Attitudes towards cannabis are changing in Asia, say cannabis executives and investors

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Cannabis investors clustered inside a conference hall in Hong Kong on November 1 to discuss the outlook for pot investment opportunities, in addition to clearing up some misconceptions about cannabis in Asia.

Numerous executives, many of whom belong to big-name cannabis firms, attended the Hong Kong Cannabis Investor Symposium. More than 200 attendees were believed to be present at the cannabis conference.

The Hong Kong Cannabis Investor Symposium was the first event of its kind to take place in the Chinese region. Since it was hosted by The ArcView Group, CannaTech, and URI Capital Management, there’s no wonder why the event was a sell-out.

“The worldwide cannabis market is exploding, and Asian investors are increasingly paying attention. Up until now, pioneering Asian investors have only been able to simply read about this fascinating industry. Not anymore. We are bringing the cannabis industry to them,” said CEO of The ArcView Group, Troy Dayton.

Conference attendees say cannabis in Asia will happen “sooner or later”

Currently, medical cannabis is cultivated under government control in China, thus presenting investors with opportunities to capitalize on this segment of the market. In spite of cannabis prohibition in Hong Kong, attitudes about cannabis in Asia are evolving, according to event participants.

“When people see legalization in the U.S. is being accepted, it’s very likely the same trend will happen in Asia,” said the chief operating officer of KushCo, Jim McCormick. His California-based company specializes in providing quality cannabis packaging services. “Sooner or later, it’s going to happen,” he affirmed.

The chief executive of San Francisco-based cannabis investment company Mazakali made an appearance at the conference about cannabis in Asia. Submit Mehta is his name and he believes that Asia would be more likely to legalize weed if the U.S. federal government ends cannabis prohibition. Why? “It was the US that exported propaganda against cannabis around the world,” Mehta claims.

Fascinatingly, a cannabis cultivator called “CannAcubed” is collaborating with the Asian country’s state-owned health fund to construct an industrial hemp park in Yunnan. As if that wasn’t fascinating enough, CannAcubed is headquartered in Singapore, where drug traffickers can be punished to death if caught. Chief executive of the firm, Glenn Davies, plans to extend the project over 100,000 hectares of land.

Another chief executive officer was present at the Hong Kong Cannabis Investor Symposium. Dooma Wendschuh is the CEO of Province Brands. Based in Toronto, Canada, the technology-driven company is in the process of producing the world’s first beer brewed from cannabis.

Wendschuh’s motive for joining the forum was to seek out Asian investors. He predicts that investors who open their mind up to the profit potential of cannabis in Asia are likely to purchase no less than a third of a 40 percent stake that will propel the Province to public status, a deal valued at $23 million. Wendschuh sees the company going public before the year is up. According to the CEO, a Hong Kong-based investor and numerous Japanese investors have already sealed the deal.

Surge in pot stocks promoted Asian investors to attend cannabis conference

Cannabis stocks have been surging to record highs as of late, with the most recent surge occurring as a result of pot-hating Attorney General Jeff Sessions declaring his resignation last Wednesday. 

Over the past 12 months, cannabis stocks returned 73 percent, placing total pot stock returns higher than gold and Bitcoin. One of the Hong Kong cannabis conference attendees decided to join the forum because of the latest rallies in pot stocks. His name is Peter Bi and he manages a state-owned investment fund in Guangzhou.

The Chinese investor did not disclose his fund title, due to its public relations policy. However, he did divulge his plans to learn more about western medical hemp cultivators and their involvement with cannabis in Asia; notably, China.

“Hemp cultivation for industrial and medical use will rise in China,” Bi explained. “Foreign companies with advanced technology for processing can benefit.”

Even though cannabis in China is illegal, hemp-based CBD oils are legal. Last year, Chinese hemp sales amounted to $1.1 billion, constituting almost a third of the $3.1 billion global market. By 2020, sales are projected to inflate 36 percent to $1.5 billion, according to New Frontier Data.