Attending the Grow Up Conference the past three years has been great and exciting to see how the event has changed over the years. The first year, 2017, I recall there were a lot of grower specific vendors, such as nutrient companies and lights. As a new home grower this was very exciting to me. Last year felt like a bit of a miss with different vendors not as focused on growing. Most of the Toronto cannabis community was present but the locals didn’t come out as it was too expensive.
This year’s Grow Up Conference the organizers put together an impressive list of speakers & panelists. A lot of the attendees were excited to hear from Arjan Roskam, Kevin Jodrey, Frenchy Cannoli, Ed Rosenthal and Manjit Mijhas to name a few. The majority of them spoke on Thurday during the Industry Day.
The Industry Day consisted of a large theatre room with snacks and beverages outside. The theatre had a podium for speakers and a table set up for panel discussions. Throughout the day they had tea, coffee, muffins, chips, pop and cookies out in the hall.
There was a good number in attendance for the Industry Day but not crowded, leaving a good chance you could meet some of the speakers if you wanted. We got to meet Ed Rosenthal, Kevin Jodrey and Frenchy Cannoli throughout the conference as they continued to speak.
Following the Industry Day there was the award ceremony held by the Grow Up Conference and an after party. We drove back to Toronto, seeing the winners with signs and trophies at their booths the following two days.
The first day of the expo being open (Friday) there were a number of speakers schedule so we were only able to see half the expo floor that day. The main draw was the Grow at Home Workshop set with a series of speakers, each covering a different topic. Our friends, Katy Perry of Grow Op Hydroponics, Mitchell Kennedy of Humboldt County Labs, Ed Rosenthal, Jonathan Hirsh of Weedstagram416 and Isaac Maurice from Green Planet Nutrients all spoke as part of the Grow at Home Workshop.
This Grow at Home Workshop did a great job of covering all aspects from setting up to running a cannabis grow. There’s a lot of information to cover, something other conferences would touch on a certain topic, but Grow Up went all in. It was awesome to see as this conference is focused on the growers and providing this base information is extremely important for new growers.
The final day of the conference, Saturday, was spent checking out the second half of the expo floor and hanging out at the 7 Acres’ Session Garden, a wind sheltered smoking section with lots of greenery around you. 7 Acres sponsors a number of community events like this providing a relaxing space to roll up and smoke. There are some issues with promotional material so the 7 Acres swag is given out on a pay what you can system or for those who sign up for their newsletter. 7 Acres was also proud to announce the addition of another strain, Jack Haze, to their line up.
Through out the conference there were a number of speakers, networking sessions and panel discussions taking place in conference rooms and different stages spread through out. This it made it hard to get a feel for the attendance as everyone was spread around.
The show was busy, but it wasn’t as busy as some of the conferences in Toronto. I got the feeling the majority of people in attendance were there to see the speakers/network and the expo floor was less of a priority. Most conferences, the speakers aren’t to engaging so I was really excited when I heard Grow Up had some big names on their speakers list.
The Grow Up Conference was a great experience, learnt a lot from the speakers and saw a lot of familiar Canadians and Americans in attendance. If you’re a cannabis grower I recommend you attend the next Grow Up Conference in Niagara as it is the only conference specifically set up to focus on the personal grower whether is be large or small scale, medical or recreational.