Thai cannabis company says projected economic benefits won’t materialise

A Thailand cannabis company believed its low-priced imports may eventually undercut New Zealand’s cannabis market, and investors were not being properly warned.

But New Zealand’s current draft laws proposed a ban on imported cannabis.

Jim Plamondon of the Thai Cannabis Corporation said “eye-popping estimates” from analysts, combined with the potential passage of legalisation of cannabis after next month’s referendum, had attracted the attention of New Zealand’s investors and policy-makers.

The potential retail value of New Zealand’s medical cannabis was estimated to be worth $360 million a year and taxes at $490 million.

New Zealand’s Business and Economic Research agency Berl estimated the potential retail value of all cannabis at $NZ1.5 billion annually.

Plamondon said estimated excluded the impact of low-priced imports.

“If the presumption is, that the economic benefits of cannabis legalisation will boost the economy and help lift it out of the recession, that’s almost certainly not going to be true.

“And in fact, almost all the money poured into the New Zealand cannabis industry is likely to go right down the gurgler.”

But Berl said as the law stood now, imported product – except for cannabis plant seeds, would not be allowed.

Research director Dr Ganesh Rajaram Ahirao (Ganesh Nana) said the scope within which Berl undertook estimates for the Ministry of Justice, was that the proposed cannabis market would be strictly regulated at all stages from production, processing, and supply. [Read more @ RNZ]

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