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How COVID has and will continue to change the cannabis market

Canxchange looks at how COVID-19 has impacted the cannabis market.

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How COVID has and will continue to change the cannabis market

The COVID-19 pandemic shocked the world and all its markets. The cannabis market has also experienced rapid changes, some of which are going to last.

How COVID has and will continue to change the cannabis market – Live on the Canxchange website.

The COVID-19 pandemic has decimated some economic sectors. On the other hand, some industries have experienced growth. The cannabis industry is decidedly one of the latter.

There are now many well-documented changes within the cannabis market. However, it’s important to distinguish which changes are temporary and which are expected to be longer-lasting. So, let’s start with the most immediate effects. 

Immediate effects

From the moment lockdowns were announced in the US, the cannabis industry has taken off. Cannabis companies were declared essential services in most states. Sales increased, and alleged hoarding resulted in a huge increase in demand.

In 2020, when Massachusetts ordered that dispensaries closed, 1,300 medical marijuana patients were registered. There, and in other states like Colorado, attempts to close dispensaries resulted in erratic increases in sales. In fact, Denver’s mayor reversed a decision to close dispensaries over the health risks of the long lines that inevitably formed.

The immediate effects of COVID-19 on the cannabis market can be defined by the erratic behaviour the market experienced. This, of course, was due at least in part to the chaos of regulatory responses to the emerging pandemic. However, wherever threats to cannabis supply emerged, we witnessed fast spikes in demand, through the rapid increase in sales.

Cannabis ingestible: increased demand

In addition to changes in overall demand, the immediate effects of the pandemic saw changes in the cannabis products that people bought.

One of the more pronounced changes was an increase in cannabis ingestible. For the first while, vaped cannabis products, smoked flowers, and concentrates saw a demand reduction. In some locations, sales of non-ingestible cannabis products either flattened or fell. However, sales of ingestible products increased across the board.

This increase in demand for ingestible cannabis products is believed to be the result of fears over the clear respiratory effects of catching COVID-19. In addition, as family members and roommates were forced to shelter together, many avoided smoking or vaping.

CBD

Many consumers in the cannabis industry are health-conscious. The focus on maintaining good health and having a strong immune system is more pronounced amid the pandemic. This is driving all kinds of consumers to health products. CBD is the cannabis market product that is benefiting from this trend.

Overall, the health effects of most cannabis products aren’t yet fully understood. The recent legalisation of the market in the US and several other countries has opened them to far more research. But these developments are relatively recent.

Within the cannabis industry, CBD is uniquely suited to meeting consumer demands for health products. There are many promising studies on the potential health benefits of CBD consumption. It has been particularly well-studied for its part in reducing seizures, anxiety, and pain, and fighting some inflammatory conditions. Amid these discoveries, cannabis businesses have successfully marketed CBD separately, and as a health product.

The result of these developments is greatly increased online orders of CBD products. CBD has made its way into health food businesses and pharmacies across the US. This trend will likely continue.

Long-lasting effects

Of course, some of the above changes are temporary in nature. Life during the era of COVID-19 lockdowns naturally pushes people, including cannabis product customers, to changed behaviours and subsequent consumer choices.

Many of the effects of COVID-19 on the cannabis market were temporary and will perhaps revert over time. However, some trends have taken place and are likely to last.

Value-based consumer choices

Health considerations will naturally change as everyone emerges from the pandemic and its effects. However, the economic impact of the pandemic will be longer-lasting. Some businesses simply cannot make it through, and the broader economic impact is clear. This is primarily due to economic uncertainty and high unemployment.

During the pandemic, cannabis businesses providing the highest-priced products of all types experienced reduced sales and high inventory. Competition between top-priced brands rose to a level some experts viewed as unsustainable. Consumers, meanwhile, have demonstrated higher regard for high-value purchases. 

As we move forward and economic uncertainty and unemployment remain concerns, demand for low- and mid-priced cannabis products can be expected to remain high. It’s possible that even in the face of a better-than-expected recovery, consumers will remain more price-conscious than in the past.

