"Canada is creating a $23 billion business opportunity. And that's just the beginning.
Production staff harvest marijuana plants inside the flowering room at United Greeneries in Duncan, B.C. One business analyst says the legalized industry should absorb people from the existing underground cannabis culture in order to succeed. (Chad Hipolito/Canadian Press)
The modern-day prospectors in Canada's new cannabis market are working hard and cutting deals as the final eight months tick down to the day when recreational marijuana is fully legalized.
Like the gold miners who trekked to the Yukon 120 years ago, today's fortune hunters are forging into the unknown. Some will get rich, some won't make it, and a few will leave their mark for generations.
The motherlode is an industry valued at $23 billion, according to research from accounting firm Deloitte. That includes growing and retail sales, transportation, security, edibles, taxes, and tourism.
Canadians could also be at the forefront of a growing global business, exporting not only cannabis and its derivatives, but also the technology to grow it.
Pot sales already rake in billions and employ an untold number of people. But that's the black market, an illegal racket enriching criminal organizations. Corporate Canada is plotting its takeover and the new bosses have business degrees, corner offices and expensive suits.
They face the daunting task of turning a big business that's operated outside the law into a legitimate legal enterprise. A big part of it is navigating through new federal regulations, laws and bylaws that are still in formation.
Aurora Cannabis is building a 74,000-square-metre operation at Edmonton International Airport. It will give the company an edge in the same-day and overnight marijuana delivery business. (Terry Reith/CBC News)
The first big test for these cannabis entrepreneurs is whether they can draw the nation's estimated five million existing consumers away from the underground market."...
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