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One of the world’s largest cannabis companies is positioning itself for recreational marijuana use to be made legal in Australia, amid fresh political debate about the proposed reform.

Why we shouldn’t prohibit cannabis

The adverse social consequences of banning marijuana may outweigh the benefits — and think of the money lost in the process, writes Alex Wodak.

Canopy Growth Corporation, a $5.6 billion publicly listed Canadian company, has taken out Australian patents for a range of marijuana products including its global, youth-focused “Tweed — feel free” brand for medicinal and recreational cannabis.

The company has also hired political lobbying and research firm Crosby Textor to help it in discussions with the federal and state governments, following Australia’s decision in 2016 to legalise cannabis for medicinal use.

A Four Corners investigation into Australia’s booming medical marijuana industry reveals major players are optimistic about the legalisation of recreational cannabis in Australia.

Medicinal cannabis has been legal in Canada since 2001 and recreational marijuana use will be legalised for adults as early as August.

Bruce Linton is the founder of Canopy Growth Corporation, one of Canada’s biggest cannabis companies.

His expectations for the Australian market are high.

Mr Linton said Canopy’s view is that once a country allows medicinal cannabis, it is inevitable that legalisation of recreational use will follow.

“Every country that’s federally legal, we think someday will start with medical,” Mr Linton said.

“And the reason is, it isn’t being introduced as a new thing.

“It exists everywhere in a large volume and so we think it’s just a natural progression.

“So Australia, Germany, everywhere … it is kind of the mandate.

“Prepare for the future, have things ready.”

‘Medical cannabis is the Trojan horse’

Ross Smith says the issue of legalising recreational cannabis use has become less taboo.

Venture capitalist Ross Smith

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