September 15 & 16, 2018
SFU Harbour Centre

Be a part of this incredible movement that will change the face of cannabis consumption in Canada

The Georgia Straight: Cannabis Thought Leaders Since 1967

When publisher Dan McLeod printed his first issue of the Georgia Straight in 1967, an entire two-page spread was dedicated to Peter Hlookoff ’s Bum-Tripper’s Guide, a column that detailed the benefits of cannabis use in an era when users were dubbed “hippies” and “beatniks”.

Fifty years later, our coverage of cannabis may lack the terminology of yesteryear, but you can be sure that our feisty takes and fearless approach are just as pro-cannabis as they were in the sixties.

Whether its politics, industry info, lifestyle tips, medical advice, or community news, we’re keen to inform our readers of the latest cannabis-related stories as they happen.

As we move forward, we look forward to participating in this growing industry and reaching an audience that is just as excited about cannabis as we are. The Grassroots Expo is an extension of what we have been doing for the past 50 years. Our solid history and reputable business experience has made us one of the most powerful independent media voices—not only in Vancouver—but in Canada.

In Association with

Groundwork Consulting

Jamie Shaw

Cannabis Policy Consultant; Partner, Groundwork Consulting

Travis Lane

Cultivating cannabis for over 20 years; Partner, Groundwork Consulting

Courtland Sandover-Sly

Partner, Groundwork Consulting

Take a peek: Speakers, panels, and workshops

* Topics subject to change/move dates.

Saturday, Sep 15 Sunday, Sep 16

The origin story: A brief history of cannabis

Despite the recent spike in mainstream popularity, cannabis has roots dating back thousands of years. From spiritual worship in nomadic societies to the resourcefulness born from hemp, weed has played an integral role in many cultures. A blend of activism, tradition, economics, therapeutic application, and recreational enjoyment has brought cannabis to the forefront—but where did it all start and how did it grow into a dominating plant driving conversation today? Join renowned advocate, lobbyist, and political consultant, Jamie Shaw, as she takes guests on a guided tour through one plant’s incredible and complex history.


Higher learning: The science of cannabis

What's the difference between a sativa and indica? Is CBD really non-psychoactive? What are terpenes? If you're starting your weed knowledge from scratch, or just need a refresher, this mini course is run by two of the top cannabis educators in the country. Enid and Adolfo have developed a comprehensive beginner's guide to understanding the fundamentals of the plant, including helpful resources and tools to enhance your learning.


Marijuana and matters of mental health

Is the jury still out on cannabis and mental health? While some research states that cannabis use can increase a person's risk for mental illness, many patients struggling with depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other related conditions have found significant relief with cannabis. A panel of industry experts help explain where this powerful plant fits into society's ongoing conversation about mental health.


Couples and Cannabis: Building a support system

We find strength in our teammates. Whether you are a patient suffering from a medical condition or a partner supporting their healing, exploring alternative treatments can be an incredibly difficult journey. Remo and Sandra know what it means to work together through a different set of challenges: They have built one of the industry’s most respected brands, but not without the battles that come with working in the grey market. Join these two cannabis couples as they share their stories of strength, communication, and how a strong support system helped them conquer the stigma that comes with cannabis.


Ask a Cannabis Lawyer: An interactive legal panel

Finding it hard to keep up with the tricky details of legalization? Come ready with questions! Two industry-defining lawyers, John Conroy and Kirk Tousaw, are here to answer your burning canna-queries and clarify the hazy misinformation surrounding the new laws and your rights as a consumer.


Green and clean: An organic approach to growing weed

The organic movement has won the hearts and minds of Vancouverites when it comes to food and health products—but what about our weed? As cannabis moves into the mainstream and mass production continues to grow, the question of what goes into our weed is fresh on the minds of many consumers. Join cannabis specialists and expert growers Sarah and Travis Lane as they breakdown the science and importance behind cultivating and consuming clean, unadulterated pot.


