|Graphic: Medical Marijuana & Hemp Expo|
A three-day expo which starts Friday in Toronto is being called the first convention ever held in Canada to promote the use of medical marijuana. Organizers said they expect as many as 30,000 attendees from around the world.
The Medical Marijuana and Hemp Show is being held at the Metro Convention Centre, the same downtown location where G20 leaders met three weeks ago, reports Linda Nguyen at The Vancouver Sun.
The event will feature exhibitors from around the planet, educational seminars with doctors and a hemp fashion and cooking show.
Also featured will be a 4,600-square-foot “vapour lounge,” allowing patients with a license to use medical marijuana onsite. Attendees will need to supply their own cannabis to use the lounge, which organizer Marco Renda said will be the largest ever.
According to Rendam, who publishes medical marijuana magazine Treating Yourself, the size and scope of the event is a big step toward legitimizing the multimillion-dollar marijuana industry.
“We’re trying to educate people on responsible use,” said Renda, 50, of Toronto. “These people could be your neighbors, your lawyers, your mothers and fathers. They could be your doctors.”
Renda said cannabis prohibition has made users uneducated and afraid to share their experiences with others.
“This expo is as family event,” Renda said. “I encourage parents to bring their children. There’s no marijuana being sold or distributed at the show. Everything we’re doing is within the law.”
Martin Birzle, who owns famed bong company Roor, came from Germany to set up a booth at the weekend expo. He said he has attended about 50 conventions in the past few years, and said fear over the legalization of marijuana is almost universal.
“People in general think it’s a drug, that people who take it become stupid or that it’s not good for you,” Birzle said. “They think you should follow the rules and all those things.”
“I just look forward to the day when everything is more free,” Birzle said.
The Medical Marijuana and Hemp Show runs from Friday, July 16, to Sunday, July 18 at the Metro Convention Centre in Toronto.
For more information, visit http://www.medicalmarijuana-hempexpo.com.