By: Jonathan Hiltz, Guest Contributor.
The cannabis sector has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years. As legalization has matured, the industry has developed into a complex web of businesses, regulations, and innovations.
Although the sector is clearly expanding, the ride to get there has been both fraught with turbulence and blessed with revenue. Those who get involved should know where the hotspots are to do business, and more importantly where they aren’t.
While many cannabis events exist, few manage to draw high-level executives and decision-makers who steer this rapidly growing industry's course. Enter Hall of Flowers, a series of events that defy convention.
With its roots in California, this B2B gathering has successfully created a platform for cannabis brands and retailers to connect, collaborate, and innovate.
The Genesis of Hall of Flowers
In 2018, Hall of Flowers made its debut in Santa Rosa, California, with the goal of bridging the gap between cannabis brands and retailers.
Hall of Flowers brought a refreshing approach to the cannabis industry. Rather than focusing on the consumer market, it was tailored exclusively for business-to-business interaction. This marked a significant departure from the conventional cannabis expos, which often catered primarily to consumers.
The events in California and eventually Nevada played a pivotal role in fostering relationships between cannabis brands and retailers. These connections led to partnerships, product collaborations, and a deeper understanding of the evolving market.
Toronto: The International Expansion
In 2022, Hall of Flowers made its much-anticipated international debut in Toronto, Canada. This expansion was a testament to the event's success and the ongoing global appeal of the cannabis industry.
The 2023 event proved to be another strong outing at the Enercare Centre in the Downtown West end. Heavy hitters in the Canadian market that included Carmel, Aurora, and Motif Labs, had eye-catching displays and many samples.
Motif had arguably the coolest setup with a 1970’s red hotrod that had a smoke machine inside, to promote its popular consumer brand BoxHot. Pax Labs, a company that continues to innovate the vape space both with their technology and their cannabis products, was on-hand doing custom engraved vapes.
Prominently representing the beverage space was Collective Project, an Ontario-based drink manufacturer with some of the most unique flavors in the market. They had refrigerated drinks at the booth and also a slushie machine.
Aurora Cannabis debuted its new brand TASTY’S at the show this year. TASTY’S are a series of products that include whole-milled flower infused pre-rolls enhanced with botanical terpenes, and 510 vapes that offer up to 1000mg of THC.
Beyond the spectacles, product launches, and give-aways, was the most important and substantive reason to go to Hall of Flowers Toronto in general, and that was the attendance of decision-makers. On the show floor, bumping into VP’s, heads of sales, Directors of Development, and even CEOs, was commonplace and many were seemingly receptive to discuss business.
Hall of Flowers Toronto 2023 was a fantastic reflection of the best the Canadian industry has to offer, and an optimistic example for the future of the Canadian sector.
About the Author: Jonathan Hiltz has been a journalist in the cannabis industry since 2016 when he became the international correspondent for the Weedmaps-owned Marijuana.com. In 2018, he published a book about the ongoing legalization of cannabis in North America and around the world.