Anyone who has grown up in Canada is well aware of the international stereotypes that exist about the Great White North.
We are known to be a peaceful, polite country that supplies the world with maple syrup, hockey, and poutine. Although that’s all correct, Canada, like other countries, tries not to be pigeonholed with blanket labels based on its culture and exports.
Now in the 21st-century, marijuana is finally getting its due as an incredible medicine. To that end, Canada is building upon its reputation as a pot-loving country by funding the international cannabis industry.
“We are not going to be dipping our toes into international waters,” said Cam Battley, Executive Vice President of Aurora Cannabis, in an interview with Marijuana.com. “Each market we enter, we are going to be a significant and long-term player.”
Battley went on to highlight Aurora’s 19.9 percent stake in Australia’s Cann Group. “[Cann Group] was the first company to be licensed to conduct research and cultivate medical cannabis. They are building two facilities right now.”
Battley added that Aurora just hosted a visit from Australia’s Minister of Agriculture for the State of Victoria, Jaala Pulford. “[Minister Pulford] was very clear that she wanted to learn from Canada’s experience and Canada’s leadership in this space.”
Australia is not the only country that has seen the benefits of Canadian pot, Germany has also prospered. “In Germany we acquired Pedanios, which is the largest medical cannabis distributor in Germany,” said Battley. “This is a major strategic investment for us, and it anchors us in Germany.” Battley added that through the acquisition of Pedanios, Aurora intends to be a domestic licensed producer in the German market.
While Aurora aggressively expands to foreign regions, its fellow juggernaut Canopy Growth continues to do the same. Canopy is already operating in a number of countries including Germany, Brazil, Australia, and most recently Chile.
“[Canada] is a comparatively small market, but it’s the place where everything is being proven,” said Jordan Sinclair, Director of Communications for Canopy Growth in an interview with Marijuana.com. “We’ve got a country of 35 million people, which on the world stage isn’t significant from a population perspective. But for cannabis, because of the federal laws we are in a leadership role.”
Jordan, like his colleagues at other licensed producers (LPs), does agree that Canada is at the center of the funding and growth of the global cannabis industry. “The finance world in Canada is very much at the cutting edge of what you call the globalization of the cannabis industry.”
Jordan was also quick to point out that it’s not just Canadian dollars lubricating the cannabis industry, but the Canadian pot itself that is also moving the worldwide needle of marijuana reform. Added to that is the intellectual property that Canadian LPs bring to the table.
“Canopy has already proven this model once by partnering with Auscann in Australia. The ingenuity that’s coming out of this is really positioning us to have the global expertise. Now when people think about the cannabis we ship in the world, they immediately start thinking about Canada.”
Finally, it wouldn’t be right to talk about Canada and international cannabis without mentioning PharmaCielo. This Canadian firm has deep roots growing in Colombian cannabis, and are they are the very first to do so in the South American nation.
“[This] is an important undertaking for Colombia as a nation,” said Spokesperson for PharmaCielo, David Gordon, in an interview with Marijuana.com. “The government down there has demonstrated real leadership in the [cannabis] space.”
PharmaCielo is currently preparing to grow their crops in Colombia, with one of the goals being export to countries that have also legalized medical cannabis. “We are preparing for cultivation. It was [over] a year ago that PharmaCielo was the first recipient [in Colombia] of a license for the manufacture and processing. Since that time, we have commenced on developing the infrastructure to allow both manufacturing and processing, as well as to allow cultivation.”
The firm will eventually be fully cultivating and processing cannabis, and they have their eye on the world as their marketplace. “In terms of shipping, once [the cannabis] is processed we’ll be looking at as many markets as are open and available at the time. Colombia is included in that, and then internationally.”
Canada has given the world many things over the last couple of centuries. Some of those include the discovery of insulin as a treatment for diabetes, the invention of basketball, and even the introduction of standard time. But perhaps, many decades from now as historians look back on world history, cannabis reform will be known as the Great White North’s greatest achievement.
As far as Marijuana.com is concerned, there can no better legacy.