With Nationwide Legalization, Canada Opens a New Global Frontier

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This month, as its Cannabis Act goes live, Canada enters a new age of private freedom and public progress. At the individual level, adults may now legally possess and use limited quantities of cannabis. At the national level, as the first G7 country to legalize on top of an established medicinal use system, Canada has taken big steps toward positioning itself as a global leader in cannabis production, distribution and responsible regulation.

Beyond the social advancements within Canada, this measure represents the tipping point for acceptance of cannabis throughout the world and the inevitable opening of a new global marketplace. As Creso’s CEO, Dr. Miri Halperin Wernli, said: “This is an historic milestone for progressive policy in Canada and one which will change the global debate on drug policy. Canada has set the stage for a movement that will be followed by other countries.”

Cannabis is estimated to be a $6.5 billion industry by 2020 in Canada, according to research by Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. That’s more than the $5.1 billion Canadians spent on alcohol in 2017 and a figure fast approaching wine sales. More equity capital has been raised in Canada for cannabis companies than anywhere else in the world, with over 50 cannabis related companies listed on the Canadian exchange.

It’s clear that demand will immediately outpace supply in Canada, creating a huge opportunity for licensed suppliers to expand, new brands to enter the market and industry leadership to be established.

Having anticipated this pressing dearth in supply and booming investment activity, Creso’s Canadian subsidiary Mernova worked to have its application for a cultivation license accepted by Health Canada this month. (Creso remains the only company listed in the Australian Securities Exchange that owns a cannabis facility in Canada and that will be able to reap the benefits of being able to supply this growing market.) The Mernova facility, which has been constructed to full Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards, is designed to produce an annual yield of three to four tons of dry cannabis.

Beyond positioning itself as a responsible cultivator of quality plant material, Mernova will market its cannabis to a primed public under the brand name Ritual Green. Other forward-looking plans for Mernova include leveraging Creso’s Swiss food engineering capabilities and technologies to form the Canadian Institute for Research and Development of Human and Pet Edible Cannabis Products.