2019 Archives - Green Market Report

Debra BorchardtDecember 27, 2018


The Green Market Report asked industry leaders what they think 2019 will bring to the cannabis industry.

Alex Waysl, CEO, Nexien Biopharma

“In 2019, following the signing of The Farm Bill, there will be increasingly clear FDA regulatory oversight on cannabis and cannabinoids. As a result of the FDA’s current stance per The Farm bill, we anticipate that the medical cannabis focus will shift toward a stronger pharmaceutical interest, built on cannabinoids as molecules with targeted therapeutic applications. With quickly changing perceptions about the various uses for cannabinoids and increased depth of knowledge about the therapeutic benefits of these molecules, we anticipate pre-clinical scientific research on cannabinoids and cannabinoid-based pharmaceutical formulation to be on the rise in 2019.”

Khurram Malik, CEO, Biome Grow

“Within the Canadian market, I think more provinces will embrace the private retail model in 2019, while still having some level of provincial oversight. Ontario’s move to private retail will be the catalyst for this. I also foresee larger Canadian cannabis companies quarterly results in the first half of 2019 will likely show a large amount of export-related sales to international medical markets where the margins are better for them than the domestic recreational market.”  

Peter Vogel, CEO, Leafwire

“2019 will be the year of the brands. In the early stages of legalization, consumers would go into a dispensary and just buy anything; they were just excited to buy cannabis legally. Now, though, after many markets are maturing, experienced shoppers are starting to pick favorite brands and are developing loyalties. This means that it’s more important than ever for brands to have a wide breadth of offerings – applications, dosages, flavors, and more. Consumers will remain loyal as long as there is a large enough variety of products to choose from within a brand family. This also means that brands will be spending considerable amounts of money on marketing and promotional campaigns.” 

Carly Bodmer, Director of Sales and Communications, GrowFlow

“Governing bodies will begin to see that recreational is a chance to highly regulate the cannabis market and collect taxes and there will be a push for federal legalization that will result in more uniform rules.”


Debra BorchardtDecember 26, 2018


The Green Market Report asked some cannabis industry leaders what they think 2019 will bring for their companies and for the landscape in general.

Sam Dorf, Chief Strategy Officer, Verano Holdings

It will be another year of tremendous growth and opportunity for the cannabis industry with the following:

  1. We will see a tidal wave of states following the lead of legalized states and Illinois, New York and New Jersey, whose newly elected and key officials support legalization. Key drivers are recognition that cannabis prosecution disproportionately impacts minorities; awareness that cannabis is not a gateway drug; studies showing legalization can help reduce opioid addiction and deaths; and cannabis-derived tax revenue.
  2. We expect the pace of cannabis companies listing on public exchanges will accelerate even more in their quest to access capital.   This, in turn, will fuel rampant consolidation and growth.
  3. With consolidation, we will see the beginnings of the first real national cannabis brands.
  4. California’s tighter regulations and policing of non-compliant operators presents an opportunity for national operators, like Verano, who have been waiting on the sidelines, to tap into the world’s largest cannabis market and operate like they do in other states

Mitch Baruchowitz, Managing Partner, Merida Capital Partners

We see 2019 in 2 distinct ways: The Rise of the Consumer, and the Rise of the Product. With a more developed consumer data landscape, companies will start focusing on the type of products offered.  This will drive and be driven by segmentation of patients/consumers into more defined verticals.  As that occurs, blurry lines on why people are consuming cannabis will become more clear, which will allow research and data to accelerate and further product specification to occur.  When that happens, we will see the Rise of the Brand as companies compete in the defined segment-this might be more a 2020 phenomenon.

Erik Blakkestad, Client Relations, Electrum Partners, LLC

Capital raised by cannabis-related companies will triple from $13.8 billion to over $40 billion in 2019. The primary driver will be a dramatic increase in funding of ancillary businesses supporting the industry coming from perennial venture capital epicenters Silicon Valley and New York.  

Dylan Summers, Director of Government Affairs, Lazarus Naturals

“If the recent explosion in popularity of hemp-derived CBD is any indication, the zeitgeist of cannabis seems to be trending beyond mere tolerance to overall acceptance. Being championed by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Rand Paul (R-KY), the language legalizing hemp in the 2018 Farm Bill has something which seems to be a rarity in today’s political climate: nearly unanimous bipartisan support. The fact that cannabis is being realized for its potential is resolutely a step toward lending practical and legal credence to the plant. As hemp and its products becomes continually more accessible it is only a matter of time before the optics of cannabis overall is changed from back-alley-indulgence to a serious resource for supplementing a health-forward lifestyle.”







