There is a joke about a “once in a lifetime” holiday that ends with the punchline “never again”. Talk of a historic investment opportunity in cannabis invites a similar reaction. The much-hyped sector has run up huge losses. Its biggest exchange traded fund — ETFMG Alternative Harvest — now trades at a quarter of its 2018 high.

Punchy pitches are still being made. London-based investment firm Chrystal Capital hopes to raise $100m by the year end for a medical cannabis fund. A trillion dollars of shareholder value could be created in a decade as the industry comes out of prohibition, it says. It arrives at that estimate by applying a multiple of three times sales — akin to that of the alcohol, tobacco and pharmaceutical sectors — to a $350bn global market, only $15bn of which is now legal...

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