Hydroponics firms expect ‘huge influx’ of Canadian customers

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Hydroponics companies in Canada are already gearing up for an expected “huge influx” of customers once recreational marijuana is legalized in 2018.

The potential home-grow market for adult-use cannabis is being compared to alcohol’s home brew segment, thus opening the door for entrepreneurs, The Globe and Mail reported.

Some companies, such as British Columbia-based nutrient maker and hydroponics wholesaler Green Planet Wholesale, are scaling up manufacturing and distribution capacity to meet the expected demand.

The potential home-grow market has already attracted a multimillion-dollar investment from a major licensed producer.

In October, Alberta-based Aurora Cannabis (Toronto Stock Exchange: ACB) spent 3.9 million Canadian dollars ($3 million) to acquire BC Northern Lights Enterprises, a Vancouver-based company that makes home cultivation kits.

The Globe and Mail noted that the home-grow market is unlikely to ever make a significant dent in overall cannabis demand because federal legislation proposes capping the number of plants per household at four.

Toronto-based hydroponics store Grow It All expects an initial surge in business to taper off as more retail outlets come online.

And some provinces, such as Quebec and Manitoba, are banning home cultivation of adult-use plants altogether.

However, patients in those provinces will still be allowed to grow medical marijuana for personal use.

That market has soared in recent months. From Jan. 1 to June 30, the number of Canadians registered to grow their own medical cannabis or those designated as growers for others skyrocketed 242%, to 6,800 people.

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