CANNABIS CULTURE – Sept 15th and 16th saw the Grassroots Expo happening in downtown Vancouver at SFU Harbour Centre, put on by the good people at the Georgia Straight with Aurora listed as a *Co-Presenter and Groundwork, some of the other sponsors included Tweed, Crop King Seeds, Weeds Glass and Gifts, Kwanten Polytechnic University, Choom, Mackie Research Capital Corporation, to name a few.
The Grassroots Expo is geared towards the Cannabis Curious as it’s billed for the event, the general theme is a place for people to come learn about a wide variety of subjects pertaining to marijuana, The Collage of the Rockies was there promoting their online cannabis training series, for a person to learn more about becoming a cannabis retail specialist, a 26 week online study with the goal of becoming a licensed cannabis distributer with a wide ranging curriculum covering
-History of Cannabis
-Cannabis distribution centre practicum
and more, this with a hefty $3,990 price tag.
My good friend Chris Bennett was there promoting his new book Liber 420, Cannabis Magickal Herbs and the Occult and the fine folks from Weeds Glass and Giftshad two tables set up, Crop King Seeds was also on hand with 2 large displays, those guys always go all out.
But this wasn’t a place to come shopping, the people on hand for the most part were handing out free samples and information and promoting their business’s which is the very theme of the event, a learning experience for the new cannabis curious but still an old drug war vet like myself has things to learn about the new system that will soon be upon us.
I won’t go into all the other booths and tables set up because the main focus of the two day expo is about speakers and there were a lot of them, Saturday had 17 different people on the schedule starting at 10am with Jamie Shaw, Canada’s only court certified expert on the dispensary industry giving a brief history of cannabis,
also on hand was elected Chief Robert Gladstone from SHXWHA:Y Village in Chilliwack and he spoke to Growth and reconciliation and indigenous leadership in the cannabis community.
Marijuana and Matters of Mental Health with Salimeh Tabrizi founder, Cannabis Hemp Conference & Expo, and Dr. Zach Walsh, associate professor psychology, UBC
Higher Learning, the Science of Cannabis with Adolfo Gonzalez, seminar leader, CannaReps.
Sandra and Remo Colasanti were there with Enid Chen and Adolfo Gonzalez speaking on couples and cannabis, building a support system.
Two of my favourite legal heavyweights were on hand,
Kirk Tousaw http://www.tousawlaw.ca/ and John Conroy QC http://johnconroy.com/ John gave a readers digest version of the history of cannabis prohibition and how we came to it and then both Kirk and John took questions from the room, many seemed to be focused around driving and the new cannabis laws.
While all this was going on in the Segal Centre there was also
The Theatre that saw Craig Ex from Expert Joints start off the day
Edibiles 101 with Brandon Wright director and CEO of Baked Edibles Inc
Other topics covered throughout the day were
Consumption tools 101, with Puff.
Extractions 101, with Philip Kwong founding director BC Independent Cannabis Association,
Cannabis and Sex 101 with Laska Maria Freeman founder and host of Sex ed with a twist.
A New Kind of High School held by Kwanten Polytechnic University and CANMAR highlighting educational and career opportunities in the new legal cannabis industry.
Needless to say with 13 different discussions going on in two different rooms you really need to plan out your day but the quality of information available was nothing short of outstanding because all this was just on the first day.
Unfortunately I didn’t have the time to go back for Sundays list of speakers but some of the other people who were on the program worth mentioning are in no particular order,
-Hillary Black, Director of Patient Education and Advocacy, Canopy Growth
-Grant Gottgetreu, Forensic Consultant and former police officer
-David Brown, Sr. Policy Advisor with Health Canada’s Cannabis legalization and Regulation Branch
-Dr. Jenna Valerian, Strategic Advisor for Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy
-Judith Renaud, Executive Director Educators for Sensible Drug Policy
-Dr.Philippe Lucas, Vice President Patient Research and Access, Tilray
As you can see the weekend had a very impressive line up covering a wide range of topics and I think the organizers did a fantastic job of assembling an all star cast of people to come and educate because that’s what activism has always been about, educating others. Kudos to the Georgia Straight for helping to facilitate this great event, I expect to see more expos like this coming soon.