2019 - A year in review for the cannabis industry

Published Jan 8, 2020 10:00 a.m. ET
iStock / marekuliasz

Let's take a look at how cannabis has left its footprint in 2019

In Canada, the year 2019 for cannabis stocks may have looked like one step forward and a few steps back.

Cannabis stocks in Canada

Since Cannabis legalized in Canada on October 17, 2018, we saw valuations of marijuana stocks skyrocket; some believed this was out of line; the numbers were too high. The issues with the retail rollout and provincial licensing had effects on the forecasted projections of the companies. The optimistic forecasts were impossible to achieve.

The differences between the provinces ‘and their ability to have retail stores up and running at the appropriate time have been very compelling. Ontario statistically is the most populated province in Canada. Retail cannabis stores were not available for consumers until April. However, the number of stores has since risen to 50 because of another lottery that the government conducted, allowing more dispensaries to open.

Interestingly when you compare the province of Alberta, which incidentally has a mere fraction of Ontario’s population, this province has currently approved more than 300 cannabis retail stores. As phase two of the cannabis revolution moves forward, edibles are primed and ready to hit the market. This part of the rollout has had some issues also due to government red tape/regulations. However, the expected date for consumers to be able to purchase legal edibles is early January 2020.

The expected products are subject to stringent regulations that include limiting the amount of the active ingredients, packaging, and the products must not contain nicotine, caffeine, or alcohol.  Companies will not be able to use the name beer or wine in any of their products.

Quebec raised the legal age for cannabis consumption to age 21; this becomes law on January 1, 2020. This move has people wondering if this will leave another unwanted opening for the illicit market to take hold and continue to thrive as it did before marijuana had become legal in Canada.

The Canadian recreational users have utilized online services abundantly in the year 2019

2019 saw the option to buy weed online from a legitimate source. These companies are flourishing very nicely. The consumer no longer needs to go to the dispensary. The transaction is discreet, and the availability of browsing many different dispensaries are at your fingertips. The consumer can find the exact product they need in the comfort of their own home. The medical cannabis market has been utilizing delivery methods for a year.

Thailand & Israel

The beginning of 2019 saw Israel and Thailand approve cannabis exports. This move put the global cannabis markets in the spotlight. Competition from two heavyweights was about to begin. Israel is very well known to be the global leader in the medical cannabis industry.

Surprisingly enough, Thailand joined Israel in its decision on cannabis. Thailand’s parliament chose to vote affirmative on legalizing medical marijuana. This decision put Thailand in the position to be the very first country in Southeast Asia to take this step.

As the year 2019 has come to an end,2019 will never reopen again, and the cannabis industry is very much ready for an exciting and very fruitful future. Stocks have been a little off kilter, but the future is looking very promising in regard to cannabis stocks.

The United States of America is very self-confident and ready to accept, regulate and legalize cannabis federally; the world is watching. To see what our neighbouring country will do. We are hoping to see the complete legalization of Cannabis federally as that will pave the way for other countries to follow suit. It should be a very compelling election with so many states already making cannabis legal or at least decriminalizing marijuana that allows for much optimism and hope. That yet another country is free to choose.

Thailand suspends patent applications for medical marijuana

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