The MNP has released a report on the comparative favourability of international cannabis markets. The accounting and consulting company analysed 16 international markets with dynamic cannabis sectors, considering factors like available financing, taxes and fee structures, and policy maturity. Though no markets received top marks across all categories, several still showed great promise.
MNP’s report also analysed the relative ease of accessing capital through public or private markets, as well as the availability of banking services, as this often proves a challenge for the cannabis industries.
Despite being at the forefront of legalisation, Canadian businesses are still relatively small scale. According to the MNP, international opportunities hold the key to expansion and competitive growth. Malta, Israel, Switzerland and Australia emerged at the top end of the scale as the markets with the best financing opportunities.
“Canadian cannabis firms have the financial capital, intellectual capital, human capital, and a supportive policy framework to germinate the seeds of international success,” Glenn Fraser, MNP’s national cannabis co-leader, said. “Whether opportunities blossom depends on how effectively they leverage those advantages to get in on the ground floor of new markets. The time is now for Canadian cannabis companies to take a leadership role and replicate the Canadian model in new environments.”
“It’s important for local cannabis companies to consider their areas of expertise and invest heavily in owning that position in the market,” Fraser said. “The most valuable international opportunities will go to those companies who have developed a sustainable (and transferable) competitive advantage in conjunction with a recognisable brand in their home market.”
For now, only Canada and Uruguay have legalised cannabis sales on a national level. However, numerous countries, including Malta, have legalised medical marijuana, and more still are contemplating alternative forms of legalisation. Though it has a small population, Malta’s cannabis industry has attracted heavy international investment. The country’s high cost-per-gram paid by patients, as well as its liberal medical cannabis importation policies, make the country an attractive target.
“If Canadian businesses want to build eminence in new countries, they need to involve themselves in cannabis’ continued integration into healthcare,” David Danziger, senior vice president, assurance, MNP, said.
“Companies who are already active in regions with a burgeoning medical market will have a clear advantage – both in terms of brand awareness, infrastructure, and international relationships – if and when those areas transition to recreational legalisation,” Danziger added.