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article imageSaint John, New Brunswick to host World Cannabis Conference

By Karen Graham     Jun 9, 2018 in Business
Saint John - Members of the marijuana industry will be in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada beginning Sunday evening for the inaugural opening of the World Cannabis Congress.
The global conference, the first-ever event of its kind, is being presented and hosted by Civilized and has corporate social responsibility practices reflected throughout the event.
Additionally, Waste-reduction initiatives and carbon off-setting have been major factors in the strategic planning of the World Cannabis Congress (WCC) being held at the Saint John Trade and Convention Centre from June 10 to 12, 2018.
"A strong approach to social responsibility is a priority for Civilized and the World Cannabis Congress team," says Derek Riedle, CEO, and Publisher of Civilized and Co-Chair of the World Cannabis Congress. "Instead of speaker gifts, for example, we're planting 1,000 trees to offset our carbon footprint. Business goals and environmental sustainability must go hand in hand."
Smoldering trees covered by smoke above homes as seen from Stanfield Cutoff at the east end of Big B...
Smoldering trees covered by smoke above homes as seen from Stanfield Cutoff at the east end of Big Bear Lake on August 24, 2015
Major topics for discussion will include global cannabis innovation, enhancing business practices and advancing policy reform. Another topic that will create a lot of discussions is the branding challenge for Canadian cannabis companies.
Health Canada requires that marijuana packages be a single, uniform color without images or graphics other than the logo and a health warning, reports the Toronto Star.
“We have to find creative ways to market our product and differentiate ourselves while remaining within the regulations,” said Ray Gracewood, the chief operating officer for Organigram, a Moncton, N.B.-based medicinal cannabis producer that is ready to enter the recreational market.
Growing cannabis for medical use demands careful supervision of active ingredients such as tetrahydr...
Growing cannabis for medical use demands careful supervision of active ingredients such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which gives recreational users their high but is not recommended for all patients, particularly children
Jack Guez, AFP
Gracewood along with many others feels that for the market to take off in the recreational marijuana sector, brands will need to be developed to keep out the black market trade.
“Without the opportunity to develop a brand that’s targeted in a responsible way to responsible adults, it allows the industry to be exposed to the illicit market and the continued growth of the illicit market where brands do exist and amazing packaging does exist,” he said.
Gracewood said unless producers are able to be competitive within the regulations, people will be forced to look for loopholes. “I don’t think that is the intention, but there is a good chance that may become the end result.”
Hard rock band Kiss
Hard rock band Kiss
Brian Lowe
Rock stars buying into the industry
In March this year, Vancouver-based Invictus MD, a licensed cannabis producer, brought on KISS co-founder Gene Simmons as “chief evangelist officer” and investor. Simmons, who says he has never smoked pot in his entire life - is “bullish” on Invictus. So much so that he has bought $10 million in stock with the company.
Meanwhile, Ontario-based Newstrike Resources Ltd. has brought on the Tragically Hip as a creative partner and shareholder. Organigram recently announced several new brands, including Trailer Park Buds, as part of a partnership with the people responsible for the “Trailer Park Boys” television show.
More about world cannabis conference, Canada, Branding, Corporate responsibility, Business