We Attended The Alt Products Expo In Fort Lauderdale, FL. Here’s How It Went:
Who doesn’t love the idea of visiting Florida on Spring Break? When the opportunity to hit The Alt Products Expo in Fort Lauderdale came up, we Oregonians sprung at the chance to enjoy sunny beaches in March, palm trees, and of course, a super productive work trip.
If you haven’t heard of it, the Alt Products Expo is a trade show featuring products that fall into an alternative category for a better-known product. Some of the product types include performance drinks, vapes, smokables, cannabis derivatives, mood enhancers, etc. For example, Red Bull and 5-Hour Energy once fell into this category. With marketing, brand refinement, and strategic exposure, these Alt Products went mainstream.
Our category of expertise is smokable hemp/CBD flower which, of course, would be the Alt Product for smokeable marijuana flower. Hemp (CBD) flower looks and smells so similar to its THC heavy counterpart, with just one problem: Hemp doesn’t get people high. Guess what? Alt Product consumers want to get high, even if their state hasn’t legalized pot. Folks are seeking that head change and all the body feels. Most people aren’t looking for drug dealers to help achieve this either! Ain’t nobody got time for prison! Instead, the consumer wants to buy these products legally in stores, jarred up and sealed nicely, with testing and proper dosing information on the label.
JAXON’s optimal place in the Alt market space is to supply wholesale bulk hemp flower to distributors. The distributors then sell the flower to stores, and/or apply hemp-derived cannabinoid isomers like Delta 8, Delta 10, THCO, and HHC to the flower to give it the psycho-active effect consumers are looking for when they can’t legally buy marijuana. It makes logical sense for us to supply the flower because we work with over 100 Southern Oregon hemp farms! Our vast menu can easily supply Alt Product companies with the quality, variety, and pricing they need to satisfy the masses.
Why Did We Travel All The Way From Oregon To Florida?
Back to Florida. Why Florida? Florida and the neighboring southern states are home to one of our best U.S. markets for smokable hemp/CBD flower. Naturally, it penciled to go to this show to network and meet our current customers and future customers face to face. There is nothing like meeting in person, especially since the pandemic. Like many states, Florida has not yet legalized recreational use of marijuana, thus the appetite for Alt Products like infused hemp flower, shiitake mushrooms, Alt edibles etc. Yes, I said infused shiitake mushrooms. Stay tuned for the Shroom Boom!
How was the Alt Products Expo for us? As attendees of the event, we made ourselves free to visit the exhibitors we identified as potential customers. We were happy to network with numerous exhibitors selling smokeable hemp flower products. Our geographical location, here at the top of the Emerald Triangle, has spoiled us with our definition of beautiful sun-grown flower. Seeing what flower is being sold on the east coast, showed us a world of opportunity to sell more Oregon flower to east coast distributors. It was exciting to connect and show our flower samples to potential buyers. From our cheapest pounds to the posh indoor pounds, we have something to improve every exhibit we visit. So many prospects! It also didn’t suck to hang out with The Trailer Park Boys!
Beyond tapping our potential for selling Oregon hemp/CBD flower, the Alt Products Expo provided access to industry players we need in our B2B network. From experienced farms, to labs, to industry innovators, we met so many! Having more contacts to bounce ideas off and more brands to observe in the marketplace really helps us to know where this industry is going and how we can be a force in the space. We also perused solutions to help us run our business better. Hemp/CBD-friendly banks and merchant processors are the kind of contacts that make or break our ability to operate as a viable business. You can never have too many ways to pay and accept payment.
As for the Floridian experience we hoped for in the off hours, it seems that we chose the coldest weekend on record to be unofficial Spring Breakers in Fort Lauderdale. Beyond the sub 70-degree temperatures, it rained while we were there (twice), and an actual tornado touched down somewhere nearby in south Florida, which explained the abrupt winds on top of the cooler temperatures. Who has time for a cold windy beach when you’re walking the tradeshow floor for 7 hours a day anyway? Pfft.
As we sort through our contact lists and business cards, we are definitely debating which will be our next expo/conference/trade show to attend. All this is with the goal of JAXON being the world’s best one-stop shop for Hemp/CBD flower.