As the cannabis industry keeps pushing forward, more companies are moving to list their stock on a major U.S. exchange like the NYSE or NASDAQ.
Canadian medical marijuana producer Aphria Inc (NYSE: APHA) debuted on the NYSE on Nov. 2. Prior to that, Aphria’s stock had been listed on the over-the-counter market in the U.S. and on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Listing on the NYSE is a major step for Aphria, opening the company to a larger pool of investors.
Aphria joins a relatively small club of public cannabis companies. Given the federal uncertainty that still surrounds cannabis in America and in most of the world, few cannabis companies choose the path of a public listing in order to raise funds and even fewer among them are pure-play marijuana stocks.
Listing Vs. Other Funding Sources
Listing a stock allows enables fundraising from a larger pool of investors. At the same time, a publicly traded stock can be volatile, and even more so in an emerging sector like cannabis.
Even though listing on a major exchange such as the NYSE and NASDAQ requires a company to comply with strict transparency and accountability rules, it also sends investors a sign that the company is serious about its business.
Benzinga has compiled a list of NYSE- and NASDAQ-listed cannabis companies, as well as a short description of the company’s involvement in the sector. In the first part of the list, we focused on pure-play stocks: companies for which cannabis is their core business.
Akerna was launched on June 17, 2019, following the merger of cannabis-focused blank check company MTech Acquisition Corp and MJ Freeway, a provider of a seed-to-sale regulatory compliance technology and Enterprise Resource Planning platform.
Akerna is the first cannabis compliance technology company to be traded on NASDAQ and is the first NASDAQ-listed cannabis company led by a woman. The company allows cannabis businesses to connect data points in their supply chain making it more transparent and accountable.
Arena Pharmaceuticals is a biotech company located in San Diego, which has one segment of its drug pipeline dedicated to cannabinoid-type therapeutics. Other parts of its drug pipeline are focused on non- cannabinoid drugs. The core of its cannabis biotech operations is the research and development of its investigational drug candidate called Olorinab (APD371). This is an oral full agonist of the cannabinoid receptor 2 that is being researched for the treatment of various symptoms, mainly concentrated on visceral pain connected with gastrointestinal illnesses.
Canadian marijuana producer Aurora Cannabis is considered one of the best stocks for full exposure to the cannabis industry. Aurora is one of the largest cannabis companies in the world. It operates eight licensed production facilities, with five sales licenses and operations in 18 countries. The company has a funded production capacity of over 500,000 kilograms. Aurora recently acquired MedReleaf in a $2.5-billion merger, the industry’s largest.
Canopy Growth is the largest marijuana company in the world by market capitalization. It’s also one of the largest in terms of funded production capacity, with a figure of over 500,000 kg. The company is moving fast in expanding its licensed grow space. It started the year with around 800,000 square feet, but recently it has said it reached a licensed platform of 4.3 million feet. Overall, Canopy has a production platform of 5.6 million feet, of which now 75 percent is licensed.
On Feb. 25, CannTrust Holdings joined its peers on the New York Stock Exchange. CannTrust provides medical and recreational cannabis and cannabis products, operating a 450,000 square-foot facility in Pelham Ontario, which it plans to expand by another 390,000 square feet. CannTrust has a 60,000 square-foot packaging facility in Vaughan, Ontario. Outside of Canada, CannTrust works with Cannatrek Ltd in Australia and has ajoint venturewith STENOCARE in Denmark.
cbdMD Inc (NYSE: YCBD)
Market cap: $54.95M
cbdMD offers a range of CBD products, such as tinctures, oil, gummies, topicals and pet products. Recently, the company has partnered with a number of athletes, such as retired UFC champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and professional golfer Bubba Watson.
On May 1, cbdMD changed its name from Level Brands and the ticker from LEVB to YCBD following a vote from shareholders. It’s the only CBD-focused U.S. company traded on a major exchange.
