The plummet in the value of big cannabis stocks this year is not a signal that opportunities in the industry are over, Acreage Holdings Inc. (OTC: ACRGF) CEO Kevin Murphy said Tuesday.
Speaking at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference in Chicago, Murphy, the head of one of the biggest publicly traded cannabis companies, said he’s been around a long time and seen ups and downs before.
“I lived through the crash of the late '80s, saw the crisis of the early '90s [and] capitalized on crisis in ’98,” he said. “I’ve seen a lot of ebbs and flows in capitals markets.”
'A Very Healthy Sense Of Humility'
Acreage is among the companies that has been in a free fall over the last six months after a couple years when cannabis stocks were darlings of the market.
Acreage closed Tuesday's session at $5.71, down from a level near $25 per share at its high in early May.
Acreage is in a quiet period, so Murphy said he couldn’t specifically address his company’s stock. But he remains an optimist about long-term industry prospects.
“There’s been a very healthy sense of humility weaved back into this business,” the CEO said.
“I have never been more optimistic about the industry — this is exciting times for us. I’m the guy that looks five years, 10 years out. I see where we’re going [as the] fastest-growing industry, not just in the U.S., but globally.”
Acreage has a binding agreement to be acquired by Canadian cannabis giant Canopy Growth Corp. (NYSE: CGC), but only if cannabis is federally legalized in the U.S.
Murphy also teased a “major announcement” on a social equity initiative, aimed at broadening access to the industry for marginalized players, whom Murphy said the big players need to help empower.
“If you don’t have available capital ... the rich will get richer and frankly the poor will just need not apply,” he said.
Acreage believes in helping expand opportunities, he said, though he didn't offer specifics about the coming announcement.
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Acreage Holdings CEO Kevin Murphy. Benzinga file photo by Dustin Blitchok.
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