Whilst I was boarding the aircraft from Brussels, surrounded by swarve business men and also prim senior ladies, I was starting to imagine that I had been moving into a world in which individuals believe numerous things not the same as myself.
And so was the start of my longer weekend break of juxtaposition in Austria.
I was venturing to the well-accepted cannabis affair, Cultiva, within Vienna. Whenever I picture Austria, I imagine right wing politics, the kind of that you will not believe a cannabis industry to boom within.
However the Austrians enjoy a commendable approach to cannabis that is certainly rather glorious in the straightforwardness. In Europe, where nearly every country has its own different drug legal guidelines, it is usually baffling to know where you stand. In Austria it is extremely distinct: THC is not allowed. At face value, this has a tendency to eliminate prospects of a marijuana niche.
But here’s the thing… cannabis seeds, mother crops plus clippings do not contain any THC. In Austria it is totally legal to put together a warehouse brimming with mother plants and sell the clippings to users for “decorative” uses. It’s simple for Austrian farmers to skip all of the steps of germination and selection and buy a duplicate of great stock for approximately the same cost as a seed.
As a hobby cultivator for my very own usage, this approach has awesome attraction. It seems to resonate with the lots of paying participants to the occurrence. My independent stash for the weekend was the aptly labeled Think Different. Think Different is a spicy, sativa-dominant autoflower that supplied great yields inside my minimal greenhouse, irrespective of a rainy summer season this year.
This is the trade, around the home farming and ingestion, that sustains the Cultiva event – now within the 9th year. It’s a casual event which includes a relaxed festival atmosphere to it. Almost all of the public going to the exhibition and conference are affluent and well-educated marijuana fans.
I was chatting with several hobby growers that had journeyed down from the north of Austria to take in the expo ahead of enlisting in the military. One informed me, “The awesome thing about this gathering is everybody here are marijuana consumers.”
“All the sharp, insightful folks,” quipped yet another hobby grower. They had all abstained the past fourteen days on account of their military health checks. I urged these to look at BioTab stand – a Dutch family company located in Spain that markets kits to give farmers a very easy guide to true organic cultivating – and consider joining the cannabis marketplace as opposed to the armed forces.
Cultiva is positioned in the amazing 8000 sq . metre Eventpyramide Vösendorf, which is situated underneath a sub-tropical glass pyramid full of rich plants and flowers and twisting lanes. It can make for one of the most desirable places for any trade fair I have been to, cannabis-related or otherwise. The location reminded me of an Ibiza nightclub, just without the loud music and intoxicated English holidaymakers.
This year I was giving a presentation at the Cultiva Cannabis Congress which was running at the same time to the trade fair. I was lucky enough to be staying inside the adjacent hotel with immediate access to the convention and conference. The hotel is active with all types of people. I spent my very first night watching a World Cup qualifier football match on television with Austria and Wales with individuals of a community Polo team. I know, Polo, right?
Understandably there was a serious blend of people in the accommodation lobby. The dreadlocked and baseball capped comings and goings of the marijuana fair were in huge distinction to the swarv guests.
Those working the stalls had only positives to say of Cultiva and the organisation. The common buzz was that it was the most warm and friendly event within the European cannabis schedule, albeit not the biggest or most popular. As a comparison, Saturday starts at a convenient 11am and closes at 8pm, compared with Spannabis that runs from 9am right through to 10pm – without siesta!
Another attribute setting Cultiva apart is the fact that it is the only expo in Europe where one can see live plants growing. The majority of the stalls had clones on display. They were either businesses who specialize in selling clones or businesses selling LED lights, tents or some other devices, making use of the plants as props. It’s one step that brings every little thing into context.
The Bush Planet stall had flourishing plants. Papers drawn up by a lawyer guaranteed that all plants are damaged after display and not in any way ingested. This loophole makes it possible for have live, flowering plants inside their Vienna museum – Hemp Embassy – where one can pull a handle to release the odor of each.
And man, was the odour potent! Right after a day of these kinds of beauties flowering the cacophony of odours had permeated the event and adjacent corridors of the resort.
Flowery Field, one of the two main event sponsors, hasbeen in the clone business for 10 years. Headquartered a brief walk from the expo, they have five shops all through Austria. I questioned Francesca at the bright colored Flower Field stall – which wouldn’t look odd between a Swatch shop and and an Apple store in a shopping mall – whether she sees any menace to this business regarding alterations in laws. She thought not really and claimed, “We’ve been growing mother plants and selling their clones for a decade, other companies have existed for 25 years or maybe more. It’s not much of a situation which will change without altering the current laws, that we’ve examined several times in the courtroom and constantly won. Adjusting the laws and regulations will take time and there is no calling for it. We will keep growing, have some fun and make people happy.”
Selling clones is large business and also in relation to amount of clones marketed, Flowery Field is definitely the current market leader. DNA Genetics, typically a cannabis seed company, is the second main sponsor. There is still a niche for seeds in Austria in spite of the option of premium quality clones. The DNA rep pointed out the obvious reasons why. “Seeds travel far better and also have a longer life expectancy when compared with clones, “ I was told that; a proven fact that opens the market further afield than Austria. In adjoining Germany, with Europe’s largest human population, marijuana seeds are illegal.
It wasn’t just large clone and seed vendors on display. The auxiliary sector aiding farmers was showed, as were smaller sized clone companies.
The hemp industry was additionally part of the show. Two real treats were providing foods and tea created from organically grown hemp, and I found a gorgeous handcrafted hemp scarf.
“We would like to bring everyone in the cannabis and hemp market together so that they can work alongside each other to shift the business forward in a beneficial way,” says Harold Schubert, General Manager at Cultiva. “We’re coming into our 10th year now and we’re glad to be established as the highest quality cannabis exhibition inside the European calendar
Austria’s attitude towards cannabis has blossomed into a blossoming industry and, thanks to the effective and detailed Austrian way, it is extremely consumer-friendly and professional. It will be fantastic to see additional countries in Europe gaining knowledge from this instance and making the necessary changes in regulations to steer these to a more Austrian approach.