In March 2022, Cannavigia secured its own stand at the 2022 Cannabis Expo in Cape Town. This expo is considered to be the largest Cannabis trade and consumer expo on the African continent, not only connecting all related businesses within the Cannabis industry but also highlighting the various medicinal, agricultural, financial and lifestyle aspects.
Our guy in Johannesburg, Wesley Petzer, was a part of the team attending the Expo – these were his impressions.
What is your conclusion of the Cannabis Expo Cape Town?
You know a cannabis convention is worth its salt when the average consumer complains that it wasn’t stoner orientated enough, which just means that business took precedence, and it shows that the industry is moving forward. After many attempts in various other South African cities, the expo in Cape Town finally got the mix right – on brand, the right vibe and focused on business.
There was a good mix of businesses and networking across the industry. There were plenty of outside parties looking to break into the cannabis industry and become part of the cannabis value chain, think pest control companies like the type you would associate with the retail or catering industry.
What makes Cape Town different from other areas in South Africa?
Cape Town has a variety of specialist agriculturists which gives it its edge. A lot of these people have been watching quietly from the sidelines and are now shifting their focus to cannabis. For example, your top-end winemakers have been involved with high standard and quality-controlled exports for years, and as such have built up a great network and knowledge hub. Another example is a company that does wine testing, and has been doing it for nearly two decades, and they are now shifting focus to the cannabis industry by looking into cannabis testing. Other than the local expertise and experience, there is also a lot of old money in Cape Town, which will allow for further investment and development in the industry.
Where do you see the future of the Cannabis Expo?
As much as the industry is nothing without its consumers, there really should be a more distinct separation between business and consumer markets, perhaps two different expos or exhibitor vs consumer (public) expo days.