Growth and Reconciliation: Indigenous leadership in the cannabis industry

As Canada’s political and cultural attitudes shift, Indigenous leaders are fighting to secure a place for their communities in the cannabis conversation. From the traditional understandings of plant medicines to new economic opportunities, legalization affords the country’s First Nations a leadership role in defining the way we understand and approach regulation. Chief Robert Gladstone discusses why cannabis is an Indigenous issue and tells the story of one village’s journey out of prohibition.”


The pot talk: Breaking down cannabis for kids

As cannabis moves from an illicit drug to a medicine and recreational substance, it can be difficult to communicate that shift to a child. While schools are racing to keep up with the shifting social perceptions, parents and educators need tools now. A local expert will build a framework of myths, concerns, and age-appropriate conversation topics to touch on while talking to youth.


Groundwork Consulting: Starting your own small canna-business

From the basics of filing taxes to intricacies of navigating legal landmines, the tean at Groundworks Consulting is equipped to answer all your questions about starting a cannabis business of your own. With decades of combined knowledge, these three industry leviathans know the ins-and-outs of building a framework for success. After years spent establishing individually powerful profiles within the industry, Jamie Shaw, Travis Lane, and Courtland Sandover-Sly have combined forces to help growers, entrepreneurs, and budding businesses find their foothold in the cannabis space.


A New Era: Health Canada’s guide to the new cannabis regulations

After thousands of consultations and hundreds of hours dedicated to hearings, expert testimonies, and debates, the Cannabis Act received Royal Assent on June 21, 2018. This new legal framework was a major step in fulfilling Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s campaign promise to enact a public health approach to legalizing adult-use cannabis in Canada. Join David Brown, a senior Policy Advisor with Health Canada’s Cannabis Legalization & Regulation Branch, for a comprehensive presentation on the federal government’s journey to legalization and how the new regulations will shape the country come October 17.


Down to the DNA: Cannabis genetics 101

These days cannabis connoisseurs have a virtually limitless selection of strains to choose from. How did we get here? Cannabis researcher and breeder Ryan Lee takes us on a genetics journey, from the fundamentals of hybridization to the huge scope of phenotype matter expressions we see today.


The Other Pot Talk: Navigating cannabis with parents and seniors

Shifting a mindset that was raised during a staunch prohibition can be a tricky conversation – one that these cannabis industry experts are well-accustomed to having. This panel will guide guests through the steps of deconstructing myths and creating a safe place for a responsible introduction to cannabis use for parents and seniors. Joined by a private cannabis consultant, a registered nurse, and the business development lead from one of the country’s leading licensed producers, Canopy Growth, guests will hear a mix of viewpoints that will create a multifaceted approach to exploring weed for the aging demographic of cannabis curious consumers.


Beyond the White Noise: The impact of legalization on minority communities

Each individual has a unique relationship with cannabis—this is mirrored in the mosaic of different communities across Vancouver. Often the narrative of a white, middle-class perspective takes centre stage in the media, but rarely is it asked how various minorities experience the cultural and therapeutic impact of the plant. A handful of thought leaders from an assortment of cultural, socioeconomic, and ethnic backgrounds come together to discuss the impact of legalization on their community.


Move the Movement: A non-profit with a story to tell

With no place to collect or find medical success stories, Mark Hauk, the founder of The Saskatchewan Compassion Club, decided patients needed a place to come together—a support system to host a dialogue around therapeutic cannabis use. Move the Movement is a non-profit organization building a digital database of testimonials, one story at a time. Join the founders, advocates, and team leaders as they share the powerful and captivating story of one organization’s goal to tear down 95 years of stigma and shame.

The weedshop series

* Topics subject to change/move dates.

Saturday, Sep 15 Sunday, Sep 16

The weedshop series: Joint rolling 101

Say goodbye to stockpiling dispensary pre-rolls or begging your nimble-fingered friends to wrap up your weed. Craig Ex of the webcast Expert Joints is here to teach you to master the tricks and technique of rolling the perfect joint.


