Swiss Sicpa wants to capitalize on the cannabis boom.
Cannabis cultivation in the USA: Swiss Sicpa wants to benefit from legalization.
Family entrepreneur Philip Amon is betting on a fast-growing herb business: his Sicpa from western Switzerland is competing for a large order in the United States. And Amon’s plans go much further.
Sikpa? The Lausanne-based company is largely unknown to the general public. Like his boss, president and main shareholder Philip Amon. Yet we all have contact with Sikpa almost every day. The family business produces specialty ink for printing passports and banknotes – for example, for francs, euros or dollars.
But Sicpa does not currently lure dollar bills across the Atlantic. Rather, it is a thriving legal marijuana business – a $ 6.7 billion market. As more and more US states want to legalize the marijuana growing business – medicinally or entirely – this number is likely to grow rapidly. Experts from the analytical company Arcview Market Research expect an annual growth of 27 percent.
Monitoring from A to Z.
In the US marijuana business, the second pillar of Sicpa is in demand: Tracking and Tracking is used to track production. This guarantees the safety and quality of the product in question. On the other hand, governments want to control the trade of certain products, for example, because they tax them. From cigarettes, butter, alcohol to halal meat, Sicpa labels 70 billion products worldwide that generate $ 40 billion in tax revenue a year.
Sikpa would now like to recommend proprietary technologies for the marijuana trade in the US states of California and Massachusetts. The solution has shown itself in three test runs. This is also necessary because, according to US media reports, other providers are still looking for lucrative orders. According to Sikpa, the decision should be made in May. The Tracking and Tracing system should be introduced by law in California from next year.
After all, Sicpa is already well known to the California authorities because the Swiss have been in the Golden State cigarette business since 2005 – just 900 million parcels a year. For marijuana, the principle will be the same: barcodes give each product a number. The app and website provide information on the installation site, manufacturer, distributor and retailer. The route of cannabis production from the field to the store should be transparent.
In the first pilot project in Humboldt County, which is located between San Francisco and Portland, about 800 kg of marijuana was labeled for medical use on 30,000 labels.
California is like a hemp Mecca.
The Yolo County Department of Agriculture, near Sacramento, also selected Sicpa as a partner for its $ 30,000 trial. The authorities’ stated goal is to strengthen the legal marijuana business and curb the black market. Another Sicpa pilot works in Massachusetts. The sale of recreational marijuana will be allowed here from summer 2018. However, there is strong resistance, so this time horizon is far from certain.
From an economic point of view, everything speaks for California. Julien Zanchi, who is in charge of product management at Sicpa, expects local media to see the tracking and tracing system there will be much bigger than anywhere else. This is due to the special marijuana culture in the Golden States. Between 20,000 and 30,000 market participants may be interested in adapting their business to national standards – perhaps with the help of a Sicpa product.
In the race for the EU order.
Sicpa not only challenges the US marijuana business. There is also a large order in the EU. Until now, cigarette manufacturers have used their own system, but now the EU is testing it. By the end of the year, the results of the feasibility studies should be available – the Sicpa technology is also being studied.
Despite the fact that Sicpa products are concerned with safety, the company is so mysterious. The owners are the Amon family. According to “Le Temps” in the company profile, Philippe Amon is the third generation to simultaneously assume the role of CEO, chairman of the board of directors and major shareholder.