Inside a Former Chocolate Factory: a 'Unicorn' and a Whole Lot of Pot
Canopy Growth dominates Canada's medical marijuana market
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 3, 2017 6:14 PM CST
In this Jan. 7, 2016 photo, marijuana grows at a facility in Markham, Ontario.   (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)

(Newser) – The 472,000-square-foot factory in a small town in Ontario once spewed out Hershey's chocolate. Now it's home to the world's largest legal marijuana producer, which supplies pot to 40,000 users across Canada and exports to Germany and Brazil. Canopy Growth—found under the ticker "WEED" on the Toronto Stock Exchange, per Bloomberg—is the marijuana industry's first "unicorn," a company valued at a minimum of $1 billion, which is about where it sits at present. Not only does the company supply pot to almost half of Canadian medical marijuana patients, but it also grows, processes, and packages the product with a license from the Canadian government, reports Business Insider.

Its business model might not be possible in the US. "If you don't have the right public policy, you don't have the right business opportunity," says CEO Bruce Linton, whose company partners with Snoop Dogg, per the Globe and Mail. With control over its supply chain, Canopy Growth is able to process everything from oils to gel capsules. When recreational marijuana becomes legal in Canada, Linton hopes to do even more. After all, Linton—with a background in software and telecommunications—started growing marijuana because he believed it to be, well, a budding industry. As more countries legalize marijuana, Linton also hopes to expand abroad; for now, the competition is light.

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