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Patient Advocate since 1977.


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“It’s California in 1995 All Over Again, Man” – Opportunities and Problems Piling Up in the European Cannabis Market – from Cannabis Business Executive magazine / Philip J. Cenedella IV

“It’s California in 1995 all over again, man.”

That was a comment I overhead during a conversation between an American and a German entrepreneur at the Mary Jane Berlin event held in Berlin in the second week of June, 2017.

Indeed, there may not be a better way to sum up the current state of the state here in Europe’s most populous country. Having been on the frontlines of the grassroots efforts in San Diego last century, it is fun to see how our industry is now growing in Germany and throughout Europe.  And like California back then, or now, the struggle is not always easy.

Here’s another interesting quote of the month:

“European markets are increasingly important to the cannabis sector. Each has a well-funded medical system, residents who seek natural and complementary therapies, and a government-supported mandate to stop the rising tide of opiate addiction related to chronic pain treatment.”

-Benjamin Ward, CEO, Maricann Group, Inc.

As of August, 2017 starts, the medical marijuana patients in Germany are experiencing “sold out” conditions nationwide, and the two exclusive importing countries (Canada and the Netherlands) are anticipating further bottlenecks as their in-country supply needs change. This is a significant problem – but also an opportunity for GMP-certified growers to fill the gap. If, and how, the German government opens up alternative supply to support their medical patients will be the top story in Germany this year.

From the patients perspective, there are two bad things about the current state of affairs: Little to no choice in their required medicine and their insurance companies are now refusing to cover the costs for the medicine as stipulated in the federal law.

Of course, lawyers are now getting involved and insurance companies are starting to be forced into approving valid claims from their policy-paying customers. But it is a silly, slow process to say the least.

The solution the German government is pursuing is to award 10 grow licenses to companies that will then produce 200 lbs. cannabis ​each within the country. The first bud from those plants are not scheduled to be picked until sometime in 2019, which is simply too long for patients to wait.

Some of the companies that have been publicly mentioned as potential winners of a grow license are Spektrum Cannabis, which is the Canopy Growth company formerly known as MedCann; Maricann GmbH, which is the new German subsidiary of its Canadian parent, Bedrocan, that has been a leader in the industry but recently run into a dispute with their Canadian licensee, Bedrocan International; Aurora Cannabis from Canada, which recently acquired the German firm Pedianos adding an EU-wide, medical marijuana distribution capability; and ABCann of Canada, which touts the “Father of THC” Dr. Raphael Mechoulam as a key member of their board of directors.

Homegrow options in Germany are currently not permitted, and existing indoor/outdoor farm operations are not yet able to be registered, licensed and taxed.

The black market continues to win, and patients continue to lose.  Cannabis business executives worldwide need to effectively work with the German government to develop the solutions we all know exist.  Three organizations that are key to this effort are the BfArM (www.bfarm.de )  the DHV (www.hanfverband.de )  and the GTAI ( www.gtai.de )

My personal comment is the government, politicians and regulators here in Germany need to listen to their constituents who support our industry by over 60 percent nationwide, according to a recent poll. The total quantity of flower to be delivered by the 10 licensees is probably less than what my buddy Butch has in his building back in California to handle his patients which live within five miles of the office.

Yes I am joking, Butch usually has less, but the point is – ​it simply is not enough for a population twice the size of California.

With all the talk about Germany, it is also important to remember that it is one of 18 countries within Europe that currently allow for some form of medical marijuana.  Besides Germany, there are provisions for the distribution and use of medical products in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and, the most recent addition, Poland.

This is an interesting list that, again, shows these are historic times here in Europe.

Sadly missing from the list above is the United Kingdom, and that has affected people we know. Our friend Vera Twomey, and her entire family had to leave the U.K. last month just to take care of their young daughter with Dravet’s Syndrome. In the U.K. their daughter suffered from up to 30 grand mal seizures a day while taking a regimen of pharmaceutical drugs.

Think about that for a moment – 30 grand mal ​seizures a day.

Now living as “medical refugees” from their homeland, the Twomey’s and their daughter are now dealing with zero grand mal seizures a day thanks to her medical marijuana.

