The BudTrader Nerd Headquarters Lands at San Diego Comic-Con 2018

By Andrew Wagner
IG: @sdcannablogger

Every year in July, hundreds of thousands descend upon San Diego for the biggest event of their year: San Diego Comic-Con. For four days (five if you’re lucky enough to score a Preview Night badge), San Diego’s convention center and Gaslamp Quarter downtown turn into a magical place, where people can immerse themselves in their favorite pop culture phenomenon. Television and movie studios spare no expense in promoting their latest and greatest ventures with elaborate downtown events referred to as “offsites” or “activations”. For example, Taco Bell turned a fancy downtown steak restaurant into the Taco Bell of the future to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their involvement in the film Demolition Man.

This year saw the addition of a new offsite to the San Diego Comic-Con extravaganza: The BudTrader Nerd Headquarters.

Some may remember the small controversy that surrounded BudTrader’s yacht at SDCC 2017. Essentially, one night, the yacht was in its slip, only to be gone the next morning. There have been conflicting stories as to who specifically towed the yacht, but it certainly put a damper on BudTrader’s SDCC plans.

This year, however, BudTrader CEO Brad McLaughlin was determined to do it right. Instead of a yacht moored behind the convention center, he planted himself in the heart of San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter at the Quad Ale House on the corner of 5th and E Streets. He also partnered with the cannabis tour company MJ Tours to provide a VIP Vape Lounge where people could escape the hectic SDCC atmosphere and recharge themselves.

Unlike in 2017, the BudTrader offsite was easy to find. BudTrader models were walking around the Gaslamp Quarter with all the other brand ambassadors, only they were offering invitations to a cannabis offsite. BudTrader models were also there in their best cosplays to greet people at the door and welcome them. The event was on the third floor above the Quad Ale House, and security was on hand discreetly checking IDs and making sure everyone was 21+. As promised, a DJ was spinning discs, there were two full bars, and plenty of swag. Traveling Hands Massage was also on hand providing free CBD-infused massages. Anyone who has been to San Diego Comic-Con for even a day knows how tired legs and feet can get, so a massage in the middle of Comic-Con is worth gold.

Everyone at the event was extremely welcoming. There was a relaxed, chill vibe throughout the venue. Echoes of “Welcome!” and “Come on in!” could be heard whenever someone walked through the door. BudTrader even had “Dude, Where’s My Yacht?” t-shirts, which poke a little fun at last year’s yacht fiasco, available as swag, along with branded hats, t-shirts, stickers, and silicone bongs. I was only able to stay for a short time, but I wish it had been much longer. The feedback from BudTrader staff, models, and attendees was resoundingly positive, not only in person but online as well. They even had some famous faces, including Boston George Jung (portrayed by Johnny Depp in the film Blow) stop by to mingle, shake hands sign autographs, and take pictures.

This was not a “secret sesh” operating under someone’s radar. This was a cannabis-themed event out in the open in downtown San Diego. This is a significant step forward in establishing legitimacy and removing the stigma for recreational cannabis in the community. San Diego Comic-Con is an event that brings people from all around the world to San Diego for four days and five nights each year. To have a successful cannabis event that resulted in no complaints from neighbors, residents, or even passers-by, no law enforcement involvement, and no negative media, BudTrader planted a seed in the Comic-Con community. They showed that cannabis consumption isn’t just lazy stoners melting into their couches – it’s also people who want to party and mingle much like everyone else. Hopefully, it can only grow in years to come. BudTrader’s success means the potential for future sponsors, guests, activities, and bigger venues. Eventually, BudTrader’s San Diego Comic-Con parties could reach the popularity of a FANDOM or EW SDCC party.

Did you attend BudTrader’s Nerd Headquarters at San Diego Comic-Con? Let us know what you thought in the comments.

One Response

  1. zvodret iluret August 26, 2018