A country-by-country guide to Canada’s cannabis exports

The current status of Canada’s place in the international medical marijuana market

Canada has swiftly become one the ultimate exporting hub for companies across the globe to obtain medical marijuana products for use by patients in their respective countries. Health Canada has seemed to let their guard down since the last update posted on their website. The regulator explicitly states on its website that the organization does not “support facilitating a regime premised on servicing global demand,” but from the look of it, Canada appears to be becoming the next big exporter of medical cannabis. Since Lift’s last look at Canada’s cannabis exports, some new announcements have come to fruition. Let’s take at a country-by-country look at Canada’s cannabis exports.


Australia’s been a hot market for Canadian exports of cannabis. Tilray completed an export to the Land Down Under in 2016. The country has opted to prohibit unprocessed cannabis flowers, and it appears that Tilray developed some oil-based products not currently available in Canada. The “CBD Max” is a product that consists of around 98% CBD.  The other product is a called “Tilray 1:1” which contains an equal ratio of THC and CBD. In 2016 Aphria signed a deal to export cannabis to Australian medical life science company Medlab Clinical Limited. Canopy partnered with Australia's AusCann Group Holdings in 2016, which will bring some of Canopy’s products and know-how to the country.


As previously noted on Lift, Bedrocan Canada exported products to Brazil in June of 2016. TIlray is doing something similar with the country’s medical marijuana producer Alef Biotechnology, enabling the company to sell Tilray drops to Brazilian patients.

Cayman Islands

Licensed producer Cannimed, through its subsidiary Cannimed Therapeutics, has established itself in the export game with their transaction with a company in the Cayman Islands to supply various CanniMed Oils, which would in turn be dispensed to authorization patients. This agreement was announced in May of this year, shortly after Cannimed’s Australia transaction. In total, some 12,960ml of oil was transported to the country.


Their February 2017 press release didn’t mention exactly what types of products would be exported to the country, but Chile is now one of the (multiple) countries that Tilray is exporting their Canadian medical cannabis products to. The company partnered with Alef Biotechnology  SpA, a company that is the exclusive distributor to Chilean and Brazilian patients.


With their export of capsule-based CBD/THC pills to Croatia, Tilray claims that it was the first transaction in which “medical cannabis products containing THC are being legally imported into the European Union from North America for commercial medical use.” The liquid capsules will be available with a THC:CBD ratio of roughly 1:1. Tilray says it took over a year to facilitate the export process.


In May of this year, Tilray announced it would be sending some of its medical marijuana products to patients in Cyprus. The products being exported are Tilray’s “Drops”, which the company calls a medical cannabis extract product. The company has been working with the country's Ministry of health to export the products to Cyprus.


Germany is heating up, with a deal earlier this year that saw Aurora Cannabis acquire Pedanios, a German provider of cannabis to patients. It’s not the first nor the last time Germany has been on the acquiring end of Canadian cannabis. Tweed started things with the first Canadian export “to a major G7 country”, the shipment being cannabis sent to MedCann GmbH Pharma and Nutraceuticals in July 2016. In October 2016, Peace Naturals made one of its first export moves by exporting cannabis to the now-Aurora Cannabis-owned Pedianios GmbH in Germany. It’s not clear if the export was for cannabis oils or dried cannabis, and the volume of the order is also unclear. Peace Naturals, which is now owned by The Cronos Group, joins Canopy and Aurora in being able to sell branded products to the German market. Canadian LP Maricann actually has a subsidiary based in the country, although it’s unclear whether this will facilitate trade from their Canadian counterpart.

The country does not have much domestic production, but instead relies on imports from other countries. Watch out for companies to continue to export products to Germany.

New Zealand

It’s not just Australia that’s getting in on the action. New Zealanders have had access to Tiilray products since 2016. The country has access to the same products that Australian patients have access to, including the CBD Max and Tilray 1:1. Watch for New Zealand and Australia to move in lockstep for the foreseeable future; although it’s always possible that one of the two will take the reins and import more products than the other.

South Africa

It’s still in the works, but when all's said and done, CanniMed hopes to have their oils for sale in South Africa. It was just announced by the company that it had reached an agreement with South African firm Akula Trading 2 Pty Ltd, which contemplates oil sales when medical marijuana legislation is implemented in the country. There is talk that up to 1,000 doctors in South Africa are willing and ready to prescribe the oils to patients.

The export market is clearly heating up. At the same time, we might also see more imports from other countries into Canada as the global cannabis sector becomes more connected. Emblem Cannabis recently announced that it was importing CBD products from Uruguay into Canada for use by their patients, and some other licensed producers might follow suit. For now, licensed producers in Canada have a bevy of import and export options for the future.

Featured image via Wikipedia.

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