The Bold North Goes Green At O’Cannabiz Expo


Rachelle Gordon

July 11th, 2018

News


On June 8th and 9th, mere days before the Canadian government approved the legalization of adult-use cannabis, thousands of eager industry entrepreneurs and thought leaders gathered outside of Toronto, Ontario for the aptly-named O’Cannabiz Conference & Expo. Covering all sides of the industry, including topics such as cultivation, policy, wellness, and finance, the event is a must-attend for anyone looking to be a part of what is projected to be a CAD$9.2 billion dollar industry by 2025.

“If we’re looking at the world’s hottest cannabis cities of 2018, Toronto rests firmly in the top three,” said Ricardo Baca, founder of full-service public relations agency Grasslands and the marijuana news site The Cannabist. “And nestled between mega-conferences MJBizConInt’l and Lift & Co. Cannabis Expo was O’Cannabiz, solidifying Toronto as perhaps Canada’s most important marijuana business hub in these historic months leading up to federal implementation.”

“O’Cannabiz 2018 was the best show yet! Our attendance doubled over last year,” exclaimed Neill Dixon, President of O’Cannabiz.

CFN interviewed seven companies at the O’Cannabiz Expo (click the playlist button to see them all):

Speakers Focus on Emerging Market Trends, What’s Ahead

Attendees of O’Cannabiz were treated to a well-rounded group of speakers and panelists representing various sectors of the industry.

“I have really enjoyed participating as a speaker at O’Cannabiz Conference & Expo for the past two years,” said Joshua Crossney, President & Founder of CSC Events, LLC, hosts of the upcoming Cannabis Science Conference. “I feel that cross-border relationships and collaborations are crucial to the growth of the global cannabis market, especially given the federal classification of cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug in the U.S. on the Controlled Substances Act.”

Cannabis Now Senior Editor and fellow speaker Ellen Holland called the energy at the event “electric.”

“A highlight was activist Jodie Emery discussing how the new law fails to provide amnesty for Canadians previously arrested for marijuana,” Holland told CFN. “Emery’s comments demonstrated that ‘legalization’ comes in many different forms and that the fight for cannabis freedoms in Canada is not yet won.”

Expo Hall Features Mock Dispensaries, Live Demos

The expansive exposition hall adjacent to the multitude of panels and keynote addresses featured a dizzying array of booths and experiences meant to tickle the senses and tease the crowd with what’s to come in Canada’s multi-billion dollar cannabis industry. INDIVA brought in a vintage Volkswagen bus to chill out and take selfies in while rosin presses were demonstrated on the other side; cannabis legend and Harborside Founder Steve D’Angelo even stopped by the Smokus Focus booth to say hello and check out their unique magnifying jars.

“We decided to exhibit specifically on O’Cannabiz due to the professional feel and business orientation of all participants – and it was a great decision,” said Deb Geffken, Director of Sales for Smokus Focus. We met so many interesting people and learned a ton from our Canadian counterparts.”

“The exhibitors and attendants highlighted not only the rapid growth of the industry, but the level of professionalism that is emerging in Canadian cannabis,” added Pranav Sood, Founder of seed-to-sale software company Trellis, a sponsor of O’Cannabiz. “There were many very real connections that were made, which I can’t say for all the conferences we have attended. Trellis is thrilled to have been part of such a great event and we look forward to our continued involvement next year.”

Niagara Falls On Deck

For those thirsty for more action at the dawn of cannabis legalization in Canada, the upcoming Grow Up Conference and Expo (O’Cannabiz’s sister show) in beautiful Niagara Falls, Ontario is just the ticket. Occuring on September 7th and 8th, the show will feature keynote speaker Kevin O’Leary of the hit ABC show Shark Tank as well as a hackathon. It promises to be the country’s premier cultivation conference and a must-attend for anyone looking to enter the rapidly expanding global cannabis market. To register, click here.

To learn more about cannabis conferences, sign up for our free newsletter using the form on the right.

*See more exclusive interviews from O’Cannabiz HERE!

Rachelle Gordon

About Rachelle Gordon

Rachelle Gordon is a Minneapolis-based writer. She was the president of her college's chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy and worked in Amsterdam for a brief time. Find her online at www.rachellegordon.net.


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