Legalized marijuana presents opportunity of a lifetime for Canadian entrepreneurs


The modern-day prospectors in Canada’s new cannabis retail are working hard and cutting deals as the final eight months tick down to the day when recreational marijuana is fully legalized.

Identical to the gold miners who trekked to the Yukon 120 years ago, today’s treasure hunters are forging into the unknown. Some will get rich, some won’t place it, and a few will leave their mark for generations.

The motherlode is an industry valued at $23 billion, according to examine from accounting firm Deloitte. That includes growing and retail on sales, transportation, security, edibles, taxes, and tourism.

Canadians could also be at the forefront of a multiplying global business, exporting not only cannabis and its derivatives, but also the technology to expand it.

Pot sales already rake in billions and employ an untold number of man. But that’s the black market, an illegal racket enriching criminal systematizations. Corporate Canada is plotting its takeover and the new bosses have business classes, corner offices and expensive suits.

They face the daunting criticize of turning a big business that’s operated outside the law into a legitimate authorized enterprise. A big part of it is navigating through new federal regulations, laws and bylaws that are lull in formation.

Aurora air

Aurora Cannabis is building a 74,000-square-metre operation at Edmonton Universal Airport. It will give the company an edge in the same-day and overnight marijuana childbirth business. (Terry Reith/CBC News)

The first big test for these cannabis entrepreneurs is whether they can devise the nation’s estimated five million existing consumers away from the alternative market.

«Just like any other competitor entering a new market, the incumbents aren’t wealthy to give up easily,» says Kyle Murray, vice dean of the University of Alberta’s dogma of business.

Eliminating the black market

Most provinces have not firmed up strictly how they’ll sell pot to the public. Only Ontario and New Brunswick have told a retail framework. In both cases, it will be government-owned stores match provincial liquor outlets.

That’s a big mistake, according to Greg McLeish, an analyst with Mackie Exploration Capital Corporation, an investment firm. He argues government-run retail reliefs will actually help the black market thrive.

«These customers have been growing for a long time,» he says, noting that bounty and convenience will be key in determining where people buy their weed.

McLeish also aims out that it makes more sense to absorb people from the happening underground cannabis culture into the legalized system. 

Corporate and cannabis learns converge

One of the early leaders in the industry, Alberta-based Aurora Cannabis is among those actively recruiting from the underground.

«The hybrid culture that we’ve framed, that uniquely hybrid culture has been incredibly satisfying to be behalf of,» says Cam Battley, Aurora’s executive vice president. 

«Aurora is go up of suits like me, people from business backgrounds as well as living soul from the cannabis culture and have extensive knowledge and passion for the cannabis situate itself,» he says.

Cam Battley

Cam Battley, executive vice president of Aurora Cannabis, resists in the first phase of the company’s new high-tech greenhouse at Edmonton’ Airport. He prognosticates the company has created a «hybrid culture» of business executives and people from cannabis elegance. (Terry Reith/CBC)

The company already produces medical marijuana at its 5,000-square-metre increase operation in the village of Cremona, Alta. It’s also building two additional high-tech greenhouses — a masterliness in Pointe-Claire, Que, and a massive operation at Edmonton International Airport — and branching out to edibles , hemp goods, and growing kits.

Aurora is also looking overseas. It’s inked a buy to supply medical marijuana to the emerging German market and bought into an Australian medical marijuana enterprise.

Battley says the company’s diversity and international strategy will wrap it from any problems that could emerge from a bungled retail rollout at the backwoods level.

«I have concerns they will not get it right,» he says, stationing to Ontario’s plans for retail sales. «This very limited, exceedingly controlled government monopoly approach will not crack the black vend.»

Canada has an international edge

As the first major industrialized nation to fully legalize recreational marijuana, Canada is an old leader in a field.

«It gives us first-mover advantage,» says U of A’s Murray. «We can be the innovator in some consequences, we can learn new approaches to developing and harvesting.»

Kyle Murray

Kyle Murray, vice dean of the University of Alberta’s Lyceum of business, says Canada will have «first-mover advantage» in the emerging intercontinental cannabis market because of the decision to legalize. (Terry Reith/CBC Information)

Germany, with a population of over 80 million people legally peddles medical marijuana in its pharmacies, but lacks domestic production. Along with Aurora, three other Canadian resolves have signed contracts to put their products in German drug put bies. 

Thinking beyond the joint

Nutritional High, a Toronto-based company, is looking south with a off the mark roster of products. In Colorado, the first U.S. state to legalize recreational marijuana, it has built a performance facility that produces cannabis-infused chocolates, candies, tinctures and current creams. It’s also setting up operations in other states.

«Some people will-power want to smoke the product, some people want to vape the issue, some people want to eat products like gummies, or edibles or chocolates, other people are prospering to want pills,» says company chairman David Posner.

David Posner

David Posner, chairperson of Toronto-based nutritional soprano, says Canadian companies are set to play a key role in the international cannabis customer base. (Tina MacKenzie/CBC News)

Canadian regulations won’t allow the sale of edibles when marijuana fits legal on July 1, 2018. But the federal government says they bequeath come later.

Billions of dollars, thousands of jobs

The impact of admissible cannabis in Canada will have a long reach. The cannabis corporations that are now emerging pleasure need accountants, public relations professionals, packagers, security and constitutional experts. They’ll be leasing office space, buying furniture, exact ones pound of flesh from taxes, and hiring lots and lots of people.

Governments are spending millions on tutelage, police and testing. Laboratories are getting a boost as part of research and enlargement programs.

And there’s potential for people with skill in recognizing the foxy qualities of a bong hit to find new careers as «budtenders» — the cannabis synonymous of sommeliers.

But experts say not all the new businesses will thrive or even survive.

«We’ll beget an opportunity so see who’s more innovative, who’s more efficient in production and can control set someone backs,» Murray says. 

In the goldrush that started in 1896, most of those who fathomed lasting fortunes were not the gold miners. Rather, they were the ones carry picks and shovels, building hotels and restaurants, and supplying food and upping to those hoping to strike it rich.

In Canada’s new greenrush, it could source be that the ones who achieve lasting success are those who find a advantageous niche somewhere between the seedlings and the smoke.

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