Corbus Pharmaceuticals Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: CRBP)
Market Cap: $412.34M
Corbus Pharmaceuticals is a Phase 3 clinical-stage pharmaceutical company concentrated on the development of new drugs to help with inflammatory and fibrotic illnesses by targeting the endocannabinoid system. Its principal drug candidate is called lenabasum, and it is an oral, cannabinoid receptor type 2 agonist formed to help with chronic inflammation and fibrotic processes. The drug is also being tested for its potential in treating cystic fibrosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and some other illnesses. Furthermore, the company is working on creating a pipeline of drug candidates that address the endocannabinoid system.
Cronos Group Inc (NASDAQ: CRON)
Market Cap: $2.52B
In February, Cronos Group became the first pure-play cannabis stock to list on a major U.S. exchange. Based in Canada, Cronos is a vertically integrated cannabis company whose core business is medical marijuana, but it is also involved in the recreational space following the full legalization of weed in Canada earlier this month. Similar to its peers, Cronos has been ramping up its production capacity and expects to grow over 47,000 kilograms in early 2019. In addition, Cronos owns Peace Naturals and Original BC, which are licensed to grow and sell medical marijuana in Ontario and British Columbia, respectively.
FSD Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ: HUGE)
Market Cap: $46.82M
FSD Pharma is a biotech pharmaceutical research and development company that works on a pipeline of FDA-approved synthetic compounds directed at affecting the endocannabinoid system to help with various disorders of the central nervous system and autoimmune illnesses of the GI tract, skin, and the musculoskeletal system. Its subsidiary, FV Pharma, is a licensed producer under Canada’s Cannabis Act regulations with the license to grow cannabis in its facility in Cobourg, Ontario.
Greenlane Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: GNLN)
Market Cap: $100.59M
Greenlane went public on April 18. It’s a Florida-based company that distributes over 140 brands of vaporizers and smoking accessories across the world through dispensaries, smoke shops, as well as through its ecommerce platforms.
The company doesn’t provide any cannabis products, but it has a major exposure to the industry and is betting big on its growth. Greenlane’s products are distributed across hundreds of licensed cannabis cultivators, processors and dispensaries.
GW Pharmaceuticals PLC (NASDAQ: GWPH)
Market Cap: $3.93B
Among pharmaceutical companies, UK-based GW Pharmaceutical is the closest to being a pure-play cannabis company.
GW is focused on developing cannabis-based drugs. Its Sativex drug, for the treatment of multiple sclerosis, was the first-ever natural cannabis plant derivative to be approved by regulators in any country, receiving UK approval in 2010. Earlier this year, Epidiolex, for the treatment of epilepsy, became the first cannabis-derived drug to bag FDA approval.
HEXO Corp (NYSE: HEXO)
Market Cap: $429.36M
Hexo is a Gatineau, Quebec-based adult-use cannabis company that focuses on innovative, smoke-free and traditional cannabis products. The company was previously known as Hydropothecary Corp, but changed its name to HEXO in August 2018 following the launch of the HEXO brand for the adult-use market (medical products retained the Hydropothecary brand).
In August 2018, HEXO and Molson Coors Brewing Co (NYSE: TAP)’s Canadian division agreed to form a joint venture (later revealed as Truss) to develop non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused beverages for the Canadian market. HEXO’s stock debuted on the NYSE American on Jan. 23.
Innovative Industrial Properties Inc (NYSE: IIPR)
Market Cap: $1.69B
Innovative Industrial Properties is the only publicly traded cannabis-focused Real Estate Investment Trust. The company manages a portfolio of real estate properties that it leases to medical cannabis companies in the U.S. Among its lessees are PharmaCann (New York and Massachusetts), The Pharm (Arizona), Holistic Industries (Maryland and Massachusetts), Green Peak (Michigan) and Vireo Health (Minnesota, New York, and Pennsylvania).