30 grand mal seizures a day, now zero a day – everyday for the past 3-4 weeks.

The United Kingdom calls medical marijuana illegal. Patients and advocates call that thinking arcane, unjust, and possibly criminal itself. They are now petitioning the Human Rights Commission of the European Union in Brussels for help. I am positive their efforts will be successful – it is just a matter of time.

Vera and her family hope it comes within her daughter’s lifetime. That is all for now. Have a successful rest of the summer, rest up and get ready because I believe that Q-4 of 2017 is going to be a busy one for our industry and your company.

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Isodiol and Canopy Growth sign agreement re: Pot.o.Coffee

Isodiol International Inc. Signs Definitive Licensing Agreement With Canopy Growth Corporation for Canadian and International Distribution

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, July 20, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Isodiol International Inc. (CSE:ISOL) (OTC:LAGBF) (Frankfurt:LB6A.F) (the “Company” or “Isodiol”) a global cannabis innovator specializing in the development of pharmaceutical and consumer products is pleased to announce it has signed a licensing agreement with Canopy Growth Corporation (“Canopy”) (TSX:WEED) (https://www.canopygrowth.com). 

Canopy Growth is the world’s premier cannabis company that operates a collection of diverse brands and curated strain varieties, supported by over half a million square feet of indoor and greenhouse production capacity. Under this licensing agreement, Canopy Growth will have the right to manufacture and distribute the Company’s “Pot-O-Coffee” and “Pot-O-Tea” branded marijuana infused single serve K-Cup products in Canada and certain other markets internationally as federal regulations allow. Licensed products include caffeinated and de-caffeinated product lines as well as Isodiol’s single serve “Pot-O-Coco”. In addition to the Canadian rights, Canopy Growth shall have the right of first refusal to sell the “Pot-O” brand products in any territory outside of the US, Mexico and Puerto Rico.

“This distribution agreement has us positioned to increase our global footprint with the largest cannabis company in the world. We will continue to develop our Pot-O-Coffee product lines with ready to drink and cold brew products while working with Canopy Growth for international distribution channels. The Pot-O-Coffee brand is well recognized, and adding additional products to this line will continue to strengthen its market presence,” stated Isodiol’s CEO Marcos Agramont.

The availability of the various licensed products in Canada and elsewhere will differ depending on applicable laws and regulation. While Canadian law does not yet permit the manufacture and sale of marijuana infused products, the Company anticipates that such products will be permitted in the near future. Furthermore, currently proposed regulations which would permit the sale of infused products, would not allow such products to contain both marijuana and caffeine. As such, the specific product offerings in Canada and elsewhere may be limited. The Company will provide additional updates as regulations are adopted and as product roll-out plans are developed.

About Isodiol International Inc.

Isodiol International, Inc. is the market leader in pharmaceutical grade cannabis compounds and the industry leader in manufacturing and development of consumer products. Isodiol’s nutraceutical division is the pioneer of many firsts for Hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD), including 99% pure crystalline isolate, micro-encapsulation, and nano technology for the highest quality consumable and topical skin care products.

Isodiol’s growth strategy includes the development of over-the-counter and pharmaceutical drugs, seeking joint ventures and acquisitions to expand its portfolio of brands and subsidiaries and will aggressively continue International expansion into Latin America, Asia and Europe.


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Canadian cannabis M&As ready to ‘go crazy’: Q&A with Aurora CFO Glen Ibbott

July 12, 2017     

https://mjbizdaily.com/canadian-cannabis-mas-ready-go-crazy-qa-aurora-cfo-glen-ibbott/

By Omar Sacirbey

Glen Ibbott had a successful career as a top executive with U.S. life sciences companies worth hundreds of millions of dollars that listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

But it wasn’t hard for Canada’s Aurora Cannabis to recently lure Ibott north of the border to become the medical marijuana producer’s chief financial officer.

Canada is preparing to launch an adult-use industry in 2018. And Ibott liked the idea of working in a country where companies are pioneering the global cannabis market.

