Canada may have a head start in the global cannabis industry now that pot is legal, yet companies targeting the U.S. market say the advantage won’t last long once the American branding machine gets rolling.
“The Canadians have a first-mover advantage in large-scale production, large-scale farming, large-scale commodity input, but the U.S. has an edge in brands and the consumer experience,” Ben Kovler, chief executive officer of Chicago-based Green Thumb Industries Inc., said in an interview at a pot conference in Toronto. Americans are “not growing the hops or the barley, we’re making the beer; we’re not tomato farmers, we’re making Heinz ketchup.”
Canada legalized recreational pot on Wednesday and has taken the lead in many aspects of the industry. Since marijuana remains illegal at the federal level in the U.S., Canada’s stock exchanges and investment bankers have dominated business on both sides of the border. As a result, Canadian licensed producers such as Tilray Inc. boast a much bigger market value than their U.S. peers. See more...