Cannabis in Canada and the U.S. is going strong. The race is on. But, who will win the marijuana melee? Canada or the United States? Although the two countries are vastly different in size, it isn’t necessarily clear-cut as to who will eventually lead the industry. Consider this: The four biggest cannabis companies (with valuation in the $10 billions) in the world currently operate in Canada. And when you rank the top ten cannabis companies, half of them operate from the United States.

The key question from investors is where is the strongest bet?

There is no doubt that companies in Canada have gained a bit of an edge over U.S. ones when their government fully legalized it in October of 2018. Combine this with a substantial influx of funds and “the ability to export medical marijuana to countries around the globe that are relaxing restrictions”, creates a strong foundation for the country to build a strong industry on. But nevertheless, Canada’s population is actually smaller than California’s. And presently, cannabis in Canada and U.S. are nowhere equal. The market in the U.S. is already much larger than its neighbor to the North. But for time immemorial, it is America where people go to find their fortune. So, to many, the notion that Canada could outdo the U.S. in cannabis is ridiculous.

A Tale of Two Countries


  • 133 licensed producers (LPs) have the go-ahead to cultivate and sell retail and medical marijuana
  • Top Shops:
    • Tilray
    • Aurora Cannabis
    • Aphria
    • Canopy Growth
  • Canadian capital markets are hot to offer financing to budding companies
  • Population of Canada is +/- 37 million (1/10 that of the U.S.)
  • Canada as a whole is a small market – so producers look internationally for growth
  • Many Canadian companies are prohibited from selling to the U.S.
    • If companies are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, they risk being delisted for violating U.S. federal law.
  • Canadian companies have started to turn to Australia, Germany, and Israel for medical marijuana selling opportunities.
    • U.S. companies can’t pursue this outlet because it is illegal to move cannabis across state lines.
  • Lack of branding– Canadians are prohibited from marketing and branding products.
  • Canadian risk – producers could become merely farmers with their low-margin commodity; and Americans become the ones who gain more in selling since the U.S. allows much more open branding.


  • Top cannabis companies in the U.S. are commonly termed “multi-state operators.”
    • These companies have cultivation licenses
    • Distribution licenses
    • Ability to sell marijuana in a number of U.S. states with medical or retail legalization.
  • Example top shops that recently went public in Canada:
    • Curaleaf Holdings
    • Acreage Holdings
  • 30+ states now permit MMJ
  • Public legalization support in U.S. is over 60%
    • This majority is optimistic about federal legalization.
  • More states easing restrictions means investors are loosening up.
  • President Trump and Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo, agreed to not go after cannabis businesses if they were operating in states with legalization.
  • Limited number of licenses have been handed out on the East Coast due to certain restrictions – that companies selling must also grow and distribute it too.

Cannabis in Canada and U.S. – No Clear Winner Yet

Although cannabis in Canada and U.S. both show their strong forces in the industry. But comparing the two countries on an even scale is to many, apples to oranges. From size, population, regulations, marketing, branding, investment opportunities and more, there are simply too many factors to consider in the two markets. But this doesn’t mean the two markets can’t and won’t eventually interact on a larger scale. But it does mean that fine-tuning and differentiation are still the name of the game, so that if and when the market does expand, you aren’t playing catch-up.

Pinnacle is Ready to Help

So, is your cannabusiness ready to expand? Having a few set-backs? Let Pinnacle Consultation perform an in-depth review of your company. We’ll delve into finances, cultivation techniques, branding, and more and provide you with a detailed synopsis to get you on track to take that next big step. Call us today at (719) 330-5301. Prefer to email? Send us your questions to