Marijuana Millionaires Ride Canada’s Legalization Wave

Article by Jen Skerritt, Bloomberg

Marijuana Millionaires Ride Canada’s Legalization Wave By Jen Skerritt. Ranks of affluent early investors swell ahead of legal sales Value of nation’s cannabis market now exceeds $20 billion. CEO/President of Aurora Sky Terry Booth pictured in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, on Tuesday, March 6, 2018. Photographer: Jason Franson/Bloomberg

Terry Booth didn’t expect his life would come full circle, thanks to marijuana.

He sold pot in high school, peddling quarter ounces for C$25 ($19) to help out his dad. He spent the next two decades working as an electrician and entrepreneur, and planned to semi-retire to the golf course after taking a step back from his construction permit firm. That idea went to pot, literally, when his business partner Steve Dobler said his brother-in-law was looking for investors on a marijuana play.

“Steve’s a pretty conservative guy; I thought he was kidding,” said Booth, 53, sitting in a hotel conference room in Edmonton, Alberta, not far from where Aurora Cannabis Inc. is building a greenhouse the size of almost 14 football fields. “But he wasn’t.”

Booth and Dobler are the largest individual holders of Aurora, Canada’s second-largest marijuana firm. Their combined stakes are now approaching C$200 million, making them among the wealthiest shareholders in Canada’s growing crop of newly-minted marijuana millionaires.

As Canada moves to legalize recreational pot, the value of the nascent market has ballooned to more than C$25 billion, swelling the ranks of affluent pot investors who have significant holdings in companies such as Canopy Growth Corp. and Aphria Inc. The U.S. legal market is expected to reach $75 billion in sales by 2030, almost as large as North America’s soft drink market, according to research firm Cowen & Co. Canadian sales could soon be worth between C$7 billion and C$12 billion a year, Beacon Securities estimates.

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