AutoPot in Greece – at Salonica 2019!

Smooth, chattering and naturally hairless, who better to send to a country whose national animal is the dolphin than AutoPot International Sales Manager, Dave Gulliver. The Greeks were sure to take our lil’ flipper to their hearts! Aside from the obvious physical resemblance, Dave shares our Cetacean chums’ keen acumen, deep intelligence and spiritually healing presence – here was the opportunity to showcase it all – at Salonica Cannabis Expo 2019.

With the physical set up complete Dave can turn to spiritual preparations

In terms of the cultivation trade and wider exposure Salonica has it’s baklava and eats it, being as it is a complete cannabis expo within a larger international fair. Salonica has its own hall featuring nearly seventy exhibitors from across Europe. Over four days the wider 84th Thessaloniki International Fair pulled around 300k visitors who were free to explore all manner of diverting attractions, including those within Salonica.                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Salonica Cannabis Expo is part of the vast Thessaloniki International Fair

Safe to say young Dave felt that he’d welcomed a good many of those 300k after four twelve-hour (Dave’s emphasis) days conducted at breakneck pace. We enjoyed a great deal of attention with plenty of interest, particularly in our system’s capacity to grow power-free. The ease of use and minimal knowledge required in order to get started also chimed with a great many aspiring growers. 

Climate being what it is in Greece, and with low overheads being critical to success, a system that can operate with zero-waste water like our own is always going to be at an advantage. Despite our advantage it was surprising to see few other system manufacturers present at Salonica. From the interest we got and business completed it was apparent that here was an untapped and extremely receptive marketplace. The show is nicely planned and marketed with plenty of crossover to the International Fair, meaning a return visit looks very much on the cards. We spoke to a decent amount of commercial growers from the Balkans and have some firm orders as a result, making it well worth the trip.

A steady stream of intruiged visitors translated into some firm orders and promising commercial relationships

To give visitors a full appreciation of the how and where grow technologies combine we partnered up with lighting industry titans Lumatek. Natalya came along to add some very welcome insights into how good lighting can enhance growing without compromising overheads. Lumatek’s kit has long been a byword for yield, efficiency and build quality and so paired nicely with our systems in terms of demonstrating worthwhile investments when growing. In that very same vein we BudBox’d it with one of their quite sublime tents on the stand for an exemplary display set up.

Salonica opens 10am – 10pm for maximum exposure

Whilst we were very well received there’s no denying that Thessaloniki is a pretty conservative area. There were a few shocked and confused faces in the crowd as they walked through the Salonica Expo Hall. Greece on the whole is in a bit of a pickle on this front. Socially, Greece’s attitude towards cannabis is fairly conservative. Legally, recreational possession remains a criminal offence. Medically, it can be legally prescribed, but only since 2017. However there is talk of cultivation on a grand scale and dreams of it acting as an economic driver. As Dave puts it: “the country is really conservative when it comes to cannabis, but god knows they need that paperrrr”. 

Whilst economy, values, medicine and crime are at a remove from the world of a horticulturalist these factors are at the heart of Greece’s dilemma when it comes to cannabis cultivation. It will be interesting to see just how far the crop is embraced. Will its exploitation simply extend to the government and commercial sector reaping the economic benefits of medical production? Or will cultivation go beyond that? Trust dolphin Dave to keep an eye on things.

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