A Canadian medical marijuana company is looking to set up an operation in California, where medical weed is legal.
Maple Leaf Green World announced in September that the business had hired three men – Brian Patterson, Marc Montoya, and Dillon Patterson – to start a pot-growing business in the Los Angeles area.
Officials with the company said they want to take advantage of the large and growing legal marijuana market in the United States. California legalized medical marijuana in 1996 when voters passed the Compassionate Use Act.
Another 22 states have since adopted MMJ, while two of them have gone further and legalized recreational weed as well. The American cannabis market is becoming increasingly enticing to out-of-towners.
Brian Patterson will lead Maple Leaf’s California expansion, while Montoya will be the chef grower for U.S. operations. Patterson has a bachelor’s in science from San Diego State University, and Montoya graduated from Oaksterdam University.
Dillon Patterson, meanwhile, will help Montoya manage the grow side of the business. He studied at California State University in Fullerton.
Maple Leaf, based in Calgary, works in renewable energy and eco-agriculture. It has been building a new focus on medical marijuana, seeking to grow weed for Canadian patients. That nation’s health department, known as Health Canada, is reviewing Maple Leaf’s application to cultivate.
“While Health Canada still deliberates our MMPR application, this will be the good time to enter the much larger U.S. market,” said Maple Leaf President and CEO Raymond Lai. “We are excited to have a team of expertise to join us, not only to spearhead the U.S. operation, but also to assist us to set up the shop when we get the MMPR license. This team’s expertise and networking will help us to start up the U.S. operation in a very timely manner and ultimately generate revenue for the Company in the near future.”
The expansion into the United States may be a first. The cannabis industry in America is almost exclusively local, but foreign business interests are gaining an increasing foothold in the market.
States with legal marijuana, including Colorado and Washington, restrict outside investments in the industry, but California does not – at least not officially.
Canada legalized medical pot in 2000, after an appellate court ruled the nation couldn’t ban it. The current Conservative government has tried to block access to the program, with little success.