Online sales and delivery

The boom surrounding online shopping and delivery was set in motion well before the pandemic started. Now that it’s been shot into overdrive, demand for cannabis products bought online and delivered to your door has increased further. Where cannabis delivery is legal (under state regulatory conditions), this increased demand is likely to stick.

Some cannabis businesses won’t recover (or won’t come back)

Cannabis businesses, while legal on the state level, are still illegal on the federal level. This renders them ineligible for federal recovery loan programs, including being barred from the Paycheck Protection Program. Without this assistance, cannabis companies are far more reliant on consumers for their survival. Naturally, those businesses that are starved for cash are unlikely to weather the pandemic and its longer-lasting effects.

Some cannabis businesses will excel

The pandemic and its economic consequences can be described as a massive economic disturbance. And while every such disturbance will destroy some businesses, they also open up new opportunities in the market.

Cannabis businesses with the cash savings to make it through these challenges are in a better position going forward. Of course, reacting properly to the changes in consumer demands is also key. Many of those changes in consumer demands were temporary, but some will stick for a long time. Reacting well to the dynamism of the situation will help some segments of this industry excel.

Markets and industry

Cannabis beverage market to reach £6.43bn by 2027

Fortune Business Insights says the market will grow at a CAGR of 50.9 per cent from 2020 to 2027.

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Cannabis beverage market to reach £6.43bn by 2027

A new report has projected the cannabis beverage market to reach £6.43bn (USD$8521.6m) by 2027.

The report from Fortune Business Insights, which offers expert corporate analysis and data, has said the market is set to see increasing growth due to the surging popularity of the products. 

It noted that the online retail segment is set to dominate and that specialty stores would see greater sales if they display novel products online.

With consumer demand increasingly shifting toward chemical-free and natural trends and moving away from unhealthy consumption habits such as smoking, the report suggests consumers will increasingly move toward novel cannabis products like beverages. 

In particular, consumers in Europe and North America are rapidly inclining towards these trends, such as recognisable and herbal formulations, chemical-free, and all-natural cannabis beverages.

However, it highlights that governments of various countries are implementing stringent regulations on the distribution and manufacturing of such THC products – a factor that is likely to hamper the market’s growth in the near future.

Regionally, the sector is set to favour growth in North America, as, since the passing of the 2018 US Farm Bill, the demand for hemp-CBD has surged rapidly, according to the report. It also highlights that Latin America, Oceania, and Asia will exhibit slow growth because of the ban of cannabis beverages in these regions.

Recent developments have seen leading lifestyle brand, Tonino Lamborghini, move into the market through a licensing agreement with The Flora Growth Corp which will see the distribution of CBD beverages in North America and Columbia. Additionally, Canopy Growth Corp is planning to introduce a new range of cannabis beverages into the US to strengthen its position in the sector.

To read the report in full, please visit: https://www.fortunebusinessinsights.com/enquiry/request-sample-pdf/cannabis-beverages-market-100738

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Markets and industry

Synbiotic acquires 50.1% of cannabis group in significant merger for Europe

Synbiotic SE has acquired 50.1 per cent of Daniel Kruse’s cannabis group in what it has described as the most significant merger for the European cannabis sector. 

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Synbiotic acquires 50.1% of cannabis group in significant merger for Europe

Synbiotic SE, the largest listed cannabis company in Europe, has made the acquisition of cannabis industry pioneer Daniel Kruse’s group of companies at a valuation of €11.2m (~£9.53m).

The 50.1 per cent acquisition of Kruse’s companies will see Synbiotic SE securing the subsequent acquisition of the remaining 49.9 per cent by option. With the acquisition of the companies, Hanf Farm, Hempro International, Hemp Factory and MH medical hemp, Synbiotic is raising its sales forecast for 2021 to €15m (~£12.76m).

Synbiotic has said that the addition of the companies will enrich its portfolio with vital infrastructures and profitable brands.

CEO of SynBiotic, Lars Müller, commented: “The co-operation with Daniel Kruse is a genuine accolade in the cannabis sector. SynBiotic SE will benefit massively from what amounts to over half a century of combined know-how gathered by industry pioneers Daniel Kruse and Rafael Dulon. 

