Spain’s cannabis conferences, the annual ICBC Barcelona and Spannabis trade shows, combined this year, forming a partnership that resulted in a super-conference that attracted the players, the would-be players, the wanna-be players and the curious. Awakening from the isolation of the Covid- forced hibernation, the conference was both a celebration, a debate and a reunion with various panels discussing a wide range of topics relevant to the industry.
Cannavigia CEO, Luc Richner was a panel participant on the topic of supply chain strategies to forward cannabis reform together with Medpayrx’s Marguerite Arnold and consultant Shlomo Booklin. The discussion, that can be seen if you scroll down or click here was lively and reflected diverse opinions, playing to a packed audience.
After the discussion both Luc Richner and Shlomo Booklin shared their impressions of Spain’s cannabis conferences.
Why is Spain’s cannabis conference so important?
Luc: It’s a big get together and for me it serves as a bridge between Europe and North America.
Shlomo : ICBC is very important for all the industry to meet and to help producers to connect.
What did Cannavigia do at Spain’s cannabis conferences?
Luc: We have been part of the fair for a long time. For us the chance to serve on the panel was very important and to reconnect after the winter break. It’s a very collaborative community. We are at the early stages of the industry and to be too competitive will inhibit growth, so it’s nice to work together for now.
Shlomo: I live in Canada and a lot of my clients are in Europe, so to have everybody in the same place is a good opportunity. We are a small industry and we are all part of a movement to work with each other. Together we are stronger. There are a lot of things in Europe to figure out.
Did you achieve your set goals?
Luc: Yes, very much so. We wanted to reconnect and we achieved that. It was good to be exposed to the Spanish speaking world and talk to the South American part of the industry. We were hoping for some more dynamics, but at the moment with Spain it seems to be one step forward, two steps backward.
Shlomo: For me it was difficult to negotiate because there was a lack of meeting rooms and not enough space to sit down and talk. At some point we were discussing stuff with potential clients on the steps outside the toilet. Hopefully they will have more seating in future for peaceful discussions.
How important are conventions like Spain’s cannabis conferences for a company like Cannavigia?
Luc: It’s a big door for us that opens the window of opportunity and help to build the network. It’s about personal connections and it’s important to meet new people and put yourself out there. We follow the market and putting yourself out there is a big part of the whole thing.
Shlomo: This is a business that is built on trust and it is difficult without the personal connection. That is a very important thing for me – the personal contact. Open the books and do things face to face.
Did the Corona virus and the accompanying lockdowns stimulate or restrict the cannabis industry?
Luc: A lot of businesses used the time to get their house in order. There was chaos before but the break has helped to implement some forward steps, especially in Germany where a lot of positive things have happened. There seems to be a new dynamic in the works, but we are still far away from being a mature industry.
Shlomo: Covid stalled a lot of businesses and accelerated some ideas and it has opened up some new ideas for those who survived.
After the conference, what were your impressions about the industry?
Luc: There is a lot of reactivism instead of pro-activism. We should change our thinking to figure out what is right. The legal framework needs to be built up before we can start taking chances.
Shlomo: The regulations are like Swiss cheese and there are too many people looking for the loopholes and how to outsmart it. We should stick to the rules. We are not stoners, we are a pharmaceutical industry. Moving from illegal to legal is not just flipping a switch. We should do it by the book and not look for shortcuts.