Cannabis is a booming industry worth billions upon billions, so it kind of hurts the American industry’s can-do spirit to see Canada get there first. While the United States struggles to figure out what it wants to do about legal cannabis, Canada has pulled ahead and become the first global power with nationwide legalization.
Roughly two months into its adult cannabis use market, Canada’s legal legal market hasn’t cost the U.S. too much, but it could soon.
VICE reports that some of the world’s most renowned cannabis cultivators are “flocking to Canada” where they can practice their craft in a flourishing legal environment.
Specifically, VICE looked at the master growers of the Netherlands. Amsterdam is known for its coffee shops and at one time was considered the home of some of the world’s best weed. But because of some regressive laws, though cannabis is legal to smoke or possess there, it’s illegal to grow more than five plants.
The far laxer regulations of other countries have caused a “green brain drain” in the country as top cannabis talents begin to ply their trade elsewhere.
Though there is plenty of draw from the U.S. market, VICE says Canadian cannabis businesses are snatching some of the best. Among them is Arjan Roskam, owner of the famed Green House coffee shop and winner of 43 cannabis cups.
He’s built acclaim through his work at his seed lab in Amsterdam, but says his focus is now in Canada, where he’s collaborating with Canopy Growth, one of the biggest weed companies in the country.
And he’s far from the only Dutch grower in moose country. Joachim Helms, who trains Canadians in weed cultivation for Green House, says Canada is chock full of them. “Just drive through Orangeville [Ontario], it’s surreal how many Dutch farmers and companies you pass,” he says.
It’s not just the big names who are moving either. It may also be the best of black market moving across the Atlantic. “There’s rumours about guys who’ve left their basement to move to Canada,” says grow system company Meteor System’s marketing manager Laura Rastovac.
And the same thing could happen to America’s Top Growers. One of the country’s largest tobacco companies is already investing in Canadian weed instead of American. So get it together, gringos.
Photo via Flickr user Bob Dass