More than $22 billion dollars at stake in a newly-legal industry. Police officers who once busted pot dealers now investing millions in cannabis companies. Community colleges scrambling to launch new programs to teach kids to cultivate a crop that was prohibited just a few years ago. Startups producing specialty cannabis drinks with minimal oversight.
These are just some of the wheelings and dealings unleashed by the Liberal government’s decision to legalize recreational cannabis by this summer.
For decades, weed enthusiasts have railed against prohibition. Now those days are coming to an end in Canada, opening new lucrative opportunities enticing everyone from former black-market dealers to major banks, hedge funds, law firms and lobbyists to try and make a quick buck from marijuana.
Not since the end of alcohol prohibition has an illicit industry moved so quickly into the mainstream with billions of dollars in potential earnings.
This series is about capturing the enthusiasm and hopes around the profits to be made from legalization, along with the pitfalls, the snake-oil salesmen, the fear, and the greed arising from the business of weed.
Here is some of what you can expect from our look into what might become the world’s biggest legal weed market. We'll link our stories below as they become available over the next few days: