The East Coast CHAMPS Trade Show show comes to a close.
It’s always a little bit sad when a CHAMPS trade show comes to a close. It’s just a three-day affair, but there’s a kinship that forms among exhibitors and attendees over the course of the event. And although many will see each other at future shows during the year, there’s a palpable sense that a genuine community exists in the burgeoning cannabis industry.
As 2019 got underway, business owners and activists were hopeful that New Jersey lawmakers would, at last, legalize cannabis for all adults. The Garden State has had a medical marijuana program since 2010. In the past two years, however, the public and progressive politicians have been clamoring for legal cannabis so New Jersey can strengthen its economy and its tax base. Unfortunately, the proposed bill to legalize adult, recreational use died earlier this month. But that hardly dampened the entrepreneurial spirit at CHAMPS, which was on full display. Successful events like CHAMPS Trade Shows are instrumental in changing the conversation and shifting the paradigm when it comes to realizing a fully legal cannabis industry.
Once again, the Atlantic City Convention Center was the designated venue for vendors and buyers. Situated among casinos, with gentle sea breezes blowing in, the convention center provides a convenient, convivial atmosphere for the cannabis business crowds. It’s been the East Coast home for CHAMPS since 2011. But that hardly limited the range of exhibitors and attendees; retail buyers traveled to CHAMPS from a multitude of U.S. states and foreign countries, as did the companies that welcomed them.
Not surprisingly, the number of companies marketing CBD-infused products continues to grow on the trade show floor. Whether it was a tincture, an oil, a lotion, a vape product or the seemingly ubiquitous gummy, the CBD phenomenon shows no signs of slowing down. Equally gaining momentum is the demand for vape products and accessories, due to their simplicity and their effectiveness as delivery systems for cannabis products.
But, like many aspects of the cannabis industry, vaping is subject to legal scrutiny. To that end, CHAMPS was proud to welcome attorney Deanna Clark-Esposito, who presented an informative lecture titled “Navigating the Vape Industry,” which offered guidelines for importers, manufacturers and retailers in order to meet FDA compliance.
But don’t think for a minute that glass isn’t still the centerpiece of a CHAMPS Trade Show. At the center of the trade show floor, 40 top artists competed against one another in another rendition of the CHAMPS Trade Shows Glass Games.
The Atlantic City Games is the first scheduled event of 2019. Artists compete at subsequent CHAMPS events throughout the year culminating in a Masters Final, which is staged at the beginning of 2020. This competition was actually a series of five separate events, each with separate themes and requirements. With $10,000 in cash prizes on the line, artists used every inch of their skills to reach the winner’s circle.
At 4:20 pm, the Glass Games awards ceremony got underway. A crowd gathered by the central “corral” where the glass artists had performed their magic over the preceding two days. Then Glass Games director Matty White announced the winners:
1st – Dan Hoffman Glass
2nd — Terry Sharp
3rd – Gnarley Harley
1st – Ford 20 Glass
2nd – Tony Kazy
3rd – Baked Kreations
OLD SCHOOL vs. NEW SCHOOL
1st – Armor Glass/Noah
2nd – Durin Glass
3rd – Plug A Nug
HIGH & DRY
1st – Camper Glass
2nd – Armor Glass/Noah
3rd – Gnarly Harley
PREDATOR vs. PREY
1st – Takoda Madrona
2nd – Ford 20 Glass
3rd – Bhaller Glass
As the exhibitors packed up their merchandise and dismantled their booths, CHAMPS president Jeff Hirschfeld surveyed the scene: “I love Atlantic City. It’s been a welcoming spot for CHAMPS. But it’s more than that. This city has a colorful past. I think CHAMPS is contributing Atlantic City’s history and helping pave the way for the cannabis industry to thrive.”
Coming up in July, CHAMPS returns to Las Vegas for its massive summer show hosting another huge turnout of the cannabis industry, as well as featuring another Glass Games event. CHAMPS looks forward to seeing all of you again soon!