October 28th, 2019
Thursday, October 17, 2019 marked a milestone moment for the world of legal recreational cannabis with new product forms like concentrates, extracts, vaporizers and edibles becoming legal in Canada. This second phase of legalization comes only one-year after Canada’s federal legalization of recreational adult-use cannabis.
In the inaugural episode of a new cannabis podcast called “Session Garden” hosted by John Fowler, Chief Advocacy Officer at The Supreme Cannabis Company (TSX: FIRE) (OTCQX: SPRWF), an esteemed panel tackles the opportunities and obstacles associated with Cannabis 2.0, the colloquial name given to the new Canadian cannabis regulations that just came into effect on October 17th.
John Fowler is a well-recognized name in the cannabis industry, serving as an advocate, activist and entrepreneur, including founding Supreme Cannabis. Supreme Cannabis is a TSX (FIRE) and OTCQX (SPRWF) listed company, it is the holding company for a leading diversified portfolio of premium cannabis brands, products and facilities. Now, the company and John launch Session Garden to address, as John puts is, “a lack of hard-hitting and insightful content focused on all aspects of the cannabis community.”.
In the first episode, Fowler sits down with Brigitte Simons, Chief Scientific Officer at Pasha Brands, Brad Poulos, a professor of cannabis entrepreneurship at Ryerson University, and Talaal Rshaidat, Chief Scientific Officer at humble+fume, to take a deep dive into the direction of the cannabis market, challenges facing the industry and who will be winners with Cannabis 2.0.
Cumulatively, the panel has a highly relevant and diversified background in cannabis, ranging from technology to brand and product development.
The 2.0 Groundwork
When Canadian legislatures legalized adult-use cannabis on October 17, 2018, they didn’t have any true references to use for guidelines. As such, they didn’t jump in with both feet by any stretch of the imagination, only permitting the sale of cannabis flower and oil. Cannabis 2.0 will introduce new products and market segments, including concentrates (which serve as the basis for vape pens), topicals and ingestible products, such as drinks and edibles. As noted by Ms. Simons, there will also be an insurgence of other items, such as bath and luxury beauty care and wellness products.
Pasha is eager to re-innovate baked goods and specialty products, such as those catering to healthier lifestyles, including plant-based products that will eliminate usage of preservatives and high fructose corn syrup.
Shy of some Health Canada restrictions on edible products, Rshaidat describes the opportunity to introduce new products as “free reign.”
“The consumer is waiting,” said Simons. “They’ve proved to us before in those type of sales that the consumer is ready for that,” she added.
Cannabis 2.0 Shakes Up Everything…Are You Ready?
Deloitte estimates that the new products coming to market in Canada will add another $3.0 billion to the industry size on top of sales of flowers and oils. So what will be the dominant market segment?
On this point, the panel sparks up a conversation on how different types of cannabis consumers will likely lean towards different product forms. The panel digs deeper into the topic of 2.0 products, touching on the impact of simply adding cannabinoids to existing products versus innovating new ones.
The panel agrees that innovation and thoughtfulness in product development are going to be integral to the success of 2.0 products. For example, while the emphasis right now is largely on the popular cannabinoids CBD and THC, the panel discusses the opportunities ahead with innovation that will recognize and tap into the more than 100 other known cannabinoids. When contemplating about the market and where it can go, this sort of thinking speaks plainly to how early we still are in product development and the significant potential that lies ahead.
Educating the Public
On the podcast, the group discusses one of the greatest challenges to manufacturers, with limited tools to reach consumers, it is difficult to educate consumers on the full arc of cannabis consumption. Science plays a tremendous role in the user experience and that can be difficult to convey. Things such as pharmacokinetics and bioavailability can vary greatly between strains and product forms. When advertising is negligible and communications are restricted, how can companies educate consumers? Fowler and his guests dive deep into this topic and discuss the varying information needs of different consumers, explaining why education is more important now than ever.
So Who Wins?
Simply, companies that have the foresight and solutions to overcome the aforementioned challenges detailed by Fowler, Simons, Poulos and Rshaidat. An overarching takeaway is that there are tremendous growth opportunities for ancillary companies to fill gaps in the value chain.
There is also something to be said about being forward-thinking towards Cannabis 3.0. All the panelists are in the position they are because they made prescient decisions to be prepared for Cannabis 2.0 and now they’re looking for what’s next.
Insightful and entertaining, but most importantly, informative, John Fowler’s Session Garden should become required listening for all in the cannabis space. We are already looking forward to episode two, set to air this Thursday October 31st.
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About Ash Stringer
MJShareholders.com is the largest dedicated financial network and leading corporate communications firm serving the legal cannabis industry. Our network aims to connect public marijuana companies with these focused cannabis audiences across the US and Canada that are critical for growth: Short and long term cannabis investors Active funding sources Mainstream media Business leaders Cannabis consumers