Investing in Canadian Marijuana

Want to invest in an industry set to grow 20x over the next 5-10 years? You and me both. Canada first allowed medical marijuana sales in 2014 and they’re already planning to legalize recreational use by 2019. With current marijuana sales of $200 million and the mature market size estimated at over $5 billion, there is a very long runway for growth. Predicting how a new industry will evolve is not easy, especially one that is inherently a commodity. There are quite a few public marijuana companies in Canada, but this is more of a high level blog post about the industry as a whole, not a specific buy or sell recommendation for any of those companies.

Background

In 2001, Canada implemented the Marijuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR), which allowed patients to produce marijuana themselves, designate someone else to do it for them, or purchase it directly from Health Canada. Two-thirds chose to grow it themselves. Enrollment was 39,000 when Canada replaced the MMAR with the Marijuana Medical Purpose Regulations (MMPR) in 2013. Under the MMPR, patients receive a prescription from a doctor and then purchase the marijuana direct from a licensed producer. As of June, there were 32 licensed producers of medical marijuana—22 are fully authorized, four are owned by Canopy Growth, and three are owned by Mettrum. Thus, I believe there are around 15 separate companies that are fully authorized to produce and sell medical marijuana in Canada (with this number expected to grow as more companies are licensed).
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