Vancouver With recreational pot becoming a reality in Canada, businesses in the marijuana industry know a new multi-billion dollar market is about to burst wide open.
Over 100 such businesses are represented at the Lift Cannabis Expo, happening all weekend at the Vancouver Convention Centre.
The federal government will table legislation to regulate the sale and production of recreational marijuana in the spring, but with the rules now in flux, many businesses are reluctant to make detailed expansion plans.
There is a lot of risk, there are dispensaries that are opening and they get shut down right away, says Julie Nguyen with Aura Health Studio and Dispensary, one of the businesses represented at Lift.
After a lot of hard work, Aura just recently secured a business license. So Nguyen says their focus right now isnt so much on expanding, its on surviving.
Now, if those regulations do change, then Im definitely on board to change with that too, but were just trying to stick by the rules first.
The same sentiment is echoed by George Anstey at Broken Coast Cannabis, which is currently licensed to grow marijuana for the medical market. Nobody really knows exactly what its going to look like, so to put a lot of emphasis on serving the recreational market is maybe pre-emptive.
In the meantime, Anstey says Broken Coast is operating at full capacity, with hundreds of clients on their waiting list.
Its not just growers and sellers represented at Lift. Some booths offer legal advice to pot business startups, while another offers technology to better connect pot growers and retailers. More than 10,000 people are expected to attend this weekend.