Cannabis trade show exhibitors hopeful for Canadian industry’s future

The products on display provided potential investors and current stakeholders with information on the state of the industry

Exhibitors at a Montreal cannabis expo expressed hope and caution this weekend over the legalization process currently unfolding across Canada, as their products provided a glimpse of what could be to come in a future, less regulated market.

The two-day trade show, which brought together more than 120 exhibitors, was the first gathering of its kind in Quebec since recreational pot was legalized earlier this month.

The products on display provided potential investors and current stakeholders with information on the state of the industry, as well as an idea of what could be its future — from cannabis-infused personal lubricants to hemp sprays for pets.

Soheil Samimi, an adviser to the board for cannabis product manufacturer Isodiol, said many companies are waiting for their chance to sell their products to a wider audience once the legalization market widens.

Samimi said there’s a huge market in the wings for consumer products, including cosmetics, edibles and beverages, and health products.

“The current problem is supply, not demand,” he said, noting that the consumer base is widening not only in North America but also Europe, South America and elsewhere.

He said he’s feeling positive about the process that is underway and believes the legalization door will open to more products in time.

READ MORE: ‘A little odd’: B.C.’s biggest city celebrates cannabis without a legal store

READ MORE: This is what buying legal pot in B.C. looks like

“Today I can go buy a joint and smoke it on the street, but I can’t use a hemp-based pain cream, because it’s topical, and that’s not available yet,” he said in an interview near Isodiol’s booth, which featured empty packages for the company’s products, which aren’t yet licensed by Health Canada.

He said he believes regulators will have no choice but to allow more products eventually if they want to reach their goal of eliminating the black market.

At the same time, he said legalization had complicated matters for some companies who may find the new regulated system less clear than the unofficial market that operated before.

“In a province like B.C. — and particularly the city of Vancouver — before legalization, there was a local ecosystem where everybody understood what was accepted practices,” he said.

“There was an understanding of what you could or couldn’t do locally, and now it complicates the fact because there’s a new regulated system” that doesn’t always make its criteria clear, he said.

The products on display at the cannabis expo ranged from smoke filters and odour-eliminating sprays to edibles and health and wellness products — many of which aren’t yet for sale or even licensed by Health Canada.

The odour of cannabis flowers or smoke was almost nowhere to be found as the vendors pitched business opportunities as much as products.

Catherine Lefebvre, who represents a company that sells hemp-infused products, said she believed legalization would open the door for new business opportunities — even for companies that already operate legally.

The company she works for, La Feuille Verte, creates lines of products including hemp-based deodorants, skin creams and pet supplies, and recently debuted a line hemp-infused kombucha.

She said people don’t always understand that the products don’t contain any THC — the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis — and she’s hoping more public events will provide opportunities for further education now that the industry is entering the spotlight.

“We’re there to teach people what it is, but we’re there to open people’s minds and show them that with the cannabis plant, we can do a lot of things.”

Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Ferry connecting Port Hardy and Bella Coola expected to set sail this summer

Its first in-service route will sail in central coast waters on May 18, 2019.

BC Parks Student Ranger Program accepting applications for 2019 season

12 crews of four student rangers will work in regions throughout the province including Bella Coola.

Over $650,00 given to rural communities thanks to Rural Dividends

Five communities, including Williams Lake, are receiving $10,000 for project grants

Pregnant Cariboo firefighter tries to save own house from blaze

Julia Flinton and Anthony Sellars both worked on the 2017 wildfires

Road report for Highway 20

Fog patches and slippery sections; Drive BC

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

Suspended B.C. legislature officers accused of ‘flagrant overspending’

Personal trips, purchases, alcohol and more laid out in 76-page report by Plecas

Alberta youth charged over theft of $17,000 in snow equipment at B.C. ski resort

Alberta RCMP recovered $17,000 in skis/snowboards believed stolen from Fernie Alpine Resort Saturday

China demands U.S. drop Huawei extradition request with Canada

Hua said China demands that the U.S. withdraw the arrest warrant against Meng Wanzhou

Giant ice disk equipped with webcam after surviving storm

Westbrook official Tina Radel says the livestream was requested by Brown University

Ousted B.C. legislature officials say report released to further blacken their reputations

James and Lenz say release was ‘Contrary to all principles of fairness and decent treatment’

B.C. animators land Oscar nominations

‘Animal Behaviour’ by Vancouver’s David Fine and Alison Snowden among several Canadians on the short list

B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, personal expense claims

Clerk Craig James, security chief Gary Lenz call allegations ‘completely false’

Auto shop apologizes after B.C. employees disrespect memorial convoy

Mr. Lube staff members suspended after incident Sunday in Nanaimo

Most Read