Industry Buzz January 2018, Cannabis – Comparing / contrasting Canada and the US

Industry Buzz January 2018 Cannabis comparing contrasting Canada US landscape

Cannabis – Comparing / contrasting Canada and the US

The cannabis landscape in Canada and the US is rapidly evolving, influenced heavily by changes to national and local legislation, advancements in the medicinal uses of marijuana and the movement from underground growers to heavily financed commercial operations. While a bullish market is expected for North America as a whole, it is interesting to compare and contrast the state of cannabis growing in both countries. The following provides an outline of some interesting influencers:


Cannabis is prohibited at a federal level. Marijuana program relies on separate state programs that vary significantly.

  • It is prohibited to ship or transport any federally restricted substance through the US mail system or across state lines. To do so is to risk a federal felony charges.
  • No date or timeline has been set for federal legalization. The states that have fully legalized established a minimum age of 21 years old.
  • Recreational sales for cannabis in the US are expected to total 7.1 billion to $10.3 Billion by 2021 (Marijuana Business Daily). The US GDP for 2017 is estimated to be approximately 17.4 trillion USD.
  • No cannabis-based company may list on any of the U.S. stock exchanges or NASDAQ.
  • California’s medical market is already as big as the total markets in Colorado, Washington, and Oregon combined, according to BDS Analytics’ GreenEdge point-of-sale tracking service.


  • Medical cannabis was federally legalized 2000. Canada’s marijuana program is federally regulated.
  • Cannabis is allowed (actually required) to be shipped to medical marijuana patients.
  • Licensed producers are not permitted to sell edibles, but they do sell cannabis oils and concentrates, which patients are permitted to use to infuse their own homemade edibles.
  • Canada’s proposed Cannabis Act (introduced to Senate this past month) would legalize cannabis for adult (18+ years) use nationwide
  • Recreational sales for cannabis are expected to range between $2.3 billion and $4.5 billion by 2021, or approximately 1/5th that of the US. The Canadian GDP for 2017 is estimated to be approximately 1.8 trillion USD, or approximately 1/10th that of the US.
  • North America’s 3 largest commercial grow operations are located in Canada.
  • Canadian cannabis companies may list on the TSX and TSXV. As of November, over C$540 million has been raised by these companies in prospectus offerings.
  • Currently the Canadian Stock Exchange (CSE) will list U.S. cannabis companies.
  • Canadians consumed close to 700 tonnes of cannabis in 2015 (StatsCan) and are already spending almost as much on marijuana as wine.

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