Debra BorchardtDecember 20, 2018


2019 is undoubtedly going to be an advantageous year for cannabis in Canada, as the country irons out the bumps of the legalization of cannabis in 2018.

Ronan Levy, a Canadian cannabis pioneer and Chief Corporate Officer & General Counsel of Canadian Cannabis Clinics and Chief Strategic Officer of Trait Biosciences, has offered some insights about what we’ll see in cannabis for the nation this coming year.

Elevation of the Cannabis Experience

The cannabis joint has always reigned supreme for cannabis retail and in cannabis culture; this could be the year that the joint takes a back seat. This year, Levy predicts will be “the end of the joint as we know it” as Canada ushers in its new regulations for edibles, topicals, beverages, and inhalables. Canadians will be able to access a bevy of new, sophisticated products that will change the way they consume cannabis.

Along with this emergence of sophisticated products, “the cannabis and hemp consumers are going to become more discerning, both in terms of the quality of product as well as the purity, safety and reliability of product,” Levy told Green Market Report, “it’s going to be a challenge for most producers to keep up with the ever-evolving tastes of consumers.”

Put that S*it on Everything

Levy predicts that CBD will be the new Frank’s Hot Sauce, where people will be keen to “put that s*it on everything”. With the U.S. Farm Bill in the U.S. now passed, and more attention being put on CBD over THC, we can expect to see an influx of CBD products come to market.

Of concern to Levy; however, is whether consumers will grow weary of familiar products being brought to market “now with CBD” as cannabis fever takes over.

Above All, Safety

The reports from the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) that legal cannabis is containing molds, pesticides, even bugs, there has been a pretty big light cast on cannabis safety across the country, and consumers are the ones shining the biggest light.

“From a purity and safety perspective, we expect to see a few hiccups around mold and pesticides as new entrants into the hemp and cannabis industries face challenges scaling up production,” Levy told Green Market Report, “As we’ve seen in edibles in California [and now in Canada] producers are still struggling to control cannabis pests and mold, which has resulted in excessive use of pesticides. These challenges will create a stronger demand from consumers for purity and safety of the products they consume.”

Big Pharma Moves In

“With more research emerging showing the many different medical applications of cannabinoids,” said Levy in his insights, “drug companies are going to start to feel the heat as safer, natural and effective cannabis-based therapeutics possibly for cancer, pain management, diabetes and a host of other ailments emerge.”

With this shift will come the need for ultimate prudence in the way Big Pharma blends its approaches with the existing knowledge, and culture, surrounding medical cannabis.

“The most important thing the industry can do is to continue investing in science and research of the medical and therapeutic benefits of cannabinoids, as well as professionalizing their business practices,” says Levy to Green Market Report.

“The biggest risk to the industry is people making unsubstantiated claims about the safety or efficacy of cannabinoids, which end up being refuted,” he continued, “Prudent, thoughtful and professional research and development, as well as business management, to avoid any large scandals is the best thing the industry can do.”

Move Over THC and CBD

It’s time for the minor cannabinoids found in cannabis to take center stage in 2019. “As over 100 cannabinoids have been isolated, people will start looking for ways to produce these “minor” cannabinoids in scale, and an increasing amount of research will focus in on them.”

According to Levy, the most likely targets of this work are cannabinol (CBN), which has been shown to be an effective therapy for insomnia; cannabichromene (CBC), which is a potent anti-inflammatory; and cannabigerol (CBG), which is believed to have neuroprotectant and anti-bacterial properties. These are the most well-understood of the minor cannabinoids and thus will receive much of the attention.  

A Positive Time for Canada, With Caution

According to Levy, this is a crucial time as cannabis moves forward to develop the consumer experience, explore new cannabinoids, ensure the safety of products, and Big Pharma sets its eyes on cannabis.

“Attitudes are already changing toward cannabis and hemp, and the world is embracing it,” says Levy, “We just need to make sure we don’t give people a reason to change their minds.”


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