Every couple of months, we see the headlines in newspapers and online editorials about how the USA is dragging their feet with legalizing Cannabis at the federal level. Over the past eight years, many states have already legalized it at the state level.
The US federal government has indicated it has put cannabis legalization on the backburner while focusing on handling the COVID-19 pandemic. Senate majority leader Schumer on the other hand, has put it front and center in his objectives.
It looks like we can expect a lengthy back and forth process and potential delays trying to legalize Cannabis at the federal level for Americans. Canadians, on the other hand, are watching the industry slowly develop and expand. Many Canadian companies (producers, extractors, and retailers); have plans to venture south of the border as the next phase of their international expansion objectives.
It poses the question of what does this means for Ontario cannabis stores and brands. There are three things we can see happening over the next little while
We will most likely see brands expanding on both sides of the border; the opportunity to visit stores like Planet 13 and Cookies potentially opening up in Canada, and stores like Fire and Flower and One Plant opening up throughout the US. High Tide and their chain of Canna Cabana stores have set themselves up for success with their recent acquisitions of cannabis accessories companies (such as Smoke Arsenal), making them an increasing industry presence)
2. De-scheduling of Cannabis in other countries
Increased G7 circles can lead to more meaningful change in other countries as the cannabis pilot program succeeds in various markets. The anticipation is that once the US legalizes it federally, other countries will follow suit. Over the past two years, many countries, like England, France, and Germany, open up their medical cannabis programs.
3. International trade and agreements
The opportunity for exclusive cross-border strains, products, merchandise, and more! This will undoubtedly be a strenuous series of discussions as countries control their domestic supply chain while also leveraging intellectual rights, seed banks/genetics, and innovations. There is still a lot up in the air on the developed international cannabis trade market. Licensed producers such as Canopy Growth Corp hold some of the most exciting genetics and industry patents (from extraction to medical tech, and more!)
Although there is a lot of uncertainty and maybe taking a back seat due to the pandemic, we anticipate an increased focus on the expansion of Cannabis in the US and other markets. Due to governments looking at ways to diversify their tax revenue systems when it comes time to pay the pandemic and new infrastructure investments.