Article by Jordan Gill, CBC News
Expectations are high for a recreational marijuana industry in New Brunswick, according to a report by a professional services firm.
Mark Whitmore, the vice-chair of Deloitte Private, said if the legalization of recreational marijuana goes ahead, the resulting industry could be worth as much in Canada as the alcohol industry.
“When you count the flower, the oil, the edible products, the testing, the labs, all in, it’s going to be close to a $22 billion industry,” said Whitmore.
“At that end of the market it’s about the size of alcohol, including wine, spirits and beer.”
And the New Brunswick government is on the right track for taking advantage of marijuana opportunities, he said.
“The government’s very open about this industry and they’ve been doing what they can to encourage people to come in and invest in this province,” said Whitmore.
More users, not enough pot?
The federal government has said marijuana would be legal by July 1, 2018.
Deloitte Private says there could be supply problems for up to three years, compounded by a predicted increase in marijuana users after legalization, which was also indicated in a consumer survey the company did last year.
“Twenty-two per cent [of respondents] self-admitted that they consume today,” Whitmore said. “But what was surprising to me was that 17 per cent said they wouldn’t consume until it was legal.”