One of the fantastic aspects of a pending legal marijuana industry is the rise of cannabis-related media. It proves this wonderful little plant is not just changing lives, it’s permeating throughout pop culture, as normalcy continues its domination over prohibition.
This public cannabis revolution includes a presence on television, the Internet, and even live events.
One such organization that has grown alongside the industry as it spreads its wings is Lift. This incredible company has a popular marijuana news outlet, the largest cannabis expo in the country, and they even produce the Canadian Cannabis Awards.
Herbal Dispatch sat down with Tyler Sookochoff, the Founder and interim Chief Marketing Officer of Lift, to talk about the company, the industry, and where it’s all going.
Lift seems to be many things, can you give us a general definition?
At its heart, Lift is a technology company whose mission is to empower informed cannabis decisions. We do this primarily via our product discovery platform (Lift.co), as well as through a significant variety of media, Canada’s largest cannabis expos and conferences, and the annual Canadian Cannabis Awards.
When did Lift begin and what was the catalyst for its creation?
Lift officially launched in January 2014, but the idea was born in 2013 shortly after the new federal medical program (then called the MMPR but now known as the ACMPR) came into effect.
I personally found it very difficult to find information about the program, how it worked, who the Licensed Producers were, and what the quality of their products was like. I knew that if I was having this problem, thousands of patients from across Canada would be experiencing it too.
So I built a simple website to provide and share as much information as I could find, and it really just all took off organically from there.
Lift has quickly become incredibly popular in the cannabis world. What would you attribute to that popularity?
I think we were able to fill a void early on. New groups of consumers and industry participants were looking for credible, professional, and unbiased information about the emerging legal cannabis industry in Canada, and no one was providing this. So our content and voice resonated with them, and we built a loyal following that has continued to support us today.
On top of this, we’ve been fortunate to attract an incredible team of employees and contributors who work day and night to enable Lift to grow into several different verticals while continuing to execute at a high level.
Can you share some highlights regarding the upcoming expo?
Our next Lift Expo takes place in Vancouver on January 13-14, 2018 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. The weekend actually kicks off on Friday, January 12 with the Lift Cannabis Business Conference (LCBC), also taking place at the convention centre.
“The upcoming expo features 50% more space than our last Vancouver show, bringing the total to nearly 90,000 square-feet. That means 50% more exhibitors from across Canada, the United States, and Europe.”
We’ll also be featuring a large variety of speakers and panels on the main stage across the two days, as well as cooking, growing, and extraction demos, and a job fair. The show is completely sold out for exhibitors and we expect a great turnout by attendees looking to learn more about medical cannabis as well as the brands that will be available in the coming recreational market.
What are the Canadian Cannabis Awards?
The Canadian Cannabis Awards are an annual event we’ve hosted since 2014. They’ve historically been voter-driven awards where consumers from across Canada select their favourite cannabis products, producers, dispensaries and people.
In years past we’ve announced the winners online, but this year we’ve decided to host a formal awards gala where many of the winners will be announced on stage during what some are calling the ‘Oscars of Cannabis’.
The Canadian Cannabis Awards gala takes place November 30, 2017 at the historic Carlu in downtown Toronto. The gala portion is sold out, but a limited number of General Admission tickets may still be available for purchase here:
Note that it’s a formal event so appropriate attire is required!
You can also watch a livestream of the awards. Check out our Facebook event page for more details:
Lift recently completed a very successful round of financing. Can you elaborate as to how the company will be expanding?
We’re investing in and growing our team, with the goal of becoming the only resource Canadians need to discover cannabis products and find the right ones for their needs.
What are your views of the burgeoning cannabis industry today? Is the government of Canada going about legalization in an appropriate matter?
Given how complex an issue it truly is and the fact that the eyes of the world are on Canada right now, I think the federal government is doing a fine job.
There are many moving parts with three levels of government involved doing something that there really isn’t a model for, so it’s understandable – and commendable – that they’re moving with both speed and caution.
I see this process as an evolution, and the legalization we see in July of 2018 is not going to be the same that we see in July of 2020 or 2025.
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- Canada’s Activists Reveal Their Thoughts on Legalization - September 17, 2018
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