The pending legalization of marijuana has already impacted Canada’s financial market. There are already more than 120 publicly traded marijuana companies operating in the country. But dominating the market are five whose total capitalization has increased from less than $4 billion to more than $40 billion over the past year.
Also, the legalization of marijuana has attracted the attention of companies from the consumer sector, wishing not to miss out on a potentially significant trend. US-based Constellation Brands, which owns the Corona beer brand, last year acquired a 10% stake in Canopy Growth, one of Canada’s largest marijuana producers, and in August invested another $4 billion in it. It wants to produce marijuana-infused beverages. Another brewer, Molson Coors Brewing, has formed a joint venture with Quebec-based Hexo for the same purpose.
The national agency Statistics Canada forecasts that spending on marijuana purchases in the country will reach 1.34 billion Canadian dollars ($1.03 billion) in the fourth quarter of 2018. It also predicts that the number of users will exceed 7 million people, about 20% of the country’s population.
Supply issues, a limited number of sellers and regional differences in regulation could slow sales. But a health department spokesman said 66 authorized marijuana suppliers are ready to ensure consumers transition to the legal market.