Analysts are predicting a high level of M&A activity in this
space. The industry is currently comprised of many small players,
which makes it attractive for bigger and more established
corporations. Todd Hagopian, an analyst operating a market fund
focused on the biotech industry, is predicting that big
pharmaceutical corporations will likely become acquirers in the
near future. His thinking is that they are cash heavy and are
looking for new ways to continue growing (http://www.forbes.com/sites/kenkam/2016/07/26/six-major-biotech-acquisitions-you-could-see-in-2016-part-3/#303cb98c1686).
Moreover, M&A activity has already begun picking up momentum.
Data from Virdian Capital and Research, an index focused on the
Cannabis industry, shows that 33 acquisitions were conducted in
2014. The president of the index, Scott Greiper, expects this
acquisition activity to continue to grow into the foreseeable
It is true that the industry is not all green grass. There are a
few weeds that need to be pulled out before it can flourish into
its full potential; one such obstacle is full legalization, or at
least an established and stable regulatory framework. The recently
announced new set of regulations for accessing medicinal marijuana
in Canada, the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes
Regulations (ACMPR), may be seen as another stepping stone in
that direction, as the ACMPR will replace the existing
Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR). These
new regulations, while an interim measure, are intended to expand
patients' limited access to marijuana under the old regulations
and may also be seen as an endorsement of the system of
"licensed producers" that has developed under the MMPR,
as licensed producers will continue to be exclusive large-scale
producers of cannabis under the ACMPR. The ACMPR may therefore
provide some comfort to industry players that regulated medicinal
marijuana is here to stay. See http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=1110389.
The author would like to thank Fahad Diwan, Summer Student,
for his assistance in researching and preparing this legal
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