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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Smithers woman awarded $55K in RCMP excessive force suit

Irene Joseph alleged false arrest and assault and battery related to a 2014 incident in Smithers

Cannabis shop soon to open in Witset

Indigenous Bloom shop to be followed by cannabis cultivation facility in closed down sawmill

Celebrations continue for Tsilhqot’in Nation after court victory against Taskeo Mines Ltd.

Supreme Court of Canada upholds 2014 decision rejecting New Prosperity mine on May 14, 2020

Orphaned bear cub named after Snowbirds Capt. Jenn Casey to be cared for in Smithers

Neighbours assist in capture of Tappen Triplets now in care of Northern Lights Wildlife Society

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Snowbirds to remain at Kamloops Airport indefinitely after fatal crash

small contingent of the Snowbirds team is staying in Kamloops, acting as stewards of the jets

Most Read