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The US$30-billion capitalization the Canadian cannabis industry currently enjoys already approximates half the market capitalization of the country’s gold stocks.

The industry has remarkable potential in that Canada is the first industrialized country to legalize cannabis. But the industry is also a complicated business; from a regulatory perspective, consider that over the years Health Canada has approved just 94 of the 1,665 applications for cannabis-related licences.

Canada’s most significant cannabis producers began as medical marijuana producers, and that’s where many analysts say the real growth lies, especially on the international front. The pace of regulatory change and the evolution of natural health products provide a good analogy for the expectations Canada should have for the cannabis regulatory process, one Toronto lawyer says.

Lexpert contributor Julius Melnitzer reports at Follow @Lexpert on Twitter. Lexpert is published by Thomson Reuters.

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