Up With Cultivation! Canada Tour & Lift Toronto Review!

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Hitch-hiking your way along the information superhighway in search of an awe-inspiring cultivation destination? Hop in! We’ll give you a Lift, to Toronto – for a peek at this year’s cannabis expo extraordinaire! And much more besides! Who’s in the driving seat? That’d be ace wheelsman, natter-box, and AutoPot International Accounts Manager, Dave Gulliver. Boy, has he got a story of horticultural awakening to tell! Take it away Dave!

Above: Before doors open Dave leads the people with a little yoga workout

This time around Dave was determined to get a different view of Lift. Showtime can be tricky when exhibiting in that you’re there for the show, but you’re not really ‘there’ for the show. Roving during opening hours is usually out of the question as you’re pinned to your stand. In order to explore more, find out more, and support our Canadian distributors more we sent Dave mobile, which had him in raptures. Not even on salsa night do his mental maracas rattle with such excitement.

Above: Auto8s and Auto9 XLs integrated with Montel GreenRak mobile vertical storage on the booth of GreenPlanet Wholesale – one of our Canadian Distributors

There was bustle aplenty around the booths of our distributors at Lift. Amongst the crowds calling in on GreenPlanet and Biofloral were some interesting end users whose perspectives we enjoyed a great deal. Canada’s Cannabis Act permits adults in many areas to cultivate up to four plants per household, meaning there were plenty of people at the show eager to share first hand experiences of home growing; experiences both good and bad. On the upside the opportunity to grow has evidently excited plenty of Canadians. But many people we met were apprehensive about setting their electricity and water meters spinning in the process. Racking up huge overheads in the name of growing-your-own is not economically or ecological sound. Did we mention AutoPot runs power-free with zero waste water? It might’ve slipped out. 

Licensed growers were enthralled in equal measure by such facts and by the cut of our jib when combined with Montel’s GreenRak mobile vertical storage – as displayed by GreenPlanet. Consistently excellent across all three days, by the end Lift had served to pique Dave’s curiosity about the Canadian grow scene even further. 

Above: Dave’s-eye-view of the excellent Biofloral booth at Lift

Last time Dave sojourned in Canada he was blown away by the stores he checked out on a mini-tour with GreenPlanet. Happily this visit saw him introduced to a whole new swathe of progressive establishments, setting new standards for knowledge and, crucially, approachability. For too long public ideas about hydro, and hydro’s weariness of the public has created a bit of a bunker mentality. Entrenched attitudes have developed on both sides. To everyone’s benefit Canadian stores are now often just another welcoming part of the high street, as Dave found out at AutoPot stockists Provision Garden Supply

Above: Provision Garden Supplies, caption not entirely necessary, but what a pleasure!

Their eight stores are renowned for unbiased, experience-led, situation-specific advice. Sometimes it’ll be AutoPot for a customer, other times not. Despite our preference for ourselves, we believe PGS’s attitude is as it should be. Notwithstanding their impartiality, PGS have been wowed by instinctive customer uptake of AutoPot. In response they’ve been ‘working real harrrrd’ (in Dave’s own words) and have put in a massive amount of time developing their hands-on experience of the systems. Hats off to those guys! 

Above: Great company at Grow It All Toronto where they demo grow in all manner of systems

Inevitably included on Dave’s tour itinerary was a stop at Grow It All Toronto. He claims it was all about checking out a rightly famous hydro institution that satisfies craft and hobby growers with incredible knowledge, warm service, and a comprehensive range. But with Sugar’s Mascot Costumes right next door (thank you Google Earth), and Dave’s passion for loveable dinosaurs waving at crowds unquenchable, you could forgive him for killing two birds with one stone. Joking aside, Dave very much enjoyed taking in Grow It All’s extensive store and the excellent hospitality of Paul, their much-respected, long-serving team member and grow expert. 

Lift and the store tour had backed up the view that today’s crop of Canadian cultivation crackerjacks are a splendid bunch, supported by top infrastructure. But what, Dave pondered, is the next step for cannabis in Canada?

Above: Food and drink with GreenPlanet, Provision Garden Supply and Montel

Further education in cannabis cultivation? In Canada you may soon be able to get that at college. Cannabis cultivation has long been hailed as a driver for economic and employment opportunities in Canada. So it’s no surprise that there’s increasing interest in developing vocational horticultural skills specific to cannabis. Clearly this is moving way, way beyond the idea of merely fixing problems through decriminalisation or legalisation. The idea of cultivating education around the plant and its uses suggests people are getting ready to address its positives and the opportunities it can bring. Why are we talking about this? Because we hope to be involved in just such college-based schemes in the very near future. Whilst in Canada Dave had some excellent interaction with an establishment who are interested in using AutoPot to teach sustainable-tech growing solutions. We hope to bring you more on this soon!

Above: Shhh, Dave’s busy!

Death, taxes, and people taking Dave to dinner; certainties all. But practical all the same, because when Dave chows down, things get done. As a result we’re looking forward to some very exciting in-store promo work with Biofloral who took Dave out for a lovely dinner. Interesting projects abound with Steve Tan who took Dave out for a lovely dinner. And for the hat-trick (don’t know if Dave got to keep all the crockery) our thanks go out to Tom from Seedsman and his wife who took Dave out for a lovely dinner. We are sure that Dave thanks his hosts in person but would also like to be sure that we’re not being used like a 50’s secretary to thank people for lovely dinners.

To stay on top of all things Canadian Cultivation follow the spanking new @autopot.canada insta feed!

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