He was also drawn by the explosion of merger and acquisition activity in Canada and Alberta-based Aurora’s plans to trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Ibott, who became Aurora’s CFO in May, spoke with Marijuana Business Daily about IPOs, Canadian cannabis M&As and being a part of history.

What are the priorities you started with?

On the M&A side, because of our position – with the market cap and the balance sheet that we’ve got – we’re starting to see a lot of opportunities both domestically and internationally that we need to go after hard and fast.

We’re also listed on the TSX Venture Exchange (trading as ACB) – which is the junior exchange of the Toronto Stock Exchange – and we want to be listed on the senior board (Toronto Stock Exchange).

There are a lot more financial controls and diligence, and it helps if you’ve been through it. They’ve got a good team here, but they need more hands to get ready for that move to the TSX.

Where do you want to make acquisitions?

We just invested in an IPO in Australia called the Cann Group, going in at 19.9%, and we hope to see that develop into something more than just a financial investment. It’s there and Europe, and perhaps Israel.

The international space is intriguing, and there are some really good opportunities there. We’re looking at lots of stuff in Canada as well.

How do you prepare yourself for an M&A deal?

You need to be able to differentiate yourself, whether you’re first into the space or you’ve got a unique offering that can’t be easily replicated.

And you’ve got to look at the market and how you’re going to tell who’s going to be successful. And that will differ from country to country, depending on the regulatory regime.

Beyond that, you’ve just got to be prepared. This space is going to change so rapidly.

I think in the next few years, there will be a handful of big players and then a number of specialized businesses – almost like craft beer – and then all the others will get washed out.

They’ll get bought because they have reliable supply, or they have a unique offering that helps the company compete in the space. I think the M&A side of this is going to go crazy in the next couple of years.

Whether you want to get taken out or partner with somebody, you have to be prepared to move quickly. You need to have your financial and legal house in order.

In companies I’ve worked for, we’ve always had a data room ready, having all of our paperwork and tax returns ready. We have this prepared well before we even talk to anybody. You just make it part of your business to have these things up to date.

If you’re buying somebody, what are you looking for?

You want to make sure they don’t have any legal liabilities or that somebody is suing them. You want to understand how they compete in the space and why they’re different.

Nobody has the time or resources to do everything. But even keeping a couple of the fundamentals ready to go so if someone pops up and says, “Hey, we’re really interested in doing a deal or partnering with you; can you send some stuff over?”

It’s important to be prepared for that because a potential partner may not be able to wait for that for several months. They’ll move on to something else.

We plan to be very active, and I think there’s lots of opportunities. And from what I can see, our competitors are of the same mindset.

Why did you join the cannabis industry?

Why not? I spent most of the last 20 years in pharma and biotech, mainly publicly listed U.S. companies. They’re very dynamic, especially in smaller biotech, when you’re developing a lead drug and you’re going to live or die based on the success of that drug.

But when I looked at this industry, I basically thought this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. How often do you see an industry where the demand is there, the governments are kind of starting to open up?

I haven’t ever seen an opportunity at this stage. It’s something you read in the history books, like a couple hundred years ago when guys were building railroads. It feels like you’re at the start of something big, and what’s ahead of us is just incredible.

The industry itself is really attractive, and when I looked at Aurora, you’ve got entrepreneurs who have a really solid track record of success. If you can show success, it’s more likely you can replicate it.

Plus, the company itself is really well positioned. Good market cap, just raised a bunch of money – I think we have the team and resources to really go after it.

It’s almost a no-brainer. Why wouldn’t you jump at this opportunity? I think the next few years are just going to be a blast.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Omar Sacirbey can be reached at omars@mjbizdaily.com

Daily News | Canada Medical Marijuana News | Featured | Sales, Funding & Banking News


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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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The German government finally passed its legalization framework for medical cannabis consumption in March 2017. The country’s market is expected to record modest growth with its high 82 million population and a policy that allows prescriptions to be paid through health insurance plans, …MOTLEY FOOL article

Which Top Marijuana Company Will Capture Germany?

The German government finally passed its legalization framework for medical cannabis consumption in March 2017. The country’s market is expected to record modest growth with its high 82 million population and a policy that allows prescriptions to be paid through health insurance plans, thus potentially encouraging patients to explore medical cannabis health benefits.

