Approximately 70 students and other curious types filed into an auditorium in Concordia’s John Molson School of Business on Saturday evening for something called The Weed Conference.
Giggle all you want, but with its upcoming legalization, recreational cannabis and the industry surrounding it are about to become serious business, and these people — on this night, mostly, but not all, young men — wanted to get in on the ground floor.
“It’s always been … not a passion of mine, but something I’m interested in,” said Karl (not his real name), a John Molson School of Business student who previously co-owned a cannabis dispensary in San Francisco.
“This event seemed interesting and there’s some opportunities for internships, so I decided to come.”
Five paid summer internships were to be awarded to the group that submitted the best cannabis-derived business proposal. The contest was one of several components of an action-packed six hours, including panels of industry professionals, question periods, workshops and a pair of $100 cash prizes (one of them given to the winner of a cannabis trivia game).
“I just want to know more about the sector and the laws and regulations surrounding it, to see how it’s developing,” said Mark (not his real name), who works in investor relations.
The fact that attendees were so media shy points to the legal and cultural limbo in which cannabis remains. It was a running theme of the event, co-hosted by CJAD’s Dave Kaufman, who started things off by telling the crowd that “It’s the wild west, and we’ve got the best cowboys and cowgirls here to explain the ins and outs of this burgeoning industry.
“They’re going to need so many people to fill this industry and make it everything it can be. People say they want to get in on the ground floor, and this is a great place for it.”