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Coming To Tacoma Dome: CannaCon, 'Home And Garden Show, But With Cannabis'

Move over, Hempfest; there’s a new show in town, and on the same weekend.

CannaCon is coming to the Tacoma Dome, and organizers hope to make it the biggest cannabis expo in the country.

“Picture the Seattle Home and Garden Show, but with cannabis,” said Bob Smart, a medical marijuana retailer who is organizing the event with the help of the Marijuana Business Association.

Both CannaCon and Hempfest will be held on the weekend of Aug. 15. But unlike Hempfest, there will be no haze of marijuana smoke inside the Tacoma Dome; pot smoking will not be allowed at CannaCon.

“Having been to Hempfest, I didn’t like all the smoking going on. It was a younger crowd. You didn’t see a lot of older folks,” said Smart. “This is absolutely the opposite of that. This is a true trade show. Come to buy stuff. It’s not going to be a smoke-out.”

Smart envisions the Tacoma Dome packed with 520 vendor booths selling everything but marijuana.

“Pipes, dirt, lights — everything else but no medicine, because it’s got to be [Initiative] 502-complaint,” said Smart. “So we’ll have glass people, we’ll have people with vaporizers and all these new things. Because a lot of these 502 stores don’t even know where to get it.”

The idea, says Smart, is to elevate an industry that’s ready to grow up.

“You know, the industry is really evolving, and it’s going to turn into a more professional kind of thing,” he said. “So why not start now with something really professionally done, not an excuse to get together and smoke with everybody.”

Ticket prices have not yet been determined, but Smart plans to offer two price tiers — one for businesses and a cheaper one for consumers. 

Smart says he didn’t plan to book CannaCon on the same dates as Hempfest, but it was the only weekend the Tacoma Dome was available. To draw cannabis consumers torn between the two events, Smart says a free shuttle will run between the Tacoma Dome and Seattle Center.

CannaCon will run from Thursday, Aug. 14 through Sunday, Aug. 17. However, it will only be open to marijuana businesses on the first day.