Champs took place over the past few days in Las Vegas in spite of recent changes to Nevada state legislation prohibiting Delta 8 products. Attendee’s were warned not to have Delta 8 mentioned anywhere on there signage, product listings, or staff outfits and further emphasized that that even included Delta 8 triangle symbols typically seen to market these products in our industry.
Champs is a magazine that’s held expos catering to Smoke and Vape shops with a focus on glass and later Kratom. As the CBD industry boomed, there was more and more crossover between the two industries. With shops across the united states looking for the next thing after kratom, CBD and later Delta 8 began to take center stage. Many shops started carrying the products, brands started new lines for Delta 8 and CBD to add to their SKUs and Champs expo’s slowly were slowly taken over by the Hemp and CBD industry.
This morning the industry woke up to news that the DEA had raided the latest show in Las Vegas and made arrests to those who had ignored the new Las Vegas laws prohibiting Delta 8 and who had promoted or brought Delta 8 products to the Las Vegas Champs show. Jungle Boys blew up the story by posting it to their Instagram which many hemp industry people also follow. The story they shared was first published on the Weed Blog, a Portland, Oregon-based cannabis news blog ran by Travis Meaur. Travis posted information after reading social media posts from a popular cannabis industry blogger called TheBlackListXYZ.
According to TheBlackListXYZ Champs was being raided by the DEA. He shared this post to social media:
He later added that the cause was someone handing out edibles to an undercover that was attending the event to make sure compliance was held during the multi-day event which brings in industry businesses from all over the US, many focused on Delta 8 product sales.
Champs released a statement that addressed the drop of the news at their Las Vegas show saying the following:
“Clarification: It wasn’t the attorney general as mentioned; it was the head of Las Vegas Police Department who was handed an unprompted non-infused gummy sample by an attendee. The problem was that it was food and all food and drink must be served by a caterer to ensure food safety. It was a contract violation with the LVCVA and because of the D8 and D10 ban the executives were walking the floor and just happened to be handed food. No one was arrested. The DEA and FBI were not on site. LVPD undercovers did walk the show floor but are there mainly to ensure compliance with local legislation. Delta 8 and Delta 10 have been recently banned under Nevada law but were not the reason for this incident.”
Event videos on Champs Instagram show the event was packed and it didn’t seem that there was much concern over holding an event primarily built on Delta 8 businesses in a newly banned state. Previous shows, which The Hemp Collect participated in as an exhibitor, were held in Florida, which has been much more supportive of Delta 8. Booths at the last two Champs shows in Orlando Florida were 80% Delta 8 products.
SO WHAT COMES AFTER DELTA 8?
As Delta 8, Delta 10 and other plant derivatives continue to be restricted in different states across the US, many businesses are searching for the next compound to help their brand stand out in one of the most competitive markets. We see the newly legalized states following the same trends that have happened in states who have been legal now for some time and who set precedence. This includes Oregon which was one of the early adopters along with Colorado and California.
As consumer sophistication grows, demand for higher quality products with a focus on safety and preservation of the plant’s spectrum of phytochemistry emerges. We see this strong bell curve that starts with an obsession on potency and getting the “biggest potency bang for you dollar” shift to consumer demand for a more balanced and “full high” where the terpenes and other plant compounds play in symphony with Delta 9. Much as the recreational market transitioned from distillate based products to full spectrum profiles.
We have focused on educating the businesses we work with to understand this inevitable shift and the even bigger picture that in the long-short term we are going to see cannabis legalization across all states and we need to understand what that means for industry businesses in hemp and CBD.
How will they stay relevant as consumers who are currently being sated with CBD and Delta 8 but ultimately want Delta 9- get access?
It’s important we look at best practices to stay in business. This includes better inputs in our products and creating a broader spectrum, moving away from isolated compounds which Delta 8 mostly is and emphasizing natural plant phytochemistry with live resin and hemp derived terpenes. We have been working to educate our industry on products like Live Resin which is considered one of the highest quality products, next to full spectrum solventless concentrates. By pairing it with CBD and other compounds you are ensuring more inclusion of the delicate compounds lost in the drying process. This includes monoterpenes affecting aroma and other compounds responsible for taste and flavor.
If the recreational market serves as any example to the tastes and preferences of an ever evolving consumer base, moving towards broader spectrum, strain specific extracts and products is not only a good way to hedge your bets against changing D8 regulations but is where the industry is headed with D8 or not.
We will continue to post updates as we get further information from industry businesses we know that were in attendance at the show.