Latin America Quickly Emerging as Marijuana Catalyst

When it comes to marijuana, there have been two substantial catalysts.

  • Canada legalization by October 1, 2018
  • Growing legalization of medicinal and recreational marijuana in the U.S.

But there’s a story that many traders are overlooking that could open the door for even more opportunity in coming months.

With the global community quickly embracing the medical attributes of medical marijuana, most notably in Latin America, coupled with millions of patients worldwide, marijuana companies are quickly gaining international exposure to realize higher valuations.

“Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe present incredible opportunities for those with proven track records when you consider the combined number of licenses granted to date for a population count of well over 1.5 billion outside of Canada and the US is fewer than the number granted to the Canadian market with 36 million people” said Aphria Inc. President, Vic Neufeld.

Colombia, for example, could become one of the largest global export leaders in medical marijuana since legislation in the region passed in 2017, establishing a framework for commercial medical cannabis cultivation. 

In fact, Colombia could supply 44% of the global demand for medical cannabis this year, as noted by Andres Lopez, the director of Colombia’s National Drug Fund, as quoted by Medical Marijuana Inc. Helping to foster further growth, Colombia recently approved a law to promote the use of cannabis-based medication. 

In fact, according to Marijuana Business Daily:

“With a potential count more than double Canada’s, Colombia’s medical marijuana market is quickly gaining recognition as a legitimate force in the global cannabis industry.”

That, coupled with demand in Colombia should fuel even more growth, as more than 2.2 million people suffer with chronic pain. Another 475,000 suffer with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  More than 520,000 deal with insomnia.

Here are three ways investors can take advantage of that growth.

Opportunity No. 1 -- Aphria Inc. (APHQF)

Aphria is one of Canada's lowest-cost medical cannabis producers. The company sells its products through both retail and wholesale channels. It's also engaged in the research and development and commercial production of cannabis oil.

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With recent partnerships, supply agreements, and acquisitions, APHQF could become Canada’s third biggest supplier with annual production of 230,000 kilograms. Given the expected demand in Canada, the stock could be one of the most explosive. One of its acquisitions was Nuuvera for $670 million, which will help to expand APHQF’s international presence to 11 countries. 

Plus, its expansion into Latin America makes it quite attractive, too.

In fact, the company will expand into Latin America and the Caribbean with the planned acquisition of companies in Colombia, Argentina, and Jamaica.

Aphria CEO Vic Neufeld noted that, “Aphria is proud with this initiative to create a true leader in medical cannabis across LATAM and extend our leadership in the global industry. We have spent a considerable amount of time and resources evaluating opportunities in Latin America and the Caribbean and we are confident in the long-term strategic opportunity and the value it will bring to our shareholders.”

Opportunity No. 2 -- Aurora Cannabis (ACBFF)

Aurora Cannabis Inc. produces and distributes medical marijuana products in Canada. The company's products consist of dried cannabis and cannabis oil. It also operates as a pharmaceutical wholesaler and narcotics dealer of medical marijuana in Germany and the European Union; and produces and sells proprietary systems for the indoor cultivation of cannabis, organic microgreens, vegetables, and herbs.

In recent months, the company agreed to buy rival MedReleaf Corp. for about $2.2 billion in stock. The deal will create a producer with the capacity to grow 570,000 kilos (1.26 million pounds) a year of cannabis at nine facilities in Canada and two in Denmark. The merged company will also have distribution networks South America.

Opportunity No. 3 – ICC Labs (ICCLF)

ICC Labs Inc. produces and sells cannabis in Uruguay. It offers recreational cannabis, medicinal cannabis, cannabinoid extracts, and by-products for medicinal, recreational, and industrial use, as well as industrial hemp. Here’s what makes this young cannabis company interesting. In October of 2015, ICC became the first company in South America to receive a license to sell recreational cannabis.

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