24 November 2021 |

The Questionable Cannabis Deal

By Matthew O'Brien

The Questionable Cannabis Deal

Breaking down today’s announcement that the Taliban are entering cannabis…

Today’s announcement that the Taliban is seeking to cash in on cannabis is likely one of the most unexpected stories of the year.

The Taliban announced that it has contracted a company to grow and manufacture cannabis products in Afghanistan.

Cannabis in Afghanistan…

Afghanistan has a very rich history with cannabis and many of the most popular variations of cannabis are said to have originated from the region.

A 2010 United Nations report placed Afghanistan as the world’s top cannabis producer, despite the fact that cannabis has been illegal since 1957.

In 1973, Afghanistan’s ruler King Zahir Shah took this one step further when he outlawed the production of cannabis courtesy of receiving $47 million USD in funding from the United States government.

Why now?

Founded in 1994, the Taliban held power over roughly three-quarters of Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, however, in 2001 the United States & allies invaded Afghanistan and took control of the region.

In September of this year, the Taliban took back control and they are now using this power to rewrite the laws in the region.

As part of this process, they are seeking to join the growing list of nations that are cashing in on cannabis, and have partnered with an Australian group called Cpharm — a relatively unknown company.

As part of this deal, Cpharm is said to be investing $400 million USD to create a cannabis production facility in the country.

The project “will be officially launched soon and hundreds of people will get job opportunities,” per the Afghani ministry

Who is Cpharm?

This is the $400 million dollar question.

Cpharm is a small company based in New South Wales Australia that works with the pharmaceutical industry to develop standard operating procedures and offers additional consultancy services.

Cpharm has less than 50 employees and it’s questionable where they could source such the capital from to forge this partnership.

Our Take

I see no reason why any government would not be interested in cashing in on cannabis, however, I take issue with the official version of events that has been presented.

Raising capital is difficult — raising $400 million USD to work with the Taliban seems an impossible task.

Record Green Wednesday Sales

Green Wednesday sales are expected to reach records highs in 2021…

There are many important dates on the calendars of cannabis consumers, and Green Wednesday is the latest addition.

What is Green Wednesday?

Green Wednesday takes place the day before Thanksgiving.

It’s thought to have originated from a cannabis delivery company in 2016 when they noticed a huge spike in sales the day prior to American Thanksgiving.

While 420 holds the top spot when it comes to the amount of money consumers spend on cannabis in a single day, Green Wednesday is catching up.

The numbers… 

Per headset, U.S cannabis sales were up 55% last year when compared to the previous four Wednesdays.

There were 3 form factors of cannabis that exceeded this average:

  • Flower — 32.85% increase.
  • Topicals — 44% increase.
  • Concentrates — 50% increase.
  • Concentrates — 50% increase.
  • Capsules — 54% increase.
  • Sublinguals — 70% increase.
  • Edibles — 81% increase.
  • Beverages — 89% increase.

Year over year growth… (2019-2020)

From the 1,500 retailers they work with, Springbig reported that Green Wednesday sales across were up 79.43% from 2019.

Cannabis marketplace Jane Technologies saw an average increase of 241% in online sales on Green Wednesday vs 2019.

A big day for retail..

Total cannabis sales on Black Friday are estimated to exceed $88 million USD — a 71% increase in the average daily sales.

Last year, however, Green Wednesday recorded more sales than Black Friday for the first time ever, and it’s estimated that Green Wednesday will once again beat Black Friday in 2021.

Akerna Crop is predicting total cannabis sales will exceed $90 million USD in 2021, a 78% increase in daily average sales.

Our Take

Green Wednesday has become one of the most important dates for the cannabis industry and it’s very interesting to see the increased demand for the products that are ideal for new consumers during this time.

Leading Cannabis Research

Can Thailand become the center of medical cannabis research in Asia?

Home to 69.8 million people, Thailand was the first East Asian nation to legalize medical cannabis in 2018.

A brief history…

Known as ganja in the region, cannabis has long been cultivated in Thailand.

Thailand has not prohibited the cultivation or consumption of cannabis for most of its recorded history, however, things changed in the early 1900s.

In 1937 Thailand’s prime minister criminalized cannabis by passing the country’s first law specifically targeting cannabis.

New laws…

In recognition of the medical properties of cannabis, Thailand legalized medical cannabis such that patients could access legal cannabis products.

In July 2021, Thailand issued guidelines for the use of hemp for food, drinks & cosmetics — paving the way for a legal CBD industry.

Building on this progress, Thailand has announced its plans to develop a cannabis research centre to advance their understanding of cannabis by creating an international research centre.

The mission…

The International Medical Cannabis Research Centre is in partnership with RxLeaf World Medica.

They aim to bring together doctors, researchers & experts from all around the world to increase our understanding of medical cannabis.

The cash crop…

Historically, tourism has been an essential part of Thailand’s economy — accounting for on average 18.02% percentage of their GDP from 2017 – 2019.

With the lock-downs, tourism revenue significantly declined.

Cannabis is the 5th most valuable crop in the U.S with farmers generating $6+ billion USD in wholesale revenue in the last year.

Our Take

It’s great to see Thailand make such progress when it comes to prioritizing cannabis to help grow its economy.

If they can become a leader in medical cannabis in Asia, then I have little doubt that it would create a significant amount of employment in the region.