The Booming International Cannabis Trade – Germany, Australia, Israel, and the UK are All Importing Canadian Medical Marijuana

January 15, 2024 ·

There is a scent of reinvention that floats across the Atlantic to touch British shores. One of the leading Canadian producers of greenhouse cannabis, Village Farms International, has finally shipped its first official shipment for the UK arriving over years after in anticipation. Village Farms International, based in Vancouver British Columbia has recently taken a significant step into the booming United Kingdom Cannabis market.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the firm revealed that two of its renowned cannabis brands, Pure Sunfarms High-Quality BC Indoor Cannabis and The Original Fraser Valley Weed Co. will be introduced into the UK market through 4C Labs. 4C Labs, a Canadian cannabis company focused on importing and distributing medical marijuana, will have two commodity brands owned by the business – Pure Sunfarms High-Quality BC Indoor Cannabis and The Original Fraser Valley Weed Co.

Strategic Partnership with 4C Labs

Village Farms is a complex and multi-faceted company whose origin began in controlled environment agriculture (CEA) but with significant involvement also within the cannabis and health & wellness spheres. Village Farms is one of the largest and most successful growers, marketers, distributors in North America that cultivates premium-quality fruits like tomatoes, peppers , cucumbers and herbs under controlled conditions.

They grow in soil- less, glass greenhouses with tight food safety controls operating sustainably. They use hydroponics, and water recycling; they claim to consume less water than traditional open-field farming and are easier on the environment.

2017 saw Village Farms getting involved in the legal cannabis industry through companies such as Pure Sunfarms which covers cultivation and processing, and ROSE LifeScience that concentrates on R&D involving cannabis plant life together with related product development.

 Beyond Cannabis, Village Farms also ventures to diversify with its subsidiaries such as Balanced Health Botanicals which deals in high-quality hemp based health and wellness products like CBD extracts and topical. Leli Holland provides “Responsible and Confident Cannabis”, targeting a particular market.

Their decision to export Cannabis signifies Village Farms’ interest in leveraging the growing demand for medical cannabis worldwide, making the UK its fourth overseas market. CEO of the company, Michael DeGiglio was enthusiastic about this expansion by saying that “We are now exporting our preferred brands of Canadian-grown cannabis products through our wholly owned subsidiary Pure Sunfarms to four international medical markets – Germany, Australia and Israel which together with UK represent a population base in excess of 185 million.”

4C Labs, a private Canadian medical cannabis company focusing on the import and distribution of marijuana will facilitate the distribution in the UK. 4C Labs’ involvement in this collaboration serves as a critical aspect of its international expansion strategy by using 4C labs expertise and established network within the medical cannabis sector to enable Village Farms easy access into the UK market.

Changing Dynamics of the UK Medical Cannabis Market

According to a Village Farms representative, Pure Sunfarms and The Original Fraser Valley Weed Co products can now be purchased by medical patients through pharmacies in the United Kingdom.

This is one major landmark for the Village Farms as it accesses a market that has been growing by leaps and bounds in recent years. 2020 marked a significant shift, following the government’s decision to allow bulk imports when compared with previous patient-specific approvals in what now appears as an increasingly dynamic UK market.

UK medical cannabis imports historically relied on patient-specific clearances. 2020 change in regulations, however, led to massive growth of the market size. In 2020, England had about four thousand and forty-six items of medicinal cannabis prescribed privately.

Fast forward to the first nine months of 2022 and it had soared from that same figure to an amazing number 182,010. This astounding growth testifies to the changing attitude of medical cannabis in the UK and by healthcare practitioners’ together with that from patients.

The company has seen a rise in international sales with the help of its Canadian division, Village Farms International. During the nine months to September 30, 20234 sales outside Canada reached CA$5.1 million ($4m), up sharply from sales of about $CA19million for HMFC in the same time last year This reconfirms the increase in demand for high-quality Canadian made cannabis products, to global markets.

For instance, any company that plans to do business in global markets should understand the regulatory landscape especially for companies operating within a cannabis sector. 2020 saw the UK moving to bulk imports, which marked a beneficial shift in appeal towards ease of distribution. Since the regulatory framework is still developing, it seems that opportunities for growth in the medical cannabis area will only increase.

Village Farms’ International Success and Adaptability

Village Farms International has been successful in international markets due to quality, compliance and strategic partnerships. Pure Sunfarms, a subsidiary of the company wholly owned by it has positioned itself as an entity which one can trust when seeking products made in Canada.

The entry into the UK is a natural progression given that Village Farms has done well in Germany, Australia and Israel – Depicting its agility to function within different markets with varying dynamics as well as complex regulatory regimes.  Colombia has also stepped in as a supplier or medical marijuana for multiple international markets.  Meanwhile, in South Africa a voter-approved plan to grow and start exporting medical marijuana is taking shape and coming to fruition.

Going forward, Village Farms International is set to enjoy further successes on the UK market and beyond as international cannabis imports start to grow. Sustainable operations and responsible cannabis cultivation practices by the company offer another dimension of its attractiveness. As the awareness of environmental impact grows among consumers worldwide, Village Farms’ commitment to sustainability is in tune with changing market tastes.

The decision by Village Farms International to enter into the UK’s emerging medical cannabis market can be seen as a progressive step in its international growth strategy. The partnership with 4C Labs, the distribution partner, highlights how essential collaboration is to infiltrating distant markets. With the medical cannabis market in the UK growing considerably, Village Farms stands a good chance to create its niche by offering top notch Canadian grown marijuana products.

There is a blueprint of the success story as reflected by how the company, which began its operations in Germany successfully, then managed to establish itself well and thrive on all fronts including Australia and Israel showing that it has been adaptable enough not only to keep moving forward but also responsive enough when handling any medical marijuana patient anywhere worldwide. (Full Story)

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