Cannabis Classic Recap: Positives, Improvement Areas, Future Thoughts

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Wow! The Cannabis Classic in Anchorage is behind us. I hope you were there, met some interesting people, enjoyed yourself, learned something new & put something in the air. Thanks again to Pakalolo Supply Co. and our other sponsors and volunteers that made this years event possible – we could not have done it without your efforts and support.

Cannabis Classic

Personally, I thought the 2017 Cannabis Classic in Anchorage was an overall success and I am proud of what a small team was able to put together.

In the spirit of transparency, I wanted to share some takeaways, thoughts, and requests with the cannabis community. The organizers had a recap meeting a week after the event. They are currently creating a survey to get your feedback (we want to hear a lot of comments, please). In the meantime, I have identified some positives of the event, areas that need improvement, and thoughts on the future.


  • Location. Overall, people really liked the exhibitor’s fair being held outdoors. People were festive and comfortable enough to put something in the air. The sweet smell of weed drifted everywhere and throughout the event, which is exactly how a cannabis festival should be.
  • Industry awards participation. Throughout the entire process – from the nomination process to the awards ceremony – participation in the industry awards process was impressive. We had more than 200 nominations and about 150 people who attended the awards show.
  • Sponsorship participation. We had more sponsors this year than we did in any other year.
  • Judging experience. This year’s judging experience was led by, who created an algorithm to analyze and calculate each judge’s scorecards to discover the winners of each category. StrainRx did a great job, and the judges scorebooks can be found here.
  • Speakers. Our seminar speakers were exceptionally strong this year, and we had extremely relevant, useful, and interesting topics.

Areas that need improvement

  • Voting for the industry awards. We probably need to tweak the voting process (feedback and ideas are welcomed).
  • Better vendor participation. We need to do a better job of encouraging cannabis businesses to get involved at the exhibitor’s fair. I need to do a better job of explaining to entrepreneurs the value of industry events.
  • Marketing and advertising. I need to do a better job of getting the word out. Last year we had the “Green Machine” van cruising the streets of Anchorage, spreading our message. This year the van was sidelined because I didn’t get the design done in enough time.
  • Better organization of the seminars. We didn’t have an event guide giving attendees a heads up about the seminar topics, when they began, and where they were located.

Thoughts on the future

  • Moving the exhibitor’s fair outdoors was a risk, but I think it paid off. Cannabis festival attendees want to have the freedom to recreate and have a good time. The Cannabis Classic needs to have a recreating area, always.
  • But we also need a place for our seminars. The seminars we assemble are world-class. Our (Cannabis Classic/Weed Week) seminars lead the industry. We need to give them the venue and attention they deserve.
  • The voting process for the awards show will be improved. I’m open to feedback and suggestions.
  • The exhibitor’s fair/trade show is an important marketing tool for cannabis businesses in Alaska. However, without support from the industry, it’s a tough event to assemble. With only 32 participating vendors, the exhibitor’s fair cannot continue.
  • Some people have suggested moving the date back into early June. It’s a thought to consider, and we would love to hear all of your feedback, suggestions, comments, criticisms, etc. Please email me at

Finally, here is my request to you, I need your help. If you came to an event or thought about coming to an event at the Cannabis Classic, and you have some ideas or areas where we can improve, please email me at And, if you came to an event and you want to help out, please email me at We will find a spot for you.

Thank you.


Cory Wray


About Cory Wray 1 Article
Cory Wray is a manager at Pacific Sun West, the event management company that produces and organizes the Cannabis Classic.


  1. Cory,
    I’m glad your happy truthfully I saw another decline since year one in vendors less last year even less this year no nutrient sellers,
    No worth my time suppliers even south side a no grow help
    As an older attendee I thought the people on the gate sucked Saturday AM
    H8ed the people at the packalolo tent
    Both seemed to pander to the young and ignore the oldwe attendees. Also less contestants etc…all in all there seem to be less is everything sick year one
    Less in year 2 and even less this year
    I will be surprised to see you all next year


    • I hear what you are saying. There were less vendors and competitors, yet, surprisingly, we had more sponsors. It’s not that we didn’t try to get more vendors. For whatever reason, Southside Garden Supply didn’t want to participate. We reached out to them multiple times. As we reached out to every garden supplier, lighting supplier, etc. in the market. Maybe the recession has something to do with it? I’m not sure, but you are right. With the number of vendors we had this year, there isn’t a reason or a market need to continue producing the trade show aspect. That most likely the first element to get cut from the Cannabis Classic. I appreciate your feedback, Robert.

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