Monday, January 4, 2021

Investor Ideas #Potcasts, #Cannabis News and #Stocks on the Move; Episode 512 - 2020 Round Up

Investor Ideas #Potcasts, #Cannabis News and #Stocks on the Move; Episode 512 - 2020 Round Up


Delta, Kelowna, BC, January 4, 2020 ( Newswire), a global news source covering leading sectors including marijuana and hemp stocks and its potcast site,  release today’s podcast edition of  cannabis news and stocks to watch plus insight from thought leaders and experts.


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Today’s podcast overview/transcript:


Good afternoon and welcome to another episode of "Potcast" featuring cannabis news, stocks to watch as well as insights from thought leaders and experts.


In today’s podcast we will be taking a quick look back at 2020 and the year’s main highlights.



Sales Growth:

          While COVID-19 has had a significantly negative impact on most industries this year, the cannabis sector has seen substantial sales growth month over month as the year has progressed. This can be attributed to many factors related to COVID measures as well as to the success and growth of the industry itself.


One of the first contributing factors that helped sales growth this year was the very different place the entire industry was at the start of 2020 when compared to years previous. Supply issues were a massive factor contributing to lower sales in 2018 and 2019 in Canada and in the US, multi-state operators were still in the process and gaining the footing and building out their infrastructure. Looking at the start of 2020 we saw in Canada that many of the large scale producers who struggled in the first two years finally hit their stride as far as product supply levels and quality and consistency of their products. We also began to see the development of a premium bud segment in the industry through partnerships with smaller niche cultivators and the Cannabis 2.0 products that had been in the wing for months finally started hitting retail shelves. The retail development  within Canada was also in a much more stable and built out position starting in 2020 than in other years with private retail stores in BC and Ontario, the two most populous provinces, seeing massive growth.

Image courtesy of: MJBIZ Daily


With the industry being in a much better starting position entering 2020, the next big factor to impact sales was obviously COVID-19 and lockdowns.


In Canada with so many people stuck at home due to lockdown procedures and mahy receiving government aid checks from being out of the work, we saw a massive spike in Cannabis usage and sales as many who were on the fence socially about this substance in years previous changed their perception.


This was also massively aided by Cannabis businesses being deemed essential in both the US and Canada as well as other parts of the world where legal cannabis operations are in place. This change from Illegal to essential brought many new consumers to the market and has helped remove some of the long standing stigma surrounding the industry.


These contributing factors which aided to sales gave many companies in the industry the much needed revenue boost they had been waiting for and allowed many companies the time and financial resources to begin expansion and innovation.



Industry Innovation:

          Increased sales and revenues in many ways helped stabilize what was previously a very unstable industry, which allowed many to use the time to innovate and expand.


We saw a plethora of Cannabis 2.0 products that had been stuck in development hell for months finally begin hitting shelves and as more products hit retail stores we saw competitors continue to innovate and adapt their products to consumers needs as the year progressed.


Not only did many companies innovate with regards to their products but we also saw many retailers build out their online capabilities and begin offering delivery and cubside services, where regulators allowed, which again helped increase their customer share and overall sales.


Now most of the US and Canadian cannabis retail sector offers online sales, delivery or curbside pickup as well as touchless transactions and interactive menus, all features that had been slowly developing over the last two years but suddenly saw a massive jump in 2020 due to the necessity for innovation COVID created.


This also translated to the underserved medical community who saw massive growth in Telemedicine usage globally and in medical cannabis countries, there were serious adjustments to the overall medical industry which now allows for easier access to cannabis medication, delivery and curbside pick up options, telemedicine prescription and information access as well as a massive growth in product selection and inventory.


Continued Legalization and Social Acceptance:

          While I had already mentioned the massive social change created from Cannabis businesses being deemed essential this year, there was also another huge shift in the US, as well as globally towards cannabis reform policy and general drug reform policy.


This year saw many new states in the US vote for cannabis reform such as New Jersey, Montanna, Arizona and South Dakota, which all voted in favor of cannabis reform. We also saw states like Oregan set new drug policy precedent in the US by voting in favor of decriminalizing virtually all drugs and legalizing medicinal psilocybin.


On a global scale we saw more countries in South America extend or improve their cannabis drug policies in favour of import and export opportunities and increased medical availability. One of the largest holdouts as well as probably one of the largest potential markets, Mexico looks to have some sort of medical cannabis program in place in 2021, though regulatory progress has been slow so far. Even in South East Asia we have seen a growing leniency towards CBD products with some countries beginning the process of implementing a medical cannabis program, again most likely in 2021 or 2022.


In the EU, while we haven’t seen any major changes to the legal landscape, 2020 did help continue to build out the EU infrastructure for the medical and CBD industry and we have seen massive growth when it comes to import and export markets.


What’s Next?

          Looking ahead at 2021 and beyond there's a lot of hype and expectation surrounding the cannabis industry once again. One of the best things to come out of 2020 has been increased investor confidence and interest in this industry that saw a large investment slump since legalization in Canada in 2018. Many of the the industries largest companies are now trading back up at their regular prices and many smaller companies have had their best trading year to date.


          This increase in investor and consumer confidence in the industry should help push some of the last needed advancements in regulation and industry reform to boost the cannabis industry into the same social and societal acceptance of alcohol, if not allowing it surpass alcohol due to alcohol's many negative health impacts.


          Looking at the US in 2021 we can definitely expect more speculation and hype surrounding the idea of either Safe Banking Access or decriminalization of cannabis, at least one of these outcomes seems likely this year. We have seen many companies in both the US and Canada preparing for the merging of markets and with the implementation of at least Safe Banking Access a floodgate of investor capital becomes available to US based cannabis companies.


          Looking at Canada, there is expectation of regulatory reform surrounding delivery access in some provinces, private retail expansion as well a hopeful reevaluation of dosage and packaging restrictions, all of which would greatly benefit overall industry.


          Looking globally and at the industry as a whole, South American expansion of both medical and recreational markets seems inevitable as does expansion of the EU recreational market. There is a lot of excitement surrounding South East Asian markets establishing medical markets though this looks to be further out than 2021, though CBD products are very much in play. Finally we have seen a lot of infrastructure build out in Israel and parts of Africa, both of which could have massive impacts on the global pricing of Cannabis and CBD products as well as the import and export markets.


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