Green Market Summit: The International Cannabis Landscape

What is the state of the international cannabis industry, and what will it look like in the future? This was one of the many questions discussed at the Green Market Summit, which brought together some of the cannabis industry’s most prominent thought leaders and experts in the international cannabis trade. The result is a new report issued during the Summit by Green Market Report titled “The Economics of International Cannabis Companies.”

Following a thought-provoking discussion on the state of cannabis banking was a discussion panel on the international cannabis market, moderated by Sean McNulty, Principal and Co-Founder of XIB Financial Inc.

The panel featured Peter Miller of Slang Worldwide; Daniel Pearlstein, Vice President of Strategy at Canopy Rivers Corporation; Jason Wild, Chairman of the Board of Directors at TerrAscend; and Jonathan Rubin, the CEO of New Leaf Data Services.

The discussion opened by examining the idea of Canada as a beachhead for cannabis companies to launch their products and the need for consistency, quality products, and common-sense regulation. Taking a nuanced position, Rubin stated that in many ways Canada is a beachhead for the industry but that there are also ways in which it is not.

“When you think about a beachhead, yes, federal legalization of the medical market allowed that to happen,” said Rubin, “but there hasn’t been the opportunity yet for it [the cannabis industry] to develop into a commodity or wholesale market.”

Turning towards cannabis pricing, the conversation began to focus on the idea of cannabis as a commodity and how in the future the most expensive part of a cannabis product may not be the cannabis itself. Wild speculated that the industry would start to resemble pharmaceutical industry in at least one particular aspect.

“On the commoditization side, I look at this industry a little more like the generic drug industry, which is not a pure commodity,” said Wild. “In the cannabis industry, you’re going to have maybe two or three different players touch it in between the formulator and the end consumer.”

Looking forward to the global cannabis industry, questions arose as to what this international landscape would look like over the next several years. Admitting that it may not be the most exciting answer, Pearlstein said that it would depend on each individual country.

“The bottom line is that it all comes down to regulation,” said Pearlstein. “We might look at something in Italy that’s different than what’s in Jamaica. Maybe Italy just wants to grow outdoor hemp while Jamaica wants to do something that’s closer to recreational.”

Closing out the discussion, the panel took up the potential issue of cannabis prices bottoming out and how that would affect the industry in Canada. Miller stated that, like in Oregon, cannabis prices would most likely continue to decline as the market matures and those cannabis companies will have to find other ways to distinguish themselves besides pricing or potency.

“You don’t need a crystal ball necessarily to see what’s going to happen in Canada,” said Miller. “That’s why brands are increasingly becoming important.”

Stay tuned to find out more about happened at the Green Market Summit, as the Green Market Report gives you an in-depth look at the event throughout the week.

William Sumner

William Sumner

William Sumner is a freelance writer specializing in the legal cannabis industry. You can follow William on Twitter @W_Sumner or on Medium.


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