Intec Pharma Ltd. (NASDAQ: NTEC)
Market Cap: $10.28M
Intec Pharma is a biopharmaceutical company that works on creating a variety of therapeutics relying on its proprietary According Pill technology. Among, the company’s product pipeline candidates in clinical development are AP-cannabinoids. They are being examined for helping with various conditions such as cancer pain and opioid-sparing pain, by delivering one or both of the main cannabinoids naturally found in Cannabis sativa, CBD and THC.
NEWAGE (NASDAQ: NBEV)
Market Cap: $199.90M
NewAge is a Colorado-based omnichannel company that tries to motivate consumers to “live healthy.” It is the only one-stop-shop of healthy beverages, with famous brands such as Nestea, Evian, Búcha Live Kombucha, Illy Coffee, and Volvic. Recently the company has announced that its Noni+CBD product has obtained sales approval by the Japanese Ministry of Health and the Japanese Narcotics Control Division. The company also offers a portfolio of hemp products, such as oils, body creams, and roll-on gels, which has reached Australia and New Zealand.
OrganiGram Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: OGI)
Market Cap: $444.97M
After announcing it had applied to list its stock on NASDAQ on April 26, it took slightly more than two weeks for the Canadian cannabis producer to get approved and another week for it to start trading on May 21.
OrganiGram produces indoor-grown medical and adult-use cannabis in Canada and has distribution across all 10 provinces. The company’s plants for recreational use have recently received the organic certification from the Pro-Cert Organic Systems Ltd. In anticipation of the legalization of edibles in Canada later this year, OrganiGram has invested $15 million into an automated production line for cannabis-infused chocolate that has a capacity of 4.0 million kilograms per year, which will be delivered this fall.
Pyxus International Inc (NYSE: PYX)
Market Cap: $41.21M
Until recently, Pyxus International was known as Alliance One International and was involved in tobacco growing and packaging. Earlier this year, the company rebranded into Pyxus as it embraced cannabis. In January, Pyxus’s subsidiary Canadian Cultivated Products acquired 75 percent of Canada’s Island Garden and 80 percent of Goldleaf Pharm. Later, Canadian Cultivated Products was rebranded into FIGR Cannabis.
At the beginning of October, Goldleaf received a cultivation license from Health Canada. In addition, Canada’s Island Garden has received a license to sell marijuana and signed an agreement with the province of Prince Edward Island for 1,000 kilograms of cannabis products. Moreover, Pyxus International’s Korent subsidiary is involved in production of industrial hemp and hemp-derived CBD oil and liquid for e-cigarettes.
Sundial Growers Inc. (NASDAQ: SNDL)
Market Cap: $143.49M
Alberta-based cannabis company, Sundial Growers is known for cultivating a specific range of cannabis strains. It has established cannabis brands to Heal, Help and Play, with Heal symbolizing cannabis products consumed as prescribed medical therapies, Help products that support overall health and wellbeing via CBD, and Play that includes products for empowering social and spiritual occasions. The company runs two locations in Alberta, but it has announced plans to expand to British Columbia by building a new facility.
Therapix Biosciences Ltd (NASDAQ: TRPX)
Market Cap: $3.75M
Israel-based Therapix Biosciences is involved in developing a pipeline of drugs based on the FDA-approved cannabinoid Dronabinol, such as THX-110 for the treatment of Tourette syndrome and obstructive sleep apnea, THX-130 for mild cognitive impairments and THX-150 for the treatment of infectious diseases. Recently, Canadian marijuana producer FSD Pharma (OTC: FSDDF) announced that it would acquire Therapix Biosciences for $48 million in stock.
Tilray Inc (NASDAQ: TLRY)
Market Cap: $1.73B
In July 2018, Tilray became the first pure-play cannabis company to list on NASDAQ, and its stock quickly captured attention as it surged eightfold in just two months after the IPO.
The company was founded in 2013, and in 2016 it became the first medical marijuana producer in North America to receive the good manufacturing practices certification. Tilray’s production capacity currently lags behind giants like Aurora or Canopy Growth at around 15,000 kilograms. It has been investing in expansion and aims to have over 900,000 square feet of production capacity by the end of the year.
