Models reportedly gave out free hugs and more than 10,000 joints at a recent cannabis convention held at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina.
But according to Brad McLaughlin, CEO of the online medical marijuana marketplace BudTrader.com, many of the vendors at the expo needed the hugs the most.
“Some of the biggest players in the marijuana industry pulled out of this event,” said McLaughlin, citing worries about their legal future in light of recent comments by new Attorney General Jeff Sessions and White House press secretary Sean Spicer.
“There’s confusion and uncertainty in our industry,” he said. “President Trump made some promises during his campaign that he’s going to allow the states to decide on recreational marijuana and he would support medical marijuana.”
Anti-marijuana sentiment in the Trump administration “kind of took the wind out of the sails” of the third annual California Cannabis Business Expo.
“They’re afraid to make any noise or be seen right now,” McLaughlin said.
That’s one reason BudTrader decided to give away hugs and joints of a variety called Purple Train Wreck.
Noting “a lot of negativity in American politics lately, especially towards medicinal marijuana, we at BudTrader are all about positive energy,” McLaughlin said in a statement. “It’s impossible to be angry when you are smoking a joint and hugging a supermodel. This idea could change the world! Imagine if peace talks in the Middle East were moderated by supermodels giving out blunts — we would have peace in no time.”
Models were advised to ask for ID if someone wanting a joint looked younger then 35 or to ask for ID if they were unsure of someone’s age.
Costing between $2.50 and $10 apiece, the pre-rolled joints were donated by a local dispensary who is an advertising partner..
One accidental hug-getter was a San Diego police officer patrolling the event outside.
“She was in the middle of the hug, when she realized he was a police officer but she had already committed to it,” McLaughlin said. “He was cool about it.”