In Italy, medical cannabis is legal. The government is the only cultivation operation in the nation and is overseen by the nation’s military on the outskirts of Florence. In 2017, the government grow-op produced around 220 pounds (100 kg) of cannabis. It may sound like a lot, but it actually created a tremendous shortfall for the approximately 10,000 prescription holders. To prevent citizens from returning to the black market, they import extra cannabis from Aurora Cannabis, a Canadian-licensed cannabis producer.
A UN report states that the UK is the world’s leading cultivator of cannabis for medical and scientific use. Yet, within the UK, recreational cannabis is still banned. Medical cannabis is available for very limited conditions. Prescribing is only undertaken by certain specialists.
The Colombian and South African Governments are taking steps to embrace cannabis in order to achieve a few goals:
- To improve the lives of all their citizens, especially impoverished ones
- To convert black market production into national supply, which transforms cartel victims into national cultivators
- To create legal cannabis companies that can be regulated
Behind the focus on legal successes, cannabis has become an international market. National governments are working with international companies within this newest commodity industry. To capitalize on this expansion, cannabis companies need to either dominate one part of the supply chain, or have stakes in many parts.
In the former camp are cannabis companies like the already mentioned Aurora Cannabis. Aurora has dominant levels of cannabis production.
In the latter camp are companies like Green Growth Brands. They’re able to respond to increasing demand for cannabis products and market demands for differing products. Their acquisition of Xanthic Biopharma, the developers of a patent-pending proprietary process to make THC and CBD (the two key active ingredients in cannabis) water-soluble, further shows how GGB are developing new methods yet unforeseen in the industry, that will set them apart from competitors.
An end-to-end company like GGB combines specialism in certain areas, offering retail experience expertise while maintaining cultivation, distribution and development operations. Rather than growing just one segment of the marketplace, their strategy has been to expand across different segments, which better poises them for success. This gives them a financial and operational advantage—rewards which will be passed down to the investors who support them.
Long-term cannabis brands that succeed will focus on not just feeding one part of the supply chain but dominating different segments of it.