Article by Chris Roberts, High Times
When estimating the size of the marijuana industry and its stupendous growth, it’s always a measure of billions—as in how many billions of dollars are available to entrepreneurs or investors seeking a piece. Most peg the cannabis industry’s current size as around $10 billion or so, with increases of 100 percent possible by 2020. But it only took days, not years, after California and three other states legalized adult-use cannabis—increasing the number of Americans living under legalization to 65 million—for the cannabis industry’s first billion-dollar company to emerge.
But it’s not in California, the U.S.’s “marijuana basket” where as much as 70 percent of the nation’s herb is grown. Nor is it in Colorado, which has been the country’s de-facto capital of legal cannabis commerce since the state legalized in 2012.
It’s in Canada, the new-and-future home of marijuana-related commerce in North America.
Shares in Canopy Growth—headquartered in Ontario and operating out of a repurposed chocolate factory—had increased by 386 percent as of Friday to establish itself as the very first marijuana-powered “unicorn.” (Full disclosure: This writer holds a very small position in the company, and wishes wholeheartedly he had had the foresight to sink his entire 401k and every other penny of his limited wealth and that of his friends and relatives into the firm.)
That’s growth no “Uber of pot” or any other American company can match or even hope to approach, no matter how many states legalize—because for now, Canadian companies have an insurmountable competitive advantage: legitimacy.