The weedshop series: Edibles 101

  • Brandon Wright

What once was relegated to homemade box-mix hash brownies has transformed into a diverse array of sophisticated and effectively dosed edible products. For those who aren’t partial to the smokier consumption methods, edibles provide a long-lasting and dose-controlled solution—a benefit that appeals especially to patients. Although the federal government has said the regulations on edibles will have to wait until a year after flower and oils are legalized, it hasn’t stopped pioneers from pushing forward with creating innovative and responsible products. The B.C. Independent Cannabis Association is proud to present a workshop with Brandon Wright, the director and CEO of Baked Edibles Inc., for a comprehensive look into the use, history, and science behind cannabis-infused edibles.”


The Weedshop Series: Consumption tools 101

  • Puff

There is so much more to cannabis consumption than joints and gummy bears. Join a local budtender as they breakdown the basics of the cool tools you'll find in your local head shop-bongs, dab rigs, pipes, and more. THis workshop is designed to help you find your favourite consumption method-highlighting everything from usage tips to cleaning and maintenance of your glassware.


The Weedshop Series: Extractions 101

With the rising demand for cannabis products, technologies and methods used for extracts are becoming more and more sophisticated. Despite their popularity, however, there is still a great deal of misinformation and confusion surrounding concentrates and how they play a role in consumption. Join Philip Kwong—the founder of the extraction companies Holistek Solutions and 3 Carbon Extracts—as he explains the fundamentals of cannabis concentrates, breaks down the extraction methods, and highlights the benefits of dabbing.


The Weedshop Series: Cannabis and Sex 101

Let’s talk about sex, baby! From enhancing sexual experiences and boosting your sex drive to managing pain and treating STDs, cannabis plays an important role in the bedroom. Laska Maria Freeman—host and founder of Sex Ed with a Twist—is accustomed to breaking through the stigma and getting right to the important information in a fun and educational way. Whether it’s about using cannabis between the sheets with a partner or exploring it for your own personal pleasure, this workshop will have you laughing, learning, and loving weed in a whole new way.


The Weedshop Series: A new kind of high school

  • (This session takes place at KPU in the concourse)

Want to work with weed but don’t know where to start? From budtenders and dispensary managers to consultants and analysts, the first step is knowledge. Join Kwantlen Polytechnic University and CanMar as they highlight the educational and career opportunities awaiting Canadians in the newly legal industry.


Grow like a Pro: Home cultivation for beginners

Come October 17, British Columbians will be able to grow up to four plants in the comfort of their own home. Interested in flexing your green thumb? Tom Ulanowski, the President of Nextleaf Labs Ltd., explains the fundamentals of indoor cultivation, from lighting and watering to nutrients and grow mediums. You’ll be growing beautiful, healthy buds of your own in no time!


Get in the Game: The role of cannabis in sports and an active lifestyle

You may have heard that cannabis can help treat medical conditions, but did you know athletes also use cannabinoids, like CBD and THC, to optimize their wellness routines? While some strains and consumption methods are great for chilling out, others can actually empower your active lifestyle. Join a panel of athletes and fitness instructors to discover how they use cannabis as an anti-inflammatory, muscle relaxant, energy booster, and more.


Weed behind the wheel: Cannabis and impaired driving

As the Cannabis Act made its way through the legislative process, so did the less publicized Bill C-46, which redefined the laws surrounding impaired driving. Sarah Leamon, a trained drug recognition expert and cannabis lawyer, breaks down impairment, risks, field sobriety tests, and your legal rights when it comes to driving and consuming.


My Local Dispensary: What’s happening inside your local pot shop?

With new regulations going into effect on October 17, consumers are going to see several dramatic shifts across the dispensary landscape. New stores will open, neighbourhood mom-and-pops will transition from “illicit” to “legal”, and some local favourites will inevitably close their doors. With municipalities asking for public feedback, it is now more important than ever to understand how local pot shops play a role in your community. Join a panel of dispensary owners and legal experts for a peak inside the brick-and-mortar cannabis shops as they move into a new era.


The exit drug? The role of cannabis in the opioid crisis

While much of North America is mired in an opioid crisis, Vancouver is at the forefront of harm reduction efforts that are changing the way people think about addiction. In Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, a number if grassroots organizations have come together to offer users an alternative to hard drugs: cannabis. Local experts and advocates will come together for a thoughtful and informative discussion on how cannabis can serve as a subsitute for opioids, alcohol, and more.


