The cannabis industry headed West for one of the year’s biggest B2B blowouts, Hall of Flowers Palm Springs, before bidding 2021 goodbye. At the highly curated, licensed professionals-only event known to elevate cannabis to new cultural significance, leading brands like PAX, STIIZY and Pinkie’s were celebrated while innovations from emerging brands were welcomed into the fold. This was the first time in Hall of Flowers’ history to have the expo at Palm Springs, one of California’s most renowned cultural hotspots.
At the center of the good vibes, another first: House of Puff, MAISON BLOOM, and FlowerHire, with support from Wurk, AlphaRoot, and Mulholland Project, launched the Golden State’s inaugural KIKI party. “KIKI at the Shangri-La” hosted a diverse crowd of 300-plus cannabis industry leaders, influencers, innovators and icons. Featuring stilt-walking angels, a MAISON BLOOM “tasting flight” of infused elevated seltzers and cannabis mocktails, Timeless Vapes and more, it was a night to remember.
Watch the highlights from KIKI at the Shangri-La:
What’s a KIKI? Cannabis Industry Celebration at Hall of Flowers Palm Springs
The KIKI events, of which KIKI at the Shangri-La is the second, is a unique series of pop-ups happening around the country that deliver delight and surprise for a wide variety of cannabis enthusiasts. Created by the minds behind MAISON BLOOM, an experience-driven brand that elevates the everyday through cannabis-infused beverages, and House of Puff, a woman and Latinx-owned company that innovates aesthetic smokeware, alongside the creative team at FlowerHire, a cannabis focused employment services firm, KIKI empowers industry players to connect through a shared sense of joy and devotion to community values.
“We set out to create moments each and every time,” said Jake Wall, Chief Innovation Officer at MAISON BLOOM, “and the thing about moments is that they only really shine when you get the right people together. KIKI at the Shangri-La built upon our Las Vegas energy to deliver an oasis in the desert that mixed all the best people with the best and brightest brands from across cannabis to deliver an evening filled with memories and engineer new relationships ensuring we all lift as we climb. There is nothing more exciting for us when a plan comes together and to have the pleasure of sharing a bit of hospitality and do it with the signature style of our combined partners is, simply put, magical.”
“KIKI is a party for calming all your nerves,” said House of Puff founder Kristina Lopez Adduci. “But in this case, our KIKI is celebrating the best in the cannabis industry and beyond. Industry investors, MSOs, big brands.”
Partygoers enjoyed the best of all worlds in Palm Springs. House of Puff flowersticks were the hit of the night, produced with Endo Industries flower through a collaboration with leading vaporizer company Omura. Timeless Vapes, a brand known for its signature flip case and commitment to good causes, also provided goodies for the event. KIKI attendees snacked on hors d’oeuvres and thrilled to the sensations of the MAISON BLOOM drink flight – sweet, spicy, earthy - while basking in Palm Springs’ natural radiance.
“I think it’s one of my favorite places,” Omura co-founder and CEO John Brunner noted of the city, calling it “almost the perfect tonic to LA.”
What Does KIKI Mean to the Cannabis Industry?
Sloane Barbour, Chief Revenue Officer of FlowerHire, observed that the KIKI emphasized the most important elements of the Hall of Flowers conference: “Hall of Flowers Palm Springs is an amazing gathering of what has been the core of the movement in the cannabis industry over the last several decades. California [is] coming together and uniting in a common cause to create an industry that brings a safe, reputable, taxable, regulated product to the market that can advance the overall vision and cause of [those] advocates.”
Matthew J. Nordgren, founder of pioneering cannabis venture capital firm Arcadian Capital, was truly impressed by the energy and vast reach of KIKI at the Shangri-La. “At KIKI events, we are thrilled to experience the true definition of what the plant wellness industry is all about; creating a safe space for brands while bringing a first class story and organic presentation,” he said. “Seeing Arcadian Portfolio companies, such as Wurk, being represented alongside rising stars in our space like MAISON BLOOM and House of Puff at these events really hits home for us and our mission which is to develop an ecosystem that feeds and thrives off each other. We will look forward to participating and supporting these amazing collaborators in delivering such exceptional executive level hospitality as they continue to scale going forward.”
Arcadian has shaped iconic brands ranging across the cannabis industry from compliance technology leaders Akerna and Headset to media giant High Times, marketing company Fyllo, and supply chain innovator KushCo Holdings. The stamp of the venerated VC alongside the newer brands bringing their exciting ideas to life made for an undeniably vibrant atmosphere. Beneath the Palm Springs moonlight, KIKI at the Shangri-La generated the ephemeral buzz of the greatest head highs.
Cannabis Culture: Dilated Peoples Performs at KIKI
Of course, the night wouldn’t have been complete without a tribute to cannabis culture. As Jake Wall compared MAISON BLOOM’s infusions to the hits of Coldplay and Destiny’s Child, the evening’s live musical entertainment came courtesy of legendary Hip-Hop artists DJ Babu and Raaka from the group Dilated Peoples.
“Culture has always been such an integral part of the fabric of cannabis,” said Amirose Eisenbach, Creative Producer at FlowerHire. “DJ Babu and Rakaa of Dilated Peoples elevated Hip-Hop in the golden age of the movement. We could not be more thrilled to have their musical prowess and good vibes amplify our event. This moment in history is remarkable - we are building something spectacular together. I’m humbled by the talent and passion of our diverse community.”
Adduci enthused, “We're looking forward to sharing our hospitality-focused event series with our East Coast friends and collaborators, who will have the opportunity to foster new, dynamic relationships in the comfort of a sophisticated high-touch cannabis event experience.”
Want to find out where KIKI goes next? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on upcoming events.
Featured image: Minds behind KIKI at the Shangri-La. Left to right: Sloane Barbour, Chief Revenue Officer of FlowerHire; Kristina Lopez Adduci, founder of House of Puff; Amirose Eisenbach, Creative Producer at FlowerHire; Jake Wall, Chief Innovation Officer at Maison Bloom. (C) Sam C. Long / Honeysuckle Media, Inc.