Legal marijuana is set to overtake liquor sales by 2020 in Canada

A new report by one of Canada’s biggest banks estimates that legal marijuana will overtake liquor in sales by 2020, Business Insider reported on Wednesday.

In 2017, Canadians spent more than $5.1 billion on liquor, CIBC said in its new report. However, Canadians are expected to spend $6.5 billion on legal marijuana in 2020.

In the report, CIBC says Canadians are expected to buy over 800,000 kilograms or over 1.7 million pounds of marijuana by 2020.

The recreational use of marijuana will dominate sales by 95 percent while medical cannabis will account for only 5 percent, the report added.

The private sector is expected to generate over $1 billion in earnings on marijuana sales, with a big portion of the money will be flowing back into the production side of companies, which are cultivating and producing the green herb.

Mergers and acquisitions in the sector are set to continue at a “frenetic pace” as producers seek to acquire medical expertise and venture into new markets.

The news should not come as a surprise.

In March, the resort town of Aspen in Colorado saw its legal-marijuana suppliers reaping $11.3 million in revenue, topping the amount of profit by liquor stores, which made $10.5 million in 2017.

Colorado was one of the earliest U.S. states which legalized recreational marijuana in 2014.

Canada is currently on the verge of legalizing recreational marijuana this summer.