Canada won’t be the first legal cannabis market in the world (Uruguay beat us by about four years), but is set to become the most undeniable legal recreational marijuana market on Earth. Besides the national market, Canada will soon be the leading exporter for cannabis as well – more worldwide than Pitbull!
Canada’s medical marijuana system dates back to 2001, but it wasn’t until 2014 that the federal government set-up a regulation system (the MMPR, turned ACMPR) to allow companies to start growing and selling the drug. Back then, the big players were Tilray and Tweed.
Tweed is now part of one the largest marijuana companies in the world, and they were the first to openly trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange (ticker symbol: WEED) and currently, have a Market Cap. of ~$2.2 billion. Tweed’s parent company, Canopy Growth Corp., acquired German company, Spektrum Cannabis, to help distribute Canadian medical marijuana to some 400 pharmacies across the country. Now Canadian cannabis is found in Germany, Australia, Chile, Brazil, and many other nations that have green-lit medical marijuana.
Tilray, backed by Privateer Holdings (also own and operate the fantastic online stoner bible, Leafly) just announced a $29 million CAD European facility to grow and package their marijuana in Portugal, with plans to break into five more European countries by year-end. All this international growth is all above board too, because Canada is one of the only countries where exporting marijuana is legal.
Canadian cannabis would probably have more of a presence in the US too, but the Toronto Stock Exchange has warned Canuck-run marijuana companies to steer clear of starting operations there as it would technically violate federal law, even in states where adult-use is safe. Aphria is currently down there, making moves in Florida and Arizona, but that’s about all.
The secret sauce in this global ganja formula is the fact that Canadian producers are gearing up for a major date next summer—full-on legalization. That, and the fact that Canada has no real competition as of yet. Pot companies are already scrambling to get a piece of the marijuana pie, and Health Canada is a lot more liberal with those grower licenses; there are currently 68 authorized licensed producers of medical cannabis operating in the country.
Canada has brought the world things such as the light bulb, hockey, poutine, Tim Horton’s, Superman, and the Wonderbra. Now they get to add “world’s #1 weed dealer” to the resume….you’re welcome, world!
Alana seeks to see cannabis from the perspective of politicians, advocates, entrepreneurs, and consumers. She got her start with a byline in the arts and culture section and crossed over into cannabis after using it medicinally. Current projects include investigations into cannabis and wellness; entrepreneurs of the Green Rush; cannabis for athletes; and the evolution of cannabis laws and culture in Canada.