The Year of the Breeder

When I was at the Vancouver Lift Expo in early January 2018, one of the panelists in one of the sessions declared 2018 to be the: ‘Year of Ancillary’.

Pretty much nailed it.

It’s wasn’t that producers were going to immediately stop being fashionable for investors. It meant that the businesses surrounding the entire cannabis complex will start beginning to really hop.

Packaging manufacturers. Testing companies. Those that support the core of production and processing and distribution – but aren’t it. Lifestyle publications and information sources and bong makers and nutrient companies and on and on. TheCannalysts are ‘ancillary’ if I was to guess.

At WeCann™ 2018, I suggested on TheCannabis Act’s podcast that 2019 was going to be the ‘Year of Sustainability’.

Since legalization’s rollout, I noted the multi-multi-box shipping required to get an 1/4 oz and a pre-roll. I know from tours that nutrient recapture isn’t intact or fully integrated at all production facilities, which affects runoff. That reclamation stalks and leaf product isn’t permitted to be masticated and turned into paper or fibres.

Add these to the many, many more things that hemp and cannabis supporters have been promoting as purposeful whole plant use for years, but aren’t currently being done, or planned for.

As TheCannalysts are wont to do, we think about things. And while I was waiting for a jet – enjoying the hospitality yesterday in Edmonton’s airport on my way home – I thought I think I got it wrong 😉

See, sustainability isn’t something that will be recognized immediately in the race for revenues. If it was, government regs and distribution would have all had it addressed first – or at least plans for it to be. Live and learn and all.

That it hasn’t done much for sustainability yet (visit any toy aisle in Walmart or pretty much any discount consumer product retailer if you don’t believe me), at least industry can lead and through time, address it. Cool. Better and better – we’ll improve over time, right?

So: I believe that 2019 will be taking us to where I’ve heard and seen and discussed in industry more than anything, but has largely been ignored in spending. I’ve seen it in almost every single financial statement I’ve decomposed, with several exceptions.


Dan Sutton of Tantalus Labs said something at WeCann™ that’s widely known, but, not often surfaced in the consumer sphere: that for several years….producers only had access to a limited number of genetics, and often produced the same cultivars across companies, but marketed them under different names. I recall he said ’12’ was the number.

Our pals at Health Canada recognized this during 2018 (after having it brought to their attention by everyone in the room), and opened a ‘second window’ with which new genetics could enter the system. These windows have been few and far between thus far. But now there’s a broader array available, and genuine deep hunt breeding programs can (and will) commence.

I’m as certain as I can be on this one.

Because the core differentiation on a product level between brands in a nested consumer experience – one that isn’t only wearing a t-shirt logo – is an actual physical engagement of a product that is felt and known from between the ears down to the toes.

That’s ultimately the core of cannabis consumption. Brand experience will only take you so far. You have to have the gear at the end of it.

The starting point of the cannabis value chain is in genetics. Whether for grow modality (greenhouse/indoor/outdoor), cultivar choice (speed to maturity, size, chemical constituents), medical application, flavour profile, effects, aesthetics….it goes on.

I believe companies raced to produce – to establish the facilities to get production started and the cashflows begun.

Now, it’s time to get into R&D, and really begin to create differentiation among companies – which will touch everything from efficiency in growing to how good the dope you get really is. 

The next race among companies is about to begin.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Nailed it. It’s one of the reasons I have not been quick to rush to the local dispo and grab any and all available product.
    I’m going to wait out the rushed stuff, and engage as a consumer once a few growth cycles have passed.

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