U.S. Treasury Department data show a slow increase in the number of banks and credit unions maintaining accounts for marijuana businesses, with 411 reporting such accounts last spring.
But many of those institutions don't provide full-service banking, making it tough for businesses to get loans.
"The major Canadian banks were slow to warm to this," said Chris Barry, a Seattle-based marijuana business attorney who handles industry transactions in both countries for the law firm Dorsey and Whitney.
He said smaller independent banks, investment banks and brokerage firms got the work started.
"That has pretty much dissolved as a problem," Barry said. "The majors are coming around to participate in the market."
Some consumers are disappointed that store shelves will only stock dried flower, oils and seeds when sales begin — no edibles. The government has said it needs about another year to develop regulations for edibles.
There's also a labeling issue: Health Canada has dictated large warning labels on otherwise plain packages, with strict restrictions on font sizes, styles and colors. The idea is to discourage misuse and to avoid appealing to youths, but it also leaves very little room for company logos or branding.
"It looks like each bag is housing radioactive waste," said Chris Clay, owner of Warmland Cannabis Centre, a medical marijuana dispensary on Vancouver Island. "It's a tiny logo with this huge warning label. It doesn't leave much room for craft growers that want to differentiate themselves."
And that, Clay said, is one of many things that will make it difficult for mom-and-pop growers to thrive. Giant cannabis companies have been entering deals to supply marijuana to the provinces.
While micro-producers are allowed, Clay is worried that by the time rules are released, "all the contracts are going to be scooped up."
POT BY POST
While getting marijuana by mail may be a novel concept in the U.S., it's nothing new in Canada. Its postal service has been shipping medical marijuana to authorized patients since 2013.
"Many of our processes are in place today for medicinal cannabis and will continue for any regulated product sent through Canada Post from licensed distributors," Canada Post said in a written statement.
The agency requires proof of age upon delivery and won't leave the package in your mailbox or on your doorstep if you're not home.