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) - It's a thorny subject, no matter whom you talk to or whether it's in the U.S. or abroad. The debate over legalizing marijuana -- be it medical or recreational -- has raged for decades, and has only just started to see the seeds of fruition stateside.
Now, however, Canada is weighing in on this controversial industry, by changing its production and distribution laws, making it legal for any licensed company to grow and ship medical marijuana to patients, and illegal for patients to grow their own. For their efforts, the country is seeing potential backers -- both U.S. and Canadian -- flocking to invest.
"It's a much different time than it was a year ago," Mark Gobuty, the chief executive of Peace Naturals Project Inc., told the Wall Street Journal. "Before, it was a reputational risk. Today they're lining up."
One company that is gambling that the industry will be as bountiful as its product is Medican
(OTCQB: MDCN), a Las Vegas-based bio-pharmaceutical company. Medican is entering the market as a supplier to America's northern cousin, and focusing on developing, distributing and marketing pharmaceutical-grade cannabis to the emerging global market.
"The medical marijuana market in Canada will be worth roughly $120 million in its first year, and by 2024, it could be worth as much as $1.3 billion," says Ken Williams, CEO of Medican. "The time to get into this budding industry is now. If we don't seize this opportunity, we will miss out on what we believe will be a very profitable market niche that is on the verge of exploding in the next decade."
In the U.S., the market for legal marijuana -- wherein 20 states currently allow medical marijuana use, and Washington state and Colorado allow recreational use -- could be worth as much as $2.5 billion by the end of this year, according to the marijuana industry research firm ArcView Group. As a side note: Colorado, which allowed recreational marijuana use at the beginning of 2014, took more than $7 million in tax revenue in the first two months.
Currently, Medican has signed an agreement with International Herbs, Ltd. and LFG Advisory and Accounting, and it has committed to entering the Canadian market with a significant ownership stake in a large facility in New Brunswick.
For more information about Medican and the investment opportunities it presents, visit www.medicaninc.com