ECE: How did it come about?
Prior to the creation of London Canna Group, the company that powers ECE, Sal Noble and his team were selling many CBD products through their existing vaping businesses. It was during this time that they began to realise that the industry was fragmented. CBD brands were not being transparent with their audience and there was a serious lack in the depth of information that was being put out to the public; both about the current products on the market and information about CBD and medicinal cannabis in general.
To protect the reputation of medicinal cannabis and allow the awareness of its benefits to grow as it deserves, it was necessary for the public to be given detailed information, but no one in the industry seemed to be doing this; this is where Sal and his team knew they could fill the gap. Through careful research, they had gathered an extensive understanding of CBD to levels which not many in the industry seemed to have reached.
At this point, people were growing more and more intrigued about what CBD could do for them, however, the quality of information needed for people to fully understand the product was not available and the public remained ill-informed. This lack of understanding also fuelled the confusion between Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). There was a need for this stigma to be broken before the public could understand the capabilities of CBD, however, this remained a barrier and up until today, efforts are still being made to transform public opinion and open people’s eyes to how medicinal cannabis can change lives.
The biggest obstacle that the LCG team faced were the legality issues surrounding CBD and medicinal cannabis. By law, it is forbidden to make claims about the direct health benefits of CBD and cannabis for medicinal purposes as a whole. The only way to get the message across is by education through factual, scientific information and by shining a light on research that has been conducted globally. This is not just on a consumer level, but also on a business level. However, putting this message across to the public could not be done by a lone company. A change in direction needed to be done on a larger scale.
As awareness of CBD grew even larger, Sal began helping several other businesses, such as vape shops, pharmacies and health food shops adapt to selling CBD products. It was during this time that he realised that companies nationwide needed support to join the CBD movement. After deliberating the best way to provide everything a business needed to get involved, it became clear that the best way to do this was with an exhibition. By bringing global research to the UK, an exhibition would create a platform where people could learn all that they need to know about CBD, medicinal cannabis and cannabinoids from industry experts around the world; Europe CBD Expo is what the future of medicinal cannabis needed.
Europe CBD Expo (ECE), launched in the summer of 2019, was the first of its kind. True transparency within the CBD and medicinal cannabis industry was finally created. The conference hosted forward-thinking conversations that covered all aspects of the industry across the varying sectors, from research to real-life consumer stories and technology insights. Information was shared not only about the current state of play of the CBD and medical cannabis industry globally, but also the opportunities that will become available in the future. These important discussions are the necessary catalysts to help push towards a more open market of medicinal cannabis so that it can be accessed by those who will benefit from it the most.
The exhibitor element created accessibility for both the public and businesses. It enabled people to buy from verified brands that have been tested for ethical practices at an affordable price. It allowed face-to-face interaction between the seller and buyer, allowing people to ask questions so that they know exactly what it is they are purchasing. ECE was also an opportunity for like-minded people to network and meet with other members of the cannabis industry. With an international audience, it brought together industry leaders, senior representatives and inquisitive consumers from around the globe.
This year’s inaugural Europe CBD Expo in London was a phenomenal success, attracting over 3,500 attendees, 40 speakers and 80 exhibitors. In 2020, ECE are launching satellite events across Europe, widening the reach and impact. The event series will move into the new year re-branded as Europe Canna Expo, to reflect the wider industry and the increased agenda of their events, dealing with all aspects of CBD, Cannabinoids and Medical Cannabis.
ECE will continue to move forward into the future with the same values and aims that it began with; to bring the global Cannabis industry together to help push for better access for patients and consumers, creating the discussion for a competent legal framework.