ANAHEIM – As Jose Jiminez, 51, searched for a dispensary that could offer him a high-quality strain of medical marijuana to ease his chronic neck and back pain, he appeared oblivious to the hollering and whistling behind him. Those sounds were coming from the dozens of men – and a few women – who’d gathered to watch the Hot Kush Girls contest. Such was the mix of sights and sounds at the Kush Expo this weekend at the Anaheim Convention Center – both a serious exploration of the latest in medical-marijuana trends and an unabashed celebration of pot culture. “I know that a lot of people are here because it’s edgy and still kind of counter-culture to smoke marijuana,” Jiminez said. “I get that. But for me, this is a serious need. This is my medicine.” This was the fourth time the expo has been held at the Convention Center since the debut in November 2010. And it was by far the largest, with more than 150 vendors – some taking up five booth spaces and more. Final attendance numbers were still being tallied, but organizers expected to far surpass the previous record of 14,000 attendees at the last expo. The expo offered a wide variety of vendors.
They included booths staffed by young women in shorts and fishnets stockings selling pipes and bongs, hemp T-shirts and Bob Marley posters. And at least one scientist with a doctorate in organic chemistry from USC who own a Los Angeles lab that tests homegrown strains of marijuana for THC levels and for pesticides. “I studied this business for more than a year before deciding to use what I’d learned in school to go into it,” said Jeffrey Raber, who co-owns the Werk Shop testing labs. “Like it or not, people are relying on this for medication and I want to make sure that it’s clean.” Up the aisle from him, Gail Bablot-Garcia was laughing and enjoying the Hot Kush Girl contest from her booth, Kughy Kushions of Whittier. She said she geared her business selling memory foam pillows toward the medical-marijuana community because it’s a group of people “about relaxation, freedom and open-mindedness.” Robby Adolph, a volunteer at 4:19 collective in Santa Ana, was showing off three trophies his shop won in the first Kush Cup contest, which judged for the best strains of marijuana in the region. “I was really surprised and excited that we won,” he said. “Our whole goal is to offer the best quality product at the lowest price. And we feel like this brings more awareness about the quality of the product we’re offering.”
via : OCRegister
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