Canada is set to legalise cannabis next year – sparking a multi-billion dollar industry that will overtake alcohol sales, a new study suggests.
The decision could kick-start the economy and eclipse the combined sales of beer, wine and spirits, according to the report from consulting firm Deloitte.
Deloitte estimated that 600,000kg of weed will need to be produced every year to satisfy the market.
A survey of 5,000 Canadians, including 1,000 recreational cannabis users, calculated that the base retail market would be worth between $4.9 billion (£3 billion) to $8.7 billion (£5.3 billion) annually.
The ancillary market — growers, infused product makers, testing labs, and security — would increase that to between $12.7 billion (£7.8 billion) to $22.6 billion (£13.8 billion).
The survey found that 40% favoured legalisation, 36% opposed it, and 24% were undecided.
The report said: ‘This will make it challenging to create a broadly accepted regulatory environment.’