On October 17, Canada will become just the second nation in the world to fully legalize the cultivation, sale, and possession of marijuana, joining (nope, it’s not The Netherlands) Uruguay. One of Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s campaign promises, legalization was originally scheduled for July 1. That date was eventually pushed back due to various provinces being unprepared to implement their legal marijuana frameworks, which will vary by province.
Canadian bank CIBC anticipates the legal marijuana industry in Canada could be worth $6.5 billion within a couple of years, only slightly less than the $9 billion that the U.S industry was projected to have taken in last year. With such a vast, untapped market ready to be exploited, several companies have been scrambling to set up their marijuana growing and distribution networks ahead of legalization. We’ll take a look at the three leaders in that regard in this article.
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Canopy Growth Corp (NYSE:CGC)
Canopy Growth Corp (NYSE:CGC), which has the coveted WEED stock ticker on the Toronto Stock Exchange, looks like the early leader in the Canadian recreational market, with anticipated growing space of up to 5 million square feet by next year. That could allow it to produce as much as 780,000 kilograms of marijuana annually, an amount that could probably last Snoop Dogg at least six months. It’s also building a strong distribution network, having supply agreements with three of Canada’s ten provinces in addition to having plans to open its own retail outlets in two provinces.
Canopy Growth Corp (NYSE:CGC) also has burgeoning opportunities outside of the Canadian market, with subsidiaries set up in several South American, European, and even African countries where medical marijuana markets exist or could exist in the future. Furthermore, the company could be a pioneer in marijuana-infused beverages, as it’s working with Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE:STZ), which has a 9.9% stake in the company, on such products.
On the next page we’ll look at two other stocks that are set to hit the ground running once weed is legalized in Canada later this year.