The following is very real, first-hand account of one explorer’s exploits around the world in pursuit of the finest cannabis flowers the Earth has to offer. Never before has such a journey been attempted…until now.
Mr. Phineas Choom worked at 1201 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, a building in which some of the aptest and edgiest coverage of the public markets lived and died.
His coffee, thin and vaccuum-packed, came from the finest Keurig pods; while his water was refreshingly cooled by the building’s water fountains which always tasted, at first, like a rusty spoon, brought at great cost by derelict plumbing, seemingly established hastily during the war of 1812 as a means of giving the Yanks lead poisoning.
But, as of late, even the stickiest and ickiest relief from the malaise of day-to-day operations had lost its potency (especially when considering Canada Post’s deliveries had a habit of being done so un-expeditiously as of late).
A colleague of Choom’s, tired of his bellyaching about the (admittedly) thin coffee, proposed a wager as a means of ending the discussion permanently.
“If you cannot find a strain of marijuana strong enough to soothe your maladies, I will do your interview transcriptions for one year,” his colleague said, perhaps too rashly.
And so, it dawned on Mr. Choom to set out in search of greener pastures, the greenest in fact, to leave the malaise of city-dwelling behind in pursuit of the dankest buds across the globe.
If to live in this style is to be eccentric, it must be professed that there is something completely gonzo in eccentricity.
South by south-west around the world
After commandeering a Goodyear (GT.Q) blimp from some local aeronautics enthusiasts, Choom set out for Latin America, a region known for its warm inhabitants, stiff drinks and, of course, good weed.
A keen sense of smell brought him to Colombia, just outside of Bogota, the base of operations for Khiron Life Sciences (KHRN.V).
Rows upon rows of shrubbery dazzled the eyes and delighted the senses. It was here the company started, but the outfit’s operations now stretched across the continent and beyond.
Khiron’s rapid expansion meant its interests extended through Colombia, Chile, Peru, Mexico, Brazil, Uruguay, Canada and the U.S.
And it isn’t simply dried flower the company offers either. After being chased out of the greenhouses by stern-looking men, tin-type in tow, Choom took his dirigible back to the well-worn cobble streets of Bogota.
There, it was brought to Choom’s attention by attendants at a local department store that Khiron’s Kuida brand of beauty-enhancing creams was stocked in more than 190 stores across the country.
“Something for the missus,” Choom muttered to himself as he palmed a tube of Kuida, knowing full-well his late-wife passed years ago from syphilitic insanity, a common ailment of the era.
Feeling sentimental and somewhat damp as a result of the cloying Colombian humidity, Choom said adieu to Colombia and set off across the Atlantic to Africa.
“Oh Africa, brave Africa”
The Kingdom of Lesotho, a nation landlocked within the borders of South Africa, was to be Choom’s beachhead into the African continent, but crankshaft malfunction delayed his continued advancement further north.
Therefore, he thought it prudent to stretch his legs and sample the local flora before setting off, and, thankfully, there was flora to be had.
Supreme Cannabis (FIRE.T), an overperforming yet underappreciated Canadian company, recently invested in a local play known as Medigrow Lesotho, a licensed producer of cannabis within the kingdom.
Rubber, oil and precious metals are just a few of the exports resource-rich Africa has produced, but cannabis?
“Why on Earth would Supreme Cannabis grow the devil’s lettuce here?” Choom asked himself, speaking aloud and stroking his chin as he was wont to do.
What Choom didn’t know was that the answer was simple: Cheap hydro power and labour meant low production costs, less than 20% of Canadian competitors within its peer group. Lesotho also only enforces a 10% manufacturing tax, and has no tax on dividends.
Lesotho is known as the “Kingdom in the Sky,” due to its elevation. Medigrow’s site is situated 2,000M above sea level, meaning:
- Fewer pests;
- Cold early mornings;
- Intense sunlight all year;
- Low humidity
Matekoane is the Sesotho word for cannabis. The plant is known by another name in Lesotho as well: “Green Gold.”
As the first African nation to legalize medical cannabis, the plant now offers the people of Lesotho stable employment in a booming global industry.
“Employment. Excellent,” was all Choom had to say, his crankshaft bound in a tourniquet made from a rattlesnake skin and spindly desert flowers.
And as quickly as he appeared on that landlocked plateau, he vanished, pressing onward in search of the Land Down Under and the sweet Mary Jane therein.
Also, many days had passed since he left in case that wasn’t clear (we’re still doing the Around the World in 80 Days thing).
This isn’t your gran’s eucalyptus
Western Australia, the nearest point of contact for an eastward-traveler, beckoned towards Choom the way a soggy Wonderbread sandwich does to an empty stomach (see: hunger, desperation).
Out of fuel and sun-parched, our man was forced to land in the first clearing he could find in that desiccated, continent-sized transportation barge.
Oz the Great and Powerful this was not. After nearly falling out of his cockpit, half-starved and delirious from the rigors of his journey, Choom barely had time to light up a fat doob before being set upon by what he assumed were brigands. Then, his world went black.
