Marijuana Business Magazine | September 2019 6 From the CEO | Cassandra Farrington D uring my childhood and adolescent years, I had a highly romanticized idea of what “international” meant. To me, that word brought to mind visions of Parisian streets and exotic foods, long flights to the classiest of settings and flawlessly conversing in multiple languages. As a college student, I was able to realize some of those dreams and, with joy, recognize that many of those visions are achievable. I also realized, thanks to the school of hard knocks, that an international life is not always as rosy as that childhood ideal. Thankfully, international life is also not limited to any one vision. These days, the word “international” conjures up thoughts of business opportunities and new markets, affording me opportunities to continue those cultural, culinary and travel experiences that I find so appealing even to this day. This same journey of realization is happening as the cannabis industry moves to a global playing field. The romanticized version of the story includes robust import/export deals, an abundance of patients in need of high-quality medicine, a steady march to lift cannabis prohibition around the world, product development driven by science as well as a wealth of investment activi- ties—in sum, business opportunities galore. The reality is more about enthusiasm ahead of patient counts, export markets looking for import partners, development constrained by strict governmental regula- tion with real teeth and an oversupply of funding chasing very few real business opportunities. Will there be a robust global cannabis market in the future? Certainly, and savvy players are making moves now to set themselves up for that long-term success. First-mover advantage will, as always, be a key determinant in who wins and who loses. That said, how do you know where to put your efforts when the romanticized future cannot be achieved without first navigating the thorny present? This issue of Marijuana Business Magazine is dedicated to helping you understand the international landscape so you can plan your business activities accordingly. We’ve included profiles of the most interesting markets outside North America from a business perspective, as well as companies leading the way in defining what a global cannabis business looks like. We’ve also included a roundup of eight countries to watch for promising developments and Q&As with former Mexican President Vicente Fox, who joined the board of ancillary company Helix TCS in February, and former Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell, who will deliver the Sept. 5 keynote address at MJBizConINT’L in Toronto. It’s going to be a long-term game, one requiring a strong financial foundation and the successful execution of a multiyear strategic plan before returns on investment can be expected. Is that what you’re up for? Read on to find out. Enjoy, International Visions Cassandra Farrington Co-Founder & CEO, MJBizDaily P.S. Wishing a hearty welcome to Toronto to all the participants of MJBizConINT’L! This issue of Marijuana Business Magazine is designed to complement the conference. Make the most of the many networking and educational opportunities this week, and we look forward to seeing you again in Las Vegas for MJBizCon Week in December! Register before Sept. 26 at mjbizcon.com/register to secure the best savings on your conference pass.