Report: Canada’s MJ legalization could be ‘game changer’

By 2021, Canada’s legalized adult-use cannabis market could have some 3.8 million legal consumers and sales of 6 billion Canadian dollars ($4.5 billion), according to financial analysts at Canaccord Genuity, an investment bank and research firm.

“Recreational upside could be a game changer,” said a report released Monday by Canaccord analysts Matt Bottomley and Neil Maruoka. The report also forecast that tough licensing standards will raise barriers to entry and there will be supply shortfalls until production hits stride in 2020, according to Bloomberg News.

The Canaccord analysts also predicted that annual marijuana demand would grow from about 882,000 pounds in the legalized market’s first full year to almost 1.27 million pounds in 2021.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government plans to introduce legalization legislation in spring 2017, but sales aren’t expected to begin until 2018.

On Wednesday, a Canadian task force is supposed to deliver a report to Trudeau’s cabinet on which rules should govern the country’s cannabis marketplace. However, the report will not be be released publicly until “a later date,” a task force spokeswoman told the Ottawa Citizen.

Meanwhile, the overseer of Trudeau’s plan to legalize rec cannabis may have violated ethics guidelines. In question is whether parliament secretary Bill Blair broke Trudeau’s “preferential access” rule by appearing at a marijuana group’s benefit at a law firm that counsels cannabis clients, the Globe and Mail reported.