KPCC / Sanden Totten
The PipeMug, one of the many devices on display at HempCon 2011.
The third HempCon came to the Los Angeles Convention Center this weekend. It’s an event that brings together businesses involved in the medical marijuana industry. Convention organizers say it’s the largest one yet, with close to 150 vendors.
With reggae music in background and promoters handing out samples of treats and smoking devices, HempCon has a party like vibe. But vendors are hoping to do some serious business.
A recent study from an economic group called See Change Strategy estimated that the medical marijuana industry will be worth 1.7 billion dollars this year. Growers, dispensaries and pipe makers all turned out to grab a piece of that market.
Andrew Schoenfeld brought an invention he hopes will be the next big thing in smoking technology, a coffee cup like device he calls the “PipeMug.”
“It’s a pipe with a mug in it," Shoenfeld explains. "You put your weed in the bowl here and you suck through the handle."
Shoenfeld says the idea came to him while he was high and as far as he knows it's the first device to combine drinking and smoking.
"Rip it and sip it," Sheonfeld says.
The convention also features a number of start-ups seeking to bring weed to the web, including a daily deal site similar to Groupon called Kushpon. It offers users discounts on pot related products.
Another booth advertises a marijuana friendly social network called WeedHookUp.com. It’s a site where people can find dispensaries, doctors and even a date. The site's promoters hope it will be the Facebook of marijuana users.