IN THIS EDITION of the GEP Report, let’s consider some global markets that might not be top of most people’s minds—but which we think have some interesting opportunities or are otherwise worth watching in 2023.
Cannabis originated millions of years ago in Central Asia and now cannabis is making a comeback in one of its places of origin. Currently, relatively new operators are making a push to take advantage of landrace strains to produce THC- (industrial and molecular hemp) products. There are currently no products being produced and sold in Mongolia containing cannabidiol (CBD). GEP believes Mongolia is interesting for two reasons. Last July, the government legalized CBD—that may open up many opportunities within the country. Also, Mongolia has started exportation to other countries like Thailand, which should only increase. We believe the potential for exportation and low costs of production could make Mongolia a very interesting country for cannabis (THC+,THC-) production.
Recently, Switzerland launched a new initiative called Weed Care in the city of Basel to evaluate the effects of adult-use THC+ products on the country. The program kicked off on Jan. 30 by offering six different THC+ products to 370 people. The two-and-a-half-year study is being hailed as the first controlled study of recreational cannabis use of its kind. GEP believes this will be an interesting program to track in 2023 and beyond.Advertisement
The history of drug enforcement in Malaysia is a cruel one. As a British colony in 1952, the Dangerous Drug Ordinance was passed. That led to one of the most punitive national anti-drug regimes ever known. Many were executed under a law that required capital punishment for drug traffickers. You were considered a trafficker if you had just over 200 grams of cannabis on your person. That’s the same amount contained in your typical Wana Brands edible package—10 gummies at 20mg of THC each! But today in Malaysia, there’s actually talk of legalizing medical cannabis (THC+,THC-). Malaysian officials recently admitted they are closely watching the roll-out of legal cannabis in neighboring Thailand. In fact, importation and use of medical cannabis is already permitted with a doctor’s prescription. GEP is keen to see if there are more changes in store for Malaysia this year and beyond.
Czechia has been making waves with cannabis regulation for over a decade. The country is home to some of the most liberal cannabis laws in Europe, having decriminalized cannabis in 2010 and made medical use legal in 2013. Last January, the Czechian government loosened its medical law, which allowed for the tripling of THC content. According to a report from EMCDDA, 23 percent of Czechians from the ages 15 to 34 had used cannabis in the last year. That is the highest use rate in the EU, per the Brno Daily. GEP feels there’s a fair chance the country ends up legalizing adult-use cannabis ahead of neighboring Germany.
A majority of Australians favor legalization of adult-use cannabis, according to polls. Yet legal recreational cannabis is not close to becoming a reality in the country, political experts say. Still, growing for medical purposes has been allowed since 2016 and food containing low-THC hemp was legalized in 2017. What makes Australia interesting is the race between many companies to complete a pivotal government trial with cannabidiol (CBD) for various different indications that will allow CBD products to be sold without a prescription. What’s more, passing the trial could more easily open the U.S. and EU to such products. That in itself is worth watching for in 2023!
Cannaconvo with Peter Su of Green Check Verified
Cannabis Last Week with Jon Purow interviews Peter Su of Green Check Verified. Peter Su is a Senior Vice President with Green Check Verified, the top cannabis banking compliance software/consultancy in the space. A 20+ year veteran of the banking industry, Peter serves on the Banking & Financial Services committee of the National Cannabis Industry Association. He chairs the Banking and Financial Services Committee for the NYCCIA & HVCIA. He is an official member of the Rolling Stone Cannabis Culture Council. And, he is on the board of the Asian Cannabis Roundtable, serving as treasurer.