CanEx Cannabis & Psychedelics Conference + Wellness Expo. Montego Bay, Jamaica, Oct 20-22- A Firstimer’s review.

In October 2023, around 1,500 ganja experts, enthusiasts, planters, and policymakers travelled to the Convention Centre in Montego Bay, Jamaica, for the sixth annual CanEx Global Cannabis and Psychedelics Conference.  

Minister of Information, Youth, Sports & Culture, Hon. Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange MP smells the marijuana-infused High Light candle presented by Zanesia Ceramics, Candles, and Crafts founder Paige Garnett.

The event featured presentations, exhibition booths, panel discussions, contributions from 50 local and international guest speakers, and a new element dedicated to wellness.  

One of the most insightful panels, ‘Intellectual Property (IP), Cannabis, and the Significance of Place,’ focused on the key issues concerning the development of an IP protection strategy for Jamaican cannabis. 

Intellectual Property, Cannabis and the Significance of Place panellists (l to r): University of the West Indies lecturers Dr Machel Emanuel, Dr Natalie Corthesy, and Yentyl Williams; adjunct professor at Carleton University and postdoctoral fellow at the University of New Brunswick Toby Moorsom; and attorney Dr Marcus Goffe

The panel’s host, associate dean of the faculty of law at the University of West Indies, Dr Natalie Corthesy, told Magazine: “My panel focused on research into the socioeconomic and cultural development potential of the cannabis plant and the intersection with IP rights. The panel comprised contributors to the forthcoming book Intellectual Property and Cannabis, the first interdisciplinary book on the subject.”

An integral component of CanEx 2023 was the 25 exhibition booths, which showcased a broad range of companies, including aromatherapy brand Zanesia, which specialises in ceramics, candles, and crafts, and Canada-based GrowerIQ, which develops easy-to-use software that helps ganja planters in 16 countries maintain high-quality reporting and compliance standards.

GrowerIQ’s vice president of sales, Rob Perry, said: “CanEx is great because it allows us to meet with some of the groups we work with. Additionally, the event exposes us to new aspects and innovations that we may need to think about. 

Vice president of sales at Toronto-based software company GrowerIQ- Rob Perry

“All the marketplaces are very different, and each country has had to take their own approach to legalisation based on the political, cultural, and commercial circumstances. I’m not an expert on the situation here in Jamaica, but there does seem to be good encouragement from the authorities as opposed to some countries that are a little bit more obstructive. 

“The Cannabis Licencing Authority and legalities are fairly advanced and conducive to commercial operation. Subsequently, we believe that Jamaica will remain a player in the legalised medical and recreational markets for some time.”

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