The Cannabis Equipment News team recently traveled to the Wisconsin Cannabis Expo held in Milwaukee on June 4. At the show, we had an opportunity to interview equipment manufacturers, cultivators and new product developers to learn more about what they bring to the cannabis industry.

Louis Fortis is the editor and publisher of the Shepherd Express, an independent news organization that has be serving the Milwaukee area for more than 40 years. The company also owns the Wisconsin Cannabis Expo. 

The previous show was a smashing success, but it lost a lot of its momentum because it was held in February 2020. As Fortis says, it was about a month before the world stopped due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

However, Fortis is encouraged by attendance at this year's show as well as the the benefits of cannabis, though he notes that science continues to shed more light on its limitations. While cannabis is powerful, it isn't a cure-all. 

Fortis is a former Wisconsin state legislator who served three terms about 30 years ago in what he described as a more amicable political landscape. 

Things have changed in the state and, despite some 80% of Wisconsinites being in favor of at least legal medical marijuana, the issue remains stalled. 

Fortis remembers Wisconsin as a leader of good, clean and effective government, but says the state has since gone in the wrong direction. He stresses the need for citizens to continue to organize and build support for cannabis legalization in the state, including contacting local representatives to try and move the needle. 

The next Wisconsin Cannabis Expo, presented by the Shepherd Express, will be held Nov. 19, 2022, at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison.

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