When the blindfolds came off, Choom’s bleary, unadjusted eyes could roughly make out the dark outlines of his captors. The room was awash in yellow grow lights but the smell was hardly that of a nursery
All around him was the low chittering of…something. Choom thought his proximity to a THC epicenter was beginning to take its toll on his senses.
“This must be what the local street urchins back home are calling a ‘contact-high,'” he thought to himself.
One of the inky blots stepped forward. Choom braced himself for whatever dark machinations this seedy character had in store for a man of letters and great personal wealth.
“We know why you have come, Phineas Choom. Word of your exploits has reached our ears,” the very short man said, a terrible warble to his small voice.
“Do what you will to me you devils,” Choom replied, spittle spraying from his maw, “but know that I will never, ever, in any way endorse your cannabis company with an endorsement in print!”
“Oh but you will, Mr. Choom. Once you understand the scope of our growing capabilities, you will help us get our much deserved media attention,” the small man replied.
He continued: “We grow the finest cannabis in Australia.”
“That’s not true,” Choom cried. “That’s impossible!”
“Oh but it is, Mr. Choom. Little Green Pharma has rapidly outpaced its larger, public competitors and is in possession of more than 20 different licenses, We are the first company in Australia to cultivate and manufacture its own cannabis,” the man cackled.
Choom began to draw upon all his knowledge of Australian Cannabis to muster his response. He thought of AusCann Group Holdings (AC8.ASX) and its partnerships with Canopy Growth (WEED.T) and Khiron Life Sciences.
He thought of Bod Australia (BDA.ASX) and its recent “first-of-its-kind” CBD clinical trial for Tourette’s syndrome patients and how the stock had more than doubled since June.
But none of that mattered as the moment Choom opened his mouth to return fire, a plastic hose was forcibly inserted into his mouth and a pungent vapor was pumped into his system.
“Save your breath, Choom, you’ll need it! After a few puffs on our high-potency ‘babies’ you won’t be able to remember your own name! Forget being able to raise money on the public markets: Our cannabis is world-class and nothing is more profitable than a tightly-held private corporation!”
Before greening-out into the Australian ether, choom managed to take a swipe at one of his nearby captors’ beards. Would it be enough to help identify his assailants? Before being able to finish the thought, he faded out of consciousness.
Pass the Duchy
Choom awoke, groggy and his mouth ringed with Flamin’ Hot Cheetos crumbs like a Caesar spice rim.
To his amazement, he was back on his dirigible and travelling at speed. The coordinates pre-plotted into the airship’s instruments read that he was headed for Europe.
Digging through his pockets, all he could find was a pack of rolling papers and a single eucalyptus leaf.
“Could it be? No, I must have been imagining things,” he muttered. Rattled and still quite stoned, Choom fingered the leaf as he stared off into the night sky, eager to leave Australia and his hazy memory behind him for the civilized world.
Rounding out his trip, the world-travelling Vancouverite nudged the till towards Germany, a recent hotbed for cannabis on the continent.
Everyone who was anyone was in the German medical market, and for good reason: Germany’s socialized medical system and its position as the heart of the European Union made it an attractive prospect for Canadian cannabis companies looking to secure high margins and the demand for CBD products rivalled spices spirited along the Silk Road of old.
- Total imports of flower for pharmacy dispensing were roughly 1,200 kilograms (2,646 pounds) in 2017, 3,000 kilograms in 2018 and 2,500 kilograms during the first half of 2019.
- The retail price of MMJ flower is about $22 (20 euros) per gram, of which half is pharmacy markup and taxes.
Yield Growth (BOSS.C) partnered with Melorganics to sell CBD formulas throughout the Union, Chemesis International (CSI.C) signed-on to supply the United Kingdom with CBD, The Green Organic Dutchman (TGOD.T) manufactures CBD through HemPoland, including into Germany proper.
But the cannabis Choom found in the Deutschland, while find and dandy, was by the same companies he left behind in Canada. Their flowers were his.
And far from feeling stale or cloying, the wisps of smoke which wreathed about his visage, from tightly-packed cigarettes of (*medical*) cannabis gave him pangs and a longing for home.
Also not insignificant was the exchange rate from CAD to EUR which neared 1.5, precipitating his return to Vancouver where affordability of either house or habit was always competitive and never enough to induce coughing fits when credit card bills came to one’s inbox.
And after a brief time skip, he was home in the Lower Mainland where the damp seeps into the marrow and asking your dealer for ‘mids’ prompts a confused smiley-face emoji.
But he had won his wager, and managed to travel around the world and smoke 80 joints across every continent that mattered, never once feeling anything but a creeping anxiety he had left the stove on. To do this he had employed every means of smoking–bongs, pipes, bubblers, hookahs, cross joints, two-paper joints and even the famed Dutch Tulip.
The eccentric gentleman had throughout displayed all his marvellous qualities of coolness and exactitude. But what then? What had he really gained by all this trouble? What had he brought back from this long and weary journey? Nothing, say you? Perhaps so; nothing but a charming woman, who, strange as it may appear, made him the happiest of men!
–Jules Verne, Around the World in 80 Days’
A charming woman indeed.
Full disclosure: Khiron Life Sciences, TGOD, Supreme Cannabis, Yield Growth and Chemesis are equity.guru marketing clients.