Before we start we’re told by the compere that 60% of the audience is local. I think, being North American, he expected a whoop of excitement. In duly Australian style the room was deathly silent and as hard as it is to be patriotic in the day and age of ScoMo , Dutton & Abbott that silent non compliance to play the game stirred CLR’s inner Australian heart.
What we noticed, first up, is that although this country’s cannabis industry may be, for all purposes, based in Victoria the major B to B conference for 2018 was held up here in Sydney and that meant a fair number of mumbling, grumbling Melbournians in our midst. Always pleasurable to a Sydneysider’s ear.
More importantly it should be noted how many of our North American cousins were in the room. Yes the conference circuit in in full effect with certain members of the audience congratulating themselves on recently being in Jamaica and we presume a range of other locations on the planet. Meanwhile quiet Hong Kongers dotted around the audience were taking it all in and we presume prepping themselves for their angle of play at the forthcoming HK event. China is producing hemp like there’s no tomorrow and we’d suggest will be dumping on world markets it in the form of CBD oil, fibre and seed. Be aware, we say, of who’s in the room and what they are hearing you say.
We started the day with New Frontier launching their Oceania cannabis market report (now we know why Prohibition Partners from London had a bit of trouble negotiating to come to Sydney, and failing, in order to launch their Oceania report). In short the report has a lot of upsell, a little too much for our liking, and as for the PNG pitch ! Have New Frontier ever done any business in Port Moresby ?
Now for the big keynote speech by the man of the moment,Bruce Linton. Now he’s launched on the NYSE and increased Canopy’s market cap by a good %age, even taking in the slide this past week, he’s got the audience eating out of the palm of his hand. Most of his observations made sense and what stuck out like a sore thumb was the fact that he’s got Australian capital chasing him with the same gusto that Snoop takes to the vape.
Linton mentioned that he had 31 meetings where he expected to be offered money on this visit that he implied he doesn’t want… so, over to you to get that money, was his message. As he well knows money only chases money so we doubt the largesse of the Australian investment community will actually find its way down the food chain. Then maybe we’re just a tad cynical here at CLR as we have watched investment money quietly exit to Colorado, California & Canada over the last 12 months. Maybe if we changed the country’s name to C’Australia some of that investment would stay in the geographical confines of this continent.
After the sexy speech the room began to empty out, which was a bit of a shame, as the RMIT presentation was probably our favourite of the day. Here’s a respected Australia institution building an open source database to glean and record relevant cannabinoids and patient info. And doing what the rest of them are talking about (but not really doing) , educate and record and looking for partners to work with.
There followed some discussions about branding, regulation in the South & Central American markets and a couple of panels that touched lightly on regulation & compliance issues. We hasten to add that the blame for this can’t always be laid at the feet of the participants, as all were running against the clock.
Our final comment before getting to the New Frontier report is the rather alarming comment by an Australian CEO and founder of a cannabis company who mentioned , almost in passing, their work with Tasmanian Alkaloids.(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tasmanian_Alkaloids) Such a gentle, almost smooth name for a company that is essentially the leading source product supplier in the legalized heroin trade. It was the gentleness of tone in her voice as the words “Tasmanian Alkaloids” rolled off her tongue that chilled CLR somewhat.
Would this be the same Tasmanian Alkaloids who supply nigh on 50% of the world’s pure opium for the products that are currently cutting a swathe through the heartlands of the US and causing a health crisis par excellence.
CLR was in discussion with a Sydney Barrister, only recently, he mentioned driving through Tasmania and being surprised by the preponderance of military looking installations, that he subsequently learnt from his host were the one and same Tasmanian Alkaloids.
We ask, should Australia’s nascent cannabis sector be sharing a bed with these people?
We know our response.
Here’s the New Frontier report info. We’re back for a second look at the conference today and a wander around the exhibitors. More tommorrow.
New Frontier write
This free report covers:
And much, much more….
You can download the report at