‘The show is not about making money, we want to assist in growing a high-quality and trustworthy industry that’s good for the planet and everyone that inhabits it.’
Matt Clifton is the CEO of Product Earth, the UK’s largest hemp, CBD and cannabis expo. But before that, he was one of the first employees for Facebook outside of the US. After the pandemic put a hold on this year’s expo he used his Facebook network and knowledge to get funding for The High Roller World Cup.
What is Product Earth?
Product Earth was founded in 2015 by James Walton & Richard Dennison is the UK’s largest Hemp, CBD & Cannabis Expo, but in all honesty, it is much more than that. It is a lifestyle brand. It is a place where people come together to celebrate, to learn, to be entertained and to be inspired! We have always said that our aim is to help build a high quality & trustworthy industry that is good for the planet and all of those that inhabit it. We put our customers first, be that our business partners or those attending the event. 2020 was going to be our biggest event ever and we were doubling down on the diverse spectrum of interests within the lifestyle, introducing a skate park, gaming, cannayoga as well as introducing our After Dark event! Located in the heart of our campsite, we have stalls suited to a nighttime environment, campfires, arcades, food stalls, bars, live music & much more!
Could you tell us how the COVID pandemic has affected you? and how you started ‘Feed Yourself’?
It’s no secret that the pandemic has had an adverse effect on the events industry. In the early days of lockdown, we were holding on, hoping that we wouldn’t be trapped inside for too long. As time went on and it became clear that our 2020 event wasn’t going to happen, we took the time to reflect and hone our offering. Previously, we would host the Hydroponic Expo on the same day. The reason for this was to create a distinction between Product Earth, where genetics are readily available (as souvenirs) and the Hydroponic Expo, where all manner of growing equipment is available for purchase. Cannabis is still illegal for some reason and we respect the wishes of our partners, who would not want to be connected with even the connotation of illegal behaviour. In this regard, the pandemic shone a light on an opportunity. Everyone was baking bread, doing home workouts & of course growing their own produce. It was all about healthy bodies and healthy minds. As you are probably well aware, a vast number of people across the country don’t have space to grow their own products and this is where the idea for Feed Yourself was born. It is a progressive & urban gardening company with a mission to reduce the distance from farm to fork. We have built a strong relationship with Garden Culture Magazine at Product Earth and we partnered with them to produce some unique content about growing your own produce, even if the only space you had was a windowsill to grow microgreens. We had hoped to bring this show to light in February 2021, but as you can see… We are still inside. People will be happy to hear though that Feed Yourself will be launching alongside Product Earth in August 2021 and we couldn’t be more thrilled!
The High Roller World Cup looks really exciting, how did that idea come about?
Having had our hopes dashed once again by being unable to launch Feed Yourself in February, things weren’t looking great. We kind of went into hibernation. We had to weather the storm keep the business afloat and prepare for 2021. The team all did some ad hoc work to keep us all sharp but we felt a sense of duty to do something for the community as a whole. We knew we wanted to do something light-hearted and engaging to entertain everyone locked inside, but we weren’t sure what. The cannabis community is a nostalgic bunch and I think it was James who actually had the idea of a rolling competition. We wanted to something with global appeal and so we have been clear that where cannabis isn’t legal, you should use your favourite legal herb instead. This isn’t a joint smoking competition after all (although that would be good!). There are two competitions, Speed & Style. With the speed competition, you have to roll a joint as quickly as you can with our logo in the shot as well as a timer (as well as a few other stipulations you should look at before entering). Our style competition is for the more creative people out there, where you have to roll your best joint. Weavers is one of, if not the best in the world and we are very lucky to have him as one of our judges. Have a look at what he has been able to create on IG and you will probably breathe a sigh of relief that he is judging and not competing! He’s joined by a large swathe of personalities like Jared Mirsky (International Cannabis Entrepreneur), Sherbinski & for you jungle fans out there Shabba D as well as many more! There are cash prizes & merch for winners and finalists and we’re even giving merch out to people at random for just taking part. We are about 60 days in, with the first round closing on the 31st March and we have already reached almost 900k people!
All of this wouldn’t have been possible without our sponsors, so a big thank you to Vibes, Higher Standards, Terps Army, Pure Sativa, Marley Naturals & the Attitude Smoke Lounge.
If anyone fancies a go, then entries are open until March 31st and they can enter here www.highrollerworldcup.com.
What are you most excited about for the future of Product Earth?
I’d be lying if I was saying I was anything but thrilled to see these positive signs of life getting back to normal. The world deserves Product Earth and we are going to offer something that you will not find anywhere else. It is going to be big. Tickets are on sale now!