“We’re blending a comic-con style event with a cannabis convention and everything we love in between.”
The flyer for the upcoming Halloween Cannabis Expo, or Hexpo in Seekonk on Oct. 30 is a testament to the love that its organizers have for THC and terror. There’s a collaboration with Dream Killer Cosplay, green exhibitors, and a significantly famous canna keynote.
None of which will come as a surprise to anyone who knows the heads behind the operation. The husband and wife team of Bobby “Nuggz” DiVincenzo and Bailey Jonson has hosted countless successful grassroots events, and Hexpo will reflect a lot of parties they’ve thrown in the past—complete with (fake) blood and plenty of gore for Halloween.
With the extravaganza happening at Won Sports down in Seekonk on the Rhode Island border at the end of the month, we asked Nuggz what’s going into planning the festivities.
You do a lot of different kinds of events—food nights with Interpretasting, you were involved with bigger festivals as well. How will this one compare? Is this the biggest event you’ve done with just your team?
This will probably be the most unique and largest event I’ve ever managed solely with my wife and High End Events. We’re lucky to be working alongside local horror fanatics and fellow event planners from MonstahXpo, who will host their next event Oct. 15 and 16 in Taunton. Joe and Wendy are very talented artists and their trade shows are some of the most popular in the state. So Hexpo is in great hands with us four steering the ship. We’re prepared for 1,200 attendees and hope to see a solid 700 throughout the day.
What is the connection between cannabis and Halloween as you see it? What was the original idea behind the Hexpo?
It’s harvest season, which is such a great time of year. Cannabis will always have a strong connection to this time of year because of New England seasonal outdoor harvests and our beloved fall traditions. All of the local growers are harvesting crops right now, from pumpkins and gourds all the way around to organically grown nugs. The original idea for this event came from my annual event Ghouls & Globlins which was established in 2014. I really have been thinking all year about how to make G&G more special and we came up with the idea for Halloween Cannabis Expo (Hexpo) this summer, making the 7th annual Ghouls & Globlins the afterparty. We’re coining this concept as a hybrid event. We’re blending a comic-con style event, with a cannabis convention, and everything we love in between. We’re working with a half-dozen local charities and have booked some of the most recognized cosplayers in our region.
What’s the setup going to be like? Kind of part party, part art show, and part convention? Any music or other entertainment? What are the scary parts?
We’ll be hosting Halloween Cannabis Expo in a 10,000 square-foot showroom, a celebration for the counterculture featuring 100+ local vendors. Low and high brow art, glass artisans, authors, crafters, filmmakers, special-effects artists, along with influencers, celebrities, networking, education, job opportunities, and more. Set up will be a normal expo, but there will be quite a bit happening from podcasts and interviews, to photo opps, autographs, and book signings, a VIP lounge, food truck, Cosplay, and more. Notably, for the scares, we have Dream Killer Cosplay who is a recognized Freddy Krueger cosplayer, as well as Jason Vorheees, Michael Myers, Leatherface, and a few other surprises.
Our cannabis celebrity guest is Dan Vinkovetsky (formerly known as Danny Danko of High Times), a canna editor, writer, and photographer who was the senior cultivation editor of High Times magazine and worked there for 18 years. He personally selected High Times‘ annual Top 10 Strains of the Year from 2005 to 2018 and created and founded the High Times Seed Bank Hall of Fame in 2007. He has judged more cannabis cups than anyone else on the planet. Danny is the author of The Official High Times Field Guide to Marijuana Strains (2011) and Cannabis: A Beginner’s Guide to Growing Marijuana (2018). He hosted the podcast High Times presents Free Weed from Danny Danko from 2011 to 2018. Danny currently hosts the podcast “Grow Bud Yourself” and is Senior Editor of Northeast Leaf Magazine since July 2020.
Our horror celebrity guest is Hal Havens, an actor in Night Of The Demons (1988), playing Stooge in the movie. As well as appearing in ALF, MadTV, Fear the Walking Dead, and Parks and Recreation.
How about consumption? Is there an outdoor area or something like that?
We will be abiding by all Massachusetts state laws for Hexpo. All guests are strictly 21-plus and can vaporize or smoke outside in designated areas. We’re promoting everything in a professional manner and are trying to set a standard for ourselves and the community. We all know by now how to stay respectful and peaceful while still enjoying ourselves. This event is 21-plus. No THC sales will be permitted as per Mass state law.
Tell us about the job fair aspect. It seems like there’s a whole lot of demand – from dispensaries and from the public as well. What kind of response have you gotten ahead of time?
The job fair is great—[we have] 50 pre-registered job fair attendees. There is definitely a whole lot of demand. I’ve personally toured over three-dozen cultivation centers and dispensaries this year alone. Staffing is probably the next hardest thing, aside from producing the product. We will be connecting local hiring businesses directly with potential employees. We’ve come up with a vetting process for each person who registers for the job fair. They’ll be name-tagged and able to drop off their resume, network with hiring businesses, gather valuable references, and build a starting relationship at an upcoming local community event.
When we spoke with you a couple of years ago, you were making craft pizzas. You still on that grind? Any pizza pies at Hexpo?
I’ll always be on the pizza grind, it is truly something I enjoy and love. But for this specific event I opted out of the pizza; all food for Hexpo and Ghouls & Globlins will be handled by local legends Red’s Kitchen. They’ll have their food truck pulled up to one of the showroom doors and are graciously hosting us for their afterparty upstairs.
And finally, what will you be going dressed as?
Honestly, I’m going to Las Vegas for my first time in November—I think it’s only right to pay homage to my idol, Hunter S. Thompson, by being him for Halloween.