Legal marijuana is set to outsell liquor in Canada by 2020

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Canada’s legal marijuana market is seeing green in more ways than one.

A new report from CIBC, one of Canada’s largest banks, estimates marijuana will be a $6.5 billion industry by 2020 in the country.

That’s more than the $5.1 billion Canadians spent on liquor in 2017, and it’s approaching wine sales. CIBC predicts Canadians will buy over 800,000 kilograms (over 1.7 million pounds) of marijuana by 2020.

The market will be led by adult-use (recreational) consumers, who CIBC predicts will account for 95% of sales, with the other 5% going to medical patients.

The private sector will be able to generate over $1 billion in earnings on marijuana sales, with the bulk of that flowing into the production side — companies that cultivate and produce marijuana.

CIBC also predicts that mergers and acquisitions in the sector will continue at a “frenetic pace,” as producers seek to acquire medical expertise and elbow into new markets.

As one of Canada’s “Big Five” banks, CIBC’s report on the cannabis sector is a sign that large, institutional investors — at least in Canada — are taking a serious look at the space after remaining mostly hands-off.

Canada is set to legalize marijuana nationwide this summer, with retail sales likely to begin in September, depending on the province.

By: Jeremy Bereke, Business Insider

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