Local marijuana producers with vast experience in mass growing of high quality product and hungry to capture the lucrative €12 – €15 a gram (roughly C$17 – C$21.75 per gram) German medical cannabis market, have been taking positions in growing their international business portfolios.

Some of the top local growers have already established footprints in Germany, but which among the local players is likely to gain significant traction in the new market?

Canopy Growth Corp

The local market leader, Canopy Growth Corp. (TSX:WEED) has already made a significant investment in Germany. The company acquired MedCann GmbH Pharma & Nutraceuticals (MedCann) back in November 2016. MedCann, a distributor, has successfully placed Canopy’s Tweed branded cannabis strains into German pharmacies.

The German distribution model strictly  confines cannabis sales to the pharmacy distribution model and no direct sales shall be allowed. Since all sales shall take the wholesale distribution channel, Canopy is already at a first mover advantage in this market.

Canopy has indicated that it is interested in producing cannabis locally in Germany with the expansion of the local program. With Germany expecting to launch a domestic cannabis cultivation initiative by 2019, Canopy is likely to try broadening its expansion program in the country.

Aphria Inc.

Aphria Inc. (TSX:APH) has recently announced an international expansion program that is currently focused on the United States market, and has committed $25 million to an investment in Florida. Its not yet clear whether it intends to make serious investments in the new German market, but it has been eyeing this market for some time.

Although it had not yet made any formal engagements in Germany by January 2017, the CEO Vic Neufeld, in an interview with the Midas Letter openly stated that Germany has been very much on Aphria’s radar, and the company once engaged in dialogue with two different organisations pertaining the German market.

However, Aphria has been very cautious in their Canada and U.S. expansion programs so far. It seems the company has a slow-but-sure approach to doing business as its Canadian operations have shown, so I do not expect an overly vigorous and aggressive German expansion program from them.

Aurora Cannabis Inc.

One of the fastest growing and most aggressive marijuana producers, Aurora Cannabis Inc.(TSXV:ACB), has recently announced a $75 million convertible debenture offering which is likely to close on April 26, 2017, with a clear intent of using the funds to “aggressively pursue international expansion opportunities,” says CEO Terry Booth.

The company believes the $185 million cash position gives them the strongest cash balance “in the global cannabis sector,” and Aurora wants to play a leading role “in multiple emerging global cannabis markets.” 

Its most likely Aurora may attempt a German expansion route. Given the company’s growth style, it goes big on ventures and seeks aggressive expansion. These traits have seen it emerging to become a serious top contender in the Canadian marijuana space in a very short time.

Most noteworthy, Aurora is already listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in Germany and raising expansion funds locally may be relatively easier.

Investor takeaway.

Its not yet clear who among these top marijuana companies may become a serious investor in Germany, but Canopy already commands a serious lead.

There are other serious Canadian contenders to the German market, like the soon-to-be-listed Maricann Group Inc, which is already trying to acquire an 800,000 square foot facility and likely seeking a cultivation license in Germany, and  CanniMed Therapeutics and the Cronos Group who already have distribution relationships in the European country.

However, there will be competition from Netherlands entities too, but the market may not be that big enough to support massive investment as yet. Canadian growers who manage to capture the infant German market may be rewarded though, as they will gain first mover advantages into the opening European market.

According to Google, “Marijuana” has been a more popular search term in Canada lately than our very own Justin Trudeau. And, not surprisingly, marijuana stocks have been the most popular topic for Motley Fool Canada readers for some time…and for good reason! However, not all “pot stocks” are created equal. That’s why we’ve created our premium report “Motley Fool Canada: 3 Marijuana Stock Tips for Investors Today.” Discover how you can gain access to the 3 stocks we believe investors should focus on in this premium Stock Advisor Canada report by clicking here now!


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https://cenedella.de/ * Philip J. Cenedella IV * International Cannabis Consultant * Germany, Europe, USA and Canada markets * Medical Marijuana Patient Advocate since 1977 * Assist with Business Development, Licensing, Partnerships, and Strategic Direction.