“So far, the only comparable acquisitions have taken place in Canada. This makes this merger the most significant in the European cannabis sector. I am greatly honoured by the trust Daniel Kruse and Rafael Dulon have displayed in SynBiotic SE; this shows that we are on the right track with our vision.”

Read more: Psychedelic entrepreneur Christian Angermayer acquires SynBiotic shares

Kruse, president of the European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA) and industry pioneer with more than 25 years of experience in the sector, commented:  “After 25 years in the hemp industry, it is a great pleasure and honour for me to have found the right partner for the coming decades with SynBiotic SE. Our decades of experience alongside the supply chain of our group of companies find an excellent complement in the enormous dynamics of SynBiotic SE.

“The appealing nature and charisma of Lars Müller and his team contribute, but it is above all their displaying the highest professionalism and efficiency that has won us over. This combination makes SynBiotic SE the next Unicorn candidate and an ideal partner for me. The European hemp and cannabis market is set to become one of the most exciting and successful industries in the coming years. The challenges yet to be mastered are well known, but the resulting opportunities are unlimited.”

Rafael Dulon, managing director of Hanf Farm, the largest organic hemp farm in Europe, and expert member of the International Institute for Cannabinoids (ICANNA), has also worked in the hemp industry for 25 years. He was awarded the Global Hemp Innovation Award at the World Hemp Congress in 2015 for the development of a hemp harvester.

Dulon stated: “The synergies created for Hanf Farm through its inclusion in the SynBiotic SE Group will lead to significantly faster growth. Within SynBiotic SE’s strong network of people and companies, we will be much better able to implement our ambitious goals in expanding our capacities and competencies as an original agricultural producer and primary processor of hemp.

“I am very pleased that Lars Müller fully supports my ideas for the development of sustainable, organic agriculture. Together, we will use the great potential of hemp in agriculture and market our healthy, climate-friendly products even more vigorously, and as well develop many new products. I look forward to using my many years of experience to help support Lars Müller’s vision.”

Synbiotic is listed on the Frankfurt and Düsseldorf stock exchanges and announced plans to begin listing on the Canadian NEO Exchange in Toronto in October. 

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Markets and industry

First-ever UK EIS and SEIS fund launched for cannabis

An SEIS and EIS fund has been launched in the UK that will target the medical cannabis sector.

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First-ever UK EIS and SEIS fund launched for cannabis

For the first time, an Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) fund has been launched in the UK.

The launch of the first-of-its-kind MEDCAN Fund has been announced in a statement by Óskare Capital UK, which will advise the fund managed by Sapphire Capital Partners LLP.

Óskare said that the fund will invest in both early-stage UK companies and global companies that have the requisite operations within the UK to provide investors with access to a diversified portfolio of companies in the sector.

The Fund already has a pipeline of deals and will invest in startups across the value chain.

Óskare Capital UK director, Oliver Lamb, commented: “We were motivated to set up the MEDCAN fund with Sapphire Capital Partners LLP given that around 40 per cent of our European dealflow is coming from the UK, and the tax breaks investors can gain through the SEIS and EIS schemes are significant.”

EIS and SEIS are UK government initiative schemes that encourage growth and development by granting private UK investors significant tax breaks when investing in qualifying early-stage companies. 

The MEDCAN Fund team will specifically target leading companies in the UK which it considers to have strong IP and which are developing novel therapeutics that target the endocannabinoid system. It will also invest in companies that form part of the wider medical cannabis ecosystem of services and products.

Óskare highlighted the case of UK cannabis company, GW Pharmaceuticals, the producer of the FDA-approved cannabis-based epilepsy medication Epidiolex, which was acquired by Jazz Pharmaceuticals for (USD)$7.2bn.

Óskare Capital UK director, Nicola Broughton, said: “Whilst GW is clearly an excellent example of a UK success story in the sector, we believe that there are opportunities in the market with stronger intellectual property which address far wider ranges of medical conditions that would result in even greater exits.”

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