iCAN on the road: Insights from CannaTech Sydney and Hong Kong

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As the global cannabis conversation continues to grow, with medicalization and legalisation at the forefront iCAN facilitated two more global CannaTech events in Sydney and Hong Kong earlier this month.

First stop: Sydney
Kicked off by a business symposium on the banks of Sydney Harbor, this event was jam packed with international giants such as Bruce Linton of Canopy Growth Corp, locally listed MGC Pharma and iCAN’s own CEO and founder Saul Kaye. Saul shared his opinions on cannabis being a non-binary industry, giving Australian and international guests perspective on seeing cannabis through a lens that looks at the entirety of the bell curve, not just viewing the plant and industry in separate parts. Australia’s nascent medical cannabis industry is budding with potential. Having two years of a legal medical market behind it, the Australian cannabis landscape has begun to form in earnest. With this in mind – and the fact a handful of the iCAN team call Australia home – it was the perfect opportunity to take iCAN’s event platform, CannaTech, down under.

For more information visit https://www.sydney.canna-tech.co/

The Australian Outlook
While the Australian patient base stands at around 1700, it is approximated that this is growing by an average of 7 patients per day. In comparison to other global numbers, Australia is taking it slow. Market analysis from New Frontier Data’s Oceania Report that was presented on the CannaTech main stage and it forecasts the Australian patient population could grow to 330,000  by 2025, equating to 1.2% of the population. Other data suggests the current medical cannabis market in Australia is valued at AUD$17.7 million, with indications it could bloom to AUD$3 billion by 2028.

Regulators have initiated Australia’s medical cannabis framework with strict and complex licensing and application processes. Australia’s conservatism has had an significant impact on the pace of development. In the long run, its push for high clinical standards and Good Manufacturing Practice driven processes will be of great benefit regionally and to the medicalization of cannabis globally. In the short term however, patients are facing a long wait for the industry to be able to supply accessible, locally produced and registered medicines.

Perspectives from Hong Kong
Being in the APAC region the opportunity to visit Hong Kong presented another timely chance to spark a sophisticated conversation in the investment capital of Asia. With fresh perspectives and robust relationships built at CannaTech Sydney, iCAN travelled directly to Hong Kong. This time for a specialized CannaTech Investor Symposium in collaboration URI and the ArcView Group.

The concept of medical cannabis coming to China presents an interesting dichotomy. Cannabis use in Traditional Chinese Medicine dates back to as early as 2000 BCE for indications such as pain and mental illness. The region is known as one of the ancient cradles for cannabis cultivation, creating genetically diverse varieties and landraces. Though cannabis is illegal under the Dangerous Drug Ordinance of 1969, the seeds have been used in modern medicinal practice. As it currently stands cannabis is inaccessible as medicine and possession can lead to prosecution with severe penalties. The nation however, still boasts 50% of world production in hemp and cannabis. Interest in cannabis investment was strong at the investor symposium with more than 200 people in attendance. Speakers such as Ben Sheng from Arcview shared his insights on private investment opportunities and Dr. Jeff Chen from the UCLA gave an in depth look into the plant and the endocannabinoid system.

Despite strict regulations, China may be still be a door to cannabis in Asia. Certainly, after our visit to Hong Kong it is clear that China will be a powerful player in terms of global cannabis investment, with less of a focus on cultivation and a strong interest in clinical research.

For more information visit https://hongkong.canna-tech.co/

The wrap-up
iCAN’s mission has always been steadfast: to drive the cannabis ecosystem forward, accelerating its medicalization and normalization globally. Thus bringing our events platform, CannaTech, to the APAC region was a timely opportunity to bring a high level and robust cannabis conversation to the area. As an Israeli based company with Aussie roots it gave us great pleasure to see some of Israel’s finest cultivators and experts share their industry knowledge in a burgeoning region. The local Australian industry had much to offer international guests with regards to their unique approach to the medicalization of cannabis, while Hong Kong investors coalesced in a way that will no doubt be fruitful for the cannabis ecosystem as a whole.

Learn more about these events as well as future events on https://www.canna-tech.co/

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