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From the Editor: A kaleidoscope of cannabis

Welcome to the Spring 2024 issue of Grow Opportunity magazine

March 21, 2024  By Haley Nagasaki

Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica L.), a nutritious perennial herb among the first to appear in late winter/early spring. Photo: Adobe Stock

With the decline in alcohol consumption statistics, and adult use cannabis sales on the rise, it’s clear that the work being done in this field is championing a profound cultural shift to which we’re all bearing witness. But this charge is a tall order, and consumers demand transparency and consistent, quality products to elicit the brand loyalty we all covet.

Beyond the stale rooms of legislation, why else is quality assurance at the forefront of each cannabis operation? Beyond stringent regulatory compliance, the QAP is responsible for meeting the highest product standards; turning consumers into fans. It’s not just about getting people high, it’s about the experience, the story, the engagement with industry – be it at events or over social – and knowing that what you’re consuming is none other than the best.   

Our Spring issue digs into themes of quality assurance – a thread we at Grow Opportunity  will continue to trace using the results of our Industry Survey that I will present live at our virtual summit taking place mid-May beneath the broad QA umbrella. I would also like to take a moment to welcome Mariana Black, QAP at GlassHouse Botanics, as a new columnist (and future event speaker) who, in this issue, shares key lessons from the EU-GMP certification process.

Retail makes an appearance this season as Denis Gertler returns to speculate on behalf of some of the bold moves potentially underway in the Ontario cannabis retail sector, as “the Ontario government shows a willingness to upend retail more generally,” he says.


And as the collective gatekeepers of the cannabis market, the custodians of the good vibes, we welcome back our Budtenders column, this time with Marigold CEO Katie Pringle presenting findings from their latest survey on the eve of Tether’s B-Week taking place later this month. 

To the budtenders helping guide the cannabis experience with expertise and enthusiasm, we salute you! 

Also on the docket this month, a new podcast with cannabis lawyer Rob Laurie, founder of Ad Lucem Law Corporation, as a pilot to perhaps a larger series on, well, drugs, in attempts to better understand and unravel the tangled legal tapestry.

Laurie takes us through a labyrinth of drug laws, offering insights, anecdotes and perhaps a dash of irreverence to keep things interesting.

Stay tuned for the first episode to drop near the end of March. 

A big thank you to Michael Forbes as well for sharing his business narrative, from top to bottom. Speaking of good stories, the Forbes Group certainly belongs in that category. What I find most striking about Forbes’ journey is the state of health spectrum covered by his companies, from basic human necessities to essential therapies such as cannabis and psilocybin, and the extracurricular self-care modalities (embodied by Ageless Living) that couldn’t be more fitting for our modern era and contemporary priorities.

Forbes also proposes a simpler solution to the regulation of psilocybin mushrooms, rather than reliving the complexities of the Cannabis Act. He outlines the possibility of mushroom production in cannabis facilities and the sale of psilocybin and psilocin-containing products in cannabis retail dispensaries, instating a Cannabis and Psilocybin Act. 

Logical, right?

As we look ahead in anticipation of the rest of a fantastic year in cannabis, with in-person events now coupled with new advancements on sampling and consumption in the West, there is much to be excited about. 

We’ll see you at Grow Up Conference & Expo back in Toronto later this Spring for the Executive Summit and another round of awards. And until next time, stay positive, stay curious and stay true to the spirit of cannabis!

In progress & possibility. 

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