As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect people across the world, a swathe of CBD-related events have been called off.
A number of events have already fallen to last-minute cancellations.
In Barcelona, Spannabis and the International Cannabis Business Conference were both called off mere hours before they were scheduled to open. In the UK, CBD Global Summit in London was called off three days before it was meant to start.
The organisers said: “The health and safety of our sponsors, speakers, delegates and staff are our number one priority. Following a consultation with our stakeholders, and taking the continually evolving health concerns and travel restrictions for the coronavirus into consideration, we have agreed that postponement is the best course of action at this time.”
Meanwhile, the UK Food Shows – comprising the Food & Drink Expo, Foodex, The Ingredients Show and the Farm Shop & Deli Show, all events which had the potential to introduce CBD to a wider audience – have been postponed from the end of this month to 7th-9th September.
The Cannabis Private Investment Summit, which was due to take place in London on 23rd March, appears to have been postponed until 9th June.
However, the CBD Show, set to take place at London’s Olympia exhibition centre from 1st-3rd May, is still on the calendar at this stage.
The event’s organisers, RASB Media, said they would install an infra-red scanner at the entrance to check visitors for high temperatures, and that they would have compulsory hand sanitisers, along with protective gloves, for anyone attending.
However, a spokesperson said updates would be issued, adding: “RASB Media believe we are at the forefront of protection for our exhibitors, staff and visitors and feel no reason to cancel or postpone the event at this stage. Recent evidence suggests the outbreak is being contained in China, but it is important we maintain vigilance and remain on alert.”
While at time of publishing the UK government was yet to ban mass gatherings, people have been advised to stay indoors as much as possible, and there are travel bans in place.
Europe and US postponements
Elsewhere in Europe, other events are also feeling the pinch.
The 420HempFest, which was due to take place from 3rd-5th April in Milan – in northern Italy, one of the worst affected places in Europe – has been moved back to 2nd-4th October 2-4. Hempsfair, due to be held in Frankfurt, Germany, has been postponed, with attendees told to expect a new date soon. And Berlin’s International Cannabis Business Conference has been put back from 1st-3rd April to 29th-31st July.
In the US, Cannacon Detroit, set to be held on 3rd-4th April, has been postponed following Michigan state official advice concerning gatherings of 100 or more people; the Georgia World Cannabis Conference has been put back from 4th April to 6th June 6; and the Illinois Cannabis Convention, set for 3rd-4th April, has been postponed sine die.
Also put back or cancelled are Chicago’s Cannagrow Expo and Extraction Summit, originally due to take place on 17th-18th April. Cannagrow exhibitors will be able to reserve a spot for Cultivation Week 2020 in Palm Springs, California, from 9th-13th November instead, while the Extraction Summit has been rescheduled for 13th November.
What This Means: COVID-19 has caused disruption and cancellations to events across the board, and the CBD industry is no exception. While events may not be going ahead, hopes are that the industry itself will be able to carry on manufacturing and researching CBD products.
– Peter Henn CBD-Intel contributing writer