While at the International Cannabis Business Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, last month, it was easy to feel the excitement that the cannabis community has over legal cannabis coming to Canada. Proud of helping propel Canada to the forefront of the global battle to end cannabis prohibition and feeling optimistic about the economic opportunities that federally-legal cannabis permeated among attendees. Those who have been in the industry for years weren’t naive regarding the obstacles regulatory hurdles pose businesses, but they took comfort knowing that regulations could be improved over time after the government realized that cannabis didn’t need to be treated like plutonium.

According to The New York Times, investors and government officials are still bullish on the financial benefits the upcoming Canadian cannabis industry presents:

A financial boom not seen since the dot-com mania of the late 1990s has overtaken Canada. The legalization of recreational marijuana, scheduled for this autumn, is not only a momentous social change and public health challenge, but also a rare opportunity for entrepreneurs like Mr. Asi to be in on the birth of what they hope will become a multibillion-dollar industry.

Early signs of a boom abound: Marijuana growers have plowed millions into investments that, without having recorded profits yet, have stock-market values measured in billions. Down-on-their-luck towns like Chesterville, Ontario, hope that marijuana will reverse economic decline. Former politicians and law-enforcement officials who once opposed legalizing recreational marijuana have now joined or formed companies to cash in on it.

Some provincial governments forecast that tax revenue from marijuana sales will help balance their budgets. And companies offering every kind of service or product — from real estate to packaging — are all out for a piece of the action.

It makes sense that investors, entrepreneurs, and politicians are still excited about a burgeoning industry expected to rival wine in just a few years, especially with Canada leading the global export market, a market that will only continue to grow over time. While Canadian companies are likely to get some competition within several years, they get to corner the market in the meantime and will have the capital to invest (more) in other nations as well. There will certainly be hiccups along the way, and it won’t be all rainbows and unicorns for Canadian cannabis companies, but the big picture future certainly looks bright for the Great White North.

Entrepreneurs and investors, as well as those thinking of joining the industry, need to be at the International Cannabis Business Conference in Portland, Oregon, this September 27th-28th to learn the latest news and to network with top professionals from around the world. Get your tickets to the Portland ICBC by September 12th to save $200!