14.07.2012 - El Druida
The history of cannabis fairs began with Soft Secrets magazine and the successful Highlife Fair organised in towns such as Utrecht, Amsterdam or Barcelona. This first stage saw the public speeches mainly concentrated on hemp and its uses, namely in the textile, food or cosmetics fields. It's also important to emphasize that this sector of our industry has by now become well-established, with several fairs held throughout Europe, carrying on the concept of cannabis fairs that we began last century.
All this inspired the Soft Secrets group to take a few years' break before returning with a completely new concept. 2012 is the year that saw the reorganisation of the Highlife fairs under the new name GrowMed, the fair dedicated to self-cultivation of cannabis and other medicinal plants. Returning to a new city with a new concept is a task to be faced with courage and long-term vision. And that's exactly what Soft Secrets did, trying to include every aspect of this concept in the fair.
Feria de Valencia
Public discussions and conferences on the medical uses of marijuana went on all day.
The wide, blue-carpeted sponsor corridor which the fair centred around, hosted the brands that staked the most on the fair, each with its 100 sq m stand. The main sponsor was Royal Queen Seeds, while other important sponsors were Grass-O-Matic, Soft Secrets, Future Care, Sweet Seeds, Dinafem, Bio Ibo, Canna, Grotek, Hesi-Hortitec, Atami, Plagron and GreenGo. Mention must also be made of the second-level Eva Seeds and Plantasur stands, as well as the effective use Paradise Seeds made of its space, by placing its advertisements above the stand, striking a balance between volume and visibility. Several other exhibitors, such as Grow Solutions or Hemp Trading, also set up stands at GrowMed. We certainly must underline the huge efforts on behalf of all the exhibitors who realised the level of professionalism that GrowMed aspires to and made it their mission to rise to the occasion with their stands.
Wernard Bruining came specially from the Netherlands to speak about his medicinal marijuana oil.
Sweet Seeds was offering a fabulous paella.
The focal point of the Med Park was the Medical Lab, where the round-tables saw the participation of four members of the SEIC (Spanish Association for the Investigation of Cannabinoids). Thus, Javier Pedraza dealt with cannabis and pain, Koldo Callado spoke of cannabis and neuropsychiatric diseases, Javier Díaz of the cannabinoid system and Manuel Guzmán, president of the SEIC, spoke of cannabis and cancer. Dr. Joan Parés and assistant Monserrat Torres also participated, on behalf of the medical consultancy of the Catalan association MACA. The round-table on cannabis and cancer, which saw Javier Díaz and Javier Pedraza flank Manuel Guzmán, was indubitably one of the highlights of GrowMed.
This area was also characterised by the Canna foundation laboratory, where experts analysed samples not only to test their cannabinoid contents, but also in search of possible contamination. An important note is that, for the first time, the laboratory was directed exclusively by one of the most important scientists on the scene: Iñaki García. And his expertise showed in the results, which seemed much more realistic compared to other series of tests. An example of this new arrangement is that the sample with the highest THC content belonged to Hugo, of the Bilbao grow shop Recoge y Siembra, with 15% THC.
The legal area was coordinated by the legal office Brotons & Albert. Furthermore, this area – as well as the one previously mentioned – boasted the SEIC seal of approval, and several lawyers belonging to the FAC (Federation of Cannabis Associations)'s group of legal consultants were present. Thus, Rafael Agulló and Hector Brotons dealt with the legal regime of medicinal cannabis, while the pair made up of Hector Brotons and Miguel Torres explained the situation of social cannabis clubs and therapeutic uses. Finally, Alacannabis's legal consultant, Esther Concepción Sanchez, spoke about medicinal purposes in self-cultivation. Brotons & Albert also provided a consulting service for any growers or users with doubts and legal problems.
