April 7 & 8, 2018
UBC Robson Square

Be a part of this incredible movement that will change the face of Healthcare 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.

A Weekend You Won’t Want To Miss

The Grassroots Expo will feature exhibit halls filled with businesses showcasing their products and services to our audience, so they can learn everything they need to know about this vibrant industry. From health to business and investing to education, this event will be a must for everyone!

With the intention of connecting Vancouverites with some of Canada’s leading cannabis educators, brands, and start-up companies and answering their questions through speakers involved in all levels of the cannabis industry, Grassroots will give consumers a more intimate experience than other, more business-focused cannabis events. With experts and exhibitors from the medical field to the grow facility and the courthouse to the production lab, we’ll cover every facet of the emerging industry in a way that won’t overwhelm the cannabis-curious, without boring the lifelong user.

Panels Schedule

* Topics subject to change/move dates. Views expressed in presentations are those of the speakers and Georgia Straight advertising does not constitute an endorsement of the vendor or speaker's views, products or services.

Saturday, April 7 Sunday, April 8

Cannabis and cancer: The last resort

Despite nearly two-decades of medical legality, we are only just beginning to grasp the full potential of cannabinoid treatment. Frustrated with conventional medicine, patients are turning to alternatives to aid in their recovery. Two outspoken survivors join the conference to share their cannabis success stories and explain how the plant helped them overcome their disease.


Kids, caretakers and cannabis: The story of Kyla's Quest

Caring for a child with a debilitating medical condition is never easy, but when conventional treatments fail to work and the only remaining option is one shrouded in stigma, the challenges parents and families face can seem insurmountable. In this panel, grandmother Elaine Nuessler speaks to the struggle (and joy) of finding the right treatment for an epileptic child, while local experts weigh on how medical cannabis can be an effective treatment for children suffering from certain conditions.


Women and weed: Understanding health and self-care

From a history rooted in feminism down to fundamental biology, women have a unique and complex relationship with weed. Three leading ladies of Vancouver’s cannabis industry take the stage to discuss how the flower can play a role in self-healing, empowerment and overall wellness.


A safe alternative: Cannabis and the aging body

As we age, our bodies become subjected to an increasing number of conditions that ultimately take away from our quality of life. While Western medicine can offer relief, more and more seniors are turning to cannabis to help relieve their aches, pains, and tremors and reduce unpleasant side effects that often come with other drugs. Join caretakers as well as local and national industry experts for a discussion on how cannabis can provide relief, and ultimately, a softer landing for ailing seniors.


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 reliefwith marijuana. Author of the largest, most up-to-date review of medical cannabis and mental health Dr. Zach Walsh will help explain where this powerful plant fits into society’s ongoing conversation about mental health.


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 of grassroots organizations have come together to offer users an alternative to hard drugs: cannabis. Two local experts on the subject will join activist Sarah Blythe for a thoughtful but informative discussion on how cannabis can serve as a substitute for opioids, alcohol, and more.


Craft growth: Setting the stage for legalization

As the buzz for legal cannabis has grown, the growers and cultivators of some of B.C.’s finest craft cannabis have been left wondering where their place in the new market will be. Craft growers, local lawyers and a government relations expert will discuss the transitions ahead for small-scale cultivators who are eager to participate in Canada’s burgeoning legal market.


Cooking with cannabis: The evolution of infusion

What once was relegated to box-mix hash brownies and pot gingersnaps has transformed into a sophisticated culinary art. We sit down with Chris Sayegh, The Herbal Chef, and Mary Jean “Watermelon” Dunsdon, to discuss the evolution and science behind cannabis-infused cooking.


Patients with patience: A journey to better health

While Phil Kwong and John de Villa both have very different stories and suffer from very different conditions, a common theme ties themtogether: When conventional medicine failed to provide them with ample quality of life, they turned to cannabis—but the road to better health wasn’t as simple as smoking a joint. Find out how these brave men used themselves as “guinea pigs” and what they’re doing now to help other, like-minded patients.


Relief and reefer: A guide to pain management

With a spectrum ranging from body aches to chronic discomfort, pain relief is one of the most common reasons people turn to cannabis. A panel of experts discuss the science behind why the flower is so effective and how you can incorporate it into your own pain management routine.


Leaders in weed: A look behind the curtain

To the outsider, Canada’s burgeoning cannabis industry might seem one-dimensional, but on the inside, it’s anything but: Between laboratories, cultivators, lifestyle brands, lobby groups, processors and manufacturers, it’s an industry rich with diverse perspectives, colourful characters and big dreamers who are eager to change the way cannabis is perceived by society.


What new laws mean for you: Driving, youth restrictions, and more

At times, the stream of information coming from the recreational legalization of cannabis seems endless. Despite all the talk, many Canadians are still left wondering what to expect after July 1. Our panel of legal experts and policy makers dissect and define some of the most important changes to the federal and provincial legislation.


