Canadian Recreational Weed could be a $22.6B Industry: Study

Article by Robert Benzie, The Toronto Star

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Legalized recreational marijuana promises to spark a $22.6-billion industry in Canada, eclipsing combined sales of beer, wine, and spirits, a new study suggests.

The Deloitte report — titled Recreational Marijuana: Insights and Opportunities — being released soon concludes that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s legalization of cannabis next year could jolt the economy.

“There hasn’t been anything like this — and granted it wasn’t legislated — but you think of the dot-com … flurry,” Mark Whitmore, vice-chair of Deloitte, said in an interview Wednesday.

“It has that kind of feel to it. There’s a lot of froth, a lot of interest in this space and a lot of people think there’s going to be an opportunity,” said Whitmore.

Deloitte estimates that satisfying the recreational weed market will mean producing 600,000 kilograms of marijuana annually — far more than the existing 36 licensed producers grow for medicinal purposes.

The consulting firm warns there will be challenges as recreational pot is legalized.

“Of course, there will be a practical consideration to take into account when setting marijuana prices that goes beyond what the market will pay,” the 11-page study says.

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