The Straight's inaugural Grassroots Expo will highlight cannabis experts, academics, and patients

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      Canadians are getting pretty excited about the prospect of legal weed—Georgia Straight staff included. It’s why we’re busy preparing for our inaugural cannabis event, Grassroots: An Expo for the Cannabis Curious, on April 7 and 8 at UBC Robson Square.

      With two packed days of educational, entertaining panels and breakout sessions as well as a presence from a variety of Canadian cannabis brands and companies, we’re excited to host an event that will speak to the curiosity of Vancouverites, no matter what their level of experience with cannabis. The almost 50 heavy-hitting panellists and presenters we’ve lined up are a mix of academics, industry experts, and regular people eager to share their knowledge and experience.

      Among them are:

      Zach Walsh

      A clinical psychologist and associate professor at UBC, Walsh has an unprecedented scope of knowledge on the topic of mental health and cannabis. He’ll join MMJ Canada CEO Clint Younge and Georgia Straight writer Piper Courtenay—two individuals who have used cannabis to help treat mental illness—for a panel discussion that will shed light on marijuana’s place in the context of mental health, on April 7 (Saturday).

      John Conroy

      There are few lawyers in Canada as well-versed in the realm of cannabis as Conroy, who’s worked on numerous landmark court cases, including the Allard case (a successful constitutional challenge that now enables approved patients to grow their own medical marijuana). He’ll speak to his experience at the forefront of the fight for legal weed in a panel discussion about the history of cannabis in Vancouver with B.C. Compassion Club founder Hilary Black and activist David Malmo-Levine, on April 8 (Sunday).

      Phillippe Lucas

      With the opioid crisis top of mind, the topic of cannabis substitution is being hotly discussed. As Tilray’s vice president of patient services and research, Lucas has been exploring the idea that cannabis can serve as a less harmful alternative to opiates, alcohol, and other drugs. He’ll be joined by UBC researcher and epidemiologist M-J Milloy and harm-reduction advocate Sarah Blyth.

      Other panellists will include veterinarian Katherine Kramer, cancer and palliative-care expert Dr. Pippa Hawley, chef and advocate Mary Jean “Watermelon” Dunsdon, drug-policy analyst Scott Bernstein, and Tantalus Labs CEO Dan Sutton.

      Grassroots: An Expo for the Cannabis Curious takes place next Saturday and Sunday (April 7 and 8). Check out the full lineup and get your tickets now at the Craft Cannabis website.