Marijuana Business Magazine January 2019

Marijuana Business Magazine | January 2019 16 Marijuana’s Global Prospects Legalization Day check-in with former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and Kevin Murphy, Acreage Holdings’ CEO By Matt Lamers T he high-flying cannabis industry is attracting former congressmen, presidents and prime ministers—not to mention bigwigs from IBM and other mainstream companies. Among the latest to join the green rush: former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mul- roney, who accepted a seat on the board of Acreage Holdings, a multistate marijuana company based in New York. Mulroney, who was prime minister from 1984 to 1993, will join a board already stacked with political and business heavy- weights that include John Boehner, former speaker of the U.S. House of Represent- atives, and Douglas Maine, IBM’s former chief financial officer. In a joint interview with Marijuana Business Magazine, Mulroney and Acreage CEO Kevin Murphy discussed the global significance of Canada’s adult-use legalization, the business opportunities in medical cannabis and when the MJ industry might see another major corporation enter the market after Constellation Brands’ $3.8 billion (CA$5 billion) investment in Canopy Growth and tobacco giant Altria Group's agreement in December to invest $1.8 billion (CA$2.4 billion) in Cronos Group. What is the significance of Canada’s legalization of adult-use marijuana in the context of the global cannabis industry? Mulroney: Legalization would be a big deal anywhere. We’re only the second country in the world to propose national legalization. Given Canada’s role as a member of the G-7, a member of the Commonwealth and one of the leading economies of the world, this makes a difference. It sends a signal of social advance to the rest of the world. My expectation is that—like everything else of significance—it takes a little while. But others will follow. So it’s a big day in Canada, but it’s also a big day for the rest of the world who are listening. The signal that Canada sends out today will not fall on unresponsive ears. Do you think the United States will legalize medical cannabis someday? Mulroney: I wouldn’t be surprised (if it was legalized) for medical purposes. The wealth of advantages that will flow from the medical use of cannabis could be extraordinary. The United States is the world leader in research and development. The leaders of the United States would certainly not want to preclude possible advances in medicine. Murphy: When you think about the medic- inal value of cannabis, and the fact that the (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) has given approval for a cannabis-derived drug produced in the U.K., I think that legaliza- tion of medicinal, at minimum, is probably closer than many think in the United States. There is no denying the medicinal value of cannabis. As a proof statement, the FDA has recognized that smartly. We’re hopeful in the very near term they will recognize it within the borders in the United States. Some people say medical cannabis is one of the greatest business opportunities of our generation. What are your thoughts? Mulroney: Absolutely. Obviously, we’re on the cusp of an extraordinary period of development, utilization and need in this area to the extent that medical cannabis can be used to relieve sorrow, anxiety and tragedy that afflicts so many in Canada and the United States. This seems to be an opportunity for redemption by governments towards their citizens, on a par that is rarely equaled. This is a unique opportunity for informed debate Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney Courtesy Photo Q & A | Five Questions Acreage CEO Kevin Murphy Courtesy Photo