The event, whose hallmark is to bridge producers and retailers, left many with an optimistic takeaway at the end of two days at Exhibition Place.
Toronto’s now second Hall of Flowers, with its free-flowing exchanges both in conversation and product samples, kickstarted the Fall season with attendees leaving with bags brimming with colourful packs of innovative adult-use cannabis products – from infused maple candies, hash sodas, engraved vape pens and botanical blunt paper pre-rolls.
Exhibitors had this to say about the event:
Greg Pantelic, founder and CEO, AHLOT
“It’s been great – a good turnout, a good amount of retailers…We don’t do a lot of these industry events, but [Hall of Flowers] is one we go deep on.
“[Between 2018 and 2023], it’s night and day. It’s a lot more, I’ll say, competitive and saturated. That said, I think there are points of progress, there’s been progress over the years, but I think it’s still far from the progress we all hoped out the gate, but progress has been made, at least we’re able to give out samples; we’re able to show off product and get it in the hands of our customers.
“[We’re most excited about] continued growth in the industry. We’d love to see some maturation, would love to see some changes in policy to make it more commercially viable, some reforms in government around excise taxes, but all in all at the end of the day a lot of people sacrificed for us to have the opportunity to sell this product legally.”
Madison Trumble, Pax Vaporizer
“It’s been incredible! It’s been super busy. We had over 500 attendees yesterday, and 350 budtenders today, so it gives people a chance to connect with the cannabis community and share all the innovation that’s been going on.
“Even though it’s been [five years since legalization] the industry is still really young, there’s a lot of growth to be done, we’re still learning every day about consumer needs, about retail needs as well, and how we can better meet them in terms of product initiatives and promotions. So we’re learning a lot, but I think we’re heading in the right direction. I think it’s mostly positive and everyone is contributing in their own way.”
This year’s event had many companies showing off all new ways consumers can enjoy cannabis. Matt Cherkas, co-founder of Sheesh Hash Soda products, was present to offer samples of his company’s new black cherry hash cola, infused with 10mg of THC.
Representatives of Zèle, a hand brewed cannabis-infused craft beverage brand, were also present to share the Edmonton company’s story.
Jonathan Martin, national brand manager, Bubble Bud Inc.
“It’s been a really great event for us just to be able to engage with retailers and honestly the community. As an Edmonton-based brand, we’re not getting out to Ontario as much, so to engage with the retailers, really get to know their teams from all the way from the inventory buyers to the budtenders, getting to present the brand to them but not have to travel between all the different locations from Edmonton to here. It’s a really great opportunity for us to showcase our product.”
Hall of Flowers proved the cannabis industry has much to be excited about. “Vice Papa” Max Benitah, and his team from Papa’s Herb were steadily handing out infused “blunts” made from chamomile leaves, for an alternative to traditional blunt papers.
Aurora proved there’s no such thing as too much THC with their new 50 per cent THC pre-rolls.
And Jen Meyers, founder and CEO of Manna, a producer of cannabis infused maple sugar candies, was present to offer an edible cognizant of the vast array of cannabis experiences consumers may be looking for.