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Canada Export Cannabis chart

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Canadian weed producers will dominate the global marijuana market

In marketing strategy, there’s a term called “first-mover advantage”. It’s when a few key players in a particular industry gain an advantage because they entered into the marketplace first. These companies are able to establish strong brand recognition, shore up the best sources of funding, and build a loyal customer base simply because there aren’t any competitors in the way during their first few years of operation.

When it comes to the market for exporting weed, big Canadian LPs have clearly established a first-mover advantage. There are currently 29 countries that recognize some form of medical cannabis, but only two of those countries — Canada and The Netherlands — export weed for medical use. In fact, the medical marijuana export market is dominated by just four Canadian weed producers: Cronos Group, Canopy Growth Corporation, Aphria, and Tilray.

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To some extent, it’s going to be a decades-long upward battle to really capitalize on the global demand for weed, given that the drug is still illegal in most countries. But Canadian marijuana companies are ahead of the curve in terms of making their mark overseas, as they scramble to collaborate with foreign medical marijuana producers and pharmaceutical companies keen on discovering and potentially patenting marijuana-based cures.

The European Experiment

“There’s huge opportunity for us in Germany,” PI Financial Corp. analyst Jason Zandberg told VICE Money. “They provide national health coverage for medical marijuana. That means, the German market could be more than double that of Canada.”

Medical marijuana officially became legal in Germany in March 2017, opening up a whole new market to Canadian LPs. Very little weed is actually farmed in Germany, although the government’s legalization framework includes a big push to cultivate the crop on its own for medicinal use to ensure its quality. Until then, however, the German cannabis industry will still rely entirely on imports.

In order to export weed to Germany, Canadian weed producers need to get approval from their own government and the German government. Late last year, Canopy Growth Corporation, a Unicorn in the weed industry, acquired the German-based pharmaceutical distributor, MedCann GmbH, which had successfully placed Tweed-branded cannabis strains in German pharmacies.

In fact, a month before that, another big Canadian LP, Cronos Group began the global expansion of their brand by shipping its first batch of “premium” medical marijuana to Germany. They currently own a subsidiary, Peace Natural Projects Inc., which signed an agreement with the German-based Pedanios GmbH, a distributor of medical cannabis.

Germany is just the first domino, believes Zandberg. “More European Union countries will create new medical cannabis laws and expand the export market for Canadian LPs. Currently 12 of the 28 EU members have a medical cannabis program.”

Restricting recreational weed exports

It is estimated that the global cannabis market may be worth $200 billion, with medical marijuana accounting for up to 50 percent of that. But Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s pot bill continues to make the export of weed for recreational use illegal, a factor that vastly limits the ability of Canadian weed producers to grow their business.

Canopy Growth CEO Bruce Linton however, sees this as a temporary hurdle. “Canada is emerging as a leader in public policy around marijuana and other countries will need its know-how as they shift toward making cannabis and cannabinoids part of standard medical treatment,” he told Bloomberg in an interview last month.

“That gives Canopy the chance to export product while the domestic industry makes that transition, and to set up production on the ground once it has,” Linton said. In other words, get in there first, mark your territory, establish your brand, and your consumers, regardless of nationality, will only want to consume Canadian weed.

Saul Kaye, the chief executive of iCan, a private Israeli firm that focuses on identifying innovators in the medical marijuana space, has dealings with a bunch of Canadian LPs.

“There’s a synergy that’s happening between Israel and Canada when it comes to marijuana. They are focused on the growing, on the agricultural side. We are focused on the R&D side, and we need that supply of different weed strains.”

But former Toronto police chief Bill Blair, a key player in the government’s campaign to legalize weed has made it clear that one of Canada’s biggest priorities is to ensure that there is adequate supply of legal weed in the market, to “weed out” illegal suppliers.

That could potentially mean the crackdown of export permits in order to prioritize the domestic market. Of course, that depends on how weed will be priced in different countries. If obtaining a marijuana pill is more expensive in say, Germany, there will be a greater incentive for big Canadian LPs to focus their sales there.

