Cannabis con­fer­ence com­ing to Con­ven­tion Cen­tre

The Niagara Falls Review - - NEWS - JOHN LAW jlaw@post­media.com

With le­gal­ized mar­i­juana com­ing next sum­mer to Canada, the buzz has be­gun for a two-day pot con­fer­ence in Ni­a­gara Falls next month.

“The re­sponse we’ve been get­ting is over­whelm­ing,” says Wel­land’s Randy Rowe, pres­i­dent of the Grow Up Cannabis Con­fer­ence & Expo com­ing to the Sco­tia­bank Con­ven­tion Cen­tre Oct. 6 and 7. “We’ve got peo­ple com­ing in from all over North Amer­ica.”

He’s ex­pect­ing about 3,000 peo­ple to at­tend the con­fer­ence, which will fea­ture more than 90 speak­ers and dozens of ex­hibitors.

In­ter­est has been spiked by the re­cent an­nounce­ment of le­gal mar­i­juana by next July, which will al­low Cana­di­ans to grow up to four cannabis plants per house­hold.

On­tario’s Lib­eral govern­ment, in turn, an­nounced last week it will sell recre­ational mar­i­juana through 80 LCBO-con­trolled out­lets through­out the prov­ince. About 150 out­lets are ex­pected by 2020.

Pot will still be il­le­gal to use in pub­lic spa­ces and work­places.

Rowe says many of the first cannabis con­fer­ences he at­tended “weren’t very fo­cussed.” The Ni­a­gara Falls event, from the same pro­duc­ers as Toronto’s O’Cannabiz Con­fer­ence & Expo, will look at the ed­u­ca­tion, col­lab­o­ra­tion and de­vel­op­ment of the in­dus­try.

“From a con­sumer point of view, there’s a lot there for peo­ple to take in,” he says. “We’ll have peo­ple in the booths to help peo­ple, guide them, and see if they qual­ify to have a medic­i­nal card. Show them how to do it.”

An­other sign cannabis cul­ture is no longer taboo? Ni­a­gara Falls mayor Jim Dio­dati will de­liver the wel­com­ing ad­dress.

Guests over the two days in­clude Cana­dian cannabis ad­vo­cate Jodie Emery, whose hus­band Marc served four-and-a-half years in a United States fed­eral prison for sell­ing mail-or­der pot seeds into the U.S.

Shortly af­ter he was ex­tra­dited to the U.S., Jodie Emery led a protest against Ni­a­gara Falls MP Rob Ni­chol­son at his St. Paul Av­enue of­fice in 2010. Ni­chol­son was Canada’s Min­is­ter of Justice at the time.

Two peo­ple were ar­rested at the protest af­ter the group was de­nied en­trance into Ni­chol­son’s of­fice.

Also at­tend­ing the Falls con­fer­ence will be Am­ple Or­gan­ics pres­i­dent and CEO John Pren­tice, Can­nTrust pres­i­dent Brad Rogers, Bev­erly Hills Cannabis Club founder Ch­eryl Shu­man and the ‘Guru of Ganja’ Ed Rosen­thal.

A $199 two-day ad­mis­sion al­lows ac­cess to all speak­ers. There will also be $129 one-day ad­mis­sions, and $25 ad­mis­sion for ac­cess to just the ex­hibitors.

www.growup­con­fer­ence.com

TONY CALD­WELL / POST­MEDIA NEWS

Cana­dian pot ad­vo­cate Jodie Emery will be among the speak­ers for the first Grow Up Cannabis Con­fer­ence & Expo in Ni­a­gara Falls next month.

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