Imagine this, for the past few years, you have been exhibiting at various cannabis events when all of a sudden you end up locked out of your account, and several thousands of dollars in funds are frozen. You have no access to those funds, and you now have to figure out how you can financially prepare for your next upcoming cannabis event. That is exactly what happened to Jennie and Pete Marrero.
Incidents like this are very common, an issue we see time and time again.
Alexa Rae Garcia, Founder of Luma California, had been organizing and preparing for their next cannabis event. She set up her event on a ticketing processing platform and had begun promoting her event, quickly thereafter before she even sold her first ticket, her account was shut down. Although she finally was able to find another ticketing platform that didn’t shut her down at that time, she had to allow for people to buy tickets at the door in cash.
Organizers, exhibitors, and attendees are all being affected when a ticketing platform flags a cannabis event and shuts them down. What we have found out though, is that it’s not just cannabis festivals being affected even B2B, educational, and networking events not allowing cannabis consumption are being shut down.
However, cannabis events are essential to our industry; it allows for people to connect with one another offline. Even though not all events are getting shut down, each organizer is taking the risk of having their account shut down and funds frozen when they host an event that caters to the cannabis industry.
The future, however, seems to be looking bright for event organizers with the launch of a San Diego Cannabis Tech Startup, called EventHi.
EventHi is the first online event management ticketing platform catering to the cannabis industry, connecting people together offline. EventHi was founded in 2016 but was an idea that Ali Fakhri, CEO of EventHi had been studying and developing since 2014.
Ali has been on all sides of the spectrum; he started with attending events, soon he was sponsoring events and then he began creating events. Each side he ran into many issues, which is when he began having his “aha” moment. For over two years he has been tracking cannabis events, big and small all over the world.
The team behind EventHi knew that they would have to stay competitive when they began the development of their platform, and so they developed key features that focused on each users experience. By offering sponsorship tools, an online merchandise store, medical verification capability and even a review section for exhibitors and attendees to finally be able to review events they attend.
Now, as we began researching EventHi, we started to ask ourselves how can organizers feel secure that their event won’t get shut down on EventHi’s platform.
On July 7th, 2017, Mr. Fakhri publicly announced a strategic partnership between EventHi and Safe Harbor Private Bank, a compliance-based cannabis banking program. This announcement makes EventHi, officially the first California company to work with Safe Harbor. Safe Harbor confirmed they are looking to adopt it’s Marijuana Related Business (MRB) program outside the state of Colorado and is currently launching its test group with EventHi being first of this program in California.
Safe Harbor banked last month alone over $85 million through cannabis businesses, reaching $1 Billion in a year. They have been able to do this by developing a compliant banking solution, where they have undergone over four state and federal exams passing each of them successfully.
With this kind of partnership, EventHi can safely report that their funds and clients funds are secure. We wanted to know a bit more behind the company, so we reached out to the founding team and had a chance to sit down with Ali Fakhri and asked him a few questions.
What kind of events do you see nationwide, even globally?
Ali Fakhri: Each day there is almost a new event. We are seeing events like Puff, Puff Paint, where you get to puff on your favorite cannabis and paint, Virtual Reality Elevated events where they incorporate VR while being able to sample cannabis tastings, and infused treats; there is even a cannabis church that connects people through cannabis and spiritual practice.
Why do you believe events are an important part of the cannabis community?
Ali Fakhri: Look at any other industry, events are vital whether it is to help small businesses grow their business, connect people together, educate and network. With the cannabis industry, events do that and more; there is a connection people have with this plant, whether they are a patient, advocate, supporter or recreational user.
What other key features can our viewers expect to see?
Ali Fakhri: One that we believe will help out all cannabis events is the ability to grow awareness. With EventHi, the promotional opportunities coupled with our comprehensive analytics and data metric technologies makes creating and tracking easier than ever. Along with our dashboard, the dashboard allows you to manage every aspect of an event, keeping all necessary data, metrics, and information in one place. The rest they will have to wait and see.
The EventHi team launched their pilot program on January 1st, 2018, they currently are accepting users to sign up for this program.
The pilot will allow participants to host, organize, and attend events. Over the duration of the testing period, users will have the opportunity to give insight and be a part of the development of EventHi’s interface, design, and feature creation.
To sign up for EventHi’s beta and to learn more go to www.eventhi.io