04/20/2014 12:58 EDT | Updated 04/21/2014 08:59 EDT

Marijuana: Canada Falls Behind As Burgeoning Industry Hits New Highs

B.C. bud was once the green standard of marijuana.

It was so well-regarded in the early 2000s that dealers in the U.S. tried to pass off other varieties as Canadian to fetch premium prices. Weed from the west coast carried cachet for being particularly potent, with small time growers perfecting their product to maintain the reputation.

It was a time when Canada’s Liberal government flirted with decriminalization, and the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that access to medical marijuana must be legally available.

It was a ruling that could have swung the laboratory door open into a new world of research on the therapeutic uses of the controversial treatment for everything from glaucoma to Crohn’s disease to cancer.

But those high times are over.

The door toward more research has remained shut, thanks in part to a lack of federal funding for medical research, while other countries that allow patients access to medical marijuana have pushed into new medical frontiers with customization of strains for specific patients.

Now, as a new multibillion-dollar industry buds in Canada, some of this country’s licensed producers are leaning on the expertise cultivated in other countries to help get their operations off the ground.

Here’s a look at what’s happening in some of the other countries that have been moving forward to advance the field of medical marijuana:

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