• At the Lift & Co. Cannabis Business Conference (LCBC) on January 9th, senior leaders and investors will have the opportunity to hear and learn from the top industry professionals on the leading trends for 2020
  • On January 10-11, the Lift & Co. Cannabis Expo opens for professionals and consumers to get immersed in the industry with 250+ exhibitors and 100+ speakers
  • Canada is well-positioned to become a leader and is setting the standard for the global cannabis industry
  • Lift & Co. has launched an industry-first consumer insights platform, Cohesion, which will allow brands to reach identified consumer segments with targeted digital marketing

The Lift & Co. (TSXV: LIFT) (OTCQB: LFCOF) Cannabis Business Conference and Expo is coming to the Vancouver Convention Centre between January 9-11, 2020, and this three-day conference and tradeshow is not one to be missed. Without a doubt, cannabis had a turbulent 2019 with an overwhelming amount of change, which led to an overarching tone of uncertainty at the end of its first year. To kickstart a brand-new phase for the industry, Lift & Co. will offer a dynamic itinerary and platform where attendees will explore and discover the next big trends and opportunities for this coming year.

The global cannabis industry is closely watched as one of the fastest-growing sectors, and the launch of new cannabis product formats in Canada—edibles, infused beverages, extracts and topicals—is estimated to accelerate the domestic industry exponentially. By 2021 the Canadian cannabis industry is set to be worth roughly $8 billion.

With this in mind, cannabis 2.0, new market opportunities, international expansion, and CPG trends will be strong themes at the Lift & Co. Cannabis Business Conference and Expo.

We caught up with Lift & Co. CEO, Matei Olaru, to talk about the key highlights of the Company’s upcoming show, and what he expects the biggest trends will be in 2020.

What investors should look out for

The first day of Lift & Co.’s conference is a full-day business conference focused on topics that are relevant for the industry’s C-suite, investors, and other decision-makers. LCBC attracts leading experts from across cannabis and adjacent industries to tackle the hottest-button issues and opportunities. This year, the event opens with a trio keynote presentation, which brings to the stage the largest data and consulting firms in North America—Ipsos, Nielsen and EY Canada. Alongside Lift & Co., they are tackling a topic which is also a primary component of Lift & Co.’s 2020 strategy: data and consumer insights. Olaru posits, CPG-like cannabis consumer insights are ready to be tapped and will propel the industry into a true CPG category and drive real growth for Canadian brands.

Olaru says, “The opportunities and movement toward sophisticated data intelligence is the top trend we’re keeping an eye on at Lift & Co. This is why we’ve been focused on the launch of our own consumer insights platform, Cohesion, entering into a key strategic partnership with data-leader, Nielsen on an industry-first consumer segmentation product, and adding Adobe DSP capabilities to our products which will allow brands to reach those identified consumers with targeted digital marketing.”

“Cannabis has a real opportunity to start from scratch when it comes to CPG-like data, and we have designed Cohesion as a unique insights system that will allow cannabis marketers and mature CPG players to better assess the space, and provide them with a full CPG-like suite of data insights in one location. Lift & Co. is excited to become a consumer insights leader as the cannabis industry continues to mature.”

Olaru says this is why, heading into 2020, investors can be excited about the overall maturation of the industry. “The emergence of new consumer segments that weren’t immediately evident in legalization’s first year, and the arrival of new product formats will lead to the development of cannabis as a recognizable CPG industry.”

What makes the Lift & Co. Expo a memorable experience?

This event started as a way to bring the medical cannabis community together. Now, the Lift & Co. Cannabis Business Conference and Expo is a hub for the Canadian and global cannabis industry.

Olaru explains, “Last year, we started to see brands investing upwards of $100,000 in their booth builds to create amazing eye-catching brand displays. This year, we’re expecting to see those approaches to engage with the consumer become even more intelligent and creative, particularly as brands start to understand who their consumers are and their needs.”

Further, Olaru's favourite part of hosting Lift & Co. is seeing how the industry is evolving and scaling up. Consumers, specifically, have the opportunity to engage with new and established brands at the show, something which will translate into increased product knowledge and awareness to help drive purchase decisions in the upcoming year.

“We recently found in a joint study Lift & Co. conducted with EY Canada that 70 per cent of consumers did not know what they were going to purchase before entering a retail store and interacting with the budtender.” Olaru believes baseline consumer education is an important gap the Expo can help fill. 

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Attendees can choose either or a 3-day access pass or attend individual days that fit their interest.

Is Canada well-positioned to be a leader in the global cannabis industry?

Canada will be the case study for how cannabis is legalized and regulated at a federal level in markets around the world. The nation is on a global stage and many other countries are turning to the systems, processes, best practices, and data intelligence being developed in Canada as the gold standard used around the world, which is a huge opportunity for local Canadian companies.

Olaru explains, “The lessons coming out of Canada will be valuable because we are so geographically dispersed and diverse, and on top of that our system is fragmented because each province has their own jurisdiction over portions of the legalization framework.”

“We’re seeing successes and challenges with varying retail models, for example, and we are starting to see how this fragmentation is impacting overall market share for Canada’s emerging top brands. Canada is writing the guidebook on how to run, and not to run, legalization across multiple regions with distinct rules and individualized needs.”

Although this may create certain obstacles for companies who are operating in Canada, it will result in stronger consumer and industry insights from which can be adjusted later, and from which other countries can glean important information.

To learn more about the growing trends in the cannabis industry, make sure to attend the Lift & Co. Cannabis Business Conference and Expo. For more information, click here.

Stay up-to-date on all the latest information including when tickets go on sale, partner and exhibitor opportunities, an program and speaker announcements: click here.