The primary strategy of World High Life is to acquire interests in and to own, assist, manage and identify investment opportunities and acquisitions in companies which are well-placed to take advantage of the dynamic regulatory environment surrounding Medicinal Cannabis as well as within the Hemp and CBD wellness sectors.
Canada is seen as one of the world leaders in the Medicinal Cannabis industry and also provides a relatively large singular market with a population of approximately 37 million and an estimated total health expenditure of CAD$253.5 billion in 2018.
While Medicinal Cannabis was initially made available in 1999, the number of consumers continues to grow, the percentage of registered Medicinal Cannabis clients has increased each quarter since April 2015 with the number of registered clients reaching 330,758 in April- June 2018 (up from 296,702 in the previous quarter).
It is estimated that Europe is home to a population of 742 million and an annual combined GDP of over €15 trillion, this combination of a large combined population as well as the combination of the globally significant economies provides an incredibly large market where annual governmental health care expenditure alone is over €1,08 trillion and total annual healthcare spend is estimated at €2.3 trillion.
Europe is seen as a potential hotbed for new market development as at least six European countries currently preparing new legislative bills on Medicinal Cannabis for local parliaments and most countries in the EU currently allow some form of Medicinal Cannabis. Prohibition Partners reports that the European Medicinal Cannabis market could be valued at almost €55 billion once all markets have implemented legislation and market infrastructure.
In respect of the European CBD Market, Brightfield Group have estimated significant growth over the next four years, estimating the market at US$318 million in 2018 and expecting that it will grow over 400 percent through 2023.
Considered the largest economy in Europe, Germany with annual GDP of over €3.1 trillion and a population of over 82.2 million introduced new Medicinal Cannabis legislation in March 2017 making Medicinal Cannabis legal.
Prohibition Partners has reported that as of January 2017, public health insurers, which provide cover to 90% of the population were required to cover Cannabis medication. The ABDA –(Federal Union of German Associations of Pharmacists) has reported that from March 2017 until the end of that year pharmacies sold 44,000 units containing preparations and unprocessed flowers based on about 27,000 prescriptions, these figures have since increased significantly and over the past year pharmacies sold about 145,000 units based on approximately 95,000 prescriptions resulting in 145,000 units of Medicinal Cannabis.
The costs of these prescription is provided for by the statutory health insurance. The large population, economy and increasing demand for Medicinal Cannabis makes Germany one of the most valuable markets in Europe.
The Netherlands started one of the first national Medicinal Cannabis programs in the world and over the past five years, the number of doctor’s prescriptions for Medicinal Cannabis grew by more than 400 per cent to over 50,000 in 2017, according to figures from the Foundation for Pharmaceutical Statistics (SFK).
The use of Medicinal Cannabis, which is only available with a doctor’s prescription, expanded in the Netherlands in 2016 with an increase of 75 per cent. Jan Dirk Kroon of the SFK estimates that around 8 thousand people in the Netherlands use Medicinal Cannabis, although he has prefaced this by stating he believes this to be a conservative estimate.
Prohibitions Partners has reported that Latin America can become a leading cultivation centre for global Cannabis as the facility construction and operation costs can be reduced by as much as 80% in comparison to North America or Europe due to low labour costs and an ideal climate for cultivation.
These factors are further supported by the legal the framework already in place as Latin America has been at the forefront of the deregulation of Medicinal Cannabis.
Both Canada and the EU have already entered into free trade agreements with Colombia and Uruguay in relation to the international trade regulations of Medicinal Cannabis with Colombia being the first country in the region to introduce a regulatory export licence.
Lesotho was the first African nation to legalise Medicinal Cannabis and the Lesotho government has already granted a number of licences to grow, distribute and export marijuana-based products to international companies.
Lesotho’s entry into the industry has since been followed by South Africa and Zimbabwe and a number of other African governments are now considering a legislative change. Medicinal Cannabis has a long history in the African continent and Cannabis use in Lesotho dates back to the 16th century with its high altitudes and fertile soil seen as conducive to Cannabis growing. Despite this significant history, it wasn’t until May 2017 that Lesotho granted its first licence to grow medical Cannabis.
Similarly, despite only recent deregulation in South Africa, the World Health Organisation estimates that South Africa is the third largest producer of Cannabis in the world and it is estimated there are 900,000 Cannabis farmers.
The unregulated market in South Africa is hundreds of years old and Prohibition Partners have estimated that if the unregulated markets were legitimised, South Africa would become a powerhouse green economy with one of the most conducive growing climates in the world and a forecast Medicinal Cannabis market value of US$667 million by 2023.
Asia is the most populous continent on earth with a population of over 4.4 billion people as well as the world’s largest continental economy (by both nominal and purchasing power parity GDP) providing an incredible market place which is predicted to maintain its position as the fastest growing region. Asia, like Africa, has a long history relating to Cannabis and Cannabis is actually thought to be indigenous to the steppes of Central Asia and grows widely throughout the continent.
Despite this history, Medicinal Cannabis remains illegal in the majority of Asian countries although there has been a recent significant shift toward legalisation. Prohibition Partners has stated that “with a number of Asian countries in East and Southeast Asia already taking steps to decriminalise medical cannabis, the region is thought to be on course to become a major global production and supply hub.”
Prohibition Partners goes further by stating that “the Asian medicinal cannabis market could be worth an estimated US$5.8 billion by 2024, assuming that it is legalised in the countries profiled”…”China and Japan would be the biggest value markets accounting for an estimated 75% share in 2024”.
In the Middle East, Lebanon’s parliament is preparing to legalise Medicinal Cannabis and its cultivation after a report from international consulting group McKinsey recommended the same. Economic Minister, Rae Khoury, told CNN, “It can provide around $400 million to $800 million of revenue to the country”.
On 25 December 2018, the Israeli Parliament passed an amendment which lifted export restrictions as they relate to Medicinal Cannabis This represented a further step for a country in the Medicinal Cannabis space which is already known for its research prowess having been described by Forbes as having a “well-earned reputation for being the Silicon Valley of the Middle East”.
The industry in Israel has significant parliamentary support and Israeli Minister for Agriculture Uri Ariel when discussing the Medicinal Cannabis landscape noted “Israeli research conditions for growth in the field precede most countries in the world by five to seven years due to progressive regulation.