CannNext Netherlands has been around for just over a year now and has successfully completed nearly 14 harvests in its own state-of-the art facility in the Netherlands. CannNext Nederland carries out the cultivation with a permit for research from the Dutch government, as the tenders for medicinal and recreational cultivation are still in full swing. “The Netherlands has started the process to legalize rcreational production relatively late and the rules are now being formed somewhat. Fortunately, we already went through this process and worked in 2019 successfully with civil servants, municipality and police to make sure you can design your organization responsibly in accordance with legislation and regulations, ”says Eric Uleman, director of CannNext.” What has helped enormously in this regard is the experience within our team with the realization of difficult projects in other sectors”.
CannNext Netherlands helps tenderers, manufacturers, municipalities and service providers
Eric Uleman further explains the role of CannNext Nederland: “We see the chances of success of ultimately operating in the medicinal and recreational market as a independent producer as quite risky and therefore prefer to cooperate with other companies, rather than trying to be successful on our own. We advise several companies on their plans or establish other arrangements. It's just like an accountant or manufacturer, sometimes you have competing clients in your portfolio and you need to keep them well separated. CannNext Netherlands has a financial interest in the success of this market transformation and in that sense, having our own facility, we can think along credibly with clients and partners. We provide professional training for management and staff who are preparing themselves. In addition, there are the many suppliers in this market and municipalities who are trying to better understand the supply chain. That is why we often work together with manufacturers to shorten the sales process and develop the business case and operational plan. Too often manufacturers are involved in operational matters that demand an enormous amount of time from the sales department.
Agile innovation is necessary to achieve successful cultivation quickly
About the great results that have been achieved only after 1 year, says Eric Uleman: “We have applied an agile way of working in construction and cultivation. This may sound strange, but in IT and other sectors where we have carried out projects, this method is commonplace. A broad team and fast development steps with daily stand-up meetings, weekly improvement meetings and dashboards. Technology also plays an enormous role in the sector and with the increasing involvement of technological specialists, you increasingly speak the same language with a scrum-based approach. And let's face it, we see in Denmark, Canada and the USA how difficult it can be to grow well without pesticides and without diseases. ”
First to market preparations have already started by top contenders for tenders
How are you going to make cuttings without hormones? How do you ensure that you can offer 15 to 20 types of cannabis? Simple questions, but that require a lot of preparation and knowledge operationally. It is hugely underestimated. The sense of urgency is not always there yet. In the coming 12 months, a lot will change in the economic and social landscape of legal cultivation in the Netherlands. It is a battle for a share in medicinal and recreational cultivation in one of the largest markets in Europe. A massive illegal industry will transform. The tender for medicinal cultivation is in full swing and the candidates for the recreational permit were able to submit their request last July.
We see that some parties have a wait-and-see attitude, but the professional and serious contenders have or are working on a cultivation facility for research in the Netherlands. As a company you want to be the first at the starting line or at least well prepared. This is important because medicinal and recreational users do not appear to change their preferences quickly. “It's just like with bananas, milk and other products or brands: only so many fit on the shelf. If you arrive as No. 10 then may have to fight your way in with hefty discounts if you can get the chance at all to get in. Buyers and government will of course also look at the extent to which you already have experience and have your supply chain ready. These are difficult decisions: on the one hand, you are not yet sure of a permit, on the other hand also want to be sure that you realize your return through sales when you participate. For that reason, it is better to start preparing locally now, as some do, rather than wait for the permit to be issued. ”