We interview one of the organizers of Mary Jane Berlin - the biggest cannabis fair in Germany
Berlin on the October weekend is a perfect destination for those interested in cannabis. Come and visit this huge fair located right on the banks of Spree River in the central part of Berlin. We managed to talk to probably one of the busiest persons there: Nhung Nguyen, co-founder of Mary Jane.
Could you please present yourself:
My name is Nhung Nguyen I am 29, and I have been working with Mary Jane since 2016. I am also one of the co-founders of the fair. Currently I am in charge of back office, administration, social media, marketing and the website so I am kind of involved in many aspects of the whole project.
Mary Jane is the biggest fair in Germany: can you confirm ?
Yes. We are definitely the biggest. This year we have around 220 exhibitors, and our expectation for fair attendance is around 25 000 visitors throughout the three days.
What was the origin of the idea of the fair?
Our founder, Duc Anh, studied abroad, in the United States where cannabis was already legal. Duc attended some fairs there, and he really liked them. When he came back to Germany, he begun to wonder: Why there is nothing of this sort in our country? It is worth mentioning, that back in 2016 there was not a single hemp – related fair in the whole country. As Duc had been involved in event planning before, he built on that experience to do the first cannabis fair in Germany. So he asked me for support. I was completing my Master’s degree at that time, and it was a good decision. Since then, our cannabis fair developed rapidly and I begun to work there full time.
How many people are involved in the project?
The core is just 5 – 6 people, but we have a lot of freelancers and partner companies we work with, so it is really a wide network.
Is Mary Jane for you like a business, or is it a kind of mission?
We definitely do have a mission: it is to make hemp / cannabis more popular. Earlier, the picture that Germans had in their minds, was that of a dangerous drug. Whereas actually there is a whole branch of industry that has grown around hemp. When people visit our fair, they are surprised how many uses there are to that single plant. What is peculiar, is that there are actually elderly people who come to Mary Jane and benefit from the use of CBD. This is a recent tredn in Germany.
What is your opinion about the German cannabis market ?
Even though there was coronavirus situation, the market has been growing in Germany, because on one hand Germans started growing plants themselves – hence the grow shops. We do have lots of visitors looking and lamps, equipment, etc. That is an important source of revenue for the hemp market. On the other hand, lots of people read that CBD relieves the anxiety – and the lockdown obviously caused lots of stress and anxiety, so there was a natural area of market growth. Another factor is that, within the next few weeks we will have a new government in Germany, that I think, will be more open towards legalization. And the legalization trend will also influence the market in a positive way.
Which edition of Mary Jane will be, what can the visitors expect?
This will be the fifth edition. Normally our fair is a combination of a trade show, comfort zone and conference, we cannot do the comfort zone this year due to Covid regulations, but of course we also educate, and we make sure that the visitors have fun and good time. We offer an unique flair, we ty to give the visitors a good mix of trade show and a festival. We have an excellent riverfront location, where our visitors will have a chance to relax as well. Our idea is to offer a good mix of fair, conference and a festival.
How intensive is the work on such a big event?
At this moment we actually work 10 hours a day or more a day, but we do get some sleep, too. At the end when we see the result, it is always worth the efforts. As last year there was no event, our exhibitors are excited to be here again. The general public is also excited to come to Mary Jane this year. The specifics we learned from previous editions is that on Friday the fair gets a lot of business people, and also some elderly guests,. Saturday is more young people, and leasure – and on Sunday it is more of a mixed crowd. Come and see for yourselves!
Thank you for reading this article.
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