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

Wet conditions hampering haying efforts

Crops throughout central Alberta doing decently for now

New support line available for Alberta farmers

AgSafe Alberta hotline there to help navigate new farm rules and regulations

Work well underway transforming former Kinsmen Centre to new Hammy’s Spirits

Update on construction, background on sale, Hammy’s Spirits

PHOTO: Big hearted donation

Local franchise assists programming for youth

‘Bad choices make good stories’: Margaret Trudeau brings her show to Just for Laughs

Trudeau says over the decades she has been suicidal, manic, depressed

Diversity a Canadian strength, Trudeau says of Trump tweets at congresswomen

Trudeau avoided using Trump’s name when he was asked about the president’s Twitter comments

Garneau ‘disappointed’ in airlines’ move against new passenger bill of rights

New rules codified compensation for lost luggage, overbooked flights

Canadian is detained in China on drug allegations: Chinese government

Detention of a Canadian in China comes as part a diplomatic dispute triggered by arrest of Huawei exec Meng Wanzhou

Too much time on social media can hurt teens’ mental health: study

Researchers conducted a four-year survey of more than 3,800 adolescents between Grades 7 and 11

Advocates want charges in horse deaths during Calgary Stampede chuckwagon races

Chuckwagon races are a nightly spectacle during the Stampede, a 10-day annual celebration of western life

Health Canada revokes licences of B.C.-based pot producer Agrima Botanicals

The agency said it notified the company of a suspension in November due to non-compliance with regulations

Deals, protests during Amazon Prime Day

The Seattle-based e-commerce behemoth says it is offering more than a million deals

Most Read