2017 was a momentous year for the movement to end cannabis prohibition and the social harms it causes. In addition to significant progress in the United States, the velocity of regulatory change has accelerated around the world, from North and South America to Europe to Australia and New Zealand.
It was also an exciting year for Privateer Holdings. As the pace of change hastens worldwide, we are pioneering the transformation of a $200 billion industry, building a global portfolio of brands – including Leafly, Tilray, Marley Natural, and The Goodship – powered by the industry’s first multinational supply chain and distribution network.
This past year, each of our brands achieved significant milestones:
In 2017, Leafly welcomed new talent, launched new products, and grew to better serve patients, consumers, and businesses worldwide. Leafly launched Leafly.de, a medical cannabis knowledge platform for patients in Germany, and expanded the resources available on Canadian hubs Leafly.ca and Fr.Leafly.ca. In October, Leafly opened a Toronto office and launched its inaugural group of Cannabis Educational Kiosks at clinics across Canada. More than 200 of these interactive stations will be available to educate adults throughout Canada about legal cannabis by the end of 2018.
In the United States, Leafly embarked on the Leafly HighWay Tour, a three-month, five-state, 2000-mile road trip to celebrate cannabis culture and the road to legalization. Leafly gave back by donating the ticket proceeds from four celebratory “4/20” comedy shows to the Minority Cannabis Business Association to support minority entrepreneurship.
The team welcomed new Chief Executive Officer Chris Jeffery and introduced new products like LeaflyBiz and LeaflyTV. An original book, The Leafly Guide to Cannabis, hit stores in December, and was praised by the New York Times Book Review as a "weirdly fascinating volume...[on] a new kind of cultivated landscape that may soon stretch from sea to shining sea." The year ended on a high note, with Leafly taking home “Most Influential News Source” at the Cannabis Business Awards in Denver and “Best Tech Product” at the Dope Industry Awards in Seattle.
For Tilray, 2017 saw unprecedented global growth. In a major milestone, Tilray became the world’s first company to receive federal cultivation licenses from multiple countries. To better serve patients in new markets, Tilray announced a €20 million investment to establish a state-of-the-art European Union Campus in Cantanhede, Portugal. Tilray’s EU Campus is already cultivating cannabis, and in 2018, the facility will begin processing, packaging, and distributing medical cannabis products throughout the European common market.
Tilray products are now available in eight countries on four continents worldwide. In 2017, Tilray completed exports to six new countries: Australia, Chile, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Germany, and New Zealand.
In Canada, to prepare for the adult-use market, Tilray announced an investment in a second Canadian facility located in Enniskillen, Ontario. Together, Tilray's Enniskillen and Nanaimo facilities are expected to generate a combined production capacity of as much as 51 metric tonnes by the end of 2018.
Tilray continued to tread new ground in clinical development and research. In June, Tilray announced a research partnership with McGill University Health Centre to study the effects of vaporized cannabis on symptoms associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). That same month, Tilray announced the formation of the Tilray Medical Advisory Board, an internationally recognized group of researchers and physicians who will meet regularly to evaluate opportunities for medical cannabis research and serve as a strategic resource for Tilray.
In 2017, Marley Natural expanded its product offering and grew its footprint worldwide. In the United States, the brand released a limited-edition anniversary collection, launched the indoor-grown STUDIO collection, introduced Smoked Glass accessories, and expanded cannabis sales to Washington state. Seattle lifestyle and cannabis influencers celebrated the launch at an exclusive gathering featuring music from Bob Marley's granddaughters Zuri and Shacia. Seattle was also the site of Marley Natural's second Rise Up Expungement Day, hosted in conjunction with the Minority Cannabis Business Association. At the event, men and women who had been convicted of a non-violent cannabis offense were able to file official motions to clear their criminal records of those convictions.
On July 4, Marley Natural made its European debut at the iconic French retailer colette during couture fashion week. Marley Natural and colette celebrated the occasion as part of a pop-up developed with System Magazine and fashion design duo Creatures of the Wind. The collaboration was featured in Vogue as a partnership “changing stoner stereotypes” in Paris.
At the end of the year, we were proud and delighted to welcome a new brand to the Privateer Holdings portfolio: The Goodship. Founded in 2014 by Jody Hall, the Seattle-based brand makes “damn fine edibles,” from delectable cookies and brownies to delicious confections and sweets. The Goodship is a local favorite for its best-in-class products, innovative programming, and whimsical, community-driven spirit. Together, The Goodship and Privateer Holdings will develop new products and expand the brand’s availability to consumers in new markets across North America.
In 2018, we will expand our adult-use brands additional markets in the U.S. and bring proven brands and tested products to Canada when the adult-use market launches mid-summer.