Big LPs charge ahead

Currently, four Canadian LPs export weed to a combined six countries. According to Jason Zandberg, it is Tilray, a private LP based in Nanaimo, B.C. that has been the “most aggressive LP in the export market,” selling weed to New Zealand, Australia, Chile, Brazil and Croatia.

Australia legalized marijuana for medical consumption back in November, which prompted another Canadian company, Aurora Cannabis, to lock in a 20 percent stake in Cann Group, the first Australian firm to be awarded a license from the Australian government to grow weed for medical purposes. Leamington-based Aphria also took notice of the Australian market by signing an agreement with Medlab, a weed research firm in Australia, to grow and prepare weed for the completion of a clinical trial.

The big prize, of course, is anyone who manages to crack the American market, in the unlikely event that they legalize medical marijuana. Aphria is attempting to do just that — it recently invested $25 million in a dispensing operation in Florida, besides also having a stake in an Arizona-based weed company. Aphria claims that its strategy in the U.S. is to “target key states that have approved medical marijuana.”

“There’s global opportunity out there,” Zandberg said. “The EU countries are a huge export market for us, but I believe that overall we’re positioned really well to tap into an additional leg of growth beyond the Canadian medical and recreational market.”

Follow Vanmala on Twitter   https://news.vice.com/story/canadian-weed-producers-will-dominate-the-global-marijuana-market


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Mary Jane Berlin 2017 From June 16 to 18 11:00 to 20:00 Funkhaus Berlin Nalepastr. 8th 12459 Berlin www.maryjane-berlin.de

Pack your bags and head off to Berlin

Last year, the first major hemp trade fair capital in the old post station took place, has been transformed into an idyllic place for the entire cannabis scene thanks to expert preparation. More than 100 international exhibitors, many snacks and very positive mood of pleasant reggae sound created beautiful atmosphere and let the many visitors closer to the marijuana issue, as it is common in everyday life. Since the enthusiasm also echoed many of those at home and do not want to stay away from the Berlin Hemp days on the Mary Jane Berlin in 2017, the special event expanded this year to almost double the size. The Mary Jane Berlin 2017 invites to convince even more people from the many useful properties of hemp Gewächses and bring connoisseurs of the topic of news as interesting facts about it.

For this reason, the team moved to Duc Anh Dang the consequences and saddles in 2017 in a larger area, which will provide enough space over 150 exhibitors. In the radio house Plänterwald are all well-known manufacturers of garden products, and cannabis products be represented at over 5000 m² of hall space and 2,000 m² outdoor area and present to interested visitors their latest achievements from 16 to 18 June. For a cheap day ticket of Mary Jane Berlin 2017 15 € – 30 € demanded euros for an even more favorable three-day ticket, which are wisely invested hemp friends. Rarely does one find the concentrated industry in one place concentrated even more rarely you meet the blended cream of the crop in the German capital.

Now since this country was cannabis as medicine finally accepted, is also to be expected with increased incidence of personalities from overseas. So 2017 offers the Mary Jane Berlin will naturally be a packed stage program in which more than twenty national and international specialists reveal their knowledge and are available for discussion groups available. A much larger hall is on the second held hemp trade fair for the dissemination of information to delegates whose discussions can therefore take place this year in an undisturbed setting. Among other Growing expert Mr. Jose will talk about cannabis cultivation in general, Rick Simpson strong case for a quick completion of Prohibition and Gerhard Seyfried reads from his book “Hemp in happiness.” Even the medical aspect is, of course, thoroughly lit and of course the driver’s license law is subject to a panel discussion.

Plenty of good reasons – to show the first warm rays of the Berlin city sun and to philosophize with many like-minded people about the changes in legislation, the benefits of Nutzgewächses and the failure of Prohibition – the Mary Jane Berlin 2017 therefore provides no doubt. Ways his favorite producers, editors of trade magazines, or even deserved praise speak out are on the June 16 to 18 in Berlin held hemp trade fair guarantees to satisfy given. Only the available repertoire of subjects for all undecided traders will slowly rar …

Let’s meet at:

Mary Jane Berlin 2017

From June 16 to 18

11:00 to 20:00

Funkhaus Berlin
Nalepastr. 8th
12459 Berlin

www.maryjane-berlin.de


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Dr. Franjo Grotenhermen – HERO!

