Johannesburg – This weekend’s Cannabis Expo promises to be bigger and better than ever before with a record number of exhibitors and products featuring at the Johannesburg event.
“The exhibitor stands are sold out with over 150 businesses from across the local and international cannabis industry attending, and it is great to see new exhibitors and innovative products coming on board for the first time, showing how resilient and rapidly growing the cannabis industry is,” director of The Cannabis Expo Silas Howarth said.
He added that the expo is already attracting huge business interest with a record number of international and local stands booked.
“It is the perfect mix of cannabis business and lifestyle.”
The Cannabis Expo, which is set to feature an array of marijuana-inspired entertainment and education, will be held at the Sandton Convention Centre until Sunday.
“From a business and regulatory perspective, if you’re in the local cannabis industry, or looking to do cannabis business in Africa, you need to be at The Cannabis Expo.”
And the event’s director believes that there is something for everyone at this year’s event.
The Expo Hall will feature cannabis, CBD and hemp products such as tinctures, sprays, vapes, creams, balms and clothing. Growers, farmers, and industry bodies will also be at the Expo as they discuss growing equipment, fertilisers, nutrients and irrigation for both personal home growers as well as commercial operations. The experts will provide information on research, compliance, regulatory and legal issues, health, wellness, cosmetics, medical use and pharmaceuticals, funding providers for cannabis businesses and software providers for cannabis operations as well as paraphernalia like vapes, pipes, bongs, papers, blunts, flavours and crushers.
The Cannabis Expo will also feature The Convention Stage, the largest comprehensive cannabis convention to take place in Africa. Howarth said that global industry leaders and local government representatives from across the region will present talks as well as moderated panel discussions.
Some of the topics to be discussed include establishing South Africa and Africa's Cannabis Capital for the Global Market in Pondoland Kingdom, Eastern Cape, with the Eastern Cape Rural Development Agency. The experts will also discuss the latest cannabis products, cannabis as medicine, legislation and global trends and developments in cannabis.
Meanwhile, the Workshop Stage will feature informative talks and presentations from industry experts which will also give visitors an opportunity to participate in an interactive question-and-answer session.
The Cannabis Expo will also host The Freedom Festival, the ultimate event for cannabis enthusiasts, providing a vibrant outdoor festival environment where visitors, delegates and exhibitors at The Cannabis Expo are set to congregate throughout the three-day event.
“The Freedom Festival includes a Festival Stage, hosting popular bands, artists and DJs throughout the event, and comfy relaxation areas and catering spaces, including The Cannabis Food Market where visitors can browse and enjoy the latest in cannabis-infused and cannabis-inspired culinary delights,” said Howarth.
The festival is accessible at no charge to all visitors, delegates and exhibitors who attend The Cannabis Expo.
“Attendees will be able to choose to indulge and treat their palates while enjoying a cannabidiol buzz,” said Howarth.
He explained that this will be cocktails, beer, coffee, slushies, bubble tea and Kombucha infused with cannabis.
CBD ice cream, pancakes, cupcakes, popcorn, biltong, doughnuts, fudge, cookies and cakes will also be available for sale as well as infused burgers, wraps and vegan meals and sauces.
The expo’s Private Cannabis Lounge will also give attendees an intimate space to legally enjoy THC cannabis products in the heart of Sandton.
“Take a break from the exhibitor stands and the festival and blaze up a joint or enjoy edibles in a comfortable private lounge,” said Howarth.
The event’s director believes that all that the gathering has to offer makes it the “ultimate cannabis event that attracts people from all sectors of society who converge around this hugely versatile plant”.
“The cannabis industry and the products offered are incredibly broad, providing something for every adult,” he said.
He expects people from all walks of life to be in attendance.
“It's always amazing to walk around The Cannabis Expo and see the different people attending – folks of all ages interested in cannabis for their health, people looking for recreational products to consume cannabis or looking to grow cannabis at home, business people concluding deals or wanting to become cannabis entrepreneurs mixing with people from the rasta community there to support the power of the plant.”
Howarth also believes that the event has been incredibly beneficial for the local cannabis market.
“Since the launch of The Cannabis Expo in South Africa in 2018, we have seen an explosion in the growth of the cannabis industry and we are proud to be a part of, and a catalyst for, that growth.
“The Cannabis Expo provides a platform for the industry to showcase its economic and health benefits to government and to the public, as well as being the central cannabis meeting point and business hub for new cannabis deals and ventures to be formed, not just in South Africa, but across Africa as well.”
He also believes that events like this continue to cement the country as a prime cannabis destination on the African continent.
“There is so much excitement around, and interest in, the local cannabis industry because of the huge potential we have as a region for producing quality cannabis and cannabis products at an affordable price to supply an ever-growing local and international demand.”
Howarth explained that the local industry is still in its relative infancy, which provides for so many new opportunities.
“As we look to more established international markets where legislation has been a reality for longer, and as local legislation further opens up to benefit the cannabis industry, the growth and opportunities skyrocket.”
In the interim, Howarth hopes that the local cannabis industry, government and the public continue to engage and forge the best legislative framework to benefit the industry, the public and the local economy.
“We are excited to be a part of these important discussions that will be happening at The Cannabis Expo this week in Sandton, Johannesburg, and look forward to a positive outcome that can benefit us all,” he added.