What’s Happening in Worldwide Hashish: Voices from South America and Asia

What’s Going on in International Cannabis: Voices from South America and Asia

I have recently been asking questions about cannabis business opportunities to or from Mexico, Canada, and China, and I keep getting questions from customers and prospects regarding the import and export of hemp or marijuana to or from the US market. If you're wondering what's going on with international cannabis, the answer is that there is a lot going on. Many countries, governments, corporations, and voters around the world are at a stage of legalizing or researching the commercial viability of cannabis, both as a product for domestic consumption and production, and as a destination for export markets. And many countries have been involved for years – even decades.

I know some of our blog readers are as enthusiastic internationalists as we are. So, let me remind you that my co-blogger, Fred Rocafort, and I are also co-hosts of Harris Bricken's weekly Global Law and Business podcast. We just got 25 episodes. Although not all of our episodes are or will be directly relevant to international cannabis, we occasionally have guests with expertise in cannabis in their home country or on the international scene, and we will draw your attention to the discussions that are relevant to cannabis companies.

Sometimes we even create links between buyers and sellers, importers and exporters, and investors and companies. We always like to have a general conversation about who we know and what they are looking for, as people and companies often come to us looking for closer relationships within their companies. And sometimes we interview these interesting people and companies on our podcast.

In episode 7 we spoke to lawyer Rodolfo Perdomo Uruguay about the role of the first country in the world to legalize recreational cannabis. We discussed the current legal framework for cannabis in Uruguay and why there is no going back for the country when it comes to cannabis. Uruguay aims to become a global hub for research and production of cannabis and is introducing new laws to do so. Uruguay is also a welcoming and attractive destination for foreign investors, including those in the cannabis sector. This cannot be said of every US state at this stage of the cannabis market's maturation.

In episode 22, we spoke to Glenn Davies, CEO of CannAcubed, a global cannabis startup based in Singapore with significant operations in China, which is also spreading to Southeast Asia and Australia, about cannabis in Asia. Glenn is a serial entrepreneur with a deep understanding of how cannabis will grow to meet many needs in both developing and developed countries through both the manufacturing and consumer channels.

In particular, Glenn discussed how some of the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals are in line with cannabis growth, including life on land (agricultural production), responsible production, zero poverty and climate action.

As the world recovers from the devastating effects of Covid, economic developments in many countries are being influenced by development goals at the country level. Keep your eyes peeled for the rising stars in the international cannabis space.

Glenn Davies also believes that the Asian cannabis model is more sustainable than the North American cannabis model, also because many countries such as India, China, Japan, Korea, Thailand and Vietnam have produced hemp in the past. Glenn and his team are also working to facilitate a general expansion of knowledge and best practices in Asia. He founded the Asia Industrial Hemp Association to provide resources for governments, lawmakers, farmers and businesses in Asia.

Like many companies in Asia, China has a big head start, but other countries like Thailand (and even more drug-conservative nations like the Philippines) are developing their legal frameworks and influencing public opinion about the desirability of cannabis as a crop and cannabis products as viable and desirable consumer goods, in particular for export markets like the USA. It is no surprise that many of these countries seek advice from the FDA, hoping to sell raw materials and finished products on the US domestic market.

We are always looking for interesting guests for our podcast. If you have any suggestions on topics related to international cannabis or guests that we should have on our show, please reach out to us on social media:

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