As I mentioned in a previous article I wrote in the summer, I was planning on attending the Lift Cannabis Expo which took place September 17-18th in Vancouver, Canada. Although the show was a few weeks ago, I figured that I’d post an update regarding my experience there after I had some time to reflect. I was able to acquire a media pass for VaporBlog, and this gave me quite a bit of access to everything in the show. Although there were few vaporizer booths from my favorite vape companies (Pax Labs was a sponsor of the event but did not have a booth), I was able to attend some interesting talks and get a first hand look at how the cannabis industry as a whole is growing at a rapid pace both here and in the United States.
Despite the cannabis industry being in its infancy here in Canada (steps towards legalization will start in Spring 2017) , there were definitely lots of positive vibes throughout the conference. Vancouver is quite unique compared to the rest of Canada as Vancouver police are more reluctant to raid dispensaries as are police in other Canadian cities (provided they comply with a set of strict guidelines), and as a result there were quite a few booths showcasing local dispensaries and what their memberships include. However, as a ‘family friendly’ event geared towards all ages, there wasn’t any actual cannabis at the show. A common theme which was discussed with several representatives was that in the past few years, dispensaries have noticed that more and more clients are enjoying their cannabis with vaporizers, and even more recently with vape pens. Aside from being much more efficient compared to combustion, vaporizers are much healthier, and even doctors are beginning to recommend vaporizers to their medical marijuana patients. Furthermore, vape pens filled with cannabis e-juice make consumption extremely stealthy and easy for medical patients to carry with them at all times. Having been passionate about vaping since I began in 2009 (when there was much less vaporizer awareness), this news came as no surprise to me, and I’m definitely glad that more people are making the switch to vapes!
The second thing I noticed about the expo was that with the positive energy regarding the industry, there is a sense of some people trying to enter the industry for profit as opposed to passion. There were several booths offering rebrands of cheaply made vaporizers which don’t perform well and have questionable vapor paths. When I approached these booths, I found the reps to be either uninformed about their products, or making false claims about things such as battery life and reliability while offering subpar warranties on their devices. This is to be expected in an industry which is rapidly growing by leaps and bounds, but also highlights the importance of having reputable review sites (such as VaporBlog!) inform consumers and help them choose a vape that they’ll be happy with long term.
The third and final major theme is that I noticed at the show is the increasing popularity of automated grow cabinets intended for home use, especially in areas where growing your own plants is allowed. Although the yield is not as high as professionally grown cannabis, the ability to monitor your plant(s) via a phone app and grow your favorite strains at home is quite appealing, and I definitely see a DIY growing movement becoming more popular amongst cannabis aficionados much in the same way that homebrewed beer (which I have made several times!) has exploded in popularity over the past decade. I’ve also been in talks with one manufacturer about reviewing a cabinet here on VaporBlog, so stay tuned for more information!
After attending my first ever cannabis trade show, I’m definitely looking forward to attending more in different places in the future! Ideally I’d love to head to a show in Colorado or California in order to see what places with older, more established cannabis industries look like. If you’ve ever been to any expos, make sure to share what your experiences were like in the comments!