Canada MMJ Producers Eyeing International Expansion

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Canadian medical marijuana producers are already looking to expand overseas even as the country’s MMJ industry goes through significant changes.

MedReleaf, a licensed producer and seller of medical cannabis that’s partnered with a U.S. company to land a license in New York, is already looking to expand to Europe and South America, the Canadian Press reported.

The chief executive of Tweed Marijuana, which recently announced a deal to acquire Bedrocan Canada, has plans to expand internationally – possibly to Brazil and Chile – in 2016, according to the news report.

Canadian companies are better prepared to expand internationally than their U.S. counterparts, MedReleaf CEO Neil Closner said.

Medical marijuana is federally legal in Canada, and rules and regulations put in place by the government have forced licensed cultivators to produce pharmaceutical-grade cannabis, experts said.

U.S. companies, by contrast, adhere to rules that differ by state, undercutting their ability to capitalize on economies of scale, Closner told the Canadian Press.

Still, changes in the Canadian market and to the country’s MMJ regulations may slow expansion overseas as companies shore up their domestic operations before looking abroad.