The High Times Cannabis Cup wrapped up this weekend in Clio, just north of Flint, and thousands of people attended- some even stuck it out when Michigan showed her August fury and dumped rain on the event for most of Sunday. But what is left when the crowds are gone and the muddy fields have dried up? What is rarely reported on is the event’s unintended consequence to the community, the fallout after the High Times cannaexplosion.
What happens next?
Well, signs get painted. Buildings get improved. Gas station owners on Saginaw Street can perk up their properties from the extra revenue they made this weekend. Waitresses in Clio and Mt. Morris can put extra groceries in their cabinets from the additional tip money they got from all the Cuppers who ate in their restaurant. Housekeeping staff in Bridgeport can enjoy a bigger paycheck from working extra hours this weekend, as their hotel rooms were all rented out. Finer hotels in Flint saw a spike in rentals, too.
Usually businesses have to spend money to attract new clients. It’s called advertising. When an event like the Cup comes to town, bringing with it vendors, attendees and staff, it also brings economic prosperity without an attendant cost. Free money for business. That’s what the Cannabis Cup is. It’s better than a government subsidy.
But there is a cost to the communities involved.
Clio, to the north, and Mt. Morris to the south, had to dispel their frowns for a weekend. Smiling faces polluted their cities and brought with them the sounds of laughter, of joy, of release. A Michigan summer day filled with tie-dyed t-shirts and cutoff jeans shorts, of tattooed arms and bikini tops, sunglasses and leaf necklaces and always the smiles. Everywhere, it’s the smiles. If you hate that sort of thing, this Cup must be maddening.
Over 2,000 cars were parked in the main lot on Saturday, I was told. That lot held cars with license plates from more than a dozen states. The MILegalize panel discussion I moderated on Saturday was standing-room only. All those people spend money to get here, they spend money while they are here and they spend money while on their way out of town.
There is a lingering consequence to the people of the state of Michigan when the Cup leaves, make no mistake about it.
That consequence can be measured by the number of hugs one received when walking through the infield of the Speedway. By the number of handshakes. The consequence includes relationships rekindled, friendships renewed, introductions made, praise delivered. Although those things may have been momentary in duration their effect is durable. People created a bigger network with which to accomplish goals, they gained a new friend to lean on when things get tough, found an industry contact that could lead to a valued contract or learned about a new Conference that will help their business become successful.
Nonprofit organizations gained members. Small cannabusinesses got the economic boost they need to weather out the long Michigan winter. People that wanted to start an enterprise may have received the incentive they were looking for and will kick start that project.
The lost was found. Lovers were discovered. Fears were abated. Dreams were began.
Hope is restored where people become empowered, and that is the true consequence of hosting a High Times Medical Cannabis Cup. Empowered, hopeful people.
Michigan’s next big marijuana conference is one month away! Join Rick Thompson for the Michigan Cannabis Business Development Conference on September 26 at the Holiday Inn Gateway Centre.
Source: The Compassion Chronices