U.S. firm report: Canada dominates world’s marijuana trade

With the big giant south of the border – the United States – continues to be incapable of harnessing its more than 300 million consumer base and marijuana production capacity, it is boon time here in Canada.

A report by the Washington-based New Frontier Data said Canada’s rapidly growing cannabis industry now dominates the global trade in legal marijuana, the Ottawa Citizen reported on Wednesday.

The data analytics firm says companies that are busy building growing facilities to supply Canadians with marijuana are also in a unique position to sell their products and expertise around the world.

The independent research firm’s report says Canadian companies are currently exporting their products on multiple continents, thanks to politics at home that encourages firms to expand far beyond.

“Canadian (companies) are allowed to export abroad, making them some of the first companies in the world to sign international cannabis trade deals,” says the report.

With few rivals in sight, the report went on saying that Canadian companies are having a head start in the global cannabis marketplace

“Canada stands alone in terms of scope and importance on the world stage.”

Major factor

One of the main reasons is the absence of real U.S. competition on an international level.

On a federal level, marijuana is illegal despite 29 U.S. which have legalized medical marijuana. The recreational use of marijuana is also legal in nine states and Washington, D.C.

The illegality of marijuana on a federal level in the United States has made it direly difficult for U.S. cannabis companies to find investors or even banks that will offer them services.

But Canada is seen as a “safe haven” for investors, says the report.

So far, there are 59 cannabis companies listed on the Canadian stock exchange, according to the report.

While the only other country that has publicly listed cannabis companies is Australia, its industry is at least three or four years behind the Canadian giants, Cam Battley, the chief corporate officer for Aurora, one of the largest companies, said.

Many Canadians don’t realize that our cannabis companies have become “the monsters in this sector,” said Battley. “We are inventing the global cannabis industry.”

The Canadian industry only started developing in 2014, when Health Canada decided to issue licenses to private companies to grow medical marijuana.

The report said at least $1.23 billion was invested in the marijuana industry in the first five weeks of 2018 alone.  The largest single investment during that time was the $121.1 million raised by Gatineau’s Hydropothecary.

In comparison, the investments tracked in Canadian cannabis companies in all of 2016 totaled $1.29 billion, the report added.