So, who wants first dibs on the global marijuana market?
Great Britain? No.
Mexico? Hmmmmmm, no again.
Next to the Netherlands, the United States’ northern neighbor is the only country getting a leg up on the global marijuana market that could eventually be worth a whopping $200 billion annually.
O Canada, indeed.
Will the U.S. legalize soon?
While some cannabis optimists see legalization looming closely on the horizon in the States — U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) has hypothesized that legalization could happen in as soon as five years — there is no shortage of hurdles standing in the way. And even if legal sales and consumption becomes reality in every state, even the boldest cannabis advocates aren’t sure what the federal government’s exact actions on those matters will look like.
In an April 2017 Inc. article, Rep. Blumenauer said, “I've stated and I strongly believe in five years every state will be able to treat marijuana like it treats alcohol.”
Get that? He speaks of “every state,” not the actual federal government.
And even if the U.S. government adjusts its stance on cultivation and sales, that and import/export legislation are completely different matters altogether.
Canada’s first-mover advantage
Which is something Canada has already worked out, and is why they have what Vanmala Subramaniam referenced in a recent Vice News report as the “first-mover advantage.”
As Subramaniam puts it, that’s “when a few key players in a particular industry gain an advantage because they entered into the marketplace first. These companies are able to establish strong brand recognition, shore up the best sources of funding, and build a loyal customer base simply because there aren’t any competitors in the way during their first few years of operation.”
And as of now, only two countries export cannabis for medical use: Canada and The Netherlands. So what that means is the four Canadian cannabis companies that export medical product — Cronos Group, Canopy Growth Corporation, Aphria, and Tilray — have a massive head start, laying the groundwork for global marijuana domination.
Additionally, even though not all the regulatory wrinkles have been ironed out yet, Canada will likely legalize recreational marijuana nationally by summer 2018.
Quoted by Bloomberg Businessweek in April, Canopy president Mark Zekulin stated, “the longer U.S. prohibition remains in place, the more dominant the Canadian companies will become.”
It’s as simple as that.