Watch this video from the Vancouver 4/20 networking event for the Cannabis Growers of Canada, an association of cannabis businesses dedicated to building a free and fair craft cannabis economy.

The event was hosted by the Yaletown location of Xoxolat, an artisanal chocolate gallery, where members of the cannabis community converged to celebrate, network and discuss the future of the industry.

Cannabis Growers of Canada president Chad Jackett told the crowd he was excited to see so many supporting each other in the growing industry.

“We can’t all just do this by ourselves, if any one of us wants to stand out there on a ledge by ourselves the government’s going to come in and chop our heads off,” said Jackett. “All we can do is stand together.”

Cannabis Growers of Canada executive director Ian Dawkins said that the times are changing and the only way that the industry can move forward is if independent businesses take this moment in history to speak up for themselves.

“Unless we stand up right now and are brave and proud about what we do, it’s going to be taken out of our hands,” said Dawkins. “The future of cannabis is being decided right now and the only way it will be decided in our favour is if we step up.”

Dawkins said seeing so many diverse business owners proves that authorities can no longer box everyone in the industry together.

“By coming out and being proud of what you do and talking to your peers in this industry, this is what we need to be doing more of,” Dawkins said. “Be proud of what you do, it’s time we came out of the shadows and stood up for ourselves and announce ‘we make, extract, sell and smoke cannabis and there’s nothing wrong with that.”