When a new industry really comes into play, it creates a paradigm shift in its wake, a changed world due to new laws, regulations, business possibilities, new lines of revenue, and new collectors of this revenue. When it comes to the burgeoning global medical cannabis industry, while Africa pushes towards a new paradigm shift, China still remains firmly on top…for now.
The idea of China sitting at the top of global industries has become a new paradigm to life in and of itself. It’s a strange joke that seems to permeate anywhere outside of China that China owns everything, and whether its technically true, it’s hard to get around the fact that an incredibly large percentage of everyday goods, in vast regions of the world, are emblazoned with the now ubiquitous ‘Made in China’. Especially when it comes to low cost production, China has cornered the market and this stretches from electronics to clothing to nearly any household item, office item, and beyond.
So, it’s no massive surprise that a material like hemp, which has near universal applications, would be grown quite a bit in China, and even as many countries still hold it as illegal to grow, or are only now opening their laws to it. Since a large percentage of the legal cannabis market now revolves around medical cannabis, and since a substantial amount of medical cannabis can be made from hemp, by reinstituting its hemp market earlier than other countries, China became – and still remains – the largest hemp producer in the world.
China is one of the largest exporters of medical cannabis as well. It might not be one of the markets people generally refer to when talking about how China owns everything, but when it comes to the hemp market and everything therein, China is still a massive force to be reckoned with.
Differences in regulation
When talking about regulation it’s important to remember that there are two main types to consider when dealing with something like cannabis. The first type has to do with consumers. What are residents of a country allowed to do; and this can be broken down into different sections: actively using something, simply having possession of something, growing something, etc. Then there are the laws that look at the business perspective.
What is the government, or approved private enterprises, allowed to do; and this too can be broken down into component parts: growing something, importing something, exporting something, etc. Sometimes the laws match up, and there is more synchronicity between what private citizens can do and what private business/government can do. Sometimes there’s a vast amount of differences. Recently, Africa has been a hot spot for this. A big, red, flashing, arrow pointing exactly to this idea. But truth be told, China’s been at it for a long time too.