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The International Cannabis Landscape Is On FIRE

Feb 18, 2022 • 8:00 AM EST
5 MIN READ  •  By Michael Berger
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Although the cannabis sector has been under considerable pressure since the first calendar quarter of 2021, we believe the fundamental landscape of the entire industry has recorded significant advancements. 

From the European Union (EU) to Latin America, there are several emerging cannabis markets  outside of North America and this is a core pillar of our bullish long-term view of the sector. We believe the international cannabis market (consisting of every continent except North America) is barely in the first innings of a multi-decade growth cycle and expect revenue from these markets to steadily increase in 2022 and beyond. 

Today, we want to highlight 3 emerging international cannabis markets as well as some of the companies that are capitalizing on them. We consider these markets to be attractive long-term growth opportunities and are especially bullish on the operators that are putting in the infrastructure to capitalize on it. 

Colombia Continues to Lead Latin America’s Cannabis Industry 

Latin America is a market that we find to be especially intriguing due to the climate being ideal for cultivating cannabis and the population. During the last year, the Latin American cannabis market has recorded incremental growth and we attribute much of the growth to Colombia. 

In December 2020, Colombia reported a transformation development for its cannabis industry by starting to offer insurance to medical cannabis patients. When compared to medical cannabis, the cost associated with treating a Colombian patient who is suffering from neuropathic pain is considerably higher for the insurance company. 

For this reason, we have seen a substantial increase in the number of insurance companies that are covering the cost of cannabis and consider this to be a bullish indicator for the Latin American market over the long-term. 

Khiron Life Sciences Corp. (TSX Venture: KHRN) (OTCQX: KHRNF) (Frankfurt: A2JMZC) is highly levered to Latin America and the EU and we believe the business is well positioned to benefit from the advancement of the industry in these regions.  

In mid-2021, Khiron started to sell medical cannabis prescriptions in Peru and this is a market that we are bullish on. Last week, the company announced a partnership with a specialized pain clinic in Peru, Clínica del Dolor Lima (CDL), to provide medical cannabis treatment access to a population of more than 10,000 chronic pain patients.

As part of the relationship, Khiron will be leveraging the CDL’s existing infrastructure and reputation to provide access to cannabinoid-based treatments to a growing group of patients in Lima and surrounding areas. We are bullish on the growth prospects that are associated with the relationship and consider this to be a potential major revenue generator for the business. 

With the opening, Khiron has 16 medical cannabis clinics in Colombia, Peru, and the United Kingdom (UK). Later this year, we expect the company to start generating revenue in additional markets in Latin America and believe that Mexico is one of the most significant potential catalysts for the business.

Israel is a Burgeoning International Market 

Israel is another burgeoning international cannabis market and we are bullish on how the market has advanced within the last year.  In 2020, Israel overtook Germany as the largest importer of medical cannabis flower in the world (according to data compiled by the Israeli Cannabis Magazine and Marijuana Business Daily). 

Two reason for our bullish view on Israel’s cannabis market are: 1) when compared to Canada, Israel is located much closer to the EU and we are favorable on the export opportunity over the long-term; and 2) the country’s climate is perfect for cultivating cannabis and some producers have been able to grow cannabis for less than $0.40 per gram (all-in costs).

From an economics standpoint, the better climate and the shorter distance to the EU makes the Israeli cannabis market more attractive from a profitability standpoint. Since Canadian Licensed Producers (LPs) can longer tap the capital markets like it used to be able to, we believe profitability is the name of the game on a going forward basis.

During the last year, we have seen a spike in the number of companies that are shipping cannabis to Israel. Most recently, Flora Growth Corp. (Nasdaq: FLGC) announced an agreement with Artos to sell approximately 3,600 kg of dried high-THC cannabis flower to Israel from its facility in Colombia. 

Through this agreement, Flora Growth seeks to establish a partnership with the Artos team to expand their offering of cannabis products for the Israeli market. We are favorable to the relationship due to what each operator brings to it. 

Artos was established in 2007 and is an Israeli consumer products distribution company with more than 4,000+ distribution points across the country. We consider the combination of Flora’s premium dried cannabis with Artos’ infrastructure to be a recipe for success and will monitor how the relationship evolves. 

A few months before Flora’s announcement, Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX: ACB) (Nasdaq: ACB) exported approx. C$10 million of cannabis to Israel and has been highly focused on the market. Although we consider Aurora Cannabis to be a formidable competitor in Israel, there are several operators who are known for producing premium products and will monitor how the Canadian LP can capture market share in Israel. 

Should Thailand be on Your Radar?

Although Asia has been one of the last regions on our mind when it comes to the cannabis industry, Thailand is starting to make some noise and this caught our attention.

Earlier this year, Thailand’s government passed a bill that legalized the production and use of hemp in products. The types of products that are allowed to contain hemp range from cosmetics to medical supplements. According to the law, products must contain less than 1% of THC. A key reason for our bullish view on Thailand is related to how the government issued a limited number of licenses to capitalize on it.

So far, we have seen an uptick in activity in the region and will monitor how this trend continues in 2022 and beyond. Due to the size of the population in Asia, hemp could become a major emerging industry and will continue to monitor how this region advances. 

If you are interested in learning more about the companies who are levered to emerging international cannabis markets, please send an email to with the subject “Leading International Cannabis Operators” to be added to our distribution list. 

For the fastest access to data on the companies who are levered to several emerging international cannabis markets, sign up for our free newsletter!

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Authored By

Michael Berger

Michael Berger is Managing Partner of StoneBridge Partners LLC. SBP continues to drive market awareness for leading firms in the cannabis industry throughout the U.S. and abroad.


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