This time, the area allocated for the event was 4 times larger than the one fitted for the 2019 edition in order to arrange an extended fair with health precautions at the well-established La Rural place. With activities scheduled from October 15th to 17th, people of all ages walked across the 12,000 m2 venue provided for Expocannabis Argentina 2021.
More than 120 national and international brands displayed their products in stands distributed over two rooms: a general room and a medical cannabis room. The novelty of this edition was the presentation of new projects, ranging from cannabis varieties to machinery for industrial-scale manufacturing. Still, no cannabis plant, flower, or seed could be shown due to the prohibition that is still imposed on this plant and its byproducts in Argentina. Until regulation is signed into law, other plant species will continue to be used for demonstration purposes.
Argentine Government Winks at Legalisation
Expo Cannabis has proven that industrial opportunities are more than just estimations and Argentina offers a great potential. For the first time, federal government officers have attended the exhibition and expressed their sympathy for cannabis industrialisation and its medical applications.
During his time on the floor, Argentine Minister of Productive Development Matías Kulfas stressed: “We will do everything within our reach to see the birth of the cannabis industry. Quality products will lead to higher selling prices. We wish to improve nation branding.” Apart from this, Kulfas claimed that this is “an opportunity that could create around 10 thousand new jobs and a USD 500 million market, as well as bringing in USD 50 million from exports, in a 3-to-4-year term.”
The minister showed his enthusiasm when divulging how this sector is expanding in provinces such as La Rioja, San Juan, and Jujuy, which are already developing, studying, and researching cannabis in the Argentine Northwest.
Apart from Kulfas, the exhibition was attended by other federal government officers who are drafting the prospective regulatory structure of the cannabis industry: Alexandre Roig, head of the National Institute of Alternative Work Organisations and Social Economy, and Gabriel Giménez, Federal Articulation Director at the National Institute of Seeds.
Legal and Medical Queries All Over the Place
It is remarkably fruitful to know how countries without cannabis regulation laws study and make use of seeds and byproducts. Maybe this explains the massive turnout and the crowd surrounding the stands set up by these two institutions at Expo Cannabis to answer enquiries related to many topics, from application forms to register a new plant variety to guidance to establish a cooperative related to any of the many steps of the chain of cannabis production.
Queries on medical, veterinary and legal issues filled the air: “These were three days full of learning and disseminating information. An educational and welcoming experience,” stated Dr. Celeste Romero, medical director at Expocannabis.
“Our booth was dedicated to access to health. It went as smooth as silk, and everyone respected safety guidelines; we’ve received thousands of questions. This was the first approach to cannabis for many people, while many others had a prior connection to the plant and still came to broaden their knowledge,” she added.
There was also a time for discussing cannabis for veterinary use, which also attracted quite an audience. “Many people have also approached us to ask questions, highlighting that animals are also therapeutic users of cannabis. This is why non-human patients must be included in the Medical Cannabis Act,” said veterinarian Paula Lezcano, who was in charge of answering veterinary-related questions.
Overall, 80 conferences attended by more than 120 speakers were held on two stages operating simultaneously and drawing visitors until they reached full capacity. The presentations dealt with legal and medical issues and there were also cultivation workshops. According to the organisers, these three days more than 50 thousand people wandered through the first post-pandemic massive expo. Expo Cannabis has also emphasised the need for moving towards a comprehensive regulation that includes every single user, providing for the right to self-cultivation.