Article by Amanda Scriver, The Province
October 2018 will give rise to numerous opportunities that could position Canada as a world leader. When it comes to key trends, experts highlight the top six.
Focal point: Consolidation between craft industries and large-scale LPs
Calla Lee, an independent cannabis consultant, notes that many licensed producers are presently partnering with, and in some cases acquiring smaller brands, to expand their portfolios. However, there is a strong possibility that once legalization comes into effect, licensed producers (LPs) will start to weed out smaller brands. Lee notes, “LPs could potentially be more efficient by buying out existing entrepreneurs,” which will give small-scale business owners an opportunity to market their idea or redirect and create new ventures in the craft cannabis industry.
Ranjeev Dhillon, co-head of the cannabis group of Bennett Jones LLP, believes many licensed producers will focus heavily on their ancillary businesses. “There’s a big focus on creating different products right now.”
Case in point: Canopy Growth recently acquired Hiku Brands, and in a comment to the Globe and Mail Bruce Linton, CEO at Canopy, said that Hiku is thinking about “brands, products, and alcoholic customer loyalty” in a smart way.
Professionalization: The industry will continue to become more legitimized
Dhillon said we could continue to see traditional industries, specifically the pharmaceuticals, alcohol/tobacco, and banking industry, moving into the cannabis space. He notes that Bennett Jones LLP negotiated a deal in May 2018 with Alliance One International, a tobacco company, to help acquire cannabis outfits in Canada. It’s only a matter of time before more non-traditional industries, including executives and directors with expertise from other sectors including banking and media, would want to become involved in the industry.