This ask is two-fold: - What upcoming (within the next year) announcements/industry changes can we expect to see in Canada in t

Part
01
of two
Part
01

Medical Cannabis: Top Platforms

Some of the top platforms, websites, or other resources used by consumers globally to access information on medical cannabis are Leafly, Zamnesia, I Love Growing Marijuana, AllBud, High Times, and Seedsman. Details of the type of content each website provides as well as visitor statistics have been provided below.

Top Global Platforms, Websites Or Other Resources about Medical Cannabis:

1. LEAFLY

Contents Provided

  • Leafly, founded in 2010, is the largest cannabis information website worldwide, which provides consumers globally about the legal cannabis markets, and helps them identify the right cannabis products and strains according to the medical conditions that the consumers have.
  • They provide contents such as articles about cannabis, its strains, and articles about cannabis' medical usages.
  • They also provide a list of available cannabis strains in the market, with information about which medical conditions each strain is good for.

Visitors Statistics

2. ZAMNESIA

Contents Provided

  • Zamnesia, based in Amsterdam, Netherlands, is Europe's leading online Seedshop, CBDshop, Vaporshop, Headshop, Smartshop, and Shroomshop.
  • Zamnesia provides articles about different cannabis strains and CBD oils, including their medical usages and what strains are best to use for a given medical condition.
  • Zamnesia also provides news articles about the legal cannabis market and other research about it.

Visitors Statistics

3. I LOVE GROWING MARIJUANA

Contents Provided

  • I Love Growing Marijuana, founded by Robert Bergman in 2012, is a cannabis and medical cannabis resource website that shares information about the different cannabis strains, how to grow them, and also the medical benefits of each strain.
  • They provide contents about medical marijuana, medical marijuana recipes, and how to use them.
  • They also provide a database of cannabis strains with helpful information of what strains should be used for a given medical condition.

Visitors Statistics

4. ALLBUD

Contents Provided

  • AllBud is an online cannabis resource which provides information on cannabis and marijuana including their usage for medical therapy and recreational usage.
  • They provide contents such as current news about medical cannabis and marijuana market, products, research, and legislation.
  • They also provide a list of cannabis strains, including information on the medical conditions the strain is good for.

Visitors Statistics

5. HIGH TIMES

Contents Provided

  • High Times, founded in 1974, is the "definitive resource for all things cannabis."
  • They provide contents such as cannabis cultivation, legalization, entertainment, culture, products, events, and other cannabis-related information that are helpful to the consumers.
  • They also provide articles and research results about the medical usage of cannabis and helps consumers find the right strains for specific medical conditions they have.

Visitors Statistics

6. SEEDSMAN

Contents Provided

  • Seedsman, founded in 2003, is an online cannabis resource and E-commerce website, which is considered as "one of the most trustworthy and reliable online seedbanks in the world."
  • They sell their brand of cannabis seeds, Seedsman, with almost 1500 strains stocked from over 65 seedbanks worldwide.
  • Aside from selling cannabis seeds, they also provide helpful cannabis information and contents such as cannabis cultivation, legality, breeders, competitions, and especially the medical benefits of cannabis.
  • Their database of cannabis strains not just provides descriptions of each strain, but also has the option for the consumers to categorize each strains according to medical conditions, to help them choose the right products they need.

Visitors Statistics

Research Strategy:

To identify the top medical cannabis platforms, websites, or other resources used by consumers globally to access information on medical cannabis we commenced our research by using credible and well-known international trade organizations such as the International Cannabis Association (ICA), the Medical Cannabis Declaration (MCD), and the American Alliance for Medical Cannabis (AAMC), among others. Our goal was to find a list of credible resources or websites that consumers access to find medical cannabis information or partner websites that are mentioned by the said organizations. However, there was no relevant information found to address our query. We only found news articles and other organizations that are supporting the legality of medical cannabis worldwide.

Second, we looked through statistical websites such as Alexa and SimilarWeb; and industry sources such as Grow Light Central and Strain Insider, among others to build a list of resources used by consumers to access information on medical cannabis. We found lists of top cannabis and medical cannabis websites from the aforementioned sources. We then chose the cannabis websites among the lists that were mentioned by 2 or more credible sources, after which we searched each platform's website to make sure they provided contents about medical cannabis, the types of cannabis or strains, and which could be used for different medical conditions. We then used SimilarWeb to check the statistics of each medical cannabis websites and used the number of monthly visitors to define the "TOP" platforms or websites.
Part
02
of two
Part
02

Cannabis Industry Changes

After the legalization of cannabis nationally, the Canadian cannabis market has experienced a supply shortage. However, this situation has improved recently and industry experts predict a large supply of cannabis next year that may even result in the product's supply exceeding the demand. Also, regardless of this legalization, stringent regulations have resulted in delayed availability of new cannabis products till 2020. Health Canada has issued several licenses for cultivation, business, and medical cannabis to producers and distributors across Canada. All these create room for a surge in product launches and market growth next year.

