SANTA MONICA – “It’s the age of discovery,” former linebacker for the Cincinnati Bengals Reggie Williams said, from the Pure Ratios booth at the 420 Games, held in Los Angeles on Saturday, April Fools’ Day, near the famous Santa Monica Pier.
Williams, who is a spokesperson for medical cannabis company Pure Ratios, was not fooling. On the extremely summer-like day, parking area north of the pier was blocked off for the start and finish lines of the second annual 420 Games fun run and expo. By 10:30am, the event was crowded with vendors, runners, show-goers, curious beach people, skateboarders and dogs on leashes. Attendees were diverse in most aspects, including age, ethnicity and gender – but all with an interest in the healthy cannabis lifestyle.
“We’re a little overwhelmed,” said Yummi Karma’s Alysia Sofios. She and her all-women crew where repping the new High Gorgeous line of cannabis-based cosmetics and beauty products. By noon, several booths including High Gorgeous were running low on samples and giveaways. “I’m pleasantly surprised at how many women are here,” added Sofios. “Also, it seems like the crowd is interested in education, so that’s good.”
Runners ran and walked a 4.2 mile out-and-back course that took them along the beach. The 420 Games tour was organized to celebrate healthy cannabis lifestyles, typically not depicted in media. But exercise, beauty, and health & wellness product categories are quickly expanding in the cannabis market.
Show speakers included former NFL players Kyle Turley, Eben Britton, Nate Jackson and Reggie Williams – all advocates for medical marijuana as a non-narcotic alternative for pain relief.
“I’m trying to be an advocate for natural medicines,” Williams told MG, “through the combination of scientific research, to ensure the best combination of THC and CBD are utilized to benefit the patient.”
His career started with the Cincinnati Bengals in 1976. He started in two Super Bowls, played for 14 years and has had (among other injuries) more than 20 surgeries on his right knee, starting in 1979. Eventually, both knees were replaced but a series of infections and complications on the right knee had left Williams barely able to walk and looking forward to a lifetime on painkillers.
“That’s my story anyway,” Williams added. “It’s miraculous that I’m walking. So, to have a bunch of pharmaceutical ‘death pills’ coursing through your body for a decade is pure suicide. There had to be a better solution and I’m happy that medical cannabis is gaining the credibility it has long deserved.”
Nothing but sunshine on tans just starting in the warm spring weather; as some ran the course, others perused booths for giveaways or enjoyed live entertainment, including BMX Pros Trick Team riders. A good selection of food trucks allowed many options for beach brunch, with Lagunitas Brewing Company supplying beers on tap. Show sponsor Guayaki Yerba Matte handed out free coconut water.
Lines formed at most of the booths that filled the venue, including booths for MG Magazine, Dixie Brands, VCC Brands, MedMen, Eaze.com, WeedMaps, Greenly.com, Cannathlete, Biohazard Glass, Papa & Barkley, Rezn Extracts, Neuro Armour, Sensi Chews, Yummi Karma/High Gorgeous, FlavRX, Jambo Superfoods, Halsa Topicals, OM Edibles, Haze Sublinguals. Stock Pot Images, Vape XHale, Quality Concentrates, Swerve Confections, BeTrue CBD, Choose Love edibles, Alta/Extractolgy, Merry Jane, Deviant Dabs, DankGals Glass, Superbaked, Betty Khronic, Vaporous Technologies, Humboldt Legends, Therapy Tonics, moon Man’s Mistress, Vape Dank, HMBLDT, Anakatrina’s Edibles, Endohack Labs, W Vapes, Tokewell, Dr. Norm’s edibles, LolaLola, Pura Vida Health supplements, and several more. Dispensaries and nonprofits included Venice Relief, Green Dot Dispensary, Cannakids, and Buds & Roses.
With the colorfully pimped-out company truck parked near the show gate, as well at their booth, Advanced Nutrients’ presence was evident at the show. One of their reps said that the flow of folks had been constant and the vibe was great. “It’s a beautiful day at the beach,” he said. “What more could you ask for?”