Insights from the PTMC and Cannatrade Cannabis Events

ptmc and cannatrade

Cannabis events are crucial for staying updated on industry trends, regulatory changes, and for networking; we make sure to visit as many as we can throughout the year. Recently, we attended two industry events: the PTMC in Lisbon, Portugal and Cannatrade in Zurich, Switzerland. Here are our key learnings from each.

PTMC Event in Portugal

The PTMC event in Portugal provided valuable insights into the Portuguese cannabis industry, focusing on the licensing process and regulatory environment. Here are some of the main takeaways we got from the event.

Engagement with Regulators

A key highlight was the active involvement of Infarmed, the Portuguese regulator for medicines. They provided detailed data on total exports, the number of licenses issued, and ongoing applications, showcasing a high level of transparency and openness. This proactive approach fosters a positive relationship between the industry and regulators, essential for a compliant and thriving cannabis market.

Regulatory Milestones

Portugal’s milestone achievement in commercialising medical cannabis as their first herbal medicine was noteworthy. Infarmed’s approach emphasises adaptability and ongoing learning, which is crucial when handling living molecules like cannabis. This adaptability sets a robust foundation for future developments in the medical cannabis sector.

International Influence

Portugal’s regulatory framework has become a reference point for other Portuguese-speaking countries, such as Brazil, seeking guidance on medical cannabis regulations. This influence underscores Portugal’s emerging role as a leader in the global cannabis industry.

Challenges in Cultivation

The event also highlighted the challenges faced by Portuguese cultivators. Initial attempts at outdoor cultivation proved difficult due to stringent pharmaceutical standards, emphasising the importance of adapting cultivation methods to meet regulatory requirements.

Networking and Venue

The PTMC event provided excellent networking opportunities, particularly for those looking to build connections within the Portuguese cannabis market. The venue, an old rustic building, offered a beautiful setting, complemented by a memorable lunch featuring Tropico, a hemp-infused beer.

Cannatrade Event in Zurich

Cannatrade in Zurich reflected the dynamic nature of the cannabis industry in Switzerland and helped us to gain key insights into the industry there.

Panel Discussions and Insights

The panels covered critical topics, including forecasting for companies in the cannabis sector and the impact of pilot projects on the industry. There was a strong focus on measuring company success by repeat sales and customer loyalty, rather than initial sales spikes, highlighting the importance of long-term customer relationships.

Quality of CBD Flower

Switzerland showcased exceptionally high-quality CBD flower, benefiting from more relaxed THC limits (up to 1%) compared to other regions like the UK. This has allowed for a broader range of genetics and better overall product quality.

Established CBD Market

The event confirmed the well-established nature of the Swiss CBD market, where cannabis products are as commonplace as tobacco. Consumption lounges and dual-purpose venues (coffee shops by day, clubs by night) highlighted the integration of cannabis into Swiss culture.

Networking and Ancillary Businesses

Cannatrade was a hub for ancillary businesses, including lighting, fertilizers, and seed companies, all thriving in the Swiss market. It was encouraging to see these businesses successfully expanding from Germany to Switzerland.

Upcoming Events

Looking forward in the year, there are some more cannabis events that we look forward to visiting:

  • Green Tech, Netherlands (June 11-13): A major horticultural fair that will bring together leading providers of ancillary equipment and offer networking opportunities with license holders. Learn more.
  • CB Club, Berlin (June 13): An intimate, curated event focused on the latest developments in the German cannabis market, including discussions on regulatory changes and their impact on the industry. Learn more.
  • Mary Jane, Berlin (June 14-16): Expected to be one of the largest cannabis expos in Europe this year and offering extensive networking and learning opportunities, this event is a big date in the cannabis calendar. Learn more.

These events emphasised the growing maturity and complexity of the European cannabis market, with Portugal and Switzerland each offering unique regulatory and market dynamics. They provided invaluable opportunities for networking, learning, and staying at the forefront of industry developments. We are excited to continue engaging with industry leaders and exploring new opportunities at these events.

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