Cannabis has always been relatively easy to grow, for a cash crop. The plant is native to the Himalayas, from the Asian steppes around Mongolia to the border of Afghanistan.
It grows on all four continents. In the wild, it will grow at high altitudes, in cold, dry climates or in hot, humid island fields. It grows in soils both thin and fertile.
The oldest written record of cannabis harks back to its use as a surgical anaesthetic in China in 4000BC, while the Vikings and medieval Germans used it as a painkiller for everything from toothache to childbirth.
It was several hundred years ago, 1753 to be exact, when the famous Swedish botanist Carl Linneaus became the first man to classify cannabis sativa in terms of modern taxonomy. But people have been using the plant in all its forms for over 12,000 years.
The ease with which it can be grown means that when industrial production comes into play, massive oversupply becomes an issue. It’s not yet clear that there is a huge and growing market for adult use. Estimates for the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the industry between now and 2025 vary from around 12% to 17%.
One liquidity analysis report by weed investment bank Ello Capital — staffed by former JP Morgan execs — found that Canadian cannabis producers have on average just six months’ worth of cash, compared to US companies that have 14 months of operating capital.