Marijuana is no longer a forbidden – even shameful and criminal – fruit of the vine. It’s fair to say that Canadian society is seeing weed in a whole new light, and we’re taking the business global.

With the Canadian Federal Government’s game changing legalization of marijuana, led by Justin Trudeau, our national economy has seen a huge economic boost and marijuana production like never before. Of course, legalization has been accompanied by its fair share of bureaucratic red tape, but the consumers and producers are unfazed and determined to reap the rewards of Canada’s new weed friendly landscape. This article looks to the future and how enterprising Canadians in the Marijuana business can expand beyond our northern frontier and make Canada a front runner in one of the most hugely lucrative economic opportunities seen in decades.

Ironically, the global marijuana expansion story starts where the War on Drugs originates – Colombia. Pharmacielo acts as a key example: this world-renowned cannabis manufacturer houses a huge outdoor production facility where they grow cannabis crops at 5 cents per gram, versus $2 per gram in Canada! Product development for cannabis is no different than when Hasbro creates a toy production facility in China: production costs are simply lower. This being said, regulations and restrictions are being upheld within all facilities to ensure fair wage pay and proper working conditions. Just a few examples of Canadian cannabis manufacturers in Colombia include Khiron Life Sciences Corp, MedCann and FCM global. A significant number of these companies have licensed shipping rights to 15+ countries, including over 5 countries in Europe.

In Germany, cannabis consumption per capita is almost 4 times the US amount. Cannabis cultivators seem inspired by Steve Jobs’ game changing lead: their innovation is driving change in laws and the accompanying regulations. When laws support a high demand business, it inevitably creates a recipe for profit. In this case, tremendous profit!

Within a decade, it is likely that most European countries will legalize cannabis as a recreational drug. Case in point, this August Luxembourg announced plans to legalize cannabis and have called on its EU neighbours to follow suit. “Forbidding everything makes it more interesting to young people…I’m hoping more of us will gain an open-minded attitude towards marijuana”, says Etiénne Schneider, a longstanding politician within Luxembourg’s federal government.

Of course, Europe and the rest of the globe’s introduction to cannabis may be more gradual and measured than the seemingly heady “gold rush” approach empowered by Canada’s recent legalization. We may even see more paced economic growth in other regions as compared to Canada’s: “There’s some appetite for medical marijuana being subsidized by insurance companies, but that’s something that would happen over the long-term. Europe is more incremental in nature and they are not in a hurry to legalize” says BNN Bloomberg’s in- depth Cannabis reporter, Scott Gomez.

Sure, Gomez and other cautious experts may be correct in this long-term view. But a word to the wise, and certainly this writer’s opinion: get in on the ground floor!

Matthew Furnish

Author Matthew Furnish

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