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ICBC Berlin shines again. It's the beginning of a new era for the cannabis industry in Germany

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ICBC Berlin was the first major international cannabis conference to take place after the legalization of adult use in Germany on April 1st, and it did not disappoint. Participants arrived from all over the world looking for answers about what might happen in the global cannabis industry after Germany's monumental reform. And what better way to do this than through networking? 

This year, there were around 1.000 participants, more than 100 exhibitors and 80 speakers who headed to the Estrel Hotel in Berlin for two days of intense exchange of information, learning, business or just informal conversations. The first thing that was noticed upon arrival at Estrel was the large concentration of people in the LOBBY. Even with high glass ceilings and an open area, it was not possible to escape the energy that radiated from the warm atmosphere that people created in all areas of the event.

Each of the small round tables was occupied and you couldn't find an empty chair. Furthermore, there were hundreds of participants around the tables chatting and exploring business opportunities.

As a business-oriented conference, this is what you want to see in the main event lobby: no free chairs, full tables, and face-to-face conversations. The participants who were at ICBC to talk about business wasted no time.

The Expo

As we crossed the large corridor towards the Expo area, small parallel meetings took place everywhere. The new regulations in Germany were the main topic of most conversations heard everywhere. There is no doubt that the April 1st change brought a much-needed boost to the European cannabis industry.

Now that it is no longer considered a narcotic in Germany, distributors and pharmacies are reporting an increase in patient demand for cannabis in the country. Many distributors had already surpassed March numbers at the start of the event, on April 16th (middle of the month). One Canadian supplier we spoke to mentioned they had 14 meetings scheduled on Tuesday alone.

When speaking to exhibitors who participated in ICBC Berlin 2023, they said that the atmosphere at the 2024 exhibition was a little calmer than last year. This could easily be due to all the individuals who didn't make it past the lobby.

That said, we visited the exhibition a few times on both days and saw lots of lively conversations and business going on.

the conferences

The morning lecture sessions on the first day focused on new advances in the German market and what this means for Europe, while the afternoon sessions focused on the history and scientific relevance of cannabis plants.

On Day 2, the morning sessions were a little broader and looked more at the entire cannabis industry, including education and future innovation, while the afternoon sessions were even more open-ended, looking at the global opportunity, plus some great afternoon sessions on cultivation and extraction.

As always, ICBC brought together some of the most experienced and knowledgeable speakers from the global cannabis industry to share the stage and despite all the activity outside, the audience was almost always well composed.

What comes next?

The number of participants, the emotion and energy during the two days of ICBC Berlin 2024 confirm this event as one of the biggest and most important in Europe. There is definitely wind blowing in the sails of the European cannabis industry, but for how long?

Is it all an exaggeration or will this momentum continue throughout the year? Will more European countries follow Germany and update their cannabis regulations?

These are the questions everyone wants answers to. But for now, all we can do is wait.

 

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[Disclaimer: Please note that this text was originally written in Portuguese and is translated into English and other languages ​​using an automatic translator. Some words may differ from the original and typos or errors may occur in other languages.]

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