There’s nothing Dave Gulliver, our International Sales Manager, likes more than wiggling his twinkle toes in the twinkly waters of Lake Ontario, ideally from a modern, progressive metropolis situated on its northern shore. Keen to keep Dave and his phalanges distales onside, and also aware of the vibrant cultivation scene in Canada, we bundled the D-Gull into economy and off to Toronto to check out O’Cannabiz 2019.
For the uninitiated, O’Cannabiz comes with big credentials. Thousands flock to the three-day expo and conference which has been voted Canada’s premier cannabis event by High! Canada Magazine. Attendance numbers for the expo and conference are all the more impressive for the fact that it is a B2B focussed event. One of the explanations for the immense pull of O’Cannabiz is the all-encompassing, super-panoramic view of the industry on show there. A reminder, if one were needed, that cultivation now reaches deep into a rich bed of inter-dependant industries and sectors. Its penetration of everyday life has raised a vast number of technical, commercial and legal issues and a hugely impressive range of innovative, ingenious solutions.
At O’Cannabiz we had been invited to exhibit AutoPot on the stand of one of the cultivation industry’s premier innovators. If pride is a sin then we were downright satanic with amore-propre at the prospect of sharing with some sensationally successful industry crossover storage artisans. Montel have been devising beautifully engineered high-density mobile storage systems for nigh on a century. Their immense experience in compact and vertical storage combined with electrical know-how has been rewarded with 72 countries worth of valuable, high-profile projects both inside and outside the trade. Not least amongst these projects is The Grove in Las Vegas where Montel’s custom, high-density mobile cultivation systems, paired with AutoPots, have allowed the cultivation facility to maximize their vertical and horizontal growing spaces. The investment in Montel racking is quickly offset by the immense increase in capacity and thus revenue. Whilst the functionality of the staging, including electronic operation and access, makes such vertical facilities truly manageable. Yves, Line and Zoe from Montel were in attendance at O’Cannabiz and made our far-flung representative perfectly at home, tucking him in to bed every night on their racking display.
No one was happier to see Dave in Toronto than great friend Isaac from GreenPlanet who are one of AutoPot’s three Canadian Distributors alongside BioFloral and Halifax Seed. As reported earlier in the year the market for cultivation tech is riding high in Canada at the moment This is partly on the back of the legal situation surrounding home-growing (a four plant maximum per household) and partly due to the soaring requirements of Government licensed cultivators who serve the, now legal, recreational and medical sectors. We were delighted with the interest and love that the masses of retailers, wholesalers and commercial producers in attendance showed for AutoPot.
Some of the key issues being raised at O’Cannabiz included how and where cultivation was taking place, and whether, and why end users were satisfied with the regulated products being put on the market by licensed producers. The first question is perhaps inextricably bound up with outdoor cultivation. In some respects outdoor cultivation represents the final battlefield for territories that have already chosen to legalise or decriminalise cannabis cultivation for medical or recreational purposes. Whilst growing outdoors is seen as the natural choice by some, there remain legal, logistical, ethical and security obstacles to overcome. Nonetheless, Ontario-based O’Cannabiz “Brand of the Year Winner “48North is now in the process of establishing an outdoor farm capable of “providing 40,000kg of organic, sun grown cannabis”. The latter question of customer satisfaction opens up interesting questions as to how and why the legal recreational market functions and may pose some searching questions of producers and end users alike.
O’Cannabiz marked the midpoint in Dave’s personal 2019 Canadian trilogy, following Lift Vancouver and preceding Lift Toronto. Both Dave and AutoPot will be in Toronto for the aforementioned Lift Expo 7th-9th June – check out those toes!