PEI

Cannabis conference coming to Charlottetown this weekend

Organizers of a cannabis conference happening in Charlottetown this weekend say events like these have become common elsewhere in Canada, and are long overdue in this region.

Organizers say the goal is to educate adults about legal cannabis consumption, and showcase the legal market

P.E.I.'s Cannabis Control Act prevents the display, distribution, sale or consumption of cannabis at an event, but the conference will feature 20 speakers discussing a range of topics. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

Organizers of a Cannabis Conference happening in Charlottetown this weekend say events like these have become common elsewhere in Canada, and are long-overdue on the Island.

Shaman Ferraro, CEO of GoCanna, a P.E.I.-based national cannabis tourism guide, is a lead organizer of the Atlantic Cannabis Conference & Expo. He said after attending cannabis conferences across the country he wanted to offer something similar locally.

Whether you choose to use cannabis or not, the reality is it's our responsibility as citizens to understand what the framework is.— Shaman Ferraro, GoCanna CEO

"Nothing like this really existed," he said, citing data from Statistics Canada showing that in the first six months of legalization, P.E.I. had the highest per capita retail sales and Nova Scotia the highest per capita consumption.  

"That just demonstrates that Atlantic Canadians are interested in the marketplace, they're engaging in the marketplace. They want to support legalization but they just haven't had the access to really learn about it."

No sale or consumption at event

P.E.I.'s Cannabis Control Act prevents the display, distribution, sale or consumption of cannabis at an event. But Ferraro said the goal of the conference is to help educate adults about legal cannabis consumption, and showcase what the legal marketplace has to offer in Atlantic Canada.

"We actually stipulated that in order to participate in the AC Expo you had to have your headquarters in the region, or you had to actively do business in the region," said Ferraro.

"And that really eliminated a lot of people in the industry but it also emphasized who the local stakeholders were, and it really made it the Atlantic cannabis industry and not just another cannabis conference."

The event will feature more than 20 speakers on topics ranging from cooking with cannabis, medicinal marijuana and cannabis in the workplace, to what can be expected once the legalization of edible products comes into effect this October.

"Whether you choose to use cannabis or not, the reality is it's our responsibility as citizens to understand what the framework is and understand what the marketplace is, so that we can make informed decisions," said Ferraro.

The event runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. this Saturday at the Delta. Attendees must be 19 or older.

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About the Author

Jessica Doria-Brown

Videojournalist

Jessica Doria-Brown is a videojournalist with CBC in P.E.I. Originally from Toronto, Jessica has worked for CBC in Newfoundland & Labrador, New Brunswick, and Ontario.

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