CANADA’S CANNABIS SHORTAGE PROBLEM EXPECTED TO END NEXT YEAR

  • Since the legalization of cannabis on a national level in Canada on October 17, 2018, the industry has been plagued with low supply. However, a growing number of industry analysts and observers are speculating that this shortage problem is likely to end.
  • Chris Damas, a cannabis industry analyst and author of The BCMI Cannabis Report, predicts "an oversupply in dried cannabis" in Canada by January 2020. After analyzing the "reported harvests of 18 of the biggest licensed producers in the country", he calculated that in the first quarter of 2019 about "76,112 kilograms [kg] of dried cannabis were produced." Damas predicts that this number will increase to about 150,000 kg by the fourth quarter.
  • Furthermore, according to Chris Damas' calculations, at an average supply of 20 kg weekly, this dried cannabis supply is sufficient for 617 retail outlets. However, he mentioned that by the beginning of the fourth quarter, at most 400 stores will be approved and operational.
  • Damas' prediction for an excess cannabis supply has also been corroborated by other industry experts. Scotiabank's cannabis analyst, Oliver Rowe, recently reached a similar conclusion. Rowe mentioned that Aurora, Aphria, and Canopy alone have announced a domestic capacity that is enough to supply Canada's estimated legal market. Oliver Rowe projects that this oversupply situation will continue "in the 'medium to long term'.
  • Currently, the Cannabis Act in Canada allows producers to only export weed for medical purposes. Also, only countries whose laws allow for cannabis importation can be supplied by Canadian producers. With little room for exportation and a projected increase in production, this further creates room for an excess supply of cannabis in the domestic market.
  • In terms of recreational cannabis, regulations are even more stringent. The Canadian market is also affected by several international treaties which prohibit the "movement of cannabis for recreational purposes". Therefore, regardless of Canada's domestic laws that have legalized cannabis, the country would be faced with the challenge of consuming its own supply of consumer cannabis.
  • Data from Health Canada reveals that as of March 31, about 7,627 kilograms of dried cannabis was sold in a month. However, the total finished inventory for that period was 30,802 kilograms, while 143,773 kilograms of dried cannabis was left as unfinished inventory in the market.
  • According to Tom Adams, "BDS Analytics’ managing director and principal analyst", the supply situation in Canada has recently improved. This enabled "Alberta to lift its moratorium on new retail licenses". Also, Quebec has shifted "toward more regular cannabis store operating hours."
  • Adams also remarked that he expects competitive pressure to increase and cannabis prices to start declining certainly, "by the first half of next year."

NEW CANNABIS PRODUCTS

  • Canadian authorities have made new regulations to govern the production and sale of cannabis products like beverages, edibles, vape pens, extracts/concentrates, and topicals. These regulations would come into force by October 17, 2019. Health Canada requires that all licensed processors provide a "notice of new marijuana products 60 days before making the product available for sale."
  • According to the president of "Vancouver, British Columbia-based Nextleaf Labs," Tom Ulanowski, these regulatory hurdles which come with logistical challenges are likely to delay the distribution of most cannabis products till 2020.
  • Other experts agree with Ulanowski's position on the expected delay in the mass availability of cannabis products. Ryan Tomkins, a Jefferies analyst, predicts that this new category of cannabis products would very likely be rolled out "further into 2020". According to Tomkins, regulators may review numerous details such as ingredient specifications, product data, manufacturing processes, and packaging procedures.
  • Health Canada mentions that only a “limited selection” of these "next-generation cannabis products"will begin to appear on retail shelves by mid-December this year.
  • Typically, in adapting to new regulatory frameworks, federally licensed processors need time to get familiar with these rules and prepare for compliance. In addition, distributors and retailers who are authorized on a provincial or territorial level will require time to purchase these newly launched products before selling them.

EXPECTED MARKET GROWTH IN 2020

  • The Canadian adult cannabis market is also expected to experience significant growth next year. However, the recreational market would greatly outperform the domestic medical market which is expected to decline slightly. Currently, the country's adult cannabis market is worth $1.2 billion, while its medical cannabis market is worth $0.9 billion. In 2020, its adult cannabis industry would grow to $1.9 billion while the medical cannabis market would shrink a bit to $0.8 billion.
  • While Canada's domestic medical cannabis market may not be doing so well, many producers like Tilray Inc., Aurora, Aphria Inc., and Canopy Growth Corp. are highly optimistic about the possibility of generating revenues from international medical cannabis trade.
  • Although these Canadian producers claim to be focused on serving medical markets, their facilities have the capacity to serve a significant share of Europe recreational cannabis demand.
  • As of April this year, Health Canada had issued a total of "164 cannabis business licenses, including 141 licenses for cultivation, 110 licenses for processing and 83 for medical sales." This creates room for a massive surge in new product launches and sales next year.
  • The growth in Canadian cannabis market next year would be complemented by the establishment of an academic program to foster research and development. Starting in 2020, McGill University will "offer a graduate degree in cannabis production".
Sources
Sources

From Part 01