As every year, the Fira Cornellà of Barcelona hosted the world’s leading hemp, cannabis and CBD expo,(which held its 16th edition on the 15th, 16th and 17th March 2019, and just as expected, once again it exceeded all expectations.
This could only be the chronicle of an overwhelming success: a massive amount of visitors (more than 25,000 over the three days), mass participation of companies and professionals from the cannabis sector (more than 4,000 accredited), huge interest aroused in the global media, and unanimously positive feedback from all those involved and attendees of the event. We left Spannabis with a rich taste in our mouths, and looking forward to the next edition of this Festival of Festivals.
International Cannabis Business Conferences
This success could be foreseen the day before, on Thursday 14th, during the magnificent ICBC (International Cannabis Business Conferences) celebration, the cannabis industry B2B event par excellence, which, after its inception three years ago, and visiting cities such as Berlin, Vancouver, San Francisco and Zurich, this year decided to join forces with the Spannabis organisation and celebrate another of its spectacular events in Barcelona - almost as a presentation of the fair. Partnering with the Spannabis team, with their long history as the leading cannabis exhibition in Europe, was, indeed, a total success, the perfect combination for the world's leading commercial cannabis network event.
The presentation day, held at the luxurious W Hotel in Barcelona, featured, of course, the creme of professional representatives of the sector, with characters such as Scott Van Rixel, CEO of Bhang Corporation, one of the companies sponsoring the event, who showed his unconditional support for improving connections with international distributors and emphasizing the importance of the Spanish market in its business strategies; Jamie Pearson, Bhang's director of operations on CBD issues; the Spanish jurist Bernardo Soriano; and Nic Easley of 3C and Multiverse Capital, who provided a summary of the chiaroscuro potentials of international cannabis investment.
However, without a doubt, the highlight (and the most widely anticipated) event of Thursday was the appearance in the sold-out hotel auditorium of the great Damian Marley, youngest of the legendary Bob Marley’s children, famous reggae and dancehall artist, and Grammy Award winner. In a way, his presence aroused double expectation, because shortly before his company, HighTimes Holding Corp, bought the company Feria del Cáñamo SL, organizer of Spannabis- for 3 million dollars in cash and another 4 in ordinary shares. Not content with just giving a vibrant conference where he asserted his "interest in the legalization of cannabis and its industry” at a global level, the musician then dedicated a memorable concert with the New York DJ Mad Out, raising the levels of public euphoria to a paroxysm. An excellent prologue for a festival that already promised to be incredible.
Unprecedented attendance record
The rooms of the ICBC were full to capacity, and the presence of so many thousands of professionals and visitors in Fira Cornellà during the three day celebration, were clear proof of the immense interest that cannabis and its industry are awakening in an increasingly globalized world, where the reputation of marijuana is improving by leaps and bounds.
Today, looking back over the event, we are sure that attendees, whether merely curious consumers, home-cultivators, entrepreneurs and representatives of large companies, were able to expand their knowledge and share views on cannabis and its alternative uses in a privileged and truly unique space, through more than 300 exhibitors of brands from around the world, all dedicated to the different uses and applications of the plant (paraphernalia, nutrition, health, textiles, beauty and cosmetics, ...). Also, truly praiseworthy was the presence of a stand reserved for legal consultations, open to all present, to the satisfaction of all.
Spannabis: a space to educate, share knowledge and enjoy
In the same Fira Cornellà venue, next to the exhibitors area, the public could also enjoy the World Cannabis Conference, a cycle of talks held by political representatives, researchers, scientists, and other specialized speakers to discuss the current problems of the sector in depth; and give ideas and hopes (from a not naive optimism) to promote a world as expansive and remarkable as the cannabis, as well as its vision of the future. To these ends the strategic alliances to be established to promote industrial expansion and the overcoming of legal and legal obstacles were discussed in detail. For example, ways to establish a legal framework in Spain were analyzed, taking advantage of the roads already crossed by other states such as Uruguay, California and even neighbouring Portugal.
The level of all the conferences was frankly high and of great interest, and included personalities of the stature of lawyer Héctor Brotons (director of the Law Firm Brotsanbert, legal adviser of the FAC and spokesman of the OECCC), Bernardo Soriano (director of S & F Lawyers, and spokesman for Responsible Regulation), Adam Jacques (writer for Grow magazine, and cannabis producer in Oregon, both for recreational and medicinal uses), Alex Pasternack (from Los Angeles, founder of Binske in Colorado and winner of the Leafly Award of best edible of the year), and the Barcelona doctor Dr. Mariano García de Palau, researcher into the therapeutic use of cannabis, and advisor at the Kalapa Clinic).
However, a lecture hat was of special interest to us- given the well-known importance of social networks today- was given by several media professionals, among whom were Maka (co-founder of Undergrow TV and Cáñamo TV ), Dr. Weed (cook, gardener and medical cannabis patient), Clara Sativa of Marihuana TV, and the famous Boris Petis. This presentation, opening the Saturday session first thing in the morning, and entitled "Cannabis Televisions 2.0. Marijuana On Air! Between freedom and censorship ", focused on analyzing the situation and the future of communication through specialized audio visual channels, and the challenges posed by the tragic and paradoxical dichotomy prevailing between freedom and censorship in said media -especially YouTube, Instagram and Facebook-. There was talk, among other things, of the "witch hunt" by YouTube in April last year, closing almost all the marijuana channels en masse and out of the blue, then reversing its position and returning them to their owners, without any explanation.
