My sister and I rested in the CannaGrow Expo lounge with freshly baked cookies in hand. Happily high off a squib, we savored the warm goodies and took in our surroundings.

Day 2 of CannaGrow was in full swing, and we were in the midst of an emergency chocolate break.

CannaGrow Expo surprised guests with an emergency ice cream break on Day 1, and an emergency chocolate break on Day 2.

CannaGrow Expo was held August 28 + 29, 2015 in Portland, OR at the Red Lion Jantzen Beach Hotel. It was a two day, educational event dedicated to the art and science of growing cannabis.

While devouring our chocolaty treats, we concluded we may have discovered the crème de la crème of cannabis conventions. And our conclusion may or may not have been partially swayed by the double chocolate cookies curbing our munchies.

But beyond sweets, CannaGrow served up much more.

Let’s examine how CannaGrow Expo provided a premium event experience through the environment, education, and refreshments.


At CannaGrow Expo, we experienced a one-of-a-kind event environment. It was characterized by convenience and connection.

Comfortable couches and loveseats created intimate seating arrangements in a lounge at the heart of the expo space. Groups of attendees congregated in pockets of this networking hub, the center of their conversations accented by the soft-lit projection of a cannabis leaf.

A lounge located at the heart of the expo space set the stage for convenient, comfortable networking.

From the lounge, we were flanked by booths. The exhibitors offered a wide variety of tools and technologies for cannabis cultivation.

While touring through the rows of exhibitors, soothing music played and lights were dimmed.

We enjoyed talking compliance and smelling terpenes with Paul Loney, discussing cannabis business strategies with MasterPlans, and hashing out details of how to increase yield with TriQ.

We also had the opportunity to chat greenhouse coverings with Solexx. We learned Solexx greenhouse coverings are colored in such a way to accelerate plant growth.

Two of our favorite exhibitors proved to be Forever Green Indoors and Illumitex.

Forever Green Indoors brought the outdoors into the expo space by displaying beautiful, fresh plants and flowers. We could have remained in this booth the entire event simply because of aesthetic purposes.

Illumitex also boasted a visually pleasing display. This exhibitor utilized their lighting products to create a luminescent booth that drew us in from the moment we entered the expo hall.

Lovely Illumitex booth at CannaGrow Expo.

From where we sampled our chocolate in the center lounge, two rooms were stationed near the back of the grand ballroom to accommodate the 18 educational sessions held during CannaGrow.

The sessions rooms were large and bright. The spaces welcomed attendees to sit and relax in comfortable chairs while enjoying interactive, informative presentations from leading minds in the cannabis industry.

Overall, CannaGrow set the stage for a premium environment through a convenient networking and buying space and comfortable sessions rooms.


Education proved to be a defining characteristic of the event as well.

CannaGrow delivered 18 educational sessions that were sales-pitch free. At the conclusion of each session, our Hydrobuilder notebooks were chalk full of actionable skills we could take home and begin utilizing immediately.

One of the many educational sessions held at CannaGrow Expo.

We jotted down information from the best and brightest in the cannabis industry, including the likes of Jay Kitchen, Kyle Kushman, and Zacariah Hildenbrand.

Adam Jacques opened our eyes to the world of growing, breeding, and processing high CBD plants.

Christian West delivered a presentation on the fundamentals of growing cannabis, where we learned about compost tea and the importance of PH and PPM.

Jennifer Martin helped us understand pest management strategies. And Paul Loney addressed growing laws.

Clark Tippin talked organics. Celeste Miranda discussed marketing. Jeremy Sackett, Paul Stanford,Autumn Karcey, and Todd Dalotto also delivered sessions related to the cannaworld of cultivation.

Josh Conley, one of the standout presenters, provided a multimedia presentation that quenched our thirst for information. One of our favorite aspects of his session included the opportunity to touch greenhouse coverings. Samples of various coverings were provided for the audience to handle and examine.

It was fun and educational to touch the pieces of greenhouse material, and it brought the session to life for the audience.

But that’s not all.

Paul Gray explored the world of lighting. Dean Rodgers examined vacuum ovens. Wolf Segal andDarryl Cotton even toured us through the world of aquaponics.

