Marijuana enthusiasts far and wide are gathered in California's bay area this weekend for the two-day International Cannabis and Hemp Expo, which features a variety of marijuana-related products for sale including bongs, vaporizers, pot brownies and more.
According to the Associated Press:
The expo, and others like it, will help develop the multibillion dollar pot industry, said Bucky Fisher, national sales manager for Medical Marijuana Inc., which sells hemp-related products and provides services to ensure marijuana dispensaries follow the law.
"It makes the industry more of a community, more visible, more powerful," Fisher went on to say. "This country is definitely in need of a homegrown industry, and this could be it."
More than simply offering a marketplace for pot paraphernalia, the expo seeks to raise public awareness about the drug and help generate support for legalization.
Bob Katzman, who headed the organization of the event, told reporters that he has been trying for years to get this type of event approved, but finally obtained the green light as a result of changing attitudes about America in the current political landscape.
"I think we're already mainstream," he told the Associated Press. "At least in Northern California."
In November, California voters will consider a ballot measure to legalize marijuana for recreational use in addition to the already-legal medicinal use.