Time is right for marijuana entrepreneurs to enter the global market

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global marijuana expansion, Time is right for marijuana entrepreneurs to enter the global market

(This is an abridged version of a package that appears in the May-June issue of Marijuana Business Magazine.)

North American marijuana entrepreneurs who believe it’s too early to look at international opportunities should reconsider their position.

Federally licensed cultivation companies in Canada – Canopy Growth, Tilray, Aurora Cannabis and Cronos Group, to name a few – already are exporting marijuana products or have set up production deals in Europe, South America, Asia and Africa, as well as Australia and New Zealand.

The Canadian companies’ global expansion is aided, of course, by the plant’s acceptance on a federal level in a nation where government regulators have granted export licenses to MJ firms while governments in the importing countries have reciprocated.

Though marijuana remains illegal in the United States, several U.S. plant-touching and ancillary businesses are partnering with foreign companies or exploring opportunities primarily in Canada but also nations such as Jamaica, Germany, Israel, Australia and Lesotho.

A prime example is Seattle-based Privateer Holdings, which has business interests on five continents.

The math explains why more and more cannabis companies are turning a watchful eye overseas:

  • Spending on legal cannabis is forecast to reach $57 billion around the world by 2027, led by growth in North America and Europe, according to Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics.
  • Bryan, Garnier & Co., a European investment bank, is even more bullish, predicting a $140 billion global market by 2027.

“The opportunities are tremendous: 640 million people in Latin America, more than 500 million in the (European Union),” said Guillermo Delmonte, president of the international division of Organigram, a licensed cultivator based in New Brunswick, Canada.

“Many countries are still importing, but that’s because they don’t have companies that are operational to meet demand. But things are moving: There are companies getting set up to do domestic production when it’s allowed.”

Click on the links below to learn more about specific opportunities in the international cannabis sector:

Overseas primer

Overseas expansion tips

10 nations primed for investment

International players to watch

Key hemp markets