Beyond Regulation – the entrance of the whales and the sharks

November 05, 2019 | By Saul Singer

The global trend of decriminalization, legalization and regulation is currently the fundamental growth driver of the global cannabis industry. But what will our industry look like once this trend has run its course?


There is a Talmudic adage that teaches that “prophecy is for the fools” and this is especially prevalent in the cannabis industry. However at least from a wholesale trading perspective, we can already point to the emergence of some inevitable dynamics that are not dissimilar to other global commodity markets.


One such trend points to the entrance of the “whales”, the big multi-nationals whom with one fell swoop can enter and immediately dominate a market. Whether it is the likes of Coca Cola in the beverage space, Unilever in consumables, Roche in pharma or Volkswagen in the automotive sector, these “whales” are currently discretely digging into the cannabis and hemp market and waiting on the sidelines and until the regulatory environment ripens somewhat. The readiness of these “whales” to enter into the cannabis market will be accompanied by the “sharks”, the large global commodity trading houses who will control the trade flow in terms of volumes in the upper segments of the pipeline. 


Where will this leave the small-to-medium sized players? Or to amplify the question – how will the small family farms in developing countries be able to sustain an economically viable and sustainable business?


Notwithstanding the significance of effective niche marketing strategies and appropriate incentive-driven regulation, the prospects of the smaller domestic players will be significantly increased by transparent, secure and efficient sales channels and mechanisms granting them access to the global market.


The entrants of these “whales” and “sharks” does not necessarily bring with it total despair and gloom, in fact there are some considerable upsides to their entry including, increased financial liquidity in the market, augmented compliance standards and harmonized data and protocols. However, in the absence of transparent trading platforms the equitability of this nascent emerging market of ours will be substantially diminished.


These are the issues that drive the CMTREX team as well as other responsible players in the market to develop and integrate a technologically driven trading platform where both counter-party and product authentication pave the path to equitable and ethical price transparency and efficient and secure trading channels.


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