Cannabis expos bloom in Calgary as marijuana's stigma dissipates

Taboos over marijuana are going up in smoke, supercharging cannabis expos in Alberta including one taking seed in Calgary next month, say organizers.

Fuelled by a buzz over impending national legalization and eight U.S. states that have dropped pot prohibition, an Edmonton trade show held in early April exceeded attendance expectations, said Kevin Blackburn of organizer Canwest Productions.

“We were hoping for 3,000 to 5,000 people and we doubled that,” he said. 

“We expect the same, if not better, in Calgary.”

There’s no question the momentum in marijuana’s mainstreaming is drawing both exhibitors and the curious out of the weeds for events such as the Calgary Cannabis and Hemp Expo at Stampede Park’s Big Four Building May 6-7, said Blackburn.

“The stigma’s constantly melting away — you’re talking about multi-million dollar companies and mom and pop outfits being represented,” he said, adding the May event’s growth forced it to expand its...

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