Niagara Falls, Ontario, is renowned for its vineyards and greenhouse growing. Therefore, it didn’t come as a surprise that the whole region became a larger area for cannabis growers when the cultivation of this crop became legal in Canada one year ago. Exactly because of its illegal status, as soon as growing cannabis became regulated, many growers jumped into this new venture in the hope of capitalizing on their expertise in such a crop. However, the sudden availability of a whole new set of technologies directly borrowed from horticulture made these new endeavors trickier than most had expected.
The GrowUp Conference
“Indeed, one of the challenges that many growers encountered was exactly the question of how you take a product that has been grown illegally for decades and turn it into a large-scale, commercial operation,” says Randy Rowe, one of the organizers of the GrowUp conference to be held 12-14 September 2019 in Niagara Falls, Ontario. “This is precisely one of the topics that we will address at the GrowUp conference.” This convention has been around for three years, and was designed and developed to support the global cannabis grower community and to advance the sector with a focus on knowledge sharing and networking. “The idea behind the conference was to have an event to promote the growth of the cannabis industry and to improve the level of the industry every year,” Randy points out.
The global leaders in the industry
Therefore, the GrowUp conference is the place to be as it gathers in one place the global leaders of the cannabis industry. “We want to contribute to the advancement of this exciting sector, and there is no better way to do it than bringing together the best players and allowing people to learn from them, and to connect with each other.” Knowledge sharing is indeed one of the pillars of the GrowUp conference, and the keynotes will exactly revolve around that. “It is necessary if we all want to improve and be better,” says Randy. “We will talk about cultivation, regulations, and most importantly, about the future of the cannabis industry.” Randy further explains that the future of cannabis in Canada is surely promising, especially in light of the new regulations on edibles and infused products. “The edible market has the potential to be one of the largest and fastest-growing parts of this sector,” Randy points out. “This is the novelty of this year’s conference, as we are going to discuss how regulations on edibles will be rolled out. For this purpose, we are bringing experts on this subject.”
The program of the conference
Thus, Randy takes care to outline the schedule for the conference and some of the impressive keynote speakers that will step onto the conference’s stage. “With regards to the aforesaid topic, the former head of Mike’s Hard Lemonade, Anat Baron, will be one speaker, and she is going to share her expertise on beverages.” However, one of the main focuses of the conference will indeed be the growing. “Arjan Roskam, the King of Cannabis, has won more than 40 Cannabis Cups. Therefore, he is one of the major experts when it comes to growing cannabis.” Randy continues by saying that the renowned hashishin Frenchy Cannoli will also be one of the keynote speakers. “For the first time this year, we will also hold an award ceremony where we will launch the Growers Hall of Fame. Ed Rosenthal, the man behind the theory of producing feminized cannabis seeds, will be there too. He will be our first inductee in our Hall of Fame.” Of course, also the former Canopy Growth CEO Bruce Linton will participate in the event, sharing his great insights on the situation of the cannabis industry. “Bruce is going to discuss his future plans, and where he sees growth potential within this sector.” In addition to Bruce Linton, Randy takes care to point out that also Aurora CEO Cam Battley will be one of the keynote speakers.
On a quest to advance the industry
Thus, the main goal of the Grow Up conference is to foster collaboration and networking within the industry. “That is why, right after the award show, there will be an exhibitors networking party,” Randy says. “The day after, there will also be a VIP networking event right next to the falls.” These events address the necessity to cooperate for the improvement of the cannabis industry. “Our role is to keep educating and keep everybody together to move forward. Share ideas, methods, and bring governments together to get everybody on the same page. There are other countries coming on board, and we all need to collaborate for the improvement of the industry,” Randy says. “Medical cannabis needs to be a strong part of what we are doing. The main reason of this movement is to provide people with the health care that cannabis can give them. Retail is the second big factor: in a couple of years, the production is going to match the demand, but we need to battle the illegal market, and prices need to align more with what consumers have been used to. We will keep sharing knowledge and educating the industry, ensuring a bright future for us all.”