First ‘West Coast’ Grow Up Conference and Expo in Victoria

Published on June 30, 2022 by Special to the oz.

An attendee at the conference Photo: Contributed
About 3,000 attended the Grow Up conference in Victoria in June.

The inaugural Grow Up Conference and Expo held in Victoria from June 20-22, 2022, brought a legendary line-up of industry speakers to the stage, and hosted more than 3,000 people from across the globe.

The successful three-day expo started with headlining speaker Jim Belushi. He spoke of his life experiences that led him to pursue his passion for cannabis cultivation and his journey with Belushi’s Farm.

Grow Up Conference and Expo president Randy Rowe says he was thrilled with the turnout and engagement at the first BC show.

“It was incredible to receive the warm welcoming of the Songhees Nation and Lekwungen People, along with the BC cannabis community, for the inaugural Grow Up Conference on the West Coast. With both local and international industry veterans attending and speaking, there was electric energy throughout the busy three days. It truly shows the deep roots of cannabis in the province, and we look forward to coming back to B.C. for another show in 2023,” says Rowe.

Closing keynote Ted Smith, Founder of the Victoria Cannabis Buyer’s Club, reflected on the road from legacy to legalization with expert lawyer Kirk Tousaw, sharing his views on the challenges and hurdles ahead for an inclusive, thriving cannabis industry in Canada.

Jim Belushi speaking at the Grow Up Conference Photo: Contributed
Actor and cannabis advocate Jim Belushi spoke at the Grow Up conference in Victoria.

Highlights of the first Grow Up Conference and Expo

The Focus on Indigenous Cannabis and Plant Medicines
Local Songhees Nation Chief Ron Sam provided the welcoming for the expo. Additional speakers include Albert Eppinga (BC Cannabis), Otis Jasper (Sacred Circle) and Darwin Douglas (All Nations Cannabis Corp), who discussed diversity and inclusion within cannabis, and the importance of incorporating Indigenous people, culture and values into all levels of the industry.

Grow at Home with Ed Rosenthal, The Guru of Ganja

Renowned Master Grower Ed Rosenthal hosted the first Grow at Home workshop to approximately 100 eager attendees. People learned hands-on from the grow master how to cultivate top-notch cannabis for personal use, the best way to preserve terpenes when harvesting and curing flower, and the basics needed to set up the first grow.
The Guru of Ganja, Ed Rosenthal, dropped nuggets of wisdom for fellow master growers, home growers and those looking to explore cannabis cultivation.

A Look Ahead at Psychedelics

With the emerging psychedelics industry, crowds of attendees tuned in to hear University of British Columbia (UBC) Professor Zach Walsh speak about this medicine’s future as the legalization momentum builds. Walsh, along with industry experts including Dr. Hyder Ali Khoja (Serenus Global, Inc), Dr. Lucas McCann (CannDelta Inc.), Dr. Anita Sanan (Entheomed) and Sabrina Ramkellawan (MAPs), discussed the therapeutic applications of psychedelics, along with the challenges and potential of future treatment.

The Extraction Zone
The extraction curious and enthusiast gathered with globally respected hash extraordinaire Marcus ‘Bubbleman’ Richardson, who shared his vast knowledge about cannabis extracts from decades of experience. More than 400 attendees listened intently about the latest developments in concentrates, delving into the science, essential equipment and various methods driving cannabis extraction’s evolution.

Grow Up Master Class Technical Sessions

The two-day intensive deep dive masterclass technical workshop led by Dr. Av Singh took attendees in-depth on everything cultivation and how happy people are equal to happy plants, leading to better products. Notable speakers included Master Growers Genevieve Newton (Stewart Farms), Annaliese Kibler (Aurora Cannabis), Dustan MacLean (Parkland Flower), and Mat Beren (Great Gardener Farms) and Amit Nagi (Aja labs).

Simon Smit, Founder of Serious Seeds, shared his award-winning insights into cannabis genetics, breeding and seeds, along with his principle of what it takes to grow great cannabis.

Budtender Day

BZAM Cannabis hosted a dedicated day for Budtenders with Grow Up, including a luncheon for budtenders to connect with brands, growers and educators. The dedicated sessions featuring The Budtender’s Association provided insights on career advancement opportunities, how to adapt their skills to enter other areas of the industry, and a chance to share their challenges with retailers and store owners.

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