By legalizing cannabis for both medical and recreational use before all other advanced economies, Canada created an early-mover advantage for itself. We’ve opened up opportunities for innovative research and product development, and the creation of strong Canadian cannabis companies that could become world leaders. But how must our governments, the private sector, our researchers and other key stakeholders align themselves on this mission? What opportunities lie at the intersection of Canada’s growing cannabis industry and the bioeconomy? This Spotlight answers these questions and more.
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Key Takeaways & Calls to Action
- Canada has a first mover advantage in the global legal cannabis industry because our companies can develop and scale their products nationally, and then export these products, their IP and know-how once other countries proceed with legalization.
- Canada’s governments, both provincial and federal, must promote alignment among diverse groups within the cannabis economy, clarify objectives and priorities, and help focus efforts around them by supporting agile regulations and government policy.
- Cannabis research could have commercial applications in food, plant health, healthcare, textiles and construction materials, among others. As long as Canada does not stifle this sector with overregulation, we can build expertise in the research and commercialization of these applications in order to compete globally.
- Alongside the medical and recreational sides of cannabis research, there is tremendous potential in its biomass applications. Whether it is energy generation, synthetic manufacturing or the development of new materials using all part of the plant, cannabis can contribute significantly to Canada’s bioeconomy.