Recreational cannabis was legalized in 2018 and the Canadian industry has since become increasingly sophisticated, OrganiGram Holdings Inc (OTC: OGRMF) CEO Greg Engel said during Benzinga's Cannabis Capital Conference this week in Toronto.
Takeaways From Legalization
One of the biggest surprises in the months since legalization is the diversity of the consumer base, Engel said. A recent survey suggests 15-20 percent of cannabis consumers who walk into a store are using products for the first time in decades, while others are using for the first time ever, he said.
Another surprise: the strong demand for CBD, which Engel said OrganiGram continues to work to satisfy. The company launched its first CBD edible oil product in 2017 to complement an existing line of medical cannabis oil products.
The cannabis industry's growth wasn't a smooth ride and has had several headwinds, including supply challenges, Engel said.
This implies that the industry has yet to reach the point of what he termed "Cannabis 2.0," but the CEO said it is moving in that direction. New store openings could be supported by fixes in the supply chain, and Cannabis 2.0 will be highlighted by in-store workers who are very knowledgeable about products.
The transition to Cannabis 2.0 could help bring in an even greater mix of new cannabis users, Engel said. The keys to success are the next phase of the cannabis market are that companies need to continue evolving to make necessary improvements and recognize opportunities, he said.
One of the trends OrganiGram recognizes is the opportunity in biosynthesis, the company's CEO said. The company made a $10-million strategic investment in Hyasynth Biologicals.
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OrganiGram CEO Greg Engel delivers a keynote address at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference in Toronto. Photo by Juil Yoon.
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