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4/20 stories, pt. 3:

Thailand: "We know that this industry is here to stay"

With just a couple more days left until we can celebrate 4/20, we continue with part 3 of our 4/20 special series. Today, let's take a look at the Thai cannabis market as we have insights from a grower. Also, how are things going from a global supplier's perspective?

Waiting for the new policy
"The Thai market opened up last year, as more and more growers came online after the decriminalization in 2022. We are seeing the start of signs of consolidation, as margins get smaller and only more established players can survive," says Rehan Mehta, CEO of Thai Stick. "A lot will be decided when the country's new cannabis policy comes out, expected later this year. We do not expect it to be adverse, as the legislators have been quite reasonable in their dialogue with us, but a number of players seem to be biding time and waiting to see what the new legislation looks like before making moves. So, there should be some shakeup when the new policy comes in – either it will be more of the same or a slightly different path forward, but we know that this industry is here to stay."

Rehan explains that they've been facing the same challenges that any new business faces. "Managing fulfillment of sales, capacity utilization, recruitment, process optimization. As regards the Thai market, the biggest challenge is the stigma that continues to hang over cannabis – but that is something that we are working to address. This challenge will persist for years to come, but our success lies on the other side of that."

When it comes to the future of the Thai cannabis industry, Rehan expects to see consolidation and mergers among the bigger players. "Competition is stiffening, and only those who dedicate themselves to the progress of the industry as a whole will thrive. We can see in other markets how corporate isolationism results in an unsustainable race to the bottom. The opportunities will lie in selecting the right partners and putting our pieces together to form a coherent mosaic," Rehan says.

Ensuring crops meet the highest standards
According to Mike D'Ambra, Founder of Innovative Solutions, the current market for cannabis cultivation is both exciting and challenging. The company has developed ProGuard, an air sanitization unit that they supply to growers globally. "As more regions legalize cannabis for medical and recreational use, the demand for high-quality, compliant cannabis products is skyrocketing. However, this growth also brings increased regulation, especially around cultivation practices and product safety, pushing growers to adopt solutions that ensure their crops meet the highest standards for mold and mildew prevention, like those set by the EU GMP."

Mike D'Ambra, Kayla D'Ambra, and Brian Curry of Innovative Solutions

"One of our biggest challenges is helping companies prepare to meet the regulations and compliance standards required in their region in a market that is rapidly evolving," Mike says. "Many companies are not accustomed to what it takes to meet these standards, and educating the market on the importance of proactive air sanitization solutions like ProGuard and the role it plays in maintaining crop health and compliance represents a significant ongoing effort."

When it comes to the future, Innovative Solutions expects the market to continue its trajectory toward more standardized, stringent cultivation practices as the industry matures. "This evolution is likely to open significant opportunities for solutions that can offer comprehensive protection and compliance assurance in an efficient, cost-effective manner, and innovations that address these needs will be particularly well-positioned," Mike says. "We see tremendous opportunity in expanding our reach with ProGuard to emerging markets that are in the early stages of developing their cannabis cultivation infrastructure and regulatory frameworks. Educating these markets and establishing ProGuard as a trusted partner early on could drive significant growth for us."

For more information:
Thai Stick

Innovative Solutions
Instagram: @proguardofficial