The star of the self-cultivation area was certainly Jorge Cervantes, with his talk on outdoor medicinal self-growing in the United States. The world-famous cannabis guru entranced his audience with a great display of photos and scads of information. Wernard Bruining's talk about his work using medicinal tinctures for patients with a variety of ailments was also extremely successful. Joan Parés and Monserrat Torres also spoke on this subject.
|An important meeting with the testimonial girls.|
The club and associations area hosted members of PUKA (National Association of Consumers of Therapeutic Cannabis) and of the RCN-NOK (Navarra Cannabis Representation) therapeutic cultivation, as well as members of the FAC. However, we suffered two serious losses. Friday morning began with the tragic news of the death of José Julián Sanchez, known as Coque, the president of therapeutic association El templo del cannabis. José Julián was a great supporter of medical cannabis, a fighter and an example for all of us. He was deeply committed to this fair. On Thursday he was seen getting his accredit and overseeing the fair assembly, but he never made it to Friday. José Julián was an agricultural expert who had prepared a talk on the medicinal uses of cannabis that we never had a chance to enjoy. It's a great pity that he never got to see the first European medicinal cannabis fair, although his energy certainly accompanied us and intervened on behalf of the success of this first edition, because it was one of his greatest dreams. On Saturday there was an emotional moment of silence in his honour.
Martín Barriuso, president of the FAC, was unable to attend due to a fairly serious case of pneumonia that he still hasn't recovered from, weeks later. Although social cannabis clubs, which have greatly benefited from his contributions, are enjoying a moment in the sun, the case is different for Pannagh – the club that Martín Barriuso is president of. The club was confiscated and Martín has invested all his money and the money he has been lent to meet bail. All this in addition to health troubles. Pannagh is undoubtedly a reference point for European activism, and the time has come for all of us to support the club, which has always fought on behalf of all cannabis clubs. After having battled for the model that has helped us all, it's time to return the favour, by making a donation to Victims of the Pannagh Breaking Up, 3035-0104-27-1040051014.
Aside from the four main round-tables, ten additional information stalls were set up in the Medical Arena, where visitors could directly contact several groups and associations. The user association PUKA was present, along with other mixed groups like THC Valencia, Alacannabis and the FAC. Another participant was the association called “Dulce Revolución”, dedicated to the circulation of medicinal plants like Stevia, Kalanchoe and many others.
|Miguel from Royal Queen Seeds is having a good old time.|
Another important musical point was the outdoor area or Smoking Lounge, sponsored by Resin Seeds. There can't be a Soft Secrets fair without a smoking area, so the outdoor truck access (third floor) was reserved especially for the Resin Seeds Smoking Lounge, which also hosted representatives of the Rototom festival – an important European reggae festival held in Benicassim. It was a pleasure to have our Rototom friends introducing us to the music they play during their festival. This area also hosted the giant paella offered by Sweet Seeds and Hemp Trading, which fed about 800 people!
|The promotional models were real beauties.|
Another important spot was the VideoWall, with its shining moment with the cast of the series Malviviendo, as well as documentaries like “Exodus” and “Rototom para el mundo”, on the Rototom festival, or “La otra realidad”, on medicinal cannabis.
GrowMed 2012 Awards
The climax of GrowMed 2012's success came with the presentation of the awards on Sunday in the Medical Arena. The winners were chosen by the exhibitors themselves; this is the traditional voting system used for the Highlife Fairs, although the GrowMed organisation has already announced important changes in the system for future editions.
An overwhelming majority declared the best stand to be Eva Seeds / Cactus Martorell for their double plant factory of illusions, which have caught the attention of the public at every fair they've attended. The award for second place went to Sweet Seeds, and Atami won third place. Deimos's Buddha Seeds won for most popular variety, as well as for Chica of the Year 2012, awarded in Soft Secrets' varieties special. Another company that scored twice was 00Box, whose solar light won both for best accessory and best new product.
The award for best medical bank went to two seed banks who shared a stand: Resin Seeds and CBD Crew. The award for best grow product was given to Advanced Nutrients Europe and Plagron was declared the most responsible stand.
Closing time: “Gracias”
On Sunday, at the end of the fair when everything was being dismantled, satisfaction was the general feeling on the grounds. The newly-born GrowMed passed its trial by fire and it was obvious that it's here to stay. Victor Santana, official DJ for GrowMed, played a beautiful and heartfelt composition of his own, called “Gracias” - a fitting subject when all that was left was to thank everyone who helped GrowMed possible from the bottom of our hearts – workers, public and exhibitors. Without the efforts of everyone involved, it would never have been possible to carry out the first Medicinal Cannabis Fair in Europe.
The GrowMed documentary will be available online shortly, for you to relive the GrowMed 2012 speakers' speeches as well as photos taken during the fair. And... we'll see you at GrowMed 2013!Tags: Seeds | Events | Jorge Cervantes | Medical Edition: Soft Secrets 2012 - 3