It’s become a cliche to mention how we are all connected on this earth and that our world continues to get smaller thanks to technology, but it’s the truth, and the cannabis industry is no different. On one hand, cannabis reform movements were very insular, especially in the United States as arguments supporting legalization that appeal to voters in Oregon and California may not be as successful in other states. Also, federal law has (mostly) kept cannabis businesses stuck within state borders. However, political movements have momentum and success has bred success across the globe. On the business side, Canada broke down international barriers and there’s no looking back. As industry giant Canopy Growth has just moved into Africa, it is easy to see that the future of cannabis is international.
Based in the Kingdom of Lesotho (“Lesotho”), Highlands holds a license to cultivate, manufacture, supply, hold, import, export and transport cannabis and its resin. Lesotho is a high altitude mountainous kingdom that boasts over 300 days of sunshine per year and was the first African nation to legalize medical cannabis in 2017. It has ideal humidity and growing conditions for greenhouse cultivation. Together with very low operating and resource costs, this places Canopy Growth in a position to produce large quantities of high quality medical cannabis at a low cost. Lesotho is also strategically positioned for the future medical cannabis economy of Southern Africa including the potential market of South Africa, with a population of over 55 million people, where medical cannabis laws are being developed.
Combining the domestic and regional knowledge of Highlands with the global experience and expertise of Canopy Growth is the latest example of the Company establishing a meaningful local presence. With the objective of future local production to serve the regional market, these operations are part of Canopy Growth’s commitment to the Lesotho economy including supporting job creation and lasting community engagement.
All key members of Highlands’s management team will continue to lead the organization as part of the Canopy Growth family.
Canadian companies have been dominating the global cannabis market and that seems likely to continue in the near future as countries play catch-up. While companies in the United States are lobbying to end federal cannabis prohibition, Canadian companies are able to look at new burgeoning markets across the globe. It’s telling that American companies have to utilize “reverse takeovers” to get listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange while Canopy Growth can be a cannabis-touching company and get placed on the New York Stock Exchange.
It’s been an exciting ride watching the industry unfold with the International Cannabis Business Conference since our first event in 2014. While we envisioned the global expansion of the industry, I don’t believe anyone thought that it would move this fast, with billion-dollar stock deals and million-dollar pitch events just four years later. The world is getting smaller and the future of the cannabis industry is now. I’m looking forward to learning more about Canadian businesses and looking into the crystal ball of the movers and shakers that are making waves in Canada and around the world at the upcoming ICBC in Vancouver this June 24th-25th.
Don’t miss the chance to learn the latest and network with top entrepreneurs, investors, and advocates in Canada and around the world. Maybe you have a Canadian business venture you would like to pitch to Canopy Rivers or just want to see what is on the horizon for Canada’s cannabis industry, the International Cannabis Business Conference in Vancouver this June 24th-25th is the event for you. Secure your tickets by June 6th to save $200!