REDDING, Calif. – Organizers of the Hemp and Cannabis Fair came had a busy day setting up at the Holiday Inn in Redding for their opening day Saturday.
That wasn’t the original plan, but they had to scramble when their contract at the Shasta District Fairgrounds was canceled Wednesday.
The director said despite the last minute change, they’re still on track and expecting a bigger turn out at the Redding location.
Vendors slowly trickled in to the Redding Holiday Inn on Hilltop Friday afternoon, opening boxes and setting up displays.
Hemp and Cannabis Fair Director, Naomi Forkash, got a call from Shasta District Fairgrounds Wednesday night cancelling their contract just three days before the event.
“The reaction is shock. We were definitely concerned and confused and then it’s just about trying to get everything together and figure out what next,” said Forkash.
Forkash and her team, based in Oregon, reached out to Holiday Inn Thursday.
“I felt bad. They had traveled all the way from Oregon, they were here. Vendors had traveled from all over, doctors had traveled from all over to come,” said Brandi Merkel, the Director of Sales and Marketing at Holiday Inn.
Forkash said added that 70 percent of the vendors are local, while 30 percent travel to be at the fair.
“We have 45 vendors counting on us. Most of them are local to the Redding area, and to us that’s super important, to support the local economy. So cancelation was not an option,” Forkash said.
The event Saturday and Sunday is consumption free, which means no cannabis use allowed, and is for ticketed adults only.
The expo features local businesses and promotes education about hemp and cannabis.
Shasta District Fairgrounds denied comment on why they canceled the contract last