By Rena Sherbill
Today, I am very happy to be joined by Raymond Harari. Raymond is the founder of Canalis Capital, a cannabis advisory company and merchant bank based in Panama. He also sits on the board of directors for iCann, Israel Cannabis. He has previously worked in the fields of Private Banking and Investment Banking in New York City. Raymond is an angel investor and active across various industries, including cannabis, fashion, biotech and cyber security.
When I attended the CannaTech conference last month, the buzz was that Raymond was at the forefront of getting his home country of Panama to legalize cannabis. I talked with Raymond about this pursuit, the reasons Panama is a strategic place to go legal and the importance of having a long-term vision in this burgeoning industry.
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- 1:20 – How Raymond got involved in the cannabis industry. Looking for a new sector to invest in.
- 2:22 – What’s next in the sector. Branding is now very important, companies are trying to differentiate themselves. Technological innovation and international expansion.
- 4:05 – What Raymond looks for in companies he’s been involved with helping to fund and/or advise – what informs his selection process. Focus on execution and strong management; disruption and innovation.
- 6:25 – Will medical innovation erode the stigma around cannabis and drive legalization? Anecdotal experience vs. clinical data. Education is most essential.
- 8:05 – Timeline for legalization is constantly being revised. New Jersey’s bill not passing is a hiccup, but there’s so much positive movement in other places. There’s no domino effect – it will be an accelerated timeline, not in progression.
- 9:30 – Canadian companies have an advantage since Canada went legal first, but if they don’t play their cards right that could disappear.
- 10:55 – The future of the industry will be a combination of M&A and consolidation. Either JVs with local partners or acquisitions will be a way of entering new markets as opposed to organic growth. US deregulation will affect whether bigger players get into the space. The stronger players will survive.
- 13:01 – Are Aurora (NYSE:ACB) and Canopy (NYSE:CGC) best positioned in the next phase of growth? They’re both diversifying which is important. Really strategic of Canopy to strike the deal with Acreage (OTCQX:ACRGF) as it gives them optionality to enter into the US.
- 14:15 – Blockchain will play a role in the industry, but it’s too early to play that angle. For now, best to stick with plain vanilla cannabis stocks.
- 15:39 – Advice for investors: best to look at how other emerging industries have stabilized. It’s important to have a long-term vision of the industry. In all the various ways cannabis might end up having an effect on the world, it’s definitely here to stay.
- 18:15 – The global borders of cannabis – it can be strategic to a country’s growth and a play on the country. Four reasons why Panama is a strategic link in legalization.
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