Kannabia in Spannabis
Spannabis was for us is an incomparable setting to tell the public our latest news, from the launch of Super AK and Super OG Kush at the end of 2018 (two beauties which have already carved their niche in the market); and continuing with our new innovations of 2019: Swiss Dream Rosé Auto CBD, a fantastic variety rich in CBD that is delighting lovers of high medicinal/low THC strains; Gelato-K, authentic bombazo, a delicious feminized crossing of Gelato x Bubba Kush, two great American legends; and as a climax, the presentation of our latest champion: Colombian Jack, new "superheroine" of our bank: a prodigious sativa dominant hybrid with 29% THC and just 64 days flowering time, the fruit of the most intensive gene research. Not in vain, it won the Best Sativa award at the last Expogrow in Irún 2018. It will soon be available in stock, for its grand release to the market. Stay tuned to our website, Kannabistas!
Likewise, the interest aroused by our seed bank abroad was proved by the numerous visits of new clients from the United Kingdom, France, Latin America, the USA and Canada, but also notably from numerous national and international journalists and influencers. such as the interview that Youtube channel Dichter & Danker gave with our colleague and manager Melania.
It was also a pleasure to meet in person many twitterers and friends of our networks, such as the lovely Lucia (a.k.a. @Utopica_Lu), member of the facinating project The Girls Also Cultivate; the endearing "Capi", Adrián P. Barandica (a.k.a. @ Apez140), marine, ecologist and collaborator of GeaSeeds and Greenbud Seeds; the celebrated María Barragans; the aforementioned Dr. Weed, new collaborator of Kannabia; representatives of other friendly seed banks such as Zamnesia, Seedsman Seeds, Tiger one, Dinafem, Spliff Seeds and Phillosopher Seeds (by the way, check out their latest release, with Zamnesia, Wifi 43 x Do-Si-Dos); our inseparable colleagues from Merkagrow, from Plantasur Distributions and the organisation of Expogrow Irún 2019 (new and potent cannabis expo which takes place at the end of April) and the charming Canarian Robin, from Sendero de la María, one of the fastest growing cannabis channels on YouTube.
We were also honored with visits by several friends and clients from the United Kingdom, such as the guys from Emerald Life, who were very interested in our CBD-rich varieties; and the great Callie Blackwell, worldwide cannabis activist and famed author of the book The Boy in 7 Billion (written with Karen Hockney), which tells the story of her son, a cancer patient, who was successfully treated - in secret- by his mother, with medicinal cannabis oil. An authentic hero whose courage and passion to help others is an inspiration, and made us proud to be able to help with some seeds for those who need them most.
2019 Spannabis Award winners
The official Spannabis awards ceremony was, without a doubt, another highlight of the fair. The list of winners, below, is a who’s who of some of the most prominent names in the cannabis industry this year. Congratulations to all!
2019 Spannabis Awards
- Best Seed Bank: Royal Queen Seeds
- Best Nutrient: BioTabs by Boom Boom Spray
- Best Cannabis Product: Cannabeer by La Original, Premium Cannabis Craft Beer
- Best Paraphernalia Product: The Neutralizer & Kenex Products by The Neutralizer Road Kit
- Best Growing Product: Autopot by Multiple Modules Auto 8.
- Best Post-cultivation Product: Cali Terpenes by Terpenos Cali Terpenes.
- Best Stand: Genehtik,
- Best Vaporizer: PAX for PAX 3.
- Best New Product: Pollinator by How I Became the Hash Queen
A Spannabis without music would not be a true Spannabis. Once again, this year, the organization showed its knowledge with a carefully chosen cast of artists of proven talent for its music festival, with musicians, DJ's and producers of the likes of Psygroo (Own Spirit), genius of progressive psy-trance ; Warriors of Dub Sound System, a Buenos Aires / Girona specialized in roots and digital dub sounds; great French masters of reggae and the most futuristic and experimental dub (with unexpected electro touches), like Weeding Dub or the imposing Mahom; and the fascinating Mina's Collective, a young project with feminist shades composed of 4 women from different backgrounds that has already carved a niche in their own right, in the reggae, digital and dubstep scene in Barcelona.
Two truly thrilling moments on Sunday were the presence on the Spannabis stage - with a dazzling sun and totally dedicated audience - of 420 Backyard Battle, the famous "Cockfight" where freestyle rap artists compete against each other for the coveted prize. We had barely recovered from this show when the festival was closed by two greats: Karlixx, one of the most recognised DJs and producers of the current Spanish jungle and neurofunk scene, with his highly-polished mixing technique; and finally the powerful DJ Rambla, well-known Catalan reggae and dub scene disc-jockey and prominent member of the Suruma Sound System, who also has a strain named after him. Rambla would be a most memorable close to three days of the fair with a fantastic set with everything from reggae and dub to jungle, electro-swing and hip-hop. Deluxe.