(FinancialPress) – Canadian medical cannabis oil exports blew away all expectations in 2017, and execs are confident of it being the start of a trend that is beginning to be set by a huge new overseas market
“Countries like Malta have outright banned smoked forms of medical cannabis from being permitted within their legislation,” said Deepak Anand, vice president of government relations for the consultancy Cannabis Compliance.
According to data disclosed by Health Canada, medical cannabis oil exports grew 300% year-over-year from 2016 to 2017. Sector experts believe this is only the beginning, as more countries legalize medical cannabis and must satisfy their internal demand mostly through imports, as domestic cultivation remains in legal limbo.
“I believe we are going to see this trend – of cannabis oils demand and exports from Canada – significantly increase in the immediate future.”
2016 saw 100.8 kgs. of cannabis oil exported overseas – a number that rose sharly the following year. 2017 saw 400.4 kgs. leave the mainland as more countries join the wave of MMJ legalization.
Analysts and executives find more upside to cannabis oil than to the leaf itself, as oil is easier and cheaper to transport, it allows for several forms fof administration, and most importantly – many countries in which marijuana is outright outlawed are beginning to embrace it in oil form for medical purposes.
Germany imports more MMJ from Canada than any other nation, instead of domestic cultivation. The European country is en route to become one of the largest medical cannabis markets in 2018.
This will most likely remain the case, as a German court halted the country’s domestic cultivation plan last March. This will give exporters based in Netherlands and Canada even more of a head start over future german domestic cultivators.
Canada’s big 4 importers
- Germany: 169 kilograms
- Australia: 145 kilograms
- Croatia: 37 kilograms
- Cayman Islands: 23 kilogram
Oil edges the leaf
Jordan Sinclair, a Canopy Growth representative, states that oil exports help start destigmatizing cannabinoids in general, as doctors understand the way that it’s presented to them.
“In new markets where doctors have limited exposure to medical cannabis prescribing, this paradigm shift can go a long way,” he said.
“Oils, and especially softgel capsules, are a more familiar format to doctors because they can be prescribed by the milligram of active ingredient and don’t have to be smoked.”
Aaron Salz, founder of the Stoic Advisory consulting firm in Toronto, there is a large export potential, as more countries model their legalization efforts after Canada’s own. .
“Most countries are choosing to first legalize cannabis oil over flower,” he said. “So that’s created an opportunity for exports to countries that are starting with strict medical regimes with limited qualifying conditions.”