Solidarity for abandoned cannabis patients.

Dr. med. Franjo Grotenhermen Employee of the nova Institute, Chairman of the Cannabis Association as Medicine (ACM)
Dr. med. Franjo Grotenhermen, photo: Archive

 

The well-known physician and chairman of the Cannabis Association as a medicine (ACM) Dr. Franjo Grotenhermen has made a moving decision. Although certain positive aspects could be felt in parts through the enacted cannabis-as-medicine law, there would be enough problems in the entire treatment area, which now led to a drastic measure. During the ACM Annual General Meeting in Frankfurt on May 12, 2017, the medical doctor, who has been advocating medical medicine for many years, declares his decision not to eat any food for the next one to two weeks as a result of solidarity with the many cannabis patients left alone.
Doctor Franjo Grotenhermen joins the hunger strike.

 


Dr. Franjo Grotenhermen at the ACM Annual General Meeting 2017 explains hunger strike.

 

The drug policy speakers of the parties were informed before Dr. Franjo Grotenhermen of the warnings – an honorary man.


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Legal Approaches to Decriminalize Cannabis in 16 Different Countries

Legal Approaches to Decriminalize Cannabis in 16 Different Countries

This report, prepared by the foreign law specialists and analysts of the Law Library of Congress, provides a review of laws adopted in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, and Uruguay with regard to decriminalization of narcotics, and touches specifically on cannabis and legalization.

Individual country surveys included in the study demonstrate varied approaches to the problem of prosecuting drug use, possession, manufacturing, purchase, and sale. The country surveys demonstrate some diversity and common threads among these jurisdictions as to defining narcotics, distinguishing between “hard” and “soft” drugs, establishing special regulations concerning cannabis, refusing to prosecute personal use and/or possession of small quantities of drugs for personal use, giving law enforcement authorities the discretion not to prosecute minors and first-time offenders, applying alternative forms of punishment, and providing treatment opportunities.

Netherlands

Planning a trip to Amsterdam? Did you know that coffee shops are actually prohibited from selling drugs to you under Dutch law, and that nonresidents are not even supposed to enter the coffee shops? But wait, before you freak out and cancel your plans, know that Amsterdam tolerates the sale of certain “soft drugs” to foreigners looking to try what Amsterdam is best-known for. Local mayors have the authority to close such shops for not adhering to local rules, but they typically do not step in to assign punishments.

Dutch coffee shops rely on income from tourists, which in turn contributes to local economies, so officials do not typically enforce the residency requirement.

Germany

If you get caught by police in Germany, don’t even try to argue soft drug versus hard drug. Law enforcement doesn’t recognize the difference. The distinction between hard and soft drugs can only be considered at sentencing.

Australia

You should know that there is no national decriminalization policy, and cannabis use is technically considered illegal across the county. However, three jurisdictions (Australian Capital Territory, South Australia, and Northern Territory) have decriminalized minor cannabis offenses, especially possession of the plant.

Costa Rica

The use of narcotics in Costa Rica, including personal use, is prohibited by law; but no penalty for such violation is found on the books. Police, prosecutors, and the courts have discretion to drop charges if it is a minor, first-time offense, or the accused is willing to enter a treatment program.

Mexico

Although possession of illegal drugs is generally a crime under Mexican law, possession of less than 5 grams is not criminally punishable. However, if you are caught, a rule enacted in 2009 requires that you must be referred to an addiction treatment program.

“The ruling eliminates the prohibition and criminalization of acts related to the medicinal use of marijuana and its scientific research, and those relating to the production and distribution of the plant for these purposes,” the Lower House said in a statement on its website.

Mexico’s Lower House of Congress passed a bill on Friday, April 28, to legalize the use of cannabis for medical and scientific needs. The measure passed in a general floor vote 371-7-11, and now classifies delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) as “therapeutic.”

The bill is now on President Enrique Pena Nieto’s desk, who is expected to sign it.

Uruguay

For now, it appears that the only country where it is completely legal to produce and use cannabis is Uruguay, although consuming cannabis in a public place is prohibited.

