!!

Did you enjoy your girl stuffed bacon burrtango?

Now for my real question, as I’ve been looking at different strains of cannabis and the Chocolope (more precisely Chocolope Kush [Chocolope x Kosher Kush]) has caught my eye. Was it really that knock-your-socks-off-and-call-me-Suzy-I’ll-be-back-after-these-short-messages?

Well, I liked it. And I still have some that I save for special occasions. But it’s not how high it gets me as much as the happy feeling it gives me.

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