As cannabis awareness and acceptance take root around the world, a sister-brother team of entrepreneurs in Germany is at the European forefront: Anna-Sophia and Niklas Kouparanis. The siblings are co-founders of the leading medical cannabis holding company, the Bloomwell Group, which recently released the European Cannabis Market Survey - a look at American cannabis consumers’ expectations for, and opinions of, this burgeoning sector abroad.
The duo launched the Bloomwell Group together in June 2020. Within a year and a half, the company grew to 200 employees and generated some five million euros. Recently they closed a $10 million seed funding round, with Curaleaf's CURLF Boris Jordan, a lead investor and board member.
Building Cannabis Companies
“I have been building cannabis companies for over five years, so it was exciting when I could share the experience with my sister. We are among the first entrepreneurs in the country to successfully gain a foothold in the medical cannabis market. Now, we’re gearing up for the adult-use market,” Niklas told Benzinga.
Coming from a migrant worker background, the siblings were inspired by the courage and determination of their grandfather who moved to Germany in the ‘60s seeking a better life. Both Anna and Niklas are the first generation of their family to go to university and graduate with a degree.
Learning From One Another
“I learned a lot from my brother Niklas. He has been building companies for more than five years. While I had also been building companies too for the past few years, he taught me what I needed to know initially to get started in the cannabis space,” Anna said.
What’s In Bloomwell's European Cannabis Market Survey?
Fully 80 percent of respondents agreed that cannabis companies are attractive investment options. While 61 percent said they “would invest in European cannabis stocks” and expressed positive sentiments regarding cannabis tourism.
While the European cannabis industry has made some strides in the past year with Luxembourg and Malta decriminalizing possession and the Netherlands and Switzerland launching cultivation pilot programs, the crown jewel of European cannabis is Germany.
The Numbers Don’t Lie
“A recent report from BDSA forecasted that the global cannabis market will consistently rise to reach more than $61 billion by 2026. We expect, and are optimistic, to see more investment in European cannabis companies as these markets expand legalized adult-use cannabis and shake up the industry,” Niklas said.
“Germany has 82 million inhabitants – that’s more than Canada and California, two of the current biggest cannabis markets on the globe. Therefore, when Germany opens up for adult-use cannabis, it will become the biggest market in the world. The future language for cannabis will be German,” he added.
The American Connection And Germany’s Potential Demand For Cannabis
The survey also looked at how the U.S. can benefit from licensed cannabis markets in Europe, starting in Germany, which is expected to have a demand of 400 tons of cannabis annually after legalization. To help meet that dramatic demand, 80 percent of Americans polled said the “U.S. should export cannabis to Europe,” which would potentially increase domestic revenue.
Sounds Like A Win-Win? Yes It Is
Niklas and Anna told Benzinga that opening this kind of international trade would create new opportunities for both countries. In the meantime, cannabis seeds can be exported.
“While the US would benefit even more from expanded exports, there is an opportunity now for cannabis companies in the States to get a head start on breaking into the upcoming adult-use market," Niklas said. "We are positioned to be the gate-keepers for the adult-use market, so these types of partnerships with Bloomwell Group in the existing medical market will pave the way.”
Anna heartily agrees with her brother.
“Bloomwell is taking the lead to ensure product quality and safety, affordability and access will be the pillars to building a successful market, and it is crucial for German leaders to shape the framework to foster these conditions for and with local licensed canna-businesses," Anna said. "With these key practices in place, Germany is poised to be a pivotal leader in the global cannabis industry.”
Benzinga's take: Make sure your passport is up to date.
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