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Growth, Optimism and Excitement Radiates from Hall of Flowers, Toronto

Toronto's third Hall of Flowers event reunited cannabis producers, retailers and industry experts for a dynamic exchange on market trends, product innovation and regulatory challenges

June 7, 2024  By Jake Hribljan


Hall of Flowers, Toronto

In the nine months passed since Toronto hosted its second Hall of Flowers, the third iteration of this event, which brings producers, retailers, distributors, regulators and others who breathe cannabis into a living brainstorm discussing hot products, market trends and obstacles yet to overcome, the overwhelming consensus among attendees was Hall of Flowers is an industry defining event.

“I feel like I come here to know what’s going to be trending…six-to-eight months from now,” said Adriana Magana, media relations manager for Nova Scotia based LP Aqualitas. Magana noted the experience of Hall of Flowers is invaluable for the opportunities to connect with retailers and other LPs, in order to get a better sense of the overall market and learn where the market is heading. “You get so much exposure when it comes to retailers, budtenders and the general public…I just feel like Ontario is in a completely different level when it comes to cannabis,” said Magana.

This year’s event, with no shortage of product samples and examples of continued innovation, had a marked atmosphere of excitement and positivity surrounding the broadening and maturation of a near six-year-old legal domestic market.

“In 2024, I’m very optimistic,” said Tanner Stewart, CEO of Stewart Farms. “We’re seeing a lot of the mediocre weed supply flush out of the system, we’re seeing mediocre product flush out of the system…the top [products] are rising further to the top.”

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LPs and retailers alike reiterated Hall of Flowers’ importance in bringing cannabis industry stakeholders together in a way that is not always possible for smaller or mid-sized players. “We’re a small family business based on the north shore of Montreal, not well known yet in the OCS market,” said Yan-Olivier Masse, quality assurance manager for Microcannabi.

Masse noted Hall of Flowers provides an opportunity for smaller producers to gain national and regional attention from the strength of their product by offering samples and meeting customers and retailers directly. “Getting your name out there is a big one for us…I think our products are speaking for themselves,” said Masse.

Conversation flowed between LPs about the rising intelligence of cannabis consumers, avenues for immense growth and the many challenges and obstacles which still exist in an evolving market.

“If you’re trying to promote a stock or make a buck on Bay Street, you’re probably thinking it’s a terrible sector right about now,” said Peter Miller, owner of Creemore based LP Purple Hills. “But the all-time highs [in dollar figure sales] were just hit in Ontario from the OCS.”

Miller mentioned that packaging constrains and regulations have somewhat dampened a market ready to bloom. Farmgate stores being one opportunity where legislators and regulators should take a different approach. “Our municipality is being really difficult about [farmgate stores],” said Miller. “A lot of what makes our product special comes from our regenerative practises, our soil and the microclimate we operate in…to have that next level and allow purchasing through the farm gate, that would be really special.” For a LP like Purple Hills, which operates in a small community like Creemore, but acts as a large local employer and a large contributor to the property tax base, Miller believes legislators should take a different approach with LPs.

Packaging constraints and regulation was on the mind of many LPs as participants expressed concern that Health Canada regulations may have become excessive, or in some instances, contradictory.

“The child resistance requirements are extremely excessive and uncalled for in most instances,” said Tanner Stewart. While the federal government promotes a public attitude of being environmentally friendly and environmentally conscious, that isn’t necessarily reflective of policy argued Stewart. “You can’t say we need to tax people’s behaviours into more environmentally friendly purchasing decisions and then legislate environmentally destructive packaging regulations, that is called true hypocrisy,” said Stewart.

John Strauss, Ontario sales manager for Carmel Cannabis, agreed that Health Canada regulations have become excessive as it relates to packaging, and that over regulation negatively impacts brand building and brand identity through packaging. “You often can’t do what you want to do with packaging because it doesn’t follow suit with Health Canada,” said Strauss. “And trying to find more environmentally sustainable packaging is challenging.”

Wellness products with a focus on minor cannabinoids were well represented at the event, as many producers and retailers are now targeting a health and wellness economy valued as much as $5 trillion globally. Flower still reigns supreme for consumers, and many producers and retailers are looking at trends in the U.S. market, focusing on disposable vaporizers and edibles.

Overall Toronto’s third Hall of Flowers proved to be a success, with first time attendees and previous attendees all agreeing the Canadian cannabis market is trending positive and there’s much to be excited about going forward. Hall of Flowers has solidified itself as a must attend event for those on the forefront of all things cannabis.


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