It’s crunch time for Canada’s cannabis companies as they hustle to prepare for the October launch of the country’s legal recreational market.
South of the border, everyone tied to the legal marijuana scene is watching closely to gauge whether this historic milestone might translate into an economic boom for U.S. firms as well.
Tremendous opportunities for U.S. and Canadian cannabis companies exist as capital markets open and the sector continues to become legitimized, observed Ben Kovler, founder and chairman of Chicago-based Green Thumb Industries, a multistate medical marijuana grower and dispensary operator.
“The shift in institutional investor sentiment within the space is apparent, and investors are waking up to the opportunities in the cannabis sector,” he said.
But not everyone is as optimistic – or certain.
“The worry is that you’re seeing companies in Canada get a head start on us,” said Derek Peterson, CEO of Irvine, California-based TerraTech, an operator of cannabis cultivation and retail facilities in the Golden State and Nevada.
“That means I’m either building my company to be a great standalone firm … in anticipation that federal policy in the U.S. will change … or I want to position my firm to be the most attractive takeout target it can be as (Canadian) companies look to the U.S. to deploy capital.”