Binghamton is going green this Saturday, Dec. 11, with the Binghamton CannaMarket debuting at the Holiday Inn in Downtown Binghamton.

Taking place in the banquet hall of the Holiday Inn, the event will be featuring local cannabis- and CBD-associated businesses to provide the opportunity for people to learn more about cannabis and CBD in regard to the substances themselves but also the culture surrounding it. CBD, edibles, plants, extracts, glass and more will be showcased at the event from local businesses as well as offerings of samples. Not only will there be samples but also giveaways and gifting chances for patrons. However, no cannabis will be sold in accordance with New York state law.

Preceding this event was the passing of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) for New York state. Passed in the spring of this year, the law legalized recreational adult use of cannabis. The act also created an Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) that would look over and introduce the law. The OCM will also create regulations for businesses to take part in the cannabis industry as well as distribute licensing for the sale of marijuana.

The passing of MRTA was a huge motivator for organizing CannaMarket in hopes to make it a yearly event in Binghamton. Kenneth McLaurin is a co-organizer of the event and worked on the logistical side of the planning process. McLaurin felt that since recreational adult use of cannabis is now legal, it is time to start taking the stigma away from cannabis and bring cannabis enthusiasts together.

“Like anybody else, like the way folks like to get together and talk about wine, we’d like to provide cannabis enthusiasts the same sort of opportunities to get together and socialize in healthy, positive ways around this recreational pastime they enjoy,” McLaurin said.

The legalization also spurred another reason for the event: education. This event can provide a lot more information on how cannabis and CBD work, including types of strains and their medicinal effects. According to McLaurin, the event can educate attendants on marijuana way more than in the past because until recently, information was more limited. People would buy from a dealer and not know what they were actually buying. For McLaurin, this event aims change that.

The host of the event is the organization Comedy on the Commons, based in Ithaca, New York. Comedy on the Commons is a group of comedians that produce and promote regional comedy shows. They plan events in the Ithaca area such as a trivia show and a comedy writing course, which are being held in the coming months. A couple of people from the organization, including McLaurin, are cannabis enthusiasts and saw an opportunity for an educational and social event built around cannabis. McLaurin believed their experience in comedy was a blueprint for the CannaMarket event.

“We wanna use what we do around bringing people together around comedy to have a fun, good time and replicate the same thing around cannabis,” McLaurin said.

All attendants must be 18 years or older to attend and at least 21 years of age to accept samples and gifts of smokable cannabis products. Any vaping, smoking or dabbing is only allowed within the grounds of the event and not anywhere else. Tickets are available now in advance for $20 until Dec. 10 on the event’s website. On the day of the event, tickets will be $25 online and at the door.