Canada makes history today by becoming the second country in the world to legalize adult-use cannabis. We’ve explored what the effects on the United States might be as a result of this momentous decision, but we were predicting great things last year when researching for our CANNABIS issue at Marijuana Business Daily‘s Marijuana Business Conference (MJBizCon), America’s largest trade show and industry networking event for the cannabis industry. Celebrate the Great Green North’s future with a special look at what we saw then. Congratulations, Canadians!
Canadians may be polite, but they’re no pushovers – especially when it comes to cannabis. Not only does Canada holds one of the largest industries in the space (they’re the first G7 country set to legalize recreational cannabis), but November 2017 marked the debut of an entire group of Canada-themed conferences at MJBizCon. Those Up North are strong with plant business, particularly if intuition leads them there.
Enter Paul Rosen, Director of iAnthus Capital Holdings in Toronto and New York [now also founder and CEO of cannabis royalty financing company Tidal Royalty]. The primarily Toronto-based Rosen describes himself as an “intuitive investor,” explaining that he doesn’t make investments based solely on due diligence documents, but also consults his “gut.” iAnthus Capital Holdings (IAN.C) is a publicly traded New York-based investment firm which has interests in several medical marijuana licenses across the United States. Rosen, acclaimed for his knowledge of the cannabis space, financial vision, and broad range of experience, serves on IAN.C’s board. He is also a licensed attorney, having practiced constitutional law in Canada for several years, and received a B.A. in Economics from Western University in 1985 and an LL.B. from the University of Toronto in 1988. In terms of cannabis industry expertise, Rosen is The Man.
During the MJBiz panel “Investing Overseas: Insights, Opportunities & Considerations,” where he sat with Dr. Inbar Maymon-Pomeranchik and Vahan Ajamian, Rosen spoke about his vision for the future of cannabis (“It’s bright”) and his passion in advising Millennials who wish to enter the space. He informs new investors of where to take risks and where not to.
“Many people think they know how to make a lot of money in the industry,” Rosen says, “but in reality, there are a lot of ways to lose it.”
Those who invest in Canada’s cannabis industry will most likely find themselves on the upswing over the next few years. Bruce Linton, Chairman and CEO of the medical marijuana giant Canopy Growth, predicted that by 2024 the country is likely to make $1.3 billion in medicinal cannabis-related business alone. He should know; Canopy Growth is the first federally-regulated, publicly traded cannabis company in North America, and the corporation has filed numerous patents on medical products and supplements in the field.
According to Linton, there are approximately 200,000 Canadian patients accessing cannabis from doctors (some are even four-legged friends – the division Canopy Veterinarian makes products to help companion dogs in their last years of life). The market potential is huge.
[The adult-use prospects, from Canopy’s viewpoint, are extraordinary. Constellation Brands, the parent company of Corona and Modelo beers, has invested over $4 billion into its cannabis-focused partner. At the June 2018 Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo in New York, Linton as keynote speaker could barely contain his enthusiasm when he discussed the concept of stores that sold liquor on one side, cannabis on the other.]
Linton also notes that investors from the U.S. are turning to Canadian companies to invest in American cannabis businesses for them. This has led to rather organic economic job creation. And, because the American campaign to legalize federally continues to be slow, Canada has taken over in exporting cannabis products to countries that would normally want to do business with the U.S. “We don’t have to invent the next Facebook or Google [to profit],” Linton observes. “We just have to have a supply chain change.”
The country is clearly set to be the dominant power in cannabis. Soon the world will be flush with Loonies and Toonies (Canadian one and two-dollar coins). As for the prospect of U.S. legalization?
“It’s kind of bad manners for me to comment on that,” Linton laughs.
**A version of this article appeared in print in Honeysuckle Magazine’s CANNABIS issue. Get it on our app for iTunes here, find more digital editions on Zinio here, order printed copies here or find one near you with our Store Locator.
Stay tuned for our issue ONE with more stories on sustainability and the cannabis industry!
For more information about iAnthus, visit ianthuscapital.com, or follow on Facebook and Twitter. The stock ticker is ITHUF, available to buy at Fidelity. See our interviews with founders Hadley Ford and Randy Maslow here and here.
Jaime Lubin is the Managing Editor of Honeysuckle Magazine. Her profiles on art and culture have appeared regularly in The Huffington Post and Observer, as well as Billboard and Irish America magazines among other publications. Also an actress, producer, and singer, Jaime is working on a solo show about Tarot. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram (both @jaimelubin).