Cathedral City was a hotspot for the cannabis industry this week.
Hundreds of cannabis brands and retailers gathered in the city on Wednesday and Thursday for the Hall of Flowers trade show, an industry-exclusive event designed for businesses to network and showcase their products.
Located inside the former Burlington Coat Factory, the trade show transformed the building into what looked like an Ikea for cannabis. Booths displaying a variety of products ranging from edibles to vape hardware filled the building, attracting all sorts of industry professionals.
“It’s really a place for … brands to meet buyers, for buyers to meet brands. It’s a classic trade show, (business-to-business),” said Dani Diamond, founder and CEO of Hall of Flowers. “Before a store can sell a product, a brand needs to sell the product to the store. So now they can see everything under one roof. There’s anything a store needs.”
This week was Diamond’s second time hosting Hall of Flowers in Cathedral City. He said the trade show allows people who have heard about Coachella Valley’s cannabis industry to see it first hand.
“For the valley in general, Cathedral City in particular, this event (brings) the entire industry from the entire (United States),” Diamond said.
There were around 396 booths for cannabis brands and around 58 booths for cannabis technology and retail, according to Hall of Flowers’ directory. Many people who managed booths said they had a good time at the event.
Dee Sidhu, marketing director of URSA Extracts, has attended multiple Hall of Flowers trade shows. He said it offers brands the opportunity to display themselves and show where they’re headed.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed … watching brands take it seriously and go beyond slapping a name on a box,” he said.
He added the trade show has increased in production value over the years. The next event is scheduled for Toronto, Ontario in Canada on Sept. 13 and 14. Hall of Flowers also has shows planned for Santa Rosa on Oct. 4 and 5, and Las Vegas from Nov. 15 to 18.
Amy Medina, who lives in Desert Hot Springs, attended Hall of Flowers for the first time this week. She is in charge of sales in Palm Springs for GoodGood, a cultivation facility that offers products like pre-rolls and flower.
Medina said Hall of Flowers helps local businesses as “a lot of people do come and check out new brands.” Her criticism was that she wished it were longer than two days, and had more events.
“It’s just more of a brand awareness [event], it creates that,” she said. “It does help … it definitely brings people to town.”
She added that the event reminds her of the region’s most well-known music festival.
“When everybody asks me about where I’m at, especially some people don’t know what Hall of Flowers is yet … they’ll be like ‘What, what is it?’ and I’m like it’s kind of like the Coachella of cannabis … it’s the Coachella of potheads,” Medina said.