CannaGrow Expo's welcoming session rooms which provided a comfortable learning environment.

From bat guava to sulfur burns, there was simply no end to the variety of information available to attendees.

When we discussed the educational sessions with other event-goers, this is what they had to say:

“[The] speakers answered my myriad of questions and brought a wealth of education to this two day event.”

“[The sessions] offered information for everyone, from the novice grower to the professional.”

“Dedicated to education and knowledge sharing rather than advertising…”

“I thought I was an advanced grower going into this, and I still left with a notebook full of ideas.”

Overall, the educational sessions at CannaGrow helped set this event apart by providing comprehensive cultivation knowledge sans sales pitch.


Between the high-end environment and educational sessions, we sampled some of the finest food and drink.

At past events, we’ve paid $8.00 for a slice of pizza, $9.00 for a PB&J sandwich, and $6.00 for a beer.

At CannaGrow, we had a completely different culinary experience.

For example, we didn’t dole out a single dollar. And we weren’t encouraged to consume subpar meals and flat beer.

Each morning, tables were spread with breakfast goodies and fresh coffee.

At lunchtime on Day 1 and Day 2, we devoured some of the freshest meats and fish. We took second helpings of roast beef and ham from the carving stations. Our taste buds danced as we sampled the salmon.

Fresh, delicious salmon served up at CannaGrow Expo.

A variety of side dishes suited to fit any palate were placed amongst the mouth-watering main courses.

And the savory surprises didn’t stop at breakfast and lunch.

During the afternoon of Day 1, an emergency ice cream break occurred. Event attendants wheeled out large freezers of ice cream bars to enjoy as we networked and refreshed between educational sessions.

On Day 2, an emergency chocolate break was provided. Servers carried out tray after tray of chocolate goodness. We sampled brownies, homemade cookies, and more ice cream.

CannaGrow didn’t allow us to empty our wallets and choke down cheap drinks either.

At the end of Day 1, our thirst was quenched by a complimentary happy hour. Local Oregon beers and wines along with premium liquors were available to attendees.

Complimentary cocktails, friend macaroni and cheese balls, and networking? Yes, please! CannaGrow really knows how to treat attendees right!

This event also served up hors d’oeuvres while we consumed cocktails. And to be honest, we nommed so many bacon wrapped macaroni and cheese balls, we lost count of how many we ate.

Before CannaGrow, we did not realize how much a fried macaroni and cheese ball or complimentary cocktail could affect an event experience.

Here’s what others had to say about the refreshment spread.

“The catering was top notch for all the stoners with munchies.”

“The food was amazing!”

“I felt taken care of from the moment I walked in the door.”

“World-class cannabis education, amazing lunches, AND an open bar!”

The provision of premium food and drink is just another example of how CannaGrow served up a superior event experience.

Yes, while sitting in the lounge, finishing our chocolate treats, we couldn’t help but feel we discovered the crème de la crème of cannabis conventions.

And we weren’t the only individuals who felt this way about the event.

Here’s how other attendees reacted to CannaGrow Expo.

“An intimate and enjoyable gathering of cannabis pioneers, industry leaders, and enthusiasts. The expo is a must attend event!”

CannaGrow was like meeting up with the family you never knew you had. It was made up of a group of passionate and knowledgeable people.”

“A gathering of passionate growers and smokers who come together to demonstrate that the highest quality knowledge is created by sharing experience.”

Between the environment, education, and refreshments, CannaGrow simply delivered a well-rounded, intimate event unlike anything we’ve attended before.

It has set a new standard for what the cannabis community should expect from industry events.

We’re already looking forward to the next CannaConnections hosted event, DispensaryNext Conference & Expo, which will be held February 1 + 2, 2016 at the Red Lion Jantzen Beach Hotel in Portland, OR.

DispensaryNext Conference & Expo will be held February 1 + 2, 2016 at the Red Lion Jantzen Beach Hotel in Portland, OR.

DispensaryNext is focused on showcasing the latest tools, technologies, and products available to cannabis dispensaries across the country.

Want to learn more about DispensaryNext Conference & Expo? Click here!

Will DispensaryNext serve up another exceptional event experience like CannaGrow? We can’t wait to find out!