Last week, James West of the Midas Letter published interviews of four CEOs of publicly-traded Canadian licensed producers, including Vic Neufeld of Aphria (TSXV: APH) (OTC: APHQF), Brent Zettl of CanniMed Therapeutics (TSX: CMED) (OTC: CMMDF), Bruce Linton of Canopy Growth (TSX: CGC) (OTC: TWMJF) and Mike Gorenstein of PharmaCan Capital, dba The Cronos Group (TSXV: MJN) (OTC: PRMCF). One theme that he hit in each of his discussions was the recent legalization of medical cannabis in Germany, which will allow for distribution through pharmacy and include insurance reimbursement. Here are how each of the CEO’s view the new market opportunity.
Aphria is expanding its greenhouse production capacity, with a goal of increasing it from 2.7mm grams annually presently to 7mm grams following Health Canada’s approval of its recent expansion to 21mm grams following completion of its Phase 3. Neufeld discussed the company’s 15% stake in Copperstate, a greenhouse campus in Arizona, and he alluded to opportunities in other states. With respect to beyond North America, the company has shipped high-CBD oil for research purposes to Australia, but it hasn’t yet gotten formally involved in Germany.
Germany is absolutely most recently very much on our radar, and we are engaged in dialogue with two different organizations, but we haven’t got to anything formal like a letter of intent.
CanniMed Therapeutics recently went public, and CEO Zettl explained its history as a provider under the old MMAR program and its progress since becoming the first LP under ACMPR predecessor MMPR. The company became GMP rated in 2006. With respect to Germany, the company has a distribution partnership with Creso PHarma to distribute its products in the the European Union. He sees Baby Boomers as fueling demand for medical cannabis, noting that Europe has 156mm compared to Canada’s 9mm.
But the nuances, of course, are the announcements that we’ve heard from Germany. But we have eight countries that we’re speaking with at various levels, and those discussions are all ongoing, and we expect to see something happening in early sales provided that the licensing amendments come through as we need, and then we’ll start to see how that propels.
Canopy Growth has taken an early leadership position in Germany, acquiring its distribution partner, MedCann GmbH, last year. CEO Linton notes that there is no local production at present to serve the relatively small market of patients, but with the expansion of the program he expects to produce cannabis locally.
Our intent though is, in most countries, to go in where it’s 100 percent corporate store, which is why in November, we acquired the company that had been our export partner, so we actually have our boots on the ground in Germany to work through the process rather than, you know, a JV and everybody’s not aligned.
Cronos Group has a relationship with Pedanios GmbH, which distributes in Germany for its wholly owned LP, Peace Naturals. He expects a very rapid adoption in Germany due to insurance coverage. The company’s other wholly owned LP, In the Zone, recently received permission to sell cannabis from Health Canada.
This export marks an important milestone in Cronos Group’s strategic global expansion and the beginning of a long, fruitful relationship between Peace and Pedanios GmbH.
Read James West’s “CanniMed Therapeutics, Cronos Group, Aphria, And Canopy Growth Shares Ignited By Germany’s Medical Marijuana Law”: http://www.midasletter.com/2017/01/cannimed-therapeutics-cronos-group-aphria-canopy-growth-shares-ignited-germanys-medical-marijuana-law/