Peter Tas and Darryn Bruce of the Legal Cannabis Coalition

NL: Sharing knowledge to facilitate entering the legal cannabis market

What started as a cannabis research trial, turned into a trade association. “In 2018 we were part of a medicinal cannabis cultivation trial done by Wageningen University and Research in partnership with 12 other companies. This joint trial tested all aspects of cultivation in a greenhouse, from crop optimization to biological pest control. We wanted to do more partnerships like this with major companies in the cannabis industry, but in a way where we could exchange knowledge.” That is when the Legal Cannabis Coalition was created, a collaboration between companies where members can share their expertise. Peter Tas (Co-Founder of the LCC) and Darryn Bruce (Senior Project Manager) share more about the importance of sharing knowledge in the cannabis industry and the recent developments in the Dutch market.

Peter Tas and Darryn Bruce  

Becoming a mature market
The cannabis industry is a relatively new market and it is important to help it along to become more mature, explain Tas and Bruce. “We wanted to have an organization where companies can share the knowledge they have built over the years. Therefore, we brought together a mixture of companies that can give advice concerning the entire supply chain, from seed to sale. We invited companies from the trial, along with more major companies in the industry to join us. Together, we can cover almost all aspects of medicinal cannabis, based on our combined experiences in the industry worldwide.”

Now, the Coalition has become an authority in the market for people to get advice from. In order to get to that point, the LCC has implemented three important pillars for their organization.
1. Market study: “People come to us with questions, and we make sure to be up-to-date and have the knowledge available.”
2. Research: “We have been taking part in research projects. For example, we helped with an e-course for doctors, where they could learn about medical cannabis.”
3. Education: “In order to enhance knowledge and bring our members together, we regularly organize masterclasses. For example, we’ve had a masterclass by Dr. Arno Hazekamp (Boardmember and Consultant of the LCC), who is the first person to get a PhD in medical cannabis. We have also organized classes on post-harvest, cultivation, GMP, and more aspects important for the industry. On February 8 (today), we are holding a lighting symposium for our members, where several lighting companies will speak.”

The scope of the LCC has been expanding over the years, with new members joining along the way. The two newest members are Alweco and Bato Plastics. “Alweco saw a gap in the market with their screen systems. When building a facility, many screen systems would leave a strip of light between the adjoining screens. Now they help facilities all over the world with personalized screen systems that are positioned optimally. The industry also has strict GMP hygiene standards. Bato Plastics meets that need by offering functional, reusable and easy to clean containers for storage or packaging. Each of our members brings a specific skill to the table, which we then make available to clients in the cannabis industry.”

Lowering the threshold
Why is it so important for the cannabis industry to have this knowledge center? “There is a very high threshold to enter the legal market,” explains Bruce. “There will be licenses available in a country, but what to do then? What steps do you have to take to get into the market, what are the regulations in the specific area? People new to the market don’t know these things and it is very difficult to obtain this information. Wherever in the world you are, the LCC is happy to share the information and facilitate entering the market.”

In order to get all of this organized, having the LCC established in The Netherlands has been a major advantage. “In the Dutch horticulture, we already have a lot of expertise and we are used to working together. Concerning other crops, we have the knowledge on how to grow optimally, and of course we have the research done by Wageningen University, which is a great asset. Overall, The Netherlands has the knowledge and a history of experience, which is advantageous for our coalition.”

Market developments
Concerning cannabis, the Dutch market is evidently under development. “Currently, the talk about recreational possibilities is happening all over the world. In The Netherlands, adult-use has been illegal but tolerated for years. While there might already be an infrastructure established as well as possible expectations of things changing, it is still the government that sets all the rules. Yet it is evident that the Dutch market is definitely changing. Almost two years ago, the Dutch government started an experiment on a regulated cannabis supply chain, and we are excited to see where that will go. These next years, we are going to see some interesting changes for the Dutch market.”

For more information:
Legal Cannabis Coalition



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