LEADING North American Cannabis Retailer High tide unveiled plans to establish a High Street footprint in the emerging German adult market.
High Tide founder, CEO and executive chairman Raj Grover said talks are at an advanced stage with a number of potential German partners.
“Our intention is to establish a bricks and mortar High Street footprint in Germany following federal legalization. Our goal is to be there as soon as possible and become one of the market leaders.
“We are the largest non-franchise retailer 140 locations in Canada and we are closely monitoring German legislation. We are very excited to bring our Canna Cabana retail store to Germany,” Grover told Business.Can.
With more details on Germany’s adult use laws due in the coming weeks, High Tide is one of the North American players making a plan for the world’s largest cannabis market – see below.
Two trips to Germany
Mr Grover says he is looking at two possible avenues through which to realize his ambitions.
“Either we do it 100% ourselves or we partner with a strategic cannabis player in Germany as a joint venture.”
Regarding the latter option, and having recently participated ICBC conference in BerlinMr Grover says they are in talks with at least a dozen potential partners, with three or four “already in business”.
He added: “We have spoken to many key stakeholders in a range of areas from retail, cultivation, R&D to strategy and capital. There is a lot of interest from German companies who want to work with us.
“We have no interest in following the path of medical cannabis. Our goal is to establish a brick and mortar footprint and we await further details on the rules.
“Our intention is to be in Germany. This is a critical market for us. Based on what we saw in the first draft, our intention is to be able to operate as quickly as possible.”
He went on to say that he understands that Germany will allow international market players.
Well-known German cannabis lawyer Kai Friedrich Niermann who co-authored a study on the legalization of German cannabis in 2021 with Burkhard Blienert, the Federal Commissioner for Addiction and Drugs – who is preparing the cannabis law – believes there will be few restrictions on the establishment of high street shops.
He told BusinessCan that two of the three partners in the Traffic-light Coalition – the Greens and the SPD – take a “liberal approach” to licensing.
“There will probably be no restrictions, so there will probably be a fair number of cannabis retail shops licensed even in inner cities,” he said.
Under promise, over deliver
Grover added: “Understanding the lay of the land will be our aim to ensure we are one of the leading players in Germany.
“High Tide is about execution. If you look at our history and how we do things – when legalization happened in Canada, we were one of the first stores to open.
“We have always done and delivered what we promised – I like to under promise and over deliver.”
It was released by High Tide last week Q3 results achieved record revenue of C$95.4 million, up 98% from the previous year.
Its gross profit rose 54% to C$25.8 million from C$16.7 million in the same quarter last year.
It also recently secured a line of credit of C$19 million, putting it in an enviable financial position compared to many of its Canadian peers.
In addition to 140 Canna Cabana retail stores, it also has a strong presence in accessories from several American brands, namely: Grasscity.com, SmokeCartel.com, DailyHighClub.com and DankStop.com
He already has an online presence in Germany through Blessed CBD and is exploring further opportunities in the field of supplements and additional CBD products.
Germany currently has the largest medical cannabis program in Europe, serving nearly 200,000 patients primarily with imports from more than a dozen countries.
In recent weeks and months, the interest and activity of many such and new overseas players has increased as they strive to realize their German plans.
Curaleaf Holdings recently acquired a 55% stake Four 20 Pharma – a licensed German producer and distributor of medical cannabis – for €20 million.
Akanda, FoilIM Cannabis, the Grow Group, Clever Leaves and Little Green Pharma all have increased their German presence in recent months.
Similarly, an American company Flora growth Earlier this year, it began exporting commercial CBD products to Germany and unveiled plans to do so open 50 brick and mortar JustCBD stores in Germany and the Czech Republic until the end of 2023.
Germany’s domestic cannabis companies are also preparing for the dawn of the adult market. The Sobriety Group recently closed an investment round of 37.6 million euros, and at the beginning of the year the Bloomwell group Secured $10 million from Measure 8 venture partners and venture capitalists.