CannExpo Announces Ten Access Grants Sponsored by the Ontario Cannabis Store for its 2023 Expo

Access Grants encourage the presence and participation of Black, Indigenous and people of colour-owned retailers and Licensed Producers

TORONTO, ON, Nov. 10, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- CannExpo, Canada’s largest cannabis consumer show, is excited to announce the launch of 10 Access Grants, sponsored by the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS). These grants aim to increase the presence and participation of Black, Indigenous and people of colour-owned retailers and licensed producers at CannExpo by providing successful applicants with free in-kind registration and one 10x10 booth. Selection will take place using a randomized selection process, so all eligible applicants will have an equal opportunity of being selected. The eligibility criteria and application form can be found here. The deadline to apply is November 20, 2022, at 11:59 p.m.

“OCS is thrilled to be participating in CannExpo 2023 as the sponsor of 10 Access Grants. To enable a vibrant marketplace, we must actively increase the participation of Black, Indigenous and people of colour-owned retailers and licensed producers so the industry truly reflects the diversity of our province,” said David Lobo, President and CEO of the OCS.

CannExpo invites applications from authorized Ontario retailers and federally authorized LPs who are at least 51% owned and operated by someone who identifies as Black, Indigenous, or a person of colour, and may be otherwise unable to participate due to cost or other barriers.

“Cannabis has been legal in Canada for four years now and there is still so much stigma associated with its consumption,” said Kathryn Reilly, CEO of CannExpo. “Through education, exhibitions and networking events, we aim to normalize cannabis through an upscale and fun show for consumers, budtenders and retailers.”  

Information on how to apply can be found on CannExpo’s website:

The Ontario Cannabis Store will also be in attendance to promote evidence informed education and their new evidence-based education hub for Ontarians, Cannabis Made Clear. Cannabis Made Clear provides unbiased, non-judgemental education on a range of key cannabis-related topics including responsible use, health effects, the value of buying legal cannabis, and how to have these important conversations with young people. Attendees will be encouraged to learn more during the event.

It can be difficult to assess who is most in need or most deserving of an in-kind grant, and CannExpo wants to ensure that all applicants have an equal chance of being selected, regardless of CannExpo’s or their partners’ relationships with various vendors. They believe this randomized selection process is the best approach for applicants and can help with starting to address the need for more diverse representation at cannabis events. 


CannExpo welcomes consumers, industry professionals, retail store owners, budtenders and newcomers to the cannabis space. Attendees will have the opportunity to discover exciting new products, services and technology. Showcase your products, services, innovations, and industry knowledge to your target audience. CannExpo Toronto will feature three full days of direct access to consumers and the retail market. At CannExpo you can interact with existing and new clients, get immediate feedback, make sales, create brand awareness, drive traffic to your business or retail shop, showcase new products and/or services to an engaged audience and get online promotion on and social media.


The Ontario Cannabis Store is a Crown agency solely owned by the Province of Ontario and reporting to the Ministry of Finance. The OCS provides safe, responsible access to legal recreational cannabis for adults 19 and older. They are Ontario’s sole wholesaler to nearly 1,600 Authorized Cannabis Stores. The OCS also operates, the Province’s online cannabis retailer which delivers to consumers in every corner of Ontario. OCS ensures customers receive legal, clearly labelled cannabis products by working closely with Licensed Producers authorized by Health Canada. As a champion of a socially responsible industry, OCS provides consumers and the public with the opportunity to learn more about cannabis and responsible use through its expert-led education portal Cannabis Made Clear. For more information, please visit Cannabis Made Clear.


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