Planning to attend a CBD expo this year? 5 trade shows in the UK to add to your calendar

CBD expos are making a comeback in 2022 as the business world bounces back following two consecutive years of cancellations. 

One popular exhibition centre in London was even converted into an NHS Nightingale hospital, providing essential support to the healthcare system in the capital at the height of the health emergency. 

From choosing the right event to travelling with CBD, here is everything you need to know before making your way to an expo this year. 

Traditionally, the CBD expo season in the UK kicks off in March and wraps up in June, with most trade shows with an element of cannabis extracts falling within that period. However, due to the wide variety of products and delivery methods for cannabinoids, CBD companies are a popular attraction at other industry exhibitions happening year-round. 

Those with CBD organisations already confirmed to exhibit are in the food and beverage and Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) arenas. 

For those planning to attend or exhibit at one of the many trade shows making a return to the events circuit this year, preparation is key. Here are five exhibitions confirmed to take place this year, and what you need to know before setting off for the exhibition hall. 

March | White Label World Expo, at London’s ExCeL 

The London installation of this global series of exhibitions is set to welcome 7,000 visitors, 200 professional speakers, and 500 exhibitors at the ExCeL on 2 and 3 March. 

The White Label World Expo has earned a reputation for its diverse representation of product categories in every city it visits. On the cards for 2022 – as well as London – are Las Vegas, New York and Frankfurt. Visitors can expect to find everything and anything that can be white or private labelled under one roof, from food and drinks through to healthcare products, pet supplies and of course, hemp and CBD. 

April | The CBD Show at London’s Olympia Theatre 

The CBD Show promises to present a professional and specialist event showcasing 150 suppliers and products on 22 and 23 April. 

Day one will welcome trade visitors, including CBD brands and manufacturers, head buyers from luxury and major retailers, national and European wholesalers, distributors, pharmacies and e-commerce owners. Organisers say the event will also feature policy experts, government officials, trade organisations and councillors. On day two, the doors will open to consumers. 

The National Convenience Show, at the NEC, Birmingham

This three-day super expo takes place 25, 26 and 27 April and is one of the largest events held annually at the National Exhibition Centre. Part of the UK Food and Drinks Show collective, the National Convenience Show is a must see for any FMCG organisation. 

CBD brands and manufacturers will exhibit in the hopes of attracting the attention of mainstream convenience buyers across the UK and Ireland. 

May | Health Plus Care, London ExCeL 

This event is free to attend for all health practitioners, incorporating 11 theatres, an estimated 6,000 visitors, 88 hours of free CPD accredited education, not to mention the 200 featured exhibitors and 400 expert speakers. 

Health Plus Care 2022 takes place 18 and 19 May and will focus on the fundamental sectors emerging within healthcare.

October | The Pharmacy Show, at the NEC in Birmingham

This two-day trade show champions a five-year funding plan for community pharmacy as part of the NHS Long Term Plan, the most pivotal change to community pharmacy in more than a decade, according to organisers.

The Pharmacy Show is the UK & Ireland’s major annual gathering for pharmacy professionals, catering to the sector for over a decade. Dates for 2022 have been confirmed for 16 and 17 October, and if it’s anything like the 2021 expo, CBD will be front and centre. 

Travelling to a CBD expo in the UK

Before heading to the airport, you may need to take steps to ensure your products reach their destination and avoid getting held up in customs. If in doubt, seek legal advice, but here are some general tips to consider. 

  • Do any of your products contain trace amounts of controlled cannabinoids, THC and CBN? 

A common misconception is that as long as a product contains less than 0.2% THC,  it’s legal. This is a misinterpretation of the Home Office laws, which clearly state that a finished product should not contain even 1mg of controlled cannabinoids. That rule runs right across the various product categories of CBD, so it doesn’t matter if you’re carrying a skincare product or a CBD oil in your luggage. 

“It is the Home Office view that the applicable unit of measure for the 1mg threshold referred to  is that of the container, (i.e. bottle or packet) and not the typical dose of any product.”

  • Are you entering the UK from outside the EU? 

If yes, the rules in the UK require you to register your business for importing and obtain an EORI number – this usually takes five working days. You may also need to research the right import licences, work out the value of your goods and pay VAT. More information on this can be found on the government website here. 

  • Is your product considered a medicine? 

If the CBD product in question is to be marketed as a medicine, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency will treat it as such and states that importation requires a licence. 

  • Do you have documentation to show you are travelling for business purposes? 

This could be helpful if you have to transport some products in your luggage. Ensure you have proof that the intended use for these products is commercial. Having the right paperwork to show you intend to sample these products at a business-to-business event is good practice. 

  • Does your shipment or luggage contain CBD flower? 

CBD flower, regardless of THC or CBN content, are caught by the Misuse of Drugs Regulation 2001 and are not tolerated in the UK. 

  • Are you carrying CBD-infused pet products? 

The Veterinary Medicines Directorate says CBD is a medicinal product, and so it is illegal to obtain CBD for pets in the UK, unless prescribed by a vet. A special license may be required if importing a CBD medicine intended for animal consumption. 

Read more from Cannabinoid Insight: 6 CBD brands that should be on your radar in 2022.