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

West Kelowna to hire eight more firefighters

The city looks to solve what they are calling a critical shortage of firefighters

Kelowna RCMP look to reunite stamp collection with owner

The stamp collection was handed to RCMP in Oct.

Kelowna RCMP search for speed-slowing cut out

The cut out of Const. Warren Ning has been allegedly taken from A.S. Matheson Elementary School

Battling winter blues, depression and SAD after the holidays

Kick the blues on ‘Blue Monday’ that is supposedly the most depressing day of the year

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

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

B.C. man fined $10,000 after leaving moose to suffer before death

Surrey man was convicted last week on three Wildlife Act charges

Man charged in 7-Eleven fire in Shuswap granted bail

Accused facing arson charges released with 23 conditions including a 7 p.m. curfew

‘Blue Monday’ isn’t real, but depression can be

CMHA encourages people to prioritize their mental health

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change

Stand.earth filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

B.C. man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

Parole granted for drunk driver who killed B.C. RCMP officer

Kenneth Jacob Fenton will be able to attend alcohol abuse treatment, nearly three years after crash that killed Const. Sarah Beckett

B.C.’s largest public-sector union wants inquiry into money laundering, drugs

Union officials say Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby have not ruled out the possibility of a public inquiry

Teen in confrontation with Native American: I didn’t provoke

Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School said he was trying to defuse the situation

Most Read