An L-Peak Inside: The inner workings of a licensed cannabis producer

The only cannabis set to supply the legal market come fall will come from federally authorized licensed producers (LP). The select organizations must adhere to strict guidelines on distribution, packaging, advertising, grow conditions, reporting practices, and more. Cam Battley is the CCO at Aurora Cannabis Inc. Join Cam for a look inside the inner workings of one of the countries leading LPs and the process legal cannabis goes through before hitting shelves in October.


Piper Courtenay

Cannabis Editor, The Georgia Straight

Ryan Lee

Founder Chimera Genetic Resource Management & Chemovar Corporation

Mark Hauk

Founder, Saskatchewan and National Compassion Clubs; CEO & Founder, Shelter; SVP Product Development, ChoomTM; President, Move the Movement Society

Angelina Blessed

Mauy Thai fighter & founder, Blessed Edibles

Annaliese Kibler

Regulatory Affairs Manager, Aurora Cannabis

David Brown

Sr. Policy Advisor with Health Canada's Cannabis Legalization & Regulation Branch

John Conroy

Barrister and Solicitor

Camille Ritchie

Cannatherapist and Ellementa Gathering Leader

Dr. Philippe Lucas

Vice President, Patient Research & Access, Tilray

Tom Ulanowski

President, Nextleaf Labs Ltd

Laska Maria Freeman

Founder and host of Sex Ed with a Twist

Chief Robert Gladstone

Chief Robert Gladstone, Elected chief from SHXWHA:Y Village

Kirk Tousaw

Barrister and Advocate, Tousaw Law Corporation

Adam Greenblatt

Business Development Lead, BC - Canopy Growth

Brandon Wright

Director and CEO of Baked Edibles Inc

Dr. Zach Walsh

Associate Professor of Psychology, University of British Columbia

Sarah Blyth

Founding Member, Overdose Prevention Society

Dave Weale

Founder of Grounded CBD

Rena Shields

Founder of iTraining, Owner of the Method Center

Andrea Dobbs

Co-Founder & Brand Manager, The Village

Enid Chen

Creative director/co-founder, CannaReps

Adolfo Gonzales

Seminar Leader/co-founder, CannaReps

Julie Domingo

CEO, CannaReps

Philip Kwong

Founder, 3 Carbon Extracts & Holistek Solutions

Sarah Lane

Plant scientist

Travis Lane

Cannabis Cultivator; Partner, Groundwork Consulting; Founder Levity Solutions

Jamie Shaw

Cannabis Policy Consultant; Partner, Groundwork Consulting

Courtland Sandover-Sly

Partner, Groundwork Consulting

Dr. M-J Milloy

Epidemiologist, Research scientist, BC Centre on Substance Use

Sarah Leamon

Criminal defence lawyer, partner at Leamon Roudette Law Group

Dr. Jenna Valleriani

Post doctoral fellow, and Strategic Advisor for Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy

Audrey Wong

Director, Provincial Distribution Partnerships at Aurora Cannabis

Liam Oster

Lawyer, Watson Goepel LLP

Barinder Rasode


Natasha Raey

Head of Public Relations, Sail Cannabis(MVC Technologies)

Grant Gottgetreu

Forensic consultant, former police officer

Sandra Colasanti

VP Business Development, Remo Brands

Remo Colasanti

Founder, Remo Brands

Walter Sorto

Managing Director, Sunrise Wellness Foundation

Craig Ex

Founder, CEO, Expert Joints

Caitlin Hurley

Caitlin Hurley, Vice President FARM dispensary

Judith Renaud

Judith Renaud, Executive Director, Educators for Sensible Drug Policy


Partner With Us

Join us at the beautiful UBC Robson Square facility in the heart of Downtown Vancouver, for what promises to be the most informative and educational event for the Lower Mainland’s cannabis curious. Email for details to see how you can participate as a sponsor or exhibitor!

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