Article by Angela Stelmakowich, Growth Op
Looking within and without is essential in the cannabis industry, whether a company is setting its sights on improving user experiences, identifying potential foreign markets, cementing its position at home or trying to figure out what makes for fair compensation in an ever-evolving sector.
Nextleaf Solutions starts human trials of cannabis vapes
Nextleaf Solutions Ltd. is betting the information it receives from human trials of cannabis vapes will allow it to accelerate product development and drastically shorten design cycles for launching products.
Following receipt of an amended Cannabis Research Licence from Health Canada, the Vancouver-based company announced last week that it kicked off what it characterizes as a ground-breaking human trial program of cannabis vapes. Data will be used to launch vape products into adult-use markets across Canada.
“The vape category ranks second only to dried flower with 15.7 per cent of all Ontario cannabis sales,” NextLeaf reports, citing data from the Ontario Cannabis Store. In mature adult-use markets such as Colorado, Oregon and Washington, market share for weed vapes is as high as 22.3 per cent, the company notes, citing data from Headset.
The amended research licence allows the company to “rapidly formulate a wide variety of cannabis products and administer samples to volunteer research participants,” says David Novitski, research and development lead at Nextleaf Solutions. Although the company only mentions vapes, a recent Forbes article explained how invitees used vaping extracts with different potencies and flavours, as well as drank weed emulsions mixed in different beverages.
Nextleaf reports the trials will involve collecting sensory evaluation data from qualified volunteers completing organoleptic (meaning acting on or involving the use of the sense organs) assessments of a wide variety of formulated cannabis vape products.
Faster rollout is key in an “increasingly competitive market in which initial product launches can dictate the long-term success of a brand,” the company points out. And having the “ability to provide commercial partners with data-based consumer insights around taste and overall user experience is a true game-changer for product development,” Novitski contends.
Europe’s legal weed market to swell to $4.7 billion by 2025
A new report from Prohibition Partners estimates the value of the European cannabis market will balloon to €3.2 billion ($4.7 billion) in 2025.
By the time the end of 2025 rolls around, the U.K. based data analyst company expects that several nations will have introduced “access to adult-use cannabis, including Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany and others.” Those markets alone could mean related sales worth more than €500 million ($740 million) by 2025.
The overall forecast value is far, far beyond the medicinal marijuana market worth in 2020, notes the recently released 6th edition of the European Cannabis Report. The report estimated that to be €230.7 million ($341.4 million) in 2020, a value that could reach €403.4 million ($597 million) in 2021.
“We estimate that over 60,000 people were able to access cannabis medications for the first time in Europe during 2020, bringing the total to 185,000 patients accessing medical cannabis treatment in the region during the year,” Prohibition Partners reports.
“As the patient access to medical cannabis advances across Europe, so too do the opportunities for businesses to embed themselves in niches of the value chain, before the market becomes more established,” the report suggests.
As for the biggest European player over the next few years, the report says, “We predict Germany will constitute over half of the European market until 2024 and will be worth over €840 million ($1,251 million) by the end of the forecast period.”
But large countries such as France and the U.K. will not be standing still, expected by that time to have developed patient access much more fully and representing “a significant share of the European market.”
Canadian gardening products distributor cements footprint
Distributions Flora Corporation Inc., an affiliate of Montreal-based gardening products distributor Biofloral, has acquired fellow Quebec company Brite-Lite Group in a move that strengthens Biofloral’s positioning in the Canadian market.
While the company already distributes several Brite-Lite products nationally, the acquisition allows Biofloral to enhance its global offering, strengthen its coast-to-coast distribution network and attain “full management of several renowned product lines developed by Brite-Lite,” according to Biofloral.
“In a rapidly expanding hydroponics sector that has been stimulated by the emergence of many industrial producers, including the rapid growth of the cannabis market, this acquisition puts the company in an ideal position to better serve its customers,” the company reports.
“Through this pooling of strengths, we will be better able to meet the needs of our customers and be better placed to take advantage of any future opportunities that may arise in this rapidly changing market,” Biofloral president François Deguire says.