Astute industry observers, like International Cannabis Business Conference founder Alex Rogers, have understood the potential for a global marijuana market and now the rest of the world is starting to catch up. Fresh off the heels of Canada becoming the first G7 nation to regulate adult-use cannabis commerce, the worldwide capabilities of the burgeoning industry are starting to be more universally known. What was once a pipedream (yes, pun intended) looks more and more like a reality each and every day as the Sacramento Bee reported:

“It’s a special moment, not just for Canada, but for the world because my strong conviction is that the rest of the world will follow suit,” said (Cam) Battley, chief corporate officer at Aurora Cannabis. “We’re not known as wild and crazy. We’re known for good public policy and I think they will follow our lead.”

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Its deliberate approach, which took more than two years of planning, allows provinces to shape their own laws within a federal framework, including setting the minimum age and deciding whether to distribute through state-run or private retail outlets. That offers other countries a model somewhere between the more strictly regulated system in Uruguay, the only other country with legal sales, and the more commercial version in some of the nine U.S. states that have approved recreational marijuana.

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Some in the U.S. Congress have also taken notice, pressing for the federal government to get out of the way of states that want to legalize, but it remains unclear what weight Canada’s legalization might carry south of the border.

It might have a more immediate effect in countries like New Zealand, where the government has promised a legalization referendum by 2020, said John Walsh, of the advocacy group Washington Office on Latin America. Mexico, the Netherlands and Italy are among other nations that have been mulling legalization. To the surprise of many familiar with Amsterdam’s marijuana cafes, Holland has only very limited legalization.

After jobs and revenue numbers from Canada start coming in, we can expect many more voters and policymakers across the world to start calling for legalization. “Why should Canada be the only nation to prosper from cannabis commerce when our farmers, entrepreneurs, and our society can benefit from ending prohibition as well?” will become a common question from folks around the globe.

While some have been ahead of the curve on the inevitable international cannabis market, everyone will soon take notice as Canada enjoys more freedom, jobs, and revenue without the sky falling across the Great White North. How long the rest of the world will let Canada be the only international cannabis giant is a question that should get answered soon as other countries wise up and catch up.

Stay on top of the latest news, trends, and political developments of the domestic and international cannabis markets at the upcoming International Cannabis Business Conference in San Francisco on February 7-8, 2019. Be sure to secure your early-bird tickets by January 18th to save! After San Francisco, the ICBC will be heading to Barcelona, Spain, and Berlin, Germany. Stay tuned for future exciting destinations.