The international cannabis industry has started to take off, dominated by Canadian businesses that have gotten a leg up on the global competition as the first G7 nation to fully legalize cannabis commerce, including exports. How best to implement lessons learned from Canada and how to catch up to the Great White North’s market share will certainly be a big topic at the International Cannabis Business Conference’s upcoming stops in Barcelona, Berlin, and Zurich. While the task is great, so is the potential, which is why, as Bloomberg reports, investment bankers are circling the European cannabis industry, as it is poised to become the biggest market over the next 5 years or so:

Investors who are eager for the cannabis industry in Europe to emulate the boom in pot-stock listings in Canada may not have much longer to wait, judging by the activities of investment bankers.

Canaccord Genuity Inc., the biggest underwriter of stock offerings for weed-related companies, has appointed a head of European cannabis investment banking. French bank Bryan Garnier & Co. in the past year started covering the Canadian sector via a Paris-based analyst. Jefferies Financial Group Inc. recently initiated coverage on a slew of North American pot stocks through a London-based analyst.

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“The Canadian cannabis producers have a significant leg up on American and European companies,” Seaport Global Securities LLC analyst Brett Hundley said via email. Tilray, Aurora and Canopy Growth are already moving into production in Europe “so as to build relationships and take advantage of an expected unification of trade across the bloc itself in coming years.”

Too many, the pace of cannabis legalization can seem too slow, as it is obvious that prohibition has been a complete failure and common-sense reforms should have been made a long time ago. However, relatively speaking, positive changes are happening rather rapidly as the cannabis community has made great progress over the past decade and overturning decades upon decades of Reefer Madness propaganda and taking on entrenched business interests is a tall task. Thankfully, the cannabis law reform movement is winning, with momentum at its back, which is why major investors are looking at new marijuana markets to join. As with most things: follow the money.

The ICBC is teaming up with Spannabis on March 15th before heading to Berlin for the third consecutive year from March 31st to April 2nd. Ticket prices for ICBC Berlin increase this Wednesday. After Berlin, the ICBC will be traveling to Zurich, Switzerland, to team up with CannaTrade for an event on May 15th. Get your tickets today!