Meet Hanway Associates, a strategic consultancy, specialising in research, new market entry, commercial diligence and M&A strategy for the cannabis sector.

Lily Temperton - Head of Analysis
Georgia Glick - Head of Partnerships


Introduce yourself to the Rounders community and tell us about what you do.

Georgia- We help cannabis companies in the sector and we recently wrote a report called “Recreational Europe” where we wanted to explore the current state of play in Europe and what’s currently going on and also look to North America to see how the legal markets have developed there and lessons we can learn so that we’re not making the same mistakes over here and it’s been a really important journey for us so far.


Lily- We really wanted to get across in this report both the legacy side of the market and people who built the industry from the Dutch seed banks and genetics growers all the way up to looking at issues like social justice and how we can deal with these serious topics that aren’t always being talked about earlier on enough in Europe while also looking at what we can learn in terms of brand and product from the states as well.


Tell us about the motivation, process and the launch of Recreational Europe.

Lily- The key motivation is when we had this thesis where Europe was about where the US was in 2012 where you saw these few small movements in states, we saw Colorado and Washington legalise which slowly built up a huge movement across the US and we started to get the feeling that small reforms we were seeing in places like Luxembourg and Malta were the signs of those happening in Europe and the fact that we have now seen Germany and the Dutch commercial cultivation experiment going on we are seeing real signs of progress here and we wanted to get that across both in progress for what’s happening in industry and academia as well as what’s happening in culture, in the brand and in popular innovations from the states and what we can learn. 


Georgia- To do that we interviewed over 60 stakeholders for the report and we also wanted to build out a bit of a legalization matrix which is essentially our way of looking at what the potential blockers, catalysts for legalization are whether their economic, political and set out a framework for thinking about how legalisation could develop further and the report took us about 4 months total to do so we have been working on it for a while. 


Lily- Yeah it was pretty full-on, one of the most interesting things I think that we got from this report is polling to confirm that 55% of Europeans are in favour of the legalisation of recreational cannabis and that basically confirms the thesis we had. We did polling across 8 markets nationally representative of over 9000 adults and it was quite resounding in support of legalisation and particularity for regulated store models so people be able to go and buy products, brands and speak to people in stores while there was a bit less support for things like home grow and social club models.

What problems did you guys face when it came to launching the report? 


Georgia- It’s quite hard to speak sometimes too well you really wanna get as much of a balanced view and you don’t want the reports to be focusing on the corporate and more recent side of cannabis but we wanted to be able to speak to the legacy players and especially in the US it’s quite possible for us to do that, we were able to speak to quite a few but in Europe, it’s a lot harder and for fair enough reasons because there is a lot more secrecy so it’s harder to get that view but we definitely wanted to be able to capture it. 


Lily- For sure yeah we really wanted to be able to speak to a lot more of the legacy growers and producers but a lot of them didn’t want to be associated with a corporate report however we did manage to speak to some of the pioneers that built some of the seed banks partly because Hanway’s been quite involved in lobbying and advocacy over the years, we helped with the legalization of medical cannabis in the UK so that credentials I think helped us to speak to these people a bit more rather than if we had just been coming from a corporate lens also the fact that the report is completely free to download. We hopefully feel that it will make it more accessible to everyone because a lot of industry reports are up to £1,000. We really wanted to work with our partners and sponsors to make that available to the public. 


What was the most surprising piece of data you guys found out? 


Lily- I would say the most surprising piece of data we found out was that the Netherlands came out one of the least in support of recreational legalization and least in favour of things like the home grow and social clubs and we wondered at first why this was because the Netherlands is known to be a cultural cannabis hub when you think about all the deep legacy genetics and everything going on but we have a few theories that potentially the canna tourism attracted quite a lot of negative behaviours towards coming over and in contrast with Spain where the social club models are a lot more closed and you have to be referred to by a member and there are a lot more standards. Barcelona and Spain had really high rates of support so that kind of shows how the models affect the public perception. 

What impact do you guys aim to have on the emerging cannabis industry in the UK? 


Georgia- The main thing we are trying to do is bring the cannabis conversation into the more mainstream, that’s what we have been trying to do for the last few years, we want more and more people to be talking about cannabis and talking about what’s going on, especially in the UK. We think doing those reports opens that up a bit more because we are able to conduct these interviews, do all the research and help people to understand better. 


Lily- For sure I would say the fact we could spend months researching this and speaking to people like academics who often the average consumers would never get to have the chance to hear what they have to say on the ground or politicians or members of parliament but we have been able to do these reports, speak to all of those people hear what they have to say and then be able to bring that for free to the public. Hopefully, that’s doing quite a good thing by getting the information and data out and bringing awareness to issues that we think are really important. 

How does cannabis positively and potentially negatively affect your lives? 


Lily- I would say it positively affects my life by giving me a huge amount of focus, allowing me to write something like this report and just day to day motivate myself and get on with things and seek my ambitions as well. I think negatively it could impact my life when you don’t allow it to slip and you don’t keep up your daily habits and hobbies or solid goals that you are aiming towards then it could be a problem but if you are consuming for good reasons and making it part of wider social life and whatever you are up too then I think it can be a really positive thing for me and for society in general. 

Check out the Recreational Europe report here: