That’s a wrap on PART 2 of our conversation on International Opportunities! We were joined once again with our panelists from our July CANNAtalk that garnered a lot of response from the audience. We had much to discuss as we welcomed back Deepak Anand, Principal at ASDA Consulting Services, Tanner Stewart, the CEO of Stewart Farms, Sean MacDougall, Head of Production and Procurement at EastCann, and Chad Esch, Master Grower at Safricanna out of South Africa.
With so much to discuss, the hour flew by. We continued the discussion on the current state of the Canadian industry, the potential for alternative international markets and lessons learned from those who have gone down the international path. With an estimated one gram of cannabis sold in Canada for every seven grams grown, the need for growers to participate in alternative markets is imperative in order to survive – and thrive. Unlike wine, cannabis does not increase in value with time, making storing product and hoping for the best not a great strategy.
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The discussion began with product quality and production consistency as being key drivers in any market cannabis producers are participating in. When exploring alternative markets, such as international, this becomes increasingly important to understand as the definition of quality may differ from country to country based on their consumer demands. Equally important to take into consideration is what is allowable under their regulatory requirements as these may differ significantly from Canada.
When deciding whether to participate in the international market, it is good to reflect on Tanner’s experience exporting to Australia, as he saw that these additional processes and regulations did add an additional administrative burden to his facility, specifically on those responsible for quality assurance.
The good news, there is demand for Canadian cannabis which can generally garner a higher price per gram that was is currently available in Canada. Deepak provided us with an update on the German market and upcoming regulatory changes which highlighted amendments to their medicinal cannabis framework. These changes, which could give more patients access to prescribing doctors, could potentially result in boosted demand for imports to the country. This is an opportunity for Canadian growers posed for exports as the current approved growers in Germany cannot produce enough product to satisfy their domestic demand.
Sean and his partners at Eastcann have partnered with strategic producers and processors to take advantage of economies of scale by leveraging smaller growers and tapping into the high-quality craft production. However, he noted that working with different buyers and specifications along with different production facilities takes careful planning to fulfill demand. Once again, making consistency of production and standardization of quality, key.
JOIN US next time where we will bring a diverse group of experts to discuss what the road to supply chain standardization looks like with respect to production and quality!