Adopted in 2013, Uruguay’s Law to Legalize and Regulate Cannabis brought radical change to the country’s approach to cannabis production and use. The law allows legal access to cannabis in four ways: medical marijuana through the Ministry of Health, home-grown marijuana, membership clubs, and sales to adults in drugstores. Although registration of consumers and cannabis clubs has been completed, implementation of sales in pharmacies is still underway.

Read the full report for free

These and many other interesting facts can be found in a recently published Law Library of Congress report on decriminalization of narcotics. Some diversity and common threads are demonstrated among the 16 countries included in the free report, such as defining narcotics, distinguishing between hard and soft drugs, establishing special regulations concerning cannabis, and discussion of the parameters of law enforcement and forms of punishment for personal use and/or possession.

You can access the full report here.


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Legalize It, a Zurich-based group, has launched a campaign to legally regulate cannabis across Switzerland

Could Switzerland Become the First European Country to Legally Regulate Cannabis?

Nine years after a Swiss referendum failed to gain public approval for cannabis legalisation, a campaign group has reignited the movement for reform.

Legalize It, a Zurich-based group, has launched a campaign to legally regulate cannabis across Switzerland. The objectives of the initiative, Legalize It describes, are three-fold: to allow adults the “freedom and right to consume cannabis”, to prevent those who seek cannabis from having to purchase from the “black market”, and to ensure increased investment into drug use prevention, related research, and social security. The funds for such investment, the group says, will be acquired from the taxation of cannabis sales, and savings on law enforcement expenditure.

The campaign comes in the form of a federal popular initiative, a legislative instrument by which Swiss citizens can suggest changes in the law. If the proposal garners 100,000 valid signatures from Swiss citizens, it will be put forward for debate by the Federal Council, the country’s highest executive authority, and the Federal Assembly, the highest legislative authority.

The Federal Palace of Switzerland. Source: Wikimedia Commons

The cultivation, sale, and use of cannabis are outlawed in Switzerland in almost all cases, however punishment for minor possession is relatively light. Under the current law, an adult found to be in possession of up to 10 grams of cannabis will be fined 100 Swiss francs (£78), and will not be criminally prosecuted. In 2015, there were a total of 18,366 such fines across Switzerland.

Around three percent of adult Swiss residents use cannabis monthly, and almost 40 per cent of adults claim to have used it at least once in their life, according to Addiction Monitoring in Switzerland.

An attempt to legally regulate cannabis was resoundingly opposed by the public in a 2008 referendum, in which 63 per cent of voters opposed the measure. However, the public’s view on the subject has changed over the past decade, according to Nino Forrer, spokesperson for Legalise It.

“Many other countries have legalised or decriminalised cannabis in some form since 2008 and the results are good […] Based on this new data, the Swiss people will see more benefits than harms in legalising cannabis, I’m sure”, Forrer told TalkingDrugs.

“There has not been a massive rise in cannabis consumption among the youth [in places that have legalised cannabis], no surge in traffic accidents, no massive increased health costs. Instead, many jurisdictions have put the extra money from cannabis taxes into public healthcare, infrastructure, and schools in order to improve the standard of living for their people.”

A legal cannabis crow in Colorado. Source: Brett Levin

For example, in 2016, the US state of Colorado collected over $150 million in cannabis sale taxes, of which around $50 million was directed to school projects. Similarly, Legalize Itclaims that taxing the drug could raise 100 million Swiss francs (£78 million) each year, based on their estimates of consumption rates.

Forrer believes that the success of foreign initiatives, such as that in Colorado, may be enough for the Swiss authorities and public to support Legalize It’s new campaign – but only if the message can be effectively be delivered.

“We have had very good responses so far! Many people in Switzerland were waiting for this initiative, so they are very happy that we have started it”, Forrer told us.

“Now, we will try to inform the public as much as possible in order to gather a strong activist base all over the country. Mass media affects our perception of cannabis to a large extent, so good press is needed in order to win over the minds of Swiss people”.

If this initiative proves successful, Switzerland could become the first country in Europe to introduce a legally regulated cannabis market.

Avinash Tharoor is the Editor of TalkingDrugs. He tweets at @AvinashTharoor