Canada has maintained center stage but is the US cannabis industry poised to take over?

Published Jun 2, 2019 09:17 a.m. ET
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Marijuana legalization has been spreading across the globe over the last few years, and the US is one of the few places left that doesn’t appear even to be considering legal cannabis on a federal level. Though there are several states that have legalized marijuana use, they are few and far between and functioning with numerous border restrictions. The mass manufacturing and success in the areas CBD products industry are flourishing, but American growers have yet to receive the official recognition that they deserve. However, that is expected to change once the US legalizes cannabis on the federal level.

Canada introduced its legislation called the Cannabis Act in October of 2018. The bill allows for the possession of up to 30 grams of marijuana, personal growing up to four marijuana plants as well as public consumption within similar restrictions to cigarette smokers. The new market opened a flood of brand-new cannabis jobs, making it appear as though the Canadian cannabis industry is sitting on top of the world. With weekly sales at marijuana dispensaries in the region reaching well into the millions, the cannabis industry in Canada is alive and well, but for how long exactly? Is the US cannabis industry a threat to our already established Canadian brands?

Though Canadian cannabis is a highlighted topic for many news stations since marijuana legalization, the United States has been quietly establishing its own highly qualified and successful licensed producers, dispensary owners, and restrictions that vary significantly from state to state. The Federal law still prohibiting cannabis in any form makes it incredibly difficult for American producers to get their name and product out in the world. It is illegal right now to ship marijuana products across the borders of legal status states, meaning that the growth of the more established facilities has been temporarily halted, as the owners and operators await a change in legislation that opens up the borders to the rest of the worlds cannabis market.

The select few legal states that currently exist in the US each contains more growers and producers than all of Canada. There are also many eager farmers who have opted to grow hemp since the restrictions over the importing and exporting of hemp-based goods have been relaxed enough for some leeway on the global hemp and CBD products market. The trouble is that many of those farmers as well as the ones who have invested in establishing indoor cannabis growing facilities are growing impatient and are ready to move the moment the Federal government gives the go ahead.

What does this mean for the Canadian cannabis industry?

The truth is that no one knows, but we aren’t expecting the very best Canadian licensed marijuana producers to be closing their doors anytime soon. Chances are the most significant difference will be noticed by both Canadian consumers who will suddenly be given a host of brand-new THC and CBD product choices to choose from. The competition will likely force prices downwards, and help to establish cannabis as a commodity, rather than a highly restricted substance like over the counter medicines that remain affordable thanks to global competition. Though there is no way to be sure, the future of the US cannabis industry is poised to be something great, and it should be exciting to see the difference in the market all over the world once the American borders open, and the playing field becomes equal and fair game to citizens from both countries.

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