By Michael P. Visgilio
January 27, 2022-If one walked into the south halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center over the past few days and was greeted by a thick cloud and the unmistakable smell of smoke, there may be cause, under normal circumstances, for considerable panic. However this is only the somewhat unique earmark for the TPE Show, returning to Vegas in 2022 and is perhaps the only indoor convention where smoking is not only allowed, but encouraged.
When the show first came to vegas, it had a comparatively small footprint. Featuring only tobacco products in the traditional forms of cigarettes, cigars and the popular chewing/snuff delivery systems. Times have indeed changed.
The modern version of the TPE is divided fairly evenly between traditional nicotine-based tobacco and the burgeoning market of CBD products. The display booths are further divided, also quite evenly, between traditional smoking blends and alternate delivery systems: vapor pipes and pens, edibles, drinkables and even a hemp-based skin creme designed to deliver a “rub-on trip”. While you may find your Grandfather’s pipe for sale here, rest assured, this is NOT your Grandfather’s tobacco show.
While a distinct cloud of smoke hung over the busy aisles, a cloud of controversy regarding the show’s recent history was also present. Interviews with certain patrons in the code enforcement industry indicated that there was some question regarding the legal content of THC (the effective ingredient in Marijuana) in some of the CBD-based products showcased at the previous TPE. Law enforcement intervention followed and several booths fell under scrutiny and therefore had to remove certain SKU’s from display.
Those past problems are now far behind the TPE, which has returned bigger, better and more popular than ever, and with a very strict and comprehensive regulatory body in place. Attendee Nick Conlin recalls the woes suffered at the previous convention, as well as the subsequent triumphant return of this very unique show : “it was a really tough time (at the last show). It put a damper on a fun experience.” Conlin takes a long look around the convention floor, and adds: “But the industry has come a long way. It’s been a bizarre journey, but it’s pretty clear the industry is gonna keep growing.”
Whether you’re a dispensary owner, potential buyer or just someone who likes to “light up” every once in a while, the TPE convention will make a truly unique, slightly bizarre and wonderful addition to your 2023 Las Vegas convention calendar.