New Brunswick

Consumers, legal cannabis industry gather at Moncton trade show

Cannabis at the Coliseum was expected to draw over 2,000 people to the Moncton Coliseum

'If we can get some of those people to revert to the legal market we think that's a huge win'

The cannabis was being sold through a Cannabis NB pop-up shop. (Jordan Gill/CBC)

Cannabis lovers were in heaven on Saturday in Moncton.

Cannabis at the Coliseum was expected to draw over 2,000 people to the Moncton Coliseum.

The show was the first of its kind in Canada, a consumer show where cannabis could be purchased on site.

The weed was being sold through a Cannabis NB pop-up shop.

Sam Murphy, the chief operating officer of Canna Island, a P.E.I.-based hospitality group that organized the event, said the show gives consumers an opportunity to interact with legal cannabis producers.

"I've talked to multiple people today that have never been in a Cannabis NB store," said Murphy. "They still buy their product on the black market.

"If we can get some of those people to revert to the legal market we think that's a huge win."

Advertising blues

The federal government has put strict restrictions on advertising Cannabis products.

The restrictions are broad and, according to the Cannabis Act, include "communicating information about its price or distribution" or even presenting the product in a way that includes "glamour, recreation, excitement, vitality, risk or daring."

Courtney Langille, a spokesperson for Tweed, one of the licensed producers at the show, said the event gives consumers a chance to learn about the brands. (Jordan Gill/CBC)

Courtney Langille, a spokesperson for Tweed, one of the licensed producers at the show, said that's why events like Cannabis at the Coliseum are important for producers.

"Because of the way that we're regulated we can really only exist in [19-and-over] spaces," said Langille. 

"This is really more of an opportunity for the consumer to come in and make these connections with all these different brands."

Bubba kush and bath bombs

It wasn't just the usual dried-flower product on display at the event.

A live DJ, food, a retro arcade and even axe throwing were in the mix.

'It’s also a great intro product for people who are curious about cannabis but don’t necessarily want to be high,' said Catrina Jackson of Stuart Farms. (Jordan Gill/CBC)

Stuart Farms sells bath bombs and soaps that are infused with some of the same oils found in cannabis.

While they're still waiting for Health Canada approval to sell products infused with THC and CBD, Catrina Jackson said they're in the last stage of that process.

Stuart Farms sells bath bombs and soaps that are infused with some of the same oils found in cannabis. (Jordan Gill/CBC)

Jackson said topicals infused with the oils have no psychoactive properties, so they're perfect for those who want to dip their toes into the cannabis experience.

"It's also a great intro product for people who are curious about cannabis but don't necessarily want to be high," said Jackson.

Up in smoke?

One telltale sign of cannabis consumption was missing from the show — smoke.

The event was held indoors so you couldn't smoke anyway, but any consumption of cannabis is illegal in public in Canada.

Sam Murphy of Canna Island, a P.E.I.-based hospitality group that organized the event, said the show gives consumers an opportunity to interact with legal cannabis producers. (Jordan Gill/CBC)

And even though cannabis edibles were on sale, even those are illegal to consume in public.

Murphy hopes that in future that may change.

"We would love to have consumption on site," said Murphy. "We would be all for it for sure."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jordan Gill

Reporter

Jordan Gill is a CBC reporter based out of Fredericton. He can be reached at jordan.gill@cbc.ca.

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