The Farm Bill's Impact
Moderator Jesse Pytlak of Cormark Securities asked how the Farm Bill that federally legalized hemp could help springboard interest in the U.S. market.
“[Hemp] CBD is now legal, but we still cannot state any medical claims," said Marc Lakmaaker, vice president of investor relations at Aurora Cannabis Inc ACB.
Mile High Labs CFO Jon Hilley said: “We’re talking to big global brands now to implement CBD into their products, but are underestimating how quick this market will develop."
The consensus of the panel was that the regulatory change represents the first window of opportunity for foreign companies to get a foothold in the U.S. — and they're interested to see how American companies will take advantage of the opportunity.
CannTrust Holdings Inc CNTTF CEO Peter Aceto said he's ready to enter the CBD market so he can easily transition once cannabis becomes legal.
What To Watch In US Politics
The panelists said the points made during the confirmation hearing for attorney general nominee William Barr were encouraging.
Giadha Aguirre de Carcer, the CEO of New Frontier Data, said that if the U.S. does not move quickly on legalization, the country will be left in the dust: "The rest of the world is moving very quickly."
Around the world, the three largest markets other than the U.S. that are emerging are Asia, Europe and Latin America. CannTrust's Aceto noted said there is a vast interest in South Africa as well. The markets combined represent more than 1 billion people versus the U.S. population of around 300 million.
For investors looking for the next market opportunity, de Carcer said Europe is the most attractive — but for those who "like taking risks," Latin America should be taken into consideration.
Disclosure: New Frontier Data is a Benzinga content partner.
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