NetworkNewsWire Coverage: For 17 years Canada has provided legal access to medical cannabis to its citizens, and now the country is expected to legalize recreational marijuana by July 2018. With sales of Canadian medical cannabis projected to exceed $8 billion by 2024 (http://nnw.fm/bEi4r) and the recreational market estimated to be worth over $18 billion annually (http://nnw.fm/x49Ay), investment capital has been pouring into Canada’s licensed producers (LPs). Though the demand for cannabis is projected to exceed 600,000 kilograms a year (about 1.3 million pounds), Canada’s LPs currently only cultivate about 20,000 pounds of dried marijuana annually. This immense impending imbalance is a magnet for serious capital investment. It also presents enormous domestic opportunities for one of Canada’s premier producers, ABcann Global (TSX.V: ABCN) (OTCQB: ABCCF) (ABCCF Profile), which produces only organically grown, pesticide-free, standardized product and produces among the highest yields within the Canadian sector. Other publicly traded cannabis companies vying for position include Cronos Group Inc. (TSX-V: MJN) (OTC: PRMCF), Maricann Group Inc. (CSE: MARI) (OTCQB: MRRCF), Emblem Corp., (TSX.V: EMC) (OTC: EMMBF), with cannabis finance company, Cannabis Wheaton Income Corp. (TSX.V: CBW) (OTCQB: CBWTF), looking to profit by injecting capital into select growers.
Canada’s initial objective in recreational legalization is to eliminate criminal elements that made a fortune trafficking in marijuana. By getting marijuana out of the black market and into a regulated environment, Canada will generate significant tax revenues and enable it become the first developed country in the world to legalize recreational use. Managing the complexities of integrating the programs will be a delicate balance, but despite the challenges, suppliers are optimistic that legal recreational sales will be a reality by summer. Once fully implemented, Canada could be in the enviable position of being the only regulated producer of marijuana products in the world. In the interim, money keeps streaming into licensed suppliers; $685 million in investment capital was infused into publically traded licensed producers last year and this year looks to be even bigger. In November, Constellation Brands, a major beer and wine distributor in the United States, pumped $245 million into Canadian licensed medical marijuana growers (http://nnw.fm/Dl3Ew).
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