Maconha deixa de ser nicho para se tornar um negócio de bilhões

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hempadao 22 fevereiro, 2018

A maconha está deixando de ser um mercado de nicho para se tornar um negócio relevante, agora que o Canadá está prestes a se tornar o maior país a legalizá-la. Em julho, o projeto de lei C-45 deve ser aprovado e permitirá o consumo recreativo da maconha no país. Empresas produtoras, que hoje atuam no ramo medicinal, preparam-se para a abertura de um mercado que poderá movimentar mais de US$ 8 bilhões por ano.

Fonte: Valor Econômico

Estudo da consultoria Deloitte estima que o mercado ilegal de maconha no Canadá movimenta US$ 4 bilhões por ano. Com a legalização proposta pelo governo do primeiro-ministro Justin Trudeau, as vendas anuais devem chegar a US$ 8,7 bilhões.

“Se contabilizarmos o mercado auxiliar, como segurança, turismo e vaporizadores, estamos falando de US$ 22,6 bilhões”, diz Mark Whitmore, vice-presidente da Deloitte Canada. Segundo ele, a cânabis está deixando de ser um mercado de nicho para se tornar um negócio relevante. “Hoje 22% dos canadenses são usuários de maconha para fins recreativos. Nossa estimativa é que o número cresça para 39%, já que 17% se dizem dispostos a experimentá-la com a legalização.”

Nigel Wodrich, economista do Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) do Parlamento canadense, diz que, neste ano, o total consumido por canadenses deve chegar a 655 toneladas. No estudo “Legalized Cannabis: Fiscal Considerations”, do fim de 2016, Wodrich estima que em 2021 os canadenses consumirão 1.200 toneladas de maconha por ano.

Nos EUA, 9 Estados já legalizaram o uso recreativo da maconha, mas o grande boom de negócios deve acontecer neste ano, quando a Califórnia começa a autorizar a produção e venda da droga, cuja legalização foi aprovada num plebiscito em 2016.

O modelo no Canadá será diferentes dos da Holanda e do Uruguai. A Holanda permite que residentes e turistas comprem a maconha em cafeterias, mas proíbe o cultivo para consumo próprio. O Uruguai permite esse cultivo, mas tem um controle maior do Estado, que limita o número e seleciona empresas autorizadas a produzir.

No caso do Canadá, as empresas precisarão de uma licença do governo federal para produzir. Cada província deverá regulamentar a distribuição local e terá de decidir se a venda será feita em lojas de bebidas (“liquor stores”) públicas, privadas ou em estabelecimentos dos próprios produtores.

Não está claro ainda como será feita a taxação da maconha no Canadá. Segundo Wodrich, a tendência é os impostos serem divididos entre governo federal, que ficaria com um terço, e as províncias, com dois terços. A estimativa é que o mercado de maconha para uso recreativo renda cerca de US$ 400 milhões em impostos por ano. O Estado americano do Colorado, por exemplo, obteve US$ 247 milhões em impostos sobre venda e licença de maconha em 2017.

Hoje o grama de maconha no comércio ilegal é vendido por cerca de US$ 8. Com a abertura do mercado, pós-legalização, o preço pode chegar a US$ 10, afirma Whitmore. “A ideia é que o preço não seja muito maior, ou os consumidores voltarão a comprar no mercado negro”, argumenta.

O Canadá aprovou o uso medicinal da maconha em 2014. O setor chega a movimentar US$ 2 bilhões em vendas anualmente. Nos últimos quatro anos, empresas que atuam nesse ramo cresceram continuamente. E agora esperam expansão maior com a legalização.

Das 90 empresas produtoras no Canadá hoje, 8 têm valor de mercado acima de US$ 1 bilhão. É o caso da Canopy Growth, de US$ 5,7 bilhões, e a Aurora Cannabis, de US$ 5,5 bilhões. No fim de janeiro, a Aurora comprou a CanniMed Therapeutics por US$ 852 milhões, no maior negócio no setor, criando a maior produtora de maconha do mundo em valor de mercado.

“Está tudo acontecendo tão rápido”, afirmou por telefone Cam Battley, diretor corporativo da Aurora. Ele lembra que, em março de 2016, a empresa tinha somente 35 funcionários. Hoje emprega mais de 500 pessoas.

A companhia hoje vende a flor de maconha e óleos com 3% de concentração de THC (o princípio ativo da cânabis) para o mercado medicinal. No último trimestre do ano passado, conta Battley, a empresa registrou aumento de 200% nas vendas em relação ao mesmo período do ano anterior.

No Canadá, a Aurora comprou 20% da maior rede de loja de bebida privada do país, a Edmonton. A ideia é transformar algumas lojas de bebida em pontos de vendas exclusivos para maconha.

Pioneira no mercado medicinal canadense, a Organigram viu sua clientela triplicar no último ano. “Há 12 meses tínhamos 4.000 pacientes. Hoje são 12 mil”, afirma Greg Engel, CEO da Organigram. O preço das ações da empresa refletem esse crescimento: em junho uma ação valia US$ 2; ontem a ação era negociada a US$ 3,33.

“Muitas empresas desse setor [maconha medicinal] já estão consolidadas. A tendência daqui por diante é começarmos a ver fusões de muitas delas”, diz Whitmore.



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