Hempfest Cannabis Expo is in its third year, with each year expanding to more cities across Canada. Originally starting in Saskatoon, the expo was very well received making for a packed event. Each year the organizers expand a bit more to where the event now takes place in 5 cities.
This year was the first time a Hempfest Cannabis Expo took place in Toronto, in the Queen Elizabeth Building at the Exhibition Place Sept. 15-16. The large building was divided with curtains in to separate areas for the vendors, speakers and the bar. I’m not a fan of drinking, but I did hear you were allowed to walk around with alcohol as the whole place (inside and out) has a liquor license.
That wasn’t the only perk of being hosted at the Exhibition Place. I thought it was cool to walk around seeing the area not all set up for The Ex and think back to being their as a kid.
We got to the event early and there was a small crowd awaiting the noon door opening. IDs were check at the door where you received your wristband or lanyard.
As you wandered through you come across the various vendors. A lot of the vendors were new to me, coming from out of province for the event. Some of the new vendors we chatted with were LaDab, Amour Canada, Back Room Grow, The Fire Department Seedbank, Vancity Rolls. As you’d expect some of these companies were from Montreal and BC.
One vendor that caught my eye was consulting patients on ACMPR licenses, on site. There is a large demand for access to medical marijuana, but this is the first time I had seen a clinic taking in patients out at an event. Great job!
There were also companies we had seen before that were nice to reconnect with. Some of these companies were Thermodynamix, Shatterizer, Ganja Yoga, TheHotCase, Quality Green, Native Seed Co. and Smyle V-liquid. Thermodynamix had their Enails on display with new coils that wrap below the bottom of your banger. Shatterizer was showing their nicely branded merchandise (it’s expanded a lot) and had their portable vapes for people to check out. There were also a few glass blower working away on some pieces.
I thought there was a good turn out of attendees checking out the event for it’s first year in Toronto. The focus was on hemp so it was targeting a slightly different demographic than most Toronto cannabis expos. As we worked our way through the vendors we stopped to medicate and network outside. Where were a good number of people smoking and chatting out front.
We met a Montreal farmer who was eager to show off his two newest phenos that allegedly came from two different branches, but from the same seed. We chatted with him a while longer and he told us about his hemp company and brought us inside to show us his booth. They had samples of different parts of the hemp plants (long fibers, short fibers, seeds, etc.) and some products it could be made into, such as hempcrete, food, fabric, etc.
I was a little surprise at the number of online dispensaries, pre-rolls and wholesalers who had booths. It was weird to hear a company saying all their products are made in a federally license facility, trying to make themselves sounds like an LP, but they aren’t. Everyone’s trying to prepare for legalization in his or her own way. I’m sure a lot of vendors needed to book the space months before, when we new less about how legalization would unfold.
All the vendors and attendees made a fun weekend out of the event. Between the vendors, speakers on the stage at the back, networking out front, and exploring the EX, the time seemed to fly by. I hope Hempfest Cannabis Expo the best of luck in their future expos across Canada, and look forward to seeing them back in Toronto next year!