Philip J. Cenedella IV

Bio

https://cenedella.de/
Philip J. Cenedella IV
International Cannabis Consultant
Medical Marijuana Patient Advocate since 1977.

First and foremost, Phil is a patient advocate for 4 decades having grown up in New York during the Rockefeller Drug Law years, then establishing himself in San Diego during the push for legalization there in the’ 90s.  Now he is situated in Germany during its historic transition into the leadership role of the European Cannabis industry.

Phil is uniquely qualified to help you establish your international business strategy having served as a Founding Board Member of the World Trade Center San Diego, a Lead Consultant for Deutsche Telekom, The California Trade and Investment Office, Deutsche Bank, IBM, San Diego Economic Development Board and many other entities.  He puts his years of business development, sales and distribution expertise to work for you in a highly professional, ethical and effective manner.

40 Years Experience:
Phil was born in Buffalo on the shores of the US/Canadian border, spent most of his life in San Diego overlooking the US/Mexico border, and now is living in Europe with its open borders and the opening of its legal Cannabis industry.

As a C-level business development executive in the technology and construction sectors, and a Founding Board of Director for the World Trade Center San Diego and San Diego Software Council, Phil has facilitated and closed sales and strategic partnerships worldwide.

Phil has also been Lead Consultant for the California Trade and Investment Office in Germany and catalyst for the CAL-IT Investment Forum in London.

He has served as a consultant for IBM, George Clinton, Deutsche Telekom, iSeeTV,  San Diego Convention Center, FINDLAW, Chaparral Computers and Networks, San Diego Economic Development Corporation, Deutsche Bank and many others in the Cannabis space (to remain confidential).

Phil is a USA citizen with an EU Work/Residence Permit.  He has exactly 40 years of firsthand knowledge of all aspects of our Industry and is a C-level International business development specialist who is highly professional yet very easy to work with.  He provides your firm with Strategic guidance and the ability to help you to increase your sales channels, distribution networks, and strategic partnerships.

Education:
1984, University of Dayton B.A. Psychology, Music minor-emphasis

Skill Level:
Sales 98%
Business Development 98%
International  trade 98%
Cannabis Industry 420%

Testimonials

 Who is Phil:
“Phil is an absolute professional. Flexible, hardworking and driven. His results were great and we highly recommend his services.” – BLF, NYC

“Phil has boundless enthusiasm and always applies 100% effort to all he does. Phil researched the US market for…. The USA became our best market by far, and I know that we would never have broken into that extremely tough market without Phil. His combination of broad based business knowledge, willingness to learn, team spirit and superb networking skills is very rare and extremely valuable. Always positive, he was a joy to work with. I thoroughly recommend him.” – GRB, UK

“Phil Cenedella has been my contact for several years and I have found him to be the consummate professional. He will always promptly return a call or provide me an answer to an inquiry. He is always “on-it” and truly treats a client as if they were part of his extended family. It’s very rare these days to find someone as dedicated to his business and his clients as Phil. Phil has all the characteristics of what I look for when I have occasion to be expanding my staff. He is honest to a fault, dedicated, sincere and is the paramount reason for my firm’s continuing…….” – DF ,USA

“Phil is the most personable, genuine, charismatic and effective business development manager I have had the pleasure to work with. He instills trust and confidence!”- JFL, EU

“Phil is family.” – George Clinton
Volunteer Positions:    Founder, Dayton and La Jolla Human Trafficking Accords, Founder, St. Vincent de Paul Christmas Caroling and Limo Party, Volunteer, Americans for Safe Access, Advisor, City of Hope – Dubai  Key accomplishments:  Assisted with the freeing from prison a child victim of human trafficking serving life without parole, initiated Goldman Sachs’ divestment of a human-trafficking related publication, assisted advocates on the frontlines in Dubai, Ohio, California and elsewhere.


