What Should Cannabis Investors Focus On In European In 2020?
As the Weihnacht (Christmas) markets enter their second week auf Deutschland and the world prepares to say goodbye to the first decade of serious, if not modern, cannabis reform. Where is the European market heading next year and what should investors be looking for?
Particularly with all the drama going on in Canada, what is cooking where and what is worth evaluating for investment across the EU?
Regulations Are Still A Bear
While it is easy to get bullish on news that Luxembourg is pushing the recreational agenda in the middle of the continent, also remember that this is just a tiny country of about half a million people, which also must conform to the laws of the European Union around it.
Don’t expect anyone to launch a Cannexit – i.e. departure from the Union because of cannabis reform. Indeed, at least one country, notably North Macedonia, is using cannabis as a bid to enter the union, not leave it.
Don’t expect things to get easier on the regulatory front either, starting with the news that the EU is indeed making every country within the union give up certain kinds of pesticides. This is currently causing German farmers in general, far beyond cannabis, to literally protest in the streets of Berlin. The Tractor March notwithstanding, it behooves the cannabis industry to be in front of these regs, not behind them. Starting with the medical market but not limited to the same.
Novel Food is also in the room and will continue to confound the rest of the world outside Europe who do not get a grip on what this means about sourcing, production, and manufacturing far beyond the plant.
There Are Emerging Bright Spots
No matter the doom and gloom coming from the Canadian side of the room there are many bright spots developing across the map. The key here is to understand the regs and the temperature of the market. It is not enough for growers to want to produce cannabis. They have to meet several critical barriers, including obtaining a first license, before they are really worth anything. That said, there are projects underway from Portugal to Greece right now that are starting to fit that bill.
However, no matter how much the cultivators need capital, it is not, as everyone realizes, the raw plant that is where the “money” is. Distribution right now is the key to obtaining a spot on the map, and that means good sourcing and good contacts on the ground in the moving markets.
That still, largely, means Germany, but it is not inclusive of the same. The UK is opening glacially, Poland is coming fast, and do not, of course, forget either about sunny Spain or interestingly neutral and independent Switzerland.
Innovative cannapreneurs in all of these regions are progressing the discussion, if not moving their companies forward, no matter the setbacks, delays, and bickering about rules in the room.
Be sure to book your tickets for the best cannabis industry conference in Europe – the International Cannabis Business Conference held in Barcelona, Berlin, and Bern in 2020!