22nd Century Group, Inc. (NYSE: XXII)
Market Cap: $147.86M
This plant biotechnology company is mostly known for its workings in the tobacco industry, more precisely for its efforts to make smoking less unhealthy by minimizing the levels of nicotine in the tobacco plant. The company developed its own proprietary, reduced-nicotine tobacco varieties ending up with a tobacco product that looks, smokes and tastes like a usual cigarette but contains 95% less nicotine.
22nd Century Group entered the cannabis space for the first time back in 2014 via a research collaboration with Anandia Labs, obtaining in that manner the U.S. right from Anandia to core patents covering the cannabinoid biosynthetic pathway in hemp/cannabis plants. Furthermore, the company got access to many new hemp-cannabis plant lines such as those with no THC, and those with higher levels of CBD or CBG, which are still part of its plant development pipeline. 22nd Century Group works on developing new hemp/cannabis plants with optimized and unique cannabinoid profiles and advantageous agronomic features.
The company said its most valuable current partnership covering the hemp/cannabis industry is with KeyGene, an AgBiotech company with a specialty in crop enhancement by molecular breeding.
Village Farms International, Inc. (NASDAQ: VFF)
Market Cap: $276.14M
Village Farms International is a vertically integrated greenhouse grower and the only publicly traded greenhouse business in Canada. It manufactures and sells fresh produce from its large greenhouses located in Texas and British Columbia and its partner greenhouses in British Columbia, Mexico, and Ontario. The company is connected to the cannabis industry via its majority ownership position in Pure Sunfarms, a Canada-based cannabis growing operations. Furthermore, the company has plans to establish itself as a vertically integrated leader in the U.S hemp-derived CBD market, already having two joint ventures – Village Fields Hemp USA, LLC and Arkansas Valley Green and Gold Hemp LLC.
Zynerba Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: ZYNE)
Market Cap: $104.16M
Zynerba Pharmaceuticals is focused on developing transdermal cannabinoid therapies for rare and near-rare neuropsychiatric diseases. Among its product candidates is ZYN002 CBD for children and adolescents with Fragile X syndrome, a genetic condition that causes intellectual disability, behavioral and learning challenges and is the most commonly known single-gene cause of autism spectrum disorder. Other targeted conditions include developmental and epileptic encephalopathies and adult epilepsy.
Non-Cannabis Companies With Interests In The Space AbbVie, Inc. (NYSE: ABBV)
Market Cap: $139.07B
This biopharmaceutical company works on creating solutions to help treat various health conditions, from those life-threatening diseases to other chronic disorders. Its core focus in on four therapeutic fields – oncology, neurosciences, virology, and immunology. Its main connection to the cannabis industry lies in its drug, called Marinol, or Dronabinol, which is created of a synthetic form of marijuana. Marinol is used to help with nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy, and also to treat the loss of appetite in patients suffering from AIDS.
Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE: MO)
Market Cap: $83.94B
Altria Group is known as one of the biggest manufacturers and advertisers of tobacco, cigarettes and similar products in the world. While it runs its operations across the world, its main headquarters are located in Virgina, outside of the city of Richmond. Its connection to the cannabis sector is through its considerable stake in a Canada-based pure-play cannabis stock Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) (TSX: CRON).
Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (NYSE: SMG)
Market Cap: $6.83B
This is a company that produces and sells consumer lawn, garden and pest control products, but some websites consider it a cannabis stock, only because its products can be used in the cannabis industry. In its 2019 Annual Report, the company also states under the ‘risks’ section that end user may buy their products to cultivate cannabis. “Our gardening products, including our hydroponic gardening products, are multi-purpose products designed and intended for growing a wide range of plants and are generally purchased from retailers by end users who may grow any variety of plants, including cannabis.”
Psychemedics Corporation (NASDAQ: PMD)
Market Cap: $50.15M
This is a provider of hair testing services for the detection of drugs of abuse, offering marijuana hair drug tests as well.
This article was last updated in April of 2020.
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