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Mapping the Emerging Cannabis Sector

By 17/07/2018 No Comments

A strategic map is one of the most potent tools in an organization’s decision-making arsenal. Maps shed light on the individual roles of stakeholders within a sector. They visually display the relationships that connect those stakeholders, as well as the flows of resources between them. Finally, they can illuminate unclaimed opportunities and predict potential obstacles.

All of these functions are particularly important in the emerging recreational cannabis sector, which includes many stakeholders and few obvious answers. Legal recreational cannabis is uncharted territory; mapping can help answer important questions related to industry, policy, and higher education.

Individual Roles

In a completely new sector like recreational cannabis, it can be difficult for organizations to anticipate what role they will play. For instance, companies hoping to produce or retail recreational cannabis must be aware of what niche they fill and who their competitors are. Corporate professionals and policymakers alike need to know about the major industry associations and non-profit groups. Finally, universities and colleges should know which institutions are already offering programs related to the cannabis industry. All of this information and more is provided by our maps, which list the most important actions and policies of major stakeholders. This allows organizations in the cannabis sector to understand where they are, which is a prerequisite for effective strategy.

Relationships and Flows

Once the major stakeholders are identified, we can analyze the relationships between them. The recreational cannabis industry has been sensationalized in the media, which makes it harder for organizations to grasp the real linkages and flows between stakeholders. Our maps illustrate the flows of money, people, information, and materials based on reliable data. A glance at a cannabis sector map could show companies how much they can expect to be taxed and what government regulations they must follow. It could show policymakers the true economic gains and costs of legalization, as well as the relationships between federal and provincial cannabis policies. Lastly, it could show universities the amount of funding available for cannabis-related research. A clear understanding of these relationships is essential for any organization looking to operate in the nascent cannabis sector.

Opportunities and Challenges

With a strong grasp of the functions performed by stakeholders and the relationships between them, potential opportunities and challenges reveal themselves. For example, a business may discover a potential industry or academic partner, new funding opportunities, or the ideal provincial market for expansion. Universities and colleges could find nearby cannabis companies interested in collaborative research or employing students. They may even identify a demand for cannabis-related educational programs. Finally, policymakers will be able to determine whether the goals of The Cannabis Act are likely to be met and what can be done to obtain a more favourable outcome.

By identifying roles, relationships, opportunities, and challenges, a strategic map of the cannabis sector would allow organizations to make the best decisions possible in this new, exciting industry.

Contact us to see how our maps can help you navigate the emerging recreational cannabis sector.