October 4, 2019

Zenabis CEO, Andrew Grieve, on North America, market growth and forging relationships in the cannabis industry

3min read

Earlier this month, Zenabis Global supported Prohibition Partners with the launch of The North American Cannabis Report. The report arrives against a backdrop of increased transatlantic trade, regulatory change and a societal shift in attitudes towards cannabis. Prohibition Partners sits down with Zenabis CEO, Andrew Grieve, to discuss North America, market growth and forging relationships in a high growth industry.

Earlier this month, Zenabis Global supported Prohibition Partners with the launch of The North American Cannabis Report. The report arrives against a backdrop of increased transatlantic trade, regulatory change and a societal shift in attitudes towards cannabis.

Projected to be worth US$47.3 billion by 2024, the North American cannabis industry is set to grow significantly over the next few years, as the number of medical and recreational users has been steadily increasing over recent years.

The report estimates that there are currently 4.2 million medicinal cannabis patients in North America, alongside 60.5 million recreational users, demonstrating that North America has become a forerunner in the international industry.

In the wake of the release of the report, Prohibition Partners spoke to Zenabis Global CEO, Andrew Grieve, the man in charge of one of the biggest producers of cannabis in North America, headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia.

‘North America has a real opportunity to show the world the right approach to the legalisation of cannabis, for both medicinal and recreational use,’ said Grieve, adding ‘the fact that we haven’t had any issues of organised crime involvement; and the fact that we have a strong compliance regime, is an excellent example for the rest of the world because it demonstrates that the legalisation of cannabis can be done in a manner that minimises risk to citizens and the government.’

Forecasts within The North American Cannabis Report use an analysis of patient numbers, pricing figures, consumption data and demographic data to help predict trends within the market. By 2024, The medicinal sector is expected to be worth US$25.2 billion, while the recreational market is estimated to be worth US$22.1 billion, with the total value of the sector expected to reach US$47.3 billion.

Grieve says Zenabis is perfectly positioned to play a central role within the industry as the business employs over 800 staff across Canada, consisting of doctors, scientists, researchers, cultivators and educators.

With four licensed facilities located across Canada in New Brunswick, British Columbia and Nova Scotia, the business is looking to continue its own dynamic growth.

‘In June of 2019, we outperformed by 40% relative to the original designed capacity in one facility, and we also have a facility which outperformed by more than 90%,’ said Grieve. ‘If we are on target, we would have gone from being a company in the middle, or even at the back of the pack, to becoming a market leader, in the first quarter of 2020.’

As the international market expands, Zenabis is aiming to capitalise further by hiring the right people and pursuing key partnerships.

‘The approach that we have taken to grow our business, is to find the right people with industrial-scale cultivation expertise.’ said Grieve.

And on developing relationships within the industry;

‘We approach them as genuine partners, rather than as a company seeking to simply derive the most we can from any relationship. Currently, in the cannabis industry, there are enough profits in the near term to satisfy everyone, so long as you move quickly.’

Looking ahead to the future, Grieve says ‘Zenabis has gone from 5 tons of capacity to more than 50 tons, over a very short period of time, this was achieved in a span of seven-to-eight months.’

‘We anticipate we will have the capacity for nearly 150 tons in another few months, at that point in time, we will be one of the leading cultivators in Canada, and we will have gotten there incredibly fast.’

‘You should expect the same pace and approach when it comes to entering international markets, and when it comes to developing different products, and bringing those products to market. That pace is something that will definitely differentiate Zenabis from other companies.’

The North American Cannabis Report demonstrates that the cannabis industry is developing at an exponential rate thanks to key legislative changes and significant investment.

The report also highlights the importance of further medical research into cannabis, demonstrating how sufferers of chronic conditions could be treated while also examining societal and commercial opportunities for businesses within the market.

The report details the regulatory environment, market trends and commercial opportunities which are dictating the direction of the North American market, including the following insights;

  • In the near-term, data suggests that value sales of medicinal cannabis will dwarf the recreational market, although this will fall to just over half of value sales by 2024
  • North American brands are best-placed to take advantage of the potential of the untapped European market as countries such as Luxembourg look set to legalise cannabis adult-use.
  • As western countries experience a long-term decline in smoking and stagnation in alcohol consumption, big tobacco and drink businesses are looking to boost growth by investing in the sector.

Prohibition Partners is the only data and market intelligence company to have world-wide coverage across Europe, LATAM, Oceania, Africa, Asia and North America, so if you would like to learn more about the opportunities within the industry, get in touch with our team on info@prohibitionpartners.com.

This promotional content is paid for by Zenabis Global Inc.

Zenabis CEO, Andrew Grieve, on North America, market growth and forging relationships in the cannabis industry

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