TMA professionals have tackled issues far and wide and are no strangers to the new and unknown. While this issue of the JCR focuses on the realm of cannabis, the underlying story is that of a world that is still largely unknown.
Canada fully legalized the recreational use of cannabis in 2018. On the U.S. side of the border, cannabis remains illegal on the federal level. Yet, the legalization of cannabis in some form has continued to accelerate on a state-by-state basis in the U.S. and by 2025 is expected to be a $30 billion industry. Impressive as that may be, as the professionals of TMA well know, this is an industry that faces many challenges and certain uncertainty that lie just below the surface.
Our professionals who have ventured into this arena, a sector of restructuring that has grown into a meaningful practice area, particularly in the U.S. and Canada, are setting the stage for how to navigate a much different type of restructuring scheme.
With the legal landscape and regulatory environment so varied from state to state, how to approach, understand, business plan, and course correct present many untraditional challenges in what is still groundbreaking territory. Since banking and regulation are still at odds within this industry, the cash nature of the business model continues to challenge both the industry and the professionals who attempt to manage its volatility.
As with many industries, the challenges in the cannabis industry will lie around consolidations and private equity involvement. Established tobacco, alcohol, and even beverage companies like Coca Cola are likely to come to the forefront of this lucrative and growing industry as well. But unlike other industry evolutions, this one will offer turnaround professionals challenges that have no road map to navigate.
The industry is legally complicated, and challenges around capitalization continue to cause newer players in the space to struggle. Add to this a cross-border element of substantial Canadian investment, given the country’s more structured environment in this industry, and uncertainty abounds. Also added to the mix is that bankruptcy protection is not yet available to THC companies in the U.S. The Wild West nature of this still very unknown world will continue to challenge the best of our professionals.
TMA professionals are pioneers, and as this issue of the JCR shows, a newer industry wrought with challenges and opportunities is one ripe for the thought leadership only our professionals can and will undoubtedly provide. It was Bob Marley who famously said “When you smoke the herb, it reveals you to yourself.” And while this issue is about an industry much evolved since the days of Bob Marley, it is just beginning to navigate the many uncertainties that lie ahead.
There is no doubt, however, that the professionals of TMA, as they have in many other industries, will be leaders, fixers, and creators of the solutions that will shape and guide this industry forward. The next pages you read clearly validate this in many special ways!
Scott Y. Stuart, Esq.
TMA Global CEO