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Update: Typo Of The Year? Sport Av Expo Link Pointed To Marijuana Distributor

Stranger Than Fiction -- Folks, We Could Not Make This Up If We Tried…

News/Opinion/Analysis by Jim Campbell, ANN CEO/Editor-In-Chief

Aero-News RealTime Update, 1257 ET, 01.18.18: You might call it the typo of the year... ANN was contacted by a city official from Sebring a few moments ago and while they did not contradict the story below, they did attempt to blame the hyperlink that led to a medical marijuana distributor on a typographical error on the website. Mind you, we called the Expo folks yesterday and explained what we were questioning, but we did not get a response and they have yet to follow up as promised. Still... as ridiculous as it was, this error and its explanation is far more preferable to the concept that an event like this would be promoting marijuana sales at an aviation event. We were not the only ones to find this link, click on it and wind up on the Nature Med site, but it apparently it took our calls, over the course of two days, to get someone to correct the error. God know how long that link has been sending people to the marijuana site...

Original Report: We received a few complaints referencing vendors and exhibitors for the forthcoming Sport Aviation Expo to be held next week in Sebring, Florida. The complaints concerned various exhibitors not getting their calls returned as they had questions or concerns about their needs for the show.

In the process of researching that, we found out that a senior member of the Expo team has apparently left the organization. Melissa Finger, once touted as the Expo and Projects Manager, apparently left the Expo program late last year, and the folks at the Sebring Airport Authority really don't want to talk about it.

Be that as it may, imagine our surprise when perusing the exhibitor list (based on some other calls expressing surprise/disapproval with a particular link) and discovering a number of non-aviation entities mixed in with all the aviation businesses that were still sticking with the beleaguered Sebring aviation event. A couple of them are just plain ridiculous… as we're not sure that jewelry shops mix in well with avionics, or aviation powerplants for that matter, but an interesting name, Nature Med, peaked our interest.

When we researched the company, and clicked on the published link to its website; lo and behold we discovered that Nature Med is a medical marijuana distributor.

Yes, a medical marijuana distributor.

After a number of unanswered inquiries to this point, a few calls in which we were hung up on, the link to the aforementioned medical marijuana company has now been attributed to a typographical error on the website. Finally reaching Sport Avation Expo officials a few minutes ago (Thursday), after a number of attempts over the last day and a half, Airport Manager Mike Willingham was unsure as to how long the link was up (and initially stated that it was only a day or two before that supposition was called into question) but clearly wanted it known that they would not welcome a medical marijuana company to their event, despite the evidence previously presented on their site. The link has now been corrected (and yes, we checked it again) and Willingham promised transparency in how the matter would be handled from this point on (though, in a more recent call, Willingham hung up on ANN when other questionable statements came to light)... though we have litle doubt that their web links will be carefully perused from here on out -- or maybe not.

What a business...

FMI: www.sportaviationexpo.com


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