Dutch Passion were in Santiago Chile for the 2014 Expoweed cannabis expo, once again it was a refreshing chance to see the continued progress being made in the South American cannabis scene. Thousands of visitors attended from all over South America and beyond, this year was the busiest so far.
Dutch Passion were present along with our main distributor delaferia and we were pleased to see more and more home growers coming along to the show. There were plenty of exhibitors as well, suppliers of everything from seeds to grow room equipment. There was even a Chile TV crew ‘Cultiva TV’ filming for some new shows dedicated to cannabis growing. It made us think, at some point there will be mainstream TV programmes dedicated to cannabis growing and related stories. As well as the TV people the South American cannabis magazines were present including ‘Weeds’ and Soft Secrets.
The show was busy but with a friendly atmosphere, lots of small seed companies, headshops and similar companies were present. No police were present and people enjoyed their cannabis openly at Expoweed, the authorities seemed happy to leave everyone alone. We saw growers of all ages from many different countries. Cannabis seeds tend to one of the most popular products at the show. South American home growers were interested in traditional photoperiod varieties, but there was lots of interest in autoflowering and CBD-rich varieties from the medical growers. Outdoor growing is also extremely popular in South America, the warm and sunny climate makes it easy to cultivate large plants in your garden or the surrounding countryside. The southern hemisphere growing season runs from around September to April.
Above, the Cultiva TV film crew gathering footage from Expoweed 2014
One of the really big victories for Chile Cannabis campaigners is the Daya Foundation who have Government approval to grow 850 cannabis plants for official medical use. Much of the harvest will be turned into cannabis oil and used for the benefit of cancer patients. Cannabis is openly used as a medicine by many South Americans, often preferred to chemical alternatives because it is organic and natural. Cannabis also costs less than pharmaceuticals and South Americans have used it for many generations. As more and more South Americans are becoming aware of the benefits of cannabis the demand for good quality cannabis has increased and many people choose to grow it themselves. Dutch Passion have a dedicated Facebook page for our growing community of friends in Chile.
Of great interest to many Expoweed visitors was the chance to see a continent slowly coming to terms with the need to change its cannabis laws. Uruguay has taken most of the headlines with its recent decision to legalise the production, supply and sale of cannabis for recreational and medical users. But cannabis campaigners from all over South America are pressing hard for reform to cannabis laws in the rest of the continent.
Above, the Dutch Passion Crew enjoyed the Expoweed event
Chiles economy, like many in South America, is growing stronger and wealthier. Even so they would only benefit from a regulated cannabis market which would create more money and jobs. The only losers would be the drug cartels who have been the sole beneficiaries of cannabis prohibition in South America (and elsewhere).
Above, delaferia's exhibition stand, one of our partners in Chile.
Below, stand-out fashion.
Many in South American are looking to the example set by the USA and considering the benefits of cannabis legalisation. With around half of the USA now benefiting from the benefits of a legal regulated supply many South Americans politicians are under pressure to follow the USA and legalize cannabis. One of the most important benefits of legalisation and regulation in the USA has been the rapid removal of blackmarket suppliers and a transition to a fully transparent regulated system.
Expoweed looks like an event that will only get bigger and better, and with so many South American countries looking to the legalisation model pioneered in Uruguay and USA the future looks bright for the cannabis community. Dutch Passion will be at the show again next year, and we hope that the cannabis campaigners have made more progress when we return. Expoweed is a fun event, if you live nearby and are able to get there you will have a great couple of days. This year the guest speakers included Rick Simpson (well known for helping popularise the use of cannabis oil for cancer treatment), Lester Grinspoon (Harvard Psychiatry Professor) and Steve DeAngelo from the massive Harborside Cannabis Dispensary in San Francisco. The live music included Ky-mani Marley, the son of Bob.
All in all, Expoweed 2014 was great fun for everyone.
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