10 Things I Learned At The UK’s First Hemp & CBD Expo

Last weekend was the UK’s very first Hemp & CBD Expo. It was attended by hundreds of industry players, as well as thousands of interested visitors.

It was great seeing how the industry is progressing and I learned a lot. Here are 10 things I noticed:

1. CBD is going mainstream

The amount of CBD sellers, customers, and general interest around CBD is huge and growing every day. Which is why more than 5,000 people attended the first Hemp & CBD Expo.

The UK’s blooming CBD industry, along with the world’s softening stance on cannabis, is fast changing people’s perception of the cannabis plant. This is a good thing.

2. The industry is divided

On one side you have the grass-roots activists whose focus is on helping people, and on the other you have suited-up business people who are interested in capitalising on a fast-growing industry.

In my opinion, if you’re selling CBD, it’s probably best to place yourself somewhere in the middle of these two groups.

3. Lots of products are identical

After some very interesting conversations with the industry’s leading players, it became clear to me that a large percentage of the products on sale in the UK are from a very small number of suppliers.

This means that many products are exactly the same, just with different branding. This is to be expected in such a new industry, however. I’m sure as things progress, companies will be inclined differentiate and offer more custom/unique products in order to stand out above the crowd.

4. No one knows what’s going on

With new regulations on CBD hanging over the industry, there are lots of rumours circulating about what’s to come. However, as far as we can see, much of the rumours are unfounded and conjecture.

5. Everyone thinks they know what’s going on

Despite the confusing status of CBD and hemp-derived products in the UK, you’ll find that everyone in the industry has their own version of what’s to come.

6. Basic knowledge was lacking

I spoke to a number of representatives from many different brands. The lack of basic cannabis knowledge on show was quite staggering. Of course, the higher-ups in these companies may be more clued up.

And if they are, they really need to educate their staff on things like extraction processes, the origin of their products, and even the ingredients used in their products (especially when it comes to CBD e-liquid).

7. The vape industry is embracing CBD

I had it in my mind that CBD was only popular with health-conscious folk. I was wrong. Vapers represent a huge chunk of those interested in CBD.

8. There’s lots to be positive about

New and better products. More transparency. Higher standards in production. These are all things which are coming and will improve the customer experience as the industry matures.

9. CBD flowers are taboo

There were no CBD flowers on show at the expo. This is because a number of industry leaders believe they are illegal. Hemp tea, however – which is made from ground up hemp flower –  was on show. We’re confused by this arbitrary distinction.

Here’s our take on whether CBD flower is legal in the UK.

10.  It’s an exciting time to be in the UK cannabis industry!

A highly-professional cannabis trade show just took place in the UK. This is unprecedented. I full-heartedly believe that legal cannabis will become more and more widely available in the UK over the coming years. It’s inevitable.

Therefore, it’s a great time to get into the industry if you’re not already. Here’s our guide to getting a job in the UK industry. And here’s a guide to setting up your own CBD shop.

2 Comments on “10 Things I Learned At The UK’s First Hemp & CBD Expo”

  1. Having attended the show I was amazed and dismayed at the LARGE amount of isolate based oral oils on show and sale and pet products, both of which are now illegal in the UK. For an industry that is trying to clean its image and show solid products, allowing promotion of these two illegal products let it down….

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