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Canadian pot companies see medical exports growing under Trudeau law

http://www.columbian.com/news/2017/apr/21/canadian-pot-companies-see-medical-exports-growing-under-trudeau-law/

By Josh Wingrove and Jen Skerritt, Bloomberg News

OTTAWA, Canada — Canada’s push to legalize recreational marijuana is rippling beyond its borders as companies move to boost exports of medicinal pot.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government unveiled its framework last week, quelling concern it would clamp down on export permits for existing medical-pot producers such as Canopy Growth Corp. and Aurora Cannabis Inc. Those companies, which have a head start on the legal recreational market, will continue to be allowed to export marijuana to countries such as Germany and Australia for medical and scientific use.

“It might not be so limited,” said Emily Larose, a partner with law firm Cassels Brock who specializes in cannabis regulation. Industry fears of onerous export restrictions have receded over the past year as bureaucrats typically approve any permit so long as the main requirements are met. “The way in which they’ve been granted so far seems to be more box-ticking.”

Companies in Canada, the second country and first major economy to unveil plans for legalization of recreational pot, have already secured investments and partnerships in countries where support for legalized medical marijuana is gaining ground. The global cannabis market may be worth $200 billion, with the medical market accounting for 25 percent to 50 percent of that, Daniel Pearlstein, a research analyst in Toronto at Eight Capital, said by email.

Canopy is already exporting to Brazil and Germany. Last year, the Smith Falls, Ontario-based company acquired pharmaceutical distributor MedCann GmbH, which has placed its cannabis strains in German pharmacies.

Bedrocan Canada Inc., a unit of Canopy, exported 10 kilograms of dried cannabis to Brazil to be used in a clinical study targeting epilepsy and pain management, according to a November statement.

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, said Chief Executive Officer Bruce Linton. 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, he said.

“All of these jurisdictions are contemplating or structuring a way in which production will occur in them,” Linton said by phone. “We are actually an exporter of public policy.”

That meshes with Trudeau’s view for the future of the Canadian economy: one pivoting from raw resource extraction toward white-collar jobs in the services sector.

“You’re going to develop know-how on how to make this stuff,” said Eileen McMahon, a partner at Torys LLP and chair of the law firm’s intellectual property and food and drug regulatory practices. “That know-how arguably could be used” outside Canada under the Trudeau law, she said, adding it’s possible “employees with that expertise could cross the border.”

Aurora intends to be a “significant” player in the Australian market and is looking at others as well, said Cam Battley, an executive vice president. The Cremona, Alberta-based company plans to use its capital and experience to export its product, and to set up in countries where marijuana may soon be legal, he said.

“Canada more broadly is a leader in the cannabis industry,” Battley said by phone. “That gives us a lot of potential power in other markets.”

Exports will be allowed “as long as they meet the strict regulatory requirements,” lawmaker Bill Blair, a former police chief and Trudeau’s point man on pot legalization, said in an interview. He brushed aside questions about whether the government wants to encourage companies to be exporters. “We want to make sure there is a viable industry capable of supplying that well-regulated retail market” domestically in Canada.

The government has to issue export permits repeatedly, and could clamp down, change guidelines or slow its issuing of permits if it wanted to cool the market.

In a notice posted last year, Canada said it “does not support facilitating a regime premised on servicing global demand given the associated public health, safety and security risks” and that export “would be permitted under very limited circumstances.” Fears stoked in industry by that notice have since eased, Larose said.

Aurora secured a 19.9 percent stake last month in Cann Group, the first Australian company to be licensed for research and cultivation of medical cannabis for human use.

Aphria Inc., based in Leamington, Ontario, is investing $25 million in a dispensing operation in Florida, the company said April 4. Aphria’s U.S. expansion strategy is to target key states that have approved medical marijuana, according to the statement.

Canada’s legalization effort may violate its obligations under international law, Steven Hoffman, director of the University of Ottawa’s Global Strategy Lab, wrote in a Globe and Mail editorial this week. “Unless we change our constitution, Canada cannot legally legalize cannabis without either renegotiating the U.N. treaties, obtaining special exceptions, finding creative workarounds, or withdrawing from them,” he wrote.

The government believes its restrictions on production or sale outside its strictly regulated regime, as well as restrictions on some exports and use by minors, keeps it onside, Blair said.

“We believe this enables us to uphold and maintain our obligations under those treaties,” he said, speaking in an interview after Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould referred questions on the matter to Blair.