Our roots: Exploring Vancouver's cannabis history

For 95 years Canadians have been fighting to remove the chains surrounding cannabis. It was the perseverance and bravery of advocates from all sectors that managed to gradually shift the culture, community and attitudes toward a more inclusive society. This panel brings together some of Vancouver’s most iconic weed warriors to discuss how the city played a role in shaping the national discourse and ending prohibition.

Breakout Sessions

* Topics subject to change/move dates. Views expressed in presentations are those of the speakers and Georgia Straight advertising does not constitute an endorsement of the vendor or speaker's views, products or services.

Saturday, April 7

Cannabis consumer Q+A with lawyer Liam Oster

Bring your best cannabis questions to this interactive session with lawyer Liam Oster of Watson Goepel LLP. Liam will have answers for your questions on everything from drug-impaired driving laws to how to obtain cannabis legally and safely in accordance with the federal government’s plan for legalization.


Cannabis 101: A basics course with Sunrise Wellness

Join Walter Sorto, director of Sunrise Wellness for this interactive session on cannabis basics. Walter delves into the origins of the cannabis plant, its historic and contemporary uses, different preparations of cannabis, and how to use them effectively.


Know your medicine: How to read a COA

So, you went and got your medicinal cannabis tested, and you now have a Certificate of Analysis. But what does it mean? How do you read it? How do you interpret the results? Join Dr. Jaclyn Thomson, Director of R&D at Northern Vine Labs, as she walks you through the nuts and bolts of understanding a COA.


Cannabis, CBD, and your pet

Does cannabis have practical applications for your pet? You bet it does, but there are important things to remember when looking for the right products before administering cannabis to your four-legged friend. Join veterinarian Dr. Katherine Kramer of Vancouver Animal Wellness Hospital for an enlightening discussion geared to Vancouver pet owners.


Hilary Black

Director of Patient Education and Advocacy, Canopy Growth

John Conroy

Barrister and Solicitor

Dr. Philippe Lucas

Vice President, Patient Research & Access, Tilray

Christopher Sayegh

The Herbal Chef

Kirk Tousaw

Barrister and Advocate, Tousaw Law Corporation

Dr. Zach Walsh

Associate Professor of Psychology, University of British Columbia

Scott Bernstein

Senior Policy Analyst, Canadian Drug Policy Coalition

Sarah Blythe

Founding Member, Overdose Prevention Society

Piper Courtenay

Cannabis Writer, The Georgia Straight

Joanne Crowther

Survivor and Advocate for Medical Cannabis Use

John De Villa

Andrea Dobbs

Co-Founder & Brand Manager, The Village

Mary Jean Dunsdon


Adolfo Gonzales

Seminar Leader, CannaReps

Dr. Pippa Hawley B.Med, FRCPC (PM)

Division Head of UBC Palliative Care

William Hayley

Digital Project Manager

David Hutchinson RAF (rtd)

Danielle Jackson (Miz D)

Cannatherapy Consultant

Annaliese Kibler

Regulatory Affairs Manager, Aurora Cannabis

Dr. Katherine Kramer

Veterinarian, Vancouver Animal Wellness Hospital

Philip Kwong

Travis Lane

Founding Director, BC Independent Cannabis Association

Rob Laurie

International Lawyer, Writer and Speaker

David Malmo-Levine

Siobhan McCarthy

Sales and Marketing Manager, Northern Vine Labs

Steven Mckee

Farrell Anne Miller

Student at Law, Lewin & Sagara LLP

Dr. M-J Milloy

Epidemiologist, Research scientist, BC Centre on Substance Use

Rosy Mondin

President and CEO, Quadron Cannatech

Cam Noble

Founder, Peak Wellness Canada Ltd.

Elaine Nuessler

Liam Oster

Lawyer, Watson Goepel LLP

Jonathan Page, PhD

Co-founder and CEO, Anandia Labs

Barinder Rasode


Terry Roycroft

President MCRCI & Croft Consulting Inc.

Dr. Natasha Ryz, PhD, MSc, BSc

Chief Science Officer, Zenabis

Jamie Shaw

Government Relations Director, MMJ Canada

Arnold Shoichet

Medical Director, Medicinal Cannabis Resource Centre in Vancouver

Amanda Siebert

Cannabis Editor, Georgia Straight

Walter Sorto

Managing Director, Sunrise Wellness Foundation

Dan Sutton

Founder and Managing Director, Tantalus Labs

Salimeh Tabrizi, M.Ed

Founder, Cannabis Hemp Conference & Expo

Jaclyn Thomson

Director of Research and Development, Northern Vine Labs

Selena Wong

CEO, Flower of Life Integrative Health

Clint Younge

CEO, MMJ Canada

Shega Youngson

National Community Engagement Manager, Canopy Growth Corporation

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 info@craftcannabisweekend.ca for details to see how you can participate as a sponsor or exhibitor!

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